A History of Medieval Europe: From Constantine to Saint Louis
To many of us the history of Europe from the age of Constantine to the middle of the thirteenth century is dark and confused. In his successful book, which is based on background lectures to students, Professor Davis has concentrated on the most important topics, and largely on western European themes, to provide a well-lighted and comprehensible pattern. In Part I, the Dark Ages, he begins with the new capital of the Roman Empire and the impact of the barbarian invasions. Then follow studies of the Church and the Papacy and of the rise of Islam. After chapters on the rise and fall of the Frankish empire, the part ends with an economic survey of Europe at the end of the ninth century. The second half of the book begins with the Saxon Empire and has chapters on monasticism, the reform of the Papacy, the Crusades and the feudal monarchy in France. It concludes with accounts of St. Francis, Frederick II and Louis IX. One of the unusual features of Part II is the completion of each chapter with translations of original documents giving the reader not only entertainment but also a hint of the sources of the writing of history. Professor Davis has a clear style, an eye for the essential and an ear for the apt quotation. He has written an admirable introduction, at the level of first-year undergraduates, to a fascinating but difficult period of history. It is now issued in paperback for the first time.
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Rome and the Barbarians 24
The Barbarian Invasions
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