Framing the Early Middle Ages Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800

ISBN-10: 0199212961
ISBN-13: 9780199212965
Edition: 2006
Authors: Chris Wickham
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Description: The Roman empire tends to be seen as a whole whereas the early middle ages tends to be seen as a collection of regional histories, roughly corresponding to the land-areas of modern nation states. As a result, early medieval history is much more  More...

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Book details

List price: $65.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 2/8/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 1024
Size: 6.14" wide x 9.21" long x 2.20" tall
Weight: 2.816
Language: English

The Roman empire tends to be seen as a whole whereas the early middle ages tends to be seen as a collection of regional histories, roughly corresponding to the land-areas of modern nation states. As a result, early medieval history is much more fragmented, and there have been few convincing syntheses of socio-economic change in the post-Roman world since the 1930s. In recent decades, the rise of early medieval archaeology has also transformed our source-base, but this has not been adequately integrated into analyses of documentary history in almost any country. In Framing the Early Middle Ages Chris Wickham aims at integrating documentary and archaeological evidence together, and also, above all, at creating a comparative history of the period 400-800, by means of systematic comparative analyses of each of the regions of the latest Roman and immediately post-Roman world, from Denmark to Egypt (only the Slav areas are left out). The book concentrates on classic socio-economic themes, state finance, the wealth and identity of the aristocracy, estate management, peasant society, rural settlement, cities, and exchange. These are only a partial picture of the period, but they are intended as a framing for other developments, without which those other developments cannot be properly understood. Wickham argues that only a complex comparative analysis can act as the basis for a wider synthesis. Whilst earlier syntheses have taken the development of a single region as 'typical', with divergent developments presented as exceptions, this book takes all different developments as typical, and aims to construct a synthesis based on a better understanding of difference and thereasons for it. This is the most ambitious and original survey of the period ever written.

List of maps
Abbreviations
Notes on terminology
Introduction
States
Geography and politics
The form of the state
Aristocratic power-structures
Aristocracies
Managing the land
Political breakdown and state-building in the North
Peasantries
Peasants and local societies: case studies
Rural settlement and village societies
Peasant society and its problems
Networks
Cities
Systems of exchange
General conclusions
Bibliography
Primary sources
Secondary sources
Index

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