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The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad Lecture

The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad

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Audible Editor Reviews

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Publisher's Summary

Spain has played a unique and essential role in Western civilization. To understand the unfolding of Spain's epic history is to come to terms with one of the West's great cultures, and to grasp its enduring presence and impact on the world stage.

In these 24 accessible lectures, Professor Salisbury presents a broad and enthralling panorama of Spanish history, covering the centuries from the first prehistoric settlement of the peninsula to Spain's 20th-century civil war.

Linking one seminal era with the next, the course begins with how early Spain drew a range of peoples from ancient Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, who formed vibrant communities on the peninsula. From there, you'll witness the rule of the peninsula by both Rome and Visigothic peoples, leading to the spellbinding drama of Islamic Spain and the Reconquista, Catholic Spain and the Inquisition, and the opening of the New World. Finally, you'll travel into the kingly dynasties and the dazzling artistic heritage of the Habsburgs and Bourbons, and you'll track Spain's emergence into the modern world.

Together with the unfolding of Spanish history, Professor Salisbury illuminates Spain's iconic cultural forms - such as flamenco music and dance, and the ritual of bullfighting - and its phenomenal contributions to art, architecture, literature, music, theology, and learning.

Across the centuries, you'll explore jewels of Spanish architecture, from the resplendent Moorish Alhambra and Alcázar of Seville to the sublime Sagrada Familia cathedral of modernist Antoni Gaudí. And you'll encounter Spain's geniuses of the visual and written arts, including such masters as the painters Velasquez, el Greco, Goya, and Picasso, and writers from the philosophers Averroes and Maimonides to literary greats Lope de Vega and Cervantes.

Travel with us to this remarkable culture, and savor the beauty and the great human drama of the history of Spain.

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2017 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (70 )
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  •  
    Devan Pennington 08-05-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this lecture series and learned a lot. It has inspired me not only to visit the Iberian Peninsula, but to delve into the histories of other nations as well.
    I enjoyed Prof. Salisbury's presentation and the overall presentation in general.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ADELINA PELTEA 08-10-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Eagle's View of Spain's and Europe's history"

    Great lectures to our usual stereotypes and bits of knowledge about our country in perspective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 08-06-17
    08-06-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fabulous presentation about a fascinating land."

    Before listening to this course, I never realized the Importance of Spain to the thread of history running from the ancient Roman Empire through the evolution of Europe to the wider world of today. It has put together many pieces of information into a coherent whole for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-18-17
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    "Wonderful preparation for a trip to Spain"

    I'm taking a trip to Spain in a couple months. This series of lectures is exactly what I was looking for to give me some good historical background.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee Robinson 10-17-17 Member Since 2015
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    11
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    "Best Great Courses Yet"

    I have listened to about 20+ great courses, and this one has absolutely been my favorite. The professor has a contagious enthusiasm for the subject matter, clear and consise speaking style, and organizes the material in a way that is engaging and helps bring the lectures to life. I never once "spaced out," and found myself looking forward to the next commute. I am now hoping to travel to Spain to experience some of its rich history and culture and hope the professor will have other Great Courses soon! Thanks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caleb 10-16-17
    Caleb 10-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Good"

    I was expecting a bit more in depth about history. Was mostly a broad view. It did cover some elements of culture which I found very interesting

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Addison 10-06-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Far more than just a history of Spain"

    I was really surprised just how much I got out of the Great Course. Not only is it a really good survey course of Spanish History, but the Professor Salisbury covers a wide variety of material that, while was a part of Spanish History, impacts upon other parts of World as well.

    Definitely worth the listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boyd Tschaggeny 10-04-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ALT Title: The Religion and Culture of Spain"

    Do not expect the structure of a typical history course. Leaders, dates, wars, and politics are not the focus of this course. This course is focused on who the people were who lived in spain throught the centuries. This course is focused on religion, culture, race, art, and food.

    I think I would have enjoyed this course more if I had known what to expect. I was constantly disappointed because I wanted to know less of who the people were and more of what they did. I really do think it is a good course, I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

    Side note: The author pronounces everything as a Spaniard would, which sounded very off to my English ear. She may be right, but she sounds wrong.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Jean luke
    10/1/17
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    "Inspiring"

    She is as marvelous a narator as she is an author and combined you are in for a treat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tristan Fisher
    9/14/17
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    "A fascinating insight into Spain"

    The series is a fascinating insight into Spanish history, discussing the events, the culture and the arts of Spanish history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zenouf the Birdcatcher
    9/7/17
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    "An enthusiasm shared,
    "

    As an extramural resident for many years, I approached this course with some trepidation given perceived American attitudes towards Islam and Communism. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and centeredness of the lectures. The carefully told story of the second Republic and the subsequent decades of Franco was well done given the complexity and the polar opinions these issues still maintain. I would warmly recommended this course to anyone interested in this remarkable country.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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