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The Middle Ages II


  • 40:09 01. Course Introduction: Rome's Greatness and First Crises

    01. Course Introduction: Rome's Greatness and First Crises

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)Professor Freedman introduces the major themes of the course: the crisis of the Roman Empire, the rise of Christianity, the threats from barbarian invasions, and the continuity of the Byzantine Empire. At the beg

  • 48:37 02. The Crisis of the Third Century and the Diocletianic Reforms

    02. The Crisis of the Third Century and the Diocletianic Reforms

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)Professor Freedman outlines the problems facing the Roman Empire in the third century. The Persian Sassanid dynasty in the East and various Germanic tribes in the West threatened the Empire as never before. Inter

  • 45:18 03. Constantine and the Early Church

    03. Constantine and the Early Church

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)Professor Freedman examines how Christianity came to be the official religion of the Roman Empire. This process began seriously in 312, when the emperor Constantine converted after a divinely inspired victory at

  • 47:56 04. The Christian Roman Empire

    04. The Christian Roman Empire

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)The emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity brought change to the Roman Empire as its population gradually abandoned the old religions in favor of Christianity. The reign of Julian the Apostate, a nephew

  • 46:23 05. St. Augustine's Confessions

    05. St. Augustine's Confessions

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)Professor Freedman begins the lecture by considering the ways historians read the Confessions.In this work, St. Augustine gives unique insight into the life of an intellectual mind in Late Antiquity, into the imp

  • 49:22 06. Transformation of the Roman Empire

    06. Transformation of the Roman Empire

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)The Roman Empire in the West collapsed as a political entity in the fifth century although the Eastern part survived the crisis.. Professor Freedman considers this transformation through three main questions: Why

  • 49:15 07. Barbarian Kingdoms

    07. Barbarian Kingdoms

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In this lecture, Professor Freedman considers the various barbarian kingdoms that replaced the Western Roman Empire. Oringinally the Roman reaction to these invaders had been to accommodate them, often recruiting

  • 47:10 08. Survival in the East

    08. Survival in the East

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)Professor Freedman focuses on the question of how the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire survived, while the West collapsed in the fifth century. He begins with a brief overview of Procopius' Secret History, a work

  • 48:47 09. The Reign of Justinian

    09. The Reign of Justinian

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)Professor Freedman opens by discussing why historians use the writings of Procopius and Gregory of Tours, a sixth century bishop whose history of the Merovingian kings is discussed the following week. Procopius's

  • 46:55 10. Clovis and the Franks

    10. Clovis and the Franks

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)Professor Freedman begins his discussion of Gregory of Tours' history of the Merovingian kings. This history differs markedly from the classical invective style used by Procopius. Gregory of Tours' account seems

  • 50:01 11. Frankish Society

    11. Frankish Society

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)Professor Freedman considers the Merovingians as an example of barbarian kingship in the post-Roman world. In the absence of a strong government, Merovingian society was held together by kinship, private vengeanc

  • 44:15 12. Britain and Ireland

    12. Britain and Ireland

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In this lecture, Professor Freedman considers the importance of the British Isles in the early Middle Ages, both in their own right and as an example of a post-Roman frontier society. In the wake of the fifth cen

  • 45:50 13. Monasticism

    13. Monasticism

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)Professor Freedman discusses some of the paradoxes of monasticism in the Early Middle Ages. To the modern mind, monks and learning make a natural pair. However, this combination is not an obvious outcome of early

  • 43:15 14. Mohammed and the Arab Conquests

    14. Mohammed and the Arab Conquests

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In this lecture, Professor Freedman introduces Islam. He begins with a discussion of its geographical context: the dry desert lands of the Arabian peninsula. The Bedouins, or nomadic Arabs of the region, lived in

  • 49:44 15. Islamic Conquests and Civil War

    15. Islamic Conquests and Civil War

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In this lecture, Professor Freedman discusses the Islamic conquests. Although they were in some sense religiously motivated, Arab did not attempt to forcibly convert or eradicate Jews, Christians, or other non-Mu

  • 44:11 16. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: The Splendor of the Abbasid Period

    16. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: The Splendor of the Abbasid Period

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In this lecture, Professor Freedman discusses the Abbasid dynasty, which ruled the Islamic Caliphate beginning in 750. The Abbasids moved the capitol of the Caliphate to the newly-built city of Baghdad and create

  • 45:18 17. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: The Crucial Seventh Century

    17. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: The Crucial Seventh Century

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In the first half of this lecture, Professor Freedman continues the previous lecture's discussion of the Abbasids. He highlights their ability to assimilate other cultures, before turning to their decline in the

  • 48:40 18. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: The Splendor of Byzantium

    18. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: The Splendor of Byzantium

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In this lecture, Professor Freedman surveys major trends in Byzantine history from the sixth to eleventh century, dividing the era into four periods. In the sixth century, under Justinian's rule, the Byzantine Em

  • 46:15 19. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: Charlemagne

    19. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: Charlemagne

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In this lecture, Professor Freedman discusses the Carolingian dynasty from its origins through its culmination in the figure of Charlemagne. The Carolingians sought to overthrow the much weakened Merovingian dyna

  • 44:02 20. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: Intellectuals and the Court of Charlemagne

    20. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: Intellectuals and the Court of Charlemagne

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In this lecture, Professor Freedman discusses the Carolingian Renaissance, the revival of learning sponsored by Charlemagne and his successors. The period before the Carolingians saw a decline in learning, eviden

  • 46:02 21. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: Crisis of the Carolingians

    21. The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000: Crisis of the Carolingians

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In this lecture, Professor Freedman discusses the crisis and decline of Charlemagne's empire. Increasingly faced with external threats -- particularly the Viking invasions -- the Carolingian Empire ultimately col

  • 48:59 22. Vikings / The European Prospect, 1000

    22. Vikings / The European Prospect, 1000

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)In the first part of this lecture, Professor Freedman discusses the emergence of the Vikings from Scandinavia in the ninth and tenth centuries. The Vikings were highly adaptive, raiding (the Carolingian Empire),

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