Ned's Reviews > The Making of the Middle Ages

The Making of the Middle Ages by R.W. Southern
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Jun 02, 2008

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Don't let my 'star-rating' fool ya. This is a really good overview of the essential bits that tie together what made medieval Europe what it was c 900-1205 (and what it would revolve against later). Anyone at least mildly interested in the era should give this take at least a quick once-over look.
Written after WWII it really does seem to be trying to say all that was necessary about this formative period in euro-history, at a time when the western world was wanting to start over, again.
The families of Inglegarius, Counts of Anjou, France, c. 900-1150: how they got that way, how they kept it up.
The changed and changing relations of serf and noble, free and dependent.
The changed and changing relations between pope and emporer and king and what that meant for the administration of justice.
The growth of monasteries, abbeys, canons, cloisters, scholastics. And with fits and starts, knowledge of things like Rhetoric (thanx Gerbert!) and Logic (thanx Gerbert!) through intermediaries (thanx Boethius!) and shut-in copyists from Malta and Sicily to the Pyrenees, Burgundy to Ireland. Hildesheim and Bognor Regis . . .

But the reality, despite the mammoth tasks of running one of these cloisters or cathedral complexes that took care of a communities health care and trade needs and so much else, despite all this is that there were rudiments of knowledge that were only beginning to be understood. It was the 1000's when the west discovered that the three angles of a triangle added up to the sum of two right angles!
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Reading Progress

June 2, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
July 5, 2008 – Shelved as: background
July 5, 2008 – Shelved as: favorites
July 5, 2008 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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jessica juniper Sounds interesting...if you still have it I wouldn't mind borrowing it...I need something dense to read at the same time as all my escapist fiction!

message 2: by Ned (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ned of course! I have 40 pp left!
As far as density, it's more lucid than that,

jessica juniper It is denser than your typical novel. Dense and lucid are good!

Mark Thrift store find, the bright 26th printing (1978) caught my eye and the subject matter was of some interest. AUTHORITATIVELY written, and flows nicely despite the wealth if facts and dates...

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