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  • Food, Science, and the Human Body

    Professor Alyssa Crittenden, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    In these 36 lectures, get answers to questions about the evolution of the human diet and its relationship to our bodies. Bringing together insights from fields including anthropology, health science, biology, and sociology, this partnership between The Great Courses and National Geographic lays bare what science can teach us about food.

    View Lecture List (36)
    36 Lectures  |  Food, Science, and the Human Body
    Lecture Titles (36)
    • 1
      Paleo Diets and the Ancestral Appetite
      Do we have an ancestral appetite? First, uncover how similar the current Paleo diet fad is to what our actual ancestors ate. Then, learn how digestive anatomy and neural expansion played a role in the evolution of nutrition. Finally, determine whether or not humans are adapted to one specific diet. x
    • 2
      Our Hunter-Gatherer Past
      For the bulk of human history, our ancestors were hunters and gatherers. Using fascinating research from a study of one of Africa's last foraging populations, Professor Crittenden reveals insights into how hunter-gatherer societies function, and how they may have shaped the diversity of human nutrition. x
    • 3
      Stones, Bones, and Teeth
      For clues to the history of human nutrition, scientists look to fossils in the form of stones, bones, and teeth. In this lecture, learn what scientists discovered about the ancestral dinner plate through stone artifacts used for butchery, the bones of the human cranium, and the dentition of early humans. x
    • 4
      Did Meat Eating Make Us Human?
      Learn how meat changed the playing field for our earliest ancestors. First, trace the history of meat eating through human evolution. Then, use data from cut marks on bones to decipher when, exactly, we began to eat meat. Also, consider the nutritive benefits (and dangers) linked with meat consumption. x
    • 5
      Insects: The Other White Meat
      There are more than 1,900 edible insect species on Earth, and 2 billion people regularly consume insects as part of their diet. In this lecture, Professor Crittenden takes you inside the fascinating world of entomophagy (the practice of eating insects) and the ways we turn to insects for nutrition. x
    • 6
      Was the Stone Age Menu Mostly Vegetarian?
      Explore the critical role that plant foods have played in our diet. You'll study plant microfossils that radically change what we thought we knew about the Stone Age menu. You'll learn the essential role played by underground storage organs (or "tubers"). And you'll revisit Professor Crittenden's research on plant-processing techniques among Tanzanian foragers. x
    • 7
      Cooking and the Control of Fire
      Roasting. Boiling. Baking. Grilling. When did our ancestors start cooking with fire, and how? Find out in this lecture that takes you back nearly 1 million years on a journey to find out how we evolved to eat our food cooked, whether using boiling stones or a butane torch. x
    • 8
      The Neolithic Revolution
      Discover what prompted large populations of people to drastically change their subsistence strategy by domesticating plants and animals, Also, learn how this Neolithic revolution permanently altered the human diet, as well as paved the way for massive population growth, the development of nation states, and new vectors for disease. x
    • 9
      The Changing Disease-Scape
      Turn now to a darker product of the Neolithic revolution: the growth of zoonotic diseases, or diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites that spread between animals and humans. Among the ones you'll encounter here are Lyme disease, West Nile virus, malaria, salmonella, and E. coli. x
    • 10
      How Foods Spread around the World
      Once domestication was in full swing, foods began to be exchanged among different groups, leading to the subject of this lecture: delocalization. In order to better understand the development of this process, in which food consumed in one area is produced far away, you'll consider examples and case studies including bananas, apples, tomatoes, and corn. x
    • 11
      The History of the Spice Trade
      They're a common enough item in our pantries today, but in the past, spices were highly valued and tightly guarded, and were the catalyst for creating and destroying empires. Examine the spices that were critically important during the opening decades of the spice routes, including pepper, cloves, ginger, and garlic. x
    • 12
      How Sugar and Salt Shaped World History
      Salt and sugar have also played large roles in food production and global health. Topics in this lecture include how sugar is extracted from sugar cane, the rise of alternative sweeteners and sugar substitutes, early non-dietary uses of salt, and the dangers of a high-sodium diet. x
