Get a free audiobook

Turning Points in Medieval History

Narrated by: Dorsey Armstrong
Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No reviews are available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christian M.F. Poulsen
  • 2015-07-10

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kristoffer
  • 2016-04-21

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 2015-02-15

Very interesting. Made a lot of good points.

What did you love best about Turning Points in Medieval History?

It covered many areas and made all the chapters relevant to all the others. It was well balanced and informative.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Turning Points in Medieval History?

The discussion about agriculture.

What about Professor Dorsey Armstrong’s performance did you like?

She spoke well and did not "drone on" like so many other lecturers.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me see many thing in a different light.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • TFMethane
  • 2015-01-16

surprised me

the course is laid out in a way that kind of jumps around, which I thought was going to confuse me, but the lecturer does a very good job of recaps to tie things together. She also makes a number of superlative statements that I initially found dubious, and she meanders around historical details, often only getting to the proof of her claim at the end of the lecture. at first this bothered me, but add I continued to listen, I came to expect the payoff in the end, and it kept me engaged for the whole lecture.

she has a different lecture style than in used to, but it's very good.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • BF Palo Alto
  • 2018-05-26

Flawless and engaging.

A superb course. Prof. Armstrong makes the middle ages come alive. Like all medievalists, she is defensive about the great leap forward into the Renaissance, so she feels obligated to remind the student every 12 minutes that elements of the breakthroughs of the Renaissance have precursors in The Dark Ages. Nonetheless, her voice is so good that she should have become Siri.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jose Maldonado
  • 2015-05-25

Very interesting material. Accessibly presented.

Strongly recommend for those looking for a review type course on this material. Logically laid out and explained well in context.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Guinnessdog
  • 2014-11-13

Medieval history for the slow-witted.

What disappointed you about Turning Points in Medieval History?

This course might be OK as a primer, but if you already know anything about Medieval history, don't bother with this one. I was hoping for some new angle on things but there's nothing new here.Professor Armstrong spends a great deal of time talking about what she's going to say and what she has already said, yet speaks very little about the main point. Her speech pattern is maddeningly slow and pedantic, as if she is speaking to very young children.

I could put up with the slow pace if there was any substance. The chapter on Peter Abelard was particularly annoying. She spoke at great length about his love affair with Heloise and how her uncle had him castrated for getting her pregnant. Juicy stuff, but she claims his forced castration caused him to turn inward and write great works of Medieval intellectualism, without ever telling us anything about those great works or the ideas they contained! It was like someone telling you all about Socrates' death without ever telling you anything Socrates said or did.

I'm about halfway through the series and will probably bail.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jo Page
  • 2019-12-03

A Die-hard Dorsey Armstrong Fan

This was probably my least favorite of her courses, but part of that is because I was super-familiar with a lot of the material. (I am a Lutheran pastor pickled in medieval history!) This is not to say I didn't learn new things because I did! And I always love her Dorsey Armstrong's playful approach and erudition.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-04-18

Excellent lesson! What a great writer and speaker!

Easy and engaging to listen to, speaks with excitement and not monotone, highly recommend for anyone!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lynn Cook
  • 2019-04-15

Very informative

very easy to listen to. Along with many others, I found myself wondering how general education became fairly wide spread in Medieval times. Ms Armstrong has a very listenable way of speaking. No falling asleep here.