LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500

See below for a selection of the latest books from Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500 category. Presented with a red border are the Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500 books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500 books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

The First Kingdom

The First Kingdom

Author: Max Adams Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2021

The bestselling author of The King in the North turns his attention to the obscure era of British history known as 'the age of Arthur'. Somewhere in the dim void between the departure from Britain of the Roman legions at the start of the fifth century and the days of the venerable Bede, the kingdoms of Early Medieval Britain were formed. But by whom? And out of what? Max Adams scrutinizes the narrative handed down to us by later historians and chronicles, stripping away the most lurid nonsense about Arthur and synthesizing the research of the last forty years to tease out strands of reality from myth. His central theme evolves from an apparently simple question: how, after the end of the Roman state, were people taxed? Rejecting ethnic and nationalist explanations for the emergence of the Early Medieval kingdoms, Adams shows how careful use of a wide range of perspectives from anthropology to geography can deliver a picture of the emergence of distinct polities in the sixth century that survive long enough to be embedded in the medieval landscape, recorded in the lines of river, road and watershed and in place names.

Literary Circles in Byzantine Iconoclasm

Literary Circles in Byzantine Iconoclasm

Author: Oscar (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain) Prieto Dominguez Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/01/2021

Iconoclasm was the name given to the stance of that portion of Eastern Christianity that rejected worshipping God through images (eikones) representing Christ, the Virgin or the saints and was the official doctrine of the Byzantine Empire for most of the period between 726 and 843. It was a period marked by violent passions on either side. This is the first comprehensive account of the extant contemporary texts relating to this phenomenon and their impact on society, politics and identity. By examining the literary circles emerging both during the time of persecution and immediately after the restoration of icons in 843, the volume casts new light on the striking (re)construction of Byzantine society, whose iconophile identity was biasedly redefined by the political parties led by Theodoros Stoudites, Gregorios Dekapolites and Empress Theodora or the patriarchs Methodios, Ignatios and Photios. It thereby offers an innovative paradigm for approaching Byzantine literature.

Medieval Military Combat

Medieval Military Combat

Author: Tom Lewis Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/01/2021

We don't know how medieval soldiers fought. Did they just walk forward in their armour, to smash each other with their maces and poleaxes, for hours on end, as depicted on film in programs such as Game of Thrones? They could not have done so. It is impossible to fight in such a manner for more than several minutes as exhaustion becomes a preventative factor. Indeed, we know more of how the Roman and Greek armies fought than we do of the 1300 to 1550 period. So how did medieval soldiers in the War of the Roses, and in the infantry sections of battles such as Agincourt and Towton, carry out their grim work? Medieval Military Combat shows, for the first time, the techniques of such battles. It also breaks new ground in establishing medieval battle numbers as highly exaggerated, and that we need to look again at the accounts of actions such as the famous Battle of Towton, which this work uses as a basic for its overall study.

The Eastern Frontier

The Eastern Frontier

Author: Prof. Robert (Associate Professor) Haug Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/12/2020

Transoxania, Khurasan, and ?ukharistan - which comprise large parts of today's Central Asia - have long been an important frontier zone. In the late antique and early medieval periods, the region was both an eastern political boundary for Persian and Islamic empires and a cultural border separating communities of sedentary farmers from pastoral-nomads. Given its peripheral location, the history of the 'eastern frontier' in this period has often been shown through the lens of expanding empires. However, in this book, Robert Haug argues for a pre-modern Central Asia with a discrete identity, a region that is not just a transitory space or the far-flung corner of empires, but its own historical entity. From this locally specific perspective, the book takes the reader on a 900-year tour of the area, from Sasanian control, through the Umayyads and Abbasids, to the quasi-independent dynasties of the Tahirids and the Samanids. Drawing on an impressive array of literary, numismatic and archaeological sources, Haug reveals the unique and varied challenges the eastern frontier presented to imperial powers that strove to integrate the area into their greater systems. This is essential reading for all scholars working on early Islamic, Iranian and Central Asian history, as well as those with an interest in the dynamics of frontier regions.