    • 13
      A Brief History of Bread
      Bread, in all its forms, is one of the most widely consumed foods in the world. It was also the foundation for many civilizations. Here, consider aspects about this dietary staple, including the art of leavening, the religious and social roles of light and dark bread, and the artisanal bread movement. x
    • 14
      The Science and Secrets of Chocolate
      Today, chocolate is a multi-billion-dollar global industry. In this lecture, Professor Crittenden takes you back in time so you can follow chocolate's trek around the world, considering not only its history and chemical properties, but its role in the current global market in the form of powerful chocolate empires. x
    • 15
      Water: The Liquid of Life
      Of all the water on Earth, only a fraction of it is drinkable. How much water is used by humans throughout the world? How did bottled water become so popular? Why is water fluoridation so controversial? How can we work to conserve water, both as a nation and in our everyday lives? x
    • 16
      Beer, Mead, and the Fun of Fermentation
      From ancient Egyptian experiments to the 21st-century microbrewery down the street from your house, explore the intricate links between the fermentation of wheat and honey and human civilization. As you follow our love affair with beer and mead, you'll be surprised to learn just how accidental their discovery was. x
    • 17
      Humanity's Love of Wine
      Continue looking at our relationship with fermented beverages, this time with a look into the story of fermenting grapes into wine. Topics include the science behind viticulture and the production of different types of wine, the reasons winemakers are turning away from cork, and “retsina,” one of the oldest types of white wine. x
    • 18
      Coffee: Love or Addiction?
      Each year, over 500 billion cups of coffee are served. Reconsider this popular drink and its relationship with world history. Along the way, you'll explore the ways coffee is harvested, how caffeine works on your body and mind, popular ways to drink coffee, and the origins of the free-trade movement. x
    • 19
      The Roots of Tea
      What is the source of the nearly 1,500 different types of tea in the world? How did tea spread from Japan to Europe? What are the differences between green, black, and white teas? How was the tea bag accidentally invented? Is drinking tea good for your health? Get the answers in this lecture. x
    • 20
      The Fizz on Soda
      Soda was once an embodiment of the American dream. Now, it's one of the worst contributors to obesity-related diseases. Make sense of this fizzy drink by exploring its origins as patented medicine, the soda wars between Coke and Pepsi, and the health risks associated with its high sugar content. x
    • 21
      Food as Ritual
      Humans don't just eat for nutrition. It's a deeply symbolic activity as well. In this lecture, consider some of the many different categories of food rituals around the world, including fasting for Ramadan, making sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead, bobbing for apples during Halloween, and America's favorite fall feast: Thanksgiving. x
    • 22
      When People Eat Things That Aren't Food
      Sometimes, people consume things that are not considered food, from dirt to hair to human flesh. Professor Crittenden introduces you to some of the more outlandish dietary practices around the world, including placentophagy (in which a mother eats the placenta after giving birth) and anthropophagy (also known as cannibalism). x
    • 23
      Food as Recreational Drugs
      Throughout history, we've consumed food not just for nourishment, but also for psychological effects. In this lecture, go inside the world of recreational drugs, including psilocybin mushrooms, edible marijuana treats, and addictions to foods like chocolate or french fries. x
    • 24
      Food as Medicine
      Is there a substantial link between diet and disease prevention? Professor Crittenden explains the medicinal histories behind several foods. Among them are ginger (thought to help with digestive issues) and cinnamon (used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various ailments), as well as goji berries, chocolate, and pomegranate. x
    • 25
      The Coevolution of Genes and Diet
      Biological and cultural evolution are not separate phenomena, and this is nowhere better exemplified than with diet. In this lecture, Professor Crittenden discusses the ways in which our genes and diet have co-evolved. You'll witness this fascinating process through examples of how our body evolved to metabolize (or not) enzymes like lactase and amylase, as well as omega 3 fatty acids. x
    • 26
      The Scoop on Poop
      There's a lot we can learn about the end point of nutrition. Here, trace the science and history of excrement, including its oldest fossilized forms (known as coprolites), the study of latrine systems in ancient Rome, and the important role played by gut bacteria in excrement production. x
    • 27
      The Gut Microbiome
      Your body can play host to anywhere from 30 to 50 trillion bacterial cells, the most species of which are in your gut. Learn how gut microbiota help us metabolize food and drugs, and defend us against pathogens. Put simply: these microbes are fellow travelers in human evolution. x
    • 28
      Brain Food
      There's data out there to suggest that it's possible to feed your brain. In this lecture on the links between diet and the brain, explore the role of hormones like insulin and leptin; unpack the tangled links between food cravings and addiction; and consider how the MIND diet can help delay neurodegeneration. x
    • 29
      You Are What Your Mother Ate
      Your diet as a fetus has a powerful influence on your life as an adult. What micronutrients are most important to your first nine months of life? What did a historic Dutch famine reveal about the consequences of sub-standard nutrition during pregnancy? What can we learn from studying heritable changes in gene expression? x
    • 30
      Civilization: Diets and Diseases
      Professor Crittenden explains the second and third epidemiological transitions in human evolution and the changing face of the world's disease-scape. First is the decline over the last two centuries of infectious disease and the rise of chronic degenerative diseases (like diabetes). Then there's the re-emergence of drug-resistant infectious diseases (like Zika). x
    • 31
      What the World Is Eating
      Take a fascinating tour of different meals from around the world to better appreciate the global tradition of eating. Cultural cuisines you explore are those listed by the United Nations as part of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage,” and include Japanese cuisine, Mexican cuisine, and French cuisine. x
    • 32
      The Overnutrition Epidemic
      According to the World Health Organization, most of the world's population now lives in countries where obesity kills more people than malnutrition. In this insightful lecture, explore the two-pronged pathway to global obesity: decreased physical activity and radical changes in diet (including the massive consumption of sugar). x
    • 33
      World Poverty and Undernutrition
      Every night, one in eight people goes to bed hungry. Get an eye-opening look at undernourishment in the developing and post-industrialized worlds. You’ll consider the two types of malnourishment, the concept of “plump poverty,” the roles played by urban slums and overpopulation, and ways we can work to eradicate world hunger. x
    • 34
      Should the World Eat Meat?
      In the first of two lectures on the politics of food, explore whether or not sustainable meat production is a myth or reality. What are the environmental costs of meat production? How can we rethink the way we house, feed, and raise livestock? Is too much meat bad for our health? x
    • 35
      Should We Be Powered by Plants?
      Turn now to the politics of eating a plant-based diet. What are the health benefits of vegetarianism and veganism? Why do people decide to follow this diet? What role does beauty play in food waste? What exactly is the controversy surrounding the organic foods movement and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? x
    • 36
      The Future of Food
      Artificial meat. Bio-fortified crops. Vertical farms in the middle of cities. Bread grown from spent grains used in breweries. Crops grown with agroforestry methods. Conclude the course with a broad look at developing a food system that is better equipped to deal with population growth and diminishing resources. x
  • A Children's Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales

    Instructor Hannah B. Harvey, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    In The Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales, Dr. Hannah Blevins Harvey unpacks more than 60 of our most beloved stories, fables, fairy tales, and songs from around the world. Not only does she provide you with a fascinating, in-depth view into the history, context, and deeper meaning of the tales we know and love, she also treats you to dynamic, theatrical, and engaging tellings of these cherished tales.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  A Children's Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      “Sleeping Beauty”: Once Upon a Time
      Get introduced to folktales and the various classifications as Dr. Harvey introduces you to the wide world of folklore. You’ll hear the 1697 Charles Perrault version of “Sleeping Beauty”—one that you may not be familiar with—and take a deep dive into the meaning behind the symbolism and the importance differences between this story and the Grimm version we are more familiar with. Dr. Zheala Qayyum, from Yale University’s Medical School and Department of Psychiatry, provides some deep insights about what folktales mean to children. x
    • 2
      “Beauty and the Beast” I: The Sleeping Prince
      Dr. Harvey introduces you to a Norse tale called “East of the Sun, West of the Moon.” The major components of this story can be found in similar tales from Spain and Ancient Greece, and you’ll find familiar elements in two well-known French traditional tales. This story introduces us to the theme of transformation—a theme that is both scary and exciting, and is a common in folktales to help us understand how we grow and change, and to teach the lesson that looks can be deceiving. x
    • 3
      “Beauty and the Beast” II: Being Brave
      Dive deeper into the use of transformation in stories as Dr. Harvey presents a version of “Beauty and the Beast” based on the classic French story recorded in 1756 by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont. Compare that version to the German story by Ludwig Bechstein in 1847 called “Beauty’s Stone Sisters.” Dr. Qayyum provides some additional insights into how the theme of transformation can provide beneficial lessons for children as they grow. Dr. Harvey concludes this lesson with an Ancient Greek tale called “Cupid and Pysche,” which demonstrates how bravery can be the root of transformations. x
    • 4
      “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”: Transformations
      Continuing with the theme of transformation, Dr. Harvey introduces you to a variety of interpretations of the classic story “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” starting with an 1896 composition known as a “symphonic poem” by Paul Dukas and notes Goethe’s poem from the 1700s. She provides the original story from the first century Egypt and treats you to “The Doctor and His Pupil” from France, with insights why we enjoy transformation stories. x
    • 5
      “Cinderella” I: If the Shoe Fits
      There are many versions of “Cinderella,” and Dr. Harvey takes you through the Italian tale by Basile called “The Cat Cinderella” and Perrault’s 1690’s French version. She walks through the similarities in motifs, with both stories focusing on a “rags-to-riches theme” and an “if the shoe fits” conclusion, but notes not all versions of this story had the iconic glass slipper. Dr. Harvey provides several eye-opening insights as she examines the differences between older versions of this tale and the ones we know today. x
    • 6
      “Cinderella” II: Baba Yaga and Goddessesa
      With the French and Italian versions of “Cinderella,” Dr. Harvey presented a classic “rise” tale, but “Cinderella” is the one of the world’s oldest “magic tales” with many versions, interpretations, and morals. In this lesson, Dr. Harvey introduces the Russian character of Baba Yaga, who is like characters we know from both “Cinderella” and “Hansel and Gretel.” “Vasilisa the Fair” follows the traditional “Cinderella” story, but with many twists and offers the idea that there can be ambiguity in folklore characters, rather than having them represent the absolute points of good or evil. x
    • 7
      “Cinderella” III: The Mooing Godmother
      “Cinderella” stories go back 7000 years, and Mah Pishani is possibly one of the oldest. This Iranian story provides a very different take on the same themes you’ve become familiar with. Unlike the bickering evil step-sisters, this version is about finding connection with family and community—in particular among women—and about love that stretches beyond the grave. x
    • 8
      “The Brave Little Tailor”: Giants!
      Why do we love toppling giants? Stories such as David and Goliath resonate, giving us hope that we can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Dr. Qayyum discusses this phenomena as Dr. Harvey shares two stories: “The Legend of the Chocolate Hills” from the Philippines, and “The Little Tailor,” adapted from the 1857 version by the brothers Grimm, which itself was adapted from the 1557 story called “Der Wegkurtzer” by Martinus Montanus. Dr. Harvey notes how the original tale came to fruition during a period when we looked towards reason and power to solve our own problems, rather than believing in superstition and divine intervention. x
    • 9
      “Jack and the Beanstalk”: Archetypes
      Many scholars believe that the beanstalk in “Jack and the Beanstalk” is a reference to the Tree of Life, which is one of our most iconic global images. In Hinduism, The Tree of Life is known as the Eternal Banyan Tree (the Akshaya Vata). In Islam and Christianity, it is the one tree that God ordered humans not to eat—Christianity extends this image into the New Testament when Christ the immortal is nailed “to a tree” (making the cross a tree that brings eternal life). Dr. Harvey presents these insights and more through the telling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and the Norse myth “Yggdrasil The World Tree.” x
