"An excellent book. Its originality lies in its broad geographical perspective, the extensive treatment of neighboring countries . . . and the emphasis on archaeological evidence."--Cyril Mango, Exeter College, Oxford "An excellent book. Its originality lies in its broad geographical perspective, the extensive treatment of neighboring countries . . . and the emphasis on archaeological evidence."--Cyril Mango, Exeter College, Oxford
The book is a clear, up-to-date, reassessment of the Byzantine empire during a crucial phase in the history of the Near East. Against a geopolitical background (well-illustrated with 14 maps), it covers the last decade of the Roman empire as a superpower of the ancient world, the catastrophic crisis of the seventh century and the means whereby its embattled Byzantine successor hung on in Constantinople and Asia Minor until the Abbasid Caliphate's decline opened up new perspectives for Christian power in the Near East. Not confined to any narrow definition of Byzantine history, the empire's neighbours, allies and enemies in Europe and Asia also receive extensive treatment.
The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity takes as its subject the beliefs, practices, and institutions of the Christian Church between 400 and 1500AD. It addresses topics ranging from early medieval monasticism to late medieval mysticism, from the material wealth of the Church to the spiritual exercises through which certain believers might attempt to improve their souls. Each chapter tells a story, but seeks also to ask how and why 'Christianity' took particular forms at particular moments in history, paying attention to both the spiritual and otherwordly aspects of religion, and the material and political contexts in which they were often embedded. This Handbook is a landmark academic collection that presents cutting-edge interpretive perspectives on medieval religion for a wide academic audience, drawing together thirty key scholars in the field from the United States, the UK, and Europe. Notably, the Handbook is arranged thematically, and focusses on an analytical, rather than narrative, approach, seeking to demonstrate the variety, change, and complexity of religion throughout this long period, and the numerous different ways in which modern scholarship can approach it. While providing a very wide-ranging view of the subject, it also offers an important agenda for further study in the field.
The Crusades and the Expansion of Catholic Christendom, 1000-1714 is a fascinating and accessible survey that places the medieval Crusades in their European context, and examines, for the first time, their impact on European expansion. Taking a unique approach that focuses on the motivation behind the Crusades, John France chronologically examines the whole crusading movement, from the development of a ‘crusading impulse’ in the eleventh century through to an examination of the relationship between the Crusades and the imperialist imperatives of the early modern period. France provides a detailed examination of the first Crusade, the expansion and climax of crusading during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and the failure and fragmentation of such practices in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Concluding with an assessment of the influence of the Crusades across history, and replete with illustrations, maps, timelines, guides for further reading, and a detailed list of rulers across Europe and the Muslim world, this study provides students with an essential guide to a central aspect of medieval history.
Why did Rome fall? Vicious barbarian invasions during the fifth century resulted in the cataclysmic end of the world's most powerful civilization, and a 'dark age' for its conquered peoples. Or did it? The dominant view of this period today is that the 'fall of Rome' was a largely peaceful transition to Germanic rule, and the start of a positive cultural transformation. Bryan Ward-Perkins encourages every reader to think again by reclaiming the drama and violence of the last days of the Roman world, and reminding us of the very real horrors of barbarian occupation. Attacking new sources with relish and making use of a range of contemporary archaeological evidence, he looks at both the wider explanations for the disintegration of the Roman world and also the consequences for the lives of everyday Romans, in a world of economic collapse, marauding barbarians, and the rise of a new religious orthodoxy. He also looks at how and why successive generations have understood this period differently, and why the story is still so significant today.
Release on 2002-11-01 | by John Haldon,Shelby Cullom Davis '30 Professor of European History and Professor of History and Hellenic Studies John Haldon
Author: John Haldon,Shelby Cullom Davis '30 Professor of European History and Professor of History and Hellenic Studies John Haldon
Warfare, State and Society in the Byznatine World is the first comprehensive study of the warfare and the Byzantine World from the sixth to the twelfth century. The book examines Byzantine attitudes to warfare, the effects of war on society and culture, and the relations between the soldiers, their leaders and society. The communications, logistics, resources and manpower capabilities of the Byzantine Empire are explored to set warfare in its geographical as well as historical context. In addition to the strategic and tactical evolution of the army, this book analyses the army in campaign and in battle, and its attitudes to violence in the context of the Byzantine Orthodox Church.
A grand narrative history of the re-emergence of Europe following the collapse of the Roman Empire. At the approach of the first millennium, the Christians of Europe did not seem likely candidates for future greatness. Weak, fractured, and hemmed in by hostile nations, they saw no future beyond the widely anticipated Second Coming of Christ. But when the world did not end, the peoples of Western Europe suddenly found themselves with no choice but to begin the heroic task of building a Jerusalem on earth. In The Forge of Christendom, Tom Holland masterfully describes this remarkable new age, a time of caliphs and Viking sea kings, the spread of castles and the invention of knighthood. It was one of the most significant departure points in history: the emergence of Western Europe as a distinctive and expansionist power.
The death of the Roman Empire is one of the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution: Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors Rome called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling an Empire that had dominated their lives for so long. A leading authority on the late Roman Empire and on the barbarians, Heather relates the extraordinary story of how Europe's barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome on every possible level, eventually pulled the empire apart. He shows first how the Huns overturned the existing strategic balance of power on Rome's European frontiers, to force the Goths and others to seek refuge inside the Empire. This prompted two generations of struggle, during which new barbarian coalitions, formed in response to Roman hostility, brought the Roman west to its knees. The Goths first destroyed a Roman army at the battle of Hadrianople in 378, and went on to sack Rome in 410. The Vandals spread devastation in Gaul and Spain, before conquering North Africa, the breadbasket of the Western Empire, in 439. We then meet Attila the Hun, whose reign of terror swept from Constantinople to Paris, but whose death in 453 ironically precipitated a final desperate phase of Roman collapse, culminating in the Vandals' defeat of the massive Byzantine Armada: the west's last chance for survival. Peter Heather convincingly argues that the Roman Empire was not on the brink of social or moral collapse. What brought it to an end were the barbarians.