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Understanding Medieval History

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.
Dive into the relatively short period of time that brought huge changes to the world.

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. Dive into the relatively short period of time that brought huge changes to the world.

The Middle Ages are one of the most misunderstood and often overlooked periods in history. Spanning the centuries from the fall of Rome to the dawn of the Renaissance and Enlightenment, it’s a period commonly thought of as “dark”—a time of ignorance and stagnation.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Rather than being a time of darkness, the Middle Ages were an essential period in the grand story of Western history; a pivotal time that saw the beginnings of many of the political, cultural, economic, scientific, and spiritual developments that are now an invaluable part of our own modern world.

Castles in Medieval History

Go Beyond the History of Medieval Europe

Castles in Medieval History

In many of our Middle Ages courses, you’ll go beyond England and Europe and consider the impact that other cultures and civilizations had in the medieval world.

  • Learn how the nomadic peoples of the Eurasian steppes shaped medieval history.
  • Study the advancements in science, medicine, and algebra during the Islamic Golden Age.
  • Explore the flourishing empires and dynasties of medieval China.

The result is a well-rounded, 36o-degree look at these centuries from all perspectives—not just Western ones.

Cover a Fascinating Range of Perspectives in Medieval History

Learn Middle Ages history with our collection of comprehensive, engaging courses, in which you’ll accompany award-winning professors and medieval historians on thrilling journeys that bring the Middle Ages back into focus.

Our Middle Ages courses cover this fascinating time period from a range of perspectives, locations, and centuries.

  • Experience the chaos of the Black Death, the world’s most devastating plague.
  • Follow the Vikings as they play a decisive role in the formation of Latin Christendom.
  • Investigate the history of the Catholic Church and its medieval popes.
  • Visit breathtaking medieval cathedrals in England, France, and beyond.
  • Explore the history and legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
  • Ponder medieval developments in philosophy, science, literature, and art.
  • Discover what it was like to be a medieval pilgrim, serf, or knight.

Increase Your Understanding of the "Dark Ages"

History of the Middle Ages

With these Middle Ages courses, you’ll dramatically increase you understanding of—and appreciation for—a period in human history that’s not as distant from our own as we once thought.

If you’ve never given consideration to the medieval world, there is much for you to learn in these courses. And if you already consider yourself something of a medieval history buff, there’s much for you to reconsider about what you thought you knew.

History of the Middle Ages

Meet Intriguing Medieval Figures

Throughout these Middle Ages courses, you’ll encounter some of the most powerful, intriguing, important, and controversial figures, each of whom left their unique stamp on Middle Ages history. Here are just a few of the personalities you’ll meet in these Middle Ages courses:

  • Saint Augustine, the most influential thinker of the later Roman Empire
  • Al-Biruni, a Muslim scholar who left an impact on astronomy and geography
  • Philip II of France, who laid the basis for French greatness
  • Geoffrey Chaucer, author of the landmark The Canterbury Tales
  • Maimonides, the iconic Jewish scholar and philosopher
  • William the Conqueror, who conquered England in the pivotal year of 1066
  • Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose divorce shifted power structures in Britain and France
  • Johannes Gutenberg, who introduced the printing press and moveable type

Start learning today!