This book provides a classic introduction to a key period in the
history of Europe - the transition from medieval to Renaissance
In this updated edition, Professor Holmes traces the main
political events as well as describing broader changes in social
structure and culture. He reveals the interactions between
politics, society and ideas that contributed to the problems and
changes of this period.
The book addresses the crises of the medieval world. At the
start of the period, Europe was dominated by the institutions of
the church, monarchy, armies of knightly cavalry and Gothic art. By
the end, the Papacy had been drastically weakened, the Hussite
movement was heralding the social and religious changes to come in
the next century, the armoured knight was no longer a formidable
force, and the cultural movement of the Italian Renaissance was
beginning to unfold. The author shows how economic forces,
including the Black Death and the fall in population threatened the
power of the landowners, church and monarchy and how such changes
prompted interaction not only between political powers but between
different communities and divergent ways of life and thought.
Throughout the book, Professor Holmes relates his strong political
narrative to the social and ideological movements of the period and
explains the legacy of this period for the centuries that followed.
For this edition, he has included updates to the text and
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