The Worlds of Medieval Europe

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9780195335279: The Worlds of Medieval Europe
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Deftly written and beautifully illustrated, The Worlds of Medieval Europe, Second Edition, presents a distinctive and nuanced portrayal of a western world that was sharply divided between its northern and southern aspects. By integrating the histories of the Islamic and Byzantine worlds into the main narrative, author Clifford R. Backman offers an insightful, detailed, and often witty look at the continuum of interaction--social, cultural, intellectual, and commercial--that existed among all three societies.

Filled with relevant primary documents, this compelling volume surpasses traditional textbook representations of the Middle Ages by balancing the conventional focus on political affairs, especially those of northern Europe, with equally detailed attention to medieval society as it developed in the Mediterranean. In addition, Backman describes the ways in which the medieval Latin West attempted to understand the unified and rational structure of the human cosmos, which they believed existed beneath the observable diversity and disorder of the world. This effort to re-create a human ordering of "unity through diversity" provides an essential key to understanding medieval Europe and the ways in which it regarded and reacted to the worlds around it.

Thoroughly updated and redesigned, the second edition features an inviting and accessible layout and integrates captivating new illustrations--nearly twice as many as in the previous edition--to stimulate students' engagement with the material. Moreover, it offers a sophisticated analysis of gender, along with an intriguing examination of the tumultuous relationship between the Mediterranean and Islam.

An invaluable resource for both students and instructors, The Worlds of Medieval Europe, Second Edition, is ideal for undergraduate courses in medieval history, Western civilization, the history of Christianity, and Muslim-Christian relations. It also serves as an excellent supplement on the history of a specific country in the medieval period, the history of medieval art, or the history of the European economy.

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About the Author:


Clifford R. Backman is Professor of History at Boston University. He is author of The Decline and Fall of Medieval Sicily: Politics, Economy, and Religion in the Reign of Frederick III, 1296-1327 (1995). He is currently writing a biography of James II of the Crown of Aragon.

Review:

"This fresh and often iconoclastic survey acknowledges the diversity of medieval experiences-from era to era, region to region, class to class. The solid and traditional political narrative is enriched with an energetic discussion of environmental and technological issues, while social
history, fascinating in itself, is successfully integrated into these contexts. Important intellectual themes of religion and philosophy are particularly accessible to students through a clear and focused examination of broader issues."--James W. Brodman, University of Central Arkansas

"This text is written in a lively, engaging, and sometimes deliberately provocative manner-a refreshing alternative to standard textbook style. I felt throughout that Backman was really considering his audience and having a conversation as much as writing a textbook."--Jennifer Kolpacoff
Deane, University of Minnesota, Morris

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780195121681: The Worlds of Medieval Europe

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ISBN 10:  0195121686 ISBN 13:  9780195121681
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2002
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9780195121698: The Worlds of Medieval Europe

Oxford..., 2002
Softcover

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