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Medieval History Lecture Series #2   

Medieval History Lecture Series #2 - Medievalism: The Evolving Interpretations of the Past Through Early Modern and Modern Culture

In this class we will look at how the Medieval Period inspired the fields of politics, philosophy, literature, and film/television. We will explore the feudal system, the role of the Church, and the rise of nation-states. Medieval rulers sought to establish their legitimacy through various means, including religious endorsement, bloodline claims, and military conquest. We will discuss how modern political leaders legitimize their authority and the echoes of medieval practices. We will also talk about Medievalism in literature, film, and television from iconic works such as Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” to TV series such as "Game of Thrones,” and how these portrayals often blend historical accuracy with elements of fantasy, weaving tales of honor, chivalry, political intrigue, and quests for power. By analyzing these representations, we can identify the romanticized or distorted versions of medieval politics that have permeated our collective imagination.

Dr. Daniel O'Gorman received his PhD in Medieval History from Loyola University Chicago in 2015. Dan is Faculty Fellow in the History Department at Pacific Lutheran University where he teaches courses on the ancient and medieval world, global history and issues, and American history.


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