From Thomas Becket to Charlemagne, from Leif Erickson to Count Dracula, this series of biographical essays separates truth from legend as it explores the lives of some of the most accomplished and influential figures of medieval history.
King Arthur and Robin Hood. St. Francis and Joan of Arc. Chinggis Khan and Vlad the Impaler.They seem familiar thanks to our encounters with them in movies and television, art, and literature. But looking closer at these iconic figures from the Middle Ages—separating fact from fancy—provides a fresh way of understanding each one's impact on their times—and ours.
Drawing on the latest research, Icons of the Middle Ages: Rulers, Writers, Rebels, and Saints examines the lives of some of the most remarkable personalities of the Medieval Era—powerful, ruthless, compassionate, brilliant people who remain widely influential today.
Each portrait in this extraordinary gallery sets its subject in the context of their world, revealing what we really know about their lives, their iconic status in their own times, and their lasting legacies in our time. Readers will encounter fascinating individuals devoted to the pursuit of power (Richard III), to freedom (Robert the Bruce), to philosophy and religion (Maimonides; Thomas More), and to the arts (Dante; Hildegard of Bingen). Additional chapters explore life in the medieval castle and the advent of siege warfare—two defining developments in the Middle Ages.
• Contributions from 18 accomplished scholars and writers bring their fascinating medieval era subjects to life in 20 entries—18 biographical and 2 topical entries
• Bibliographical references and "Suggestions for Further Reading" for each chapter
• Presents in lively fashion the fascinating careers of major medieval figures whose influence extends to the present day
• Separates fact from fiction as it reveals what we really know about the real people and legendary characters
• Demonstrates how the long-ago past continues to influence the present in many popular cultural spheres