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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!
'A lovely debut from a gifted young author. Violet Moller brings to life the ways in which knowledge reached us from antiquity to the present day in a book that is as delightful as it is readable.' Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads In The Map of Knowledge Violet Moller traces the journey taken by the ideas of three of the greatest scientists of antiquity - Euclid, Galen and Ptolemy - through seven cities and over a thousand years. In it, we follow them from sixth-century Alexandria to ninth-century Baghdad, from Muslim Cordoba to Catholic Toledo, from Salerno's medieval medical school to Palermo, capital of Sicily's vibrant mix of cultures, and - finally - to Venice, where that great merchant city's printing presses would enable Euclid's geometry, Ptolemy's system of the stars and Galen's vast body of writings on medicine to spread even more widely. In tracing these fragile strands of knowledge from century to century, from east to west and north to south, Moller also reveals the web of connections between the Islamic world and Christendom, connections that would both preserve and transform astronomy, mathematics and medicine from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Vividly told and with a dazzling cast of characters, The Map of Knowledge is an evocative, nuanced and vibrant account of our common intellectual heritage. 'An endlessly fascinating book, rich in detail, capacious and humane in vision.' Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
William the Conqueror's intellect is said to have remained clear right up to his death. But he was increasingly anxious about the ability of his sons to rule once he was gone. The Bastard's Sons is the story of those three men: Robert, William 'Longsword' and Henry of Normandy. Of Robert, the dying king is said to have claimed he was 'a proud and silly prodigal', adding 'the country which is subject to his dominion will be truly wretched'. Yet Robert became a great crusader. William got on better with his namesake, known as William 'Longsword' (not Rufus, as he is known today). He was, like his father, of kingship material, and might have gained the throne of England on his father's nod, but more probably orchestrated a coup. The youngest of the Bastard's sons, Henry, gained money from his father's will, but not land. To placate him, the Conqueror is alleged to have told Henry that one day he would gain both England and Normandy. So relations between the brothers teetered on a knife-edge and their barons, with lands on both sides of the Channel, were caught in a power struggle. When 'Longsword' died in suspicious circumstances in 1100, Robert's return as a hero from crusade might have seen the realm re-united, but Henry interposed and had himself crowned king of England. The issue was finally settled at the epochal Battle of Tinchebrai (1107).
When did the term 'Princes in the Tower' come into usage, who invented it, and to whom did it refer? To the general public the term is synonymous with the supposedly murdered boy King Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, sons of Edward IV. But were those boys genuinely held against their will in the Tower? Would their mother, Elizabeth Widville, have released her son Richard from sanctuary with her if she believed she would be putting his life in danger? The children of Edward IV were declared bastards in 1483 and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was offered the throne. But after Bosworth, in order to marry their sister Elizabeth of York, Henry VII needed to make her legitimate again. If the boys were alive at that time then Edward V would once again have become the rightful king. Following the discovery of some bones in the Tower in 1674 they were interred in a marble urn in Westminster Abbey as the remains of the two sons of Edward IV. What evidence exists, or existed at the time, to prove these indeed were the remains of two fifteenth-century male children? What did the 1933 urn opening reveal? John Ashdown-Hill is uniquely placed to answer these questions. By working with geneticists and scientists, and exploring the mtDNA haplogroup of the living all-female-line collateral descendant of the brothers, he questions the orthodoxy and strips away the myths.
In spite of the striking abundance of extant primary material, Byzantine epigraphy remains uncharted territory. The volume of the Proceedings of the 49th SPBS Spring Symposium aims to promote the field of Byzantine epigraphy as a whole, and topics and subjects covered include: Byzantine attitudes towards the inscribed word, the questions of continuity and transformation, the context and function of epigraphic evidence, the levels of formality and authority, the material aspect of writing, and the verbal, visual and symbolic meaning of inscribed texts. The collection is intended as a valuable scholarly resource presenting and examining a substantial quantity of diverse epigraphic material, and outlining the chronological development of epigraphic habits, and of individual epigraphic genres in Byzantium. The contributors also discuss the methodological questions of collecting, presenting and interpreting the most representative Byzantine inscriptional material, and addressing epigraphic material to make it relevant to a wider scholarly community.
Devastated by two decades of war and ravaged by the spread of the plague, large parts of Italy fell quickly into the hands of a group known to history as the Lombards. By the early 570s the Lombards were firmly established in Italy, which they ruled without ever fully unifying it. The events of the late sixth century shaped early medieval Italy. They also affected how Italian history was written: the Lombards were blamed for plunging the peninsula into the darkness of the Middle Ages, finally ending Roman civilization. But was it really a 'barbarian invasion' that created medieval Italy? What was the role of the imperial authorities and the papacy? In Warfare and the Making of Early Medieval Italy, Eduardo Fabbro brings a new take on the changes that shook Italy at the end of the sixth century. Moving past traditional narratives of barbarians and battles, the book re-evaluates the impact of war in creating early medieval Italy. Fabbro brings to the fore a complex picture that includes not only invading barbarians but also rebelling soldiers, disgruntled farmers, vexed commanders, and cunning adventurers trying to make the best of a bad situation. Through a complete reassessment of contemporary and later sources, this book rewrites the history of the first decades of Lombard rule and shows that warfare's impact went far beyond battles and invasions; it rewired the social and political links that bound the region.
