The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Middle Ages, Volume 2
This is the long-anticipated second volume of one of the finest general introductions to the medieval world of recent times, first published in French by Armand Colin. Lavishly illustrated, with many accompanying maps and charts, each volume presents a synthesis of current scholarly research and interpretation, carefully checked, translated, and revised for an English-speaking readership. Volume 2 begins at the turn of the millennium and covers the extraordinary rebirth of Europe, in terms of demographic expansion, agrarian settlement and organization, the establishment of towns and villages, the ascendancy of the feudal system, the appearance of formal states and kingdoms, and the dramatic controlling ascendancy of the Western Church. In the East, despite the external appearance of grandeur, the Islamic countries were being torn apart by mutual rivalry, while the Byzantine empire lost massive border territories through political and economic incompetence. As in Volumes 1 (350-950) and 3 (1250-1520), full coverage is given to both East and West, and their artistic heritage is vividly displayed in many of the color plates. A comprehensive bibliography is also included as an aid to further investigation, whether by general readers or by students of the period.
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