Middle Ages Bibliography
1100 to 1450
copyright 1997 by Historical Novelists
Be sure and catch the Atlas of Civilisation
series, in this case the Medieval chapters of The Cultural
Atlas of France, The Cultural Atlas of Russia, etc. We always
recommend these as among the first books you read.
For books covering only the British Isles,
not Europe in general or other places, see the British Isles
Middle Ages Bibliography. We have split it off to keep this page
small for those with slow modems, and anyone when the Internet
This is a trifle artificial, as the Plantagenets
ruled large chunks of what is now France, but you will find most
of the background reference on the Plantagenet kings in the other
section, not here.
- Women's Lives In Medieval Europe *****!
- Routledge, Chapman, and Hall Inc.: New York,
- Accesible, non-technical writing. Covers
many aspects of this "man's world." T1
- Knights and Warhorses ****
- Goes to unexploited source documents to explore
the importance of the horse as a weapon of war and an indicator
of status, using horse inventories of the times. T3
Barlett, R. & A. MacKay, editors
- Medieval Frontier Societies ****
Oxford University Press
Interesting look at the often all-too exciting life on borders:
the Elbe, that between Castile and Grenada, and England's borders
with Wales and Scotland, as well as that maintained in Ireland.
Binns, L. Elliott
- The Decline & Fall of the Medieval
Barnes & Noble, NY
Nicely backs the theory that the Papacy failed for the reason
that it built itself on a model of failure -- the Roman Empire.
- The Women Troubadors ****
- W.W Norton and Co., NY, 1980.
- Now here's a new area for characters! Unusual
insights, as you might imagine. T2
Brooke, Rosalind & Christopher
- Popular Religion in the Middle Ages:
Western Europe 1000-1300 *****!
Barnes & Noble, NY
Considering you can't move or breath without bumping into Christianity
in this time and place, this is an invaluable guide to what people
believed (as opposed to what theologians preached) about a religion
quite different from modern Roman Catholicism. T2
- Warrior's Weapons ***
Crowell, NY, 1963; illustrated by author
Good on basic weaponry and metallurgy, explaining why damascening
was more than decorative, and the sprinkling of powdered gemstones
over blades being forged was more than conspicuous consumption.
Simply, pleasantly written. T2
Bullough, Vern L., & James Brundage,
- Sexual Practices and the Medieval Church
Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY; 1982; pg. 72-85.
Mistress Gunnora recommends the Scandinavian chapter, so the
rest should be useful. T2
- The Kingdom of Armenia ****
Great historical coverage with some sociological, from the Bronze
Age to the end of the Middle Ages. Think of this as some place
different to check out for those who have worn western Europe
to shreds. T1
- The Northern Crusades: The Baltic and
the Catholic Frontier 1100-1525 ****
A look at the oft-ignored clash between not only Catholic and
pagan Slav, but Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. T2
- Medieval Swordsmanship: Illustrated
Methods and Techniques ****
- Paladin Press, Boulder CO, 1998
- It is conceivable that you might do a novel
in this time and place and never touch on combat. Otherwise,
this would get five stars and a bang for boiling down everything
known from written sources and art, working it out in the salle
des armes, and presenting it in clear diagrams and fairly simple
explanations. His mini-essays against common mistaken theories
from other schools of medieval recreation combat are invaluable
to get this garbage out of your head, saith this reviewer who
had SCA training. The sections on how to practice and spar are
not just for those doing this: it may hint you as to how they
practiced and sparred 1000-500 years ago. Read this to counteract
the Victorian silliness still so prevalent on the subject. T2
Cosman, Madeleine Pelner
- Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and
George Braziller, NY, 1976
Text on Table Manners, Courtly Menues, Banquet Music, The Raw
Ingredients, etc., in 224 pg, 100 illos, 100 recipes, and a helpful
Coulton, G. G.
