Turning Points in Medieval History : The Great Courses: Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Dorsey Armstrong
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern History
  • 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

For an accurate picture of how the political, social, and religious structure of present-day Europe came to be - and even why we're speaking English today - studying the key events between the years 500 and 1500 is of critical import. These 24 gripping lectures deliver an unparalleled look at these moments that profoundly changed the arc of history, and they weave the era's vast array of disparate events into an interconnected tapestry that illuminates why nothing exists in a vacuum.
Among the events you'll experience: the moment in 711 A.D. when Tariq ibn Zayid conquered Spain and created the unusually tolerant society of Al-Andalus; the 1152 marriage between Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet, which led to the Hundred Years' War and the War of the Roses; and the composition of Fibonacci's Liber Abaci in 1202, which transformed the medieval world of business, banking, and commerce.
These are just three of the many turning points in the history of medieval Europe that prove the Middle Ages were far from "dark." Throughout these lectures, you'll investigate events, such as the Norman conquest of England in 1066, where the impact was immediate and tangible. In others, like the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western churches, the importance was not recognized for years; some developments had effects so gradual that their significance can only be recognized from the vantage point of history.
Methodical and meticulous in its approach to a labyrinthine age, these lectures will help you understand why the West's transition from the classical to the early modern was a fluid, ongoing process rather than the result of a single pivotal moment.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Medieval history for the slow-witted.

What disappointed you about Turning Points in Medieval History?

This course might be OK as a primer, but if you already know anything about Medieval history, don't bother with this one. I was hoping for some new angle on things but there's nothing new here.Professor Armstrong spends a great deal of time talking about what she's going to say and what she has already said, yet speaks very little about the main point. Her speech pattern is maddeningly slow and pedantic, as if she is speaking to very young children.

I could put up with the slow pace if there was any substance. The chapter on Peter Abelard was particularly annoying. She spoke at great length about his love affair with Heloise and how her uncle had him castrated for getting her pregnant. Juicy stuff, but she claims his forced castration caused him to turn inward and write great works of Medieval intellectualism, without ever telling us anything about those great works or the ideas they contained! It was like someone telling you all about Socrates' death without ever telling you anything Socrates said or did.

I'm about halfway through the series and will probably bail.


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- Guinnessdog

Great and clear voice, Easy to understand

What made the experience of listening to Turning Points in Medieval History the most enjoyable?

Professor Dorsey Armstrong has a clear and easy to understand way of bringing you information.
This comes from a non English speaker.


What other book might you compare Turning Points in Medieval History to and why?

Other books that i suggest reading or listening to are.
King Arthur: History and legend
The Medieval World
Both performed by Professor Armstrong, great for learning about the medieval world.


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

Professor Armstrong, has a clear and understandable voice, and its easy to listen to her lecture. She mumbles very little and does not stutter, she also speak some what slow so you can clearly understand each word. This makes it easy to follow her lecture while maybe doing other things.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Professor Armstrong, makes some small slight jokes, but theres not much of that. Its a history lecture for learning history, this lecture does that very well. You will afterwards know alot more about the medieval age.


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- Christian M.F. Poulsen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses