The High Middle Ages [TTC Video]
08 August 2015, 18:51
Course No 869 | MP4, MPEG4, 1761 kbps, 624x472 | AAC, 64 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 9.75 GB
As the last millennium dawned, Europe didn't amount to much. Illiteracy, starvation, and disease were the norm. In fact, Europe in the year 1000 was one of the world's more stagnant regions—an economically undeveloped, intellectually derivative, and geopolitically passive backwater. Three short centuries later, all this had changed dramatically. A newly invigorated cluster of European societies revived city life, spawned new spiritual and intellectual movements and educational institutions, and began, for reasons both sacred and profane, to expand at the expense of neighbors who traditionally had expanded at Europe's expense.
In this course you examine how and why Europeans achieved this stunning turnaround. By its conclusion, you will be able to describe and analyze the social, intellectual, religious, and political transformations that underlay this midsummer epoch of the medieval world.
But why were "the Middle Ages"—the period from 1000 to 1300—so designated?
Petrarch, writing in the 1300s, defined the period of "literary and artistic rot" in Europe after the sack of Rome in A.D. 410 as an Age of Darkness. The idea of the Middle Ages originates with Petrarch's concept, even though he did not use the term himself. The Latin term "medium aevum" (the Middle Age) first appeared in the 15th century.
Themes and Topics You'll Cover
The first eight lectures treat medieval society: the warrior aristocracy of knights, castellans, counts, and dukes; the free and unfree peasants whose work in the fields made the existence of medieval society possible; and the townspeople, the artisans and merchants who represented the newest arrivals on the medieval scene.
Lectures 9–16 examine the intellectual and religious history of high medieval Europe. You study monks and the monastic life, charismatic preachers such as Francis of Assisi, and theologians such as Thomas Aquinas. You examine the lives of those who found themselves outside the religious mainstream, especially the heretics and Jews of high medieval Europe.
The final eight lectures discuss the major political developments and events between 1000 and 1300, including the First Crusade, the Norman Conquest of England, and the granting of Magna Carta.
The key events, entities, and personalities you will learn about include:
- The demographic, climatic, and technological changes that set the stage for Europe's resurgence
- The three groups—"those who work, those who fight, and those who pray"—who formed the backbone of medieval society
- An in-depth look at the renewed world of cities, artisans, merchants, and commercial exchange that shaped the high-medieval scene in crucial ways
- The ongoing struggles between popes and emperors
- The significance of figures as diverse as William the Conqueror, Pope Gregory VII, Abelard, Emperor Frederick II, King Philip II Augustus of France, Saint Benedict, Bernard of Clairvaux and Hildegard of Bingen
- The institutions of knighthood, feudalism, the church and monasticism, the Scholastic university, and the urban guild
- The situations of marginalized groups such as peasants, urban workingfolk, women, Jews, and heretics.
Attention to Detail Makes the Difference
Professor Philip Daileader's course is filled with memorable details as he unfolds this story. For example:
Europe's population doubled between 1000 and 1300. Life expectancies were probably not much higher than age 25 around 1000, but closer to 35 by 1300. In addition to the unexplained disappearance of bubonic plague and dry, warm climatic conditions known as the "little optimum," the most important factors in this growth spurt were simple farming implements—the newly introduced heavy plow and the horse collar. This allowed a growing population to have enough to eat for the first time ever.
The aristocracy's violence, especially its private wars and robbery and treatment of peasantry, was one of the great social problems of the High Middle Ages. To tame and civilize the warrior aristocracy, medieval clergy devised various methods such as the Peace and Truce of God movements, that granted immunity from nobles' violence to certain defenseless groups. Such movements were generally ineffective because clerics had to rely on religious sanctions and, ultimately, the nobles' own consciences—pledges for good behavior were generally forgotten almost immediately.
Around the year 1000, to become a knight one merely had to secure the necessary equipment. The original tournaments for knights were nothing but huge and deadly free-for-alls held in open areas with no regard for any nearby personal property. Chivalry was invented to diminish this violence. By 1300, the European nobility was a largely hereditary class with specific legal privileges. Nobles proudly proclaimed their bloodlines through coats of arms and family names (which had not existed in 1000). Knighthood was restricted to those who had undergone a specific dubbing ceremony.
