The Worlds of Medieval Europe

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-05-28
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Deftly written and beautifully illustrated, The Worlds of Medieval Europe, Third Edition, presents a distinctive and nuanced portrayal of the Greater West during its medieval millennium. By integrating the histories of the Islamic and Byzantine worlds into the main narrative, author Clifford
R. Backman offers an insightful, detailed, and often witty look at the continuum of interaction--social, cultural, intellectual, and commercial--that existed among all three societies.

This compelling volume surpasses traditional textbook representations of the Middle Ages by balancing the conventional focus on political affairs, especially those of northern Europe, with equally detailed attention to medieval society as it developed in the Mediterranean. In addition, Backman
describes the ways in which the medieval Latin West attempted to understand the unified and rational structure of the human cosmos, which they believed existed beneath the observable diversity and disorder of the world. This effort to recreate a human ordering of "unity through diversity" provides
an essential key to understanding medieval Europe and the ways in which it regarded and reacted to the worlds around it.

Author Biography

Clifford R. Backman is Associate Professor of History at Boston University. He is the author of The Cultures of the West (OUP, 2013) and The Decline and Fall of Medieval Sicily: Politics, Economy, and Religion in the Reign of Frederick III, 1296-1327 (1995).

Table of Contents

List of maps
Preface to the Third Edition
Introduction: Why the Middle Ages Matter

Part One: The Early Middle Ages: The Third through Ninth Centuries

1. The Roman World at its Height
The Geography Of Empire
The Role Of The Military
Roman Society
Roman Government
The Challenges of The Third Century
Reform, Recovery, Persecution, and Favor
Suggested Reading

2. The Rise of Christianity
Before Christ
The Growth of the New Religion
The Problem of Persecution
The Problem of Heresy
Constantine and Theodosius: An Imperial Church
Responses to Imperialization
Suggested Reading

3. Early Germanic Society
Germanic Life
Migrations And Invasions
Europe's First Kingdoms
Germanic Christianity And The Fourth "Doctor Of The Church"
Suggested Reading

4. Cloister and Culture
The Rise Of Monasticism In The East
The Rise Of Monasticism In The West
Cultural Life in The West: Cassiodorus, Boethius, And St. Benedict
Suggested Reading

5. The Emergence of the Medieval Worlds
Continuity and Change in Northern Europe
Continuity and Change in the Mediterranean
The Rise of Islam
A Tripartite World
Suggested Reading

6. The Carolingian Era
The "Do-Nothing" Kings and the Rise of the Carolingians
The Carolingian Monarchy
Carolingian Administration
Carolingian Society
The Carolingian Cultural Renewal
Suggested Reading

Part Two: The Central Middle Ages: The Tenth through Twelfth Centuries

7. The Time of Troubles
Trouble From Within
Trouble From The North
Trouble From The East
Trouble From The South
The End Of The World?
Suggested Reading

8. Revolutions on Land and Sea
Changes on The Land
A Peasant Society Emerges
Changes on The Sea
a maritime society emerges
suggested reading

9. A New Europe Emerges: North and South
The Rise of Feudal Society
The First German Empire
The Rise of Capetian France
The Anglo-Norman Realm
The Spanish Kingdoms
The Italian Scene
Suggested Reading

10. The Reform Of The Church
The Origins Of The Reform
The Papal Revolution
Christendom And The East
Monastic Reforms
Suggested Reading

11. The Renaissances of the Twelfth Century
Aristotle, Anselm, Abelard, And Ibn Rushd
Law And Canon Law
The Recovery Of Science
The Rise Of The Universities
Courtly Life, Love, And Literature
Suggested Reading

12. The Papal Monarchy
Church Against State Once More
The Consolidation Of Papal Authority
The Revival Of Heresy
The Albigensian Crusade And The Origins Of The Inquisition
Suggested Reading

Part Three: The Late Middle Ages: The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

13. Politics in the Thirteenth Century
The Rise Of Representative Institutions
England And France
Germany, Italy, And The Papacy
The New Mediterranean Superpowers
Byzantium and Islam in the Thirteenth Century
Suggested Reading

14. Art and Intellect in the Thirteenth Century
From Romanesque to Gothic Vision
Science And Technology
Aspects of Popular Culture
Suggested Reading

15. Daily Life at the Medieval Zenith
Economic Changes
Peasants' Lives
Townsfolks' Lives
The Question of Literacy
Sex and the City (and the Town, and the Village)
Suggesting Reading

16. Changes in Religious Life
The Importance Of Being Penitent
The Importance Of Being Poor
The Humanization of Christ and the Cult of the Virgin
Suggested Reading

17. The Crises of the Fourteenth Century
Economic Difficulties
The Great Famine
The Black Death
War Everywhere
Challenges To Church Unity
Suggested Reading

18. Signs of a New Era
William of Ockham
Marsilius of Padua
Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer
Christine de Pizan
Suggested Reading

Part Four: Two Epilogues

19. Closings In, Closings Out
The Last Years of Byzantium
The Search for a New Route to the East
Closing In on Muslim Spain
The Expulsions of the Jews
Closing In Forever: The Forced Cloistering of Women Religious
Suggested Reading

20. The Renaissance In Medieval Context
Economies New and Old circa 1400
The Meaning of Humanism
The Canonization of Classical Culture
The Rejection of the Middle Ages
Suggested Reading

Appendix A: The Medieval Popes
Appendix B: The Carolingians
Appendix C: The Capetians
Appendix C: France: The Valois
Appendix E: England: The Norman and Plantagenet Dynasties
Appendix F: England: The Lancastrian and Yorkist Dynasties
Appendix G: Germany: The Ottonian, Salian, and Hohenstaufen Dynasties
Appendix H: Germany: The Late Medieval Emperors
Appendix I: The Spanish Kingdoms, 1000-1250
Appendix J: The Spanish Kingdoms, 1250-1500
Appendix K: The Emperors in Constantinople

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