Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Medieval Europe” as Want to Read:
Medieval Europe
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Medieval Europe

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  621 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Kavimler Göçü'nün neticesinde Batı Roma İmparatorluğu'nun yıkılmasıyla başlayan Ortaçağ, Avrupa için beraberinde yeni bir etnik, dini ve siyasi yapılanmayı da beraberinde getirmiştir. Siyaset yanında dinin de ağır bastığı/etkili olduğu bu döneme ayrıca Roma'nın mirası, salgınlar, ekonomik krizler ve papalığın dünyevi liderlerle olan mücadeleleri damga vurmuştur.
Avrupa'da K
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 29th 2016 by Yale University Press (first published 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Medieval Europe, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Medieval Europe

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  621 ratings  ·  75 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Medieval Europe
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Not a bad book. But I learnt little. The analysis itself is interesting. And it does give an interesting bird's eye view of European developments. At the same time it lacks sufficient detail - so the story feels diluted. And it is also an unnecessarily painful read! Clearer, simpler sentences would have done the job too.
I have not read a solid overview of the time between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, and this book does an admiral job of providing a survey of the time period, with more detail on what used to be called the "dark ages" than I have come across. That said, it was quite a slog to get through, as much as I am interested in the information. The writing is overly cumbersome at times and hard to digest.

I would love to have him as a professor, though.

My favorite parts where the chap
G. Lawrence
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good book, not the easiest read, tends to wash through complicated issues quickly, but due to the quality of the writing and scholarship it manages not to lose the reader entirely. Still requires intense concentration, however! Interesting subject matter.
Chris Jaffe
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
So....why didn't I like this book more than I did.

It isn't just that I'm giving it a mere three stars. It's that I really like this author. Seven years ago I read his "Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages" about Europe from 400-1000 and thought it was fantastic. I got a lot out of it. This one? Well, there's good stuff here, but I can't say it made a big difference to me.

Two related issues explain it: 1) I know more than I did then, and 2) this book covers twice as many years in about
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I LOVED the emphasis on tracing the socioeconomics of the region and era before one can look at anything else, most especially the Church. The treatment of women and gender could have used a bit more of a focus on how the patriarchy was structured and what it gained by the systemic subjugation of the female 51% of the population, but maybe other medievalists have tackled that? IDK. I'm also curious about how colonialism/empire worked, but that's probably in another book too.

The overuse of the wo
Colin Baumgartner
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this look at what forces were emerging after the fall of Rome. It is fascinating to think that after such an advanced and highly organized empire fell, Europe fell back to such a disorganized existence. I enjoyed how this text walked through the progression of things—starting with the fall of Rome and the lingering Byzantine Empire and then tracing the periods of turmoil and political strife through to the Renaissance.

Sometimes the names of the various monarchs felt a bit dense and unn
Adam Marischuk
"Wickham is the most ambitious and provocative of medieval historians" (Peter Thonemann, TLS)
"Fascinating, judicious, authoritative" (Paul Freedman, Yale)
"Writing with great wit, style and clarity" (John Arnold, Cambridge)
"a model of clarity and accessibility...that remains compelling throughout...engages his reader in his arguments, choices and interpretations and keeps them on their toes" (Mayke de Jong, Utrecht)

These are just some of the raving reviews found on the dust jacket of this incredi
Xinghe Li
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A historical masterpiece. It is the best history book I've read in the past few years! If you must read one book about the medieval West, this is the one, period.

First, lector caveat: this book is full of details and microscoped socio-economical analysis. If you just want to get the 'big picture' and ignore how the big picture is constructed and on what basis it is supported, then this is not the book for you. Chris Wickham does not write a popular history reader, but a history book that is set
Ed Greening
I read for fun, and dreaded picking this up to continue the slog. I felt relieved every time I could get off the bus or metro and stop reading. Somewhere buried deep inside is a good book; thematically it is excellent, and the author has clearly done reams of research. But my God I have never been so bored reading a book before.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, non-fiction, 2010s
Covers a thousand years and a huge geographic tapestry in a surprisingly brisk treatment. Bracingly no-nonsense and occasionally contrarian, but Wickham plays fair and lets you know when he's submitting a minority report. A lot of the popular stories of the middle ages, defenestrations and royal eccentricities and the like, are conspicuous by their absence, but Wickham is probably correct in thinking that just because something is famous and well documented doesn't necessarily mean it was all th ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
As Chris Wickham states in the introduction, this is an interpretation rather than a comprehensive account of European history between 500 and 1500. Exploring the processes whereby the monolithic structure of the Roman empire transformed into the multifarious polities of Western Europe, he focuses on a series of key moments of change. These he identifies as the fall of the western empire, the eastern empire's confrontation with Islam, the Carolingian experiment, the expansion of the tenth to the ...more
alex guns
This may be the last example I need that there is no such thing as a solid, brief overview of Medieval Europe. There are two aspects of this book that I admire Wickham for including, both of which deflate many well-worn tropes of Medieval historiography.

