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"Europe" in the Middle Ages

136 pages
Amsterdam University Press

From the nineteenth century onwards, historians described the Middle Ages as the "cradle" of the nation state—then, after World War II, they increasingly identified the period as the "cradle" of Europe. A close look at the sources demonstrates that both interpretations are misleading: while "Europe" was not a rare word, its use simply does not follow modern expectations. This volume contrasts modern historians' constructions of "Europe in the Middle Ages" with a fresh analysis of the medieval sources and discourses. The results force us to recognize that medieval ideas of ordering the world differ from modern expectations, thereby inviting us to reflect upon the use and limits of history in contemporary political discourse.

Author Bio
Klaus Oschema =============

Klaus Oschema is Professor in Late Medieval History at the Ruhr-University Bochum. He researches medieval concepts of social, geographic, and political order. Recent publications include Order into Action (ed., with C. Mauntel, 2022).