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.
Challenging the way the Middle Ages have been treated in general histories of sexuality, Sexuality in Medieval Europe shows how views at the time were conflicted and complicated; there was no single medieval attitude towards sexuality any more than there is one modern attitude. Focusing on marital sexual activity, as well as behavior that was seen as transgressive, the chapters cover such topics as chastity, the role of the church, and non-reproductive activity. Combining an overview of research on the topic with original interpretations, Ruth Mazo Karras demonstrates that medieval culture developed sexual identities that were quite distinct from the identities we think of today, yet were still ancestral to our own. Using a wide collection of evidence from the late antique period until the fifteenth century, this fully revised third edition has been updated to include the latest scholarship throughout, including expanded coverage of Islamic and Jewish cultures and new ideas on how medieval sexual violence relates to the modern world. A new companion website supplements the text featuring an interactive timeline of key events, links to key primary sources, and references to further reading. Sexuality in Medieval Europe is essential reading for those who study medieval history and culture.
R.C. Davis provided the classic account of the European medieval world; equipping generations of undergraduate and ‘A’ level students with sufficient grasp of the period to debate diverse historical perspectives and reputations. His book has been important grounding for both modernists required to take a course in medieval history, and those who seek to specialise in the medieval period. In updating this classic work to a third edition, the additional author now enables students to see history in action; the diverse viewpoints and important research that has been undertaken since Davis’ second edition, and progressed historical understanding. Each of Davis original chapters now concludes with a ‘new directions and developments’ section by Professor RI Moore, Emeritus of Newcastle University. A key work updated in a method that both enhances subject understanding and sets important research in its wider context. A vital resource, now up-to-date for generations of historians to come.
Scholars from Europe and North America convened at Harvard University in 2004 for an interdisciplinary conference aimed at Rethinking the Early Middle Ages. What are the issues and techniques of research defining the field today, and what will they be tom
'likely to become the standard work on the subject.' -Good Book Guide
In the popular imagination, the Middle Ages are often associated with lawlessness. However, historians have long recognized that medieval culture was characterized by an enormous respect for law and legal procedure. This book makes the case that one cannot understand the era's cultural trends without considering the profound development of law.
How did medieval society deal with private justice, with grudges, and with violent emotions? This ground-breaking reader collects for the first time a number of unpublished or difficult-to-find texts that address violence and emotion in the Middle Ages. The sources collected here illustrate the power and reach of the language of vengeance in medieval European society. They span the early, high, and later middle ages, and capture a range of perspectives including legal sources, learned commentaries, narratives, and documents of practice. Though social elites necessarily figure prominently in all medieval sources, sources concerning relatively low-status individuals and sources pertaining to women are included. The sources range from saints' lives that illustrate the idea of vengeance to later medieval court records concerning vengeful practices. A secondary goal of the collection is to illustrate the prominence of mechanisms for peacemaking in medieval European society. The introduction traces recent scholarly developments in the study of vengeance and discusses the significance of these concepts for medieval political and social history.
From women's medicine and the writings of Christine de Pizan to the lives of market and tradeswomen and the idealization of virginity, gender and social status dictated all aspects of women's lives during the middle ages. A cross-disciplinary resource, Women and Gender in Medieval Europe examines the daily reality of medieval women from all walks of life in Europe between 450 CE and 1500 CE, i.e., from the fall of the Roman Empire to the discovery of the Americas. Moving beyond biographies of famous noble women of the middles ages, the scope of this important reference work is vast and provides a comprehensive understanding of medieval women's lives and experiences. Masculinity in the middle ages is also addressed to provide important context for understanding women's roles. Entries that range from 250 words to 4,500 words in length thoroughly explore topics in the following areas: · Art and Architecture · Countries, Realms, and Regions · Daily Life · Documentary Sources · Economics · Education and Learning · Gender and Sexuality · Historiography · Law · Literature · Medicine and Science · Music and Dance · Persons · Philosophy · Politics · Political Figures · Religion and Theology · Religious Figures · Social Organization and Status Written by renowned international scholars, Women and Gender in Medieval Europe is the latest in the Routledge Encyclopedias of the Middle Ages. Easily accessible in an A-to-Z format, students, researchers, and scholars will find this outstanding reference work to be an invaluable resource on women in Medieval Europe.
Throughout the Middle Ages and early modern Europe theological uniformity was synonymous with social cohesion in societies that regarded themselves as bound together at their most fundamental levels by a religion. To maintain a belief in opposition to the orthodoxy was to set oneself in opposition not merely to church and state but to a whole culture in all of its manifestations. From the eleventh century to the fifteenth, however, dissenting movements appeared with greater frequency, attracted more followers, acquired philosophical as well as theological dimensions, and occupied more and more the time and the minds of religious and civil authorities. In the perception of dissent and in the steps taken to deal with it lies the history of medieval heresy and the force it exerted on religious, social, and political communities long after the Middle Ages. In this volume, Edward Peters makes available the most compact and wide-ranging collection of source materials in translation on medieval orthodoxy and heterodoxy in social context.
Urban ceremonial in the Middle Ages took various forms and served a number of different ends--private, collegial, political, and religious. Broadly construed, urban ceremonial included public functions of multiple sorts. From private, but public, celebrations of births, marriages, and deaths to the grand entries of rulers into cities, the spectacles were designed to impress events on collective memory. - from the Introduction.
In medieval Europe, the word fama denoted both talk (what was commonly said about a person or event) and an individual's ensuing reputation (one's fama). Although talk by others was no doubt often feared, it was also valued and even cultivated as a vehicle for shaping one's status. People had to think about how to "manage" their fama, which played an essential role in the medieval culture of appearances.At the same time, however, institutions such as law courts and the church, alarmed by the power of talk, sought increasingly to regulate it. Christian moral discourse, literary and visual representation, juristic manuals, and court records reflected concern about talk. This book's authors consider how talk was created and entered into memory. They address such topics as fama's relation to secular law and the preoccupations of the church, its impact on women's lives, and its capacity to shape the concept of literary authorship.
