Medieval and Renaissance Studies

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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…
Story of Medieval England - From King Arthur to the Tudor Conquest Series
The Story of Medieval England: From King Arthur to the Tudor Conquest tells the remarkable story of a tumultuous thousand-year period. Dominated by war, conquest, and the struggle to balance the stability brought by royal power with the rights of…
36 videos
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 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…
1521 Tenochtitlán—Aztecs vs. Conquistadors
Episode 15 of The Decisive Battles of World History Series
The 16th-century Spanish conquest of the Americas resulted in some of the most unusual military encounters of all time. Here, learn about the campaign under Hernan Cortes to conquer Mexico, and how fewer than 1,000 Spaniards defeated the mighty Aztec…
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.
Camelot Comes to Hollywood
Episode 23 of King Arthur: History and Legend Series
From the wealth of Arthurian cinema, investigate major film portrayals of the legend from recent decades. In particular, learn about the brilliant satire of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the weighty symbolism of John Boorman's Excalibur, the modern-day Grail…
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…
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 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,…
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…
The Anarchy of Stephen's Reign
Episode 15 of Story of Medieval England
Experience the 14 years of civil war that erupted 4 years after Henry's death in 1135, with his daughter and nephew battling over Stephen's throne - largely because England's barons had no wish to be ruled by a queen.
Richard III - Betrayal and Defeat
Episode 35 of Story of Medieval England
Let yourself be riveted by one of history's most dramatic chapters, highlighted by the imprisonment of Richard III's two nephews in the Tower of London and their probable murder, and a battlefield demise immortalized--though with considerable license--by Shakespear himself.
The Wars of the Roses
Episode 34 of Story of Medieval England
Take a look at the reign of the Yorkist Edward IV and the last effort of the Lancastrians to unseat this popular but notoriously lazy king, whose unexpected marriage to a socially inconsequential widow alienated many of his important followers.
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…
The Second Viking Conquest
Episode 10 of Story of Medieval England
The Golden Age ended as the Wessex dynasty was overturned by second wave of Viking invaders, with Denmark's King Cnut seizing the throne and marrying the Wessex queen. See how the well-organized Wessex state functioned until Edward the Confessor restored…
The Black Death
Episode 27 of Story of Medieval England
England, already weakened by a series of famines, was devastated by the disastrous epidemic that swept across Europe and arrived on its shores in 1348. It left in its wake social, economic, and religious effects that would endure for many…
Henry III - The Expansion of Empire
Episode 17 of Story of Medieval England
With Becket dead and martyred, Henry faced the difficult task of keeping a secure hold on his many continental dominions and managing his children's futures. Learn how the many royal titles created by his family's politically intertwined bloodnlines created just…
Henry I - The Lion of Justice
Episode 14 of Story of Medieval England
Examine the reign of Henry I in a lecture randing from his many administrative innovations - including the development of royal accounting at the Exchequer - to the legendary temper that led to the castration of all the royal moneyers…