The History of the Medieval World by Susan Wise Bauer

I grew up in the UK in the sixties when history teaching and writing was very Eurocentric. This was actually progress. I think if I had been born a few years earlier it would have been very Anglocentric. Time has moved on and we now realise that the rest of the world is pretty important too. So when I tackled The History of the Medieval World by Susan Wise Bauer I was treated to what purports to be literally the history of the whole Medieval World. Europe gets plenty of coverage, but so does India, China, the Arab world, Japan and even Korea. It is quite refreshing to be reminded of what is going on everywhere and very illuminating to get it all presented as a continuous narrative.

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Dan Carlin Hardcore History Addendum – Caesar At Hastings

Dan Carlin’s podcasts are not to everyone’s taste. He has a very particular way of presenting and you may or may not like it. It is very much history from his personal perspective and if you don’t share it you might not feel comfortable with it. He also has a rather dramatic speaking style which is not always what you might choose to listen to.

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Lost Kingdoms by Norman Davies – Aragon



The kingdom of Aragon was a major naval power in the Middle Ages. Its sailors skills at seacraft gave it power – and that power was used to carve out a maritime empire in the western Mediterranean.   Indeed its influence was felt in the eastern half of that sea as well. At its height it comprised in addition to its heartland on the southern side of the Pyrenees: Catalonia, Sardinia, Corsica, Athens, Sicily, Naples and the bit of Italy near to Naples and the Balearic Islands. Naples was no mean possession at the time. It was the largest port in the Western Mediterranean. There were several notable people of aragonese extraction who important figures in the late Middle Ages. Continue reading Lost Kingdoms by Norman Davies – Aragon

The Medieval Machine by Jean Gimpel


What is your view of the medieval world? A quaint world of tradition and custom? A low tech stable society where everyone knew their place? I don’t know about you but I for a long time wasn’t all that interested in the Middle Ages. It just seemed like a sort of hiatus between the civilisation of the Classical world and the exciting progress of the Renaissance. Indeed I think part of the reason for this was spin on the part of Renaissance scholars keen to show how much more brilliant they were than previous generations. Even the name, Middle Ages, suggests simply a filler between more interesting and significant periods. I don’t think that this view of the Middle Ages is particularly unusual. It is a period that tends to be ignored or romanticised. Continue reading The Medieval Machine by Jean Gimpel