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Medieval History For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-74783-4
408 pages
July 2010
Medieval History For Dummies (0470747838) cover image


Is your knowledge of The Crusades less than tip-top? Maybe you're curious about Columbus, or you're desperate to read about the Black Death in all its gory detail? Whatever your starting point, this expert guide has it all - from kings, knights and anti-Popes, to invasion, famine, the Magna Carta and Joan of Arc (and a few rebellious peasants thrown in for good measure!). Get ready for a rip-roaring ride through the political, religious and cultural life of the Middle Ages, one of the most talked-about periods in history.


Medieval History for Dummies includes:

Part I: The Early Middle Ages
Chapter 1: The Middle Ages: When, Where, What, Who?
Chapter 2: The end of Rome and the not so ‘Dark Ages'.
Chapter 3: Angles, Saxons and Feudalism.
Chapter 4: The Carolingians grab their chance.
Chapter 5: Charlemagne - A new empire is born.

Part II: The Making of Europe
Chapter 6: The (Holy Roman) Empire Strikes Back.
Chapter 7: East Meets West: Islam in the Western Mediterranean.
Chapter 8: The Vikings: A threat from the north.
Chapter 9: Schism: The Church splits itself in two.
Chapter 10: The Normans:  The ‘real' Middle Ages begin.

Part III: ‘Holy War': Crusading at home and abroad.
Chapter 11: Crusade: A call to arms.
Chapter 12: The First Crusade
Chapter 13: England vs France & Pope vs Emperor
Chapter 14: The Second Crusade & The ‘Crusades at Home'
Chapter 15: Richard vs Saladin: The Third Crusade
Chapter 16: The later Crusades and other failures.

Part IV: Parliament, Priories, Provisions & Plague
Chapter 17:  John, Henry, Rudolf & Edward.
Chapter 18: Monks & Merchants: The new power brokers
Chapter 19: The Papacy on Tour: Avignon and the Anti-Popes
Chapter 20: ‘God's Judgement?': The Black Death

Part V: The End of the Middle and the start of discovery.
Chapter 21: One Hundred Years of War
Chapter 22: The Peasants are Revolting
Chapter 23: Agincourt, Joan of Arc & the French recovery
Chapter 24: Columbus & The New World

Part VI: The Part of Tens
Chapter 25: Ten Rubbish Kings
Chapter 26: Ten Curious Medieval Pastimes
Chapter 27: Ten Great Castles
Chapter 28: Ten People Who Changed The World
Chapter 29: Ten Great Books (To read next)

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Table of Contents


Part I: Starting Up the Middle Ages (450–800).

Chapter 1: Journeying Back to the Middle Ages: When, Where, What, Who?

Chapter 2: Finishing Off the Roman Empire and Entering the (Not So) Dark Ages.

Chapter 3: Settling in England with the Anglo-Saxons.

Chapter 4: Organising Early France & Germany: The Merovingians and Carolingians .

Chapter 5: Becoming Great: Charlemagne and the New Roman Empire.

Part II: Forming the Basis of Europe (850–1100).

Chapter 6: Laying the Foundations of Europe.

Chapter 7: Linking East and West: Islam in Europe.

Chapter 8: Invading from the North: The Vikings.

Chapter 9: Splitting the Church: Schisms between East and West.

Chapter 10: Revving Up the ‘Real’ Middle Ages with the Normans.

Part III: Waging Holy War: Crusading at Home and Abroad (1050–1300).

Chapter 11: Uncovering the Origins of the Crusades.

Chapter 12: Waging the First Crusade: 1096–1099.

Chapter 13: Struggling for Power: Popes Versus Monarchs.

Chapter 14: Waging the Second Crusade and Crusading at Home.

Chapter 15: Pitting Richard I Against Saladin: The Third Crusade.

Chapter 16: Following the Fourth Crusade and Other Failures.

Part IV: Dealing with Domestic Dramas: Parliament, Priories and Plagues (1200–1300).

Chapter 17: Having Trouble in England: John, Henry III and Edward I.

Chapter 18: Meeting Medieval Monks and Merchants.

Chapter 19: Piling On the Popes: Avignon and the Antipopes.

Chapter 20: Facing God’s Judgement: Dealing with the Black Death.

Part V: Ending the Middle and Beginning the Age of Discovery (1300–1492).

Chapter 21: Beginning One Hundred Years of War.

Chapter 22: Pausing the War: Dealing with Unrest at Home.

Chapter 23: Turning the Tide of War (Twice!): Henry V and Joan of Arc.

Chapter 24: Moving On from the Medieval Era.

Part VI: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 25: Ten Rubbish Rulers.

Chapter 26: Ten Medieval Pastimes.

Chapter 27: Ten Great Castles.

Chapter 28: Ten Medieval People Who Changed the World.

Chapter 29: Ten Great Medieval Innovations.


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Author Information

Stephen Batchelor is Head of School for Creative and Visual Arts at MidKent College and has taught ancient history and classical studies for many years. Stephen has written book reviews for Current Archaeology and History Today, and is the author of The Ancient Greeks For Dummies.
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