An award-winning, widely recognized expert on premodern history, Professor Thomas F. Madden launches the first of a two-part series on the medieval world. This all-encompassing investigation of a highly influential time period includes the major events of the era and informative discussion of empire, papacy, the Crusades, and the fall of Constantinople.
During the course of these lectures, Professor Madden also addresses the rise of Islam, reform movements, and schisms in the church. In so doing, Professor Madden underscores the significance and grand scale of an age that continues to hold an undeniable fascination for people today.
©2009 Thomas F. Madden; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
There are reasons why I bought just about every lectures given by Thomas F. Madden, if one can forgive his stylistic dullness, his lecture was concise, to the point and informative. The lecture bridges the gap between middle age and high middle age, often 14th century feel too much like a vacume, except 100 year war, it almost feel as if nothing interesting occur after the 4th crusade in 1204 to 1454, if you feel this way, this course would bridge it.
Dr. Madden's lectures inspired me to get interested in the medieval world to a degree that I had not anticipated. Extremely interesting topic. I learned so much. How little we know of the peoples, kingdoms and empires that formed the foundation of our society throughout the middle ages.
Prof Madden is not at all condescending. This is part 1 of 2 parts- both are excellent and informative and Prof M makes amusing and interesting asides. I've listened to all about 4/5 times.
Nice overview on the political history of Europe in the Medieval time. Highlights the important turning points, and the events that lead to shape Europe as we know it today. It's a bit difficult to keep up with all the names and people if you're not already familiar with them.
The author ties everything together so well.
I like all of Professor Madden's lectures.
Great Learning System
Thomas Cahill's histories, gives a lot more background than just dates and actions.
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Overall it is an eye opener to the fact that what we are taught were the "Dark Ages" were actually a pretty vibrant era of transition. His explanation of the the feudal system and how it developed was particularly insightful.
Other reviewers have disparaged the professor's style, I find it very engaging. It is as though he is talking directly to the listener and he sometimes drops in a modern idiom which is delightfully out of place.
While this lecture is not a graduate level course by any means, it is a fantastic 200-300 level undergraduate lecture. Dr. Madden is the foremost Crusade historian alive today, and masterfully delivers his extensive knowledge in the Modern Scholar series. Do not listen to those who complain that it's too basic or that he lapses in speech, they're used to gaudy and verbose lectures. True genius is in communicating concisely and exactly, not with a plethora of obtuse and obscure words; take it from a medieval grad student-- less is more/better in academia.
This seems to be aimed at the home-school middle school market. He's clearly avoiding any big words and complex concepts. A good way to learn some basic names and stories of medieval history. The focus is very much on the popes, England, and France. Anyone hoping to learn about Spain or Eastern Europe will be out of luck. I was happily surprised that at least some attention is given to Late Antiquity (the Byzantine Empire).
The course is very interesting and has a lot of good history in it, but the professor tends to stammer and repeat himself which makes it a bit annoying to listen to.
The scholar stammers, searches for words, and doesn't use voice inflection to the benefit of the reader; nevertheless, the content is spot on.
"Excellent introduction to the period."
The story is told with accuracy and passion. The reader is lead along to understand the developing period through narrative.
As a History, characters come and go, and while there are thumbnail sketches of individuals, the sweep of the period lets you understand that this is not a story of the lives of great men, but a more considered evaluation of the times.
The natural medium of this text is aural : they are in effect lectures given to a small tutorial. While it would be possible simply to read the text, the nuance of the voice allows you to pick up on connection and inter connections.
The lectures are designed more to awaken the mind that excite the emotions.However it does make you think of past decisions that appear to have unexpected results. O tempera ! O Mores !
I can thoroughly recommend this lecture series as a good place to start with understanding the medieval period.
"Good source of information"
I have listened to several Thomas F.Madden's books. Although they are mostly built as lectures, they are easy to listen and follow. Good source of information whether for a student or just someone who is interested in the respective time period of our history, like me. The Medieval World series cover various areas and are very well presented and informative. Read by the author himself. Might take some time to get used to his voice and rather lecture like presentation style. Listened with delight and attraction. Suggest for widening the history knowledge and understanding.
"One of the better Modern Scholar courses"
I'm a great fan of the Modern Scholar series, and like most of them the content here was excellent. Unlike some of them, this is presented in a very listenable way. A joy to listen to.
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