    • 10
      "Hansel and Gretel": Ogres
      Folklorists believe that stories like Hansel and Gretel may have begun during the Great Famine in Europe, during the late Medieval age, about 700 years ago. We may be familiar with the classic German version portrayed by the Grimm brothers, but Dr. Harvey shows us how the Scottish version has something else living in the house in the woods as she shares both “Hansel and Gretel” and “Mollie Whuppie.” Both stories introduce the themes of triumph and besting evil powers. x
    • 11
      “Rumpelstiltskin”: Naming Our Fears
      In this lecture, Dr. Harvey presents several stories that come from all over the world, each of which explore the power of naming. Starting with classic story “Rumpelstiltskin” from Germany, collected by the Grimm brothers in 1857, you’ll also hear an Egyptian creation myth, a Judeo-Christian creation myth, the Egyptian story of Ra and Isis, and “Peerie Fool” from the Orkney Islands, which pulls elements from Norse and Scottish folklore. x
    • 12
      Tom Thumb and Thumbelina: Little Heroes
      “Tom Thumb” is grounded in oral folklore, meaning it was passed through the ages verbally as the storytellers could not read or write. Dr. Qayyum discusses the joy in reading stories out loud. Dr. Harvey shares J.O. Halliwell’s poetic version of “Tom Thumb” as well as a Hans Christian Andersen’s “Thumbelina” and discusses the differences between traditionally defined folktales and stories written by literary authors. x
    • 13
      “Emperor’s New Clothes”: Looks Can Deceive
      Just like the lessons learned in the stories Dr. Harvey covers in this lecture, the stories themselves can be deceiving, too. Dr. Harvey first shares the Hans Christian Andersen story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and then “The Happy Prince” by British playwright Oscar Wilde. Both stores are often mistaken for oral tradition folktales, yet were literary tales by one author. x
    • 14
      “Town Musicians of Bremen”: Unwanted Animals
      Dr. Harvey and Dr. Qayyum discuss the use of how animals in oral folklore often stand in for humans and why this technique can make it easier to recognize the lessons or points of each story. You’ll hear the story of “The Town Musicians of Bremen”—a tale that has been so prolific and retold through so many forms of art that in Bremen you can find a statue to the storied animals. Dr. Harvey also looks at how various cultures such as Germany, India, and the Netherlands both treated and depicted older characters. She concludes with a “Japanese Wisdom Tale.” x
    • 15
      “Puss in Boots” and “The Frog Prince”: Fitting In
      Well before his debut in Shrek, “Puss in Boots” was making a name for himself in the Panchatantra. Considered one of the most influential written records of oral folklore, this Indian collection of more than 700 animal fables and folk stories dates back more than 1700 years ago, features a cat who serves as a magical helper and tries to make his fortune in a king’s castle, and has spawned hundreds of versions. Dr. Harvey shares a French version from 1697, as well as “Iron Heinrich”—or “The Frog Prince”—from Grimm. x
    • 16
      “Three Little Pigs”: Third Time’s a Charm
      Dr. Harvey looks at the power of numbers in folktales, specifically the magic of three and seven (three pigs, seven dwarves), citing Orion and his three-starred belt who chases the seven Pleiades sisters. She notes how even the story formats are broken into threes: Beginning, Middle, and End. She shares the stories of “The Three Little Goslings” (the Italian version of the German “Three Little Pigs”) and “The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs,” which is also a Grimm story from Germany. x
    • 17
      “The Little Red Hen”: Formula Tales
      Repetition and patterned verse are often the backbone to some of our most beloved tales. Known as formula tales, these stories are easy to retell as we know what to say and expect. Dr. Harvey presents a wide-range of formula tales including, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” from Norway, Joseph Jacob’s “Henny Penny” from Australia, “The Gingerbread Man,” Mary Dodge’s 1874 classic “Little Red Hen,” and “The Three Bears” which was written by English poet laureate Robert Southey and therefore lends itself to being a cante tale. x
    • 18
      “How the Camel Got His Hump”: Pourquoi Tales
      Many fictional stories—from ancient myths and creation stories to folktales—are an attempt to explain why things in the world are the way they are. Some of the most famous pourquoi tales come from Aesop and Rudyard Kipling. Dr. Harvey shares several pourquoi tales from around the world, including Kipling’s “How the Camel Got His Hump” from his “Just So Stories” published in India. She also shares an African-American tale “Why the Rabbit has Long Ears and a Short Tail” and the 1929 Norse story “Why the Sea is Salty.” x
