The Late Medieval Age of Crisis and Renewal, 1300-1500

A Biographical Dictionary

by Clayton J. Drees, ed.

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November 2000


Pages 568
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics World History/Politics and Government
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As part of a unique series covering the grand sweep of Western civilization from ancient to present times, this biographical dictionary provides introductory information on 315 leading cultural figures of late medieval and early modern Europe. Taking a cultural approach not typically found in general biographical dictionaries, the work includes literary, philosophical, artistic, military, religious, humanistic, musical, economic, and exploratory figures. Political figures are included only if they patronized the arts, and coverage focuses on their cultural impact. Figures from western European countries, such as Italy, France, England, Iberia, the Low Countries, and the Holy Roman Empire predominate, but outlying areas such as Scotland, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe are also represented.

Late medieval Europe was an age of crisis. With the Papacy removed to Avignon, the schism in the Catholic Church shook the very core of medieval belief. The Hundred Years' War devastated France. The Black Death decimated the population. Yet out of this crisis grew an age of renewal, leading to the Renaissance. The great Italian city-states developed. Humanism reawakened interest in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. Dante and Boccaccio began writing in their Tuscan vernacular. Italian artists became humanists and flourished. As the genius of Italy began spreading to northern and western Europe at the end of the 15th century, the age of renewal was completed. This book provides thorough basic information on the major cultural figures of this tumultuous era of crisis and renewal.

Table of Contents

IntroductionThe EncyclopediaAppendix I: Subjects by Geographical RegionAppendix II: Figures by OccupationBibliographyIndex



...well-written, engaging biographies, offering a fairly solid understanding of each figure's role in history...this book is highly recommended for college and university libraries.—Choice

Libraries supporting courses in medieval and Renaissance history may want to acquire for reference or circulating collections.—Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin

...this volume includes many of the era's major figures and is to be commended for its attempt at geographical inclusiveness.—Sixteenth Century Journal

...will serve as a useful starting point for research in history, the arts, and religion in academic and large public and school libraries.—American Reference Books Annual

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