Featured Medieval History Book

Atlas of the Medieval World by Rosamond McKitterick

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (December 9, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0195221583

Editorial Review from Booklist:

This exquisite atlas, published in England in 2003 as The Times Medieval World, traces a millennium of historical development ranging from the demise of the Roman Empire to the sixteenth century. Divided into three chronological parts, the volume covers political, religious, and cultural change all over the globe. Editor McKitterick is a leading medieval historian at Cambridge University.

There are close to 100 maps, ranging from photographs and reproductions of medieval maps to contemporary digitally produced maps illustrating migrations, trade routes, paths of marauding armies, ethnic and cultural distributions, and religious affiliations by place. Numerous lavish photographs of places, relics, and works of art are also included. Period quotations by various personages are liberally sprinkled throughout, ranging from King John’s “Charter of Liberties for the English,” a part of the Magna Carta, to the comments of Benjamin of Tudela, an itinerant, on Italian city-states. Many of the illustrations and maps occupy a full page, making them easy to read and dissect. It is difficult to overstate the elegance of these maps and reproductions, which, in combination with the text, give the atlas a truly extravagant, almost multimedia feel. For example, a portion of the “Towns and Trades in the Early Middle Ages” section depicts a town plan of the medieval commercial center of Dorestad in the upper left corner. Underneath this is a photograph of two Frankish swords, while the entire right-hand page is taken up with a detail photograph of a ninth-century Byzantine silk that had made its way to central Europe. Finally, a quotation from a letter written by Charlemagne to the King of Mercia is centered above the main text.

The progression of time is marked throughout the atlas by a time line running along the bottom of the pages. There are also an index, a glossary of historical terms and names, and a bibliography for each of the three parts of the atlas. Overall, this volume would be a welcome addition to academic, public, and high-school libraries. Michael Tosko
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Average Customer Review on Amazon: 4 stars

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My life has been pretty simple. I grew up in Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor's in Advertising. I have spent about the last ten years in web development. In 1998, a friend of mine and I started a web design company we ran for three or four years before deciding to close it due to the demands of school. Since then, I stayed in the web working with various companies in Alabama. I worked for a brief period with Southern Progress, namely with Southern Living magazine and Health magazine, in their web departments. While there, I also wrote for Southern Living magazine, Health.com., and the company's internal newsletter. I write as much as I can. For the last five years, I have been working on my first novel. I am on the third revision now and hope to be finished with this draft by the end of the year. I also write short fiction, though not as frequently as I used to due to the time I spend on the novel. My goal is to have my novel published in the next three years. Other interests include: History (particularly medieval and ancient civlizations), Reading, Foreign Language (I currently speak Spanish but plan to learn as many as I can), Landscape Photography, the outdoors, sports (especially college football), and Travel.

2 thoughts on “Featured Medieval History Book”

  1. Great cover! Completely reminds me of a great book, medieval historical fiction, titled, “Blood Soup” by Kelly A. Harmon… In the story, the kingdom of Omera is modeled after ancient Italy. It would be fun to look through the Atlas, to get a good glimpse of the historical developments to go along with my book.

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