- The Medieval Village ****
Dover NY; 603 pg
Okay, let's come down out of the castle and see how the majority
of the people get fed and sheltered, and get along. T1
- A History of the Middle Ages ***
Barnes & Noble, NY
Extends the temporal boundaries back into what we call Dark Ages,
and forward into what we call Renaissance. A good one volume
- Seven Medieval Kings ****
Barnes & Noble, NY
Bigger than encyclopedia articles, and how could you write a
detail biography (without lots of sociological padding) about
people from a time when records are so sparse? Covers quite a
range beyond the usual Medieval -- Emperor Justinian, Charlemagne,
Harun al-Rashid, and the more expected Henry II, Frederick II,
Louis IX, and Louis XI. 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
Davis, H. W. Carless (Henry William Carless),
- Medieval Europe
- 1915: London Williams and Norgate
- Medieval Warfare; History of the Art of War, volume
University of Nebraska Press, 1990, trans. Walter J. Renfroe,
Jr.; orig. 1923; 711 pg, index
Opens with the worth of pieces of warrior's equipment in cows
according to Frankish laws, and discusses the development and
periodic paralyses of political and military systems of the times.
Note that the word "Norman" is used for the Scandinavians
even before they are given the lower Seine. An early discrediter
of body counts, cool, analytical, clarifying the mysteries of
Medieval tactics. Especially interesting for his smashing of
two common but inaccurate images: the knight who cannot move,
let alone fight, dismounted, and the charge at the gallop. T2
Duby, George, & Elborg Forster
- Medieval Marriage : Two Models from
Twelfth-Century France (The
Johns Hopkins Symposium) ****
- Johns Hopkins Univ Press, 1991; 138 pages;
Translators, Georges Duby, John W. Baldwin
- A little deep going for the non-specialist,
but accessible with work. T3
- 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
- Magical Jewels of the Middle Ages and
the Renaissance ***
Dover Publications, Inc., NY
Let's remember that at this time science and magic, religion
and superstition, were still strongly entwined. This will give
you another aspect of Medieval thought. T2
- 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
ffoulkes, Charles J.
- The Armourer & His Craft from the XIth to the
XVth Century *****!
- Methuen & Company, Ltd., London, 1912;
now from Dover Publications, Inc., NY
- Excellent! The author appreciates the design
of working armor rather than drooling over pretty doodadery,
explains design detail, and the work and tools of the armorer.
Deals in cuirboilli and jack as well as metallic armor. Excellent
appendix of the procedure (incomplete survival) for a judicial
armed combat. T1 -- you can't get bad armor myths out of your
head too quickl
- Armour and Weapons ****!
- Oxford Clarendon press, 1909
- Most of the volume is on armour development,
as well it might be, including one chapter on horse armour. One
chapter only goes to weapons. It's a simple explanation: while
you can get all ob-com about details of pommels on swords and
the snaggles on polearms, for the most part there is only a limited
development of weapons, with variations in size: the sword, the
mace, the flail, the spear and lance, the polearm. Here they
are considered mostly vis-a-vis their effectiveness against various
forms of armour--which in this book strongly considers that of
the ordinary man-at-arms, wearing leather or quilted linen, rather
than just the knight in iron. Great reference to get away from
expensive metallic armour. This is as much as you actually need
on the subject of armour. T1
- Heraldry *****!
A. S. Barnes & Co., NJ, 1968
Easy-reading and graphic, not your usual turgid lap-breaker nor
an inaccurate surface pamphlet. Author is a classicist and dislikes
Victorian corruptions. Discusses the development of heraldry
in this period. Superb first (or only!) book on heraldry. T2
Gardiner, Robert, editor
- Cogs, Caravels and Galleons; The Sailing
Ship 1000-1650 ****
Conway's History of the Ship; Conway Maritime Press, London;
for USA and Canada, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD; 1994;
188 pg, index, bibliography.
Actually a collection of articles written for this volume by
a number of experts, it covers as well as it can a period in
which information is quite spotty. However, the number of reproduction
ships which have sailed should have provided more hard data than
this has. T2
Gies, Joseph and Frances (sometimes Frances and Joseph)
- All books by the Gieses are written for the
non-specialist, but are researched by specialists and give you
- Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel *****!
