Lecture 23, Great Scholastics:
The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries represented an era of significant change in the Medieval world. In the East, these centuries witnessed the final decline and collapse of the Byzantine Empire. Meanwhile, institutions in the West continued to develop and flourish. While European monarchs labored to build up their power and prestige, the pope continued to increase his authority over the church. At the same time, an influx of new ideas had ushered in a season of considerable academic achievement. As Europe began to establish its first universities, talented Scholastics appeared who dramatically shaped the trajectory of Christian thought.