The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)
In this lecture, Professor Freedman considers the importance of the British Isles in the early Middle Ages, both in their own right and as an example of a post-Roman frontier society. In the wake of the fifth century Roman withdrawal, England experienced "radical economic simplification." However, England's conversion to Christianity beginning at the end of the sixth century brought about a flourishing written culture and Latin learning. Ireland experienced a similar cultural flowering, although it had converted to Christianity centuries earlier. It had never been colonized by the Romans, and the Irish Church was less hierarchical, more decentralized, and placed less importance on bishops than did the Roman. The conversion of England under the competeing influences of Rome and ireland was thus not just a conflict between Christianity and paganism, but also between two administrative styles of Christianity. Professor Freedman ends the lecture with a few remarks on the cultural accomplishments of the British Isles.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction to the British Isles
22:32 - Chapter 2. The Conversion of England
36:30 - Chapter 3. The Conversion of Ireland and the Irish Church
45:34 - Chapter 4. Closing Remarks
Complete course materials are available at the Yale Online website: online.yale.edu
This course was recorded in Fall 2011.
Tagged under: Britain,Ireland,Bede,Northumbria,Britons,Celts,Anglo-Saxons,conversion,Canterbury,Beowulf,Sutton Hoo,treasure,Easter,Synod Whitby,monks,bishops
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