The first books for manners were called "courtesy books" and written by clergy trying to curb the nobility's revolting table manners. Unfortunately, hardly anyone the books were meant for could read, so they were a complete failure.
Professor Daileader comments on the question: "Why study medieval history?"
"This question might be, and has been, answered in many ways. Let me suggest just one:
"To understand what is truly distinctive about the world in which we live, you need to know what came before.
"The modern world is the product of the medieval world. ... It is impossible to understand the thoughts and actions of Luther, Galileo, or Voltaire, for example, without understanding that in the Middle Ages all were very conscious of medieval history, and the medieval period informed what they wrote and did.
"Likewise, in order to understand such important modern events as the French Revolution or the 19th-century unifications of Germany and Italy, one must understand the Middle Ages as well, because these events were informed by the medieval past and were attempts to deal with its legacy.
"Most importantly, I hope that by the end of this course, you will share my own desire to learn and understand more about the Middle Ages, and that you will use this course as a springboard from which to launch your own deeper investigations into medieval history."
Harold McFarland, editor of Readers Preference Reviews, writes: "In a series of 24 well-crafted lectures, Philip Daileader, a professor at the College of William and Mary, leads the listener on a fascinating trip through the facts and fables of the history of the High Middle Ages. An excellent lecturer whose knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject shows through at all times, it was a pleasure to listen to the lectures."
- Why the Middle Ages?
- Demography and the Commercial Revolution
- Those Who Fought—The Nobles
- The Chivalric Code
- Those Who Worked—The Peasants
- Those Who Worked—The Townspeople
- Women in Medieval Society
- Those Who Prayed—The Monks
- Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan Movement
- Heretics and Heresy
- The Medieval Inquisitions
- Jews and Christians
- The Origins of Scholasticism
- Aquinas and the Problem of Aristotle
- The First Universities
- The People's Crusade
- The Conquest of Jerusalem
- The Norman Conquest
- Philip II of France
- Magna Carta
- Empire versus Papacy
- Emperor Frederick II
- Looking Back, Looking Forward
The Rights of Man: Great Thinkers and Great Movements [TTC Video]
08 August 2015, 18:36
Course No 4242 | MKV, x264, 784 kbps, 960x720 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.57 GB
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These stirring words are from the Declaration of Independence, one of the founding documents of the United States and a powerful example of the importance of human rights in Western civilization.
But the freedoms we enjoy today—
to vote regardless of gender
to live free of racial segregation
to not be enslaved
to be free of persecution on religious or ethnic grounds
—did not come about overnight. Rather, they were the result of long and fierce struggles that took place in courtrooms and meeting rooms, in churches and on battlefields, in classrooms and on streets, at home and abroad.
Understanding the evolution of human rights—its sacrifices, hopes, visions, leaders, and movements—is important to recognizing how valuable and universal they truly are. The story of the rights of man also reflects the triumphant power of the human spirit to change history, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Follow this inspirational and profound story in The Rights of Man: Great Thinkers and Great Movements. These 24 lectures tell you the fascinating story of the rights of man, from the visions of history's greatest philosophers, religious leaders, and political thinkers to the awe-inspiring movements that shattered centuries of inequality.
Award-winning Professor Paul Gordon Lauren, one of the world's leading authorities on the history of human rights, guides you in a story that will strengthen your appreciation of your rights—and of the long struggles to obtain them.
Explore the Roots of Your Rights ...
Human rights issues play a vital role in the political, moral, and legal landscape.
Throughout The Rights of Man, you encounter the powerful historical movements that established human rights and promoted equality by
- establishing a nation's right to self-determination;
- abolishing the international slave trade;
- ending slavery and racial segregation;
- holding leaders accountable for crimes against humanity;
- granting voting rights to women and minorities; and
- providing protection for workers, children, and wounded soldiers.
Professor Lauren roots this comprehensive look at human rights in the religious, philosophical, and political origins of these movements. You trace the ideas of human rights to the teachings of Jesus and Muhammad; learn how philosophers from Mencius to John Locke contributed influential viewpoints; and witness the power of the American and French revolutions to fight for equal rights for all.
As you investigate the origins of the great human rights movements, you follow several key themes:
- The importance of vision: The rights of man were established by people who worked to achieve a just society.
