The Middle Ages was a critical and formative time for Western approaches to our natural surroundings. An Environmental History of the Middle Ages is a unique and unprecedented cultural survey of attitudes towards the environment during this period. Exploring the entire medieval period from 500 to 1500, and ranging across the whole of Europe, from England and Spain to the Baltic and Eastern Europe, John Aberth focuses his study on three key areas: the natural elements of air, water, and earth; the forest; and wild and domestic animals. Through this multi-faceted lens, An Environmental History of the Middle Ages sheds fascinating new light on the medieval environmental mindset. It will be essential reading for students, scholars and all those interested in the Middle Ages
"How did medieval Europeans use and change their environments, think about the natural world, and try to handle the natural forces affecting their lives? This groundbreaking environmental history examines medieval relationships with the natural world from the perspective of social ecology, viewing human society as a hybrid of the cultural and the natural. Richard Hoffmann's interdisciplinary approach sheds important light on such central topics in medieval history as the decline of Rome, religious doctrine, urbanization and technology, as well as key environmental themes, among them energy use, sustainability, disease and climate change. Revealing the role of natural forces in events previously seen as purely human, the book explores issues including thetreatment of animals, the 'tragedy of the commons,' agricultural clearances and agrarian economies. By introducing medieval history in the context of social ecology, it brings the natural world into historiography as an agent and object of history itself"--
This annual yearbook presents essays in environmental history based on lectures given at the Göttingen study group 2Environmental History3 by external authors. As previous yearbooks it is dedicated to the plurality of approaches in environmental history and serves as a valuable source for information about current research in that realm. Seit seiner Gründung vor annähernd 25 Jahren hat sich das Göttinger UmwelthistorischeKolloquium zu einer Einrichtung entwickelt, welche die vielfältigen,thematisch einschlägigen Aktivitäten des Standortes wie auch des deutschsprachigenRaumes durch Austausch von Forschungsergebnissen und Sichtweisenbündelt. Von hier haben auch einige Unternehmungen ihren Ausgang genommen,welche zum heutigen Profil der Umweltgeschichte spürbar beitrugen.Der Band vereinigt Beiträge zum Kolloquium des Sommersemesters 2007 und des Wintersemesters 2007/08.
Contesting the Middle Ages is a thorough exploration of recent arguments surrounding nine hotly debated topics: the decline and fall of Rome, the Viking invasions, the Crusades, the persecution of minorities, sexuality in the Middle Ages, women within medieval society, intellectual and environmental history, the Black Death, and, lastly, the waning of the Middle Ages. The historiography of the Middle Ages, a term in itself controversial amongst medieval historians, has been continuously debated and rewritten for centuries. In each chapter, John Aberth sets out key historiographical debates in an engaging and informative way, encouraging students to consider the process of writing about history and prompting them to ask questions even of already thoroughly debated subjects, such as why the Roman Empire fell, or what significance the Black Death had both in the late Middle Ages and beyond. Sparking discussion and inspiring examination of the past and its ongoing significance in modern life, Contesting the Middle Ages is essential reading for students of medieval history and historiography.
Covers the key environmental developments in the Mediterranean throughout recorded history and includes case studies charting the agricultural problems of ancient Mesopotamia, climatic change contributing to the downfall of the Roman Empire, and the impact of dam building at Aswan on the Nile.
How did medieval Europeans use and change their environments, think about the natural world, and try to handle the natural forces affecting their lives? This groundbreaking environmental history examines medieval relationships with the natural world from the perspective of social ecology, viewing human society as a hybrid of the cultural and the natural. Richard Hoffmann's interdisciplinary approach sheds important light on such central topics in medieval history as the decline of Rome, religious doctrine, urbanization and technology, as well as key environmental themes, among them energy use, sustainability, disease and climate change. Revealing the role of natural forces in events previously seen as purely human, the book explores issues including the treatment of animals, the 'tragedy of the commons', agricultural clearances and agrarian economies. By introducing medieval history in the context of social ecology, it brings the natural world into historiography as an agent and object of history itself.
This original work follows a chronological path through the history of mankind, in relationship to ecosystems around the world. Each chapter concentrates on a general period in human history; each also has three case studies which illustrate the significant patterns occurring at that time.
Jan Huizinga and Roger Caillois have already taught us to realize how important games and play have been for pre-modern civilization. Recent research has begun to acknowledge the fundamental importance of these aspects in cultural, religious, philosophical, and literary terms. This volume expands on the traditional approach still very much focused on the materiality of game (toys, cards, dice, falcons, dolls, etc.) and acknowledges that game constituted also a form of coming to terms with human existence in an unstable and volatile world determined by universal randomness and fortune. Whether considering blessings or horse fighting, falconry or card games, playing with dice or dolls, we can gain a much deeper understanding of medieval and early modern society when we consider how people pursued pleasure and how they structured their leisure time. The contributions examine a wide gamut of approaches to pleasure, considering health issues, eroticism, tournaments, playing music, reading and listening, drinking alcohol, gambling and throwing dice. This large issue was also relevant, of course, in non-Christian societies, and constitutes a critical concern both for the past and the present because we are all homines ludentes.
The ideas and practices that comprise “conservation” are often assumed to have arisen within the last two centuries. However, while conservation today has been undeniably entwined with processes of modernity, its historical roots run much deeper. Considering a variety of preindustrial European settings, this book assembles case studies from the medieval and early modern eras to demonstrate that practices like those advocated by modern conservationists were far more widespread and intentional than is widely acknowledged. As the first book-length treatment of the subject, Conservation’s Roots provides broad social, historical, and environmental context for the emergence of the nineteenth-century conservation movement.
The environmental history of early modern times is a seminal and lively field of historical research. This volume offers ten concise essays that provide an overview of current research debates on a broad span of topics, such as historical climatology and climate reconstruction, coping with disaster, land use and agricultural knowledge, forest history, urbanization, the perceptions of (alpine) nature, and societal dealings with water and rivers. Taken together, the contributions establish early modern studies as a promising laboratory for new avenues in environmental history. (Series: Austria: Research and Science - History / Austria: Forschung und Wissenschaft - Geschichte - Vol. 10) [Subject: History, Environmental Studies]
This volume brings together a series of papers at Kalamazoo as well as some contributed papers inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Lynn White Jr.’s, Medieval Technology and Social Change (1962), a slim study which catalyzed the study of technology in the Middle Ages in the English-speaking world. While the initial reviews and decades-long fortune of the volume have been varied, it is still in print and remains a touchstone of an idea and a time. The contributors to the volume, therefore, both investigate the book itself and its fate, and look at new research furthering and inspired by White’s work. The book opens with an introduction surveying White’s career, with a bibliography of his work, as well as some opening thoughts on the study of medieval technology in the last fifty years. Three papers then deal explicitly with the reception and longevity of his work and its impact on medieval studies more generally. Then five papers look at new cast studies areas where White’s work and approach has had a particular impact, namely, medieval technology studies and medieval rural/ ecological studies.