    • 19
      Lions and Tigers and Bears: Fables
      We may never have heard of a certain slave from a household in the Greek city of Phrygia if not for his charming use of morals in folktales, but Aesop has made a name for himself. Dr. Harvey presents several of his tales, including “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “Androcles and the Lion,” “The Stone in the Road,” “The Fox and the Wolf,” and “Belling the Cat.” She also shares Kipling’s “Camel Poem” and “How the Hamster Got his Tail,” a Kenyan story about why hamsters have small tails. x
    • 20
      “Snow White”: Beauty and Handsomeness
      Beauty plays an integral part in many folktales and both Dr. Harvey and Dr. Qayyum weigh in on why beauty matters, how beauty is akin to as power in many stories, and how, as these stories got retold and rewritten (by men), the roles men played became more heroic while the roles women played became designated to looking lovely. Using Grimm’s “Snow White” as a lens to examine the use of beauty and instruments of femininity, Dr. Harvey explains how these stories are often metaphors for life and what is happening in our real worlds and cultures. x
    • 21
      “Rapunzel”: Maiden/Mother/Crone
      Femininity is once again examined, this time with a focus on the roles women play in stories. Dr. Harvey shares a combined (and more family friendly) version of “Rapunzel,” pulling from Grimm’s German version and Basile’s Italian version. Looking at the triad of Maiden/Mother/Crone and Warrior/Father/Sage, Dr. Harvey shows how stories reduce and distill all our life experiences into simple symbols; in such stories, each component is represented by a separate character even though we rarely experience such defined periods of existence. x
    • 22
      King Arthur and Winnie the Pooh: Heroic Quests
      Continuing with the triad theme, Dr. Harvey uses this lecture to explore the role of the masculine hero, comparing the actions, motifs, and quests of King Arthur and Winnie the Pooh as she shares “Merlin, Arthur, and the Two Swords” and “Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole.” Through this lecture, Dr. Harvey defines the category of legends and discusses how fictional accounts based on true-life historical figures (or sometimes even made-up ones) gave birth to the American tradition of Tall Tales. x
    • 23
      American Tall Tales and Folk Songs
      Dr. Harvey jumps into the 20th century to demonstrate how Tall Tales reinforce the ideals of the cultures where they were born. For example, many of America’s well-known Tall Tales deal with characters from the wild west and carry themes of expansion, colonization, and progress. After sharing the stories of “Pecos Bill,” “Katy Goodgrit” and “Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox,” Dr. Harvey delves into how ballads and folksongs served as a voice of concerns from those who couldn’t speak. She presents “The Ballad of John Henry” and “The Ballad of Casey Jones.” x
    • 24
      Happily Ever After: How Our Stories End
      Dr. Harvey reviews the fundamentals of storytelling and expands on common themes that can be found across tales that span time and location, such as protection of family, being resourceful, demonstrating bravery, overcoming entrapment, rising from a diminutive state to become a mighty hero, and more. She also recounts the common characters and locations found in stories through the ages. She shares her favorite tale, “The Wonderful Pot” from Denmark, and concludes with a Scottish tale called “Death in a Nut.” x
  • The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad

    Professor Joyce E. Salisbury, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    Spain has played a unique and pivotal role in Western civilization. In this course, you’ll learn its epic history, from its rule under Rome and the breathtaking drama of Islamic Spain to its emergence into the modern world, as well as its phenomenal contributions to art, architecture, literature, music, and learning. Travel with us to this remarkable culture, and savor the great human drama of the story of Spain.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      From Stones to Bronze: Prehistoric Spain
      Begin by exploring the origins of human settlement on the Iberian Peninsula. Learn how the rich spiritual life of early hunter/gatherers in Spain is reflected in magnificent cave paintings. Study the geography of the peninsula, and how it drew peoples from Africa and the Middle East. Finally, discover the extraordinary megalithic tombs of early Copper and Bronze Age builders. x
    • 2
      Celtic, Phoenician, and Greek Colonists
      Follow three remarkable immigrant groups who left their mark on Spanish culture. First, trace the impact of the Celts and the technology they brought to the region. Learn about the Phoenicians, famous as mariners, and their legacy of trade and engineering. Continue with the singular influence of the Greeks, who shaped the history and culture of the peninsula for future immigrants. x
