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Years that Changed History: 1215

Gain a truly global understanding of our world in the making—and discover the common themes that connect us across time and space through one single year.

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Reviews

t********m
September 10, 2019
This class left me a little confused - perhaps bc it jumped around so much geographically. Lacking personal background on the subject, the section on Mesoamerica was interesting but a bit of a head scratcher for me. It might be outside the scope of the course, but would have liked to seen more material on Muhammad himself. He's an inspiring and culturally noteworthy figure. For my relatively poorly informed perspective it's difficult to digest much about Islam without a clear - or even emotional - feeling for Muhammad. There's more to the story than the proto enlightenment take that the west likes to weigh - the secular street cred of launching algebra, medicine, conquering Spain and the like. She does a good job treating the subject with deference, but since we explore some aspects of the faith of Christianity in depth here (which is good) I'd like more detail about the core historical beliefs vs blandly political or scientific doings of Islam as well. There was one dedicated lecture - and more in the context of Genghis Khan - but I want to see more about women too. Putting aside these small criticisms, Professor Armstrong's coverage of anti Semitism, the church, the crusades and the Mongols were very, very good. It's a series that grabs you. The idea that a focused moment of the past might have mattered, and might still matter (eg, 1177 bce) is a wake up call to our exceedingly narrow modern pov. The course spins you about a little and makes you more confused more than some TGC courses - sort of like college did lol - but it's gripping. You can't put it down, you'll want to finish, you'll go and look up the "five snouts" and have to immediately send pictures of camels and yaks to friends. You'll be thinking about anti Semitism, the sack of Constantinople, and the children's crusade even if you don't talk about it. But perhaps 36 lectures, more continuity, more on Islam, more on women, and a way to tie the Americas back to the Columbian exchange or the like.

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r********m
August 27, 2019
I'm currently listening to these lectures a second time, and expect to do so a third. The delivery of the lectures by Dr. Armstrong has sparked a curiosity of medieval history I did not expect. My only regret is that the Dr. does not have more lectures available. Thank you for your hard work, sharing your knowledge, and shedding light on the impact of these events to help explain the contemporary world.

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s********m
August 23, 2019
Very well-done. Engaging and lively presentation. Lecturer was able to weave together disparate threads of events throughout the world in a deft manner.

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