The Two Cities: Medieval Europe 1050-1320
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The Two Cities: Medieval Europe 1050-1320

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  5 reviews
First published to wide critical acclaim in 1992, The Two Cities has become an essential text for students of medieval history. For the second edition, the author has thoroughly revised each chapter, bringing the material up to date and taking the historiography of the past decade into account.

The Two Cities covers a colourful period from the schism between the eastern and...more
Paperback, 616 pages
Published August 18th 1993 by Routledge (first published November 14th 1991)
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May 17, 2012 Katie marked it as to-read
It's a good textbook, but not a great introductory book to the High Middle Ages. A decent bit of basic knowledge is assumed (or it's assumed that the book is going to be used in a class supplemented with lectures). It's also a bit patchy in terms of quality - the first 70-80 pages are a bit lacking in focus and at times the writing is a bit dry.

That said, it makes really wonderful use of primary sources throughout, and the reader is able to get a good outline of events as well as an idea of wha...more
Inspired to read it via the bibliography section of the Ars Magica FAQ, ended up helped me choose a sensible starting province for playing Crusader Kings (Reggio, Roger de Hauteville).

Covering the same period repeatedly but from different perspectives make clear the complex interaction between the high middle ages kingdoms.
Sep 12, 2007 Professor rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who really, really want a broad but basic knowledge of medieval Europe
Okay as a textbook supplemented by great lectures (how I first encountered it) but on its own it quickly becomes overwhelming. The 3 is for a textbook rating, on it's own I'd say a 2. Still, good brush up.
Kevin Mallen
A good book but I felt the structure was very convoluted, I couldn't really follow the history that was being told.
Ellis L.
Used this as a textbook once. Rather idiosyncratic, but a good alternative to the traditional approach.
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British historian who specialised in the Knights Templar. Professor of Medieval European History at the University of Reading for many years until his retirement.
More about Malcolm Barber...
The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple The Trial of the Templars The Cathars: Dualist Heretics in Languedoc in the High Middle Ages The Crusader States The Templars: Selected Sources

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