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The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century [Paperback]

Charles H. Haskins
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 31, 1971 0674760751 978-0674760752 New Ed
Examines the historical background and major cultural developments of the Mediaeval Renaissance.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 439 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; New Ed edition (January 31, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674760751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674760752
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,007,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Premier Book of Early Middle Ages Research December 22, 1998
By A Customer
Despite its age, this book is still the premiere piece fo scholarship on the Twelfth Century. The late Harvard professor Haskins was a master at presenting detailed, insightful research in an easy, accessible manner. Everyone, from the average reader to the advanced researcher will be greatly satisfied with this erudite work.
In this book, which he did throughout all of his career, he presents history in the broader sense: history that is flowing and morphic, not static and pigeonholed. He believed that breaking history up into little arbitrary units of measure, like the century or a decade, while convenient, led to unrealistic expectations of periods or breaks between events, eras, and cultures. History for Professor haskins was very much alive and could not be contained for our convenience, hence it overflowed our self-imposed boundaires, and events which occurred in one era, had their origins far back in time and their ramifications felt far forward in time. Nothing is encapsulated and cut off from the rest of time.
The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century is a very important book, because it recaptures the early Middle Ages from the dustbin of Dark Ages ignorance where all the centuries after the Fall of Rome and the better known Italian Renaissance of the 15th Century are thrown.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Charles Homer Haskins' book titled THE RENIASSANCE OF THE TWELFTH CENTURY is a well written, well researched book that refutes the notion that somehow the years between c. 500-1500 AD were "the Dark Ages." Haskins book is "a must read" for those who have an interest in Medieval History.

Haskins presented an interesting thesis about cultuural/intellectual exchanges prior to the 12th.century(1100s). The book challenged the notion that Medieval Europeans were ignorant and unlearned prior to the Crusades (1096-1291). Haskins argued that there were cultural/intellectual exchanges prior to the Crusades espeacially in Southern Italy. The Byzantines Greeks and Arabic Moslems had trade in this area even after the disintegration of Roman Empire. Haskins suggested that the market place of goods was also a "market place of ideas." Gradually such exchanges and ideas penetrated Northern Europe.

Haskins dicussed early Medieval intellectual centers which were concentrated in the monestaries and cathederal schools. The monestaries were in effect beacons of light and learning. A point that other Haskins and other Medieval historians have made is the intellectual debt that Western Civilization owes to the nameless heroic monks and nuns.

The chaper on the production and publication of books is simply an important part of this book. Haskins gave precise details of how the monks hand copied books including the Ancient Clasics and the Bible. He commented that writing/hand copying books was "a labor of love." The monks believed that every word, sentence, and page meant the forgiveness of sins. There is an anecdote whereby one monk wrote one more word than he committed his sins which led to his salvation.
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