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The 12th Century Renaissance

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the origins and impact of the philosophical, scientific, religious and architectural changes of the 12th century in western Europe.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the changes in the intellectual world of Western Europe in the 12th Century, and their origins. This was a time of Crusades, the formation of states, the start of Gothic architecture, a reconnection with Roman and Greek learning and their Arabic development and the start of the European universities, and has become known as The 12th Century Renaissance.

The image above is part of Notre-Dame de la Belle-Verrière, Chartres Cathedral, from 1180.


Laura Ashe
Associate Professor of English at Worcester College, University of Oxford

Elisabeth van Houts
Honorary Professor of European Medieval History at the University of Cambridge


Giles Gasper
Reader in Medieval History at Durham University

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

49 minutes

Last on

Thu 20 Oct 2016 21:30


Laura Ashe at the University of Oxford

Elisabeth van Houts at the University of Cambridge

Giles Gasper at Durham University

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Ordered Universe Project

Renaissance of the 12th century - Wikipedia



Peter Abelard (trans. Betty Radice), The Letters of Abelard and Heloise (Penguin Classics, 2003)

Laura Ashe, Conquest and Transformation: The Oxford English Literary History vol. 1: 1000-1350 (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2017)

Robert L. Benson and Giles Constable (eds.), Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century (Clarendon Press, 1982)

William Chester Jordan, Europe in the High Middle Ages (Penguin Press, 2011)

Georges Duby, Women of the Twelfth Century (Polity Press, 1998)

Edward Grant, The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional and Intellectual Contexts (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Fiona Griffiths, The Garden of Delights: Reform and Renaissance for Women in the Twelfth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007)

James Hannam, God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science (Icon Books Ltd, 2010)

C. Stephen Jaeger, The Envy of Angels: Cathedral Schools and Social Ideals in Medieval Europe 950-1200 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000)

Colin Morris, The Discovery of the Individual, 1050-1200 (University of Toronto Press, 1987)

Thomas F. X. Noble and John van Engen (eds.), European Transformations: The Long Twelfth Century (University of Notre Dame Press, 2013)

Robert Swanson, The Twelfth-Century Renaissance (Manchester University Press, 1999)


Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Laura Ashe
Interviewed Guest Elisabeth van Houts
Interviewed Guest Giles Gasper
Producer Simon Tillotson


  • Thu 20 Oct 2016 09:00
  • Thu 20 Oct 2016 21:30

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