Introduction to Medieval Europe, 300-1550: Age of Discretion

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9780415346986: Introduction to Medieval Europe, 300-1550: Age of Discretion

Surveying the years between 300 and 1550, this outstanding textbook brings a long, complex and varied period of European history vividly to life.

Covering themes as diverse as barbarian migrations, the growth of cities, kingship, religious reform, the Crusades, commerce, the Black Death, and the intellectual and cultural life of the Middle Ages, it explores the driving forces behind the formation of medieval society and the directions in which it developed and changed.

This inspiring textbook:

  • provides a clear and stimulating survey of medieval history over more than a thousand years
  • covers all the main issues and themes within a clear interpretive framework
  • includes illustrated, focused case studies in each chapter to assist learning, covering topics such as Roman Law, architecture, taxation, advances in medicine, the indulgence trade in the Church and a merchant’s manual
  • gives wide geographical coverage and is richly illustrated with over a hundred photos, engravings, maps, tables and figures
  • is written by two leaders in their field with the most up-to-date research and reading.

Taking a world that, by modern standards, was technologically underdeveloped, poor, unjust, violent, and dominated by figures of almost mythical proportions such as Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Joan of Arc, Wim Blockmanns and Peter Hoppenbrouwers have produced a textbook that should, without doubt, take its rightful place on the reading list of any student of European history

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About the Author:

Wim Blockmans is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Leiden and is Rector of the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences.

Peter Hoppenbrouwers is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Amsterdam.


'An inspiring and magisterial survey of twelve centuries of Medieval History. Written with verve and flair but never patronizing or too simplifying, it provides an up-to-date synthesis of recent scholarship on the Middle Ages by two outstanding Dutch medievalists.' – Elizabeth van Houts, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, UK

'I believe this is the best medieval history textbook I have read and I will enjoy using it on my medieval history courses.' – William H. TeBrake, University of Maine, USA

Reviews of the Dutch edition

'When it comes to politics, economics and society, Blockmans and Hoppenbrouwers have succeeded in a compelling way to evoke recognition: here are our ancestors, the giants on whose shoulders we stand.' – NRC Handelsblad

'The authors show medieval society in all its aspects. Its broad approach is one of the book's great merits.' – De Volkskrant

 'The first thing to note about this book is its accessibility. The style in which it is written enables a wide audience to readily assimilate the information in the light of the broader themes accross the period... This is all achieved within a clear interpretive framework that makes use of the latest ideas and research. To support the text there are over a hundred photographs, maps, tables and engravings which the reader will find invaluable... This is a thoroughly professional, readable and very enjoyable book that does not disappoint. It is meticulously researched and expertly delivered... In many respects it surpasses those written by my old favourites Davis and Koenigsberger, not least in its style and more modern approach. I would highly recommend this book to all with even the remotest of interests in this period. - Leslie J M Obre, SATH: Teaching History Review

'This splendid textbook [is] ... a good source of recent bibliography' - International Review of Biblical Studies, Germany

'This is an interesting and well written synthesis which introduces the reader to recent scholarship and provides a clear, but not simplistic, narrative and anlysis...This, and the lucid interpretative framework in which the chronological and descriptive elements are anchored, make Introduction to Medieval Europe a particularly useful teaching tool'. - International Medieval Bibliography

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Blockmans, Wim
Editorial: Routledge
ISBN 10: 0415346983 ISBN 13: 9780415346986
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