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Part I: Slow Transition from Classical to Medieval World Chapter 1: The Transformation of Classical Civilization: The Political and Economic Story through the Fifth Century CE Chapter 2: The Transformation of Classical Civilization: Religion and Culture through the Fifth Century CE Chapter 3: Warriors, Farmers, and Saints in the Barbarian Kingdoms (200-600) Chapter 4: Byzantine Empire: A Struggle for Unity and Regaining Past Glory (451-630) Chapter 5: Islam: The Religion, Politics, and Culture (570-1000) Part II: Central Middle Ages Chapter 6: Technology, Society, and Politics in Early Medieval West (600-750) Chapter 7: The Age of Charlemagne (750-814) Chapter 8: Europe: Disunited, Assaulted, and Saved (814-1024) Chapter 9: New Devotion, Growth of Towns, and Commerce (950-1100) Part III: High Middle Ages Chapter 10: The Era of the First Crusade (1071-1097) Chapter 11: The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century Chapter 12: The Flowering of the Middle Ages (ca. 1150-1300) Part IV: The Transition from the Medieval to Modern Periods Chapter 13: Falcons, Swords, Occam's Razor, and Germs: From Bouvines to the Black Death (1214-1347) Chapter 14: Conformity, Creativity, and Authority (1350-1500) Chapter 15: The Medieval Twilight in Europe and Western Asia: Decay and Discovery Epilogue
John M. Riddle is Alumni Distinguished Professor of History emeritus at North Carolina State University.
A lively and fascinating account of the Middle Ages. The intriguing vignettes that open each chapter set the scene for the issues and themes to be explored. Aspects of daily life are teased out not just from written records but also from archaeological remains, surgical instruments, and even analyses of bones and sewage deposits. This novel approach will be of particular interest to all readers wishing a cogent yet compelling account of events that defined the medieval period-an era in which the foundations were laid for what was to become modern science and ultimately the industrial revolution. -- Emilie Savage-Smith, University of Oxford The scope is superior to all other texts on the market-best coverage I have seen since Tierney and Painter's Western Europe in the Middle Ages. It is a book with good 'bones' and includes most of the essential material my students need. It also reads well and covers other tangential items that often go uncovered in lecture. -- John Hosler, Morgan State University In my upper-level overview course on Medieval European History, the biggest challenge I face is the lack of background my students have. This text gives them an understanding of Antiquity and an excellent rehearsal of Islamic history. My students love this book. They found it very helpful in explaining things I didn't have time to cover in class or that they ran into in their own research. A number said this was one of the books they would keep rather than selling back. That's a big compliment. This text is easier-and in my opinion more interesting-to read than many of the newer texts currently available, or the old-reliable Canter. It is better in its approach than the other popular versions and more up to date. -- Wendy Turner, Augusta State Very comprehensive yet readable. The scope is a good balance between broad strokes and specific details. The impressive historiographic sections reinforce the historiography that I incorporate in my course. The author adeptly weaves humor and modern examples into the narrative to illustrate points about medieval history. Students really enjoyed this book, and they demonstrated greater comprehension of medieval history as a result. -- Mary Kathryn Robinson, Lourdes College Inclusive in its coverage and innovative in approach, John Riddle's survey of medieval history offers a first-rate introduction that will prove invaluable to those embarking on the study of this richly diverse period. Features of special note include Riddle's highlighting of key medieval texts and his evaluations of the contributions made by leading modern scholars to major historical debates. The list of judiciously selected Internet resources that supplements the bibliography at the end of each chapter will prove particularly useful to the new generation of readers. -- Timothy Graham, University of New Mexico