'Matthew Innes' new survey fills a nagging void for teachers of early medieval history ...' - John McCulloh, Kansas State University.
"Innes has done early medieval scholarship a great service. By surveying and synthesising recent research covering such a long period, his book will help others to connect the dots and draw conclusions of their own... This is a very important book... an excellent resource for teachers and students." - Warren C. Brown, English Historical Review
Surveying the period of European history, 300-900 AD, this comprehensive and stimulating textbook is the first to present the last twenty-five years of research in an accessible manner for undergraduate students. It is unique in combining an account of the historical background of the period with discussion of the social, economic, cultural and political structures of the societies within it.
Introduction to Early Medieval Western Europe, 300-900 includes:
chapter summaries and chronologies
key topic essays discussing archaeological or documentary evidence
maps plus supporting illustrations from archaeological and historical finds
bibliographical essays which discuss available sources and further reading, introducing teachers and students to specialist literature
a comprehensive index.
Key topics discussed are:
why the Roman Empire broke down so irrevocably in Western Europe
how it came to be replaced by radically different political systems
why the city-based state structure of antiquity was replaced
how and why the division between civilians and the military broke down
the conversion of Western Europe to Christianity and the establishment of the church as the central social institution
what made Western Europe's experience so distinctive in this period.
Matthew Innes is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has published widely on the social, political and cultural history of early medieval Europe. His book State and Society in the Early Middle Ages won the Royal Historical Society's Gladstone Historical Book Prize in 2000 and his research was recognized by the award of a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2004.
Preface and Acknowledgements. Introduction: Rome, the Barbarians and the Fate of Western Europe 1. A New Roman Order: State, Church and Society in the Late Empire 2. Barbarians, the Roman Frontier and the Crisis of the Western Empire 3. The Fifth Century West and the 'Fall of Rome' 4. The Western Mediterranean in the Age of 'Reconquest' 5. Arabs, Avars and Amphoras: Causes and Consequences of Imperial Collapse 6. Hispania and Italy: Contrasting Communities 7. Gaul and Germany: The Merovingian World 8. Britain and Ireland: Kings and Peoples 9. 'The Invincible Race of the Franks': Conquest, Christianisation and Carolingian Kingship 10.'Peace, Unity and Concord Among the Christian People': Carolingian Order and its Architects 11. Paradoxes of Empire: Western Europe in the Ninth Century. Epilogue. Index