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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!

Women, Writing and Religion in England and Beyond, 650-1100

Women, Writing and Religion in England and Beyond, 650-1100

Author: Diane (University of Surrey, UK) Watt Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/12/2019

Women's literary histories usually start in the later Middle Ages, but recent scholarship has shown that actually women were at the heart of the emergence of the English literary tradition. Women, Writing and Religion in England and Beyond, 650-1100 focuses on the period before the so-called `Barking Renaissance' of women's writing in the 12th century. By examining the surviving evidence of women's authorship, as well as the evidence of women's engagement with literary culture more widely, Diane Watt argues that early women's writing was often lost, suppressed, or deliberately destroyed. In particular she considers the different forms of male `overwriting', to which she ascribes the multiple connotations of `destruction', `preservation', `control' and `suppression'. She uses the term to describe the complex relationship between male authors and their female subjects to capture the ways in which texts can attempt to control and circumscribe female autonomy. Written by one of the leading experts in medieval women's writing, Women, Writing and Religion in England and Beyond, 650-1100 examines women's literary engagement in monasteries such as Ely, Whitby, Barking and Wilton Abbey, as well as letters and hagiographies from the 8th and 9th centuries. Diane Watt provides a much-needed look at women's writing in the early medieval period that is crucial to understanding women's literary history more broadly.

Medieval Meteorology Forecasting the Weather from Aristotle to the Almanac

Medieval Meteorology Forecasting the Weather from Aristotle to the Almanac

Author: Anne (University of Reading) Lawrence-Mathers Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/11/2019

The practice of weather forecasting underwent a crucial transformation in the Middle Ages. Exploring how scientifically-based meteorology spread and flourished from c.700-c.1600, this study reveals the dramatic changes in forecasting and how the new science of 'astro-meteorology' developed. Both narrower and more practical in its approach than earlier forms of meteorology, this new science claimed to deliver weather forecasts for months and even years ahead, on the premise that weather is caused by the atmospheric effects of the planets and stars, and mediated by local and seasonal climatic conditions. Anne Lawrence-Mathers explores how these forecasts were made and explains the growing practice of recording actual weather. These records were used to support forecasting practices, and their popularity grew from the fourteenth century onwards. Essential reading for anyone interested in medieval science, Medieval Meteorology demonstrates that the roots of scientific forecasting are much deeper than is usually recognized.

Book Culture in Late Medieval Syria The Ibn 'Abd Al-Hadi Library of Damascus

Book Culture in Late Medieval Syria The Ibn 'Abd Al-Hadi Library of Damascus

Author: Konrad Hirschler Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/11/2019

In the late medieval period, manuscripts galore circulated in Middle Eastern libraries. Yet very few book collections have come down to us as such or have left a documentary trail. This book discusses the largest private book collection of the pre-Ottoman Arabic Middle East for which we have both a paper trail and a surviving corpus of the manuscripts that once sat on its shelves: the Ibn 'Abd al-Hadi Library of Damascus. The book suggests that this library was part of the owner's symbolic strategy to monumentalise a vanishing world of scholarship bound to his life, family, quarter and home city.

The 'Dark' Ages From the Sack of Rome to Hastings

The 'Dark' Ages From the Sack of Rome to Hastings

Author: Martin J Dougherty Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/11/2019

The 'Dark' Ages have often been crudely depicted as an era of mass illiteracy and ignorance, and of terrifying heathen hordes swarming across the European continent, leaving devastation in their wake. Yes, this was the time of the so-called Barbarian invasions, of the Vikings, of the break-up of some urban life and population decline in Western Europe. But this was also the time of Pope Gregory the Great, of Charlemagne and Alfred the Great; of feudalism, the development of monastic life and the nurturing of Christianity across Western Europe. In the East, the Roman Empire continued to thrive in Byzantium, while from the 7th century the Muslim Arab conquest of North Africa and Iberia proved to be a stimulating challenge to the Christian West. From the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the 11th century, The 'Dark' Ages tells the story of this fascinating but much misunderstood period in medieval history. Featuring the fragmentation of the Western Roman Empire and re-emergence of unity under Charlemagne; the emergence of the Catholic Church as a dominant political force; the raids, trading life and settlements of the Vikings, the book expertly reappraises the early Middle Ages. Illustrated with 180 colour and black-&-white photographs, artworks and maps, The 'Dark' Ages is an exciting, engaging and highly informative exploration of this often overlooked period in early medieval history.

