• The Modern Scholar: Medieval Mysteries

  • The History Behind the Myths of the Middle Ages
  • By: Thomas F. Madden
  • Narrated by: Thomas F. Madden
  • Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins
  • Lecture
  • Release date: 03-28-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (88 ratings)

Regular price: $17.49

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Publisher's Summary

The Middle Ages is not only a period of Romance, but of legends, tales, and mysteries. In this course, Professor Thomas F. Madden guides listeners through the most famous and enduring narratives of medieval Europe. Beginning with King Arthur, Professor Madden peels back layers of exaggeration and fiction to lay bare the historical basis for the mythical king. Madden then examines myths of the medieval church, sexual myths of the Middle Ages, and myths about Robin Hood and the Shroud of Turin, all the time imparting an understanding of just what medieval people thought about their planet.
©2014 Thomas F. Madden (P)2014 Crescite Group, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Hellocat on 06-03-14

Entertaining And Enlightening

Of all the courses that Thomas Madden has presented for The Modern Scholar series, this is perhaps his best.

He chooses some very interesting topics for discussion and treats each one with the respect and skepticism it deserves. One never gets the idea that he is pushing an agenda or trying to convince us of anything, but simply lets the facts speak for themselves.

My only criticism would be that the course is so short. I think there are many more mysteries he could have dealt with, such as those surrounding the Crusades.

Other than that, highly recommended.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Emily on 04-06-16

Fascinating Truth Behind Medieval Legends

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'm more of an ancient history person, so my knowledge of the Middle Ages is very basic. What I know about Medieval times comes from a general humanities education and "what everybody knows" from films and novels. Luckily, those are the topics he covers! Find out the truth behind the legends of:

1. King Arthur
2. The Holy Grail
3. Female Pope Joan
4. Dungeons, Witches, Inquisitions, & Torture
5. Sexual Myths – Chasity Belts & Right of the 1st Night Sex
6. Robin Hood
7. Belief in the Flat Earth
8. Shroud of Turin

We still talk about all of these subjects in modern pop culture, and I didn't need any additional outside knowledge of Medieval times to understand and enjoy the lectures. Watch out for me at my next cocktail party!

Have you listened to any of Thomas F. Madden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I really enjoy listening to Thomas F. Madden. His courses are well organized, focused, and arranged in a way where the themes are easy to follow. His courses are wonderful for someone who is new to the subject matter. He presents me with what I need to know and doesn't go off on academic tangents. His lecture style is engaging while being neither over the top nor dull and dry. Also, the recording itself didn't have annoying vocal tics.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lord Peridot on 07-20-18

Myths dispelled

Prof. Madden has a quiet, expressive way of delivering his lectures which makes them a pleasure to listen to & easy to learn from. This is an amusing short set of lectures which makes for an entertaing diversion. None the less, the Prof. treats each myth to a proper historical review, considering the evidence & motives of those who have repeated & elaborated these myths. Much of the blame seems to lie with writers of the Enlightenment who wished to put down the people of Medieval times as being superstitious dimwits. The myths were then further enshrined in the popular imagination through the romantic writers of the C19th. To take one example. Did people really think the earth was flat before Columbus discovered America? The answer is an emphatic No. The real question about these myths is how did they arise. And you will find the answers here.

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