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The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade
     

The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade

3.9 18
by Susan Wise Bauer
 

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A masterful narrative of the Middle Ages, when religion became a weapon for kings all over the world.

From the schism between Rome and Constantinople to the rise of the T’ang Dynasty, from the birth of Muhammad to the crowning of Charlemagne, this erudite book tells the fascinating, often violent story of kings, generals, and the peoples they ruled.

Overview

A masterful narrative of the Middle Ages, when religion became a weapon for kings all over the world.

From the schism between Rome and Constantinople to the rise of the T’ang Dynasty, from the birth of Muhammad to the crowning of Charlemagne, this erudite book tells the fascinating, often violent story of kings, generals, and the peoples they ruled.

In her earlier work, The History of the Ancient World, Susan Wise Bauer wrote of the rise of kingship based on might. But in the years between the fourth and the twelfth centuries, rulers had to find new justification for their power, and they turned to divine truth or grace to justify political and military action. Right thus replaces might as the engine of empire.

Not just Christianity and Islam but the religions of the Persians and the Germans, and even Buddhism, are pressed into the service of the state. This phenomenon—stretching from the Americas all the way to Japan—changes religion, but it also changes the state.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bauer (The History of the Ancient World) continues her witty and well-written examination of world history with a volume that is rich in detail and intriguing in anecdotal information. In describing dramatic events (such as the worldwide –impact of the eruption of Krakatoa in 535 C.E., or civil war among the descendants of Charlemagne), near-legendary individuals (like the great general turned mercenary El Cid), and decisive historical movements from the fourth century C.E. to the beginnings of the 12th century, attention is effectively paid not only to western and eastern Europe but to North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, the Far East, South Asia, and the Americas. The political and military rise and fall of rulers or would-be rulers and the prominence of religion in matters of conscience and state give force and power to the narrative as does the constant impact of simple human emotion and ambition on the flow of history. A bit overwhelming in its scope, Bauer’s work nevertheless proves perfectly, and entertainingly, that the “more things change, the more they stay the same.” 20 illus., 85 maps. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"[A] witty and well-written examination of world history...that is rich in detail and intriguing in anecdotal information." ---Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393078176
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/22/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
640
Sales rank:
224,586
File size:
9 MB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"[A] witty and well-written examination of world history...that is rich in detail and intriguing in anecdotal information." —-Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Susan Wise Bauer is the best-selling author of the Story of the World series, The History of the World series, The Well-Trained Mind, and The Well-Educated Mind, among other works. She lives in Virginia.

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The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting book, especially fascinating parts detailing the role religion had in holding back change in thinking. Lots of detail about famous people of the era, from Martin Luther and the Borgia and Medici popes to historical figures in general -
jmgallen 4 months ago
I had read relatively little about the Medieval World so I decided to broaden my horizons with “The History of the Medieval World”. It did more than I had anticipated. I had expected it to concentrate on Europe but it truly is a world history. It covers Europe from the decline of the Roman Empire through the rise of the first nation states. It also includes the histories of the Middle East, China, India, Japan, Korea and even the Americas. I found the sections on Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Americas to be of interest, largely because they tended to tie together trends and events of which I was aware in isolation. I found the process by which peoples morphed and coalesced to be informative. The Asian sections were of less interest because I lacked frames of reference to which I could relate what I was hearing. Author Susan Wise Bauer is skilled at weaving the interesting religious movements into the overall story. The shifting political alignments during the Middle Ages began to make sense. I am glad that I listened to this book but would have enjoyed it more had the Asian sections been omitted.
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