The Battle of Maldon

The Battle of Maldon

Author: Mark (University of Oxford, UK) Atherton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/12/2020

Depicting one of the defining conflicts of tenth-century England, The Battle of Maldon immortalises the bloody fight that took place along the banks of the tidal river Blackwater in 991, poignantly expressing the lore and language of a determined nation faced with the advance of a ruthless and relentless enemy. But, as Mark Atherton reveals, The Battle of Maldon is more than a heroic tale designed to inspire courage and unity in a time of crisis: rather, it celebrates ideals of loyalty and friendship and commemorates an event which changed the face of English culture. Using Atherton's own vivid and illuminating translations from Old English, The Battle of Maldon: War and Peace in Tenth-Century England evokes the chaotic ebb and flow of the battle while also placing 'Maldon' in the context of its age. Seeking to reconstruct the way of life, the spirituality and the worldview of the original audience, Atherton examines how and why the poem encouraged its readers to relive the visceral experience of battle for themselves. With this exciting study, Atherton provides an authoritative treatment of this iconic text, its history and its legacy. As such, this important book will be a vital resource for all readers of Old English literature and early medieval history.

Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe

Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe

Author: Ephraim Shoham-Steiner Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/11/2020

Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe is a topic laced by prejudice on one hand and apologetics on the other. Beginning in the Middle Ages, Jews were often portrayed as criminals driven by greed. While these accusations were, for the most part, unfounded, in other cases criminal accusations against Jews were not altogether baseless. Drawing on a variety of legal, liturgical, literary, and archival sources, Ephraim Shoham-Steiner examines the reasons for the involvement in crime, the social profile of Jews who performed crimes, and the ways and mechanisms employed by the legal and communal body to deal with Jewish criminals and with crimes committed by Jews. A society's attitude toward individuals identified as criminals - by others or themselves - can serve as a window into that society's mores and provide insight into how transgressors understood themselves and society's atttudes toward them. The book is divided into three main sections. In the first section, Shoham-Steiner examines theft and crimes of a financial nature. In the second section, he discusses physical violence and murder, most importantly among Jews but also incidents when Jews attacked others and cases in which Jews asked non-Jews to commit violence against fellow Jews. In the third section, Shoham-Steiner approaches the role of women in crime and explores the gender differences, surveying the nature of the crimes involving women both as perpetrators and as victims, as well as the reaction to their involvement in criminal activities among medieval European Jews. While the study of crime and social attitudes toward criminals is firmly established in the social sciences, the history of crime and of social attitudes toward crime and criminals is relatively new, especially in the field of medieval studies and all the more so in medieval Jewish studies. Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe blazes a new path for unearthing daily life history from extremely recalcitrant sources. The intended readership goes beyond scholars and students of medieval Jewish studies, medieval European history, and crime in pre-modern society.

Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe

Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe

Author: Ephraim Shoham-Steiner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2020

Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe is a topic laced by prejudice on one hand and apologetics on the other. Beginning in the Middle Ages, Jews were often portrayed as criminals driven by greed. While these accusations were, for the most part, unfounded, in other cases criminal accusations against Jews were not altogether baseless. Drawing on a variety of legal, liturgical, literary, and archival sources, Ephraim Shoham-Steiner examines the reasons for the involvement in crime, the social profile of Jews who performed crimes, and the ways and mechanisms employed by the legal and communal body to deal with Jewish criminals and with crimes committed by Jews. A society's attitude toward individuals identified as criminals - by others or themselves - can serve as a window into that society's mores and provide insight into how transgressors understood themselves and society's attitudes toward them. The book is divided into three main sections. In the first section, Shoham-Steiner examines theft and crimes of a financial nature. In the second section, he discusses physical violence and murder, most importantly among Jews but also incidents when Jews attacked others and cases in which Jews asked non-Jews to commit violence against fellow Jews. In the third section, Shoham-Steiner approaches the role of women in crime and explores the gender differences, surveying the nature of the crimes involving women both as perpetrators and as victims, as well as the reaction to their involvement in criminal activities among medieval European Jews. While the study of crime and social attitudes toward criminals is firmly established in the social sciences, the history of crime and of social attitudes toward crime and criminals is relatively new, especially in the field of medieval studies and all the more so in medieval Jewish studies. Jews and Crime in Medieval Europe blazes a new path for unearthing daily life history from extremely recalcitrant sources. The intended readership goes beyond scholars and students of medieval Jewish studies, medieval European history, and crime in pre-modern society.

