Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Review: The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World by Andrew Jotischky & Caroline Hull

235005Title: The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World
Series: n/a
Author: Andrew Jotischky; Caroline Hull
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library; Hardcover
More Details: Nonfiction; History
Publisher/Publication Date: Penguin; April 28, 2005

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World traces the development of peoples, cultures, and faiths between the coming of the barbarian invasions in the fourth century and the first voyages to the New World in the sixteenth. This colorful atlas illustrates the sweeping changes from the fall of the Roman Empire to the birth of Islam, the rise of Christianity, and the role of Judaism across Europe. Packed with vivid maps and photographs, this atlas is a perfect guide to Europe and its neighbors in the Middle Ages....

I was in the mood for nonfiction. So, when I saw that my library had a copy of The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World, I knew I wanted to read it. I liked this book. It was an interesting read. This book was all about a wide range of Medieval History with photos and maps detailing territories, borders, and routes relevant to the time period; individual and dynastic reigns; and so forth. It was divided into four parts: The Early Middle Ages, The Revival of Europe, Latin Europe and its Neighbors, and The Late Middle Ages. It covered everything from castles, economy, early universities, towns, and the expansion as well as the evolving role between the “spiritual and secular authority” in accordance to the shifts of power throughout the Middle Ages. Given that it was an “atlas”, the information was presented in a profile-like format consisting of an average of one to two pages. However, because of this format, parts of the book felt a little redundant to me. While there was a wide range of subjects covered, the information was limited in a sense and never delved as far into the history as it could have. That being said, I understand why, because the book was relatively short. It was also a good way to get introduced to subjects I can look further into later on.

Overall, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World was an interesting read. If you’re looking for somewhere to start with medieval history, then consider giving this one a try...

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