Medieval Europe Chris Wickham

Publication date:
15 Oct 2016
Yale University Press
352 pages: 235 x 156mm
32 col. illus.

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A spirited and thought-provoking history of the vast changes that transformed Europe during the 1,000-year span of the Middle Ages

The millennium between the breakup of the western Roman Empire and the Reformation was a long and hugely transformative period—one not easily chronicled within the scope of a few hundred pages. Yet distinguished historian Chris Wickham has taken up the challenge in this landmark book, and he succeeds in producing the most riveting account of medieval Europe in a generation.
Tracking the entire sweep of the Middle Ages across Europe, Wickham focuses on important changes century by century, including such pivotal crises and moments as the fall of the western Roman Empire, Charlemagne’s reforms, the feudal revolution, the challenge of heresy, the destruction of the Byzantine Empire, the rebuilding of late medieval states, and the appalling devastation of the Black Death. He provides illuminating vignettes that underscore how shifting social, economic, and political circumstances affected individual lives and international events. Wickham offers both a new conception of Europe’s medieval period and a provocative revision of exactly how and why the Middle Ages matter.

More about this title

Medieval Europe: An Extract from Chris Wickham

Chris Wickham is Chichele Professor of Medieval History, University of Oxford. He lives in Birmingham, UK.

“A dazzling race through a complex millennium.”—Publishers Weekly

“A timely consideration of an oft-considered subject… Wickham has managed to produce a volume which combines brevity with deep learning, compelling argument and an authoritative and even-handed tone.”—Katherine Harvey, TLS

‘This bold, sweeping narrative covers the entire sweep of European history between the years 400-1500, focusing on important changes century by century, accompanied by illuminating vignettes which underscore how shifting events affected individual lives.’ - Bookseller

“A thorough survey of the European continent in the time between antiquity and modernity. . . . Far-ranging, fluent, and thoughtful—of considerable interest to students of history writ large, and not just of Europe.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 “Medieval Europe is a remarkably detailed and readable book, and, at only 250 pages in length it is, unlike the Middle Ages, both brief and clear.”—Dominic Green, Minerva