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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.

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

©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Christian M.F. Poulsen on 07-10-15

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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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Kristoffer on 04-21-16

Interesting and varied

This lecture series looks at a multitude of different kinds of events and processes that shaped history during the European Middle Ages, whether sudden or gradual. It moves across a great deal of time and space but rigorously maintains a theme and cohesion. The lecturer is enthusiastic and pleasant to listen to, although she sometimes comes across a little bit as though reading out loud from a book.
Well worth a listen, or more than one.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Clare on 10-07-13

Disappointing. Modern Scholar is much better

Any additional comments?

Why get a Literary expert in to talk about history? It's all very superficial and she spends more time talking about what she has said and what's she's going to say rather than saying anything,

I thought the first lecture was poor but persevered and found the 2nd worse. Having any of Arthur's battles as turning points is ridiculous as no one is sure he even existed. King Arthur is culturally significant but not historically.

Get the Modern Scholar series instead as it's much better. I may try another Great Courses but this has put me off

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Matt on 03-11-18

History you can't trust

When you have a huge period of history and are trying to plot out a series of key moments, some short hand and simplification is inevitable. However, this one lost me when the narrator began discussing King Arthur. The narrator treats Arthur as an entirely historical figure, going so far as to confirm the location of Camelot. As anyone with even a passing knowledge of the era could tell you, there is absolutely no evidence that Arthur was anything more than a folk tale and every aspect of the later myth is subject to debate. That debate is very interesting and the various theories and interpretations could fill a lecture course by themselves, but the way the topic is treated here is simply a bizarre counterfactual report passed off as truth. Thankfully it was only the second lecture, so I haven't been subject to any inaccuracies in subjects where I don't know enough to know better. The Early Middle Ages lecture course is a good alternative.

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