This volume is the eleventh in the Routledge Encyclopedias of the Middle Ages series (formerly known as Garland Encyclopedias) and follows in the tradition of focusing on one geographical area or theme. It uses six broad categories to define its coverage: "Apparatus, Equipment, Implements, Techniques"; "Biography"; "Disciplines"; "Geographical Places"; "Institutions"; and "Scientific Genres." At the beginning of the volume, there is an alphabetical list of entries as well as a listing arranged by the six themes. The biographical articles that comprise the largest category reflect a scope that encompasses Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa and includes religious and political as well as scientific individuals. Some examples are Peter Abelard, Roger Bacon, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Maimonides, and William of Ockham.
Overall, this is a well-crafted reference source. The articles themselves are clearly written, signed, and well documented with bibliographies. The black-and-white illustrations are appropriate and enhance the text. Compared to Scribner's Dictionary of the Middle Ages (DMA) (1982-1989), specific articles are less complex in Routledge and have a more straightforward style. As an example, while the DMA has one 18-page article on mathematics, the Routledge has articles on Algebra and Arithmetic, each no longer than two pages. Although the DMA will likely be considered the benchmark, Routledge is clearly geared toward a somewhat less--scholarly audience whose goals require shorter answers. In addition, it offers a more global view of the period. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. Danise Hoover
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"This Encyclopedia will be an invaluable aid to scholarly researchers, authors of historical fiction, and historical re-enactors. Coverage of "everyday," non-scientific technologies such as fishing, pottery, and transportation is a particular strength. No comparable encyclopedia exists. Highly recommended." – Choice