Sioux Falls Atheists
Sioux Falls Atheists and Atheism, Agnostics and Humanism

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse The Late Middle Ages for describing life in Europe in
the years 1300 to 1500. Out from the time of the Black Death, the Hundred
Years War, and the Great Papal Schism came the beginnings of Humanism.

The Late Middle Ages
Lectures by Professor Philip Daileader

The Late Middle Ages (2007) - 24 lectures, 12 hours
The Late Middle Ages  at

Were the two centuries from c. 1300 to c. 1500 - an age that has come to be known as the Late Middle Ages - an era of calamity or an era of rebirth? Should we look on this time as still clearly medieval or as one in which humanity took its first decisive steps into modernity? Was it a period as distant from us as it appears, or was it closer than we suspect? Students of history are still trying, even after so many centuries, to reach anything approaching a consensus on the answers to these questions.

Ponder the many contradictions on your own and you may be frustrated by inconclusive answers. Instead, let Professor Philip Daileader be your guide and set you on the path to answers with The Late Middle Ages, the final course in his excellent trilogy that began with The Early Middle Ages and The High Middle Ages.

This provocative 24-lecture course introduces you to the age's major events, personalities, and developments and arms you with the essentials you need to form your own ideas about this age of extremes - an age that, according to Professor Daileader, "experiences disasters and tragedies of such magnitude that those who survive them cannot remember the like, and doubt that subsequent generations will be capable of believing their descriptions."

An Era of Disease, War, and Religious Turmoil ...

There was the Black Death, which killed perhaps half the population of Europe in four years and remained a constant and terrifying presence for centuries to come. ...

There was the carnage of frequent wars, particularly the Hundred Years War, and a steady progression in the deadly effectiveness of the weapons with which those wars might be waged. ...

There was religious turmoil, with the papacy humiliated, the popes departing Rome, and a Great Papal Schism that ultimately produced three competing popes, leaving the Catholic Church with no clear leader for a period of nearly 40 years. ...

And there was the threat of rebellion in both city and country as disasters and social change took their inevitable toll.

... or Were the Seeds of Modernity Planted?

On the other hand, even as Europe was reeling under these onslaughts, a powerful new way of thinking was coming to fruition. This was the beginning of the intellectual and cultural movement known as Humanism.

By Humanism's precepts, which harkened back to the moral inspiration inherent in Classical artistic values, humans have an enormous capacity for goodness, for creativity, even for the achievement of happiness. Moreover, that happiness was something that could be experienced not in the next life, but in this one.

But these were hardly the only forces that tug modern-day historians in multiple directions. The Middle Ages was also a period when the persisting legacy of knights, serfs, and castles coexisted with the cannons and muskets newly made possible by gunpowder.

It was a period when Scholastic theologians continued to question the nature of God and the salvation of humanity, while this new breed of Humanists urged a focus on humanity itself. And it was a time enlightened enough to welcome and appreciate the rise of the printing press, yet it still permitted and tolerated the torments of the Spanish Inquisition.

With a world of such contradictions and juxtapositions, is it any wonder that historians, including those who have been the most influential and evocative in studying this period, have differed on how history is to judge this era, debating even when it ended and modernity began?

As you might imagine, Professor Daileader is no stranger to this discussion. His opinion is that modernity in Europe came much later than is generally thought, occurring between 1750 and 1850.

More importantly, Professor Daileader's wealth of teaching skills has drawn consistent recognition and honors, beginning with his four Certificates of Distinction while still a graduate student at Harvard and ranging to his current occupancy of one of William and Mary's University Chairs in Teaching Excellence.

Professor Philip Daileader is Associate Professor of History at The College of William and Mary in Virginia. He received his B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. At William and Mary, he has been awarded an Alumni Fellowship Teaching Award and the College's Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award. He currently holds one of the school's University Chairs in Teaching Excellence.

24 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: Late Middle Ages - Rebirth, Waning, Calamity? 13: Witchcraft
2: Philip the Fair versus Boniface VIII 14: Christine de Pizan and Catherine of Siena
3: Fall of the Templars and the Avignon Papacy 15: Gunpowder
4: The Great Papal Schism 16: The Printing Press
5: The Hundred Years War, Part 1 17: Renaissance Humanism, Part 1
6: The Hundred Years War, Part 2 18: Renaissance Humanism, Part 2
7: The Black Death, Part 1 19: The Fall of the Byzantine Empire
8: The Black Death, Part 2 20: Ferdinand and Isabella
9: Revolt in Town and Country 21: The Spanish Inquisition
10: William Ockham 22: The Age of Exploration
11: John Wycliffe and the Lollards 23: Columbus and the Columbian Exchange
12: Jan Hus and the Hussite Rebellion 24: When Did the Middle Ages End?


The Late Middle Ages
Lectures by Professor Philip Daileader

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse The Late Middle Ages for describing life in Europe in
the years 1300 to 1500. Out from the time of the Black Death, the Hundred
Years War, and the Great Papal Schism came the beginnings of Humanism.