Turning Points in Medieval History

TurningPointsTurning Points in Medieval History
Professor Dorsey Armstrong, Ph.D.
The Great Courses
Audio download $34.95 when on sale
If the course is not on sale, check back – the sale price will come around again

This course is different from most produced by the Great Courses. The vast majority of courses are created on video with appropriate accommodation made for those of us who listen via audio. Turning Points in Medieval History, of the other hand, is strictly audio. I liked that because I had no concern about missing any images.

Professor Armstrong discusses twenty-four turning points in the medieval world. She suggests that there are four kinds of turning points.

  1. An immediate turning point that is recognized as such at the time.
  2. A decisive event in itself whose impact was felt beyond the initial event.
  3. A turning point whose effect was most strongly felt years or even centuries later.
  4. A turning point that was seen as such at the time, but which really changed little.

Armstrong discusses the fall of Rome, the rise of the kingdom of Al-Andalus in what is now Spain, the Norman Conquest, and other similar medieval events. She uses a James Burke “Connections” style of presenting these events, describing how unrelated events and circumstances often converged to create these turning points.

Dorsey Armstrong is my current favorite Great Courses instructor, and Turning Points in Medieval History is fascinating listening.



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