Troy: myth and reality

Troy: myth and reality

Author: Lesley Fitton, Andrew Shapland, Alexandra Villing, Victoria Donnellan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/11/2019

Troy is familiar to us from the timeless and epic tales of Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid. These have been retold over the centuries by writers from Chaucer to Shakespeare to Madeline Miller and Rick Riordan, and enacted by stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Brad Pitt. But how much do we really know about the city of Troy; its storytellers, myth, actual location or legacy? In this richly illustrated book, the story of Troy is told through a new lens. Published to accompany an exhibition at the British Museum, it introduces the storytellers and Classical artists inspired by the myths of Troy, then examines the tales themselves - from the Judgment of Paris to the return of Odysseus - through the Classical objects for which the museum is internationally known. The third section focuses on Heinrich Schliemann's excavations at Hissarlik, introducing the nineteenth-century search for the location of Troy that convinced the world that this city did once exist. Also explored is the possible Bronze Age background for the myth of the Trojan War, the historicity of which remains unresolved today. The final section delves into the legacy of Troy, and the different ways in which its story has been retold, both in literature and art, from Homer to the present day. Focusing on the major characters - Helen of Troy, Achilles and Hector, Aeneas and Odysseus - it illustrates how artists from Cranach and Rubens to Romare Bearden and Cy Twombly have been inspired by this archetypal tale to reflect on contemporary themes of war and heroism, love and beauty.

Troy: myth and reality

Troy: myth and reality

Author: Lesley Fitton, Andrew Shapland, Alexandra Villing, Victoria Donnellan Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/11/2019

Troy is familiar to us from the timeless and epic tales of Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid. These have been retold over the centuries by writers from Chaucer to Shakespeare to Madeline Miller and Rick Riordan, and enacted by stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Brad Pitt. But how much do we really know about the city of Troy; its storytellers, myth, actual location or legacy? In this richly illustrated book, the story of Troy is told through a new lens. Published to accompany an exhibition at the British Museum, it introduces the storytellers and Classical artists inspired by the myths of Troy, then examines the tales themselves - from the Judgment of Paris to the return of Odysseus - through the Classical objects for which the museum is internationally known. The third section focuses on Heinrich Schliemann's excavations at Hissarlik, introducing the nineteenth-century search for the location of Troy that convinced the world that this city did once exist. Also explored is the possible Bronze Age background for the myth of the Trojan War, the historicity of which remains unresolved today. The final section delves into the legacy of Troy, and the different ways in which its story has been retold, both in literature and art, from Homer to the present day. Focusing on the major characters - Helen of Troy, Achilles and Hector, Aeneas and Odysseus - it illustrates how artists from Cranach and Rubens to Romare Bearden and Cy Twombly have been inspired by this archetypal tale to reflect on contemporary themes of war and heroism, love and beauty.

Vikings A History of the Northmen

Vikings A History of the Northmen

Author: W. B. Bartlett Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/11/2019

1066: a battlefield in England, a mighty king lies prone on the ground, his lifeblood ebbing out of him. As he draws his last breath, the world of which he is the greatest figurehead also moves towards its end, its existence about to pass from history into legend and later into myth. This is not Hastings; it is Stamford Bridge, and the dying king is Harald Hardrada, one of the greatest figures of the Viking age. It was a bolt from the blue when Viking raiders descended on the defenceless monastery at Lindisfarne in 793 and left it a heap of burning rubble. In succeeding years, other monasteries fell too; Jarrow, Monkwearmouth, Iona. Britain and Ireland suffered extensively as did France, Spain, Italy and even the mighty Byzantine Empire. But this was not just a period of conquest and violence. It was also an age of exploration, Viking ships crossed the Atlantic, through Shetland and Orkney to the Faroes and from there to Iceland, Greenland and North America. They sailed east and their traders moved across the steppes and rivers of Russia down to Constantinople, then the greatest city in Christendom. This is the story of the Vikings, those men and women raided and traded their way into history whilst at the same time helping to build new nations in Scandinavia and beyond. It is also the tale of evocatively-named great men; Sweyn Forkbeard, Harald Bluetooth, Ragnar Lodbrok, Erik the Red, Ivar the Boneless, Cnut the Great.

Eleanor of Aquitaine Queen of France and England, Mother of Empires

Eleanor of Aquitaine Queen of France and England, Mother of Empires

Author: Sara, QC Cockerill Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/11/2019