- The power of human action: The story of the rights of man is filled with courageous individuals and groups who set out to change the world against seemingly unbeatable odds.
- The (sometimes surprising) sources of change: Gradual change through reform, violent social and political upheavals, and even extreme atrocities like the Holocaust provoked dramatic advancements in the rights of man.
- ... and the Individuals Who Fought for Them
You learn of the great movements for human rights. Each lecture gives you an overview of historical movements like the struggle for women's suffrage, the emancipation of serfs and slaves, the development of the United Nations's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the collapse of colonial empires.
You encounter the great philosophers, religious leaders, politicians, activists, journalists—and the everyday men and women—who fought to make their visions of equality a reality:
- Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Quaker women who organized the Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention in 1848 to argue for human rights for women. Their work culminated in 1920 with the 19th Amendment, which established the right to vote regardless of gender.
- Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, who fought successfully for their dreams of racial equality. Martin Luther King Jr. moved hundreds of thousands to embrace his goal of ending segregation in the United States. South African activist Nelson Mandela spoke out against his country's policy of apartheid and was elected South Africa's first black president in 1994.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, the Second World War leaders who signed the Atlantic Charter in 1941, which expressed the rights of man as the right to live without fear in a world with economic and social justice and to choose the form of government under which they live
The Rights of Man brings these and other individuals to life through excerpts from their passionate speeches and their powerful proclamations, declarations, and international treaties. Professor Lauren's spirited readings from works such as the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech add depth and insight to your understanding of the power of these great historical movements.
A Uniquely Qualified Professor
Professor Lauren has an undeniable passion for the gravity and courage of this remarkable story. He lived and worked in Harlem in the 1960s during the civil rights movement, when he met Martin Luther King Jr. He traveled behind the iron curtain during the cold war, interviewed intellectuals whose political freedoms were suppressed, and sat only feet away from Slobodan Milosevic during the Yugoslavian leader's trial before The Hague's International Criminal Tribunal.
Professor Lauren has spent his career enlightening audiences worldwide, including the general public, professional diplomats, military and intelligence officers, policymakers, and audiences at the United Nations and the Nobel Institute, about the story of the rights of man.
"A great distance in the rights of man has been traveled, and we need to appreciate just how great it has been," notes Professor Lauren.
With this course, you look at the origins and evolution of our human rights, strengthen your understanding of what it means to be a human being with unalienable rights, and become inspired by a profoundly moving story whose latest chapter you're living now.
- The Rights of Man
- The Heavy Burden of the Past
- Religious Belief—Duties and Rights
- Early Philosophical Contributions
- Natural Rights and the Enlightenment
- Rights and Revolutions—America and France
- Rights of Man at the 18th Century's End
- Abolishing the International Slave Trade
- Emancipating Slaves and Serfs
- Promoting the Rights of Women
- Advancing the Rights of Workers
- Protecting the Rights of the Wounded
- Rights of Man as the 20th Century Begins
- Peacemaking and Rights—Paris, 1919
- New Departures for the Rights of Man
- The Gathering Storm and Attack on Rights
- War, Genocide, and a Crusade for Rights
- Peacemaking, Rights, and the United Nations
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- The Right to Self-Determination
- The Right to Racial Equality
- Setting Standards and the Rule of Law
- Recent Achievements and Challenges
- The Rights of Man—Past, Present, and Future
Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century [TTC Video]
08 August 2015, 18:24
Course No 8313 | MKV, x264, 1000 kbps, 710x480 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.62 GB
From the trenches of World War I to Nazi Germany to Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the 20th century was a time of unprecedented violence. According to best estimates, in that 100-year span more than 200 million people were killed in world wars, government-sponsored persecutions, and genocides. Such monumental violence seems senseless. But it is not inexplicable. And if we can understand its origins, we may prevent even greater horrors in the century to come.
This is the premise of Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century. Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius traces the violent history of that era, beginning with its early roots in the American and, especially, the French revolutions. With each passing lecture, you will see how the 20th century's violence was the result of specific historical developments that eventually combined, with explosive results.
The Fuse that Made the 20th Century Explode
The French Revolution proved that ideological movements could mobilize the public and, when willing to use violence, could indeed transform society.
