The Early Middle Ages

Shed light on the Dark Ages with this absorbing course that relates the often surprising true story of how Rome ended and Western civilization began.
The Early Middle Ages is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 220.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it The dark ages had alway fascinated me and, in this course, I was well served. :-)
Date published: 2021-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Filled in the gaps of my knowledge! I was woefully ignorant about this time period of the Early Middle Ages. Now I have an excellent framework of knowledge. This course is a perfect overview to use as a spring board for following your own specific interests of this topic. Dr. Daileader is a competent and engaging lecturer.
Date published: 2021-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Course Presented Well I enjoyed this course. It was well presented and easy to follow. A great survey of this complex and mysterious time.
Date published: 2021-05-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too little history, too much theology! I bought this DVD for History, NOT for Theology. However I found there very little History: 80% of the lectures are about religion. TWO lectures are just about Agustin's writings although neither his Confessions nor City of God have anything to do with history and have everything to do with Theology. Very frustrating!
Date published: 2021-04-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great overview of content but production is dated As with many reviews, it is undeniable that the content contained in this course is well put together and stellar. If you are looking for a general overview of the time and are wishing to listen to it presented in a well thought out manner, this lecture is a gem. However, the video production is showing its age. While you should not shy away from it, if you are a more visual learner, this is not for you. I find it helpful to get the spellings of key figures correct, but that is all. I highly recommend this for audio only or to purely read the transcript.
Date published: 2020-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Engaging and Full of Ideas I love how he deep dives into these mysterious times with humor and the right amount of skepticism. Each lecture is well rounded and provides a lot of material for my notes. I would certainly watch another of his courses as he's knowledgable, amusing and accessible.
Date published: 2020-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb A very well constructed and delivered series on the early Middle Age. The lecturer is excellent. He has one distracting verbal crutch: between sentences he extends the word "and" to "AAAAAAND". I take no points off for this
Date published: 2020-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid, Enjoyable Course While this is a solid, enjoyable course, having come straight from some of the more recent courses with higher production values, I personally found the initial lectures somewhat jarring. Though not the most engaging of speakers, the lecturer is nonetheless still interesting and informative on an otherwise little discussed era of history.
Date published: 2020-10-24
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Overview

Professor Philip Daileader of The College of William and Mary returns in this 24-lecture series to give you new insight into the Dark Ages, the era which spanned the decline and fall of Rome's western empire and lingered for centuries. Discover what findings modern archaeology has unearthed, and look into the fascinating personalities and events of this once-lost era.

About

Philip Daileader
Philip Daileader

Making four courses over the last thirteen years has been an honor, and I'd like to think that as The Teaching Company has grown and developed, I've developed with it.

Dr. Philip Daileader is Associate Professor of History at The College of William and Mary. He earned his B.A. in History from Johns Hopkins University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. Before taking his position at William and Mary, he taught at the University of Alabama and the State University of New York at New Paltz. Professor Daileader received William and Mary's 2004 Alumni Fellowship Award for excellence in teaching. As a graduate student, he was a four-time winner of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. Dr. Daileader is the author of True Citizens: Violence, Memory, and Identity in the Medieval Community of Perpignan, 1162-1397. His research focuses on the social, cultural, and religious history of Mediterranean Europe.

By This Professor

The Early Middle Ages

Trailer

Long Shadows and the Dark Ages

01: Long Shadows and the Dark Ages

Though the Early Middle Ages and the world of Late Antiquity that preceded them are often little studied, the questions they raise about why Rome fell and why Christianity replaced paganism as Europe's dominant religion remain important and controversial.

32 min
Diocletian and the Crises of the Third Century

02: Diocletian and the Crises of the Third Century

During the 3rd century, the collapse of a reeling Roman Empire is staved off for a few centuries by the transformative changes introduced by an otherwise conservative emperor named Diocletian.

31 min
Constantine the Great-Christian Emperor

03: Constantine the Great-Christian Emperor

Constantine's military victories gain him control of the entire Roman Empire and begin the process of transforming Christianity from a minority, illegal religion to the majority, official religion of the Empire.

31 min
Pagans and Christians in the Fourth Century

04: Pagans and Christians in the Fourth Century

The accession of Julian the Apostate causes brief hopes-or fears-of a pagan restoration. But his reign is short-lived, and by 400 A.D. it is clear that the tide has permanently turned toward Christianity within the Roman Empire.

30 min
Athletes of God

05: Athletes of God

With the conversion of Constantine and the end of imperial persecutions, and with martyrdom no longer readily available, those seeking new ways to excel in their faith turn to new ways of achieving Christian heroism.

31 min
Augustine, Part One

06: Augustine, Part One

This is the first of two lectures about perhaps the most influential thinker of the later Roman Empire, whose life and career encapsulate some of the broad changes that were taking place.

