Handbook To Life In The Medieval World (Handbook to Life) [3 Volume Set]

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9780816048878: Handbook To Life In The Medieval World (Handbook to Life) [3 Volume Set]

Looks at the medieval period from the persepctive of Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

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About the Author:

Cosman is an author, attorney, and lecturer whose areas of expertise iclude medical law and medieval life.

From Booklist:

Facts On File has added an outstanding new set to its Handbook to Life in . . . series. Handbook to Life in the Medieval World covers life in Western Europe and the Middle East from 476 to 1492 in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim societies. The idea behind the set is to show how these three civilizations were interrelated. The authors divide the medieval world into 11 topical sections, among them “Society,” “Economy and Trade,” “Warfare and Weapons,” and “Philosophy and Religion.” These subjects are then examined through the perspective of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures. At the end of each chapter is a list of readings, and an extensive 60-page bibliography and an index are found at the end of the set. Throughout the volumes are 140 black-and-white drawings, photographs, and maps. Besides the fact that it examines topics across three societies, what distinguishes this set from several other reference books on the medieval period is the depth and length of the articles. For example, instead of the usual paragraph or page on a topic such as food, the article on food in Jewish society covers five pages. To help the reader better understand a subject, the authors often provide a glossary of words or a list of important people. In the chapter on literature, for example, there is a list of major Jewish writers with their dates, books, and importance. Topics such as land tenure, slaves, women, cities, inheritance, hygiene, and dress are all analyzed for each of the three societies. The only disappointing feature of the book is that there are not enough pictures to help clarify the text. Facts On File’s Encyclopedia of the Medieval World (2005) covers the same time period, but the articles are quite brief and treat politics, history, and rulers along with some aspects of daily life. Because of its depth in covering the ever-popular subject of daily life, college and public libraries will find the Handbook to Life in the Medieval World an excellent resource for students, who can use it as a research tool from which they can write papers, not just a starting point. --Merle Jacob

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