Migration Ages Europe Bibliography
700 to 1000
copyright 1997 by Historical Novelists
Be sure and check the Atlas of Civilisation
books for this period, like The Cultural Atlas of France.
There is also The Atlas of the Viking World which covers
not only their culture, but whom they raid. No one wrote cookbooks
in this period: simply figure what foods were available, and
throw them in a pot, or see Joyce, and let the Irish practices
The occasional "<sic>" is
due to authors (or editors or sales departments!) putting "AD"
after the year. Standing for anno Domini,
"in the year of Our Lord," it should precede the year.
It is more PC to use a following CE, which, as you please, stands
for Current Era or Common Era (or even Christian Era), as the
precise year since the birth of Christ does not, after all, match
the AD count. CE accepts this inaccuracy and leaves space for
the majority of people in the world, who are not Christians.
Why so many books on this period feel obliged to include the
AD when those set a couple of centuries later or even earlier
don't is good to discuss over a beer.
Anderson, William, and Clive Hicks
Cathedrals in Britain and Ireland: from
Early Times to the Reign of Henry VIII ***
Scribner, NY, 1978; bibliography, index; Macdonald and Jane's,
Lots of stories and pictures. T3
Baker, G. P.
The Fighting Kings of Wessex ****
Combined; 304 pgs
Wessex was one of the several English kingdoms that squabbled
for independence and supremecy from the time of the Saxon invasion.
The kingdom of Wessex finally came to dominate, then subsume
the others, as well as the Norse kingdoms set up in the 900's.
Follow this consolidation up until it was taken over by the Normans
in 1066. Necessary for a real feel of Migration Ages English
politics and society. T1
Blair, Peter Hunter
Anglo-Saxon England ***
1959; now from Barnes & Noble
Good if conventional coverage of the Christianization and unification
of the area. T1
Twenty Thousand Years of Fashion; the
History of Costume and Personal Adornment **
Harry N. Abrams, 1966; 440 pg, index, glossary
Necessarily limited art in this period, but Boucher is weaker
than necessary in this period. T1
The Land and Wildlife of Eurasia YY
Time-Life Books, Inc., 1964, 2nd ed. 1974
History of domestication and spread tells you when oats are eaten,
and why your northern characters should catch hares, not rabbits,
in this period. A good basic text. T3
Warrior's Weapons ***
Crowell, NY, 1963; illustrated by author
Absolutely unique discussion of what descriptions of the "mythical"
serpent blades really meant about metallurgy. Simply, pleasantly
- Ships and Seafaring in Ancient Times
- University of Texas Press; 1994; Paperback,
1st ed., 160pp.
- Covers the development of early boats into
ships. Strong on evidence of the spade and the new work with
full-size replicas. T2
The Anglo-Saxon World *****!
Collects Beowulf, The Battle of Malden, and many other poems,
besides laws, letters, and chronicles, letting the English speak
for themselves. T2
David, Nicolle, Ph.D.
- The Moors: The Islamic West 7th-15th
Centuries AD <sic> (Men-At-Arms, 348)***
Osprey Pub Co; 2001
- Excellent details on organization versus
the European warrior of the time, as well as the hardware. T2
Medieval Warfare; History of the Art of War, volume
University of Nebraska Press, 1990, trans. Walter J. Renfroe,
Jr.; orig. 1923; 711 pg, index
Extremely cogent dissection of the concept of the "peasant
levy," showing it a means of raising cash (taxation not
being well-developed) as the troops it would have raised if actually
used would have been herds of inefficient mouths, given unsuitably
insubordinate ideas, when the peasant was otherwise being ground
down into passive and unarmed serfdom. Begins with a list of
the cost of Carlovingian war-gear in cows, and proceeds to do
a lot of rational analysis and myth-busting, rather than gulping
poetic accounts thoughtlessly, as if they were modern objective
reports. Viewpoint is that of the sources (Frankish and Anglo-Saxon)
but he is an early discrediter of body counts, so that you will
not have hordes of 20,000 when you should have bands of 300.
