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Introduction to the Middle Ages

Discover the great Middle Ages
4.7 (39 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
720 students enrolled
Created by Davy Casteleyn
Last updated 5/2016
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 12 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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At the end of my course, students will be able to list up a global overview of the Middle Ages of, mainly, Western Europe, by investing a minimum of time. The key words on the intention of this course are on the one hand quality and on the other hand surveyebility.

The course is set up in this way that the student will be able to memorise a clear overview of the Middle Ages without an overload of details and trivial facts but include, on the contrary, the main events which were decisive for the Middle Ages. The course is split up into three main parts. The first part is an introduction, which gives the student a broad and clarifying insight about the Middle Ages from different point of views. The second part is the actual content of the Middle Ages, which is subdivided into five main periods, namely:

  • The early Middle Ages part I: ca 400 until 750
  • The early Middle Ages part II: ca 750 until 1000
  • The high Middle Ages: ca 1000 until 1200
  • The late Middle Ages part I: 1200 until 1350
  • The late Middle Ages part II: 1350 until 1500

Globally, the Middle Ages run from the year 400 until the year 1500, the five main time periods are based on logical fundaments, such as main events, which announced a new time period. However, keep in mind that every time period, especially for what concerns the Middle Ages, is relative. The third part of the course is a conclusion.

On the basis of this course, students should be able to master a clear structure of the history of the Middle Ages and to demonstrate links or differences between social themes from different time periods. Moreover, students should be able to analyse the history of the Middle Ages with different ‘glasses’ and by doing this appropriating oneself different point of views of the Middle Ages. And last but not least, the students, should always start form a critical an academic attitude, wich is of course offered during this course.

Please, be aware of the fact that this is an introductory course. The main goal of this course is to give the student a global overview and insight of the history of the Middle Ages of Western Europe. A detailed and thorough course will be soon available. Please, enjoy this introductory course, and step by step, find out, that the Middle Ages or the Dark Ages, is quite a wrong or superseded name for this rich time period!

Who is the target audience?
  • students that want to the point information, no meaningless details
  • students that have a real interest in different aspects of the Middle Ages
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What Will I Learn?
master very clearly a global overview of the history of the Middle Ages
make a distinction between different periods of time in the Middle Ages
form an opinion about political and cultural aspects of the Middle Ages
View Curriculum
  • The only requirement for this course is a real interest in the history of the Middle Ages. As this is an introductionary course students don't need any specific knowledge before starting.
  • Neither specific software or additional materials are required. You will get a clear overview of the Middle Ages with the well structured course videos.
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 12 Lectures Collapse All 12 Lectures 53:42
5 Lectures 23:22

This first lecture offers the student a general overview of the content: the introductory course of the Middle Ages is subdived into three main capitals; an introduction, a theoretically main capital and a summarizing conclusion.

Preview 03:25

With the second lecture we have started the first of four different points of view of the Middle Ages. This first point of view indicates how the Middle Ages were seen during the Renaissance and the humanist. Obviously, during Renaissance and Humanism, which saw themselves as a relief, the Middle Ages got its negative connotation.

Preview 04:39

The third lecture shows us how the Middle Ages is received by Romanticism, this is the second point of view on the Middle Ages. On different domains, such as architecture and literature, we do notice a glorification of the Middle Ages.

Preview 06:28

Lecture four discusses how the Middle Ages are perceived nowadays. The discussed fields are the following: literature on the one hand and TV and cinema on the other hand. Again, nowadays, in popular culture, heroism and admiration are the key words.

The MA nowadays

The last point of view is that one of that one of the academic world. Starting with an overview from the 19th century we end at the 21st-century historians, who put the accent on transformations and processes. With this last point of view we concluded the introduction of the course, a general and nuanced view of the Middle Ages throughout the history is provided and discussed.

The MA within academic history
Historical periods
6 Lectures 27:28

While now entering the theoretically core of the course, lecture 6 provides us a global overview of the historical periods of this introductory course of the Middle Ages


Lecture 7 is the first part of in total 5 theoretical chapters/lectures and offers us the theory of the early Middle Ages part I, ranging from 400 until 750. The emphasis is on the migrations of the barbarians, the fall of the Western European Empire and the Merovingian Empire.

Early MA I: ca 400 - ca 750

Lecture 8, discusses the early Middle Ages part II, ranging from 750 until 1000. Here, we take a closer look at the Carolingians and Post-Carolingian Europe

Early MA II: ca 750 - ca 1000

With lecture 9, we enter into the High Middle Ages, now we are at the heart of the Middle Ages. During this lecture, we discuss different fields of society, the crusades and the knight ideal are two remarkable elements which belong to this period.

High MA: ca 1000 - ca 1200

The Late Middle Ages part I, ranging from 1200 until 1350, or lecture 10 has more attention for  ‘the brighter side’, such as culture and intellectual life.

Late MA I: ca 1200 - ca 1350

The last theoretical core, lecture 11, which ranges from 1350 until 1500, puts the emphasis on some remarkable political events, draws some interesting framework of different domains of society and makes up a balance of the history of the European Middle Ages, also by putting the finger on some unanswered questions.

Late MA II: ca 1350 - ca 1500
1 Lecture 02:52

Lecture 12 provides a conclusion of all of the five theoretical lectures (lecture 7 to lecture 11)

About the Instructor
4.7 Average rating
39 Reviews
720 Students
1 Course
History researcher and teacher

As an instructor at Udemy my aim is to share my knowledge and expertise in the field of history. As a young teacher and researcher I want to share my profound background in history. By creating accessible and well-structured courses I want to share my expertise on the Udemy platform.

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