Highlights the technological advances of the Middle Ages as one
of the many signs of its vibrancy. There is a certain quibbling
possible, as the Romans used water powered factories and gunpowder
may have come from Byzantium or China, but the Gothic cathedral
no-one else can claim. T2
- The Knight in History
- Life in a Medieval Castle *****!
Harper and Row, NY, 1974
Centering on the history of one English castle, the authors still
range over the whole of Normanized Europe, emphasizing the people
over the masonry, and often letting them speak in their own words.
- Life in a Medieval City
- Life in a Medieval Village
- Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages *****!
Follows the lives of several women of whom there are records.
The books of Frances Gies on the realities of medieval female
and family life have no axes to grind, except perhaps with those
who would make simplistic dreams or nightmares out of the rich
and complex reality shown here. T1
- Women in the Middle Ages *****!
Barnes & Noble
Shows the roles of women to have been more independant, more
interdependant, and more varied than the stereotype of either
princesses or oppression. T1
- As The Falcon Her Bells ****
- Dutton, NY, 1963
- Autobiography of a professional falconer,
and the other falconers he has known. Excellent for tales of
how the birds behave: falcons, hawks, eagles, and why no one
flys owls. T2
Hale, William Harlan, and the editors of
- Horizon Cookbook and Illustrated History
of Eating and Drinking through the Ages ***
American Heritage Publishing, Inc., 1968
Part One has the description of customs and habits, foods available,
and some interesting art. Part Two has the tastiest recipes,
done for the modern kitchen. Especially hits this period in Part
- 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. It's up
to your good sense to filter these for plausibility, but do remember
that Extreme Marksmen proved the Robin Hood shot that
Mythbusters supposedly busted: there are one in a million
things that do happen, and much is in the sheer quality of your
archer, which can be better than any machine. Because you need
to know what you might stick in your plot, T2
- Revelations: The Medieval World ****
Beautifully pictorial with reconstructions on six-page gatefolds
and a detailed text. T1
Haskins, Charles Homer
- The Normans in European History ****
Barnes & Noble, NY
Treats Normandy as a virtually independent realm, from the arrival
of the Viking Rollo to the French conquest of the area in 1204.
Heath, Ernest Gerald
- The Grey Goose Wing ***
- New York Graphic Society, Greenwich, CN,
- Excellent history of the bow; last part Anglocentric,
with some coverage of the Turks. T2
- 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. T1
- Knights ***
Clearly differentiates the historical knight from the knight
of romance, but shows how the romantic knight affected the historical
- Witchcraft *****!
- Penguin Books, NY, 1965, orig. 1952
- Clear, balanced view of Medieval religion,
the Other One as well as Christianity. The subject has a lot
of revolting aspects, but this version is about as little disgusting
as can be managed while still covering the events, unlike the
many which dwell morbidly on the tortures. Unfortunately, the
author shows his pre-WW1 origins: everything in black Africa
is degenerate, all pagan religion derives from Egypt, social
Darwinism is assumed, as is the death of paganism. Don't tell
it to all the paleo-pagans and neo-pagans we know! T2
Hunt, Edwin S. & James M. Murray
- A History of Business in Medieval Europe 1200-1550
- Cambridge University Press; 1999; Hardcover,
- Covers merchants and other businesspeople
in western Europe, Poland and Hungary: how they handled business,
invented accounting and corporations, what they traded where.
A fine break from all the knights -- though the upper class demand
for luxuries, not lower-class needs, was what impelled business.
- The Medieval Warhorse: From Byzantium to the Crusades *****!
1994; Sutton Books, Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Excellent! Covers not only the military development of heavy
armored horses, but also their care. T2
- 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 has special chapters on Medieval English,
German, French, and Italian names, besides Basque, Breton, Provencal,
Frisian, Frankish, Norse, and others of interest. Cornish and
some others will be found in the Contemporary half. Most are
pick-lists, a few are build-your-own. If some look a little small,
remember that at this period there was a historical tendency
to over-use a very small number of acceptable baptismal names,
name novelty being despised rather than sought-after. T1
- Ancien Régime**
- 1867; Project Gutenberg, on-line
- Covers the mounted warrior as the basis of
the French noble caste.
