Chapter

Introduction

Julia M. H. Smith

in Europe after Rome

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780192892638
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670626 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192892638.003.0001
Introduction

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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This introductory chapter presents the main argument of this book, namely that contrary to existing paradigms, the dynamic transformation of Europe's cultures between Antiquity and the Middle Ages has a fundamental significance in its own right. It focuses on the period between of ad500 and ad1000 to demonstrate that, within the overall matrix of social and cultural development across these centuries, change occurred at different times and speeds in different places. The book also calls attention to the role of the Roman heritage in early medieval constructions of power. Whether in Rome's former provinces or in regions that were never within the imperial boundaries, it is argued that the reception, reinterpretation, or abandonment of that inheritance made a formative contribution to all the cultures of early medieval Europe.

Keywords: Middle Ages; Antiquity; European history; European culture; cultural transformation; Rome; medieval Europe

Chapter.  2997 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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