By William Manchester
From stories of chivalrous knights to the barbarity of trial by way of ordeal, no period has been a better resource of awe, horror, and sweetness than the center a long time. In handsomely crafted prose, and with the grace and authority of his striking present for narrative heritage, William Manchester leads us from a civilization tottering close to cave in to the grandeur of its rebirth--the dense explosion of power that spawned a few of history's maximum poets, philosophers, painters, adventurers, and reformers, in addition to a few of its such a lot impressive villains--the Renaissance.
Using in basic terms secondary resources, Manchester plunges readers into the medieval state of mind in a charming, marvelously vibrant well known background that humanizes the tumultuous span from the darkish a while to the sunrise of the Renaissance. He delineates an age whilst invisible spirits infested the air, whilst tolerance was once visible as treachery and "a mafia of profane popes desecrated Christianity." along with re-creating the hard lives of normal humans, the Wesleyan professor of heritage peoples his tapestry with such figures as Leonardo, Machiavelli, Lucrezia Borgia, Erasmus, Luther, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Manchester ( The fingers of Krupp ) devotes a lot cognizance to Magellan, whose globe-straddling voyage shattered Christendom's implicit trust in Europe because the heart of the universe. His portrayal of the center a while as a time while the powerful and the intelligent flourished, whereas the innovative, the cerebral and the unlucky suffered, earrings precise.
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Additional info for A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age
D. D. 1000—are still widely known as the Dark Ages. ” Yet there are no survivors to be offended. Nor is the term necessarily pejorative. Very little is clear about that dim era. Intellectual life had vanished from Europe. Even Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman emperor and the greatest of all medieval rulers, was illiterate. ” Nevertheless, if value judgments are made, it is undeniable that most of what is known about the period is unlovely. After the extant fragments have been fitted together, the portrait which emerges is a mélange of incessant warfare, corruption, lawlessness, obsession with strange myths, and an almost impenetrable mindlessness.
There were many reasons for Rome’s fall, among them apathy and bureaucratic absolutism, but the chain of events leading to its actual end had begun the century before. The defenders of the empire were responsible for a ten-thousand-mile frontier. , the vital sector in the north—where the realm’s border rested on the Danube and the Rhine—had been vulnerable. Above these great rivers the forests swarmed with barbaric Germanic tribes, some of them tamer than others but all envious of the empire’s prosperity.
That manuscript was back in my Connecticut home and I was now in Florida, but the obstacle seemed small; I hadn’t intended to write about Magellan anyhow. Instead, I had decided, I would provide the great navigator with context, a portrait of his age. It could be done, I thought, in several pages—a dozen at most. I actually thought that. I HAD MISCALCULATED because I had not realized how parochial my previous work had been. Virtually everything in my seventeen earlier books had been contemporaneous.
A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age by William Manchester