jan 252020
 

Jeg kjøpte denne lydboka for 4-5 år siden, men først nå fikk jeg hørt gjennom den grundig. Den var interessant og tok opp mange flere kulturelle trekk ved vikingene enn jeg hadde regnet med; bl.a. dere bosettninger og innflytelse på Island, Irland, Normandie og Ukraina/Russland. Audible skriver om boka:

As raiders and explorers, the Vikings played a decisive role in the formation of Latin Christendom, and particularly of western Europe.

Now, in a series of 36 vivid lectures by an honored teacher and classical scholar, you have the opportunity to understand this remarkable race as never before, studying the Vikings not only as warriors, but in all of the other roles in which they were equally extraordinary – merchants, artists, kings, raiders, seafarers, shipbuilders, and creators of a remarkable literature of myths and sagas. Professor Harl draws insights from an astonishing array of sources: The Russian Primary Chronicle (a Slavic text from medieval Kiev), 13th-century Icelandic poems and sagas, Byzantine accounts, Arab geographies, annals of Irish monks who faced Viking raids, Roman reports, and scores of other firsthand contemporary documents.

Among the topics you’ll explore are the profound influence of the Norse gods and heroes on Viking culture and the Vikings’ extraordinary accomplishments as explorers and settlers in Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland. And with the help of archaeological findings, you’ll learn to analyze Viking ship burials, rune stones and runic inscriptions, Viking wood carving, jewelry, sculpture, and metalwork. By the end of the series, you’ll have a new understanding of what it meant to be a Viking and a richer appreciation of this remarkable race – a people who truly defined the history of Europe, and whose brave, adventurous, and creative spirit still survives today.

jan 182020
 

Første halvdel av januar leste jeg meg også (i tillegg til flere lydbøker) gjennom Chris Wickhams Medieval Europe. Det var ganske lærerikt og Amazon skriver om boka:

A spirited and thought-provoking history of the vast changes that transformed Europe during the 1,000-year span of the Middle Ages The millennium between the breakup of the western Roman Empire and the Reformation was a long and hugely transformative period-one not easily chronicled within the scope of a few hundred pages. Yet distinguished historian Chris Wickham has taken up the challenge in this landmark book, and he succeeds in producing the most riveting account of medieval Europe in a generation. Tracking the entire sweep of the Middle Ages across Europe, Wickham focuses on important changes century by century, including such pivotal crises and moments as the fall of the western Roman Empire, Charlemagne’s reforms, the feudal revolution, the challenge of heresy, the destruction of the Byzantine Empire, the rebuilding of late medieval states, and the appalling devastation of the Black Death. He provides illuminating vignettes that underscore how shifting social, economic, and political circumstances affected individual lives and international events. Wickham offers both a new conception of Europe’s medieval period and a provocative revision of exactly how and why the Middle Ages matter.

jan 172020
 

Jeg har lest en del om Aleksander den store også tidligere, men denne lydboka ga meg en hel del ekstra informasjon om ham. På Audibles nettsider leser man bl.a. dette om den:

More than two millennia have passed since Alexander the Great built an empire that stretched to every corner of the ancient world, from the backwater kingdom of Macedonia to the Hellenic world, Persia, and ultimately to India – all before his untimely death at age 33. Alexander believed that his empire would stop only when he reached the Pacific Ocean. But stories of both real and legendary events from his life have kept him evergreen in our imaginations with a legacy that has meant something different to every era: In the Middle Ages he became an exemplar of knightly chivalry, he was a star of Renaissance paintings, and by the early 20th century he’d even come to resemble an English gentleman. But who was he in his own time?