Knight of La Tour-Landry
- The Book of the Knight of La Tour-Landry ***
- from the 1200s.
- The best we have found for something like
edited and augmented by Emma von Sichart, translated by Alexander
- 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 color picture book, which
it will greatly clarify. Germano-centric, which is valuable considering
the Anglo-Gallic axis of most costume books.T1
- 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).
- Illustrated History of Furniture from the Earliest
to the Present Time ****
- 1903; London: Truslove & Hanson Limited;
New York:; illustrated by John Lane 1892-1903.
- A good basic reference, based on art in early
ages. You normally don't have to detail furniture, just know
if they had easily movable chairs and tables -- which the Middle
Ages don't. Eurocentric, Anglocentric. T1
Lopez, Robert S.
- The Birth of Europe ***
Covers the changes in civilization from the 300's through the
Lyons, B. D., ed.
- The High Middle Ages, 1000-1300 ****
These essays accent why the Middle Ages can be considered to
start in 1000 -- the revival of trade and cities, the development
of the Medieval bourgeoisie, a class too often ignored for knights
and peasants. T2
Mackay, Angus, with David Ditchburn
- Atlas of Medieval Europe ****
If you're staying in the Middle Ages but need a wide range of
travel, this may be better than or a supplement to the Atlas
of Civilisation series, which goes down a modern national area
from prehistory to the present. This stays temporaly concentrated
and gives the political units across the continent, as well as
other maps of the likes of resources, land use, trade, invasion,
Magnus, Albertus, translated from the German
- Being the Approved, Verified, Sympathetic
and Natural Egyptian Secrets, etc. ***
- paperback, no publishing data, obtained 1971
- A typical "cookbook" of magic,
alchemy, and chemistry; everything from making yourself invisible
and stopping raging housefires with an amulet to a good grease
to waterproof your boots and a fake gilding. Half the spells
are to cure erysipelas, which must have been rife. One "spell"
we found actually works: milk and black pepper to kill flies
and gnats. T3
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 Rome's Galen, and the Medieval practices are often
based on it. T1
Mott, George Fox, and Harold M. Dee
- An Outline History of the Middle Ages: From the Decline
of the Roman Empire through the Reformation ***
Barnes and Noble, 1950, orig. 1933; 272 pg, index, supplemental
references (good books to check)
Just to get you chronologically grounded, between 395 and 1564.
Covers social as well as political and religious change. The
basic chronology of the Middle Ages hasn't changed in this century;
what's different about modern books is the anthropological and
sociological interpretation of events. A bare-bones chronology
like this can hardly go out of date. T1
National Geographic Society
- The Age of Chivalry X
1969; 376 pg, index
The section on Franks in the 800's illustrates their way of life
with paintings from centuries later, when earlier manuscript
miniatures are out there. Does this give you a hint on quality?
Use only when you know so much it can't foul you up. Does contain
the entire Bayeux Tapestry. T3, if at all.
Nash, E. Gee
- The Hansa ****
Barnes & Noble
You can't go into the Baltic from the 1100's through the 1400's
without dealing with the Hanseatic League, which like most Baltic
history is given short shrift by historians stuck on the English-French-Italian
axis of ideas. Fills a definite gap. T2
- Women Warlords: An Illustrated Military History of
Female Warriors *****!
- Blandford, NY, 1989; index; Angus McBride,
- Note the word "history." He skims
past all the ones whose reality is shaky and gives some depth
on the likes of Matilda of Tuscany. Starts with Artemisia I of
Halicarnassus and goes through the Hundred Years Wars. T1
- The Medieval World: Civilization from
1000 to 1500 ****
A good cultural introduction (only about 200 pgs) to life in
city and country as well as castle, to artists, doctors, and
peasants as well as knights and clergy. T1
Norman, A. V. B.
