The Story of the Middle Ages by Samuel B. Harding


Manage series 1270219
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Intended for children 11 to 14 years old, The Story of the Middle Ages relates a little known period of history in an interesting and entertaining way. The author terms the Middle Ages as that period in the history of Europe between the fifth and fifteenth centuries. Its beginning is marked by the decline and fall of the mighty Roman Empire and its end is generally thought to be the dawn of the Renaissance or the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages are also divided by historians into the Early, High and Late Middle Ages. Both the Early and Late periods were characterized by war, outbreaks of diseases and epidemics, breakdown of law and order, civil strife and invasions. However, the High period of the Middle Ages saw the establishment of farming, the growth of trade, technology, intellectual movements and great artistic and architectural innovation. Samuel B Harding divides The Story of the Middle Ages into twenty chapters. Beginning with a brief introduction, the author traces the roots of modern Europe to the mingling of the Germanic people with others like the Slavs, the Gauls and the ancient Romans. He also goes further back in history and refers to the Aryan people as the ancestors of the Germans. Further chapters deal with the wanderings of the Goths and their establishment of civilizations in Spain, Greece and Italy. The early days of Christianity and the growth of the Church are depicted, along with the differences between the western and eastern churches. The rise of the Franks and their conflicts with the Mohammedans and the establishment of the Moorish civilization in Spain are told in an interesting and imaginative fashion. The Crusades, discussions on life in the village, town and monastery and finally the Hundred Years War, which effectively brought the Middle Ages to a close are well recounted. Though historians cannot put a specific date on the conclusion of this important period in Western history, it is generally thought that somewhere towards the end of the 1500s can be termed as the end of the Middle Ages. The rise of nationalism in England and France, the capture of Constantinople by the Turkish Ottoman sultans and the disappearance of the ancient centers of learning brought this period to an end. As both a historical text and an interesting read, The Story of the Middle Ages is a great addition to your bookshelf and will surely appeal to both children and adults.

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