Framing the Early Middle Ages by Chris Wickham
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Framing the Early Middle Ages
By Chris Wickham

Framing the Early Middle Ages

Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800

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Format: Hardback

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Framing the Early Middle Ages by Chris Wickham

Book Awards

  • Winner of Wolfson Literary Award for History 2006.

Book 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 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 the reasons for it. This is the most ambitious and original survey of the period ever written.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199264490
ISBN-10: 019926449X
Format: Hardback
(242mm x 163mm x 59mm)
Pages: 1017
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 22-Sep-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Chris Wickham

Medieval Europe by Chris Wickham Medieval Europe, Hardback (October 2016)

A spirited and thought-provoking history of the vast changes that transformed Europe during the 1,000-year span of the Middle Ages

Medieval Rome by Chris Wickham Medieval Rome, Hardback (November 2014)

A new history of medieval Rome, told not from the standpoint of the Church, but of the Romans themselves. This volume examines Rome's cultural, political, religious, legal, and social identity to discover how the city functioned between 900 and 1150.

Inheritance of Rome by Chris Wickham Inheritance of Rome, Paperback (January 2010)

The world known as the 'Dark Ages', often seen as a time of barbarism, was in fact the crucible in which modern Europe would be created. This book shows how this period, encompassing peoples such as Goths, Franks, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, was central to the development of our history and culture.

» View all books by Chris Wickham


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Author Biography - Chris Wickham

Chris Wickham received his DPhil from Oxford in 1975. He has taught at the University of Birmingham since then and is currently Professor of Early Medieval History. He has been editor of Past and Present since 1995.

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