The Making of the Middle Ages Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:06:56
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Personally, when thinking of the middle Ages, I tend to have the misconception that it is a period of darkness with no progress. However, R.W. Southerns book, The Making of the Middle Ages, offers an in depth study of the development of history in the world today. Observing that this book was published during the 1950s, Mr. Southerns interpretation of the Middle Ages was very distinctive in comparison to other historians of his time. He explores the significance of the Middle Ages as a separate sector in the study of history by which the audience will notice that previous categories of studied history is set aside, as we are no longer focusing on the usual Classical Greece and Rome in shaping the modern world, but the Middle Ages as an entity on its own. The Middle Ages are regarded as of equal importance in the understanding of making the modern world since the Enlightenment. Setting this book in the 1950s when traditionalist views are still the core study of history, he attempts to justify the study of the Middle Ages as important to understanding. I find myself puzzled by his misleading use of the books title as it does not describe the actual making of the middle ages which is suggests, but the actual formation of western Europe from the late tenth to the early thirteenth century.

It is clear that Mr. Southern acknowledges the problems during the Middle Ages and examines them in two sections. He states that these divisions in Latin Christendom and its neighbors arose from the lack of communication and the tension caused from social disorder. Another trigger of tension was the division of the two main languages in Europe. He also emphasizes that those were the main factors and that areas of authority and political divisions were too artificial and too fluid to count for much which also suggests that political boundaries didnt survive. Opposed to the traditional view of history, he insinuates that the middle ages have been hindered as a secret revolution. This implies that Southerns argument tries to reaffirm the status of the middle ages as a legitimate topic of academic discourse. Of course in his attempt to convince his academic peers, he seems to be very selective in his choice of sources.

When examining the index, it clearly shows that there is little written about other themes. Southern conveys a very Eurocentric attitude towards the topics that are discussed in his book, as he mentions very little of the developments in Africa, the role of women and children and when compared to people of the upper classes and serfdoms, the ratio seems bizarre. There is a large list of various Saints that Southern mentions, as well as many powerful men with high social statuses that claim more pages and notice about serfdom which concludes to my point of Southerns poor demographic as there isnt a chapter on women. Southerns Making of the Middle Ages is a history of men and powerful political men. Southern also uses imperial terms that show that his book was written for the upper classes if placed in the wider context with the books published at the same time.

Mr. Southern uses five main headings for each of his discussions and it is obvious that his main interest lies within the role of religion. dark ages no progress? Regression he argues that there are things and events that happened which form Europe as it is today ¦ Not just shaped by classical rome in shaping modern Europe.

About the book in the wider context about the books in the same time about the same topic because books are not published isolated- When the book was published and then how does it compare to the books published now- outdated? Why? Compared to modern literature and then the books published at the time.

Index: always a noun but mentions none in themes, another flaw in the writer as the impression it gives shows that there arent any interests in wider themes.

Eurocentric attitude to history isnt as important- maybe ignores development in Africa? Role of women, children or slaves (under classes) but does have serfdom only one chapter? Imperial terms;

Sort of model of Thucydidean history (which is history of political leaders) military generals none of underdogs. (power politics) theme of Enlightenment-inspired medievalism and protonationalism with a study of legendary heroes Guy of Warwick and Bevis of Hampton in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literary circles, while articles by Helen Phillips, John Marshall, and David Mills examine gender in Chaucers writings, Robin Hoods embodiment of pageantry, and the Chester Plays, respectively.

Andrew Wawn expands on his earlier work by examining Victorian makers of the Viking Middle Ages active in Merseyside and Edward Morris surveys early nineteenth-century Liverpool collectors of illuminated manuscripts, devoting considerable attention to restituting the scholarly reputation of Sir John Tobin, a retired seaman, former slave trader, and pioneer in the acquisition of medieval manuscripts whose collection, amassed between 1823 and 1835, was perhaps the most important small group of late medieval illuminated manuscripts ever assembled by a private individual (166). Revival of secular Gothic aesthetics, a must-read for anyone interested in appreciating the urban development of one of Englands most important cities during industrialization. serves as a useful reminder that medievalism can hold historical implications as interesting and important as the Middle Ages themselves.

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