Included in this volume are twenty-one drawings by Jean-Paul Laurens, a nineteenth-century French historical artist and interpreter of the Merovingians.
The reader is introduced to medieval society in the first three chapters, which include information on the life cycle, material culture, and the economy. These chapters provide an understanding of what people ate, what their social lives were like, what they wore, what kinds of jobs they had, and much more. Following are portraits of life in four specific medieval settings, offering in each case a particular example of the type: the village (Cuxham in Oxfordshire), the castle (Dover), the monastery (Cluny) and the town (Paris). Extensive use of documentary sources from each place sketch the broad contours of the social setting and provide details of the everyday experiences of real individuals. The volume concludes with an exploration of how ordinary people perceived the world in which they lived. Original games, recipes, and music are also provided to round out this rich introduction to life in medieval Europe.
This much-anticipated fifth edition features a larger format, as well as enlarged type, to make the collection more reader-friendly. Study questions have been added at the end of each section to help students focus on key points in the text. New documents on the Black Death, William of Rubruck, and Marco Polo are included, as well as a new selection from St. Benedict's Rule for Monasteries and a new translation of Einhard's The Life of Charlemagne. Two color photo sections have been added, introducing students to fascinating medieval art such as a fifth-century ivory from Constantinople, the two earliest images of Joan of Arc, the Sachsenspiegel, and a shirt that belonged to Queen Bathild.