The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe (Hardcover)

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9780062980892

A lively and magisterial popular history that refutes common misperceptions of the European Middle Ages, showing the beauty and communion that flourished alongside the dark brutality—a brilliant reflection of humanity itself.

The Bright Ages reminds us just how permeable our manmade borders have always been and of what possible worlds the past has always made available to us. The Middle Ages may have been a world “lit only by fire” but it was one whose torches illuminated the magnificent rose windows of cathedrals, even as they stoked the pyres of accused heretics.  

The Bright Ages contains an 8-page color insert.

Get The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe (Hardcover) by Matthew Gabriele and other history books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.

A lively and magisterial popular history that refutes common misperceptions of the European Middle Ages, showing the beauty and communion that flourished alongside the dark brutality—a brilliant reflection of humanity itself.

The word “medieval” conjures images of the “Dark Ages”—centuries of ignorance, superstition, stasis, savagery, and poor hygiene. But the myth of darkness obscures the truth; this was a remarkable period in human history. The Bright Ages recasts the European Middle Ages for what it was, capturing this 1,000-year era in all its complexity and fundamental humanity, bringing to light both its beauty and its horrors. 

The Bright Ages takes us through ten centuries and crisscrosses Europe and the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa, revisiting familiar people and events with new light cast upon them. We look with fresh eyes on the Fall of Rome, Charlemagne, the Vikings, the Crusades, and the Black Death, but also to the multi-religious experience of Iberia, the rise of Byzantium, and the genius of Hildegard and the power of queens. We begin under a blanket of golden stars constructed by an empress with Germanic, Roman, Spanish, Byzantine, and Christian bloodlines and end nearly 1,000 years later with the poet Dante—inspired by that same twinkling celestial canopy—writing an epic saga of heaven and hell that endures as a masterpiece of literature today.  

The Bright Ages reminds us just how permeable our manmade borders have always been and of what possible worlds the past has always made available to us. The Middle Ages may have been a world “lit only by fire” but it was one whose torches illuminated the magnificent rose windows of cathedrals, even as they stoked the pyres of accused heretics.  

The Bright Ages contains an 8-page color insert.

More Information
ISBN 9780062980892
Length (cm) 16.0000
Width (cm) 3.0000
Height (cm) 23.0000
Publisher Harper
Publication Date Dec 7, 2021
Pages (number) 336
Genre History, Politics, and Social Sciences
Author Matthew Gabriele, David M. Perry
Signed No
Format Hardcover
Editorial Reviews

"Historians Gabriele and Perry argue in this accessible revisionist history that the so-called Dark Ages was actually a period of innovation that helped pave the way for the Renaissance and Enlightenment....they add nuance and complexity to popular conceptions of the Dark Ages and make clear that beauty and achievement existed among the horrors. This is a worthy introduction to an oft-misunderstood period in world history."Publishers Weekly

"Although traditional politics-and–great-men history makes an appearance, the authors keep current by including a surprising number of great women and emphasizing their disapproval of racism, sexism, and slavery. The result is an appealing account of a millennium packed with culture, beauty, science, learning, and the rise and fall of empires." —Kirkus Reviews

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