This book provides a lively introduction to Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The period known as the 'High Middle Ages' saw dynamic evolution, with the rapid expansion of the European economies, centralization of papal and secular authority, and the flourishing of intellectual life in the 'Twelfth Century Renaissance'. The volume captures the sense of change and excitement of the period, and it charts and analyses the significant advances in the shape and structure of society. Jonathan Phillips identifies three main areas in which European life underwent profound development during the years 1122-1270: the substantial growth in the power of many of the key institutions in the West: the internal development of Europe in administrative organisation, intellectual and social life: and the dynamics of Latin Christendom and beyond. He weaves these underlying themes to the central narrative of the period, providing readers with a clear interpretive understanding of the events and issues of the time.The book will focus on Europe as a whole.
Crucially, it sets Jerusalem at the intellectual and religious heart of medieval life, showing how western European powers were drawn to developments in the East, most notoriously through crusading activity. It also demonstrates the importance of oft-neglected Spain and Sicily to the European balance of power. The volume is designed for readers with no background to the period, and includes pedagogical features to aid study. For instance, a brief personality profile is included at the end of each chapter to link general discussion to individuals' lives, and the book will conclude with a consideration of the question: if a man from 1122 were to be transported in time to 1270 what would have changed?