The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000

Yale Course , Prof. Paul Freedman

Lecture 1: Course Introduction: Rome's Greatness and First Crises

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Lecture Details :

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 beginning of the period covered in this course, the Roman Empire was centered politically, logistically, and culturally on the Mediterranean Sea. Remarkable for its size and longevity, the Empire was further marked by its tolerance. Although it contained an eclectic mix of peoples, the Empire was unified in part by a local elite with a shared language and customs. In the third century these strengths were increasingly threatened by the Empire's sheer size, its imbalances, both East-West and urban-rural, and by an army that realizes it could make and unmake emperors. Having set the scene, Professor Freedman looks to subsequent lectures where he will discuss reforms enacted to address these weaknesses.00:00 - Chapter 1. Welcome09:54 - Chapter 2. Introduction to the Themes of the Course18:48 - Chapter 3. The Roman Empire before the Crisis of the Third Century34:09 - Chapter 4. Flaws of the Roman EmpireComplete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.eduThis course was recorded in Fall 2011.

Course Description :

Course Introduction: Rome's Greatness and First Crises - The Crisis of the Third Century and the Diocletianic Reforms - Constantine and the Early Church -The Christian Roman Empire - St. Augustine's Confessions - Transformation of the Roman Empire - Barbarian Kingdoms - survival in the East - The Reign of Justinian - Clovis and the Franks - Frankish Society - Britain and Ireland-Monasticism - Mohammed and the Arab Conquests - Islamic Conquests and Civil War - The Early Middle Ages, 284 -1000: The Splendor of the Abbasid Period - The Crucial - Seventh Century - The Splendor of Byzantium - Charlemagne - Intellectuals and the Court of Charlemagne - Crisis of the Carolingians

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