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Publisher's Summary

The Late Middle Ages - the two centuries from c. 1300 to c. 1500 - might seem like a distant era, but students of history are still trying to reach a consensus about how it should be interpreted. Was it an era of calamity or rebirth? Was it still clearly medieval or the period in which humanity took its first decisive steps into modernity?

These 24 provocative lectures introduce you to the age's major events, personalities, and developments, and arms you with the essentials you need to form your own ideas about this age of extremes - an age that, according to Professor Daileader, "experiences disasters and tragedies of such magnitude that those who survive them cannot remember the like, and doubt that subsequent generations will be capable of believing their descriptions.

"You'll look at the Black Death, the carnage of frequent wars, and the religious turmoil we associate with the Middle Ages." But you'll also look at the beginning of the intellectual and cultural movement known as Humanism, which planted the seeds of modernity. Humanism's precepts, which hearkened back to the moral inspiration inherent in classical artistic values, humans have an enormous capacity for goodness, for creativity, even for the achievement of happiness.

But these were hardly the only forces that tug modern-day historians in multiple directions. The Middle Ages was also a period when the persisting legacy of knights, serfs, and castles coexisted with the cannons and muskets newly made possible by gunpowder. With so many contradictions, it's no wonder that historians have differed widely on how to judge this era-debating even when it ended and modernity began.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2007 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2007 The Great Courses

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An Excellent Overview of the Late Middle Ages

Any additional comments?

This was an excellent series, and well worth the listen. Professor Philip Daileader is a great scholar and an excellent lecturer. This is part three in a three part series on the middle ages taught by him and published by the Great Courses. Listening to all three are great, but you can listen to one as a standalone course and also benefit from it.<br/><br/>Professor Daileader takes you on an overview of the late middle ages, which he describes as roughly 1300-1500 AD. You will learn about the major political events and personalities of this time as well as social, intellectual, religious, and economic changes. Learn about the early humanists who gave birth to the Renaissance. Learn about how gunpowder change the weapons, armor, and architecture of Europe. Learn about the final collapse of the Roman Empire in the East with the fall of Constantinople. Learn about the dynamic personalities of Ferdinand and Isabella and their leadership in the reconquest of Spain, the institution of the Spanish inquisition, and the sending of Columbus on his fateful voyage in 1492. This is just a small taste of what you will learn here.<br/><br/>Professor Daileader also takes time to introduce you to the historiographical aspects of studying the middle ages and his personal opinion on the length and impact of the middle ages.<br/><br/>I could not recommend this series more highly, especially as way to learn about the time bridge between the high medieval age and the Renaissance, Reformation, & Enlightenment eras that took the west by storm soon afterwards.<br/><br/>Happy Reading!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Excellent finale for the course trilogy

I sat through three courses on the subject with Professor Philip Daileader, and I enjoyed this one the most of the three. If you're interested in the era, go ahead and get this course.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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And funny!

This is the third lecture series I've listened to from this author and he makes medieval history extremely interesting and at times humorous.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable and informative

Doctor Daileader is my favorite lecturer from The Great Courses because of his sense of deadpan humor and impeccable delivery. The lectures are full of fascinating facts and trivia that make you want to revisit them over and over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best of the series

Worthwhile. Appropriate depth and breadth for someone with a baseline (though not extensive) knowledge of the period

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderfully entertaining and informative

What did you love best about The Late Middle Ages?

Firstly the content. I love history in general and the lectures (combined with the Early and High Middle Ages lectures by the Great Courses and also by Professor Daileader) provided an excellent background in European Medieval History. Professor Daileader's enthusiasm and humor (I often literally laugh out loud at his witty comments and subtle jokes) make it an absolute pleasure to listen to these lectures.

Have you listened to any of Professor Philip Daileader’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes - The Early Middle Ages, The High Middle Ages and How the Crusads Changed History. Professor Daileader is brilliant in all of them; my only complaint is that there are not more lectures by him!

