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Publisher's Summary

The Middle Ages was a time of major advances in many fields of knowledge, from theology and philosophy to science, medicine, art, literature, and education. Owing to the work of an astonishing range of visionary thinkers, this fascinating period was the era in which the foundations of the modern Western world were laid. In the medieval era’s great minds we find the roots of many aspects of today’s world - from the religious/philosophical thought of Augustine, Ambrose of Milan, and Thomas Aquinas to the scientific innovations of Avicenna and Alhacen, the enlightened statesmanship of Charlemagne and Lorenzo de Medici, and the literary creations of Dante and Chaucer.
In these 24 lectures, Professor Armstrong leads you on an enthralling journey into the lives of the seminal thinkers of the Middle Ages. In this gallery of extraordinary minds, you'll encounter the leading lights of a world-shaping era, including figures such as Maimonides, Hildegard of Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter Abelard, and Francesco Petrarch. Professor Armstrong goes to great lengths to bring these historic figures to life, revealing both the great intellectual contributions and the personal strivings, challenges, and triumphs of some of history's most remarkable human beings. These compelling lectures take you deeply into the heart of one of civilization’s most dynamic and impactful eras.
©2014 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2014 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Sean on 10-30-14

Discovering new heros

I liked learning about many influential thinkers that I had never heard of before. Many of their ideas were encapsulated or recapitulated by later thinkers, so there were no flashes of insight. Nevertheless, hearing who first engaged some of society's thorniest problems provided a very interesting read.

The professor has a thorough understanding and genuine affection for her subject and it makes the lectures very easy to listen to.

Because there was no separation of church and state the figures are heavily involved with the Catholic Church. There's no escaping that in a book like this, but if you are not interested in the medieval church you may not want to invest your time here.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Benoibe on 08-13-14

Prof Armstrong at her best!!!

Oh what a great lecture series! It was more than I expected. I was left wishing these lectures were longer and wishing for more info on many of the great minds. That's why this is such a great course: I am now more interested in further study about many of these great minds! For a survey of intellectuals of medieval world, this is an excellent listen. I've listened to Prof Armstrong before, and can say that she has her sea legs now! She has more confidence than before and is a very exciting presenter in these lectures. She does a great job with very complex ideas and the time constraints! She presents each person on the list in such a way that even those individuals with whom I was very familiar seem new and so very interesting!!

I highly recommend this lecture series!
Hope for more lectures from this prof.

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22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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