Summary: "The beauty and levity that Perry and Gabriele have captured in this book are what I think will help it to become a standard text for general audiences for years to come....The Bright Ages is a rare thing-a nuanced historical work that almost anyone can enjoy reading."-Slate "Incandescent and ultimately intoxicating." -The Boston Globe 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.Content Notes:
The bright ages -- Shimmering stars on the Adriatic -- The gleaming tiles of the New Rome -- Dawn in Jerusalem -- A golden hen and the walls of Rome -- Sunlight on a northern field -- A towering ivory tusk -- A ship aflame on the Volga -- A golden girl in France -- The brilliant jewels of the heavenly Jerusalem -- The sun-dappled towers in a city of three religions -- Divine light reflecting off the Nile -- A radiant white hind with the antlers of the stag -- Cities on fire -- Stained glass and the smell of burning books -- Glistening snow on the Eastern Steppe -- Quiet candles and falling stars -- Stars above an octagonal dome -- The dark ages.Notes:
eBook, e-Book, eReader, electronic book, overdrive.
Electronic reproduction. New York : HarperCollins e-books, 2021. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 32973 KB)
Mode of access: Internet.
Description based on print version.