The Medieval Expansion of Europe | National Humanities Center

Work of the Fellows: Monographs

The Medieval Expansion of Europe

By J. R. S. Phillips (NHC Fellow, 1987–88)

Middle Ages; Trade; Travel; Crusades; Exploration

New York: Oxford University Press, 1988

From the publisher’s description:

Between the year 1000 and the mid-14th century, several remarkable events unfolded as Europeans made contact with a very substantial part of the inhabited world, much of it never previously known or suspected to exist by them. Leif Ericsson and other Vikings discovered North America; European crusading armies established themselves in Syria and Palestine; Marco Polo and other Italian merchants, and missionaries such as John of Monte Corvino, penetrated the dominions of Mongolia and China; the Vivaldi brothers sought to open a sea route to India; Jaime Ferrer was lured by dreams of locating the source of West African gold; and the Atlantic island groups, the Canaries, Madeira, and the Azores, were all discovered. In this detailed survey, Phillips describes these exciting quests while also exploring their closely related myths and legends, all the while setting the stage for the even greater exploits of Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and their successors.

For this new Clarendon Paperback edition, Phillips has added both an introduction and a bibliographical essay, the latter of which surveys recent work in what is becoming a thriving area of new research.

History / Geography / Middle Ages / Trade / Travel / Crusades / Exploration /

Phillips, J. R. S. (NHC Fellow, 1987–88). The Medieval Expansion of Europe. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.