Try our newest plan – access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Plus plan is $7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $29.95

Buy for $29.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Was King Arthur a real person? What about Robin Hood? Is the Holy Grail a cup, or something else, altogether? Did Europeans really burn millions of people at the stake for witchcraft, in the past? These are just a few of the questions you will explore with the help of medieval scholar Dorsey Armstrong as she reveals the truth about the stories we continue to tell about the medieval period. Some contain nuggets of truth, others are wholly fabricated, but all of them can tell us something about the past.

From films like Braveheart and Excalibur to literature such as Ivanhoe and Morte d’Arthur, the years between 500 and 1500 have generated amazing stories of knights and damsels, superstitions and magic; some of these stories even made it into our grade school history curriculum. But what were those years really like? Known, somewhat inaccurately, as the “Middle Ages,” this period was not merely a transition from Roman antiquity to the Renaissance, but a vibrant time full of people just as curious, innovative, malicious, joyful, confused, ambitious, complex - in other words, just as human - as in any other period of history.

The 10 enlightening (and often humorous) lectures of Medieval Myths and Mysteries will show you how far from the “dark” times of legend these centuries were. Uncover the facts about the Knights Templar. Reveal the truth behind the tales of legendary creatures like the Questing Beast and the unicorn. Trace the events of the Black Death and the ways it altered the world in its wake, and much more. 

With Professor Armstrong, you will dig deep into the ways that later generations reshaped the narrative of the medieval years and perpetuated the myths of a simpler and less civilized age, which was, in fact, much richer and more complex than many of us have been led to believe.

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

Our favorite moments from Medieval Myths & Mysteries

Chapter 2, Lecture 1: Misconceptions about the Middle Ages
  • Chapter 2, Lecture 1: Misconceptions about the Middle Ages
Two conflicting views of the Middle Ages
-0.00
Chapter 4, Lecture 3: The Holy Grail
  • Chapter 4, Lecture 3: The Holy Grail
"Who was King Arthur?"
-0.00
Chapter 11, Lecture 10: The Medieval World and Game of Thrones
  • Chapter 11, Lecture 10: The Medieval World and Game of Thrones
Discovering history through Game of Thrones.
-0.00
  • Chapter 2, Lecture 1: Misconceptions about the Middle Ages
  • Two conflicting views of the Middle Ages
  • Chapter 4, Lecture 3: The Holy Grail
  • "Who was King Arthur?"
  • Chapter 11, Lecture 10: The Medieval World and Game of Thrones
  • Discovering history through Game of Thrones.

Publisher's Summary

Was King Arthur a real person? What about Robin Hood? Is the Holy Grail a cup, or something else, altogether? Did Europeans really burn millions of people at the stake for witchcraft, in the past? These are just a few of the questions you will explore with the help of medieval scholar Dorsey Armstrong as she reveals the truth about the stories we continue to tell about the medieval period. Some contain nuggets of truth, others are wholly fabricated, but all of them can tell us something about the past.

From films like Braveheart and Excalibur to literature such as Ivanhoe and Morte d’Arthur, the years between 500 and 1500 have generated amazing stories of knights and damsels, superstitions and magic; some of these stories even made it into our grade school history curriculum. But what were those years really like? Known, somewhat inaccurately, as the “Middle Ages,” this period was not merely a transition from Roman antiquity to the Renaissance, but a vibrant time full of people just as curious, innovative, malicious, joyful, confused, ambitious, complex - in other words, just as human - as in any other period of history.

The 10 enlightening (and often humorous) lectures of Medieval Myths and Mysteries will show you how far from the “dark” times of legend these centuries were. Uncover the facts about the Knights Templar. Reveal the truth behind the tales of legendary creatures like the Questing Beast and the unicorn. Trace the events of the Black Death and the ways it altered the world in its wake, and much more. 

With Professor Armstrong, you will dig deep into the ways that later generations reshaped the narrative of the medieval years and perpetuated the myths of a simpler and less civilized age, which was, in fact, much richer and more complex than many of us have been led to believe.

