It is during the Middle Ages that modern Europe, indeed, modern Western culture as we know it, comes to be. Classical Mediterranean culture drew from the ancient Middle East, and more directly, from the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. The Middle Ages add the Northlands, Celts, and Germans, and ultimately, Slavs as well, to the mix. And the Middle Ages saw the birth of the immediate predecessors of our own ideas about love and marriage as important concerns in their own right, utterly central to a happy and fulfilling personal life. Beyond that, the Middle Ages saw the composition of some of the greatest and most rewarding literary works ever written, the works of Chaucer and Dante no doubt preeminent among them, but by no means are they alone in their surpassing merits. In this course, we will look at some of those other splendid works-Beowulf, the littleknown, but utterly splendid Njal's Saga, and Sir Gawain the Green Knight among them.
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by Professor Timothy B. Shutt
"Professor Timothy B. Shutt brings his expertise to bear in this fourteen-lecture course in medieval literature. Shutt lights his subject from a variety of angles and provides abundant historical context for his commentary on works such as NJAL'S SAGA, BEOWULF, SIR GAWAIN, THE DREAM OF THE ROOD, and other classics from the Middle Ages. The presentation is compelling--Shutt knows his stuff--but the production has shortcomings, including fluctuating volume levels and the professor's distracting habit of occasionally adding a rasping back-of-the-throat growl to individual words. But interested listeners will likely overlook the quirks in favor of getting at the meat of these topics, which Shutt provides in abundance. M.G. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"
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