Byzantium greeted the opening of the Medieval millennium (500 AD) at its apogee of power and prestige. 200 years late the Umayyads would conquer nearly all of the Iberian Peninsula creating Al-Andalus, the largest cultural center on the European
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Any work that seeks to wrap up a millennium of history across Europe would understandably face the same challenge - the tension between generalization and specificity, which is evident throughout the book. To Wickham's credit, he tenaciously and conspicuously battles the temptation to generalize, by often summarizing the histories of various European polities in different periods, and by emphasizing the differences among them. At the same time, in each chapter, he still manages to lay out the st ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the best book I have read yet on the Medieval Period. About half the book is the typical period history giving the reader the names and dates of hundreds of rulers and the wars that they fought. I have zero interest in these names and wars.
The other half of this book is about the culture and economy of the period from the year 500 to the year 1500, which is what I am interested in.
The big story here is that from 500 to 800 there is little growth and little is known, but in the next 300 y
Mary Catherine Pace
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History students, some background helpful
Well-organized study of Medieval Europe from an historian who is not a sexy modern-narrative-type historian. Wickham's scholarship is sound and no-nonsense, as befits a system-centered Marxist-trained historian, blessedly free of massive quaint anecdotal asides to distract the reader from the chronology and major conflicts and developments of the periods addressed in this concise history. His organizational and presentation skills are amazing, and he covers all of European Medieval history in a ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Flawed history book. The broad scope, both in time and space, belies the author's actual focus on Britain (where he is highly knowledgeable). The Italian cities and the Low Countries are cited frequently as an economic powerhouse, but that doesn't translate in any specific focus on that area. A pro-Brexit spirit seems to pervade, with statements against European unions of any kind sprinkled throughout the book. The general thesis, as spelled out in the book's conclusion, is rather too vague to b ...more
Tariq Mustafa
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Medieval Europe has so influenced so much of our current world that it must be explored in depth. This book is not a straight chronological simple history of what happened before and what happened after it. Rather, the author has focused on the reasons and factors of European reformation from the ashes of the Roman empires.

The author's flow of writing is surprisingly riveting for a subject like Medieval European history. Subsequent reading of other books around the European history and historic
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice overview of the Middle Ages in Europe. I love having various history lessons of my youth expanded in this manner. (Or learning the English names for them.) I went with the audiobook and even though it forces you to concentrate more than the usual bunch, it is well narrated and worth the time.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A textbook on how to suck all the life and juice out of a rich and fascinating topic. Maybe it's just that the reader sounds like he's having a hard time staying awake--but more likely it's the author's focus on large social trends and economic generalities that left me totally not caring that my loan period (borrowed it from the library) ran out before reaching the end.
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Short, but hard to finish. There isn't much detail, unsurprisingly for a 258 page book covering a thousand years of history, but generalities about political change from the Byzantine Empire to Scotland aren't really engaging.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
Read this because of glowing reviews in either/both of the TLS and LRB. Falling somewhere on the more hardcore fringe of popular history, this is a book that is about a view of the history of this period as much as it is about the period. I suppose there maybe claims or arguments in here that come across as provocative or brilliant or outrageous to actual historians, but for the layperson the overarching themes don’t impress.

The book manages to be both dense and sprawling, covering so many aspe
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I suppose I came to Chris Wickham’s Medieval Europe with the wrong expectations. It's tempting to see history as the deeds of men and women, related by chroniclers. I do not mean necessarily the deeds of kings and queens, but those of knights, townsmen or common peasants. In the writing of Chris Wickham, all these individuals are merely units to be aggregated to envisage the the economic and the sociological trends of the age.

