An Environmental History of Medieval Europe

Cambridge University Press
Free sample

How did medieval Europeans use and change their environments, think about the natural world, and try to handle the natural forces affecting their lives? This groundbreaking environmental history examines medieval relationships with the natural world from the perspective of social ecology, viewing human society as a hybrid of the cultural and the natural. Richard Hoffmann's interdisciplinary approach sheds important light on such central topics in medieval history as the decline of Rome, religious doctrine, urbanization and technology, as well as key environmental themes, among them energy use, sustainability, disease and climate change. Revealing the role of natural forces in events previously seen as purely human, the book explores issues including the treatment of animals, the 'tragedy of the commons', agricultural clearances and agrarian economies. By introducing medieval history in the context of social ecology, it brings the natural world into historiography as an agent and object of history itself.
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About the author

Richard Hoffmann is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at the Department of History, York University, Canada. As a pioneer in the environmental history of pre-industrial Europe, he is widely known for his contributions to medieval studies, environmental studies and historic fisheries.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Apr 10, 2014
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Pages
429
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ISBN
9781139915717
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / General
History / Europe / Medieval
History / Social History
Science / Environmental Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Using a comparative and broad perspective, Religion, Politics and Society in Britain 800-1066 draws on archaeology, art history, material culture, texts from charms to chronicles, from royal law-codes to sermons to poems, and other evidence to demonstrate the centrality of Christianity and the Church in Britain 800-1066. It delineates their contributions to the changes in politics, economy, society and culture that occurred between 800 and 1066, from nation-building to practicalities of government to landscape.

The period 800-1066 saw the beginnings of a fundamental restructuring of politics, society and economy throughout Christian Europe in which religion played a central role. In Britain too the interaction of religion with politics and society was profound and pervasive. There was no part of life which Christianity and the Church did not touch: they affected belief, thought and behaviour at all levels of society.

This book points out interconnections within society and between archaeological, art historical and literary evidence and similarities between aspects of culture not only within Britain but also in comparison with Armenian Christendom. A. E. Redgate explores the importance of religious ideas, institutions, personnel and practices in the creation and expression of identities and communities, the structure and functioning of society and the life of the individual.

This book will be essential reading for students of early medieval Britain and religious and social history.

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