"I am…" From this simple dictum comes the history of human experience. If ever there were more powerful words defining the creation of man they've not been discovered. From procreation to defecation man is remarkably similar to any common beast. But on this uniquely formed ability of consciousness man is elevated to a special status in the world that even the primitive noticed. Perhaps it is more simply put, that his noticing was the very point. Pictures scratched into a cave wall, songs sung to the gods, no other creature on earth possesses the self-awareness to create. To study the arts, is to study the very thing that makes us human.


How quickly man came to master the world. From the Greeks to eventually the Roman Empire, humanity had forever become the pinicle of god's creation. Though the accomplishments of those great states lay in ruins today, their ideas would return time and again to form a foundation onwhich all Western culture would continue to develop. But alas, even great empires have a shelf-life and the end of Rome was not a plesant experance for the proud West. The Middle Ages - or Dark Age as it would also come to be called - was uncerimously ushered in on the ashes of Rome. For a thousand years Western culture waxed and waned between destructive wars of feudalism, plagues, and famine. Where some choose the immediate gradifacation of debotcury for fear of soon death, others choose a life of intense Christian faith for the same reason. Magnificent cathedrals tower over Europe as a testimony to man's faith, hope...and perhaps even a little fear, in God.


A light however shone for mankind. On the horizian - just beyond one of the worse outbreaks of the Black Death - a new beginning was looming. Necessity is the mother of invention, so when a plague induced shortage of labor resulted in work undone, society begins to discover more efficent means of production. Machines replace hand written books, and across all culture sprouts of a rebirth are seen. Man had reached a Renaissance. First rediscovering their pre-medieval roots humanity then forged into the future step by step laying the foundation for the modern era.



Lecture Images

An easy to use list of all images used in the lecture