The Worlds of Medieval Europe / Edition 2

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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

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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195335279
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/11/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 677,315
  • 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).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Why the Middle Ages Matter 1
Pt. 1 The Early Middle Ages: The Third through Ninth Centuries
1 The Roman World at Its Height 7
2 The Rise of Christianity 23
3 Early Germanic Society 48
4 Cloister and Culture 69
5 The Emergence of the Medieval Worlds 86
6 The Carolingian Era 109
Pt. 2 The Central Middle Ages: The Tenth through Twelfth Centuries
7 The Time of Troubles 137
8 Revolutions on Land and Sea 155
9 A New Europe Emerges: North and South 175
10 The Reform of the Church 208
11 The Renaissances of the Twelfth Century 231
12 The Papal Monarchy 262
Pt. 3 The Late Middle Ages: The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
13 Politics in the Thirteenth Century 283
14 Art and Intellect in the Thirteenth Century 304
15 Daily Life at the Medieval Zenith 327
16 Changes in Religious Life 352
17 The Crises of the Fourteenth Century 369
18 Signs of a New Era 395
Pt. 4 Two Epilogues
19 Closings In, Closings Out 413
20 The Renaissance in Medieval Context 427
App. A The Medieval Popes 438
App. B The Carolingians 443
App. C The Capetians 444
App. D France: The Valois 445
App. E England: The Norman and Plantagenet Dynasties 446
App. F England: The Lancastrian and Yorkist Dynasties 447
App. G Germany: The Ottonian, Salian, and Hohenstaufen Dynasties 448
App. H Germany: The Late Medieval Emperors 449
App. I The Spanish Kingdoms, 1000-1250 450
App. J The Spanish Kingdoms, 1250-1500 451
Index 453
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