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The long morning of medieval Europe: new directions in early medieval studies

Innes, Matthew (2008) The long morning of medieval Europe: new directions in early medieval studies. In: Davis, J.R. and McCormick, M. (eds.) Practices Of Property In The Carolingian Empire. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, pp. 247-266. ISBN 9780754662549.

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Official URL: http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcT...

Abstract

Recent advances in research show that the distinctive features of high medieval civilization began developing centuries earlier than previously thought. The era once dismissed as a "Dark Age" now turns out to have been the long morning of the medieval millennium: the centuries from AD 500 to 1000 witnessed the dawn of developments that were to shape Europe for centuries to come. In 2004, historians, art historians, archaeologists, and literary specialists from Europe and North America convened at Harvard University for an interdisciplinary conference exploring new directions in the study of that long morning of medieval Europe, the early Middle Ages. Invited to think about what seemed to each the most exciting new ways of investigating the early development of western European civilization, this impressive group of international scholars produced a wide-ranging discussion of innovative types of research that define tomorrow's field today. The contributors, many of whom rarely publish in English, test approaches extending from using ancient DNA to deducing cultural patterns signified by thousands of medieval manuscripts of saints' lives. They examine the archaeology of slave labor, economic systems, disease history, transformations of piety, the experience of power and property, exquisite literary sophistication, and the construction of the meaning of palace spaces or images of the divinity. The book illustrates in an approachable style the vitality of research into the early Middle Ages, and the signal contributions of that era to the future development of western civilization. The chapters cluster around new approaches to five key themes: the early medieval economy; early medieval holiness; representation and reality in early medieval literary art; practices of power in an early medieval empire; and the intellectuality of early medieval art and architecture. Michael McCormick's brief introductions open each part of the volume; synthetic essays by accomplished specialists conclude them. The editors summarize the whole in a synoptic introduction. All Latin terms and citations and other foreign-language quotations are translated, making this work accessible even to undergraduates. The Long Morning of Medieval Europe: New Directions in Early Medieval Studies presents innovative research across the wide spectrum of study of the early Middle Ages. It exemplifies the promising questions and methodologies at play in the field today, and the directions that beckon tomorrow.

Item Type: Book Section
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2011 08:56
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:17
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/1695

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