What is Medieval History?
What is Medieval History?, 2nd Edition

Since its first publication in 2007, John H. Arnold’s <i>What is Medieval History?</i> has established itself as the leading introduction to the craft of the medieval historian.

What is it that medieval historians do? How – and why – do they do it? Arnold discusses the creation of medieval history as a field, the nature of its sources, the intellectual tools used by medievalists, and some key areas of thematic importance from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Reformation. The fascinating case studies include a magical plot against a medieval pope, a fourteenth-century insurrection, and the importance of a kiss exchanged between two tenth-century noblemen. Throughout the book, readers are shown not only what medieval history is, but the cultural and political contexts in which it has been written.

This anticipated second edition includes further exploration of the interdisciplinary techniques that can aid medieval historians, such as dialogue with scientists and archaeologists, and addresses some of the challenges – both medieval and modern – of the idea of a "global middle ages".

<i>What is Medieval History?</i> continues to demonstrate why the pursuit of medieval history is important not only to the present, but to the future. It is an invaluable guide for students, teachers, researchers and interested general readers.

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  • January 2021
  • 184 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509532551
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509532568
  • Open eBook $19.95
  • 9781509532582
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface to Second Edition
Preface and Acknowledgements
1 Framing the Middle Ages
A Medieval Tale
Medievalisms and Historiographies
The Politics of Framing
2 Tracing the Middle Ages
Polyphony or Cacophony?
Editions and Archives
Using Documents
Chronicles
Charters
Images
Legal Records
3 Reading the Middle Ages
Anthropology
Numbers and Statistics
Archaeology, Science and Material Culture
Texts and Cultural Theory
4 Debating the Middle Ages
Ritual
Social Structures
Globalisms
Cultural Identities
Power
5 Making and Remaking the Middle Ages
Notes
Further Reading
Index
About the Author

John H. Arnold is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Cambridge.

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Reviews

"John Arnold explains why medieval history matters urgently in the twenty-first century: historians of all periods and places as well as anyone interested in the Middle Ages should make it essential reading."
Julia Smith, University of Oxford

"A tour-de-force that demonstrates what medieval history is in conception and practice. Arnold evokes the world of the Middle Ages from a vast array of sources – documentary, material, scientific and imaginative – and shows how methodological innovations and political changes in the globalized present offer a renewed call for undertaking the craft of medieval history."
Anne E. Lester, Johns Hopkins University

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