The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad

Course No. 8286
Professor Joyce E. Salisbury, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
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Course No. 8286
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What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Learn how the Habsburg kings spent Spain's New World treasure in the glorious architecture of Madrid and in fostering an artistic renaissance.
  • numbers Examine how the voyages of Columbus led to the carving out of vast Spanish possessions in the Americas.
  • numbers Look at the nearly seven centuries of Islamic rule of Spain, and its zenith in the legendary Caliphate of Cordoba.
  • numbers Track the deeply integral presence of Catholicism in Spanish life over the centuries.

Course Overview

Spain has played a unique and pivotal role in Western civilization. It has historically stood at a critical crossroad—a crossroad of geography, of cultures, of religions, of ideas, of trade, and more. Spain’s strategic location, through the centuries, has made it a magnet for multiple different peoples, and it has participated in and witnessed numerous major shifts, trends, and historical moments.

Across 5000 years, from its prehistory and ancient Roman rule to the glory of Moorish al-Andalus, and from its empire building to its religious passions and kingly dynasties, Spain’s history has been extraordinarily dramatic, colorful, poignant, inspiring, and heartrending.

And yet, Spain’s remarkable role has not always been detailed in standard history curricula, at times overshadowed by the high profile of other European powers. But to understand the unfolding of Spain’s epic history is to come to terms with one of the West’s great civilizations, and to grasp its enduring presence and influence on the world stage. Consider these singular features of Spanish history:

  • The Renaissance began in Spain 15 years before the rest of Europe;
  • Spain was both the instigator and the catalyst for the opening of the New World, spanning North, Central, and South America—leaving Spanish as the world’s second most widely spoken language, following only Chinese;
  • Spain was a primary player in the vast commercial revolution that changed the world in the 17th century;
  • The collapse of Spain’s great empire both prefigured and sheds light upon the later disintegration of other European empires;
  • Spain’s 20th century history reveals much about the rise and fall of fascism in Europe.

In The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad, Professor Emerita Joyce E. Salisbury of the University of Wisconsin unfurls a broad and fascinating panorama of Spanish history, spanning the centuries from the first Neolithic settlement of the peninsula to Spain’s 20th century Civil War.

Linking one extraordinary era with the next, the course begins with how early Spain drew a spectrum of peoples from ancient Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, who formed vibrant communities on the peninsula. From there, you’ll witness the subjugation of the peninsula by both Rome and Gothic peoples, leading to the breathtaking drama of Islamic Spain and the Reconquista, Catholic Spain and the Inquisition, and the conquest of the New World. In the final lectures, you’ll travel into the royal dynasties and dazzling artistic heritage of the Habsburg and Bourbon kings, and you’ll track Spain’s storied emergence into the modern world.

These 24 accessible and highly enjoyable lectures offer you a penetrating overview of the development of Spanish civilization. Designed for a wide audience, the course presents a comprehensive picture of Spanish life and culture, encompassing history, architecture and art, religion, science, and the humanities, as well as offering many pointers for travel in Spain, highlighting the country’s outstanding historical and cultural sights, and why they’re important.

A Thrilling Journey through Five Millennia of History

In the course’s opening, you’ll trace the melding of Neolithic peoples, Celts, Greeks, Phoenicians, and other immigrants who gave the Spanish peninsula its unique character. Across the centuries of history and the numerous seminal epochs the course illuminates, you’ll witness extraordinary historic moments such as:

  • The Kingdom of the Visigoths--Following Rome’s imperial domination of the region, discover how the Visigoths wrested control of the peninsula, and contemplate the remarkable society they built--a culture that produced great art, codes of law, theology, and hugely influential scholarship in the intellectual centers of Toledo and Seville;
  • The Golden Age of Islamic Spain--Take account of the nearly seven centuries of Islamic rule of Spain, and its zenith in the legendary Caliphate of Córdoba; grasp the underpinnings of Córdoba’s great wealth, and its astonishing achievements in art, science, aesthetics, and learning, that spread its fame across the known world;
  • Spain’s Catholic Passion--Track the deeply integral presence of Catholicism in Spanish life over the centuries. Learn about Spain’s role in the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and the Inquisition; trace Spain’s bloody wars against Protestants and Muslims, as well as its history and remarkable resurgence of religious tolerance;
  • The New World: Treasure and Tragedy--Witness how Columbus’s voyages led to the carving out of vast Spanish possessions in the Americas; follow the huge commercial empire which transpired, and the exploits of conquistadors, missionaries, and pirates, against a backdrop of economic oppression, slavery, and the decimation of native populations;
  • The Habsburgs: A Splendorous Era--In yet another illustrious epoch, learn how the Habsburg kings spent Spain’s New World treasure in the glorious architecture of Madrid and the El Escorial summer palace, and in fostering an artistic renaissance in the work of some of history’s greatest painters, composers, and literary artists;
  • Spain in the Modern World--Following the disintegration of Spain’s empire, observe its adaptations and contributions to the modern era, from its great 20th century artistic and intellectual innovators to its trials under the dictator Francisco Franco and its place as a vibrant 21st century nation.