In Alexander the Great, Anthony Everitt judges Alexander’s life against the criteria of his own age and considers all his contradictions. We meet the Macedonian prince who was naturally inquisitive and fascinated by science and exploration, as well as the man who enjoyed the arts and used Homer’s great epic, the Iliad, as a bible. As his empire grew, Alexander exhibited respect for the traditions of his new subjects and careful judgment in administering rule over his vast territory. But his career also had a dark side. An inveterate conqueror who in his short life built the largest empire up to that point in history, Alexander glorified war and was known to commit acts of remarkable cruelty.

jan 122020
 

Enda en interessant lydbok er “fortært”. Her kan man se den på Audibles nettsider – og lese dette om den:

For well over 2,000 years, much of our fundamental “desire to know” has focused on science. Our commitment to science and technology has been so profound that these stand as probably the most powerful influences on human culture. To truly understand our Western heritage, our contemporary society, and ourselves as individuals, we need to know what science is and how it developed.

In this 36-lecture series, one of science’s most acclaimed teachers takes you through science’s complex evolution of thought and discovery, often originating from ideas that by today’s technological perspective might be considered ridiculous or humorous, although many are still relevant today. You’ll consider science’s often fascinating history, from ancient times to the Scientific Revolution, in terms of several penetrating questions, including two of special importance: Who pursued science, and why? What happened, and why?

In the hands of Professor Principe, the history of science becomes far more than just a litany of dates, significant individuals, and breakthrough discoveries. In examining the evolution of science, he restores the vitally important context that has been lost from the discussion, showing how science is characterized by ideas that link eras widely separated in time. A primary theme is the relationship between science and religion. Today, we tend to see the two as separate and even antagonistic. Theology, in fact, is a principal motivator for scientific inquiry. And in the Middle Ages, Christianity and Islam were of paramount importance in preserving and furthering scientific knowledge.

jan 092020
 

New Catholic Register omtaler et program som ble sendt på tysk fjernsyn 3. januar, og som beskriver pave Benedikts liv både nå i Vatikanet og tidligere. Se omtalen av programmet og selve programmet (på tysk). De skriver bl.a.:

Benedict XVI appears mentally alert but noticeably frailer and almost unable to speak in a new German television documentary providing a rare glimpse into his daily life.

In the half-hour film aired on Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian state television) on Jan. 3, the 92-year-old Pope Emeritus speaks only three times but in a barely audible voice.

“I used to have a great voice, now it doesn’t work anymore,” Benedict says in the program, which was filmed at his Mater Ecclesiae monastery residence in the Vatican.

“One sees that his strength isn’t there anymore,” his personal secretary Archbishop Georg Gänswein says in the program. “His voice is simply broken, weaker” but he adds that what is “important” to him is “good company” which “lifts his heart” and that he is “at peace with himself.”

His physical appearance has deteriorated considerably over the past couple of years: the documentary shows Benedict thanking guests at his 90th birthday celebration in 2017 with a stronger though still frail voice.

The bulk of the program, entitled “Little Bavaria in the Vatican” and filmed in September, is biographical, recalling Joseph Ratzinger’s childhood, the main events of his life and his personal preferences, interspersed with past interviews with him as cardinal and pope. … …

jan 062020
 

Det er som nevnt mest historiske bøker jeg har hørt og lest under årets frimåned, og denne om Svarteduden var ganske interessant. På Audibles nettsider kan man lese om den:

Many of us know the Black Death as a catastrophic event of the medieval world. But the Black Death was arguably the most significant event in Western history, profoundly affecting every aspect of human life, from the economic and social to the political, religious, and cultural. In its wake the plague left a world that was utterly changed, forever altering the traditional structure of European societies and forcing a rethinking of every single system of Western civilization: food production and trade, the church, political institutions, law, art, and more. In large measure, by the profundity of the changes it brought, the Black Death produced the modern world we live in today.

While the story of the Black Death is one of destruction and loss, its breathtaking scope and effects make it one of the most compelling and deeply intriguing episodes in human history. Understanding the remarkable unfolding of the plague and its aftermath provides a highly revealing window not only on the medieval world but also on the forces that brought about the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and modernity itself.

Speaking to the full magnitude of this world-changing historical moment, The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague, taught by celebrated medievalist Dorsey Armstrong of Purdue University, takes you on an unforgettable excursion into the time period of the plague, its full human repercussions, and its transformative effects on European civilization.