31 min
Augustine, Part Two

07: Augustine, Part Two

In reaction to a theology that argued for the ability of humans to obey God's commands without the assistance of divine grace, Augustine develops a theology that emphasizes human helplessness and the inability to achieve happiness in this world.

31 min
Barbarians at the Gate

08: Barbarians at the Gate

A chain of events set into motion by the Gothic migration of 376 A.D. ultimately leads to the formal end of the western half of the Roman Empire a century later.

31 min
Franks and Goths

09: Franks and Goths

An examination of the Gothic kingdoms and the kingdom of the Franks shows that while the deposing of the last Roman emperor in the west might have been significant from a political standpoint, the administrative, cultural, social, and economic impacts were minimal.

31 min
Arthur's England

10: Arthur's England

The Anglo-Saxon settlement of England substantially transforms England's language and the god or gods worshipped there. By the 7th and 8th centuries, Irish and Anglo-Saxon monks have become the leading educators and intellectuals of the day.

31 min
Justinian and the Byzantine Empire

11: Justinian and the Byzantine Empire

The eastern half of the Roman Empire-known to historians as the Byzantine Empire-survives the Western Empire by roughly a millennium, managing to preserve classical culture and urban life even as its official language passes from Latin to Greek.

31 min
The House of Islam

12: The House of Islam

An emerging Arab Empire conquers the Persian Empire, large sections of the Byzantine empire, and even parts of continental Europe, including most of the Iberian peninsula. But an Arab raiding party's insignificant defeat provides the key moment in the ascent of Europe's next great dynasty.

31 min
Rise of the Carolingians

13: Rise of the Carolingians

The Carolingians finally depose the last Merovingian king in 751 A.D., bring all of Francia under their control, and even begin to intervene in Italy, reversing the power balance established during the Roman Empire.

31 min
Charlemagne

14: Charlemagne

The Carolingian Empire reaches its territorial and military high watermark during the very long reign of Charlemagne, who makes the Empire the most powerful Christian state on the European continent and gains for himself the revived title of emperor.

31 min
Carolingian Christianity

15: Carolingian Christianity

Carolingian rulers are deeply involved in the affairs of the Christian Church, dictating policy, sponsoring missionaries, and supporting ecclesiastical reform in a number of ways.

31 min
The Carolingian Renaissance

16: The Carolingian Renaissance

The fear that educational deficiencies were jeopardizing the salvation of souls and interfering with the ability of people to call on God for help drives a century-long period of educational reform known as the Carolingian Renaissance, the impact of which is felt to this day.

31 min
Fury of the Northmen

17: Fury of the Northmen

Beginning in the 8th century, Scandinavians fan out from their homeland in a diaspora that stretches from Newfoundland to Russia, involving settlement, the forging of new trading networks, and relentless violence.

31 min
Collapse of the Carolingian Empire

18: Collapse of the Carolingian Empire

Discredited by its inability to deal with Viking attacks, the Carolingian dynasty falls prey to battles over succession and its consequent civil wars and ultimately crumbles.

31 min
The Birth of France and Germany

19: The Birth of France and Germany

The collapse of the Carolingian Empire results in the emergence of the Capetians and Ottonians as the new ruling dynasties in West and East Francia, whose differing paths ultimately reshape them as the Kingdom of France and the Kingdom of Germany.

31 min
England in the Age of Alfred

20: England in the Age of Alfred

Viking attacks on Britain produce very different results from those on the continent, with large sections of England settled. The ultimate result, after the Norman Conquest of 1066, is that a group of Christianized, French-speaking Viking descendents becomes the ruling class in England.

30 min
Al-Andalus-Islamic Spain

21: Al-Andalus-Islamic Spain

Islamic Spain becomes one of the most dynamic and developed areas of the continent. Despite the brutality of its high politics and religious restrictions on Jews and Christians, its flourishing economy, trade, and intellectual ferment make it an important center of cultural exchange.

31 min
Carolingian Europe-Gateway to the Middle Ages

22: Carolingian Europe-Gateway to the Middle Ages

This lecture makes the case that, during the Carolingian period, Europe stepped decisively out of its classical past and into its medieval present.

31 min
Family Life-How Then Became Now

23: Family Life-How Then Became Now

The family underwent a number of structural changes during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, and these changes illustrate how Roman and Germanic culture fused to become the medieval world.

31 min
Long Shadows and the Dark Ages Revisited

24: Long Shadows and the Dark Ages Revisited

This final lecture examines how historical research has modified the ideas of Gibbon and Pirenne about the transition from the ancient to the medieval world, particularly as they explain the Roman Empire's demise.

33 min