For an accurate picture of how the political, social, and religious structure of present-day Europe came to be - and even why we're speaking English today - studying the key events between the years 500 and 1500 is of critical import. These 24 gripping lectures deliver an unparalleled look at these moments that profoundly changed the arc of history, and they weave the era's vast array of disparate events into an interconnected tapestry that illuminates why nothing exists in a vacuum.
Among the events you'll experience: the moment in 711 A.D. when Tariq ibn Zayid conquered Spain and created the unusually tolerant society of Al-Andalus; the 1152 marriage between Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet, which led to the Hundred Years' War and the War of the Roses; and the composition of Fibonacci's Liber Abaci in 1202, which transformed the medieval world of business, banking, and commerce.
These are just three of the many turning points in the history of medieval Europe that prove the Middle Ages were far from "dark." Throughout these lectures, you'll investigate events, such as the Norman conquest of England in 1066, where the impact was immediate and tangible. In others, like the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western churches, the importance was not recognized for years; some developments had effects so gradual that their significance can only be recognized from the vantage point of history.
Methodical and meticulous in its approach to a labyrinthine age, these lectures will help you understand why the West's transition from the classical to the early modern was a fluid, ongoing process rather than the result of a single pivotal moment.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses
This course might be OK as a primer, but if you already know anything about Medieval history, don't bother with this one. I was hoping for some new angle on things but there's nothing new here.Professor Armstrong spends a great deal of time talking about what she's going to say and what she has already said, yet speaks very little about the main point. Her speech pattern is maddeningly slow and pedantic, as if she is speaking to very young children.
I could put up with the slow pace if there was any substance. The chapter on Peter Abelard was particularly annoying. She spoke at great length about his love affair with Heloise and how her uncle had him castrated for getting her pregnant. Juicy stuff, but she claims his forced castration caused him to turn inward and write great works of Medieval intellectualism, without ever telling us anything about those great works or the ideas they contained! It was like someone telling you all about Socrates' death without ever telling you anything Socrates said or did.
I'm about halfway through the series and will probably bail.
"Disappointing. Modern Scholar is much better"
Why get a Literary expert in to talk about history? It's all very superficial and she spends more time talking about what she has said and what's she's going to say rather than saying anything,
I thought the first lecture was poor but persevered and found the 2nd worse. Having any of Arthur's battles as turning points is ridiculous as no one is sure he even existed. King Arthur is culturally significant but not historically.
Get the Modern Scholar series instead as it's much better. I may try another Great Courses but this has put me off
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