Early Medieval Europe 300-1050The Birth of Western Society
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Early Medieval Europe 300-1050 is a broad-brush survey of Western Europe from the period of the late Roman Empire (4th-5th centuries) through the period of the dissolution of that empire, the emergence of the barbarian kingdoms which succeeded it, and their consolidation under the Carolingian and Ottonian rulers on the Continent and the West Saxon and Danish kings in England, to the early 11th century, with the nascent kingdoms of France, Germany, and England.
The book focuses on the big historical questions which the period raises, the sources for it and the ways in which historians have worked with them, and the competing approaches to the questions and interpretations which historians have developed.
Part I: Introduction
1. Why study this period?
Part II: The End of the Roman Empire in the West
2. From Roman Empire to Barbarian Kingdoms: Cataclysm or Transition?
3. The Making of Peoples: Invasions or Identity-Change?
Part III: The Rise of European Kingship
4. The Rise of European States
5. The Barbarian Roots of Kingship
6. Kings and Emperors
7. The Christian Shaping of Kingship
8. The Mechanisms of Power
Part IV: The Economic Foundation
9. The Nature of Exchange: Trade, Plunder and Gift Giving
10. Cultivating the Land: The Basis of European Society
11. The Origins of European Towns and Town Life
Part V: Christianity and the Role of the Church
12. The Processes of Conversion to Christianity
13. Popes and Bishops: The Most Powerful Men in Europe
14. Monks and Monastries: Power in this Life or after it?
Part VI: Conclusion
15. The Birth of Western Society?
- Supports learning with numerous timelines, maps and illustrations.
- Offers foundational training in historical skills with up-front discussion of the nature and limitations of the available sources and the backstory to various historical interpretations over time.
- Supported by a companion website, providing extra primary source material, both documentary and visual, maps and suggestions for essay topics, discussion points and revision questions as well as useful seminar suggestions for lecturers.
David Rollason is Professor of Medieval History at Durham University and the author of many books and articles on the early medieval period.