Europe's Dark Ages and Charlemagne

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Charlemagne: Father of Europe
Learn why the word great, though applied to any number of famous and infamous rulers, may be fully justified in the case of Charlemagne, whose impact in the areas of war, politics, religion, and culture left an mark on Europe and the world that few have equaled.
16th-Century Manners and Reformation Diets
Across Europe in the 1500s, witness new dynamics in culture that brought the use of cutlery, elaborate tableware, ritualized behavior at table, and food ideologies distinct from courtly fashions. Also observe the effects of the religious Reformations on eating habits, seen in new dietary freedoms, fasting practices, and moralistic thinking…
International Gothic Cuisine
Ironically, the plague in 14th-century Europe produced societal shifts that led to a resplendent era in food. Assess the influence of three seminal cookbooks and the craze for spices and sugar in the flourishing of "Gothic" cuisine. Study specific recipes, cooking techniques, and the culture of medieval court banquets.
Roman Britain and the Origins of King Arthur
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 barbarians could hae been the King Arthur of later legend.
The Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms
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 culture were transformed by contact with Britain's.
Charlemagne - Holy Barbarian
This dramatic reenactment of a crucial turning point in medieval history -- when Charlemagne must decide to what lengths he will go to subdue the Saxons -- reveals both sides of his fascinating character: the great civilizer and the implacable barbarian. An LCA release. Awards: Oakland Film Festival
The Conversion of the Anglo-Saxons
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.
1410 Tannenberg—Cataclysm of Knights
This 15th-century conflict pitted the armies of Poland and Lithuania against the fearsome Germanic order of the Teutonic Knights. Learn about the political background of the bloody confrontation at Tannenberg, the harrowing events on the battlefield, and the deep symbolic significance of the battle that still echoes today.
The Birth of French Haute Cuisine
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 set the context for a variety of cuisines that follow.
The Black Death
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 decades.
Carnival in the High Middle Ages
In the wake of the Crusades, learn about the great innovations in medieval cooking spurred by contact with Islamic civilization, based in the sophisticated use of exotic spices and herbs. Trace the food rituals and exuberant indulgence of Carnival, and grasp the symbolism of outlandish folktales relating to food.
The Government of Anglo-Saxon England
Grasp the well-organized wasy in which the Anglo-Saxon state became perhaps the most successful in Christian Europe, with sophisticated coinage and access to the court system by all levels. Although crude by modern standards, it functioned quite well compared to its contemporaries.