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.
.

About the Professor

Dr. Dorsey Armstrong is professor of English and medieval literature at Purdue University, where she has taught since 2002. The holder of an AB in English and creative writing from Stanford University and a PhD in medieval literature from Duke University, she also taught at Centenary College of Louisiana and at California State University, Long Beach. Dorsey applied her extensive knowledge to audio lectures on Medieval Myths & Mysteries. Her research interests include medieval women writers, late-medieval print culture, and the Arthurian legend, on which she has published extensively and includes the 2009 book Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur: A New Modern English Translation Based on the Winchester Manuscript and Gender and the Chivalric Community in Malory's Morte d'Arthur, published in 2003. In January 2009, she became editor-in-chief of the academic journal Arthuriana, which publishes the most cutting-edge research on the legend of King Arthur, from its medieval origins to modern scholarship.

Featured Article: Travel to the Middle Ages with These Audiobooks and Podcasts


The Medieval Era, the tumultuous centuries from the fall of the Roman Empire to the advent of the Enlightenment, is one of the most alluring and intriguing periods of human history. Ready to travel back in time? Check out these audiobooks and podcasts, which cover everything from Icelandic sagas and Medieval murder to the queens of Medieval England and the scientific advancements of the Arab World.

What listeners say about Medieval Myths & Mysteries

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,971
  • 4 Stars
    688
  • 3 Stars
    188
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    29
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,820
  • 4 Stars
    453
  • 3 Stars
    112
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    31
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,627
  • 4 Stars
    586
  • 3 Stars
    154
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    24

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but centered on Britain

However interesting, it is mainly centered in Britain myths and legends. I missed more information on other events happening in other regions. The main themes are king Arthur, Robin Hood, the black plague, beasts & comparison between medieval Britain and Game of Thrones. I know is a long period where many things happened and found it really interesting, however for the sake of consistency it should be called "Myths and Legends of Medieval Britain".

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Unprofessional audiobook format

I couldn't forward, there weren't chapters. Once the book stopped playing due to sleep timer, it reverted to lecture one which I would have to listen to to get to next lecture. I don't have any interest in the knights templar.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Perfectly acceptable.

Armstrong seems quite pleased with herself - more power to her - but her energy isn’t as infectious as she assumes, and she spends a good amount of time correcting errors I’ve yet to hear even a single person make. Still, I’d listen to other courses from her; this one felt a bit rushed and little shallow, but held promise enough to pique my interest. Here’s hoping the next feels more substantial.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love her lectures

I've listened to Professor Armstrong's lectures before and have always thoroughly enjoyed them. I've actually listened multiple times to her King Arthur and Black plague ones. This was a lot of fun, great researched material, & I adore the presenter.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • rs
  • 05-13-20

written with a tone of arrogance

seemed like my kind of book but I lost it when she talked about nutty conspiracy theorists but believes that Jesus was a real person and not a copy story of Egypt's horus god.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well read and researched

The author did a good job with reseaching and reading her work. Well done on this book.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Can't get enough of this!

My library has MANY books about Medieval times. This is by far the best . Dorsey Armstrong has hit this one out of the park. I felt totally immersed in the Dark Ages while listening . Her presentation and content was alive and refreshingly entertaining, yet educational and thought provoking. I'm looking forward to listening to this many times over.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

juvenile narration

When the author uses "totally" - replete with valley girl accent - she loses credibility. The legends are boring and have been debunked many times already. Did not learn anything new and the juvenile style of narration drove me crazy. Struggled to make it to half way mark. Waste of time.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

You just changed the name.

It the same book as medieval world. That all I got to say. Good by.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Good Starting Point

I have listened to most of Prof. Armstrong's other lectures, and this is a good primer for those. There's not a lot of new information if you've listened to all the other Great Courses Lecture's she's done, but if you can get a feel for the time period without having to dedicate yourself to 12-20 hours of listening. It's a good place to start, and even if you have listened to the other courses, there are enough new things that it shouldn't bore you.
Over all a good place to start if you're interesting in the Medieval period.

