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Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (European History in Perspective) [Paperback]

Benjamin Arnold
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

9 Jun 1997 European History in Perspective
Medieval Germany 500-1300 is an interpretation of the foundation of Germany based upon the three most outstanding characteristics of the medieval polity: its division into several distinct peoples with their own customs, dialects, and economic interests from whom the later 'Germans' would be drawn; the imperial ambitions to which the successive German dynasties aspired; and the structure of German kingship, which was a military, religious, and juridical exercise of authority rather than a meticulous administration based upon scribal institutions.

Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (9 Jun 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033361092X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333610923
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 626,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise book on a complicated and complex time 8 Nov 2011
By Keen Reader TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is a fairly short book, part of the European History in Perspective series, which offers a brief but insightful overview of German political history between 500 and 1300. The book is divided into three parts: the peoples of medieval Germany; the neo-Roman western Empire adopted by the Franks and the Germans, and its impact; and the consequences of German kingship with its various institutional arrangements.

The difficulty and complexity of the material is handled well; the chapters are divided into short, snappy sections, each with their own subheading, so it allows the reader to take a brief break every so often to absorb what has been read so far. I find this works well with heavy scholarly information which may be new to the reader.

Medieval Germany seems to be a difficult subject to get a grip on; the lack of works in English coupled with the very different political and regional history of the area means that the reader needs to approach the material that is available and attempt to grasp as much as possible. This book offers a concise approach to this difficulty - however, I found that I benefited most from reading a short section at a time, and allowing the information to be absorbed - information overload was a real risk if you tried to take in too much at any one time. This is due not to any shortcoming in the book, but just in the complexity of the material itself. Overall, a valiant effort to introduce highly difficult and complex material; and a very worthwhile study.
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