HistoryExtra Medieval Masterclass with Dan Jones
In this four-part series, Dan Jones will talk us through the four ages of medieval history, taking us from the decline of the Roman Empire in the 5th century through to dawning of renaissance ideas and the religious revolution in the 15th and 16th centuries. On the way, we’ll criss-cross western Europe, considering Franks and Arabs, Mongols and monks, Crusades and pandemics and much more besides. The format of each masterclass will be a short (10-minute) introductory talk from Dan, followed by a Q&A with our content director Dave Musgrove, and then an extended chance for audience members to pose their questions.
When: 4 sessions, taking place at 1pm BST on Thursdays between 9–30 September 2021
Tickets: £15 per session, or £40 for the whole series
Each session will run between 1-2.30pm BST, with a chance to pose your questions to Dan Jones
Dan Jones is the author of numerous internationally bestselling books about medieval history, including Crusaders, The Plantagenets, The Hollow Crown, The Templars and Magna Carta. He co-authored The Colour of Time with Marina Amaral. Dan has written and presented documentary series including Secrets of Great British Castles and Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty: The Plantagenets. His new book is Powers and Thrones, out now
1. Imperium 410-750 AD
When: Thursday 9 September 2021, 1pm BST
In this session, we’ll look at what one brilliant modern historian has labelled the ‘inheritance of Rome’. We’ll start with the Roman empire in the west in a state of retreat and collapse, rocked by a changing climate and several generations of mass migration, among other things.
Then we’ll explore the secondary superpowers that emerged in Rome’s wake: the so-called ‘barbarian’ realms that laid the foundations for the European kingdoms; the remodelled eastern Roman super state of Byzantium; and the first Islamic empires.
3. Medieval Masterclass: Rebirth 1216-1347 AD
When: Thursday 23 September 2021, 1pm BST
In our third session, we begin with the stunning appearance of a new global superpower. The rise of the Mongols in the twelfth century was a sharp and hideously brutal episode, in which an eastern empire – with its capital in what is now Beijing – achieved fleeting domination over half the world, at the cost of millions of lives. There were other emerging powers in what is sometimes called the ‘high’ Middle Ages. We will meet merchants who invented extraordinary new financial techniques to make themselves and the world richer; scholars who revived the wisdom of the ancients and founded some of today’s greatest universities; and the architects and engineers who built the cities, cathedrals and castles that still stand 500 years on.
2. Dominium 750-1215 AD
When: Thursday 16 September 2021, 1pm BST
In session two, we’ll start in the age of the Franks, who revived a Christian, pseudo-Roman empire in the west. The story here is partly but not exclusively political: besides tracing the rise of the dynasties who carved Europe into Christian royal realms, we will also look at the new forms of cultural ‘soft’ power that emerged around the turn of the first millennium. We will also ask how monks and knights came to play such an important role in western society during the Middle Ages – and how the fusion of their two mindsets gave birth to the crusades.
4. Medieval Masterclass: Revolution 1348-1527 AD
When: Thursday 30 September 2021, 1pm BST
In our fourth and final session, we’ll see how the Middle Ages came to a close. We’ll start off with a global pandemic that ripped through the world, from east to west, devastating populations, reshaping economies and changing the way that people thought about the world around them. Then we’ll see how the world was rebuilt.
We will meet the geniuses of the Renaissance, and travel alongside the great navigators who struck out in search of new worlds – and found them. Last of all, we will see how shifting religious dogma, allied to new communication technology, brought about the Protestant Reformation – an upheaval which brought the curtain down on ‘the middle age’.
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HistoryExtra Medieval Masterclass with Dan Jones
In this four-part series, Dan Jones will talk us through the four ages of medieval history, taking us from the decline of the Roman Empire in the 5th century through to dawning of renaissance ideas and the religious revolution in the 15th and 16th centuries. On the way, we’ll criss-cross western Europe, considering Franks and Arabs, Mongols and Monks, Crusades and pandemics and much more besides. The format of each masterclass will be a short (10-minute) introductory talk from Dan, followed by a Q&A with our content director Dave Musgrove, and then an extended chance for audience members to pose their questions.