- The Age of Faith: A History Of Medieval Civilization,
Christian, Islamic, and Judaic from Constantine to Dante AD 325-1300 (The Story of Civilization v. IV) *****!
- This is the one fat history book you need
as a basis for the period. Notice that it covers a thousand years.
Heavily oriented to philosophy and the literary arts. T1
- The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and
Fall of Civilizations
- Bloomsbury Press; 2008
- Eurocentric, this is aimed at 800-1300, but
slides a good deal to each side. T3
Women in Anglo-Saxon England ****
Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1984
["Viking Women in Britain." included as a chapter in
Fell's excellent book on women in Anglo-Saxon England. Provides
a brief summary of the status and historical position of women
in the areas of England settled by the Vikings.]
ffoulkes, Charles J.
The Armourer & His Craft from the
XIth to the XVth Century *****!
Methuen & Company, Ltd., London, 1912; now from Dover Publications,
Excellent! The author appreciates the design of working armour
rather than drooling over pretty doodadery, explains design detail,
and the work and tools of the armourer. Deals in cuirboilli and
jack as well as metallic armour. T2
- Anecdotes of archery; from the earliest ages to the
year 1791. Including an account of the most famous archers of
ancient and modern times; with some curious particulars in the
life of Robert Fitz-Ooth Earl of Huntington, vulgarly called
Robin Hood .. ****
- York; Hargrove, 1792
- Anecdotes are invaluable as a source of what
might happen in a skill you don't actually practice.
Heath, Ernest Gerald
The Grey Goose Wing ***
New York Graphic Society, Greenwich, CN, 1971
Excellent history of the bow; last part Anglocentric, with some
coverage of the Turks. T3
Helm, P. H.
Alfred the Great: A Biography ****
Barnes & Noble, NY
Alfred earned his soubriquet by turning back the Norse invasion
that threatened to swamp the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms as the Anglo-Saxons
had the British. A good biography strong on the military strategy.
Byzantine and Medieval Greece ***
Concentrates on art and architecture, especially religious, of
the area we now call Greece, under the various rulers until the
arrival of the Turks.
Hogg, Ian V.
The History of Fortification ***
St. Martin's Press, NY, 1981
Clear, interesting and accurate overview from 7000 BC through
the 1970's, well illustrated with photos and diagrams; bibliography
and glossary. T2
Hourani, George Fadlo & John Carswell
- Arab Seafaring*****!
- Princeton University Press; 1995 Expanded
ed; Paperback, 1st ed., 140pp.; Bibliography, index
- Focuses on Arab (not necessarily Muslim)
seafaring in the Indian Ocean, not the Mediterranean, but much
of the information crosses over, and one section is specifically
Mediterranean, just as it also covers the African and Chinese
trade. Runs from the Classial period BC through the tenth century
CE. The section on the ships themselves covers the development
of stitched planking and the fore-n-aft lateen rig to replace
square sails. Lots of wonderful detail on ports and day-to-day
life, besides shipwrecks, for the novelist to acquire. T2
The Medieval Warhorse: From Byzantium
to the Crusades *****!
Excellent! Covers not only the military develoopment of heavy
armored horses, but also their care. A lot of hands on research
with her own "equine research associates" and tons
of careful, thoughtful book digging by an expert horsewoman.
People's Names: A Cross-Cultural Reference Guide to
the Proper Use of over 40,000 Personal and Familial Names in
over 100 Cultures *****!
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, NC; 1997;
613 pgs, index, select annotated bibliography
The Historical half includes Norse, Gothic/Frankish, British,
Saxon, and Irish Celtic, as well as Byzantine naming practices.
- Ancien Régime
1867; Project Gutenberg, on-line
Covers the effect of horses on society via the mounted warrior
as the basis of the French noble caste.
A History of Costume ****
1930; New York, G. Howard Watt
Hand-sized, info-packed, based on surviving clothes first and
artwork secondarily. Author's line drawings of construction and
detail. Neophytes should use with a picture book, which it will
greatly clarify. T2
- Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and
During the Renaissance Period
D. Appleton, NY; 1874; "illustrated with 15 chromolithographic
prints by F. Kellerhoven and upwards of 400 engravings on wood."
