Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800 / Edition 1

Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800 / Edition 1

by Chris Wickham
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199212961

ISBN-13: 9780199212965

Pub. Date: 02/08/2007

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

The Roman empire tends to be seen as a whole whereas the early middle ages tends to be seen as a collection of regional histories, roughly corresponding to the land-areas of modern nation states. As a result, early medieval history is much more fragmented, and there have been few convincing syntheses of socio-economic change in the post-Roman world since the 1930s.

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Overview

The Roman empire tends to be seen as a whole whereas the early middle ages tends to be seen as a collection of regional histories, roughly corresponding to the land-areas of modern nation states. As a result, early medieval history is much more fragmented, and there have been few convincing syntheses of socio-economic change in the post-Roman world since the 1930s. In recent decades, the rise of early medieval archaeology has also transformed our source-base, but this has not been adequately integrated into analyses of documentary history in almost any country.

In Framing the Early Middle Ages Chris Wickham aims at integrating documentary and archaeological evidence together, and also, above all, at creating a comparative history of the period 400-800, by means of systematic comparative analyses of each of the regions of the latest Roman and immediately post-Roman world, from Denmark to Egypt (only the Slav areas are left out). The book concentrates on classic socio-economic themes, state finance, the wealth and identity of the aristocracy, estate management, peasant society, rural settlement, cities, and exchange. These are only a partial picture of the period, but they are intended as a framing for other developments, without which those other developments cannot be properly understood.

Wickham argues that only a complex comparative analysis can act as the basis for a wider synthesis. Whilst earlier syntheses have taken the development of a single region as 'typical', with divergent developments presented as exceptions, this book takes all different developments as typical, and aims to construct a synthesis based on a better understanding of difference and the reasons for it. This is the most ambitious and original survey of the period ever written.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199212965
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/08/2007
Edition description:
New
Pages:
1024
Sales rank:
472,753
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 2.20(d)

Table of Contents

Part I: States
1. Introduction
2. Geography and Politics
3. The Form of the State
Part II: Aristocratic Power-Structures
4. Aristocracies
5. Managing the Land
6. Political Breakdown and State-Building in the North
Part III: Peasantries
7. Peasants and Local Societies: Case Studies
8. Rural Settlement and Village Societies
9. Peasant Society and its Problems
Part IV: Networks
10. Cities
11. Systems of Exchange
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

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