In the competition for remarkable queens, Eleanor of Aquitaine tends to win. In fact, her story sometimes seems so extreme it ought to be made up. The headlines: orphaned as a child, duchess in her own right, Queen of FranceC crusader, survivor of a terrible battle, kidnapped by her own husband, captured by pirates, divorced for barrenness, Countess of Anjou, Queen of England, mother of at least five sons and three daughters, supporter of her sons' rebellion against her own husband, his prisoner for fifteen years, ruler of England in her own right, traveller across the Pyrenees and Alps in winter in her late sixties and seventies, and mentor to the most remarkable queen medieval France was to know (her own granddaughter, obviously). It might be thought that this material would need no embroidery. But the reality is that Eleanor of Aquitaine's life has been subjected to successive reinventions over the years, with the facts usually losing the battle with speculation and wishful thinking. In this biography, Sara Cockerill has gone back to the primary sources and the wealth of recent first-rate scholarship, and assessed which of the claims about Eleanor can be sustained on the evidence. The result is a complete re-evaluation of this remarkable woman's even more remarkable life. A number of oft-repeated myths are debunked and a fresh vision of Eleanor emerges. In addition, the book includes the fruits of her own research, breaking new ground on Eleanor's relationship with the Church, her artistic patronage and her relationships with all of her children, including her family by her first marriage.

Female Sexuality in the Early Medieval Islamic World Gender and Sex in Arabic Literature

Female Sexuality in the Early Medieval Islamic World Gender and Sex in Arabic Literature

Author: Pernilla Myrne Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/11/2019

In the early Islamic world, Arabic erotic compendia and sex manuals were a popular literary genre. Although primarily written by male authors, the erotic publications from this era often emphasised the sexual needs of women and the importance of female romantic fulfilment. Pernilla Myrne here explores this phenomenon, examining a range of Arabic literature to shed fresh light onto the complexities of female sexuality under the Abbasids and the Buyids. Based on an impressive array of neglected medical, religious-legal, literary and entertainment sources, Myrne elucidates the tension between depictions of women's strong sexual agency and their subordinated social role in various contexts. In the process she uncovers a great diversity of approaches, from the tenth century - when the sexual handbook the Encyclopedia of Pleasure (Jawami` al-ladhdha) portrayed the diversity of female desires, asserting the importance of mutual satisfaction through lively poems and stories - to the twelfth - when a more scientific approach was taken, as many manuals and treatises were written by physicians. This is the first in-depth, comprehensive analysis of female sexuality in the early Islamic world and is essential reading for all scholars of Middle Eastern history and Arabic literature.

Experiencing Medieval Art

Experiencing Medieval Art

Author: Herbert L. Kessler Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/10/2019

Experiencing Medieval Art is an extensive revision and expansion of the author's Seeing Medieval Art, originally published in 2004. Renowned art historian Herbert L. Kessler considers often-strange objects and the materials of which they are made, circumstances of production, the conflictual relationship between art objects and notions of an ineffable deity, the context surrounding medieval art, the playfulness of art and the formal movements it engaged, as well as questions of apprehension, aesthetics, and modern presentation. Kessler introduces the exciting discoveries and revelations that have revolutionized the understanding of medieval art and identifies the vexing challenges that still remain. Examining such well-known monuments as the stained glass in Chartres cathedral, mosaics in San Marco Venice, and Utrecht Psalter, as well as newly discovered works - including the frescoes in Rome's aula gotica and a twelfth-century aquamanile in Hildesheim - Kessler makes the complex history of medieval art accessible for students of art history, teachers in the field, and scholars of medieval history, theology, and literature.

Byzantine Matters

Byzantine Matters

Author: Averil Cameron Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/10/2019

Why the marginalized story of Byzantium has much to teach us about Western history For many, Byzantium remains byzantine-obscure, marginal, difficult. Despite the efforts of some recent historians, prejudices still deform understanding of the Byzantine civilization, often reducing it to a poor relation of Rome and the rest of the classical world. In this book, renowned historian Averil Cameron addresses misconceptions about Byzantium, suggests why it is so important to integrate the civilization into wider histories, and lays out why Byzantium should be central to ongoing debates about the relationships between West and East, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, and the ancient and medieval periods. The result is a compelling call to reconsider the place of Byzantium in Western history and imagination.

A Year in the Life of Medieval England

A Year in the Life of Medieval England

Author: Toni Mount Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/10/2019

The medieval era is often associated with dynastic struggles, gruesome wars and the formidable influence of the Church. But what about the everyday experience of the royal subjects and common people? Here, alongside the coronations, diplomatic dealings and key battles, can be found the fabric of medieval life as it was really lived, in its folk songs, recipes and local gossip. With a diverse range of entries - one for each day of the year - historian Toni Mount provides an almanac for lovers of all things medieval. A detailed picture is gathered from original sources such as chronicles, manor court rolls, coroners' rolls and the records of city councils. We learn not only of the royals and nobles of official history but also the quarrels of a miscellany of characters, including William and Christopher of York, Nalle Kittewritte who stole her neighbours' washing, and Margery from Hereford who was murdered by an Oxford student. The world in which they laboured, loved and lived is vividly reimagined, one day at a time.