    • 3
      Rome Conquers the Iberian Peninsula
      Roman conquest changed the peninsula in ways that endure today. Track the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage, through which Iberia became part of the Roman Empire. Observe how Rome joined the Iberian provinces together, created thriving cities, and developed commerce. Learn about the marvels of Roman engineering, infrastructure, and mining, through which Spain grew rich. x
    • 4
      Christianity Comes to Hispania
      Witness the events through which Christianity took root on Spanish soil. Learn about early Christian communities in Spain, and the factors that led to persecution and martyrdom of Christians. Chart the role of Spanish churchmen in the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, how pagan practices were transformed into Christian ones, and how Spain became a bulwark of church orthodoxy. x
    • 5
      Barbarian Tribes Divide the Peninsula
      As Rome's empire waned, Germanic and Iranian tribal groups besieged Spanish territories. Take the measure of these peoples, and the new agricultural technology, clothing, and other innovations they brought with them. Observe how they partitioned and ruled different areas of the peninsula, and how their culture and religion kept them separate from Spain's Roman population. x
    • 6
      The Visigoths Unite Spain
      As a prelude to the three-century rule of the Visigoths, learn how the Goths penetrated Roman territories, and how they came to dominate Spain. Study the structure of Visigoth society, which gave rise to influential legal codes, monasticism, and great scholars such as Isidore of Seville. Take account of Toledo as a center of learning, and the diffusion of Visigothic scholarship and culture. x
    • 7
      Islam: The New Religion
      Islam was to play a critical role in Spanish history. As background, delve into the founding of Islam by Muhammad, its five tenets or “pillars”, and how the new religion spread with astonishing speed. Witness the Muslim invasion that conquered most of Spain, and observe how the invaders ruled, coexisting effectively with Jews and Christians. x
    • 8
      Conflict within Islam
      Internal divisions in the Muslim world shaped Islamic rule of Spain. Investigate issues concerning the larger governance of Islam that led to enmity between Muslim Spain and the Caliphate in Bagdad. Study the role of the Frankish king Charlemagne in these conflicts, and trace conspiracies and rebellions within Muslim Spain that culminated in the establishment of the Caliphate of Cordoba. x
    • 9
      The Moors and the Glory of al-Andalus
      Relive the golden age of Islamic Spain, as the capital city of Cordoba emerged as a center of learning, art, and beauty. First, take account of the agricultural advancements and artisanal industries that underlay Cordoba's prosperity. Then, follow developments in music, poetry, intellectual life, science, engineering, and architecture that made al-Andalus famous throughout the world. x
    • 10
      The Christian Reconquista
      This lecture charts the centuries-long process by which Christians gradually reclaimed the lands of Islamic Spain. Learn how pilgrimage to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela became a catalyst for the Christian cause. Explore four critical events in the Reconquista: the conquest of Toledo, the taking of Valencia by “El Cid”, the creation of Portugal, and the final conquest of Granada. x
    • 11
      Medieval Spanish Culture
      Discover how the melding of Spanish Islamic culture and medieval Christian ideas produced dazzling masterpieces of architecture. Travel to the times of king Alfonso the Wise, whose rich court life fostered scholarship and medicine, as well as courtly entertainments such as music, sports, and bullfighting. Learn about the flourishing of trade, highlighting the complex wool and textile industry. x
    • 12
      The Sephardim: Iberian Judaism
      Follow the changing fortunes of the Jewish people on Spanish soil, beginning with how they arrived in Spain, and how they prospered under Roman rule. Trace repression of Jews under the Visigoths, and how Jewish scholarship and poetic art thrived in Muslim Spain. Then witness the trials of Jews under subsequent Christian rule, leading to the 15th century exodus of many Jews from Spain. x
    • 13
      Gypsy Influences on Spain
      Gypsy immigrants to Spain left a far-reaching imprint on Spanish culture. Here, uncover the origins of gypsy peoples, their itinerant nature, and note how they were originally welcomed by Spanish kings and nobles. Study subsequent oppression of gypsies, the nature of gypsy culture, and the iconic flamenco music and dance that is deeply linked with Spanish gypsies. x
