The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000

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Viking, 2009 - History - 650 pages
7 Reviews
An ambitious and enlightening look at why the so-called Dark Ages were anything but that

Prizewinning historian Chris Wickham defies the conventional view of the Dark Ages in European history with a work of remarkable scope and rigorous yet accessible scholarship. Drawing on a wealth of new material and featuring a thoughtful synthesis of historical and archaeological approaches, Wickham argues that these centuries were critical in the formulation of European identity. Far from being a middle period between more significant epochs, this age has much to tell us in its own right about the progress of culture and the development of political thought.

Sweeping in its breadth, Wickham's incisive history focuses on a world still profoundly shaped by Rome, which encompassed the remarkable Byzantine, Carolingian, and Ottonian empires, and peoples ranging from Goths, Franks, and Vandals to Arabs, Anglo- Saxons, and Vikings. Digging deep into each culture, Wickham constructs a vivid portrait of a vast and varied world stretching from Ireland to Constantinople, the Baltic to the Mediterranean. The Inheritance of Rome brilliantly presents a fresh understanding of the crucible in which Europe would ultimately be created.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - le.vert.galant - LibraryThing

The reviews I read of this book were not promising; however, I found it to be readable, interesting, and as comprehensive a survey of this vast stretch of time as could be hoped for. The author's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Just to be clear: Chris Wickham does not believe that he can explain anything. He repeats this over and over, so you'll not get the wrong idea. Let's be very, very clear: nothing in history is ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Chris Wickham is Chichele Professor of Medieval History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College. His book Framing the Middle Ages won the Wolfson Prize, the Deutscher Memorial Prize, and the James Henry Breasted Prize of the American Historical Association.

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