6 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-06-21

Well I never knew that!!

I don’t know whether this is aimed at an audience without even the most basic knowledge of history but frankly I expect the author to recognise that we are not all stupid. Among other things it is explained that the Knights Templars had nothing to do with the Da Vinci Code (gosh) that Medieval people actually washed their hands (surely not)and didn’t burn vast numbers of witches (wrong era) I found such patronising attitudes frankly insulting. Can we have some real depth please.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jill Kirtley
  • Jill Kirtley
  • 07-28-20

Fantastic!

It’s a highly informative and often humorous insight into Medieval Myths, and Mysteries, and it has certainly whet my appetite for more things Medieval. Great narration too!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Catarina Pucci
  • Catarina Pucci
  • 08-11-21

Historically accurate yet super entertaining

Professor Dorsey Armstrong gives a show performance with very interesting historical facts full of vivid accounts of facts, myths and mysteries!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for william francis
  • william francis
  • 03-09-22

really dissatisfied

tried to find something boring to go to sleep to and ended up with an insightful, well balanced and engaging trip into misunderstood tropes and alternative spins on popular myths. no stars. am still awake

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-20-22

This is enlightening and entertaining

Excellent delivery of historical material in a way that would have made History my favourite subject.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-21-22

disappointed

I thought i was going to be treated to a series of interesting lectures on different myths however I was disappointed to find that every single chapters subject was a comparison to King Arthur's legend.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-22-21

I couldn't get past the first chapter

In the introduction, the author/narrator goes on and on about all her qualifications and expertise. I skipped past this as the length of it was so self-indulgent and unneccesary. In the first chapter the narrator talks to the listeners as though we are all complete imbeciles. Comments along the lines of "medieval times were not shepherds dancing around in fields playing their pipes". Has anyone ever suggested that that's how they imagine medieval times to have been?? She patrionises the listener. I tried twice but couldn't get past her condescending attitude.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dennis Sommers
  • Dennis Sommers
  • 08-02-21

Very good but skip the real myths!

Interesting enough, but by no means the presenter’s best series. Some of the material- Arthur, the grail and Robin Hood - really shouldn’t constitute serious history but that’s not how the course is advertised. Anything by Dosey Anderson is good-humoured and contains gems I would’t want to miss, and the fact that it’s complimentary is an enormous bonus.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-22-22

loved it.

I liked this book alot more than I thought I would. I thought ''ok, it might be interesting, let's give it a go''. I loved it, extremely interesting, going from the knights templars to game of thrones, the holy grail to the black death was captivating, I couldn't stop listening and the narrator has a nice, easy to listen to voice which makes all the difference when it comes to audiobooks.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Katy
  • Katy
  • 09-21-22

Very good narrator.

Whilst this repeats a little from her other Great Courses I would still say this is excellent and the narrator is my favourite in the series.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-22

Listened during road trip

Narration good, could do without the pop culture type comments (which will become quickly dated) unfortunately. Otherwise an excellent listen, interesting, concise and so easy to listen to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for GTB
  • GTB
  • 08-17-22

Great listen about Medieval Myths etc

As always Dorsey explains and narrates her subject with great clarity and enthusiasm. I very much enjoy listening to her sessions. As an extra bonus, she explains George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones - the probable parallels in British and world history that Martin draws from in his writing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Katherine Trees
  • Katherine Trees
  • 05-08-22

Fascinating

Great overview and so well performed. It has made me much more interested into the medieval period. I highly recommend!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kevin P
  • Kevin P
  • 11-21-21

Great book that debunks common misconceptions

This was an entertaining book that debunked a lot of common misconceptions about medieval myths and mysteries - from King Arthur to mythical creatures. If there's one thing you learn from this book it would be that medieval humans are not too far off from modern humans. Armstrong takes the reader on an interesting journey and even provides a bit of background into Game of Thrones.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jason G Cody
  • Jason G Cody
  • 09-23-21

great listen

great content and reading, an interesting take on a broad range of subjects from the period.

.