Debating medieval Europe

The early Middle Ages, c. 450-c. 1050

Edited by Stephen Mossman

Debating medieval Europe


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1733-5
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £18.99
  • Published Date: December 2020
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Study & Teaching, HISTORY / Historiography, HISTORY / Medieval, Humanities / Historiography, Humanities / European history, Humanities / Medieval history, History, Medieval History, 11th century, c 1000 to c 1099, Historiography, c 500 CE to c 1000 CE, European history: medieval period, middle ages
  • Series: Manchester University Press


Debating medieval Europe serves as an entry point for studying and teaching medieval history. Rather than simply presenting foundational knowledge or introducing sources, it provides the reader with frameworks for understanding the distinctive historiography of the period, digging beneath the historical accounts provided by other textbooks to expose the contested foundations of apparently settled narratives. It opens a space for discussion and debate, as well as providing essential context for the sometimes overwhelming abundance of specialist scholarship.

Volume I addresses the early Middle Ages, covering the period c. 450-c. 1050. The chapters are organised chronologically, and cover such topics as the Carolingian Order, England and the 'Atlantic Archipelago', the Vikings and Ottonian Germany. It features a highly distinguished selection of medieval historians, including Paul Fouracre and Janet L. Nelson.


'The contributors to this edited volume do not engage in debate in the style of oppositional exposition, such as by questioning whether there was a Renaissance or what the causes of WW I were. Rather, they offer overviews of what has happened, looking at familiar chapters of medieval history, such as "The Transformation of the Roman World," "The Carolingian Moment," and "The Norman World, c. 1000-c.1100." All the authors work from the premise that the traditional narrative, while not incorrect, has been modified by the scholarship of the last generation-newer work is well cited in the extensive chapter bibliographies-and that a more nuanced picture of medieval society is now emerging to enrich and amplify older generalizations. For instance, the more recent focus on royal women, greater ambiguity about burial practices and religious conviction, and more qualifications in the hagiographic accounts of Irish monks shaped by conversions all enrich the familiar story. These are readable essays with special concern for the student studying in a survey course. The promise of a second volume for the later medieval period sounds a welcome note.'
--J. T. Rosenthal, emeritus, SUNY at Stony Brook
Summing Up: Recommended. All undergraduates.
Reprinted with permission from Choice Reviews. All rights reserved. Copyright by the American Library Association.


How to use this book: a guide for students - Stephen Mossman
1 The transformation of the Roman world, c. 450-c. 550 - Craig H. Caldwell III
2 The Successor States, 550-750 - Paul Fouracre
3 The Carolingian moment - Janet L. Nelson
4 Translatio imperii: Ottonian Germany - T. J. H. McCarthy
5 Feudal revolution? Transformations around the year 1000 - Paul Fouracre
6 Vikings and the 'age of iron' in the North Sea - Charles Insley
7 Early medieval Spain, 800-1100: the Christian kingdoms and al-Andalus - Robert Portass
8 England and the Atlantic Archipelago from Alfred to the Norman Conquest - Charles Insley
9 The Norman world, c. 1000-c. 1100 - Paul Oldfield


Stephen Mossman is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Manchester

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