A Rich Tapestry of Spanish Culture

As a primary strength of this course, Professor Salisbury brings to the table a vast and extraordinarily detailed knowledge of the Iberian Peninsula; its history as well as its unique culture. Demonstrating a flair for historical narrative, she expertly conveys the monumental scope and movement of events while at the same time revealing details that make the story compellingly three-dimensional. In her descriptions of the ancient trade in garum (Roman fish sauce, a surprisingly valuable commodity), the glittering court culture of Islamic Spain, and the features of life aboard Columbus’s ships, these distant eras come vividly alive.

Intertwined with the unfolding of Spanish history, Professor Salisbury illuminates Spain’s iconic cultures, and its phenomenal contributions to art, architecture, literature, music, theology, and learning. In the lecture on Spain’s gypsy heritage, you’ll explore the origins and forms of flamenco music and dance, and their deep links to gypsy and Andalusian culture. You’ll learn how the ritual of bullfighting—held as an art form in Spain—evolved from its origins as an equestrian pastime of the nobility to its markedly altered modern form.

Across the centuries, you’ll explore jewels of Spanish architecture, from the resplendent Moorish Alhambra and Alcázar of Seville to the sublime Sagrada Familia cathedral of Catalan modernist Antoni Gaudí. Professor Salisbury also highlights the evolution and forms of Spanish music, spanning the eras from the music of Islamic Spain to the great Baroque composers Guerrero and de Victoria and the 19th century master Albeniz. And you’ll encounter Spain’s geniuses of the visual and written arts, encompassing such masters as the painters Velasquez, el Greco, Goya, and Picasso, and writers from the philosophers Averroes and Maimonides to literary greats Lope de Vega and Cervantes.

The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad takes you on a wide-ranging journey through the remarkable scope of Spanish civilization, life, and culture. Travel with us to this extraordinary land, and savor the majesty and the great human drama of the story of Spain.

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24 lectures
 |  Average 30 minutes each
  • 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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  • 264-page printed course guidebook
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Your professor

