Work of the Fellows: Monographs

The Middle Ages: An Illustrated History

Hanawalt, Barbara A. (Fellow, 1997-98)

New York: Oxford University Press, 1998

From the publisher's description:

A brisk narrative of battles and plagues, monastic orders, heroic women, and knights-errant, barbaric tortures and tender romance, intrigue, scandals, and conquest, The Middle Ages: An Illustrated History mixes a spirited and entertaining writing style with exquisite, thorough scholarship. Barbara A. Hanawalt, a renowned medievalist, launches her story with the often violent amalgamation of Roman, Christian, and Germanic cultures following the destruction and pillaging of the crown jewel of the Roman Empire The great city of Rome. The story moves on to the redrawn map of Europe, in which power players like Byzantium and the newly-established Frankish kingdom begin a precarious existence in a "sea of tribes" (in the words of a contemporary). Savage peoplesthe bloodthirsty Germans, the wild Visigoths and Ostrogoths, the fierce Anglo-Saxons, and the Slavs to the Eastas well as the sophisticated and ever-expanding Arabs threaten each others borders, invade cities and have their own cities sacked, fight victorious battles and get conquered in turn. Hanawalt charts the spread of Christianity in Europe, maps out the trail of misery and mayhem the Crusades left in their wake, explains feudalism and Church reform, familiarizes us with the astrolabe and the masterpieces of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, tracks the progress of the Hundred Years' War, and brings great historical figures--such as Charlemagne, King Henry II, Joan of Arc, Dante, and Justinian--to life.


Subjects: Art; History; European History; Manuscripts; Maps; Middle Ages;