Introduction to Early Medieval Western Europe, 300–900: The Sword, the Plough and the Book

1st Edition

Matthew Innes, Matthew Innes

Published June 27, 2007
Textbook - 568 Pages - 32 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780415215077 - CAT# RU20007

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'Matthew Innes' new survey fills a nagging void for teachers of early medieval history ...'  - John McCulloh, Kansas State University.

"Innes has done early medieval scholarship a great service. By surveying and synthesising recent research covering such a long period, his book will help others to connect the dots and draw conclusions of their own... This is a very important book... an excellent resource for teachers and students." - Warren C. Brown, English Historical Review

Surveying the period of European history, 300–900 AD, this comprehensive and stimulating textbook is the first to present the last twenty-five years of research in an accessible manner for undergraduate students. It is unique in combining an account of the historical background of the period with discussion of the social, economic, cultural and political structures of the societies within it.

Introduction to Early Medieval Western Europe, 300–900 includes:

  • chapter summaries and chronologies
  • key topic essays discussing archaeological or documentary evidence
  • maps plus supporting illustrations from archaeological and historical finds
  • bibliographical essays which discuss available sources and further reading, introducing teachers and students to specialist literature
  • a comprehensive index.

Key topics discussed are:

  • why the Roman Empire broke down so irrevocably in Western Europe
  • how it came to be replaced by radically different political systems
  • why the city-based state structure of antiquity was replaced 
  • how and why the division between civilians and the military broke down 
  • the conversion of Western Europe to Christianity and the establishment of the church as the central social institution 
  • what made Western Europe's experience so distinctive in this period.



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