The Worlds of Medieval Europe

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-04-11
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Deftly written and beautifully illustrated, The Worlds of Medieval Europe,Second Edition, presents a distinctive and nuanced portrayal of a western worldthat was sharply divided between its northern and southern aspects. Byintegrating the histories of the Islamic and Byzantine worlds into the mainnarrative, author Clifford R. Backman offers an insightful, detailed, and oftenwitty look at the continuum of interaction--social, cultural, intellectual, andcommercial--that existed among all three societies. Filled with relevant primary documents, this compelling volume surpassestraditional textbook representations of the Middle Ages by balancing theconventional focus on political affairs, especially those of northern Europe,with equally detailed attention to medieval society as it developed in theMediterranean. In addition, Backman describes the ways in which the medievalLatin West attempted to understand the unified and rational structure of thehuman cosmos, which they believed existed beneath the observable diversity anddisorder of the world. This effort to re-create a human ordering of "unitythrough diversity" provides an essential key to understanding medieval Europeand the ways in which it regarded and reacted to the worlds around it. Thoroughly updated and redesigned, the second edition features an inviting andaccessible layout and integrates captivating new illustrations--nearly twice asmany as in the previous edition--to stimulate students' engagement with thematerial. Moreover, it offers a sophisticated analysis of gender, along with anintriguing examination of the tumultuous relationship between the Mediterraneanand Islam. An invaluable resource for both students and instructors, The Worlds ofMedieval Europe, Second Edition, is ideal for undergraduate courses in medievalhistory, Western civilization, the history of Christianity, and Muslim-Christianrelations. It also serves as an excellent supplement on the history of aspecific country in the medieval period, the history of medieval art, or thehistory of the European economy.