Any additional comments?

A minor point - I sense that Professor Daileader is a bit more sympathetic to the early Church than I would like and sometimes has drifted ever so slightly into apologetics. However Professor Daileader more than makes up for this by his delivery, his humor and obvious knowledge and enthusiasm, and even though I sensed this in the very first lecture series of his which I listen to, I nevertheless bought all the subsequent ones.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable and informative.

This lecturer brings the characters with their strengths and struggles to life. He helps the listener experiance what life was like for people as they struggled to survive the times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hellocat
  • Centurion, South Africa
  • 01-23-15

Fascinating as always, but not his best work

The last in Professor Daileader's trilogy on the Middle Ages is perhaps the least interesting of the series. The reason lies largely in the fact that he focuses less on individual figures of the time and more on the broader historical trends that defined the age.

That being said, it is still a powerful and engaging course, and well worth listening to. I would, however, recommended starting with the Early Middle Ages and working your way up. By jumping straight into this one you will rob yourself some fantastic courses, and you won't be able to fully appreciate where he is coming from here.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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All 3 of Professor Daileader's courses are great!

Where does The Late Middle Ages rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top tier. His other courses are equal standouts. I have listened to quite a few Great Courses and he is among the very best

What about Professor Philip Daileader’s performance did you like?

He has a great ability to synthesize and structure key trends, while still providing conflicting views and historiographic context. In addition, I found him to be consistently amusing and at times quite funny.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No it woul be impossible as there is too material and too much content to absorb in one sitting

Any additional comments?

I want more of his courses!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michele
  • Golden, CO, United States
  • 09-10-14

Middle Ages that you won't forget

The trilogy of the Middle Ages by Professor Daileader provides great insights into the history of the middle ages. From religion to famous authors to events to life in those years, Dr. Daileader covers it all with clarity, humor and interesting details. If you have any interest in history, don't miss these 3 courses.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • amazoncustomer
  • 03-01-17

Fascinating and enlightening.

I have just finished all three of prof. Daileader's Middle Ages courses. For me, one theme stood out again and again: Religion has always been the source of so much conflict, violence and intellectual repression. Anyone following these courses will be forever grateful that they were not born into such times.

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  • Eliel Cohen
  • 04-23-16

Excellent trilogy

this trilogy of middle ages is so informative and thorough and fascinating. one of the most rewarding ive listened to and I intend to relisten to all some day.

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  • Florentino Quintero
  • 03-10-16

Great!

An easy way to learn from our history. It is a complete set. I recommend to listen to the three courses.

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  • D. Kelly
  • 05-31-15

Very interesting

Highly recommended - I really enjoyed these lectures which illuminate a period of time not immediately attractive to our present day

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  • David
  • 01-08-15

A slightly weaker finish to the trilogy

Having listened to and thoroughly enjoyed the first two of Prof Daileader's three courses on the Middle Ages I had very high hopes of this, the concluding part of the trilogy but I found it a slightly down note to end. My suspicion is that this is not really the professor's preferred period and that came across in a course that seemed to skate the subject where the previous ones really mined into the earlier periods.

It is still a worthwhile listen with much of interest but I found I was less engaged than in the first two and that the whole course didn't really knit together as I would have liked.

In summary, worth a listen but not up to the usual standards.

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  • mr
  • 07-07-14

Very good.

This lecturer has improved through the series and this one is the best. The story is very interesting, genuinely interesting tangents and explores the reason behind the different changes. I particularly like the fact he does not focus on any particular country, just to where the most change is at the time. Easy to listen to and enjoyable.

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  • Venetia
  • 06-03-15

a wonderfully accessible intro to the Middle Ages

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this 'course' on the Middle Ages. It takes the form of a series of lectures on various topics illustrative of the period, ranging from political history to character vignettes and theology. The speaker/lecturer has a clear, humorous and entertaining delivery, allowing the presentation of a great detail of serious information via an accessible style. Highly recommended.