The Worlds of Medieval Europe / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $37.44
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 35%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $37.44   
  • New (1) from $175.00   
  • Used (7) from $37.44   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


Deftly written and beautifully illustrated, The Worlds of Medieval Europe, Second Edition, presents a distinctive and nuanced portrayal of a western world that was sharply divided between its northern and southern aspects. By integrating the histories of the Islamic and Byzantine worlds into the main narrative, author Clifford R. Backman offers an insightful, detailed, and often witty look at the continuum of interaction-social, cultural, intellectual, and commercial-that existed among all three societies.

Filled with relevant primary documents, this compelling volume surpasses traditional text-book representations of the Middle Ages by balancing the conventional focus on political affairs, especially those of northern Europe, with equally detailed attention to medieval society as it developed in the Mediterranean. In addition, Backman describes the ways in which the medieval Latin West attempted to understand the unified and rational structure of the human cosmos, which they believed existed beneath the observable diversity and disorder of the world. This effort to re-create a human ordering of "unity through diversity" provides an essential key to understanding medieval Europe and the ways in which it regarded and reacted to the worlds around it.

Thoroughly updated and redesigned, the second edition features an inviting and accessible layout and integrates captivating new illustrations-nearly twice as many as in the previous edition-to stimulate students' engagement with the material. Moreover, it offers a sophisticated analysis of gender, along with an intriguing examination of the tumultuous relationship between the Mediterranean and Islam.

An invaluable resource forboth students and instructors, The Worlds of Medieval Europe, Second Edition, is ideal for undergraduate courses in medieval history, Western civilization, the history of Christianity, and Muslim-Christian relations. It also serves as an excellent supplement on the history of a specific country in the medieval period, the history of medieval art, or the history of the European economy.

About the Author:
Clifford R. Backman is Professor of History at Boston University. He is author of The Decline and Fall of Medieval Sicily: Politics, Economy, and Religion in the Reign of Frederick III, 1296-1327 (1995). He is currently writing a biography of James II of the Crown of Aragon

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is the best textbook on the market. It is comprehensive, engagingly written, and covers all of Europe rather than privileging the Western part over everything else."—Steven Epstein, University of Kansas

"This book is a pleasure to read. It incorporates pertinent information and places it into a narrative that will resonate with students. The conceptualized nature of the entire book transcends a traditional textbook and gives readers a sense of the 'big picture' as well as the 'facts,' continuity and change, and the sense of the 'so what' that is often absent."—Ginger L. Smoak, University of Utah

"The Worlds of Medieval Europe is an excellent text. Written with impeccable scholarship and engaging style, Backman's contribution to the teaching of medieval history is perfect for undergraduate students. I am anxious to assign it to my own students."—Frances H. Mitilineos, Oakton Community College

"The Worlds of Medieval Europe is witty, courageous, unpretentious, and fair-minded. I've assigned this book to hundreds of students over the past five years and they have always loved it."—Michael Redman, Jefferson Community and Technical College

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195335279
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/11/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Clifford R. Backman is Associate Professor of History at Boston University. He is the author of The Cultures of the West (OUP, 2013) and The Decline and Fall of Medieval Sicily: Politics, Economy, and Religion in the Reign of Frederick III, 1296-1327 (1995).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Each Chapter ends with Suggested Reading.
Introduction: Why the Middle Ages Matter
1. The Roman World at Its Height
The Geography of Empire
The Role of the Military
Roman Society
Roman Government
The Challenges of the Third Century
Reform, Recovery, Persecution, and Favor
2. The Rise of Christianity
Before Christ
The Growth of the New Religion
The Problem of Persecution
The Problem of Heresy
Constantine and Theodosius: An Imperial Church
Responses to Imperialization
3. Early Germanic Society
Germanic Life
Migrations and Invasions
Europe's First Kingdoms
Germanic Christianity and the Fourth "Doctor of the Church"
4. Cloister and Culture
The Rise of Monasticism in the East
The Rise of Monasticism in the West
Cultural Life in the West: Cassiodorus, Boethius, and St. Benedict
5. The Emergence of the Medieval Worlds
Continuity and Change in Northern Europe
Continuity and Change in the Mediterranean
The Rise of Islam
A Tripartite World
6. The Carolingian Era
The "Do-Nothing" Kings and the Rise of the Carolingians
The Carolingian Monarchy
Carolingian Administration
Carolingian Society
The Carolingian Cultural Renewal
7. The Time of Troubles
Trouble from Within
Trouble from the North
Trouble from the East
Trouble from the South
The End of the World?
8. Revolutions on Land and Sea
Changes on the Land
A Peasant Society Emerges
Changes on the Sea
A Maritime Society Emerges
9. A New Europe Emerges: North and South
The Rise of Feudal Society
The First German Empire
The Rise of Capetian France
The Anglo-Norman Realm
The Spanish Kingdoms
The Italian Scene
10. The Reform of the Church
The Origins of the Reform
The Papal Revolution
Christendom and the East
Monastic Reforms
11. The Renaissances of the Twelfth Century
Aristotle, Anselm, Abelard, and Ibn Rushd
Law and Canon Law
The Recovery of Science
The Rise of the Universities
Courtly Life, Love, and Literature
12. The Papal Monarchy
Church against State Once More
The Consolidation of Papal Authority
The Revival of Heresy
The Albigensian Crusade and the Origins of the Inquisition
13. Politics in the Thirteenth Century
The Rise of Representative Institutions
England and France
Germany, Italy, and the Papacy
The New Mediterranean Superpowers
Byzantium and Islam in the Thirteenth Century
14. Art and Intellect in the Thirteenth Century
The Gothic Vision
Science and Technology
Aspects of Popular Culture
15. Daily Life at the Medieval Zenith
Economic Changes
Peasants' Lives
Townsfolks' Lives
The Question of Literacy
Sex and the City (and the Town, and the Village)
16. Changes in Religious Life
The Importance of Being Penitent
The Importance of Being Poor
The Humanization of Christ and the Cult of the Virgin
17. The Crises of the Fourteenth Century
Economic Difficulties
The Great Famine
The Black Death
War Everywhere
Challenges to Church Unity
18. Signs of a New Era
William of Ockham
Marsilius of Padua
Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer
Christine de Pizan
19. Closings In, Closings Out
The Last Years of Byzantium
The Search for a New Route to the East
Closing In on Muslim Spain
The Expulsions of the Jews
Closing In Forever: The Forced Cloistering of Women Religious
20. The Renaissance in Medieval Context
Economies New and Old circa 1400
The Meaning of Humanism
The Canonization of Classical Culture
The Rejection of the Middle Ages
A. The Medieval Popes
B. The Carolingians
C. The Capetians
D. France: The Valois
E. England: The Norman and Plantagenet Dynasties
F. England: The Lancastrian and Yorkist Dynasties
G. Germany: The Ottonian, Salian, and Hohenstaufen Dynasties
H. Germany: The Late Medieval Emperors
I. The Spanish Kingdoms, 1000-1250
J. The Spanish Kingdoms, 1250-1500
K. The Emperors in Constantinople

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)