Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800

Paperback | December 13, 2006

byChris Wickham

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The Roman empire tends to be seen as a whole whereas the early middle ages tends to be seen as a collection of regional histories, roughly corresponding to the land-areas of modern nation states. As a result, early medieval history is much more fragmented, and there have been few convincingsyntheses of socio-economic change in the post-Roman world since the 1930s. In recent decades, the rise of early medieval archaeology has also transformed our source-base, but this has not been adequately integrated into analyses of documentary history in almost any country. In Framing the Early Middle Ages Chris Wickham combines documentary and archaeological evidence to create a comparative history of the period 400-800. His analysis embraces each of the regions of the late Roman and immediately post-Roman world, from Denmark to Egypt. The book concentrates onclassic socio-economic themes, state finance, the wealth and identity of the aristocracy, estate management, peasant society, rural settlement, cities, and exchange. These give only a partial picture of the period, but they frame and explain other developments.Earlier syntheses have taken the development of a single region as 'typical', with divergent developments presented as exceptions. This book takes all different developments as typical, and aims to construct a synthesis based on a better understanding of difference and the reasons for it.

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The Roman empire tends to be seen as a whole whereas the early middle ages tends to be seen as a collection of regional histories, roughly corresponding to the land-areas of modern nation states. As a result, early medieval history is much more fragmented, and there have been few convincingsyntheses of socio-economic change in the post...

Chris Wickham received his DPhil from Oxford in 1975. He was Professor of Early Medieval History at the University of Birmingham until his appointment as Chichele Professor of Early Medieval History at the University of Oxford in 2005. He has been editor of Past and Present since 1995.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:1024 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 2.2 inPublished:December 13, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199212961

ISBN - 13:9780199212965

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Table of Contents

Part I: States1. Introduction2. Geography and Politics3. The Form of the StatePart II: Aristocratic Power-Structures4. Aristocracies5. Managing the Land6. Political Breakdown and State-Building in the NorthPart III: Peasantries7. Peasants and Local Societies: Case Studies8. Rural Settlement and Village Societies9. Peasant Society and its ProblemsPart IV: Networks10. Cities11. Systems of ExchangeConclusionBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`The reader will not only learn an immense amount but constantly and actively engage both with the material and the arguments of this tremendously rich book.'BBC History