Joyce E. Salisbury

About Your Professor

Joyce E. Salisbury, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
Joyce E. Salisbury is Professor Emerita of Humanistic Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, where she taught history and served as associate dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and director of International Education. She earned her Ph.D. in Medieval History at Rutgers University, specializing in religious and social history. Professor Salisbury began her career performing research in Spain, and she has...
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The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 149.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Lectures! Professor Salisbury really knows her stuff! Every lecture is full of interesting details and anecdotes! I thoroughly enjoyed every one!
Date published: 2020-06-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Comprehensive History of Spain Dr. Salisbury has provided a very comprehensive history of Spain and events in other countries that impacted Spain. I learned a lot. Her last two lectures (Spanish Civil War and Franco years in the first and post-Franco years in the second) were especially strong, perhaps because she lived in Spain during 1977.
Date published: 2020-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Outstanding!! Dr. Salisbury takes the listener on an exciting trip through the history of the wonderful country - she brings Spain alive - this is the best of the Great Courses that I have taken.
Date published: 2020-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great history course. Terrific lecturer. Very enthusiastic about her subject. Makes me want to return to Spain. I’ve been there 3 times but I see now how much I overlooked.
Date published: 2020-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All lectures were top-notch I was so glad to see this series on Kanopy. My husband and I watched it voraciously and enjoyed every single lecture. I learned so much about Spain, my ancestral home (grandfather was born there).
Date published: 2020-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Knowledgeable but scripted. I bought this series a few months ago and I’m glad I did. My only complaint is that it is highly scripted - meaning you can tell the lectures are memorized material. Instead of referring to notes (like the prof in the Middle Ages series) she is simply regurgitating material she has written. The material is well written and you can tell she is extremely knowledgeable - but the lectures come across rehearsed and unnatural. Sometimes the off-the-cuff stuff can be the best! I bet you she would kill it in the classroom.
Date published: 2020-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting subjects. I have purchased many subjects from Great Courses. Enjoyed every one of them so much so I ordered a course for my dad. He was so happy and loves to learn about history. Thank you so very much for your courses.
Date published: 2020-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The History of Spain I enjoyed this course very much as I took many Spanish history course in college. The instructor gave very interesting lectures, and I learned much that I didn't already about Spain's history. Loved this course.
Date published: 2020-04-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from She lost me in Lecture 19 I was mostly enjoying this course until lecture 19. That’s when the professor started to rhapsodize about and glorify the cruelty of bull fighting. Where where as through much of the course she seems careful to provide balance, When she spoke about bullfighting it was about how graceful and brave the matadors and picadors were. I am not for sanitizing the past. But I found the professors affection for such filed cruelty to be a complete turn off, and I stopped the course right there.
Date published: 2020-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great History course I've walked three Caminos in Spain and this course supplied some background to really help me to understand my next trip to Spain. I hadn't realized the intersection of so many trends and events that tie back to Spain.
Date published: 2020-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent overview Prof. Joyce E. Salisbury gives an exciting and detailed overview of the history of Spain in just 24 lectures. So much information. I want to watch it again and then hear some of the music and see some of the art. It makes me want to go there. Like so many of the Great Courses, this is a college course and more.
Date published: 2020-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Overview It's a challenge to present an overview as complex as this in a comprehensive manner, but Professor Salisbury manages very well. My wife and I particularly enjoyed her presentation style, which is engaging and not at all pedantic.
Date published: 2020-04-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from These wonderful lectures capture the intellectual and cultural histories of Spain in addition to the traditional political histories. Unfortunately, the horribly captioned subtitled take away a lot of the enjoyment. Rife with typos and (sometimes funny) word transpositions, the captions are thrill kill for sure.
Date published: 2020-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enthusiastic Presenter This is a good survey with a lot of detail for such a short course. Her Spanish is Castilian which will throw us New Worlders off a bit.
Date published: 2020-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OLE!! I have purchased dozens of Great Courses, and I was ready to grab my Thesaurus to find superlatives describing this offering. Instead, let me just say Prof. Salisbury presented a wonderfully detailed, sweeping, exciting, and emotional experience. Covering thousands of years of history, she kept me riveted in every lecture. To add to her excellent delivery, the course was filled with informative maps, paintings, and graphics as well as beautiful photos of Spain and its people. It was one of the best Great Courses productions at every level.
Date published: 2020-03-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Cultural History of Spain This course presents a broad outline of Spain's history from the Paleolithic to the 21st century. I appreciate the treatment of Iberia from the Romans to Moors. It adds some nuance to my knowledge of the period. However, if you wish to learn about the progress of the Moors in Spain this is not the course for you. If you wish to learn about the interplay between the Arabs and the Berbers this is not the course for you. If you wish to learn about the reconquest of Christian Spain this is not the course for you. These have been replaced by cultural explorations and a few anecdotes. In fact the course is better though of as the cultural evolution of Spain rather than a description of the leaders and events that ran through Spanish history. Finally, if a course on Political Philosophy can be taught without the Presenter revealing his biases, it should be possible to do so for a course on Spanish History.
Date published: 2020-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good information. I enjoyed this course more than I thought I would. The teacher was great. Lots of information. My only complaint is that dates & names were not left on the screen long enough for me to write them down. Would prefer to see more of that information left on the screen.
Date published: 2020-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chock full of information I got this course because I had arranged a trip to Spain. I'm so glad I did. It gave me a great overview of the rich history of Spain, something I was completely unaware of. Every minute of this course is packed with information. I writing this review from Córdoba where I have been exploring the monuments, buildings, and history of this city and the surrounding area. I find myself referring to the course book frequently to refresh my memory of important events and enhance my appreciation of the sites I visit.
