The Medieval Legacy By Carol Symes, The Great Courses

  • Narrated by: Carol Symes
  • Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins
  • Release date: 09-09-22

The Medieval Legacy By Carol Symes, The Great Courses AudioBook Summary

Though it ended five centuries ago, the medieval era continues to permeate our world in far-reaching ways. Whether we pay attention to them or not, the influences and imprints of the Middle Ages are all around us, sometimes evident and sometimes less so.   

In these 36 revealing lectures, you’ll learn how to recognize the medieval impacts on the modern world, and to grasp their significance and implications. Professor Symes’s challenging and incisive perspectives provides a historical inquiry of extraordinary relevance and meaning:

  • Representative Government and Organized Labor. Find the origins of the forms of representative government that we now take for granted and learn how medieval trade guilds evolved, prefiguring our own labor unions.
  • Romance and Chivalry. Delve into the powerful and enduring culture of chivalry, the moral ideals and codes of valor of which still resonate strongly today. See how these ideals took shape in medieval epics and chivalric romance literature.
  • The Scientific Method. Study the work of the great medieval scientists, from al-Haytham and Avicenna to Ockham and Copernicus, and their integral contributions to the inductive-deductive method and the experimental science that gave us the modern world.
  • Race Thinking and Racism. Trace how the notion of race arose in the 14th and 15th centuries. Observe the factors of religious ideology, travel literature, and the racialization of the slave industry in conceptions of “white” European superiority.
  • The Phenomenon of Medievalism. Examine the ways in which the medieval past—or ideas about it—have been claimed and appropriated in more recent times; in 19th century British movements in art; in European and American architecture; in 19th century nationalist movements, and in our own era in literature, film, and popular culture.


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