Table of contents:

What textbooks and books you need to read to understand the history of the Middle Ages and early modern times
What textbooks and books you need to read to understand the history of the Middle Ages and early modern times
Anonim

Let's start with … school books. It might not be worth mentioning these books at all if they were ordinary textbooks, but they are unusual and experimental textbooks. Add to them two more classic books and a reader, and that’s our literary-historical six.

B. Boytsov M., Shukurov R. History of the Middle Ages: Textbook for the VII grade of secondary educational institutions. - M. 1995

B. Boytsov M., Shukurov R. History of the Middle Ages: Textbook for the VII grade of secondary educational institutions. - M. 1995

A wonderful textbook for seven-graders. The book is written in good and simple Russian. Yours truly has had the pleasure of learning a little from it. Our version was in two volumes. We had it at school for additional reading, and the main one we had was a boring, standard and outdated textbook by Agibalova and Donskoy, which had already been long overdue for retirement.

The authors of the book are serious scientists, and not just teachers or methodologists. Mikhail Boytsov is a specialist in medieval Germany, Rustam Shukurov - in Byzantium, the Turkic world and Iran. It can be seen that when writing, they tried not only and not even so much to squeeze the prescribed amount of facts into the text, but, above all, to create a holistic image of the millennial era. Chronologically, the textbook covers the IV-XV centuries. Most of the material is traditionally devoted to Western Europe, but there is also material on the Slavs, paragraphs on the emergence of Muslim civilization, and also a significant place in the textbook is occupied by texts on the Eastern Roman Empire. Separately, it must be said that a lot has been written about medieval culture and spiritual tradition. This is especially good since the culture sections in all books always suffer. They write about it last and, unfortunately, read it on a leftover basis. It is curious that the authors introduce into the narrative plots that are not standard for a 7th grade school textbook. For example, they talk about the origins of the legend of King Arthur, the legend of Presbyter John, and even illuminate the phenomenon of hesychasm.

The strongest side of Boytsov and Shukurov's textbook is the additional materials. More precisely, not additional, but equal with the main text. After each paragraph, there are large excerpts from translations of medieval texts. Thus, this tutorial is still a little bit of a reader. The selection of medieval texts is also original. So, with the expected texts of chroniclers such as Jordan, Procopius of Caesarea, Gregory of Tours, there is an excerpt from "Consolation of Philosophy" by Severin Boethius (the fate of the author is described in the main text of the corresponding paragraph); a lot of poetry: Arabic, songs of the Crusades, Song of Roland, Romance of the Fox, poetry of the troubadours, etc. Questions after paragraphs and medieval texts in places can make not only a child, but an adult, and, as the authors themselves say, they are somewhat optional. The illustrations and maps are good. True, in my publication I was struck by a mistake in the signature to the drawing depicting the castle of the Crac de Chevalier. It says that this is a Templar castle, but, in fact, it is a hospital. Perhaps it would be possible to catch some more small "fleas" in the text, but this is not our task now.

In general, the textbook is very interesting to read and, in our opinion, will suit not only small but also large ones.

Gurevich A. Ya., Kharitonovich D.E. History of the Middle Ages. M. 1995

Gurevich A. Ya., Kharitonovich D.E. History of the Middle Ages. M. 1995

This book is something between a school textbook and a university textbook. No wonder the textbook does not say what classes it is for. Its readers are most likely the oldest schoolchildren or students. I myself found out about him only during my teaching practice.Unfortunately, it is usually only used as a supplementary aid. The book was written within the framework of the scientific direction "historical anthropology" and this is immediately evident, even from the table of contents. Aron Yakovlevich Gurevich is one of the largest medievalists in our country in the 20th century, a recognized leading figure in our country and abroad. D.E. Kharitonovich is also a very serious scientist.

The text is written less exciting than that of Boytsov and Shukurov, but more fundamental. Chronologically, the textbook covers the period from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the middle of the 17th century, that is, not only the Middle Ages, but also partially what is now commonly called the Early Modern Time. However, the emphasis is on the content of the Middle Ages. The illustrations are good. Help desk too. Moreover, this is not only a chronological table, but also a dictionary of terms that are not explained in the text of the textbook, but are simply highlighted in large print - you can see them at the end of the book. There, at the end, there is a list of fictional literature on the history of the Middle Ages.

