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The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  238 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
From the fall of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Renaissance, the 1000 years forming the medieval period were a time of tremendous change & turmoil--a millennium that witnessed the creation of Western civilization. This beautiful volume--the 4th in a superb series of Oxford Illustrated Histories--offers a lively, authoritative account of life in medieval Europe &am ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published January 18th 2001 by Oxford Paperbacks (first published 1988)
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(showing 1-30 of 737)
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Todd Stockslager
High-level survey by multiple authors of Middle Ages from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance. As a survey, the writing doesn't inspire, but it does inform. See, for example, Morris Bishop's The Middle Ages for a history with a consistently higher level of writing.

Interesting is that Dark Ages weren't so dark, nor were they the result and fault of a repressive Christianity. The common folks of classic civilization lived lives just like the lives of those of the Dark Ages.

In fact, with the collapse
...more
Charlie Brown
Jan 08, 2011 Charlie Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I really liked it. But...I have come to believe that I cannot achieve a clear understanding of my culture and that of Europe without understanding the period from the collapse of the Roman Empire to, say, the end of the Renaissance or the beginning of the Enlightenment. The dark years from 500 to 1000 set the stage for the events of the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, leading to what Barbara Tuchman called the "disastrous" 14th century. This book takes aim at exactly this period of time; in ...more
Simon Mcleish
May 29, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in November 1999.

This history, in tone somewhere between a popular and an academic exposition, divides Europe into two zones (north and Mediterranean) and the medieval period into three sections (500-900,900-1200,1200-1500). Each division is covered by a lengthy essay by a different author, making six in all, topped and tailed by short editorial commentaries.

The strength of the editing is indicated by the fact that there is no obvious stylistic change from on
...more
Connor Coyne
I'm not going to spend much time reviewing these books... but I picked this one because I wanted to have a general overview of the middle ages for Urbantasm. This one was ever so slightly dated, but otherwise dense of information.

The reason why I so enjoyed Chester Starr's history of the Ancient World is that, despite many of the questionable opinions he puts forward, he presents an interpretation of that world that is broad and deep, taking in not only military adventures and seismic demographi
...more
Alex
Jan 08, 2012 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Nerds
I'm currently just getting to the end of the third chapter though I've been reading it for a while because this is my 'waiting for class to start/waiting for my ride' book that I take to classes with me.
So far, I love it (as if you couldn't tell from the rating). I love how it's divided and all the pictures! So many history books seem to be 'picture-phobic' this, as you would expect from the title, not.
Finished.
Ethan
Sep 03, 2015 Ethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, christianity
A robust exploration into the history of Western and Central Europe from 400-1500.

The book features multiple authors and is divided by both geographical areas and time: timeframes are 400-900, 900-1200, and 1200-1500, and two main geographic areas are explored: northern Europe (meaning British Isles, France, Germany, and Poland and Hungary as they develop) and the Mediterranean (meaning Spain, Italy, and the Byzantine Empire).

All major trends and events are profiled but not all are covered in d
...more
Tony
Apr 10, 2011 Tony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Holmes, George (ed.). THE OXFORD ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL EUROPE. (1988). ***.
This is a richly illustrated volume from OUP that covers Europe and the Mediterranean from 400 A.D. to 1500 A.D. The six chapters are each written by six different scholars in the field – which leads to six different styles in presenting the information from their respective periods. The chapters are:
1. The Transformation of the Roman Mediterranean, 400-900.
2. The Northern World in the Dark Ages, 400-900.
3.
...more
Robert
Feb 12, 2009 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research
It may be just a personal taste, but I don't particularly enjoy these kinds of histories. I usually find that the micro is what informs the macro, but these Oxford texts are all macro. Over a thousand years are covered in 500 pages, so there is no detail, no time for personalities, no time to develop any sense of drama or tension--in short, no storytelling, just endless "this happened and then this happened." I've bought a couple of the Oxford histories, and the illustrations help a little (it's ...more
Jack
This was a great overview book of the end of the Roman empire to the 15th century. I find it difficult to locate texts on the Merovingians, Carolingians, and the following European monarchies. This book covered the high points of the those eras as well as the Byzantine empire and the viking incursions. Included are some very interesting pictures of manuscripts, locations, and artifacts of the different eras. If you would like to read something that covers the high points of some 1100ish years, t ...more
Erik Graff
Apr 20, 2013 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle Ages fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
I picked this up at the Amarinth Bookstore in Evanston, Illinois in preparation for meeting a medievalist from Texas A&M, Kathryn Jacobs, along with books about Chaucer and Shakespeare. The latter were finished before her arrival, allowing me to seem not entirely ignorant, but this volume was barely begun by the time of her departure.

