The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change 950 - 1350 Paperback – 29 Sep 1994
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One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1993
"The most stimulating and well-written reassessment of medieval Europe that has appeared for many years."--Eric Christiansen, The New York Review of Books
"Bartlett amasses a wealth of documentation and, unlike other authors, he weaves a rich tapestry of colourful incidents, personalities, and contemporary comment.... A masterful survey of the forces that shaped the West."--Theodore K. Rabb, The Times Literary Supplement
"An absolutely first-rate book.... Bartlett has elucidated the making not only of Europe but of our own country and of the modern world as a whole."--Roger Draper, The New Leader
"Essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the problems of Europe today."--Keith Thomas, Guardian
The Making of Europe is an important book. . . . This excellent discussion of medieval colonial expansion is much overdue. . . . [It] goes a long way toward understanding what is meant by the European mindset and sheds some light on why this mindset spread into the far corners of the globe."--Madelyn B. Dick, History: Reviews of New Books
. . . a useful and illuminating book, marked by breadth of outlook, impressive erudition, and a convincing discussion of the principal forces contributing to the "making of Europe" between the tenth and the fourteenth centuries."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Robert Bartlett is Professor of Medieval History at St Andrews University
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Top customer reviews
I appreciated the fact, that Bartlett's book touches many individual identifiers in such a way that is easily understandable for a novice reader of history, but which at the same time is interesting for a more knowledgable reader. Among the identifiers that defines the periode 950-1350 are:
- the expansion of Latin Christendom
- the aristocratic diaspora
- military technology and polical power
- the image of the conqueror
- the free village
- the new landscape
- colonial towns and colonial trade
- race relations on the frontiers of Latin Europe
- the Roman Church and the Christian people.
Bartlett's book focusses on geographical areas that were subject to expansion, such as Eastern Europe, the Baltic, the Iberian penensula, and Ireland, but it does include many details that span the whole of Europe. I find this to be a major plus for the book, it does not view a specific situation for example that of Germany or France to automatically represent all of Europe. Bartlett has a strong knowledge of the geographical, ethnic, and cultural differences in Europe and this knowledge and the acceptence of the differences shines through.
I recommend Bartlett's book to anyone interested in European history or history of the Middle Ages: novices and experts alike.
The book explains well the common culture and values [with interesting local variations] of the West. In this context several minor criticisms come to mind.Firstly the maps need to be expanded and increased in scope. The author too frequently assumes a knowledge of [ancient] geography that the reader may lack. Secondly readers new to the subject would certainly benefit from an expanded introduction explainig more of the explictly Northern, or rather Frankish, historical circumstances immediately prior to the book's point of commencement. If one knows little of Charlemagne's Empire and its achievements it is a little hard to follow the opening of the book. Lastly and perhaps most significantly, at the heart of the book there appears to be something of a Christological bias or at least presumption of cultural and inevitably ethical superiority. This is more than the frequent use of the words 'Barbarian'and 'Pagan'. The book seems constantly to assume some sort of inate superiority on the part of Northern European Christians to their Pagan neighbours. This needs further thought and discussion. The record of Christian Europe, at that time and subsequently, is of consistent savagery and philistinism of a very high order especially towards those of other cultures or religious traditions. This sense of superiority is thus somewhat misplaced.
Nevertheless the small criticisms are insignificant indeed by comparison with this fine book as a whole. I highly recommend it.
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