- The Medieval Soldier ***
Barnes & Noble, NY
Follows the development of the personnel in the Medieval army
from Charlemagne in the Dark Ages, on forward through the Crusades.
Its value depends on your level of study of military history.
It seems less sterling after reading Delbrueck. 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 . T2
- The Medieval Traveller ***
- A broad study of travel means and conditions,
who travels and why, and what snags may be met upon the road.
However, there are some very erronious assumptions made (like
assuming medieval peasants ate oats, which only Scotsman did,
and then because they had only oats, they ate porridge instead
of bread; in fact, medieval peasants ate wheat porridge -- frumenty
-- when they wished to avoid the expense of the miller and the
baker, home grinding and baking being illegal), and in some places
he contradicts himself a few pages apart. Best for the real beginner
who can correct errors later, or someone already very deeply
into the research, who can spot the glitches. T1
Oman, Sir Charles William Chadwick (1860-1946)
- The Art of War in the Middle Ages, A.D. 378-1515 ****
- Oxford : Blackwell, 1885.
- Nowhere as good as Delbrück, but he's
free for those of you who need it. Also a bit more introductory.
- A History of the Art of War, the Middle Ages from
the Fourth to the Fourteenth Century ****
- 1898; G.P. Putnam's Sons
- This covers a bit less time. We would say
it was more definitely medieval rather than shading into the
- The worst book from Osprey rates three stars,
and many are five stars. They are not easily come by, unless
you buy them, at $9-13 apiece. If your library has them, you
are very lucky! T2
In the Men-At-Arms Series:
- French Medieval Armies 1000-1300, #231
- Knights of Christ, #155
- El Cid & the Reconquista, #200
- Medieval European Armies, #50
- The Swiss 1300-1500, #94
- Italian Armies 1300-1500, #136
- German Armies 1300-1500, #166
- Hungary & Eastern Europe 1000-1568,
- The Venetian Empire, #210
- Armies of Crecy and Poitiers, #111
- Medieval Burgundy 1364-1477, #144
- Armies of Agincourt, #113
- Medieval Heraldry, #99
- The Normans, #9
- Knights at Tournament, #17
- Medieval Siege Warfare, #28
- Norman Knight, #1
Paetow, Louis John, 1880-1928
guide to the study of medieval history, for students, teachers,
- 1917: Berkeley [Calif.] University of California
- Medieval Serbian Culture ****
Gives as much on art and culture as on history, 800's to 1400's,
none of which are easy to find in most books. Most general history
books limit their coverage of the Middle Ages to England, France,
Germany, Italy, and the Crusades, with occasional notes of the
existence of Iberia and Scandinavia, so this is very welcome.
Setting your knights in armor tale here would give it a peculiarly
contemporary spin, considering the area's modern headline-grabbing.
Plaidy, Jean, aka Victoria Holt
- The Spanish Inquisition ****
Most people think of this as a Renaissance thing, but the Spanish
Inquisition was founded in 1232, so you should consider it if
your story goes to Iberia. T2
- The Universities of Europe in the Middle
Oxford University Press
Unless your story centers around university life, you do not
need to know this much about them: 1500 pages in three volumes,
covering academic institutions in England, France, Germany, Italy
and Spain. If that's what you're writing about, get your own
copy now! Incredible detail. T3
Ratcliffe, Derek A.
- The Peregrine Falcon YY
Buteo Books, Vermillion, SD, 1980; illus. by Donald Watson
Mostly ornithological information with a little falconry and
history of books on falconry, but valuable on how and where and
when birds can be found, since they were not bred in captivity.
Rice, David Talbot
- Islamic Art ***
Let's not forget who controls much of Spain, not to mention Sicily
and occasional spots in Italy and southern France. See what's
arriving on the ships from Outre-Mer. T3
- Sex, Dissidence & Damnation: Minority
Groups in the Middle Ages *****!
