This book provides a classic introduction to a key period in the history of Europe - the transition from medieval to Renaissance Europe.In this updated edition, Professor Holmes traces the main political events as well as describing broader changes in social structure and culture. He reveals the interactions between politics, society and ideas that contributed to the problems and changes of this period.The book addresses the crises of the medieval world. At the start of the period, Europe was dominated by the institutions of the church, monarchy, armies of knightly cavalry and Gothic art. By the end, the Papacy had been drastically weakened, the Hussite movement was heralding the social and religious changes to come in the next century, the armoured knight was no longer a formidable force, and the cultural movement of the Italian Renaissance was beginning to unfold. The author shows how economic forces, including the Black Death and the fall in population threatened the power of the landowners, church and monarchy and how such changes prompted interaction not only between political powers but between different communities and divergent ways of life and thought.
Throughout the book, Professor Holmes relates his strong political narrative to the social and ideological movements of the period and explains the legacy of this period for the centuries that followed. For this edition, he has included updates to the text and bibliography.
George Holmes is Emeritus Chichele Professor of Medieval History at All Souls College, University of Oxford. His previous books include The Oxford Illustrated History of Italy (1997 ), The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe (1990), Renaissance (1998), The Florentine Enlightenment 1400-1450 (1992), and Art and Politics in Renaissance Italy (1995).
Introduction. Part I: The Politics of Western Europe in the Fourteenth Century: 1. The Netherlands. 2. The Kingdom of France. 3. The Hundred Years War: The First Phase to 1385. 4. Germany and the Empire to 1378. 5. Iberia. Part II: Italy, the Papacy and Europe: 6. Italian Commerce. 7. The City-State. 8. The Avignon Papacy. 9. Italian Papacy. 10. Italian Politics to 1378. Part III: Economic and Social Forces: 11. Population. 12. Landlords. 13. The Industrial and Commercial World. 14. The Social Rebellions of the Fourteenth Century. Part IV: The Fourteenth-Century World of Ideas: 15. Universities and Courts. 16. The Beginnings of Renaissance Ideas. 17. Religious Movements. Part V: The Crisis of the Papacy and the Church: 18. The Great Schism. 19. The Age of the Councils. 20. The First Reformation: The Hussite Movement. Part VI: Europe and the World Beyond: 21. Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. 22. The Beginnings of European Expansion. Part VII: The Fifteenth-Century Crises of the Monarchies: 23. France: The End of the Hundred Years War. 24. Castile and Aragon. 25. Germany and the Empire. Part VIII: Princes and Towns in the Netherlands and Italy: 26. Valois Burgundy. 27. Italian Politics. 28. The Ideas of the Italian Renaissance. Epilogue. Bibliography. Index.