This makes for rather dry reading – even if the subject is ambitious a
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very good, concise and readable overview over the European Middle Ages - unusually for an English-language treatment of the period, it does not confine itself to William the Conqueror, the Crusades, the Hundred Years' War, and the War of the Roses, but includes the rest of Europe, including small or temporarily important players, as well as Europe's neighbours. Wickham does not confine himself to a political or military history, but delves into the economic and fiscal organisation of the diffe ...more
Francis X DuFour
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Despite the paucity of large nation states, aperiodic intellectual lights did shine in Europe and neighboring lands during the Dark Ages. This history of Medieval Europe between 500 and 1500 is an excellent account of the constantly shifting ethnic, tribal and religious groups that arose during and after the decline of the Roman Empire. Development of moral and class divisions is especially well explained. Areas of advanced intellectual and political competence are revealed, though frequently th ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is like the opposite of Dan Carlin's hardcore history. In spite of 800 pages or something like that of text, it manages to say very little of controversy that can't be disputed. On the one hand, this is desirable, I had just quit reading A World Lit Only By Fire because of its juicy but in many parts unfounded claims about the Middle Ages. This is a welcome respite from that, but in the pursuit of academic truth, the book manages to be rather dry and repetitive. Obviously keeping a nar ...more
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Table of Contents

List of illustrations and maps
1 A new look at the middle ages
2 Rome and its western successors, 500–750
3 Crisis and transformation in the east, 500–850/1000
4 The Carolingian experiment, 750–1000
5 The expansion of Christian Europe, 500–1100
6 Reshaping western Europe, 1000–1150
7 The long economic boom, 950–1300
8 The ambiguities of political reconstruction, 1150–1300
9 1204: the failure of alternatives
10 Defining society: gender and community in late medieval Europe
Ian Hulstein
Jan 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
This was not a good book. The writing is dry and academic, and the sentences are needlessly convoluted. The author seems to think a sentence isn't worthy unless it causes the reader to choke and gasp for air while waiting desperately for a period. Seriously, the run-on sentences in this book are truly magnificent.

I was looking for a narrative history, about people, places, and events, but I suppose that kind of history isn't fashionable anymore, as I seem to be having a hard time locating one. T
Chris Leuchtenburg
I listened to the first three hours of the 14 hour recording. After a thoughtful and interesting analysis of why the Western Roman Empire fell, the continuity of much of Roman language, political structure and culture into the Middle Ages and the economic factors that drove the transition to feudalism, the narrative devolved into a parade of kings, wars and coups. I tried skipping ahead to see if he would return to a broader view of the history of this period, but just found more of the same. Th ...more
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A great overview of the immense period of 500-1500 CE. It's difficult, to say the least, to cover so much in a relatively short book, but I think Chris Wickham manages it well. It goes beyond simply which nobles fought each other, touching on the evolution of cultures and governments, the shifting of ethnicities, and influence of technology and philosophy. It proves that the Middle Ages were not a period of darkness and stagnation, but rather a dynamic period that helped lay the groundwork for t ...more
Jul 12, 2020 rated it liked it
There a lot of good information here, but I found it a very hard read because of the writing style. Wickham comes across as monstrously arrogant. How many different ways can he find to say "Some historians say such-and-such, but they misunderstand the period." Who are these idiotic historians?
The book is, as the title suggests, a straight-forward overview of the Middle Ages, with nothing much new for anyone who knows anything at all about the period. But Wickham seems to think he's written some
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
How does this title differ from: Inheritance of Rome? 1 7 Dec 13, 2016 06:31PM  
Chris vs Christopher 1 6 Sep 19, 2016 06:51PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower
  • Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands
  • Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650
  • Ancient Rome: From Romulus to Justinian
  • The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
  • The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade
  • In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire
  • The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It
  • Beyond the North Wind: The Fall and Rise of the Mystic North
  • The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land
  • The Normans: From Raiders to Kings
  • The Story of Greece and Rome
  • Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine
  • Viruses, Plagues and History
  • The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England
  • The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome
  • Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe
  • The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962-1976
See similar books…
"Chris Wickham is Chichele Professor of Medieval History, and Faculty Board Chair 2009-12.

I have been at Oxford since 2005. Previously, I was Lecturer (1977), Senior Lecturer (1987), Reader (1988), and from 1995 Professor of Early Medieval History, University of Birmingham; and I was an undergraduate and postgraduate at Keble College, Oxford, from 1968 to 1975.

I am a Fellow of the British Academy,

Related Articles

There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
57 likes · 17 comments
“There is a common medieval literary trope, and some actual cases, of enemies being invited to a meal to make peace, and then being killed while eating and drinking; it may have been a sensible strategy, for people’s guards were down, but it was very dishonourable indeed.” 1 likes
“homicide levels in English medieval villages matched those of the most violent US cities of the twentieth century.” 0 likes
More quotes…