Most of the histories I've read dealing with the period covered by this book, 500-1500, have dealt either with details or with intellectual currents. Although n
...more
David
Mar 14, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed parts of this book, it's structure was its worst enemy. The chapters all cover clearly defined time periods, with each period separated into the Mediterranean and Northern Europe geographically.
The combination of this illogical structure and different authors makes this a very poor overview of medieval Europe.
The first few chapters are a bit vague (endemic of the period described I suppose), yet still very interesting nonetheless. Most of the later chapters tend to take one asp
...more
Sean
Oct 05, 2013 Sean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is quite interesting if you're at all into Medieval History. But if you're not already curious about the topic, the book doesn't do much to get you excited about it. Its structured as a series of essays by various authors on Medieval Europe, broken down into separate time periods and by North/South. The authors are all dry enough to make it hard to tell any difference between them.

Still, if you're interested in Medieval History, this is a pretty interesting book. The writing may be a b
...more
Dru
Jul 10, 2007 Dru rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's rich in history, I cannot deny that. But the title was almost misleading, for it said the history of medieval Europe. It only spoke of the rulers and their conquests, but scantly of the lifestyle, none of the clothing, and other details. I had to get other books to discover those for myself.

But it's a good primer to begin with.
Walt
Dec 06, 2011 Walt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-medieval
This is a good introduction to Medieval Europe if a bit long and written academically (long unbroken chapters with too much analysis). This remains one of the better introductory studies of Medieval Europe that considers Central Europe in the Early and High Middle Ages.
José
Jan 09, 2012 José rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's comprehensive enough for the uninitiated, but I've read way too much about this time period to find a 300-page overview of nearly 1000 years of history worthwhile. Also, it's written by about 4 or 5 different historians and their writing skills vary.
David Silva
Dec 18, 2011 David Silva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really great encyclopedia of medieval Europe in English with great photos and some genealogy charts to help keep everyone in perspective. I will use this book a lot and have already looked through it many times. Very worth the price.
Brendan
Sep 07, 2009 Brendan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A decent road-map to the economic, political and social changes that transformed the Roman Empire and it's northern frontiers into Modern Europe.
Chris
Apr 05, 2007 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval-lit
A fine resource book, and a great place to start your research for a paper. Not much detail, but its not meant to be a primary source.
Tom Wall
A decent book. Provides a very general overview of Medieval Europe. A good reference book to have on your shelf.
Ian
Jul 08, 2008 Ian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The narrative glosses over key secular events while emphasizing in greater detail monastic developments.
Pat
Jul 23, 2013 Pat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A long read with wonderful photographs.
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong page count 2 25 Jan 12, 2014 11:38AM  
  • The History of Medieval Europe
  • The Civilization Of Europe In The Renaissance
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe
  • The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe
  • The Middle Ages
  • Revelations of the Medieval World (A History of Private Life, #2)
  • The Oxford History of the Classical World
  • Medieval Europe: A Short History
  • The Goths
  • Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages
  • Moorish Spain
  • The Making of the Middle Ages
  • The Devil's Broker: Seeking Gold, God, and Glory in Fourteenth- Century Italy
  • Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World (Allen Lane History)
  • A Brief History of the Crusades: Islam and Christianity in the Struggle for World Supremacy
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades
  • The Black Death
  • The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change, 950-1350

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