The most interesting feature of this tutorial is precisely the approach. In political history, for example, there is a cross-cutting plot, unusual for textbooks, of the "idea of ​​empire", its existence in the minds of people after the fall of Rome in the West and transformation in the Carolingian and Ottonian periods. In general, less attention is paid to political history, more culture and especially the mentality of medieval man and his daily life. These are, first of all, chapters in the third part of the book: "Changes in the picture of the world of townspeople", "Picture of the world: the earthly world and the world beyond the grave", "Childhood, adolescence, youth", "Pogroms and their victims", "The world of fantasy and carnival "," Everyday life in the Middle Ages. " The disadvantages of the textbook include little attention to the Byzantine Empire (there is only the period of the IV-VIII centuries) and the almost complete absence of the history of the Slavs. The history of the Arab Caliphate, as in the previous textbook, is presented in the early period.

As a conclusion, we can say that this is a very informative textbook, quite interesting for an adult reader.

Medieval Europe through the eyes of contemporaries and historians. Reading book in five parts. Responsible editor Doctor of History A.L. Yastrebitskaya. M. 1995

Five parts:

Part one. The birth and formation of Medieval Europe in the 5th-9th centuries. Part two. European world. X-XV centuries.

Part one. The birth and formation of Medieval Europe in the 5th-9th centuries. / Part two. European world. X-XV centuries

Part three. Medieval man and his world. Part four. From the Middle Ages to Modern Times. New person.

Part three. Medieval man and his world. / Part four. From the Middle Ages to Modern Times. New person

Part five. A person in a changing world.

Part five. A person in a changing world

These books are part of the series "World History and Culture through the Eyes of Contemporaries and Historians" published by Interprax Publishing House. If you come across any books in this series, take them without hesitation. This is a wonderful and very rare edition. Finding it in paper form is now very difficult. It is marketed as a book for teachers and, possibly, for advanced high school students. The five-volume book will certainly suit adults as well. Like the previous book, this is the result of the acquaintance of Soviet historians with the achievements of Western science, which was largely closed to the domestic reader until the 80s of the XX century. Introduction to global tendencies caused a boom in Russian medieval studies, which partly continues to this day. The books introduce a new historical science that goes back to the revolution carried out by the so-called "school of the Annals" and in this respect also adjoins the textbook of Gurevich and Kharitonovich. The books consist of author's essays interspersed with excerpts from books and articles by leading researchers and texts from sources. Both are given in the appendices. All this is written in good language and is perfectly readable. There is a short list of additional reading at the end of each section.

I was especially pleased with the introduction explaining what the new historical science is, and in what state it was at the turn of the XX-XXI centuries and, in part, it is now. This section was unexpected for just a book to read. Some essays, however, may seem outdated to a reader familiar with the topic.The worst is probably with the Crusades. This topic was already very ideological. It can be seen that the author of the essay is either not familiar or, for obvious reasons, does not refer to the fundamental works of Western researchers. This is the inertia of the Soviet approach. Perhaps there is something similar in other sections that are less familiar to me. However, this does not spoil the overall impression of the books. If I was asked to name not a purely scientific work, that is, not a monograph with which an intelligent high school student can begin acquaintance with the Middle Ages, I would name these books. I do not know any analogs to them. I would recommend them in addition to the textbook by Gurevich and Kharitonovich, and, possibly, to simple modern school textbooks. In the latter case, the material will most likely overlap less. I can only regret that these books were not at my school. True, then at the lectures at the university I would have been much more bored.

Now we pass from books for children to adults.

History of the Middle Ages in 2 volumes (edited by S.P. Karpov) - 6th edition. M. 2008

History of the Middle Ages in 2 volumes (edited by S.P. Karpov) - 6th edition. M. 2008

This is a classic Russian textbook on the Middle Ages and early modern times. The first volume is from the 5th-15th centuries; the second volume - XVI-XVII centuries. However, there is no material on the Western and Southern Slavs here. There is a separate textbook for their study. The book was written by serious specialists, is reliable, gives good general minimal ideas about the period, but, as it should be for a correct university textbook, it is boring. For the advanced reader, it is useful not so much for its text as for the section "Bibliography". However, it is always suitable to refresh forgotten material.

Helmut Koenigsberger. Europe in the Middle Ages 400 - 1500. M. 2001 / Helmut Koenigsberger. Europe of the Early Modern Time 1500 - 1789.M. 2006

Helmut Koenigsberger. Europe in the Middle Ages 400 - 1500. M. 2001 / Helmut Koenigsberger. Europe of the Early Modern Time 1500 - 1789.M. 2006

These two books - part of the three-volume History of Europe - are quite curious. This is a very popular textbook in the UK. They are interesting, first of all, for comparison with domestic counterparts. Koenigsberger's books provide a broad panorama of European history. At the same time, his work is conceptual. Books read well. However, due to their visibility, they are, unfortunately, too short. There is a very informative preface to the first volume by D.E. Kharitonovich, to retell, which I do not want to reiterate, so we will confine ourselves to a very lapidary remark. These books do not make sense to deliberately cram to answer the exam, but they do give a good general idea and contain interesting thoughts. The difference in the approach to training is clearly visible here. Note also the chronology of the second volume. The conditional upper boundary of the Early Modern Time is drawn not only at the end of the Thirty Years' War or, as was customary in Soviet times (then the term Late Middle Ages was used), according to the English Revolution of the 17th century, but also, often, at the beginning of the French Revolution of 1789. We can recommend these books as a basis for reading more serious literature, but not as the first main textbook. The previous book is more suitable for this purpose.