Barnes & Noble, NY
Everyday life for people likely to be whipped, branded, or burnt
alive whenever the local authorities ceased to be lethargic:
gays, anyone not Roman Catholic, those forced into economic shadows,
like prostitutes, and the hapless lepers. The ugly side of society.
Rodgers, William Ledyard
- Naval Warfare Under Oars, 4th to 16th Centuries. A
Study of Strategy, Tactics and Ship Design ***
Naval Institute Press, 1990 (1940); 358 pg, index
A classic back in print. In this period rigging is so primitive
that oars are necessary for any but the crudest maneuvering.
Especially useful if you are covering your Crusaders crossing
the Mediterranean. T2
Rosenthal, Joel T.
- Medieval Women and the Sources of Medieval
Athens: Univ. of Georgia Press. 1990
Ross, James Bruce, and Mary Martin McLaughlin,
- The Portable Medieval Reader *****!
The Viking Press, 1949, still in print; 698 pg
Writings culled from the period on an illuminating variety of
topics. Excellent first book to read. T1
- Medieval Prostitution ****
Barnes & Noble, NY; 213 pg
A study of whores, pimps, brothel keepers, and what was considered
their contribution to the stability and safety of society. T2
- Medieval Cities ***
George Braziller, 1968
Illustrated with original city plans (usually Renaissance), gives
reasons why the city of the Middle Ages grows the way it does.
Salmonson, Jessica Amanda
- The Encyclopedia of Amazons: Women Warriors from
Antiquity to the Modern Era
Paragon House, NY, 1991; 290 pg, no index, bibliography
Wonderfully informative in this period, provided you ferret the
ladies out of alphabetical order. Almost all are from the upper
classes, where the male warriors were clustered, too. Women were
nowhere near as frail and subdued as Victorian Romanticism has
painted them for us! T2
- The Monks of War ****
Penguin Books, NY
Basics on the major military orders -- the Templar, Hospitallers,
and the Teutonic Knights -- from their formation before the first
Crusade through their present remnants. T2
- Dresses and Decorations
of the Middle Ages, from the Seventh to the Seventeenth Century
- 1843; London, William Pickering
- Very Anglo-centric rather than Franco-centric
- Guide to the Horses of the World ***
- Chartwell Books, 1990, orig. 1975; 223 pg,
Good historical notes should guide you to avoiding most of the
breeds in here as too modern, and constructing your few Medieval
breeds. Nags rule! T2
Slisbury, Joyce E., ed
- Sex in the Middle Ages
New York: Garland. 1991
- 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: Gothic *****!
Taschen, 192 pg
More than the fast, one-page summary in encyclopedias and histories
of art and architecture, but not so heavy that you get lost in
details of structural engineering. T1
Summers, Rev. Montague, trans
- The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich
Kramer and James Sprenger ****
Dover Publications, Inc., NY
Here it is, the Hammer of the Witches, in translation by a modern
day believer in the Powers of Evil. Start your witch-hunting
of Science: Ancient and Medieval Science from the Beginnings
- 1957: Presses Universitaires de France
- This gives you an alternate view from Lacroix.
- A History of Fortification from 3000 BC to AD 1700 *****!
- Pen & Sword (2006)
- Toy visited and walked all these sights,
looking at them militarily. T1
- Castles: Their Construction and History *****!
Dover Publications, NY
Covers several centuries and countries, with good plans. Valuable
in showing how they work as war machines, and how their unlimate
develop was in Japan, based on Portuguese concepts. T1
- Dictionnaire raisonné de mobilier
Français de l'époque Carlovingienne a la Renaissance ****!
- Paris, Morel, 1874 (multi-volume).
