W101 | Passion, Piety, Plagues, and Polities:
The World of the Middle Ages


9:30am -11:00am


9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14,
10/21, 10/28

Six sessions

This course is offered online via the free, easy-to-use Zoom program.

The Middle Ages can be found, somewhere, in the centuries between the destruction of Rome 476 AD/CE and the expulsion of the Muslim caliphate from Europe in 1492 AD/CE.  The “Dark Ages” were replaced by color and light in the high middle ages.  Feudalism was undermined eventually by vibrant city life and proto-Capitalism.  Controversial Church reform, increasingly expressive culture, naturalistic art, evolving music and architecture—all excited the age.  Countering these positive trends, anti-Semitism, the struggle with Islam, the Black Death, and unceasing warfare made the future outlook seem gloomy indeed.  Join us to explore the heritage of the Middle Ages which in many ways, foreshadowed modern Europe and our current world.

Philip Deely holds an undergraduate degree in history from Hobart College and an M.A. from the University of Chicago.  He taught at Simon’s Rock and Phillips Exeter.  He served as the Associate Director of the Norman Rockwell Museum and has been a consultant to nonprofits on fundraising, governance, and strategic planning 

September 23: Introduction to the Medieval World 

September 30: "Faith in Stone”  with David Macauly

David Macaulay-- master illustrator. David is a MacArthur grant awardee and a recipient of the Caldecott Prize for his iconic work including Castle, Cathedral, and Mosque. 

October 7: “Philosophy, Science and Learning” with Edward Tivnan

Ed Tivnan’s academic training was rooted in ancient history and philosophy. Ed received undergraduate degrees from Amherst and Oxford and his doctorate from Princeton. Ed has spent his career in the US and abroad as a freelance writer. 

October 14: The Urban World of the Middle Ages with Edward Tivnan and Pedro Ortiz

Pedro Ortiz-- scholar, author and international consultant on the origins and development of cities and urban life. A former Mayor of Madrid, Spain Pedro has unique perspectives on historical issues. 

October 21: “Voices of the Middle Ages” with Yo-Yo Ma

Yo Yo Ma--master cellist, internationalist, and engaged community member. In addition to his own virtuosity, Yo Yo was the founding director of the Silk Road project which links artists along that ancient route. 

October 28: The Medieval Heritage

 The course blog can be found here


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