And, finally, a reader. Not the only one in existence, but the most curious.

History of the Middle Ages: From the fall of the Western Roman Empire to Charlemagne (476–768) (Compiled by MM Stasyulevich - St. Petersburg 2001) / From Charlemagne to the Crusades (768–1096) (Comp. M.M. Stasyulevich. - St. Petersburg 2001) / Crusades (1096-1291) (Compiled by M.M. Stasyulevich. - St. Petersburg 2001)

History of the Middle Ages: From the fall of the Western Roman Empire to Charlemagne (476–768) (Compiled by MM Stasyulevich - St. Petersburg 2001) / From Charlemagne to the Crusades (768–1096) (Comp. M.M. Stasyulevich. - St. Petersburg 2001) / Crusades (1096-1291) (Compiled by M.M. Stasyulevich. - St. Petersburg 2001)

This three-volume edition is a unique anthology compiled by the Russian pre-revolutionary historian, journalist and public figure M.M. Stasyulevich. The modern edition is of high quality, supplied with illustrations, maps and tables in the appendix. However, the main thing is its content. These books are a collection of excerpts from medieval texts from three periods, interspersed with texts by leading scholars of the 17th and 19th centuries. So, it is also a little bit of a reader on the history of historical knowledge. Initially, the book was intended for the then schoolchildren, but nowadays it is suitable for both students and adults. As usual, I checked the quality of the content in the third volume on the Crusades.In my opinion, there are many obligatory authors, not only Western ones, but also partially Muslim and Byzantine ones. For pre-revolutionary times, the level is good. It was also interesting to read the assessments of historians. True, there are very few of them in this volume - only three excerpts: Michaud in the chapter on the First Crusade, of course, Gibbon on Byzantium before the conquest of Constantinople by the crusaders and Jourdain on the Children's Crusade. As for the first two volumes, there the list of authors of both medieval and modern times looks just as worthy.

I must say about one inconvenient feature of this publication, namely, the spelling of names and language. Since this is an honest reprint, everything is left as it was with Stasyulevich, sometimes the eye clings to it already when looking at the table of contents. For example, the eminent French historian Augustin Thierry is Russified in Augustine Thierry. The same is with medieval names, say, Egingard and Boaeddin instead of the usual Einhard and Baha ad-Din. It turned out funny with the founder of the kingdom of the Franks. Who is Claudoway, I thought for a few seconds. It turned out to be Clovis I (Clovis). The dates of writing the texts and the names of their authors Gregory of Tours and St. Remigius helped. But you quickly get used to these little things. It is a pity that the compiler brought his work only to the era of the Crusades. Of all the books on this list, this is perhaps the most timeless, albeit the oldest.

Also worthy of mention:

Kolesnitsky N.F., History of the Middle Ages. Moscow 1986

This venerable textbook is used to study the history of the Middle Ages in non-history faculties. It's very short. Its only plus is that it contains material not only on Western Europe, but also on the Slavic countries and Asia.

History of the Southern and Western Slavs: In 2 volumes. Vol. 1. The Middle Ages and Modern Times: Textbook, ed. G.F. Matveeva and Z.S. Nenasheva. - 2nd edition. - M. 2001

This book is mentioned here as an addition to the textbook on the history of the Middle Ages of Moscow State University, where there is no material on the Slavs.

In the end, only one final general remark concerning all textbooks and similar books remains to be made. There is such a sad law - textbooks lag far behind the modern level of science: university textbooks, at best, by 20-30 years, and school textbooks, sometimes by 40-60 years. This is due to the fact that textbooks have a largely social function. This is at least the minimum that a person should know. The same cannot be said about publications of sources and good monographs. In the first, the texts themselves and the ability to read them in an accessible language are important, in the second, the approaches, methodology are interesting, and sometimes these are also historically important works and simply wonderful and fascinating books in themselves.

We send all these books to the bookshelf or hard drive. Next time we will talk about the simplest reference literature - dictionaries and encyclopedias.

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