Author Biography

Clifford R. Backman is Professor of History at Boston University. He is author of The Decline and Fall of Medieval Sicily: Politics, Economy, and Religion in the Reign of Frederick III, 1296-1327 (1995). He is currently writing a biography of James II of the Crown of Aragon.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introduction: Why the Middle Ages Matterp. xv
The Early Middle Ages: The Third through Ninth Centuries
The Roman World at Its Heightp. 3
The Geography of Empirep. 4
The Role of the Militaryp. 7
Roman Societyp. 8
Roman Governmentp. 11
The Challenges of the Third Centuryp. 14
Reform, Recovery, Persecution, and Favorp. 16
Suggested Readingp. 21
The Rise of Christianityp. 23
Before Christp. 25
The Growth of the New Religionp. 27
The Problem of Persecutionp. 34
The Problem of Heresyp. 36
Constantine and Theodosius: An Imperial Churchp. 38
Responses to Imperializationp. 43
Suggested Readingp. 50
Early Germanic Societyp. 53
Germanic Lifep. 54
Migrations and Invasionsp. 60
Europe's First Kingdomsp. 66
Germanic Christianity and the Fourth "Doctor of the Church"p. 75
Suggested Readingp. 78
Cloister and Culturep. 80
The Rise of Monasticism in the Eastp. 80
The Rise of Monasticism in the Westp. 85
Cultural Life in the West: Cassiodorus, Boethius, and St. Benedictp. 92
Suggested Readingp. 99
The Emergence of the Medieval Worldsp. 102
Continuity and Change in Northern Europep. 103
Continuity and Change in the Mediterraneanp. 111
The Rise of Islamp. 120
A Tripartite Worldp. 127
Suggested Readingp. 129
The Carolingian Erap. 131
The "Do-Nothing" Kings and the Rise of the Carolingiansp. 132
The Carolingian Monarchyp. 136
Carolingian Administrationp. 144
Carolingian Societyp. 150
The Carolingian Cultural Renewalp. 155
Suggested Readingp. 162
The Central Middle Ages: The Tenth through Twelfth Centuries
The Time of Troublesp. 167
Trouble from Withinp. 167
Trouble from the Northp. 172
Trouble from the Eastp. 178
Trouble from the Southp. 182
The End of the World?p. 187
Suggested Readingp. 193
Revolutions on Land and Seap. 195
Changes on the Landp. 196
A Peasant Society Emergesp. 201
Changes on the Seap. 209
A Maritime Society Emergesp. 212
Suggested Readingp. 217
A New Europe Emerges: North and Southp. 219
The Rise of Feudal Societyp. 220
The First German Empirep. 226
The Rise of Capetian Francep. 233
The Anglo-Norman Realmp. 238
The Spanish Kingdomsp. 247
The Italian Scenep. 254
Suggested Readingp. 260
The Reform of the Churchp. 262
The Origins of the Reformp. 264
The Papal Revolutionp. 269
Christendom and the Eastp. 274
Monastic Reformsp. 285
Suggested Readingp. 289
The Renaissances of the Twelfth Centuryp. 291
Aristotle, Anselm, Abelard, and Ibn Rushdp. 292
Law and Canon Lawp. 298
The Recovery of Sciencep. 302
The Rise of the Universitiesp. 308
Courtly Life, Love, and Literaturep. 316
Suggested Readingp. 325
The Papal Monarchyp. 327
Church against State Once Morep. 328
The Consolidation of Papal Authorityp. 332
The Revival of Heresyp. 340
The Albigensian Crusade and the Origins of the Inquisitionp. 346
Suggested Readingp. 349
The Late Middle Ages: The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
Politics in the Thirteenth Centuryp. 353
The Rise of Representative Institutionsp. 355
England and Francep. 356
Germany, Italy, and the Papacyp. 364
The New Mediterranean Superpowersp. 367
Byzantium and Islam in the Thirteenth Centuryp. 371
Suggested Readingp. 375
Art and Intellect in the Thirteenth Centuryp. 377
Scholasticismp. 378
The Gothic Visionp. 384
Science and Technologyp. 389
Aspects of Popular Culturep. 399
Suggested Readingp. 403
Daily Life at the Medieval Zenithp. 405
Economic Changesp. 407
Peasants' Livesp. 412
Townsfolks' Livesp. 416
The Question of Literacyp. 427
Sex and the City (and the Town, and the Village)p. 429
Suggested Readingp. 434
Changes in Religious Lifep. 437
The Importance of Being Penitentp. 438
The Importance of Being Poorp. 442
The Humanization of Christ and the Cult of the Virginp. 447
Mysticismp. 450
Suggested Readingp. 458
The Crises of the Fourteenth Centuryp. 460
Economic Difficultiesp. 461
The Great Faminep. 465
The Black Deathp. 466
War Everywherep. 478
Challenges to Church Unityp. 485
Suggested Readingp. 493
Signs of a New Erap. 496
William of Ockhamp. 497
Marsilius of Paduap. 500
Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucerp. 502
Christine de Pizanp. 509
Suggested Readingp. 511
Two Epilogues
Closings In, Closings Outp. 515
The Last Years of Byzantiump. 517
The Search for a New Route to the Eastp. 520
Closing In on Muslim Spainp. 523
The Expulsions of the Jewsp. 525
Closing In Forever: The Forced Cloistering of Women Religiousp. 527
Suggested Readingp. 529
The Renaissance in Medieval Contextp. 531
Economies New and Old circa 1400p. 532
The Meaning of Humanismp. 534
The Canonization of Classical Culturep. 536
The Rejection of the Middle Agesp. 540
Suggested Readingp. 542
The Medieval Popesp. 543
The Carolingiansp. 550
The Capetiansp. 551
France: The Valoisp. 552
England: The Norman and Plantagenet Dynastiesp. 553
England: The Lancastrian And Yorkist Dynastiesp. 554
Germany: The Ottonian, Salian, And Hohenstaufen Dynastiesp. 555
Germany: The Late Medieval Emperorsp. 556
The Spanish Kingdoms, 1000-1250p. 557
The Spanish Kingdoms, 1250-1500p. 558
The Emperors In Constantinoplep. 559
Glossaryp. 561
Indexp. 571
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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