By John M. Riddle, Winston Black
This transparent and finished textual content covers the center a while from the classical period to the overdue medieval interval. exclusive historian John Riddle offers a cogent research of the rulers, wars, and events—both normal and human—that outlined the medieval period. Taking a wide geographical viewpoint, Riddle comprises northern and jap Europe, Byzantine civilization, and the Islamic states. every one, he convincingly exhibits, provided values and institutions—religious devotion, toleration and intolerance, legislation, methods of considering, and altering roles of women—that presaged modernity. as well as conventional issues of pen, sword, and observe, the writer explores different riding forces equivalent to technology, faith, and know-how in ways in which earlier textbooks haven't. He additionally examines such often-overlooked matters as medieval gender roles and drugs and seminal occasions comparable to the crusades from the vantage aspect of either Muslims and jap and western Christians.
In addition to an intensive chronological narrative, the textual content bargains humanizing positive factors to interact scholars. each one bankruptcy opens with a theme-setting vignette in regards to the lives of standard and remarkable humans. The e-book additionally introduces scholars to key controversies and topics in historiography via that includes in each one bankruptcy a favorite medieval historian and the way his or her principles have formed modern pondering the center a while. Richly illustrated with colour plates, this full of life, enticing ebook will immerse readers within the medieval international, an period that formed the root for the fashionable world.
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Extra info for A History of the Middle Ages, 300-1500
When Diocletian retired, his co-Augustus, Maximianus, refused to step down with him, as Diocletian’s plan for succession stated, and Diocletian had to march an army to Italy to force him to retire. When Constantius, the western co-emperor, died in 306 in Britain, his army saluted Constantine, his son, as emperor, thereby ignoring Diocletian’s rule of succession. In the all-too-familiar civil war that ensued, a new element crucially contributed to the “medievalization” of the empire: When moving his army against that of Maxentius, son of Maximianus and a rival emperor, Constantine saw the growing number of Christians as a viable source of support, whereas Diocletian had regarded them as potential state enemies.
He opened the Praetorian Guard to non-Italians, relied more on businessmen than senators for administration, and introduced non-Italians into the Senate, many from the eastern regions of the Empire. In the East, city councils were made responsible for the collection of taxes, an onerous burden on those who wanted to serve the public. Peace and prosperity were elusive. In 212, Severus’s son, known as Caracalla (r. 211–217), issued an edict, making virtually all members of the empire citizens of Rome and thus forcing them to pay the inheritance tax, which he increased to 10 percent.
Enemies were too many and too far apart for even so great a man, and so reluctantly Aurelius named his son as his co-emperor. Utterly unlike his father, Commodus was extravagant, immodest, deceitful, and dissolute. While Aurelius had fought valiantly against the barbarian enemies along the Danube and Rhine frontiers, when Commodus became emperor, in 180, he achieved peace by giving them generous bribes. He enjoyed dressing like Hercules, with a lion skin draped about his shoulders, and participating as a gladiator in the arena, although never to the point of physically endangering himself.