The Industrial Revolution and subsequent technology created vastly more powerful weapons—including some that were entirely new, such as the airplane and rocket—that raised the potential for bloodshed to new heights.
Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection was perverted into Social Darwinism and eugenics: racist pseudosciences that provided excuses to repress or eliminate entire groups of people.
These events created a dangerous backdrop for the most sinister development of all. This was the notion that utopia was not just a perfect paradise to look forward to in the afterlife. Instead, utopia could be built right now, in this life.
Such 20th-century ideologies as Marxism, Nazism, Communism, and Fascism embraced this idea willingly—even enthusiastically—and used terror to implement it. These ideologies functioned as political religions, demanding fanaticism, commitment, and sacrifice in return for an ultimate reward in this life rather than the next.
Understanding Totalitarian Governments: Gangsters and Machines
Professor Liulevicius offers an intellectual framework though which to understand the totalitarian governments of the last century or, for that matter, of today. Such governments, and the terror they spread, share key characteristics and strategies.
For example, their leaders can be seen not as politicians but as mobsters, an organized conspiracy that uses criminal methods inspired by gangsters. They gain and maintain power by manipulating masses of people, often exploiting societies with many uprooted and alienated citizens, such as existed in Europe after World War I.
In addition, you will see that these regimes create fear and command allegiance through the use of "machines." These are not literally machines, but bureaucracies that carry out a set of deliberate, interrelated strategies. These include:
- The cult of the leader, or the cult of personality. These make the dictator seem larger than life, or superhuman. After Italy annexed Ethiopia in 1936, Mussolini's followers declared him to be a new god in human form. In the Soviet Union, long ovations after Stalin's speeches were common, as no one wanted to be seen as the first to stop applauding.
- The Big Lie, or deliberate distortions of the truth. During the Hundred Flowers Campaign, Mao Zedong seemed to promote free speech, then killed some half million dissidents when they came out in the open.
- Secret police. An estimated 274,000 people worked with the East German secret police, the Stasi, from 1950 to 1989. When informers were added, this translated into one secret policeman for every 6.5 persons.
- The media. Radio, film, and television were used to rewrite history and manipulate the masses. The Bolsheviks produced documentary films that made their October Revolution seem much more dramatic and deadly than it was (a common joke was that more people were injured during filming than in the actual event).
- The portrait Professor Liulevicius paints is that 20th-century violence, while horrific and massive, was not chaotic or random but deliberate and calculated. Very often, it was based on precedent.
In using concentration camps, Hitler and Stalin essentially adopted a strategy that had first been employed by the Spanish in 1896 in Cuba and by the British against Dutch settlers during the Boer War (1899–1902).
Hitler's plan to exterminate Germany's Jews was inspired by the 1915 genocide of Armenians by the Turkish Ottoman Empire, an atrocity barely noticed by the international community. The fact that "no one remembered the Armenians," as Hitler is said to have declared, convinced him that his Final Solution would work.
Lessons Learned: A Hopeful Conclusion
In the final lectures, Professor Liulevicius considers recent figures such as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and assesses terrorism in the contemporary world. What is the future of terror? What lessons have been learned by the hard experience of the past century?
These questions hinge on several issues, including our attitudes toward human nature, our ability to remember and learn from past atrocities, and our use of technology. But an especially optimistic note is the notion of resistance. If the 20th century was plagued by repressive regimes, it was also blessed with those who resisted them.
Unlike the story of totalitarianism, which is about the state, the story of resistance is one of individuals who ignored personal risk to oppose violence. These "witnesses to the century," as Professor Liulevicius calls them, include novelists George Orwell and Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Polish labor leader Lech Walesa, Pope John Paul II, and political philosopher Hannah Arendt.
Their examples offer a hopeful conclusion.
- Defining Utopia and Terror
- The Legacy of Revolutions
- Omens of Conflict
- World War I
- Total War—Mobilization and Mass Death
- Total Revolution in Russia
- War's Aftermath—The Hinge of Violence
- Soviet Civilization
- The 1930's—The Low Dishonest Decade
- World War II
- Nazi Genocide and Master Plans
- The Cold War
- Cambodia and Pol Pot's Killing Fields
- East Germany, the Soviet Union, North Korea
- From the Berlin Wall to the Balkans
- Saddam Hussein's Iraq
- The Future of Terror