The years from AD 1000 to the beginning of the fourteenth century were the most formative period in European history: a time of intense social, political, cultural and religious change. In this definitive work William Chester Jordan, one of the world's leading medievalists, explores a confident, dynamic age, far removed from our own.
The society that emerged at the beginning of the second millennium was a fervently Christian and ambitious one, where the power of the church and nation-states expanded and learning flourished. From the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, Jordan brings to life the values and achievements of the High Medieval period: the religious crusades, the epic literature, the great universities of England, France, and Italy, and the momentous achievements of Gothic architecture. He also brilliantly examines how the 'fire break' of the fourteenth century - famines, plagues and wars - was to bring this world dramatically to an end.