Europe

Europe

This collaborative two-volume literary history of Europe, the first yet attempted, unfolds through ten sequences of places linked by trade, travel, topography, language, pilgrimage, alliance, disease, and artistic exchange. The period covered, 1348-1418, provides deep context for understanding current developments in Europe, particularly as initiated by the destruction and disasters of World War II. We begin with the greatest of all European catastrophes: the 1348 bubonic plague, which killed one person in three. Literary cultures helped speed recovery from this unprecedented 'ground zero' experience, providing solace, distraction, and new ideals to live by. Questions of where Europe begins and ends, then as now, and disputes over whom truly 'belongs' on European soil are explored, if not solved, through writing. A war that would last for a century convulsed much of western Europe. Divisions between Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianities endured, and in 1378 the West divided again between popes of Avignon and Rome. Arabic literary cultures linked Fes and Granada to Jerusalem and Damascus; Persian and Turkish writings began to flourish south and west of Constantinople; Jewish intellectuals treasured Arabic texts as well as Hebrew writings; Armenian colophons proved unique. From 1414-18 western nations gathered to heal their papal schism while also exchanging literary, humanist, and musical ideas; visitors from the East hoped for commitment to wider European peace. Freed from nation state historiography, as bequeathed by the nineteenth century, these 82 chapters freshly assess the free movement of European literature in all its variety, local peculiarity, and regenerative power.

Europe

Europe

This collaborative two-volume literary history of Europe, the first yet attempted, unfolds through ten sequences of places linked by trade, travel, topography, language, pilgrimage, alliance, disease, and artistic exchange. The period covered, 1348-1418, provides deep context for understanding current developments in Europe, particularly as initiated by the destruction and disasters of World War II. We begin with the greatest of all European catastrophes: the 1348 bubonic plague, which killed one person in three. Literary cultures helped speed recovery from this unprecedented 'ground zero' experience, providing solace, distraction, and new ideals to live by. Questions of where Europe begins and ends, then as now, and disputes over whom truly 'belongs' on European soil are explored, if not solved, through writing. A war that would last for a century convulsed much of western Europe. Divisions between Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianities endured, and in 1378 the West divided again between popes of Avignon and Rome. Arabic literary cultures linked Fes and Granada to Jerusalem and Damascus; Persian and Turkish writings began to flourish south and west of Constantinople; Jewish intellectuals treasured Arabic texts as well as Hebrew writings; Armenian colophons proved unique. From 1414-18 western nations gathered to heal their papal schism while also exchanging literary, humanist, and musical ideas; visitors from the East hoped for commitment to wider European peace. Freed from nation state historiography, as bequeathed by the nineteenth century, these 82 chapters freshly assess the free movement of European literature in all its variety, local peculiarity, and regenerative power.

The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages

The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages

Author: James (University of St Andrews, Scotland) Palmer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/11/2020

This groundbreaking study reveals the distinctive impact of apocalyptic ideas about time, evil and power on church and society in the Latin West, c.400-c.1050. Drawing on evidence from late antiquity, the Frankish kingdoms, Anglo-Saxon England, Spain and Byzantium and sociological models, James Palmer shows that apocalyptic thought was a more powerful part of mainstream political ideologies and religious reform than many historians believe. Moving beyond the standard 'Terrors of the Year 1000', The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages opens up broader perspectives on heresy, the Antichrist and Last World Emperor legends, chronography, and the relationship between eschatology and apocalypticism. In the process, it offers reassessments of the worlds of Augustine, Gregory of Tours, Bede, Charlemagne and the Ottonians, providing a wide-ranging and up-to-date survey of medieval apocalyptic thought. This is the first full-length English-language treatment of a fundamental and controversial part of medieval religion and society.

The First Pagan Historian

The First Pagan Historian

In The History of the Destruction of Troy, Dares the Phrygian boldly claimed to be an eyewitness to the Trojan War, while challenging the accounts of two of the ancient world's most canonical poets, Homer and Virgil. For over a millennium, Dares' work was circulated as the first pagan history. It promised facts and only facts about what really happened at Troy - precise casualty figures, no mention of mythical phenomena, and a claim that Troy fell when Aeneas and other Trojans betrayed their city and opened its gates to the Greeks. But for all its intrigue, the work was as fake as it was sensational. From the late antique encyclopedist Isidore of Seville to Thomas Jefferson, The First Pagan Historian offers the first comprehensive account of Dares' rise and fall as a reliable and canonical guide to the distant past. Along the way, it reconstructs the central role of forgery in longstanding debates over the nature of history, fiction, criticism, philology, and myth, from ancient Rome to the Enlightenment.

Christian Divination in Late Antiquity

Christian Divination in Late Antiquity

Author: Robert Wisniewski Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/11/2020

Late Antiquity - Divination - History of Christianity