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Welcome to The History Guide's Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History. These lectures were written over the past ten years and served as the basis for my western civilization and upper level European history courses at Florida Atlantic University (Davie, FL), Broward Community College (Now Broward College, Coconut Creek, FL), Vance-Granville Community College (Henderson, NC), Meredith College (Raleigh, NC), Wake Technical Community College (Raleigh, NC), and Amercian Public University.

The lectures presented here are between five and ten pages in length and are meant to be downloaded and printed. Of course, you can read them online if you wish. Please keep in mind that these lectures are intended for your education and edification and not for publication by anyone but myself. If you would like to link any of these pages to your own or use them in a classroom exercise or as a citation in one of your essays, please be courteous enough to let me know about it by sending email to . You should also read my Conditions of Use statement for particulars. If you are looking for my credentials, please consult my curriculum vitae.

The general theme which informs the bulk of these lectures is the creation of distinct "world views." Simply put, a world view is the mental construct which the individual utilizes to fashion their world. When we look at our experience, how is it that we give meaning to the tangle of ideas and phenomena with which we are confronted? From the mythopoeic world view of ancient Sumer to the humanism characteristic of the Renaissance, western man has come to know and understand his world in different ways. These lectures attempt to show just how the world view and the western tradition came to be and changed over the course of nearly 6000 years of historical development.

Navigational Hints
Throughout these lectures you will encounter images and links. Clicking on an image will take you to a related page of information (located at this site) and a list of resources for further exploration. If the title of a work is hyperlinked, then that link will take you to a digitized version of that text located on another server. Hyperlinks in UPPER-CASE refer to pages located at this site. All other hyperlinks will take you to related sites on the Internet.


Lecture 1: What is Civilization?
Lecture 2: Ancient Western Asia and the Civilization of Mesopotamia
Lecture 3: Egyptian Civilization
Lecture 4: The Akkadians, Egyptians and the Hebrews
Lecture 5: Homer and the Greek Renaissance, 900-600BC
Lecture 6: The Athenian Origins of Direct Democracy
Lecture 7: Classical Greece, 500-323BC
Lecture 8: Greek Thought: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
Lecture 9: From Polis to Cosmopolis: Hellenization and Alexander the Great, 323-30BC

Lecture 10: Early Roman Civilization, 753-509BC

Lecture 11: Republican Rome, 509-31BC
Lecture 12: Augustus Caesar and the Pax Romana
Lecture 13: A Brief Social History of the Roman Empire
Lecture 14: The Decline and Fall of Rome
Lecture 15: Christianity as a Cultural Revolution
Lecture 16: The Church Fathers: Jerome and Augustine
Lecture 17: Byzantine Civilization
Lecture 18: Islamic Civilization
Lecture 19: Early Medieval Monasticism
Lecture 20: Charlemagne and the Carolingian Renaissance
Lecture 21: Feudalism and the Feudal Relationship
Lecture 22: European Agrarian Society: Manorialism
Lecture 23: Medieval Society: The Three Orders
Lecture 24: The Medieval World View
Lecture 25: The Holy Crusades
Lecture 26: The 12th Century Renaissance
Lecture 27: Heretics, Heresies and the Church
Lecture 28: Aquinas and Dante
Lecture 29: Satan Triumphant: The Black Death
Lecture 30: In the Wake of the Black Death

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Copyright 2001 Steven Kreis
Last Revised -- July 02, 2014
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