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The Cambridge Medieval History vol 1 - The Christian Roman Empire and the Foundation of the Teutonic Kingdoms
– July 9, 2011
The Cambridge Medieval History Series consists of 8 volumes, with volume 1 first published in 1911. Planned by one of the most renowned Byzantinists and Medievalists of the day, John B. Bury, it became the de facto standard by which all comprehensive period histories would be measured. Its impact on the field of medieval scholarship is every bit as great as Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”. Volume One – The Christian Roman Empire and the Foundation of the Teutonic Kingdoms begins with the accession of Constantine to the Imperium and ends roughly with reign of Justinian in the East. It covers the migration of Germanic tribes into Roman territories. Significant attention is given the ecumenical church councils of the 4th Century, with particular emphasis on the Arian controversies. Volume Two – The Rise of the Saracens and the Foundation of the Western Empire covers the time period from roughly 500 CE to 814 CE. Beginning with Justinian, it also looks at the Frankish Merovingian dynasty, the Lombard Kingdom in Italy, the Restoration of the Imperium in Italy, and ends with the transition of power from the Merovingians to the Carolingians through Charlemagne’s reign. Chapters covering England and English institution and the conversion of the Celts. Finally, attention is given to the birth and spread of Islam and the growth of the Islamic Caliphate. Volume Three – Germany and the Western Empire covers the period from roughly 814 CE through the end of the first millennium. Beginning with the reign of Louis the Pious, it traces the decline of the Carolingian Empire and the foundation of the Capetian Dynasty. Attention is paid to the Holy Roman Empire in Germany through Henry III. The impact of the Norse Vikings on the political landscape is examined as is the development of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England through the death of Edward the Confessor. Throughout the volume development of feudalism as a primary labor, land-owning, and social way of life is highlighted. Finally, the continued growth of the Western Caliphate is looked at. Volume Four – The Eastern Roman Empire focuses primarily on the Byzantine East from roughly 700 CE through the end of the Empire in 1483. The different dynasties (Isaurian, Phrygian, and Macedonian) receive their own chapters, and in-depth attention is paid to the struggle with the emerging Islamic Caliphate. The religious and political relationship with the West is considered and significant attention is paid to the Comneni and Fourth Crusade. Volume Five – The Contest of Empire and Papacy is concerned primarily with the century and a half from 1050 CE to 1200 CE. It looks at the surging political power of the Church and the corresponding growth of nations of Western Europe. The Holy Roman Empire and the Norman Invasion of England, the establishment of the Plantagenet Dynasty in Norman Britain, and the emergence of Monasticism and Scholasticism in the period receive attention. Volumes 6-8 were published after 1923 and are therefore not in the public domain. Plantagenet Publishing will not be able to make them available in this format.
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