- 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) 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, how to dress your head to wear a
hennin and all the parts thereof: the pictures were enough for
the ladies of the SCA. What's worse is he frequently describes
things by quoting old sources in Latin, Old French, or Middle
French, so actually reading it can be a bit of a headache. But
you'll do fine with pictures of chairs and swords, as long as
you can read the dates. Most of the Crusaders worth noting are
Norman French. T3
Vivian, E. Charles
- A History
- Project Gutenberg; original, 1920
- Rather over-written, with too much ornament
to the prose. Does begin the history in antiquity with legends
of flight, and moves on to recorded attempts of the Middle Ages
and Renaissance. T2
Wheeler, Bonnie and John C. Parson, ed.
- Medieval Mothering
Feminea Medevalia 3. New York: Garland. 1995
Part of a scholarly series on female roles in the Middle Ages.
Includes periphery cultures like Scandinavia. T2
- The Black Death ****
Excellent detail history of this event which, during the decades
it rampaged, transformed the European mind. Estimates of percent
of population killed will leave you aghast! T2
the bottom of "Notes on Medieval Music" essay)
Archery, Its History and Its Forms *****!
VHS, 72 min.
For the many of you who don't hang longbows and recurve stave
bows on your walls, this look at period archery in action covers
the English longbowman, Turkish archery, and mounted archers
as well, all in costume. By the folks who do "The Blow by
Blow Guide to Swordfighting" (Renaissance fencing). Very
valuable if you also read Hardy or Heath.
The Alchemy Web Site and Virtual
"70 megabytes of information on alchemy
in all its facets. Divided into over 1300 sections and providing
thousands of pages of text, over 1700 images, over 200 complete
alchemical texts, extensive bibliographical material on the printed
books and manuscripts, numerous articles, introductory and general
reference material. There is also a searchable graphics database
with 800 images, and a database of alchemy books with 4600 entries
and 5 megs of text. It was first launched on 7th May 1995 and
new pages are continually being added. There are about 400 people
accessing this site each day."
The Book of Quintessence ****
The full text and translation of "The
Book of Quintessence" a mid-1400s alchemical text. Bryan
has a warning/disclaimer against "dabbling around in chemistry"
without training in safe handling practices and hazardous substances,
in which this text abounds! As he points out, like many would-be
alchemists, you, too, could wind up "hurt, crazy, or dead"
from actually performing any of the operations described.
Diotima: Women & Gender in the
Ancient World *****!
Lucky for you, a few essays on Medieval sexuality
and women's roles snuck in here. Stop by and read them.
The Forme of Cury
"A Roll Of Ancient English Cookery, Compiled,
about A.D. 1390, by the Master-Cooks of King Richard II, Presented
afterwards to Queen Elizabeth, by Edward Lord Stafford, and now
in the Possession of Gustavus Brander, Esq. Illustrated with
Notes, And a copious Index, or Glossary. A Manuscript of the
Editor, of the same Age and Subject, with other congruous Matters,
are subjoined." A medieval cookbook, in its Renaissance
published form, on-line.
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, Medieval<yours>, 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).
The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval
Sponsored by Georgetown University
A number of links here are now dead ends.
The new address, on the other hand, is "not complete"
-- is any site?
NetSERF: the Internet Connection
for Medieval Resources ****
Over 1400 links to solid sites. With buttheads like Alta Vista
now charging for placement and soon to be carried at all, central
linksites will become vital again for those of us doing non-commercial
work on the Web. Includes texts and a Medieval Glossary that
may give you ideas.
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.
Official and Original Project Gutenberg
Web Site and HomePage ****
Fine Literature Digitally Republished
Since 1971 putting classic books into electronic form. All free,
just hope they have what you're looking for.
Salic Law *****!
This page, one of many excellent ones at this
site, deals with what the actual inheritance law of the Salic
Franks was, how it was viewed in the early kingdoms, how it was
forgotten and only rediscovered in 1358, not applied to the French
succession, and how it was purposely misinterpreted in 1410 to
exclude women or a descendant in a female line from the throne
Essay on Life for the Upper Classes
Essay on Medieval Music
Isles Middle Ages Bibliography
To the Crusades
and Mediterranean Bibliography
To the Medieval
Scandinavia and Iceland Bibliography
To the Medieval
of Middle-Tech Skills