Medieval and Renaissance Studies

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Daily Life in the 13th Century
Episode 21 of Story of Medieval England
Another pause in the political narrative allows for a close look at the life in a 13th-century English villiage - life that had changed materially for the better since the Anglo-Saxon and Norman periods.
Secrets of the Viking Sword
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
Only a select few Vikings carried the ultimate weapon of their era: the feared Ulfberht sword. Fashioned using a process that would remain unknown to the Vikings' rivals for centuries, the Ulfberht was a revolutionary high-tech tool as well as…
Renaissance Italy
The Renaissance was a time of significant accomplishments in architecture, art, music, science and exploration. It began in the Italian city-states, with Florence generally described as the cradle of the Renaissance. Venice was a trading superpower with a large empire.…
The Declaration of the Rights of Man
Episode 9 of Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon Course
Study the origins and significance of this shocking declaration, from its influences in the Enlightenment and American rights declarations to its implications for religious liberty and the role of the king. Who would get these "universal rights"? How would they…
From Britannia to Britain
Episode 1 of Story of Medieval England
A discussion of how the geography of Britain has shaped political events over the centuries introduces you to the significance of English history between the 5th-century fall of the Roman Empire and the 1485 advent of the Tudor Dynasty.
Roman Britain and the Origins of King Arthur
Episode 2 of Story of Medieval England
The collapse of the Roman rule, arrival of barbarian raiders and settlers, and resistance to Germanic immigration serve as a backdrop to tantalizing mystery. Examine the evidence as to whether the unidentified champion who temporarily halted the advance of the…
Edward III and the Hundred Years' War
Episode 25 of Story of Medieval England
See how repeated trade conflicts with the French drove Edward to claim the French throne. What would become the Hundred Years War produced both stunning victories and years of stalemate and plundering that left the French countryside impoverished but made…
An Arthur-Like Figure in Cornwall
Episode 2 of King Arthur: History and Legend Series
Investigate archaeological and historical evidence that support the existence of an Arthur-like figure in early Britain. Learn about the site of Cadbury Castle, the center of operations of a leader of great military and logistical skill who thwarted the Saxon…
King Arthur in Wales—The Mabinogion
Episode 4 of King Arthur: History and Legend Series
Grasp how Arthur became a cultural touchstone early in Welsh history. In texts such as the Black Book of Carmarthen and the Triads of the Island of Britain, uncover key references to the Arthurian saga. In the tales of the…
The Origins of King Arthur
Episode 1 of King Arthur: History and Legend Series
First, consider images of the Arthurian legend familiar in Western culture, and their relationship to historical reality. Trace the history of post-Roman Britain, the large-scale invasions of the Anglo-Saxons, and evidence that a single, extraordinary individual rose from the chaos…
The Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms
Episode 3 of Story of Medieval England
See how the victories of the shadowy figure possibly identified with Arthur offered only temporary stability, with the initiative soon shifting to the Germanic immigrants. Examine what we know about the societies that produced them and how their laws and…
The Conversion of the Anglo-Saxons
Episode 4 of Story of Medieval England
Follow the parallel stories of the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity and the emergence of Englands seven preeminent regional kingdoms. Those kingdoms drew--depending on their location--upon two different sources of Christian influence and custom.
Monmouth, Merlin, and Courtly Love
Episode 5 of King Arthur: History and Legend Series
Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain is arguably the most important literary artifact of the Arthurian tradition. Learn about the political nature of the text, the important elements and characters that Geoffrey wove into it, and how…
The Viking Invasions
Episode 6 of Story of Medieval England
Watch as the one- or two-boat raids of the late 8th century grew into vast armies of 50 ships or more by the middle of the 9th.k Intent on settling permanently, the invaders' influence in eastern England would be profound,…
The Birth of French Haute Cuisine
Episode 20 of Food: A Cultural Culinary History Series
In the mid-17th century, France assumed a preeminent position in the art of cooking. Here, grasp the aesthetics of the new French cuisine, based in subtlety, refinement, and pureness of flavors. Discuss four French cookbooks that revolutionized culinary history and…
The Norman Conquest
Episode 11 of Story of Medieval England
Learn the reasons behind the overturning of the Anglo-Saxon regime by external invasion. This tightly focused lecture examines both the battle to succeed Edward the Confessor, who died childless, and the defeat of his successor by Willian the Conqueror at…
Alfred the Great
Episode 7 of Story of Medieval England
Explore the career of Alfred the Great, who led the heroic resistance that kept Wessex free from Viking control. Separate fact from legend in the life of the man who would create the Wessex dynasty that would eventually become the…
Richard the Lionheart and the Third Crusade
Episode 19 of Story of Medieval England
View the reign of richard the Lionheart primarily through the lens of his experiences as a crusader, with implications focusing on the position of Jews in England, the development of royal admininstration in his absense, and the ambitions of his…
Work and Faith in Anglo-Saxon England
Episode 5 of Story of Medieval England
Plunge into the substance of daily life for Anglo-Saxons of all social levels, including illness and mortalility, the transition from paganism to Christianity, farming, trade, or even raiding. What is clear is that there is tremendous variation in the economic…
Elizabeth - The Queen Who Shaped an Age
Part of the Series: Shaping of the Western World Collection
"I am England now ... let that be my life." These words, spoken by the 25-year-old daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn as she ascended the throne, ushered in England's era of glory. Filmed at beautiful Hever Castle (the…