The Early Middle Ages, which marked the end of the Roman Empire and the creation of the kingdoms of Western Europe, was a period central to the formation of modern Europe. This period has often been drawn into a series of discourses that are more concerned with the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries than with the distant past.
In The Modern Origins of the Early Middle Ages, Ian Wood explores how Western Europeans have looked back to the Middle Ages to discover their origins and the origins of their society. Using historical records and writings about the Fall of Rome and the Early Middle Ages, Wood reveals how these influenced modern Europe and the way in which the continent thought about itself. He asks, and answers, the important question: why is early-medieval history, or indeed any pre-modern history, important? This volume promises to add to the debate on the significance of medieval history in the modern world.