Europe after Rome: A New Cultural History 500-1000 should be read completely by all early medievalists, who will then endeavour to assign relevant portions on student reading lists (an example is given near the end of this review) while urging the best and most interested students to read the whole thing.
Euan Cameron, former Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Newcastle, now Henry Luce III Professor of Reformation Church History at Union Theological Seminary in New York, has written a fascinating and, in many ways, remarkable study.
‘It happened once in Paris that a certain sorceress impeded a man who had left her so that he could not have intercourse with another woman whom he had married. So she made an incantation over a closed lock and threw the lock into a well, and the key into another well, and the man was made impotent.
As popular television and film insists on reminding us, Jesuits were infamous in the early-modern period for plotting the deaths of monarchs. Shekhar Kapur’s portrayal of Edmund Campion in Elizabeth (1998), cloaked and dagger in hand, is a case in point.
Charles Darwin died in April 1882 at which time William Bateson and Walter Weldon were still Cambridge undergraduates and, indeed, still friends. In later years their bitter feud over the mechanisms of inheritance, evolution, and, in particular, the status of 'Natural Selection', was to colour Darwinian studies throughout the 1890s and well beyond.
The first nine studies in this notable book relate directly to monastic patronage, in England, France, Denmark, and the Empire.
Fighting for the Cross introduces the subject of crusading by exploring the experiences and ideas of individual crusaders travelling to the Holy Land between 1095 and 1291.
It is nearly a century and a half since Bernhard Kugler published the last substantial monograph devoted to the Second Crusade (Studien zur Geschichte des zweitenKreuzzugs (1)), a book which was disadvantaged by being printed in gothic typeface as well as academic German.
If quincentenaries are anything to go by, then 1492 is now commemorated principally for Christopher Columbus’s transatlantic voyage of exploration rather than either the conclusion of Ferdinand’s and Isabella’s eleven year conquest of Islamic Granada – which completed the Reconquista – or the expulsion of Jews from Castile and Aragon.
During the medieval period the Benedictine abbeys of Westminster and Saint-Denis were major centres of religion, politics and power, while serving as the site of royal shrines and burials.