Date published: 2020-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good series The course covers the history of Spain well. I would have preferred a little more pre-history. This is the first course I have seen that has the new background with the screens flashing pictures behind the instructor. It distracts from the presentation while adding nothing to it. If nothing else, I would prefer to see some static pictures that have a connection to the current lecture rather than random pictures drifting around the screen. Some parts that I considered important were glossed over like the intervention of the British into the Peninsular War, taking about 2-3 sentences to cover. A good presentation and a good course
Date published: 2020-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comprehensive this is an excellent review of Iberian History from the Paleolithic to the present.
Date published: 2020-01-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Regrettably - a chore! I got this from my local library - so can't complain about the price - and have been listening to the audio in my car. From the start, I realized it was going to be one of those GC offerings that has just enough information to barely override the many annoying/disappointing aspects of the presentation. One, the presenters very distracting decision to use - seemingly at random - English or Spanish pronunciations of the same names for places and people. This approach comes across as very 'effected' which, then, leads one to subconsciously question the presenter's credibility about the material in general. Two, I know enough about the ancient and early historic years of the Iberian Peninsula to recognize that the presenter way oversimplifies or just gets wrong many historical facts. Hamilcar Barca didn't originally conquer the area for Carthage; they'd had a significant presence in Iberia for several generations before he, simply, was assigned the military command there. Three, the presenter has a tendency to ramble and to drift off into in-depth sessions about topics - the history of Judaism, pirate life in the new world, the conquests of Mexico and the Incas - that, while related to the history of Spain, don't merit the overly detailed attention she gives them. I was expecting a history of Spain and the Spanish, not that of the Jewish diaspora or the rum trade in the Caribbean. Fourth, even when she actually gets around to focusing on Spain itself, she gives it a broadbrush look while only getting down to the nitty-gritty on what are obviously her favorite painters, poets, rulers, authors. So, as I said at the outset, there's enough interesting material here but you better be prepared to ferret it out. I was hitting the 'track forward' button on my CD player for, at least, a third of the time while listening. Normally, I'd renew this item at the library if it looked like I wasn't going to finish it on time. I won't bother with this one if it comes to that.
Date published: 2019-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The History of Spain I’ve just finished Professor Joyce Salisbury's “Great Course” on the history of Spain in anticipation of touring the south of that country in the spring. I made the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela as a grad student in the 70s, but I’ve not been back to Spain since. I congratulate her on a wonderful series of lectures; her passion and enthusiasm are contagious. I tried to savour each lecture by limiting myself to one a day, but I admit I sometimes “cheated” and watched two (and on one occasion three). Brava!
Date published: 2019-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Introductory Course Professor Salisbury is very articulate with a strong delivery. As any country, to cover an entire history in depth in 24 lectures is a daunting task and one should not expect too much yet this course certainly is above average. I am now prepared for my trip to Spain this week with a lot of useful information in my head.
Date published: 2019-10-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Spain history good Was pretty thorough, and interesting. She did her homework. This subject is so big and complicated that’s it hard to get a handle on and she probably did real well. More like you maybe need to take a whole course
Date published: 2019-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Since I'm going to Spain next month I wanted to uh understand more of what I was going to see. This series is presented in a very logical understandable way.
Date published: 2019-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad Just bought this title, still reading and so far I LOVE IT... it is great to find some history explain by a real person - beside the books- it is very amazing to me all details that we can find on this courses for a great prices :)
Date published: 2019-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Professor Salisbury displayed a profound love and expert knowledge of Spain. She tied the history together clearly. Her enthusiasm was obvious.
Date published: 2019-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Excellent Intro and Overview This is an excellent course for anyone with interest in, but minimal knowledge of, the history of the land now known as Spain. Several thousand years are covered in 12 hours. This is both an advantage (if you only want a once-over-lightly introduction), and a disadvantage (if you find yourself wishing, as I did, for more detail and depth regarding much of this fascinating and complex history). Professor Salisbury does a fine job. She is extremely well organized and focused, and speaks in a friendly, enthusiastic, conversational tone which is a pleasure to listen to. Her love of the country is obvious, but this does not prevent her from treating many of the horrors perpetrated by religious prejudice, wars, and power-hungry rulers. And of course you may expect the Spanish Inquisition. One major objection - Our professor describes bullfighting as a "graceful art" and seems quite taken with it, not even hinting at any criticism when it is first described in some detail. (In a later lecture she notes that some consider it "cruel", but this is almost a throwaway line.) It is sad that the brutality and immorality of this 'sport' can be so blithely overlooked. Less important, but still surprising, are mispronunciations of prominent names. I am not an expert, but having checked a number of sources, I'm pretty sure these include Avicenna, Maimonides, and Al-Khwarizmi. And "algebra" is not "a Muslim word." It is an Arabic word. The video version includes a number of helpful maps and photos, but the course could be fully appreciated in audio. So - I highly recommend this course for anyone with an interest in an outstanding, if too brief, introduction to Spanish history. I hope TGC will consider a much expanded course with the same professor. Enjoy.
Date published: 2019-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awakened my interest ! I’ve been to Spain 3 times but only had a sketchy knowledge of its history. This survey course put everything into prospective. I’m going to the Camino de Santiago and now I know the significance of it. The professor was excellent and you could see her love of Spain and it’s culture. For those who complain that she does not go into depth. I repeat it’s a 12 hour survey course.
Date published: 2019-06-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not Much History This course is not so much a history of Spain as it is a discussion of the developments of the religions that affected Spanish history. The vast majority of the various Spanish leaders over the years are not mentioned at all, and much more time and attention is given to the history and development of Islam than is given to the Second Republic. The schisms and developments of Christianity are broadly discussed while the Civil War is barely mentioned in passing. Art, architecture and other various cultural aspects dominate while politics and events that actually formed Spanish history are very much ignored.
Date published: 2019-06-05
  • y_2020, m_12, d_1, h_16
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.12
  • cp_2, bvpage2n
  • co_hasreviews, tv_15, tr_134
  • loc_en_US, sid_8286, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.0
  • CLOUD, getContent, 79.06ms

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