"Let's get serious here - but not dull. You don't have to be in love with the past to be riveted by this fact-filled look at the vibrant time period some us still call the "Dark Ages," ...every page has something interesting - timelines, beautiful pictures, maps and sidebar tidbits, ...This hefty book will feed brains depleted by too many butter cookies." -"St Paul Pioneer Press"
"This book is beautifully and lavishly illustrated with period art, architecture, documents, maps, artifacts and sculpture, as well as photographs of specific locations...a feast for the eyes...Given the scope and the beauty of its pages, this book would be ideal for the historian in the family."
This lyrical adventure sweeps us through time and across Europe and the Middle East, charting the lands and events of the period known as the Middle Ages. Artworks, maps, and fine photography illuminate the key events of every century, beginning with the fall of the Roman Empire in A.D. 476 and moving forward to A.D. 1500 - the beginning of the age of discovery. Vibrant text from author John M. Thompson captures the drama and intrigue of the era, exploring wars, migrations, occupations, and inventions. Three hundred illustrations - antique paintings, magnificent portraits, illuminated manuscripts, and historical documents such as "Magna Carta" and the "Domesday Book" - lend rich immediacy. More than 60 maps, among them specially commissioned illustrated presentations and a lavishly drawn crusader map from A.D. 1170, chart important routes and events including the spread of Christianity and Islam. Twelve richly illustrated spreads chronicle the amusements, clothing, feasts, science, books, animals, and other aspects of daily life in the Middle Ages. Voices of the medieval world come alive through quotations from literature, letters, and journals that have survived the passage of time. Sidebars in every chapter examine important beliefs, arts and letters, architecture, and innovations. Biographical features introduce fascinating women and men, revealing the stories behind famous names like King Arthur, whose legend is noted in medieval Welsh literature. Joan of Arc, the teenage French peasant whose infamous trial is documented word for chilling word. Charlemagne, 8th-century ruler of an empire that encompassed Western and Central Europe. Saladin, sultan of the Arab world and enemy of the crusaders, yet respected by them for his high standards of chivalry. And his foe, Richard the Lionhearted, iconic king of England who spent most of his life elsewhere. In a unique feature that helps readers trace the march of time and progress, a world-class city is highlighted to exemplify the character and developments of each century. These key urban areas include London, Paris, Barcelona, Constantinople, and Damascus. Their histories are traced on fascinating time lines that also tie in global happenings during the century, for a rich overview of world events and progress. Painstakingly designed for accuracy and ease of use, "The Medieval World" is a fine reference for libraries, schools, families, and all who find fascination in this pivotal yet mysterious era of world history.
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