Saturday, March 16, 2013

New Books on the Middle Ages: March

Every month we will try to post a list of books about the Middle Ages that caught my eye in the bookstore.

The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century 

By Paul Collins
ISBN: 978-1610390132

The tenth-century tends to be a somewhat overlooked period in medieval history, so I am intrigued by this lengthy (496 pages) account of what was going on in continental Europe, which includes some of strangest popes in history and the emergence of states from the Carolingian Empire.

Click here to read an excerpt from the Publisher's site

Deadly Sisterhood

By Leonie Frieda
Non Basic Stock Line
ISBN: 978-0297852087

Covers some of the famous women of the Italian Renaissnace: Lucrezia Turnabuoni, Clarice Orsini, Beatrice d'Este, Caterina Sforza, Isabella d'Este, Giulia Farnese, Isabella d'Aragona and Lucrezia Borgia. It looks like the character list of the show Borgias.

Before Galileo: The Advancement of Modern Science in Medieval Europe

By John Freely
Overlook Press
ISBN: 978-1-59020-607-2

The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad

By Lesley Hazelton
ISBN: 978-1594487286

From the publisher: Hazleton follows the arc of Muhammad’s rise from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown, from insignificance to lasting significance. How did a child shunted to the margins end up revolutionizing his world? How did a merchant come to challenge the established order with a new vision of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca turn exile into a new and victorious beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate insider?

Click here to visit the First Muslim website

See also this video:

The History, by Michael Attaleiates

Translated by Anthony Kaldellis and Dimitris Krallis
Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (Harvard University Press)
ISBN: 978-0-674-05799-9

I quite enjoy reading through primary sources - the stories written by the the eyewitnesses of the Middle Ages - so I picked up this edition and translation of a Byzantine chronicle that covers the years 1034 to 1079, including the Battle of Manzikert (1071).  I hope to post a review of the book on in a few weeks.