The Teaching Company Great Courses Middle Ages series by Prof Phil Daileader comes to an end with The Late Middle Ages.

Twenty-four half-hour lectures which, at the time of writing, have 87 reviews on the teaching company website and a rating of 4.8

Covering 1300AD to 1500AD an era packed with change and calamity.

  • The 100 years war – England and France – not the best of neighbours back then – not so much now
  • The Papal Schism
  • The Black Death
  • The invention of the printing press & humanism
  • The Spanish Inquisition  – was it all bad?

All good stuff and Prof Phil delivers it in his customary polished style – if you’re listening to this course you must have heard the previous two and know what to expect.

A funny snipped – there are a few in every course. French crack-pot Phillip IV of France. Known as Phillip the Fair – god knows by whom unless the title was ironic. His “fair” and wise rule included the following

  • Getting into it with Pope Boniface VIII (great name, I hope the next pope is a Boniface) which lead directly to the papacy “moving” to Avignon
  • Expelling all the Jews (Phil owed them a shed load of cash – what a coincidence)
  • Destroying the Knight Templar (more debts cleared another lucky coincidence)

Amazingly, Phil as able to obtain evidence (applying more than a little bit of torture) that the Knights Templar were up to the following

  • Blasphemy – all new knights had to renounce Christ three times.
  • More blasphemy – to spit upon a crucifix three times.
  • Yet more – the worship of idols.
  • The old favourite when a burning is on the way  – Sodomy was a membership requirement.