Classic French Victorian concepts of the period, which
of course need adjustment, but details you won't find elsewhere.
- Military and Religious Life in the Middle Ages and
at the Period of the Renaissance
- Arts in the Middle Ages, and at the Period of the
- Science and literature in the Middle Ages and at the
Period of the Renaissance
(1878, London, Bickers & Son).
Laing, Lloyd & Jennifer
The Picts and the Scots ****
Recent archeological work has cleared up some points of the development
of the Migration Ages kingdoms of Alba (Pictish Scotland) and
the eastern part of the Scotian (Irish) kingdom of Dal Riada,
which straddled the Irish Sea. T2
Rome in the Dark Ages ****
Barnes & Noble, NY
Covers from the 400's through the 900's, including the development
of the papacy.
Lopez, Robert S.
The Birth of Europe ***
Covers the changes in civilization from the 300's through the
Majno, Guido, MD
The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the
Ancient World *****!
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1975
Heavy research and testing, too, to see how well period practices
actually worked. Fascinating reading. Among others, covers classic
medicine of both ancient Rome and the Middle Ages, from which
you can interpolate. Medicine did freeze in place until the anatomical
studies of the Renaissance. T1
National Geographic Society
The Age of Chivalry *
The National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, 1969; 376 pg,
While this has the entire Bayeux Tapestry reproduced on fold-out
pages, this book has some serious problems. The section on the
life of the Franks in the 800's is illustrated with paintings
from 1400, when there are much earlier miniatures that could
have been used. "In the Wake of the Vikings" by La
Fay was written just before a big burst in Norse archeaology
by someone who basically dislikes Vikings. He always relays the
worst single opinion he can dig up, and ignores the mass of contrary
reports. Innaccurate if dramatic paintings: slave girls dressed
like wealthy women; rectilinear houses, rather than curved walls
and roofs; landing sites lack boat-houses (nausts). Good artifact
photos, though. Read only when you know so much that you can
sift the good points from the garbage. T3
Women Warlords: An Illustrated Military History of
Female Warriors ***
Blandford, NY, 1989; index; illustrated by Angus McBride
Primarily useful here on Aethelflaed of Mercia, who was the mainstay
of the English against the Norse after the death of her father,
Alfred the Great. T2
Nicolle, David, PhD.
The Age of Charlemagne ***
Osprey Military, Reed Consumer Books Ltd., London, etc., 1984;
#150, Men-at-Arms Series; 40 pg, Further Reading, no index; illustrations
by Angus McBride
Like any Osprey monograph, dense with text and pictorial information.
You learn a lot in 40 pages! Includes maps of Europe in 814 and
900, and an on-going discussion of the spread of the stirrup,
which is necessary to the couched lance charge. Has missed reading
Delbrueck, and keeps showing members of the mythical "peasant
levy" (actually a form of taxation for raising cash, not
men), who will do for the lightest troops of men-at-arms. Covers
about 700-1000. Maps crude, single line weight, titled with a
Norwich, John Julius
Byzantium: The Apogee *****!
This second volume of the trilogy covers from 800-1071. This
is less time than the others, but there's a tremendous amount
to cover. T3
A Short History of Byzantium ****
Knopf; 431 pgs
If you have decided to deal with Byzantium, this will give you
a fine framework before moving up to the author's three-volume
history. Covers from 330 to 1453. T2
The Archaeology of Weapons, Arms and Armor From Prehistory
to the Age of Chivalry;
New York, Barnes & Noble Books,
1994, illustrated by the author
Uses contemporary manuscript illustrations, analysis of extant
weapons, and the author's own illustrations to show how weapons
were used. A trifle weak in the ancient world, but gets more
than solid in this period and beyond. T2
Osprey Military Books
The worst book out by Osprey still gets three
stars. The best are five stars and a bang. These are each a dense,
military monograph on weapons, tactics, strategy, and history,
with some little cultural background. Rarely at libraries, you
will usually find these where military miniatures are sold. T2
Everyday Life Through the Ages **
"Invaders Make a New Europe: Saxons, Celts, Franks and Vikings"
The Norse village scene shows square buildings, alas. But photos
include gaming boards, the portable scales and horse-bone skates
mentioned in Roesdahl, and a few other goodies. The text includes
unusual details on swimming contests and horse-fights. T3
Rice, T. T.
