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David Talbot Rice - The dawn of European civilization Volume 3
The dark ages


Between the end of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of medieval Europe, western civilization passed through the most serious crisis of which we have historical record. The effect of the barbarian invasions can only be compared with that of an atomic war on the modern world. It was more gradual but no less catastrophic. No full-scale illustrated survey of this period, from 500 to 1000 a.d., has ever been attempted, and for good reason. For those five centuries are called the "Dark Ages’ - dark to the men and women who lived through them. Modern research, especially in archaeology, had virtually no records from which to piece together the complex story of those times.

The Haunting Art of an Age in Turmoil
This vivid, authentic book truly reconstructs the dawn of European civilization as we know it. It is divided into four main sections. The first gives the background of events in Asia and Africa, where the flowing tide of Islam was washing against the frontiers of the West. The second deals with Byzantium - a rich and glorious state whose traditions, wealth and art were of paramount importance. The third describes the migrating tribes from the north and east who were reshaping Europe - the Slavs, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Lombards, Franks, Norsemen, Angles and Saxons. The distinctive character of these peoples is vividly expressed in their brilliant art, much of which is here presented in color for the first time. The last section shows the threads that were gathered together by Charlemagne and his successors, and the achievement of a new stability based firmly on feudalism and Christianity.

Each of the fifteen chapters is written by an acknowledged authority. It is a book which no single man could have written. And as in the other volumes of this series, the illustrations are unsurpassed in range, interest and quality. Besides the well-known masterpieces of Byzantine and Caro-lingian art, many less familiar works are included. Careful reconstructions have been specially commissioned (on large fold-out pages), and there are numerous maps, plans, chronological charts and family trees. The editor is Professor David Talbot Rice, a famous scholar whose gifts as a writer and lecturer have won him a popularity far beyond the academic world. This volume, the result of three years’ preparation, now brilliantly illuminates a vital phase in the history of mankind.

About the cover
In the year 1000 Otto III had Charlemagne's remains disinterred and put in reliquaries. The magnificent reliquary shown on the cover was made about 1350 to hold the Holy Emperor's skull. No claim is made that it is an authentic likeness but it does poiverfully express the impact that the great emperor had made upon the imagination of succeeding ages.


Introduction
The myth of the 'Dark Ages'
David Talbot Rice

Beyond the frontiers of Rome
The rise and fall of Sasanian Iran
David Oates

The empire of the Prophet
Islam and the tide of Arab conquest
R.H. Pinder-Wilson

Between West and East
Armenia and its divided history
Sirarpie der Nersessian

The heir of Rome
Byzantium from Justinian to Theophilus
Cyril Mango

The Christian citadel
The Byzantine world of the ninth and tenth centuries
J.M. Hussey

The crucible of peoples
Eastern Europe and the rise of the Slavs
Tamara Talbot Rice

Germanic Italy
The Ostrogothic and Lombard kingdoms
Donald Bullough

'The ends of the Earth'
Spain under the Visigoths and Moors
William Culican

Prelude to empire
The Frankish kingdom from the Merovingians to Pepin
Peter Lasko

From the vigorous North
The Norsemen and their forerunners
David M. Wilson

The coveted isles
Celtic Britain and the Anglo-Saxons
Charles Thomas

The great king
Charlemagne and the Carolingian achievement
Philip Grierson

After Charlemagne
The empire under the Ottomans
Donald Bullough

The concept of Christendom
Medieval Europe takes shape
Denys Hay

Chronological chart


Europe - PDF


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