The Two Cities: Medieval Europe 1050–1320

Front Cover
Routledge, Aug 2, 2004 - History - 612 pages

First published to wide critical acclaim in 1992, The Two Cities has become an essential text for students of medieval history. For the second edition, the author has thoroughly revised each chapter, bringing the material up to date and taking the historiography of the past decade into account.

The Two Cities covers a colourful period from the schism between the eastern and western churches to the death of Dante. It encompasses key topics such as:

  • the Crusades
  • the expansionist force of the Normans
  • major developments in the way kings, emperors and Popes exercised their powers
  • a great flourishing of art and architecture
  • the foundation of the very first universities.

Running through it all is the defining characteristic of the high Middle Ages: the delicate relationship between the spiritual and secular worlds, the two 'cities' of the title.

This survey provides all the facts and background information that students need, and is defined into straightforward thematic chapters. It makes extensive use of primary sources, and makes new trends in research accessible to students. Its fresh approach gives students the most rounded, lively and integrated view of the high Middle Ages available.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

This is probably the most boring history book I've read. The story is told through endless sequences of names and dates. It's all correct and meticulously researched, of course, but such bare facts ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - iftyzaidi - LibraryThing

A reasonably comprehensive introduction to the middle ages. Because of the large geographical area and lengthy period it covers it does resort to generalisations and is not a traditional narrative history. Read full review


Part I The Social and Economic Structure
Part II The Church
Part III Political Change
Part IV Perceptions of the World

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Malcolm Barber is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Reading. His other publications include The Two Cities. Medieval Europe 1050 1320 (1992, 2004), The Cathars. Dualist Heretics in Languedoc (2000) and The New Knighthood. A History of the Order of the Temple (Cambridge,1994).

Bibliographic information