Everyday Life in Byzantium *****!
Barnes & Noble, NY
Covers not only the Imperial Court (why go to Byzantium if you
don't go there?) but less etherial levels of life, too. T1
Rodgers, William Ledyard
Naval Warfare Under Oars, 4th to 16th Centuries. A
Study of Strategy, Tactics and Ship Design ***
orig. 1940; Naval Institute Press, 1990; 358 pg, index
A classic back in print. Chapter VI, "The Vikings,"
pg 69-87, is informative, but not terribly deep; useful added
to Roesdahl and Ian Heath. Otherwise, primarily Mediterranean,
though it does cover happenings in the English channel. Superb
discussion of longbow and crossbow ballistics. T2
Salmonson, Jessica Amanda
The Encyclopedia of Amazons: Women Warriors from Antiquity
to the Modern Era *****!
Paragon House, NY, 1991; 290 pg, no index, bibliograph
Woman vikings, Celtic warrior queens, women leading barbarian
invasions -- there's a lot of entries for this period. T2
Siebs, Benno Eide
Die Personennamen der Germanen (Personal
Names of the German People) ****
So it's in German. You don't need to read the onomastics background
and discussion. Go to the section where all the names are piled
up. The first group is Frankish-Gothic names, male then female;
then Norse names, M/F; then Saxon, which includes your Anglo-Saxon
English. Not always all groups or both sexes, but you'll pick
up the code fast with just a little looking around. A gigantic
pick-list, if you don't mind sticking to those with known roots.
Does not, however deal in eke-names, etc., so it is best as an
expansion of Ingraham. T1
Guide to the Horses of the World ***
Chartwell Books, NY, 1990, orig. 1975; 233 pg, index
Good historical notes hidden among the breeds guide you to avoiding
most of them as too modern, and consturcting your few available
breeds. Nags rule! On top of this, most of them are little nags:
the section on cold-blooded ponies will give you beasts more
like the 'horses' of Europe than your present picture of Arabs
and Shires. T2
- Mediavel Feudalism ****!
- 1942: Cornell University Press
- This was published as a standard text on
the subject through the 1970s (and may be yet). It is a brief
and pointed essay: he does not go on for 400 pages on intricacies
and hundreds of examples and exceptions. Instead, he lays it
out in what came to about 40 pages in my compressed text version
(8.5 x 11, single-space, no index). Having learned to write before
obfustication in academia became the norm, it's really understandable.
T1, because most people have this all wrong in their heads.
Stierlin, Henri, ed.
Architecture of the World: Romanesque
Taschen, 192 pg
Between Roman buildings with pillars (end by 500 in Europe) and
Gothic buildings with flying buttresses (not until 1100's), the
style of churches and other large buildings is Romanesque. Less
specialist books often slight this style because it is restrained
and looks spare. T1
- Old and New London : A Narrative of
Its History, Its People, and Its Places ****
- volume 2 -- v. 1-2. The city, ancient and modern
- volume 3
- volume 4 -- v. 3-4.
Westminster and the western suburbs
- volume 5 -- v. 5. The
western and northern suburbs
- volume 6 -- v. 6. The
- London; Cassell; 1881
- Within this format, Thornbury gives a wealth
of odds and ends from the Middle Ages forward, if the area was
then inhabited to speak of. He specifically notes that he writes
after a great boom in building has transformed the town, especially
to extending it. Be sure to compare him with a map in your period
so you don't have things too built up.
- Dictionnaire raisonné de mobilier
Français de l'époque Carlovingienne a la Renaissance
(Rational Dictionary of French "furnishings" from the
Carlovingian epoch to the Renaissance)
- Paris, Morel, 1874 (multi-volume). (There
is no real translation in English of mobilier: it's all
the gear people live with that isn't architecture.)
