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Europe: A Cultural History


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Table of Contents

List of Plates. List of Maps. Prologue. Part 1: Continuity and Change: New ways of surviving 1. Before 'Europe': Towards an agricultural and sedentary society 2. Rome and its Empire: The effects and limits of cultural integration 3. An Empire Lost - An Empire Won? Christianity and the Roman Empire Part 2: Continuity and Change: New forms of belief 4. Towards One Religion for All 5. Three Worlds around the Inner Sea: Western Christendom, Eastern Christendom and Islam 6. One world, Many Traditions. Elite culture and popular cultures: cosmopolitan norms and regional variations Part 3: Continuity and Change: New ways of looking at man and the world 7. A New Society: Europe's changing views of man 8. A New Society: Europe as a wider world 9. A New Society: Europe and the wider world since the fifteenth century 10. A New Society: Migration, travel and the diffusion and integration of culture in Europe 11. A New Society: The 'Republic of Letters' as a virtual and virtuous world against a divided world 12. A New Society: From Humanism to the Enlightenment Part 4:Continuity and Change: New forms of consumption and communication 13. Europe's Revolutions: Freedom and consumption for all? 14. Progress and its Discontents: Nationalism, economic growth and the question of cultural certainties 15. Europe and the Other Worlds 16. The 'Decline of the Occident' - The Loss of a Dream? From the nineteenth to the twentieth century 17. Towards a New Europe? Epilogue. Notes. Index


"Europe: A Cultural History does not just provide an accessible and lively account of European cultural thought and practice from prehistory to the present; more importantly, it also offers a sustained reflection on what the idea of 'Europe' has meant to different people at different times. Peter Rietbergen's book is a superb one-volume introduction to European cultural history."

Paul Stock, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

"Peter Rietbergen's fluently written book is an insightful account of the cultural history of Europe, its multiple cultural identities and its continuously changing webs of significance. Rietbergen draws on an impressive array of source material to examine the transformation of Europe from its earliest developments to the challenges it today confronts. Europe: A Cultural History is highly recommended reading for students and researchers of European culture and its history."

Hannu Salmi, University of Turku, Finland

"This book remains a reliable, stimulating and readable guide to many aspects of European cultural history. It is Peter Rietbergen's own idiosyncratic selection of material and ideas, and it provides us with an original and entertaining take on an immense spread of material."

Michael Wintle, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

"Nuanced, non-teleological and critically distinguishing, yet comprehensive and remarkably readable, Rietbergen's history of European culture will be an unavoidable reference point for any serious debate on its topic for years to come."

Bertel Nygaard, Aarhus University, Denmark

"Peter Rietbergen presents a book, which is unlike the standard textbooks on the cultural history of Europe. Instead of just summing up names, dates and facts, it offers the reader a provocative personal reflection on the incredibly rich and highly varied contents of the European heritage. It will serve as an eye-opener for all those students who aspire to look beyond the main narrative into the primary sources of Western thought. Therefore, this book can be an invaluable tool in higher education."

Henk Kern, Leiden University, The Netherlands

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