The Later Middle Ages

ISBN : 9780198731634

Isabella Lazzarini
256 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Apr 2021
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Of all the sub-periods in which European medieval history has been divided over time, the later middle ages is possibly the one on which the burden of past and current grand narratives weighs the most. Its chronological and geopolitical boundaries are shaped by a heavy narrative of decline or transition, and consequently this period is often interpreted through the lenses of previous or following developments, becoming in turn the tail-end of the 'feudal', 'communal', 'imperial versus papal' era or the announcement of modernity. The Later Middle Ages addresses the urgent need to revise and rewrite the story of this period, forging new critical and technical vocabularies not derived from the study of other periods. By adopting a conscious approach towards temporal and spatial variety, and by breaking the traditional and unitary narrative of decline and transition into one of many changes and continuities, it charts the principal developments of late medieval Europe while opening up to different political cultures and societies, throwing new light on older concepts, and revealing analogies and differences with other geopolitical contexts. Including maps, illustrations, a detailed chronology and a rich range of reading suggestions, The Later Middle Ages aims at providing a first introduction to a very complex, dynamic, and fascinating period for Europe and beyond.


Isabella Lazzarini: Introduction
1 John Watts: Principalities, Powers, and Political Life
2 Stephan R. Epstein (Christopher Dyer): The Economy
3 Robert Swanson: The Church and Religious Life
4 Alexander Lee: Culture and the Arts
5 Matthew Kempshall: Space, Time, and the World
6 Catherine Kovesi: Society, Family, and Gender
7 Catherine Holmes: Global Middle Ages: The East
Isabella Lazzarini: Conclusion: Into the Sixteenth Century

About the author: 

Isabella Lazzarini (Mantova, 1964), studied at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, and qualified as Professor of Medieval History in 2013; she teaches at the University of Molise. Her research interests focus on the political, social, and cultural history of late medieval Italy, with an emphasis on Renaissance diplomacy and the growth of different political languages in documentary sources. She has been a Leverhulme Trust visiting professor (Jan.-June 2011) and a Marie Curie COFUND senior research fellow at the University of Durham (Jan.-March 2012); a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (Sept.-Dec. 2012) and a professeur invite at the Ecole Nationale des Chartes, Paris (Feb. 2014) and at the Sorbonne (Chaire Dupront, Feb. 2020).

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