Europe 1492: Portrait of a Continent Five Hundred Years Ago

Franco Cardini, Author Facts on File $50 (238p) ISBN 978-0-8160-2188-8
Titled to mark the year in which Europe became the ``Old World,'' this beautiful book celebrates a culture that ended with the 15th century. Cardini, who teaches medieval history in Italy, re-creates the era in scrupulous detail. He follows the Ferdinand Braudel school of history in considering the facts of everyday life and trade, but differs in some particulars, such as whether the Middle Sea posed a challenge to navigators, and his splendid choice of illustrations, which, selected from art works of the period, depict princes more often than peasants. Beside accounts of fabled travelers Prester John and Marco Polo, Cardini offers histories of much-faded powers--Bohemia, Naples, Burgundy--and provocative glimpses of future forces (Muscovy, the New World); discusses the important role of religion; literature (e.g., Malory's Morte d'Arthur ); warfare; plague; and more. BOMC alternate. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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