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An Economic and Social History of Later Medieval Europe, 1000-1500 by Steven A. (University of Kansas) Epstein

An Economic and Social History of Later Medieval Europe, 1000-1500


An Economic and Social History of Later Medieval Europe, 1000-1500 by Steven A. (University of Kansas) Epstein

This book examines the most important themes in European social and economic history from the beginning of growth around the year 1000 to the first wave of global exchange in the 1490s. These five hundred years witnessed the rise of economic systems, and the social theories that would have a profound influence on the rest of the world over the next five centuries. Surveying the full extent of Europe, from east to west and north to south, Steven Epstein illuminates family life, economic and social thought, war, technologies, and other major themes while giving equal attention to developments in trade, crafts, and agriculture. The great waves of famine and then plague in the fourteenth century provide the centerpiece of a book that seeks to explain the causes of Europe's uneven prosperity and its response to catastrophic levels of death.


'The clarity and precision of Steven Epstein's survey of the history of the later medieval economy are without doubt two of its most wonderful features. Students and seasoned scholars alike will actually relish reading the book. ... This book is synthesis of a very high order.'
William Chester Jordan, Princeton University and author of The Great Famine

'This is a masterful book that brings together the most recent research on economic and social history in a sophisticated yet accessible manner. ... The book is a tour de force, whose modest tone will obscure (intentionally) to the casual reader and undergraduate student its striking originality. Epstein consistently offers unique juxtapositions of information and possesses such command of complex current economic theory that he is able to incorporate it effortless into his discussion of medieval event. This is a superb work of scholarship and exciting new source for teaching.'
William Caferro, Vanderbilt University

'... an impressive and very well written survey of European economic and social history from 1000 to 1500. ... it provides an enjoyable read.'

About the Author

Steven A. Epstein is Ahmanson-Murphy Distinguished Professor of Medieval History at the University of Kansas. He is the author of numerous articles and five books on aspects of medieval social and economic history, including Genoa and the Genoese, 958-1528 and Purity Lost: Transgressing Boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1000-1400.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th April 2009


Steven A. (University of Kansas) Epstein

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Cambridge University Press


304 pages


Social & cultural history
Economic history
European history



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