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Publisher's Summary

Far from being a time of darkness, the Middle Ages was an essential period in the grand narrative of Western history. But what was it like to actually live in those extraordinary times? Now you can find out.
These 36 lectures provide a different perspective on the society and culture of the Middle Ages - one that entrenches you in the daily human experience of living during this underappreciated era. Drawing on history, literature, the arts, technology, and science, these lectures will deepen the way you understand not only the Middle Ages but everything that came afterward: From the Renaissance, to the Enlightenment, to your own world.
Filled with amazing insights, this series brings you closer than ever before to life as it was lived and felt. You'll meet the likes of William Caxton, England's first printer who not only printed and distributed a variety of works but also often had to translate them himself; learn about Hugh of Payns and the role of his Knights Templar - organized for the protection of pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem - in the creation of the first modern bank; see how communities dealt with marriage in a time when the church had not yet drawn this institution into its orbit; and much more.
Rich with information and period detail (including revealing examples of medieval literature from the English, French, Norse, Icelandic, and Italian worlds), these lectures will dramatically increase your understanding of how lives in the Middle Ages were really lived.
©2009 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2009 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Rocco on 10-04-13

Prof. Armstrong is an rockstar. Loved her class.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Medieval World to be better than the print version?

Its a University course, so no print version - and the audio version is awesome.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Medieval World?

Many great moments, especially the various debunkings of myths everybody holds about the middle ages. I loved the chapter on the Plague, and how its consequences are explained both in a socio-cultural way and an economic way.

What about Professor Dorsey Armstrong’s performance did you like?

Clear, compelling, energetic. If I could go back to school, I'd love to learn from her.

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

Its a bit long for one sitting, but I've listened to it for hours in a row.

Any additional comments?

If you like Prof. Drout's courses from the Modern Scholar, you will love this course.

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18 of 19 people found this review helpful


By NoDumbName on 08-19-14

Absolutely a must!

As Dorsey Armstrong says, "most people think of the middle ages as a dark period between the Roman Empire and the Renaissance". So did I. But, in this gem of a series, she shows that the Middle Ages is a very interesting and period, full of colorful characters (King Arthur, for example), adventures (the crusades), achievements (the gothic cathedrals) and much, much more.
Prof Armstrong's narration is very appealing. She is articulate, warm, funny at times, and her pronunciation is easy to follow.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Ieva on 12-16-14

Good story, but annoying narrotor`s voice

The lecture course presents good overview of the Medieval World. It is well structured, focusing rather on daily life in that period and major events having the influence, rather than just retelling of historic facts.
However, from my personal experience - check if you can cope with the narrator`s voice and way of narrating before buying the book. Sometimes the tone of voice can get very annoying, which almost forced me so stop listening for several times along the story.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Catlyn on 12-22-15

Good overview

Any additional comments?

In general a very good overview of medieval life. Maybe noting that the descriptions were more about Western Europe, quite a few things were different in the East and North.

Overall, still very much recommend it!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Naomi on 03-23-17

Excellent overview of the middle ages.

Well designed course with a logical progression of topics through the medieval period. Excellent descriptions of the living conditions of all classes, not just the wealthy. The lecturer was engaging and clearly knowledgeable.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Daniel Peile on 12-11-16

Interesting but what was in some areas

Enjoyed it overall
But was weak on technology and climate
I feel it was written with too much or alarms on the written record

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0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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