A History of the Middle Ages, 300-1500

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2008 - History - 509 pages
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This clear and comprehensive text covers the Middle Ages from the classical era to the late medieval period. Distinguished historian John M. Riddle provides a cogent analysis of the rulers, wars, and events both natural and human that defined the medieval era. Taking a broad geographical perspective, Riddle includes northern and eastern Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic states. Each, he convincingly shows, offered values and institutions religious devotion, toleration and intolerance, laws, ways of thinking, and changing roles of women that presaged modernity. In addition to traditional topics of pen, sword, and word, the author explores other driving forces such as science, religion, and technology in ways that previous textbooks have not. He also examines such often-overlooked issues as medieval gender roles and medicine and seminal events such as the crusades from the vantage point of both Muslims and eastern and western Christians. In addition to a thorough chronological narrative, the text offers humanizing features to engage students. Each chapter opens with a theme-setting vignette about the lives of ordinary and extraordinary people. The book also introduces students to key controversies and themes in historiography by featuring in each chapter a prominent medieval historian and how his or her ideas have shaped contemporary thinking about the Middle Ages. Richly illustrated, this lively, engaging book will immerse readers in the medieval world, an era that shaped the foundation for the modern world."
  

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Review: A History of the Middle Ages, 300-1500

User Review  - Amanda - Goodreads

A comprehensive overview at the Middle Ages in Europe and the Middle East, with sidebars highlighting individual historians and their contribution to the study of the time period. This is a serious ... Read full review

Contents

The Transformation of Classical Civilization The Political and Economic Story through the Fifth Century CE
7
What Made Rome?
8
The First Two Centuries of the Empire 37 BCE200 CE
13
Breakdown of the System in That Terrible Third Century
16
The Middle Ages Begin
19
Last Western Emperors
25
Perspectives on the Fall of the Western Empire
27
Conclusion
30
Technology and Towns Alter Cultural Roles
254
Development of Feudal States
261
Conclusion
267
Suggested Web Sites
268
HIGH MIDDLE AGES
269
The Era of the First Crusade 10711097
271
The East on the Eve of the First Crusade
272
First Crusade
275

Notes
31
The Transformation of Classical Civilization Religion and Culture
33
The Quest for Meaning in the Pagan World
34
Rise of Christianity
38
Creators of the Christian Church
42
Latin Church Fathers
48
Womens Role in the Late Empire
52
Learning and the Arts
55
Conclusion
63
Notes
64
Suggested Readings
65
Warriors Farmers and Saints in the Barbarian Kingdoms 200600
67
The Barbarian Background
68
Challenges to Assimilation
70
The German Kingdoms
75
Franks and the Merovingian Kingdom
82
Conversions Saints and Irish Christianity
88
Rome and the Roman Church
91
Conclusion
94
Suggested Web Sites
95
Byzantine Empire A Struggle for Unity and Regaining Past Glory 451630
97
Internal Conflicts in Byzantium 451527
100
Age of Justinian and Theodora 527565
103
Asian Tribes Overextension and Division in the PostJustinian Era
113
Life in the Divided Byzantium 451630
119
Conclusion
125
Notes
126
Suggested Web Sites
127
Islam The Religion Politics and Culture 5701000
129
The Rise of Islam
130
Islam in Contact with Christianity
135
Problem of Succession
138
Islamic Society
141
Islamic States Mature
144
Pax Islamica
147
Conclusion
152
Notes
153
CENTRAL MIDDLE AGES
155
Technology Society and Politics in Early Medieval West 600750
157
Perspective on Technology
159
Britains AngloSaxon Renaissance While Iberian Peninsula Struggles
166
Late Merovingian Gaul
172
Conclusion
178
Suggested Web Sites
179
The Age of Charlemagne 750814
181
Peasants Nobility and Clergy
182
The Changing Landscape
187
Charlemagne as King of the Franks
192
Charlemagne the King Who Ruled
195
Women in the Carolingian Era
198
Charlemagne as Church Leader
200
Conclusion
203
Notes
204
Suggested Web Sites
205
Europe Disunited Assaulted and Saved 8141024
207
Disintegration of Charlemagnes Empire
208
The Vikings at Home
211
Vikings Southward Southwestward
214
Vikings and Muslims in the Frankish Kingdoms and Iberia
219
Northmen in Russia Eastern Europe and Byzantium
221
Iceland Greenland and North America
226
Germany Italy and the Holy Roman Empire
228
Conclusion
235
Suggested Readings
236
New Devotion Growth of Towns and Commerce 9501100
237
Cluny and the Benedictine Centuries
238
Investiture Struggle
240
Reurbanization in the Great Turnaround 10001200
245
Expansion of Long and ShortDistance Commerce
251
Technology Innovations and Transfers
280
Peasants Monks Lords and Land
284
Intellectual Revival
288
Conclusion
292
Notes
293
Suggested Web Sites
294
The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century
295
The Western Kingdoms
296
Rise of Universities
302
Wine Women Song and Counterculture
307
Islamic Learning and Its Assimilation in the West
312
Second Crusade
315
The Greek and Slavic East
319
Western Europe at the End of the Century
323
Conclusion
328
Suggested Readings
329
The Flowering of the Middle Ages ca 11501300
331
Just Law Just War and Monarchy
332
Fair Price and Medieval Economic Theory
335
Monastic Reforms Poverty and Property
337
The Conflict over Reason
341
Medicine as Science
347
Breaking with Classical Tradition
349
Gothic Art and Architecture
352
The Romances
355
Women and Gender Relations
360
Conclusion
365
Notes
366
Suggested Readings
367
THE TRANSITION FROM THE MEDIEVAL TO MODERN PERIODS
369
Falcons Swords Occams Razor and Germs From Bouvines to the Black Death 12141347
371
Empire from Frederick II to the Hapsburgs
372
The Papacy and Crusades Gone Awry
376
France
379
England Scotland and Ireland
382
Iberia and Northern Italy
387
Northern and Eastern Europe
391
Aristocrats Peasants and Burghers in Transition
396
Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science
398
Economic Downturn and Black Death
401
Conclusion
405
Notes
406
Suggested Readings
407
Conformity Creativity and Authority 13501500
409
Nonconformists and NonChristians
410
Italy the Paradox
416
A Renovatio
421
Italian Literature and Letters
426
Art and Letters in Northern Europe and Arabia
431
Conclusion
436
Suggested Readings
437
The Medieval Twilight in Europe and Western Asia Decay and Discovery
439
Science and Technology
441
Spain Unites Portugal Excepted
447
British Isles and Civil Strife
448
Apanages Taxes and Wars
452
Holy Roman Empire and Eastern Europe
454
Byzantium Turks Tamerlane and Muslim East
459
Pessimism and the Ideal of the Sublime Life
463
Demographic Trends and Witchcraft
464
Conclusion
468
Suggested Readings
469
The Legacy of the Middle Ages
471
Roman Empire to 500
475
5001500
477
Index
487
About the Author
511
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

John M. Riddle is Alumni Distinguished Professor of History emeritus at North Carolina State University.

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