Read Medieval Europe: Crisis and Renewal (The Great Courses) by Teofilo F. Ruiz Online


The Middle Ages harshly tested human perseverance, imagination, and survival. Living conditions were squalid for almost everyone except the ruling elite; most of the riches of Western culture were preserved in monasteries and on other continents. Then came widespread famines, prolonged wars, and plagues that marked Europe's late medieval period as one of the most harrowingThe Middle Ages harshly tested human perseverance, imagination, and survival. Living conditions were squalid for almost everyone except the ruling elite; most of the riches of Western culture were preserved in monasteries and on other continents. Then came widespread famines, prolonged wars, and plagues that marked Europe's late medieval period as one of the most harrowing times in recorded history. But Europe was not broken by these crises. Instead, Europe renewed itself and spawned fundamental artistic, religious, romantic, and political ideas that continue to shape our world to this day. A Hero's Tale This course is a hero's tale of trial, suffering, and triumph for an entire culture. Medieval Europe: Crisis and Renewal transports you to 14th-century Europe and guides you through 200 years of stunning transformations in how people viewed themselves, how they worshiped, and their relationship to land and country. Concepts as basic as national boundaries, church-state separation, individuality, and sovereignty find root in the medieval world you will explore with Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz. The Plan of the Course This 16-lecture course is divided into three sections. Section 1 provides a framework for medieval society through detailed descriptions of what life was like for peasants, merchants, and monarchs. In Section 2, you see how this rigid but well-entrenched social structure was shaken to the core by several crises. By name alone, medieval turning points such as the Hundred Years War and the Black Death still evoke shudders in the human psyche. In Section 3, you see the glorious renewal that followed the devastation of the 14th century: the spread of Renaissance ideas and styles from Northern Italy throughout western Europe; the creation of the modern nation in Castile, France, and England; the "rediscovery" of Plato; and far-reaching voyages of discovery. The roots of what is often inappropriately referred to as the "early modern world" are found in the transformations of the 14th and 15th centuries. Your Guide Understanding medieval Europe is a special challenge. As historian Professor Ruiz observes, "The nuts and bolts of history that reveal so much-deeds, wills, legal records, etc.-simply did not exist in the same quantity for medieval Europe as they do for the modern world." Thus, a guide as capable as Professor Ruiz is a special feature of this course. A native of Cuba who narrowly escaped a firing squad during Castro's revolution, he is a Professor of History and Chair of the department at the University of California at Los Angeles. Professor Ruiz has been named one of four Outstanding Teachers of the Year in the United States by the Carnegie Foundation. He has taught at several universities including Princeton University-as the 250th Anniversary Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching. Section 1: Medieval Europe (Lectures 1-4)This introductory section sets the context for the entire course. Understanding how medieval men and women imagined their society and saw themselves provides insight on how they responded to the great crises about to be unleashed. Peasants were the group most dramatically affected by late medieval crises. You examine their difficult everyday lives and crucial, but lowly, role in society. You explore the rise of towns and cities and examine the source of so much inspiring art and great learning that shaped society in the Middle Ages and beyond. You see how the power of the papacy was envied and emulated throughout Europe and how this caused landmark changes in the relationship between church and state. Section 2: Crisis (Lectures 5-8) Hunger. You study the great famines of 1315-17 and their impact on European society in succeeding decades. The inability of medieval governments to deal with the consequences of widespread hunger-rising violence, crimes against property, high mortality rates, and weakening of the population-gravely foreshadows similar reactions to other crises. War. You study the Hundred Years War, though not in a strict narrative form. The focus is on the manner in which this drawn-out conflict affected the social, economic, political, and cultural structures of late medieval Europe. You observe extensively the impact of military technology on society, the role of war in social change, the rise of knightly orders, and the contradictions between war's savagery and chivalry's ideals. The Black Death. The bubonic plague had an enormous psychological impact on Europeans in the mid-14th century. You examine the development of the church after the plague, violence against Jews and lepers following the spread of the plague, and the reaction of authorities to its onslaught. Popular Rebellions. You acquire insight into the many peasant and urban uprisings that resulted as individuals on top of society sought to maintain their position in a time of vast economic and social dislocation. Those below, and those caught in the middle, often reacted with increasing violence. You discuss three case studies-the Jacquerie in France (1356), the Ciompi in Florence (1378), and the Peasant Uprising in England (1381)-that illustrate general unrest throughout late medieval Europe. Section 3: Renewal (Lectures 9-15) Politics. You study the new political concepts formed in the late Middle Ages, including first steps toward the invention of the nation-state. Centralized monarchies, the harbingers of modernity, emerged at the end of the 15th century in Castile, France, and England as a result of the crises that pushed thinkers and rulers to develop concepts of sovereignty. You examine a case study of the Kingdom of Castile and how age-old medieval institutions were used by the Castilian monarchy to organize the nation-state. Culture and Mentality. You study the birth of Renaissance culture in Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries and its spread to other parts of Western Europe. Beginning with Dante, the elements of Renaissance Humanism and art are shown as transforming factors in medieval culture. New aesthetic sensibilities and a new spirit are addressed in terms of important developments-the spread of Renaissance ideas, the survival of some "old" forms of medieval culture, and the rise of secular attitudes in art, education, politics, and the economy. Love, Sexuality, and Misogyny. After briefly reviewing medieval attitudes toward love, you see how concepts of love, sexuality, the body, and marriage were transformed by the crises of the late Middle Ages. Boccaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are studies for statements on love and sexuality. The Spanish Inquisition, the witch craze, and other examples of European society turning against specific groups in its midst are also explored at length. The Blending of High and Popular Culture. You see how festivals, jousts, pas d'armes (passage of arms), and carnivals expanded the power and influence of nation-states. Conclusion: The Beginnings of Modernity (Lecture 16)Professor Ruiz's final lecture summarizes the course and presents a view to the future. The fall of Constantinople and the subsequent reception of Greek Classical knowledge in the West, the disruption of trade routes in the East, and the voyages of discovery are all treated as dramatic transforming factors in European lives...