- So you don't read French. So didn't most
of the people I've known who owned a set, but the illos are so
good you often don't need to. F'rinstance, the Viking tents that
started showing up at Pennsic Wars came from illos in this. Remember,
the French for Northman is "Norman." So this includes
Viking stuff. t. 1. Meubles
(furnishings, and the tents) t. 2. Ustensiles.
Orfèvrerie [sic] Instruments de musique. Jeux,
passe-temps. Outils. Outillages (games, pastimes, musical
instruments, various utensils) t. 3
Vêtements, bijoux de corps, objets de toilette (costume)
Armes de guerre offensives et défensives (weapons
& armour). T3; T2 if you read French and can get more out
Les Tres Riches Heures du Moyen
Age: A Medieval Journey *****!
Six CD's and a 119-pg booklet takes you from
the earliest known Christian chants out of Byzantium, 1000 years
to the dawn of the Renaissance. Expensive, but many will consider
it worthwhile, considering the paucity of music from this period.
Ancient World Web *****!
Superb linksite, which it would be silly to
try and duplicate here. Especially fine for including Asian,
American, and African sections, not just Europe and the Near
Diotima: Women & Gender in the
Ancient World ****
Some articles on women up through the Middle
Ages snuck in here. Also early Xtian, late Roman, etc.
The Electronic Beowulf ****
If you needed Beowulf to get the hang of Germanic/Saxon
culture, get it here. Beowulf was probably composed during the
sixth century or so (orally; it begins, "Listen!")
and written down about the eighth. It survived in one only manuscript
copy, damaged by fire about 1713, but fortunately transcribed,
as the edges have been crumbling away since. The full epic covers
a lot more than dragon-slaying. Especially useful for the relationship
between dryhten and gerdryht.
Over 200 articles on the succession, courts,
development of titles, lines of descent, legalities of claims
to titles, etc. on the upper classes of Europe. Some refer back
as far as this period. These are topics often covered nowhere
at all. As well, portrait galleries of various families can be
H-GIG Historical Times & Places
A thorough-going linksite maintained by the
University of California at Riverside, H-GIG sorts by area, by
era (ancient<yours>, Medieval, early Modern, Modern, and
20th C), or by topic (military, women, etc.). It's a good place
to start a hunt for books and essays online.
The History of Costume ***
125 pages of images from the book "History
of Costume" printed in 1861 in Munich. The 500 figures cover
"historical dress from antiquity to the end of the 19th
century." Victorianized drawings, but it's T1
Internet Medieval Sourcebook *****!
Halsall is collecting texts in translation,
and also providing links to other sites like Berkeley, so as
not to duplicate effort. This huge initial page links internally
and externally to a list of period works, from the late Byzantine-early
Christian age to the early Renaissance. Wonderful source, attractive
without glitz, many matrices of approach (eg, by a topic like
women's roles or by a period). Now includes both early lives
of Charlemagne (Einhard's and the Monk of St. Gall's) and Gregory
of Tours' History of the Franks.
Old English Pages: Historical Contexts
Cathy Ball, one of the assoc. profs at Georgetown,
has established an excellent page of imbedded links on Old English
(Anglo-Saxon) culture, including maps. If you have WHAM, you
can even hit other pages on her site to hear Old English pronounced.
Online Medieval & Classical Library
Exceedingly large index page takes a long
time to load, so you can guess how many entries it has! This
is one of those online libraries, with texts in translation,
not just a linksite. Lots of sagas.
Salic Law *****
This page, one of many good ones at this site,
deals with what the actual inheritance law of the Salic Franks
was, how it was viewed in the early kingdoms, and how it was
purposely misinterpreted in 1410 to exclude women or a descendant
in a female line from the throne of France.
Tom Dube's Merovingian Page **
From an interest in brewing to St.Arnulf to
the Merovingians, Dube could find no online sources about the
Merovingians so he created this basic king list (no easy task,
as Frankish kingdoms fragment on being passed to all the sons,
rather than just the eldest) with some notes on events. Includes
a short bibliography. Nice job for a computer wonk.
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