Late Middle Ages (The Great Courses, Ancient & Medieval History) By Philip Daileader
Publisher: The Teaching Company 2007 | ISBN: 1598033425 | 133 PDF Pages (book) + 24 mp3 track | 115 MB
Twelve Cassettes - 24 Lectures - 30 minutes per lecture. Course No. 8296
Course Lecture Titles 1. Late Middle Ages—Rebirth, Waning, Calamity?2.
Philip the Fair versus Boniface VIII3. Fall of the Templars and the
Avignon Papacy4. The Great Papal Schism 5. The Hundred Years War, Part 16.
The Hundred Years War, Part 27. The Black Death, Part 18. The Black Death,
Part 29. Revolt in Town and Country10. William Ockham11. John Wycliffe and
the Lollards12. Jan Hus and the Hussite Rebellion13. Witchcraft14.
Christine de Pizan and Catherine of Siena15. Gunpowder16. The Printing
Press 17. Renaissance Humanism, Part 118. Renaissance Humanism, Part 219.
The Fall of the Byzantine Empire20. Ferdinand and Isabella21. The Spanish
Inquisition22. The Age of Exploration23. Columbus and the Columbian
Exchange24. When Did the Middle Ages End?
Were the two centuries from c. 1300 to c. 1500—an age that has come to be
known as the Late Middle Ages—an era of calamity or an era of rebirth?
Should we look on this time as still clearly medieval or as one in which
humanity took its first decisive steps into modernity? Was it a period as
distant from us as it appears, or was it closer than we suspect? Students
of history are still trying, even after so many centuries, to reach
anything approaching a consensus on the answers to these questions.
Ponder the many contradictions on your own and you may be frustrated by
inconclusive answers. Instead, let Professor Philip Daileader be your
guide and set you on the path to answers with The Late Middle Ages, the
final course in his excellent trilogy that began with The Early Middle
Ages and The High Middle Ages.
This provocative 24-lecture course introduces you to the age's major
events, personalities, and developments and arms you with the essentials
you need to form your own ideas about this age of extremes—an age that,
according to Professor Daileader, "experiences disasters and tragedies of
such magnitude that those who survive them cannot remember the like, and
doubt that subsequent generations will be capable of believing their
An Era of Disease, War, and Religious Turmoil
There was the Black Death, which killed perhaps half the population of
Europe in four years and remained a constant and terrifying presence for
centuries to come. ...
There was the carnage of frequent wars, particularly the Hundred Years
War, and a steady progression in the deadly effectiveness of the weapons
with which those wars might be waged. ...
There was religious turmoil, with the papacy humiliated, the popes
departing Rome, and a Great Papal Schism that ultimately produced three
competing popes, leaving the Catholic Church with no clear leader for a
period of nearly 40 years. ...
And there was the threat of rebellion in both city and country as
disasters and social change took their inevitable toll.
... or Were the Seeds of Modernity Planted?
On the other hand, even as Europe was reeling under these onslaughts, a
powerful new way of thinking was coming to fruition. This was the
beginning of the intellectual and cultural movement known as Humanism.
By Humanism's precepts, which harkened back to the moral inspiration
inherent in Classical artistic values, humans have an enormous capacity
for goodness, for creativity, even for the achievement of happiness.
Moreover, that happiness was something that could be experienced not in
the next life, but in this one.
But these were hardly the only forces that tug modern-day historians in
multiple directions. The Middle Ages was also a period when the persisting
legacy of knights, serfs, and castles coexisted with the cannons and
muskets newly made possible by gunpowder.
It was a period when Scholastic theologians continued to question the
nature of God and the salvation of humanity, while this new breed of
Humanists urged a focus on humanity itself. And it was a time enlightened
enough to welcome and appreciate the rise of the printing press, yet it
still permitted and tolerated the torments of the Spanish Inquisition.
With a world of such contradictions and juxtapositions, is it any wonder
that historians, including those who have been the most influential and
evocative in studying this period, have differed on how history is to
judge this eradebating even when it ended and modernity began?
As you might imagine, Professor Daileader is no stranger to this
discussion. His opinion is that modernity in Europe came much later than
is generally thought, occurring between 1750 and 1850. More importantly,
Professor Daileader's wealth of teaching skills has drawn consistent
recognition and honors, beginning with his four Certificates of
Distinction while still a graduate student at Harvard and ranging to his
current occupancy of one of William and Mary's University Chairs in
Encounter Extraordinary People and Events
The teaching skills that helped earn those honors include a delightful
narrative style and a wry and pointed sense of humor, both of which are on
regular display throughout these lectures. The result is a compelling
course that introduces you to an extraordinary array of people and events.
— Meet women like Christine de Pizan, possibly the first woman to
support herself and her family entirely through her literary efforts.
Left to her own devices after the deaths of her husband and father, the
Italian-born resident of France put her superb education to work,
writing and selling poems, royal biographies, a defense of Joan of Arc,
and even a book on military theory. But her greatest contributions were
as an early feminist; with major works defending the intellectual and
moral equality of women, she launched a discussion that would last for
Encounter rulers who helped turn the tide of history, like Ferdinand and
Isabella, who sponsored Columbus's voyages to the Americas but also
expelled both the Jews and Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula and
established the Spanish Inquisition. Or Philip IV of France, whose drive
to assert supremacy over the papacy included the so-called Babylonian
Captivity of the popes in Avignon and the arrest and trial of the
Knights Templar, the military order supposedly answerable only to the
And discover radical thinkers and theologians such as John Wycliffe, Jan
Hus, and William Ockham, whose ideas dared to approach—and cross—the
forbidden lines of heresy, sparking controversy, rebellion, and the
sometimes fatal opposition of the church.
But as fascinating as the people of the Late Middle Ages were, its
signpost events and developments were no less gripping, and Professor
Daileader creates vibrant pictures in showing how each contributed to this
complex and important era, including:
The Black Death, which claimed what some historians now believe to be
fully half of Europe's population in its first four-year visit (there
were others) and left in its wake not only death and grief but
widespread social and economic complications.
The influence of the Inquisition's courts and the idea of the
"witch"—especially the female witch—as well as the occurrence of the
first witch trials and the widespread ordeals women fell prey to in the
16th and 17th centuries.
The coming of paper to Europe, after its invention in China 1,000 years
earlier, and the replacement of parchment by paper. This development was
critical to the feasibility and spread of the printing press, perhaps
even more so than the demands presented by the rise of literacy.
The far-reaching effects of the historical transaction that has come to
be known as the Columbian Exchange. The massive trade of plants,
animals, and diseases between the Old and New Worlds rapidly changed
both areas forever. As Europe gained enormous demographic and economic
benefits, it was often at the cost of profound devastation to the
The impact of the exchange that began with Columbus's voyage is still felt
today, as is the impact of the entire era whose end it roughly marks and
whose story is presented so brilliantly in The Late Middle Ages.
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