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

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  5 reviews
'For years, leaders of undergraduate courses on the central Middle Ages have longed for a book like this; a single volume which supplies useful outline reference material as an adjunct to a clear and wide ranging analysis of complex events, and one which presents a rounded view of the different aspects of the period, on association with a bountiful supply of relevant prima ...more
Hardcover, 540 pages
Published May 18th 2004 by Routledge (first published November 14th 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 112)
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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
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 Crusader States The Cathars: Dualist Heretics in Languedoc in the High Middle Ages The Templars: Selected Sources

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