Artifacts from Medieval Europe
by James B. Tschen-Emmons
February 2015, 321pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-621-0
$110, 92€, A158
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-622-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The late-medieval rise of gunpowder weapons forever changed how wars were fought.

Using artifacts as primary sources, this book enables students to comprehensively assess and analyze historic evidence in the context of the medieval period.

This new addition to the Daily Life through Artifacts series provides not only the full benefit of a reference work with its comprehensive explanations and primary sources, but also supplies images of the objects, bringing a particular aspect of the medieval world to life. Each entry in Artifacts from Medieval Europe explains and expands upon the cultural significance of the artifact depicted. Artifacts are divided into such thematic categories as domestic life, religion, and transportation. Considered collectively, the various artifacts provide a composite look at daily life in the Middle Ages.

Unlike medieval history encyclopedias that feature brief reference entries, this book uses artifacts to examine major aspects of daily life. Each artifact entry features an introduction, a description, an examination of its contextual significance, and a list of further resources. This approach trains students how to best analyze primary sources. General readers with an interest in history will also benefit from this approach to learning that enables a more complete appreciation of past events and circumstances.


  • Provides a single-volume resource for using medieval artifacts to better understand the long-ago past
  • Supplies images of artifacts with detailed descriptions, explanations of significance, and a list of sources for more information, which help students learn how to effectively analyze primary sources
  • Presents a virtual window into many different aspects of medieval society and life, including particular activities or roles—such as farming, weaving, fashion, or being a mason or a knight
  • Includes sidebars within selected entries that explain key terms and concepts and supply excerpts from contemporary sources
James B. Tschen-Emmons teaches history at North Idaho College and mythology at Northern Virginia Community College's Extended Learning Institute. He was a contributor to ABC-CLIO's History Connections: The Olympics resource book and is a member of the review board for ABC-CLIO's Enduring Questions, part of the Solutions database of online reference and research resources. Previously, Emmons worked as a special collections librarian and manuscript curator at the Maryland Historical Society. He holds a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


"Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and general readers."—Choice, July 1, 2015

"The narrative is on the academic side, making this volume a fine resource on the time period for undergraduate-level students."—Booklist, August 26, 2015

Daily Life through Artifacts

Daily Life through Artifacts presents a collection of objects and artifacts from daily life that shed light on key aspects of social life and culture for specific historical periods or topics. Each artifact is illustrated with a large image, showing interesting detail and allowing for close-up study. The series serves to demonstrate how objects and artifacts can be "read" as primary sources to provide greater insight into the people and societies who created and used them. Each title in the series provides information on the background material for these objects as well as guidance on how to analyze an object or artifact. Readers will not only learn about the daily life of past societies but also gain the skills of observation and assessment needed to analyze the objects and draw meaningful conclusions from them about their context and significance.
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