The 500 years following the collapse of the Roman Empire is still popularly perceived as Europe's 'Dark Ages', marked by barbarism and uniformity. Julia Smith's masterly book sweeps away this view, and instead illuminates a time of great vitality and cultural diversity. Through a combination of cultural history, regional studies, and gender history, she shows how men and women at all levels of society ordered their world, and she allows them to speak to the reader directly in their. own words. This is the first single-author study in over fifty years to offer an integrated appraisal of all asp.
This is the first single-author study in over fifty years to offer an integrated appraisal of the early Middle Ages as a dynamic and formative period in European history. Written in an attractive and accessible style, it makes extensive use of original sources to introduce early medieval men and women at all levels of society from slave to emperor, and allows them to speak to the reader in their own words. It overturns traditional narratives and instead offers an entirely fresh approach to the centuries from c.500 to c.1000. Rejecting any notion of a dominant, uniform early medieval culture, it argues that the fundamental characteristic of the early middle ages is diversity of experience. To explain how the men and women who lived in this period ordered their world in cultural, social, and political terms, it employs an innovative methodology combining cultural history, regional studies, and gender history. Ranging comparatively from Ireland to Hungary and from Scotland and Scandinavia to Spain and Italy, the analysis highlights three themes: regional variation, power, and the legacy of Rome. The book's eight chapters examine the following subjects: Speaking and Writing; Living and Dying; Friends and Relations; Men and Women; Labour and Lordship; Getting and Giving; Kingship and Christianity; Rome and the Peoples of Europe. Collectively, they establish the complex cultural realities which distinguished Europe in the period between the end of the central institutions of the western Roman empire in the fifth century and the emergence of a Rome-centred papal monarchy from the late eleventh century onwards. In the context of debates about the social, religious and cultural meaning of 'Europe' in the early twenty-first century, this books seeks the origins of European cultural pluralism and diversity in the early Middle Ages.
Slavery After Rome, 500-1100 offers a substantially new interpretation of what happened to slavery in Western Europe in the centuries that followed the fall of the Roman Empire. The periods at either end of the early middle ages are associated with iconic forms of unfreedom: Roman slavery at one end; at the other, the serfdom of the twelfth century and beyond, together with, in Southern Europe, a revitalised urban chattel slavery dealing chiefly in non-Christians. How and why this major change took place in the intervening period has been a long-standing puzzle. This study picks up the various threads linking this transformation across the centuries, and situates them within the full context of what slavery and unfreedom were being used for in the early middle ages. This volume adopts a broad comparative perspective, covering different regions of Western Europe over six centuries, to try to answer the following questions: who might become enslaved and why? What did this mean for them, and for their lords? What made people opt for certain ways of exploiting unfree labour over others in different times and places, and is it possible, underneath all this diversity, to identify some coherent trajectories of historical change?
What happened to slavery in Europe in the centuries following the fall of the Roman Empire? This book is the only history of slavery and serfdom to span the whole of early medieval Western Europe and addresses issues of slave-taking and slave-trading; people who became slaves as a result of a debt or a crime; even people who chose to become slaves.
This book comprises a collection of essays comparing late Iron Age and Early Medieval art. Fundamentally, the book asks what making images meant on the fringe of the expanding or contracting Roman empire, particularly as the art from both periods drew heavily from – but radically transformed – imperial imagery.
The idea that with the decline of the Roman Empire Europe entered into some immense �dark age� has long been viewed as inadequate by many historians. How could a world still so profoundly shaped by Rome and which encompassed such remarkable societies as the Byzantine, Carolingian and Ottonian empires, be anything other than central to the development of European history? How could a world of so many peoples, whether expanding, moving or stable, of Goths, Franks, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, whose genetic and linguistic inheritors we all are, not lie at the heart of how we understand ourselves? The Inheritance of Rome is a work of remarkable scope and ambition. Drawing on a wealth of new material, it is a book which will transform its many readers� ideas about the crucible in which Europe would in the end be created. From the collapse of the Roman imperial system to the establishment of the new European dynastic states, perhaps this book�s most striking achievement is to make sense of an immensely long period of time, experienced by many generations of Europeans, and which, while it certainly included catastrophic invasions and turbulence, also contained long periods of continuity and achievement. From Ireland to Constantinople, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, this is a genuinely Europe-wide history of a new kind, with something surprising or arresting on every page.
Presents the broader movements of European history, emphasizing the main factors which have gone into the formation and development of the various European states from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Reformation. The history of England is included only when that country plays a prominent part in the politics of Europe. A full treatment of the period immediately following the fall of the Roman Empire is given, since that period provides the necessary key to future developments. For smoother reading, dates are relegated to the margin for the most part. Maps, timelines, and genealogy charts of the various royal houses of Europe contribute to making this book an excellent resource for the study of the Middle Ages in Europe. Suitable for ages 14 and up.
This collection of essays deals with a broad range of issues within the study, past and present, of the early Middle Ages. Subjects include war, power, ethnicity, gender, Charlemagne and Carolingian history. The book is largely concerned with reading the sources, both medieval and modern, and interpreting their narrators.
This collection of articles displays Walter Goffart's ability both to illuminate the great events that reshaped Europe after the fall of Rome and to uncover new and significant details in texts ranging from tax records to tribal genealogies. Professor Goffart is especially concerned with the role of 'barbarian' neighbours who, he argues, weighed far less on the destiny of the Roman West than did Constantinople.
In Worthy Efforts Catharina Lis and Hugo Soly offer an innovative approach to the history of perceptions and representations of work in Europe throughout Classical Antiquity and the medieval and early modern periods.