Of the great philosophers of pagan antiquity, Marcus Tullius Cicero is the only one whose ideas were continuously accessible to the Christian West following the collapse of the Roman Empire. Yet, in marked contrast with other ancient philosophers, Cicero has largely been written out of the historical narrative on early European political thought, and the reception of his ideas has barely been studied. The Bonds of Humanity corrects this glaring oversight, arguing that the influence of Cicero's ideas in medieval and early modern Europe was far more pervasive than previously believed. In this book, Cary J. Nederman presents a persuasive counternarrative to the widely accepted belief in the dominance of Aristotelian thought. Surveying the work of a diverse range of thinkers from the twelfth to the sixteenth century, including John of Salisbury, Brunetto Latini, Marsiglio of Padua, Christine de Pizan, and Bartolome de Las Casas, Nederman shows that these men and women inherited, deployed, and adapted key Ciceronian themes. He argues that the rise of scholastic Aristotelianism in the thirteenth century did not supplant but rather supplemented and bolstered Ciceronian ideas, and he identifies the character and limits of Ciceronianism that distinguish it from other schools of philosophy. Highly original and compelling, this paradigm-shifting book will be greeted enthusiastically by students and scholars of early European political thought and intellectual history, particularly those engaged in the conversation about the role played by ancient and early Christian ideas in shaping the theories of later times.
Early Medieval Spain, Visigothic Society, Late Antiquity, Early Medieval History
This book offers translations of ten rhetorical declamations of the fourth-century AD sophist Libanius of Antioch and some related texts, almost all appearing for the first time in a modern language. In these works the declaimer impersonates such mythological or historical figures as Poseidon, Paris, Achilles, and Orestes, either in court (as prosecutor or defendant) or by trying to persuade his audience to take a course of action. The texts illustrate the sophist's eloquence and had an educational purpose in the schools, but were also delivered before adult audiences. They also put the Hellenic past on display for audiences of the Greek East in the Roman Empire. The annotated translations are accompanied by analyses of their themes, structure, and argumentation.
Queens Cartimandua and Boudica were both Celtic noblewomen, recorded by classical writers as part of a tradition of women who showed particular courage, ambition and political skill, and who were just as formidable in war as their husbands. They took on the status of Celtic goddesses and were central players in the struggle against the Roman annexation of Britain. Boudica led the rebellion against the Romans but her reputation may be largely symbolic. Using historical and archaeological evidence, Celtic Queen uncovers the arguably more impressive story of Queen Cartimandua, the independent ruler of the powerful Brigante tribe whose territory was the single largest Celtic kingdom in Britain. Cartimandua's leadership in battle and political influence were probably much greater than Boudica's. Unlike Boudica, wife of King Prasutagus of the Iceni tribe, Cartimandua was the regent of the Brigante tribe in her own right. Her tribe prospered in the new Imperial world because she cooperated with the invaders and she held her position as queen until AD69. Cartimandua's territory was considerable, covering most of modern Cheshire, South and North Yorkshire, Lancashire, North Humberside, Cumbria, County Durham and Tyne and Wear. But she was seen as a shameless adulteress after an open affair with her husband's armour bearer. Such sexual liberation was normal for powerful Celtic women but it scandalised Roman society. With many references to popular Celtic culture, their gods, beliefs, art and symbolism, as well as living conditions and the hillforts that would have been Cartimandua's headquarters, Celtic Queen offers an insight into the life of this fascinating woman and the Romano/Celtic world in which she lived.
First published in 1900, this Reader uses four manuscripts from the British Museum and Corpus Christi College Cambridge to present a thorough introduction along with a dual-language edition of the text. The original manuscripts, as Herzfeld demonstrates, are of varying qualities and comprise of the Anglian, West Saxon, Kentish and Mercian dialects. The re-edited text is presented alongside historical remarks, criticism of the manuscript, the text's ultimate date and place of origin and an exploration of its potential sources.
Now in its eighth edition, this magisterial work offers a comprehensive survey of the stories of Greek myth, from the Olympian gods, through the lesser gods and deities, to the heroes, adventures, and foundation myths of the ancient Greek world. The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology sets out to provide a comprehensive history of the divine order and mythical prehistory of Greece, as systematized on a genealogical basis by Hesiod and the ancient mythographers, while also taking into account the ways in which individual myths have changed and evolved over time in different genres of literature. This new edition has been extensively rewritten and reorganized to make it more accessible to readers who may have no particular knowledge of the ancient world and Greek mythology, and to ensure that information on each myth or mythical figure is easy to find within the book. This new edition of the handbook continues to offer an essential reference resource for all students of Greek mythology, and it provides an accessible and comprehensive overview of these stories for anyone with an interest in the classical world.
A Chronology of Early Medieval Western Europe uses a wide range of both primary and secondary sources to chart the history of Britain and Western Europe, with reference to the Celtic world, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean and North America. Extending from the middle of the fifth century to the Norman Conquest in 1066, the book is divided into five chronologies that present the day-to-day developments of events such as the fall of Rome, the Viking invasion and the military campaigns of King Alfred, as well as charting the cult of the mysterious 'King Arthur'. Timothy Venning's accompanying introduction also provides a discussion of the different types of sources used and the development of sources and records throughout these centuries. Tying together the political, cultural and social elements of early medieval Western Europe, this chronology is both detailed and highly accessible, allowing students to trace this complex period and providing them with the perfect reference work for their studies.