The Modern Scholar: The Medieval World I: Kingdoms, Empires, and War by Thomas F. Madden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
While I had to listen to sections of this book more than once, it was very good. I studied World History in High School and college, but I wish I had had a course like this. Madden is a great teacher and he wove together the events of what we used to call the "dark ages" in a way that made a lot of sense and explained a number of things that I have never been too clear on.
Since this class took in about 1,000 years of history, there was a lot left out, but the series has several courses which cover other aspects. It was interesting to note the pattern of civilization rose and fell. As a people became more cultured and prosperous, they seemed to lose discipline and military strength leaving them open to conquest by a more primitive society. The conquering society them absorbed a great deal from the former and after prospering
followed the same pattern. The course also covered the religious history of Europe, which was essentially the civil history also. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand world events today as many of the present customs and conflicts are based in this early history.
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