Medieval Europe

Medieval Europe

by Chris Wickham


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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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300228823
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 08/29/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 120,300
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Chris Wickham is Chichele Professor of Medieval History, University of Oxford. He lives in Birmingham, UK.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations and maps vi

Acknowledgements viii

1 A new look at the middle ages 1

2 Rome and its western successors, 500-750 22

3 Crisis and transformation in the east, 500-850/1000 43

4 The Carolingian experiment, 750-1000 61

5 The expansion of Christian Europe, 500-1100 80

6 Reshaping western Europe, 1000-1150 99

7 The long economic boom, 950-1300 121

8 The ambiguities of political reconstruction, 1150-1300 141

9 1204: the failure of alternatives 170

10 Defining society: gender and community in late medieval Europe 186

11 Money, war and death, 1350-1500 210

12 Rethinking politics, 1350-1500 235

13 Conclusion 252

Notes 258

Bibliography 288

Index 316

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