Synopses & Reviews
A new understanding of one of the most decisive eras in European history, captured in extraordinary detail by a renowned scholar
The latest addition to the landmark Penguin History of Europe series is a fascinating study of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, when dramatic changes led to the collapse of Christendomand#151;a millennium in the makingand#151;and established the geographical and political frameworks of Western Europe as we know it.
From peasants to princes, no one was untouched by the spiritual and intellectual upheaval of this era. Martin Lutherand#8217;s challenge to church authorityand#160;forced Christians to examine their beliefs in ways that shook the foundations of their religion. Geographical and scientific discoveries undermined the unity of Christendom as a belief community.and#160;In its place, Europeand#151;modern, divided, frequently at war with itselfand#151;emerged as a collection of nation-states. Thomas More, Shakespeare, Montaigne, and Cervantes chronicled these changes in works that continue to resonate with us. Addressing all this and more,and#160;Christendom Destroyedand#160;is award-winning historian Mark Greengrassand#8217;s magnum opus: a rich tapestry that fosters a deeper understanding of Europeand#8217;s identity today.
Jordan marvelously weaves the many and various events of the years 10001350 into a splendid historical tapestry. That this is the inaugural volume in the Penguin History of Europe augurs very well for the series. (Publishers Weekly
) A splendid start to Penguins History of Europe series . . . [Jordan] writes elegantly and ironically, giving the reader a broad, but not dumbed down view of medieval society and its complexities. (Kirkus Reviews
, starred review)"
and#8220;Magisterial and authoritative.and#8221;
and#8220;A tour de force of scholarship that begins with a gradual and accessible buildup and then descends, like the century, into a convulsion of dynastic entanglements.and#8221;
and#8212; Kirkus Reviews
and#8220;Offers insight into the extraordinary turmoil that the average European endured in an era typically described through reverent admiration for art, architecture, and intellectual development. Using the histories of well-chosen cities and countries as examples for each discussion, Greengrass reveals that it was and#8216;curiosity [that] destroyed Christendom.and#8217;and#8221;
and#160;and#8220;The product of a high standard of creative historical scholarship founded on years of study of archival and literary evidence by a much respected observer of the sixteenth-century scene.... It is Mark Greengrassand#8217; achievement to have imposed upon his subject a sense of order which draws the reader alongand#8230;. It is characteristics such as these which earn the book the five stars which it surely deserves.and#8221;
and#8212; Christopher Allmand, The Tablet (UK)
and#8220;A model of scholarly dedication. It makes heavy demands of the general reader.... Almost every page has a memorable nugget, from the invention of the world atlas to the scatological sermons of Martin Luther.and#8221;
and#8212; Dominic Sandbrook, The Sunday Times (UK)
and#8220;[Greengrass] writes with clarity and vigour, in a highly engaging style, and his book is as full of fascinating nuggets as it is of wise judgements.... Greengrass succeeds brilliantly in bringing to life a vanished world.and#8221;
and#160;and#8212;Peter Marshall, Literary Review (UK)
and#8220;A magnificent achievement. Engagingly written, remarkably comprehensive in scope, impeccable in its scholarship, it should find a wide readership which will be rewarded with a new understanding of one of the most decisive eras in European history.and#8221;
and#8212;Robert A. Schneider, Professor of History, Indiana University
and#8220;Mark Greengrass is a leading authority on early modern Europe, and heand#8217;s written an extraordinary book, one that combines learning, imagination, and insight. This is history that takes seriously our twenty-first century questions about what Europe is and where it fits in the larger world.and#8221;
and#8212;Jonathan Dewald, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
and#8220;Composed in four countries (three of them in the European Union), Mark Greengrassand#8217;s contribution to this series offers an unusually wide-angled panorama of European history from Luther to the Peace of Westphalia, seasoned with a plethora of richly-illustrative and often unfamiliar illustrations.and#8221;
and#8212;William Monter, Professor of History, Northwestern University
A brilliant portrait of Europe in the full flower of the Middle Ages.
A remarkable new volume in the critically acclaimed Penguin History of Europe series
From peasants to princes, no one was untouched by the spiritual and intellectual upheaval of the sixteenth century. Martin Lutherand#8217;s challenge to church authorityand#160;forced Christians to examine their beliefs in ways that shook the foundations of their religion. The subsequent divisions, fed by dynastic rivalries and military changes, fundamentally altered the relations between ruler and ruled. Geographical and scientific discoveries challenged the unity of Christendom as a belief community.and#160;Europe, with all its divisions, emerged instead as a geographical projection. Chronicling these dramatic changes, Thomas More, Shakespeare, Montaigne, and Cervantes created works that continue to resonate with us.
Spanning the years 1517 to 1648, Christendom Destroyed is Mark Greengrassand#8217;s magnum opus: a rich tapestry that fosters a deeper understanding of Europeand#8217;s identity today.
About the Author
William Chester Jordan, former director of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, is professor of history and director of the Program in Medieval Studies at Princeton University. His previous book, The Great Famine, won the Haskins Medal of the Medieval Academy in 2000.
Table of Contents
Europe in the High Middle Ages List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Notes on Names
Part I: Europe in the Eleventh Century
1. Christendom in the Year 1000
2. Mediterranean Europe
3. Northmen, Celts and Anglo-Saxons
5. Central Europe
Part II: The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century
6. The Investiture Controversy
7. The First Crusade
8. The World of Learning
9. Cultural Innovations of the Twelfth Century: Vernacular Literature and Architecture
10. Political Power and Its Contexts I
11. Political Power and Its Contexts II
Part III: The Thirteenth Century
12. Social Structures
13. The Pontificate of Innocent III and the Fourth Lateran Council
15. The Kingdoms of the North
16. Baltic and Central Europe
17. The Gothic World
18. Southern Europe
Part IV: Christendom in the Early Fourteenth Century
19. Famine and Plague
20. Political and Social Violence
21. The Church in Crisis
Appendix: Genealogical Tables