This book traces across the millennium of the Middle Ages the gradual crystallisation of a new and distinctive European identity. Koenigsberger covers the Islamic, Byzantine and central Asian worlds in his account which explains Europe's progression from chaos and collapse to the point where it was set to rule much of the world.
Death in Medieval Europe: Death Scripted and Death Choreographed explores new cultural research into death and funeral practices in medieval Europe and demonstrates the important relationship between death and the world of the living in the Middle Ages. Across ten chapters, the articles in this volume survey the cultural effects of death. This volume explores overarching topics such as burials, commemorations, revenants, mourning practices and funerals, capital punishment, suspiscious death, and death registrations using case studies from across Europe including England, Iceland, and Spain. Together these chapters discuss how death was ritualised and choreographed, but also how it was expressed in writing throughout various documentary sources including wills and death registries. In each instance, records are analysed through a cultural framework to better understand the importance of the authors of death and their audience. Drawing together and building upon the latest scholarship, this book is essential reading for all students and academics of death in the medieval period.
This monumental study of medieval law and sexual conduct explores the origin and develpment of the Christian church's sex law and the systems of belief upon which that law rested. Focusing on the Church's own legal system of canon law, James A. Brundage offers a comprehensive history of legal doctrines–covering the millennium from A.D. 500 to 1500–concerning a wide variety of sexual behavior, including marital sex, adultery, homosexuality, concubinage, prostitution, masturbation, and incest. His survey makes strikingly clear how the system of sexual control in a world we have half-forgotten has shaped the world in which we live today. The regulation of marriage and divorce as we know it today, together with the outlawing of bigamy and polygamy and the imposition of criminal sanctions on such activities as sodomy, fellatio, cunnilingus, and bestiality, are all based in large measure upon ideas and beliefs about sexual morality that became law in Christian Europe in the Middle Ages. "Brundage's book is consistently learned, enormously useful, and frequently entertaining. It is the best we have on the relationships between theological norms, legal principles, and sexual practice."—Peter Iver Kaufman, Church History
This is a full-scale study of the history of money, not merely of coinage, to have been written for medieval Europe. The book is not limited to one country, or to any one period or theme, but extracts the most important elements for the historian across the broadest possible canvas. Its scope extends from the mining of precious metals on the one hand, to banking, including the use of cheques and bills of exchange, on the other. Chapters are arranged chronologically, rather than regionally or thematically, and offer a detailed picture of the many and changing roles played by money, in all its forms, in all parts of Europe throughout the Middle Ages. Thus money is seen as having differing values for differing parts of individual societies. The book shows money moving and changing as a result of war and trade and other political, economic and ecclesiastical activities without regard for national barriers or the supposed separation between 'East' and 'West'.
The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe provides a comprehensive overview of the gender rules encountered in Europe in the period between approximately 500 and 1500 C.E. The essays collected in this volume speak to interpretative challenges common to all fields of women's and gender history - that is, how best to uncover the experiences of ordinary people from archives formed mainly by and about elite males, and how to combine social histories of lived experiences with cultural histories of gendered discourses and identities. The collection focuses on Western Europe in the Middle Ages but offers some consideration of medieval Islam and Byzantium. The Handbook is structured into seven sections: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thought; law in theory and practice; domestic life and material culture; labour, land, and economy; bodies and sexualities; gender and holiness; and the interplay of continuity and change throughout the medieval period. It contains material from some of the foremost scholars in this field, and it not only serves as the major reference text in medieval and gender studies, but also provides an agenda for future new research.
Praise for the first edition: 'It is difficult to imagine another book in which one could find all this diverse material, and no doubt Amt's collection, in its richness, and in its genuine clarity and simplicity will takes prominent place in our expanded, diversified medieval curriculum, a curriculum that takes class, gender, and ethnicity as central to an understanding of world cultural history.' - The Medieval Review Long considered to be a definitive and truly groundbreaking collection of sources, Women’s Lives in Medieval Europe uniquely presents the everyday lives and experiences of women in the Middle Ages. This indispensible text has now been thoroughly updated and expanded to reflect new research, and includes previously unavailable source material. This new edition includes expanded sections on marriage and sexuality, and on peasant women and townswomen, as well as a new section on women and the law. There are brief introductions both to the period and to the individual documents, study questions to accompany each reading, a glossary of terms and a fully updated bibliography. Working within a multi-cultural framework, the book focuses not just on the Christian majority, but also present material about women in minority groups in Europe, such as Jews, Muslims, and those considered to be heretics. Incorporating both the laws, regulations and religious texts that shaped the way women lived their lives, and personal narratives by and about medieval women, the book is unique in examining women’s lives through the lens of daily activities, and in doing so as far as possible through the voices of women themselves.
From emperors and queens to artists and world travelers, from popes and scholars to saints and heretics, Key Figures in Medieval Europe brings together in one volume the most important people who lived in medieval Europe between 500 and 1500. Gathered from the biographical entries from the on-going series, the Routledge Encyclopedias of the Middle Ages, these A-Z biographical entries discuss the lives of over 575 individuals who have had a historical impact in such areas as politics, religion, or the arts. Individuals from places such as medieval England, France, Germany, Iberia, Italy, and Scandinavia are included as well as those from the Jewish and Islamic worlds. A thematic outline is included that lists people not only by categories, but also by regions. For a full list of entries, contributors, and more, visit the Routledge Encyclopedias of the Middle Ages website.

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