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Publisher's Summary

At the dawn of the last millennium in the year 1000, Europe was one of the world's more stagnant regions - an economically undeveloped, intellectually derivative, and geopolitically passive backwater, with illiteracy, starvation, and disease the norm for almost everyone.
Yet only three centuries later, all of this had changed. A newly invigorated cluster of European societies had revived city life, spawned new spiritual and intellectual movements and educational institutions, and had begun, for reasons both sacred and profane, to expand at the expense of neighbors who traditionally had expanded at Europe's expense. This series of 24 lectures, filled with memorable detail, examines how and why Europeans achieved this stunning turnaround. By its conclusion, you will be able to describe and analyze the social, intellectual, religious, and political transformations that set into motion this midsummer epoch of the medieval world - an epoch you will come to know very well through Professor Daileader's vivid descriptions and examinations of its people, including


the warrior aristocracy of knights, castellans, counts, and dukes;
free and unfree peasants; and townspeople, both artisans and merchants;
its vibrant stirrings of religion and intellect, including monastic life and charismatic figures like Francis of Assisi and Thomas Aquinas;
the lives of those outside the religious mainstream, especially heretics and Jews;
and its major political developments and events, including the First Crusade, the Norman Conquest of England, and the granting of the Magna Carta.

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

©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mary Elizabeth Reynolds on 03-02-14

Wonderful teacher

I adore the medieval in any form, but this professor makes a period that is so obscure come alive. He doesn't romanticize the period nor does he belittle it. He inserts humor and quotes that still stick with me.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Hellocat on 09-05-14

Good, but not his best

Of Professor Daileader's Medieval trilogy, this is probably the weakest offering. The reason I say that is mainly because of my own preference for narrative history rather than social/economic history, of which this course embraces mostly the latter.

That being said, I still highly recommend this course for anyone interested in the period. Daileader's delivery is highly entertaining and he even injects a fair amount of humor to the lectures.

Start with the Early Middle Ages though, since I think that is perhaps the best in the trilogy.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By David on 01-08-15

Another excellent course from Professor Daileader

This is the second of a trilogy of courses presented by Professor Daileader and on a par with the excellent first one on the Early Middle Ages. Having a much shorter time frame to cover than in the first course, Professor Daileader structures these lectures into three distinct groups: Society; Religion; and, Politics & War. Initially I was concerned that this would lead to an uneven course but I was surprised by how interesting and engaging the religious elements were.

As with the previous course, the great strength of the course is the light touch that Professor Daileader brings to it. He is entertainingly wry at times but never to the detriment of clearly explaining the subject matter. Particularly refreshing is the sense of self awareness he clearly has. Where other lecturers in these courses seem to be unaware of how their subject can seem to the casual listener the Prof Daileader seems only too aware of how strange or difficult some of the things he covers are.

All in all this is an excellent and enjoyable course that I would recommend but for the best experience listen to the Early Middle Ages first.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 02-04-17

My favorite great courses series

This three part series on the Middle Ages are my favorite lectures on the great courses series. It has opened up the subject on the Middle Ages for me. I knew next to nothing on the subject and now that Iv finished this series, I'm obsessed with everything concerning the period. The lecturer is warm, engaging and funny. Iv got nothing but good things to say about it. Thank you dr Daileader!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Clinton on 06-17-16

Great speaker

Very engaging speaker and fascinating era of history. Touched on a broad range of topics while staying very succinct.

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