    • 14
      The Growth of Catholic Religious Passion
      Grasp how Spain was brought into the conflict of the Protestant Reformation. Assess the Catholic Counter-Reformation, as it sought to connect the faithful more directly to God through reinvigorated spirituality and mysticism. Learn how the Council of Trent, codifying Catholic doctrine, led to the horrors of the Inquisition, and how Catholic theology was expressed in glorious Baroque art. x
    • 15
      Columbus and the New World
      European contact with the isolated Americas dramatically changed the world. Begin by delving into the self-education of Columbus, and the lead-up to his legendary voyages. Follow Columbus’s travels, and the impact of his “opening” of the New World. Finally, track further European ventures into the Americas, the Columbian Exchange of foodstuffs, and the devastation wrought by European diseases. x
    • 16
      Conquistadors and Missionaries
      Spain now extended both its empire and its Catholicism into the New World. Witness the exploits of Hernán Cortés, who battled the Aztec Empire in the quest for gold, and of Francisco Pizarro and his brutal subjugation of the Incas. Then, take account of the Catholic missionaries who followed, intent on converting native souls, and how Spanish empire building was undergirded by slavery. x
    • 17
      The Spanish Main: Trade Convoys and Piracy
      Spain's empire in the New World spawned a vast commercial revolution. Learn about Spanish silver mining in South America, and agricultural riches from giant haciendas producing sugar and tobacco. Follow the transport of Spanish goods in armed convoys, and the resulting golden age of piracy, as both pirates and government-sanctioned privateers preyed on treasure-laden ships. x
    • 18
      The Golden Age of the Spanish Habsburgs
      Here, encounter Spain's king Philip II, architect of a magnificent era. Observe his strategic moving of the royal capital to Madrid, and his creation of architectural works such as the fabulous El Escorial. Learn how Philip and his sons fostered an artistic heritage emblemized by visionaries such as the painter Velasquez, composers de Victoria and Guererro, and writers Lope de Vega and Cervantes. x
    • 19
      Religious Wars on Muslims and Protestants
      Now witness the Ottoman incursions against Christian lands and shipping that resulted in the massive naval battle of Lepanto. Then, see how the clash with Protestants involved Spain in religious bloodshed in the Netherlands, the assault on Britain of the Spanish Armada, and the Thirty Years War. Note how the ruinous costs of these wars prefigured the downfall of the Habsburg Dynasty. x
    • 20
      The 18th-Century Bourbon Kings of Spain
      Learn how the French House of Bourbon assumed the Spanish throne, and how they transformed Habsburg Spain. In particular, review the reforms instituted by Carlos III, highlighting his architectural and urban planning achievements, and his reforms of education, industry, banking, and religion. Then trace the effects on Spain of the French Revolution and the ascension of Napoleon. x
    • 21
      Spain Loses Its Empire
      Follow Napoleon’s crusade to impose a new French dynasty on Spain, and the cultural backlash of Romanticism that rejected the “universal” principles of the Enlightenment. Witness the emergence of Spanish nationalism, the ensuing deep political strife regarding how to govern the country, and see how the spread of nationalist ideologies culminated in the independence of Spain’s colonies. x
    • 22
      20th-Century Spanish Modernism
      Following World War I, Spain emerged at the forefront of a revolution in the European arts. Grasp the extraordinary innovations of the painters Picasso, Miró and Dalí, the architect Antoni Gaudí, and the contributions of musical masters Segovia and Casals. Also, delve into the political factors that led to the disintegration of Spain’s constitutional monarchy. x
    • 23
      The Spanish Civil War and Franco's Reign
      Study the political antagonisms within Spain which led to the outbreak of civil war in 1936. Track the unfolding of the war, leading to the ascension to power of the dictator Francisco Franco. Then take account of Franco's lengthy, authoritarian regime, and how he strove to create a national identity for Spain through the mediums of the church, language, and Spanish culture. x
    • 24
      Modern Spain: Still on a Crossroad
      Conclude with reflections on Spain's recent history. Look into such subjects as the restoration of the Spanish monarchy, Spain's contemporary links with Latin America, separatist movements within the country, its new secularism and religious freedoms, its popularity as a travel destination, and its diverse economy. Contemplate why this great land stands on a crossroads of the future. x
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