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A Short History of the Middle Ages

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  16 reviews
This edition includes a new feature, "Seeing the Middle Ages," as well as over 40 color maps, more than 60 plates (almost all in color), seven figures, genealogies, and appendices of rulers. Students and others who wish to test their knowledge of each chapter will find study questions at The website also reproduces the maps, genealogies, ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 362 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by University of Toronto Press (first published August 1st 2001)
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Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A clear reading on the history of the medieval world. Rosenwein does a fantastic job describing various facets of the different societies and cultures, including the reasonings and consequences of war, the rise and transformations of rural and urban areas, artistic and literary movements, as well as tracking the succession of kings in different lands and the affect they had. A great place to start for anyone who wants to learn more about this fascinating time in history.
Thomas Achord
Jan 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The whole book is one slight jab at Western and Christian developments while promoting and legitimizing Islam. For instance, the book incessantly yet softly depicts Christianity as backwards, confused, divisive, narrow, focused on abstruse doctrine and regressive ethics; while it glosses and PG-13s the bloodshed and violence of Islam:

"Islam gave girls and women new dignity. It allowed for polygyny, but this was limited to four wives at one time, all to be treated equally. It mandated dowries and
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the second time I've read this book, and I absolutely love it. It covers the times and places between those with which we are more familiar. Rosenwein sets up the interrelatedness of different aspects of life, considering what big political and religious changes meant for ordinary people. I was fascinated to learn how apparently disparate people groups influenced and interacted with each other.

The only small issue I would have is that because she looks at themes over a long period of
Sarah Fournier
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
School textbook. Easy to read. The books website is great, contains maps and study questions for each chapter.
Feb 22, 2010 added it
Best short introduction. Lively, and beautifully illustrated.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this for my history class years ago. Gave me the answer on how the Roman World was transformed into the medieval world.
Joseph Lawrence
Very entertaining read. I read it quickly even though I read multiple sections repeatedly while annotating.

Loved the maps, especially.
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as text books go, this was actually an enjoyable read. Not only was it full of the usual assortment of names, places, and dates, but the author actually took the time to add in the every day lives of the lower classes, along with art, architecture, and philosophy. It was a nice break from the steamrollers that are the usual history texts.
Lara Eakins
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as the text for a class I took on the Middle Ages on my staff educational benefit. Written in a nice easy style, with good maps and illustrations. The early part with the fragmentation of the Roman empire was somewhat confusing, but that could be more due to my lack of previous knowledge of that period to fall back on. The second half of the book was a quick read.
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My fave textbook for the undergrads
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it
A short history of the middle ages, a very short one, hardly doing any right to the whole of that period. Still, it is a good an introduction as any other can be.
Jun 26, 2010 added it
A Short History of the Middle Ages by Barbara H. Rosenwein (2001)
Generally a good overview, but the organization is a bit shaky and it skips over a few major events in a paragraph or two.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really great book with lots of maps and pictures. Easy to read but still gives a lot of good information.
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Prof. Barbara Rosenwein was the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Historiography at the University of Oxford for the year 2014-2015.

Barbara H. Rosenwein (Ph.D. (1974), B.A. (1966), University of Chicago) is a professor at Loyola University Chicago. An internationally renowned historian, she has been a guest professor at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France; the École