Books about the Middle Ages

The medieval period of European history is an interesting topic because it offers information about the political, religious, and social situations of the world just before the renaissance period. During this period, our ancestors created path towards modernization and human progress.

While some historians and scholars refer medieval period as the Dark Ages, yet this fact cannot be ignored that despite all political, social and economic difficulties, European people developed various technologies during this same period and these technological advancement later on became the building blocks of the modern world.

This period of history; the Middle Ages, was the period when people were forced to compromise between logic and belief. During this period, Europe faced various religious movements including the rise of the Roman Catholic Church and the Great Schism of the Church which created the Orthodox Eastern Church.

The great schism of western church in 1409 enforced the call for Church reform and that became the cause of evolution of Protestants Church. During the same period, European countries fall prey to the tyrannical ways of feudalism and then people saw end of tyranny when Magna Carta was introduced and when peasants and serfs asked for their valid rights during the civil revolution of Black Death days.

A number of historians and scholars have written excellent books about the medieval ages and historical importance. Some of the books about the Middle Ages are as follows:

1) Medieval Panorama:

The author of this quality book is Robert Bartlett. He is a famous historian who has written many books on medieval society and history. Bartlett is a professor of medieval history at University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He used eight major themes in his book to introduce and explain the history of middle ages. Each of these eight themes of the medieval period has been properly illustrated in this book with the means of selective examples of medieval arts.

The arrangement of themes of this book is very interesting and it illustrates everything from religion, knighthood, and courtly interest in alchemy, ceremonies and daily labor. There are many features in this book which makes it highly impressive and useful for students. This book also offers a 35-page biographical dictionary, time lines, maps, a glossary, a bibliography, and this book also offers around 22 internet links for the websites completely devoted for the medieval history studies.

2) The Oxford History of Medieval Europe

This is another highly useful book about the medieval history which has been written by George Homes. Excerpt from page 95 “… crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Romans. Probably no event in medieval history has occasioned more scholarly comment, to less effect. Contemporary accounts …”

3) The Northern Crusade

This book about the Middle Ages has been written by Eric Christiansen. This book specifically deals with the religious domination of the middle ages.  Christiansen is covering mostly the Crusades which took place in the today’s Baltic countries and Poland. The goal of these crusades was to turn Orthodox Christians into Catholics, which was partly done successful. The book covers period from twelfth to 16th century. 

4) The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple

The author of this book is Malcom Barber. This book discusses about the increasing strength of feudalism and the allegiance of the Church and the kingdoms.  The book covers history of the Templar’s , begins with the origins of the Templar’s and ends talking about Templar’s influence in today’s life, especially when we talk about pop-culture.

5) The Cambridge history of Medieval English Literature

This book is written by David Wallace who offers a great insight about the patterns of literature during the medieval period. This book is a complete guide for students seeking for information about the literature of medieval ages while it offers more stress over the literature of the late middle ages.

In the revised volume of this books, readers will also attain a verse translation of Beowulf, Chaucer’s General Prologue and five of the Canterbury Tales (including The Franklin’s Tale) with guides to grammar, syntax, and pronunciation, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, seventeen Middle English lyrics, ten popular ballads, Everyman, and The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play.

6) Medieval Warfare: A History

This book is written by Maurice Hugh Keen and it is a perfect book for those who are interested in knowing about the political and religious warfare that happened during the medieval period. It also high lightens the situations when peasants and serfs were forced to compromise and to accept feudalistic patterns just to ensure security against the barbarians and Islamic invaders.
This book illustrates more than 700 years of European history while it also explains all major wars and battles of these years.

This book covers historical warfare from the time of Charlemagne to the end of the middle ages or the beginning of the sixteenth century. This period which has been specifically covered in this book had an important aspect in military history. Along with Maurice Hugh Keen, twelve other scholars and experts have contributed to this book. This book reveals the history about the period when military was an inseparable part of the social structure and when the secular kings were necessarily good warriors.

7) How Would You Survive in the Middle Ages

This beautiful book is written by Fiona Macdonald who is famous for her expertise to write quality books of history. In her very own style, she explains in a friendly manner about how our ancestors used to live during the middle ages. This book will tell you everything about the social and political structure of the medieval period and after reading this book, you will find yourself close enough to be think clearly about how the life during the Middle Ages was.

8) Europe in the High Middle Ages: The Penguin History of Europe

Written by William Chester Jordan, this 400 paged book describes life during the Middle Ages, its medieval society and its complexities with a touch of irony.

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