Title : Medieval Europe: Crisis and Renewal (The Great Courses)
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ISBN : 9781598031
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 0 Pages
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Medieval Europe: Crisis and Renewal (The Great Courses) Reviews

  • Skuli Saeland
    2018-12-08 23:45

    Fín yfirferð yfir sögu miðalda V-Evrópu. Ruiz fjallar um félagssögu tímabilsins, hörmungarnar og hvernig samfélagið náði smám saman að byggja sig upp að nýju þrátt fyrir stöðugar plágur, hernað og deilur kristni og konunga.

  • Jim
    2018-11-20 19:57

    Audio downloadThese lectures cover the transitional period between the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times, or about 1300 to 1500...give or take. There are many lecture sets that cover this time span (and more) that are very, very good (Drs Dialeader, Harl, Armstrong and Paxton from The Great Company) and I strongly recommend each and every one of them (especially after you win a significant lottery). this pretty much colours my review of the good Professor Teo Ruiz's 'Crisis and Renewal', so those of you considering purchasing this set should be forewarned, this set is a bit different, but nonetheless fascinating and informative.If you're worried about Teo's accent...don't, because it's a non-issue. It's not like the help line for computer problems with Microsoft. In fact, I like it and am thinking about adopting it as my own.Prof Ruiz's lectures look more closely at the reasons for transitioning into modern time, not just from the standard political causes/reasons (who begat whom...who killed whom...or what was the pope's opinion of the current monarch in France). He examines the situation of the common man (90–95 percent of the population)...mostly his dismal lot in life...dealing with abysmal poverty, pestilence and popular, as well as unpopular, rebellions, not mention not being able to get a decent cup of joe. It was not a great time to live for those who weren't in the upper 1%.I'll not get into many details (there are some really good reviews on the Great Courses site), but just express my take-aways that y'all might find helpful.1) Religion, specifically the Catholic Church, between 1300 and 1500 is beginning to lose some of it's absolute influence with the general population. The general belief in magic, and the increases in scientific curiosity is strangely hand-in-hand...leading to more acceptance of secularism. You can see the seeds of the protestant movements. The increasing secularism, however, didn't really impact the widespread misogyny that was so well established at this time, though "The Canterbury Tales" did shake things up a bit. Literacy: With scientific advances (as slow as they were to trickle-down to the masses) came technological innovations, notably the invention of the printing press and the beginning of increasing availability of books. In 1300 literacy levels are quite low, barely 10%. By 1500 advances in literacy, though not meteoric, would lead to a general rise in curiosity and awareness about what the world was like beyond your view of the hind-end of their favorite ox. Now you could learn about classical philosophers...Aristotle, Socrates and Plato, while dreaming of exchanging the ox for a horse.New technology: Warfare changed during this time period...the world of knightly battles gave way to the long bow (wielded by peasant grunts), which gave way to cannon...Lancelot had not a chance any more.Technology brought advances to ship-building, sailing and navigation, thereby increasing the chances of finally getting a tasty meal (spice trade allusion), as well as that cup of joe (or perhaps some decent tea), long-distance trade (and exploration ) was born...and with it: Capitalism.These are my conclusions and take-aways...maybe a little loosely stated, but basically true. These lectures drill-down a little deeper into the regular bad they had it in 1300, and how times were getting ready to change (big time) in 1500.The course is dated (20 years old), but a good one and I do recommend it and the other two sets from Teo as well. It's often an sale and coupons are easily had.

  • David
    2018-12-05 19:50

    These lectures contain some intereting information on early Europe that goes beyond "standard" dates and events, describing what it was like to live as a peasant during the period.

  • Alexis
    2018-12-03 23:04

    6: interesting, but I am not a huge fan of history by topics.

  • Diana
    2018-12-05 18:10

    Did you know that in the great famine, some people turned to cannibalism? Professor Ruiz connects this with Grimm's Fairy Tales. Gotta love any lecture that can do that...