Debating the Middle Ages: Issues and Readings / Edition 1

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This book brings together some of the most original and influential recent work in the field of medieval history. It provides a stimulating overview of current medieval historiography, demonstrating that history is not a collection of static facts, but rather a dynamic process of interpretation. Each part of the book comprises an introduction by the editors, discussing the significance of the topic and the history of its interpretation. There follow, for each, five to six readings from books or articles that reflect some of the most important current scholarship in the field. Several pieces are here translated into English for the first time.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Rosenwein and Little have produced an extraordinarily broad and intelligent guide to the major debates in medieval history of the past decades. Not only are the selections well chosen, but their introductions are the best surveys of contemporary medieval historiography available in any language." Patrick J. Geary, Director, University of Notre Dame

"Debating the Middle Ages will be a uniquely valuable book for beginning and advanced students, for teachers, and for scholars. By prefacing reprints or translations of important recent articles on four broad problems in medieval history with lucid, well-annotated analyses of how debates on each of the four problems has proceeded, Little and Rosenwein provide a superb introduction to the ways in which historians today are studying, arguing about, and reinventing medieval European history." Stephen D. White, Professor of Medieval History

"Little and Rosenwein have assembled an impressive selection of essays, incorporating some of the most original and influential recent works in the field of medieval history." Economic History Review

"Compilations such as this one will ensure that medieval studies remain intellectually vibrant by encouraging students of the subject to reflect critically upon the forces and ideas that have shaped, and continue to shape, the discipline ... I believe it will prove to be an indispensable tool for both teachers and students in the future." Comitatus

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781577180074
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/24/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 410
  • Product dimensions: 6.97 (w) x 10.09 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara H. Rosenwein is Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. Her previous publications include To Be the Neighbor of Saint Peter (1989). She has recently completed a book on early medieval political culture and strategies, Negotiating Space: Early Medieval Immunities and Other Entry Prohibitions (1999).

Lester K. Little is Dwight W. Morrow Professor of History at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. He previously taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago. His most recent publication is Benedictine Maledictions: Liturgical Cursing in Romanesque France (1993).

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Table of Contents

Editors' Acknowledgments
Acknowledgments to Sources
A Note on Format
List of Abbreviations
Introduction 1
Pt. I The Fate of Rome's Western Provinces 5
1 Conceptions of Ethnicity in Early Medieval Studies 15
2 The Barbarians in Late Antiquity and How They Were Accommodated in the West 25
3 The Fall of Rome Will Not Take Place 45
4 The Decline of the Western Empire 58
5 Gregory of Tours and Clovis 73
6 Missionaries and Magic in Dark-Age Europe 92
Pt. II Feudalism and Its Alternatives 105
7 The Banal Seigneury and the "Reconditioning" of the Free Peasantry 114
8 The Year 1000 Without Abrupt or Radical Transformation 134
9 The Tyranny of a Construct: Feudalism and Historians of Medieval Europe 148
10 Giving Each His Due 170
11 Strangers and Neighbors 180
12 Amicitiae [Friendships] as Relationships Between States and People 191
Pt. III Gender 211
13 Queens as Jezebels: the Careers of Brunhild and Balthild in Merovingian History 219
14 Women and the Norman Conquest 254
15 The "Cruel Mother": Maternity, Widowhood, and Dowry in Florence in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries 264
16 Men's Use of Female Symbols 277
17 Burdens of Matrimony: Husbanding and Gender in Medieval Italy 290
Pt. IV Religion and Society 299
18 The Evangelical Awakening 310
19 The Use and Abuse of Miracles in Early Medieval Culture 330
20 The Dead in the Celestial Bookkeeping of the Cluniac Monks Around the Year 1000 340
21 Literacy and the Making of Heresy, c.1000-c.1150 363
22 Religion, Folklore, and Society in the Medieval West 376
Index of Persons and Places 388
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