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Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of…
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Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from… (edició 2006)

de Thomas Cahill

Sèrie: Hinges of History (5)

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1,3692410,964 (3.71)44
After the long period of cultural decline known as the Dark Ages, Europe experienced a rebirth of scholarship, art, literature, philosophy, and science and began to develop a vision of Western society that remains at the heart of Western civilization today. On visits to the great cities of Europe--monumental Rome; the intellectually explosive Paris of Peter Abelard and Thomas Aquinas; the hotbed of scientific study that was Oxford; and the incomparable Florence of Dante and Giotto--Cahill captures the spirit of experimentation, the colorful pageantry, and the passionate pursuit of knowledge that built the foundations for the modern world.--From publisher description.… (més)
Membre:lilnemo
Títol:Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe (Hinges of History)
Autors:Thomas Cahill
Informació:Nan A. Talese (2006), Edition: 0, Hardcover, 368 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe de Thomas Cahill

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» Mira també 44 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 24 (següent | mostra-les totes)
While parts of the book were profoundly interesting, I found the author's writing style to be jarring. He strives for accessibility and loses credibility in sweeping generalizations that frankly just irritated me. The book is beautifully produced, however, with a really nice integration of medieval manuscript sensibilities and modern book aesthetics. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
This audiobook has caused me to want to read Dante’s Divine Comedy again, however, his comments on the translations made me feel like it would be much better to read it in the original Latin language. (Divina Commedia) Learning Latin at my age is a non-trivial task. But, I have downloaded a bilingual version of the book, and 4 of 19 audio segments. I’ve listened to about 40 minutes of the Latin so far. If I do persist, it will be an exciting time.

The book details some notable, and some unfamiliar historical figures in considerable depth. The table of contents doesn’t correspond to my impression that it is a series of short biographies of half a dozen people. As I listened, I was wondering if the reason he went into such depth on them was because there was information surviving about them.

In the book, and especially in the last chapter, he points out that the questions facing people in ages past are different questions than the ones we face. Winding up he discusses a problem facing the catholic church and seems to recommend, if not a lay clergy, at least a clergy that is free to marry or not marry.

There is also a gentle promise that other books will cover some of the world’s history that this book so blithely skipped over.

This author became a favorite of my wife when she read [b:How the Irish Saved Civilization|25669|How the Irish Saved Civilization|Thomas Cahill|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348861253s/25669.jpg|3285909]. She and I look forward to reading other of his works. ( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
Because the other book I got at the church book sale was definitely non-religious, it took me a while to pick up on the theme of this non-fiction history of the Middle Ages in Europe. As the author admits somewhere late in the book, it's actually about the contributions of Catholicism (both good and bad) to the modern world through its cultural impact on the Middle Ages. It's not nearly as boring as that sounds though - Cahill is a very entertaining writer (unlike some academic historians) and I learned a lot. Cahill highlights the contributions of several important women, as well as some men whose names I recognized but didn't know much about. Because most of the art of the Middle Ages was religious art produced for the church, there are great medieval style illustrations throughout the book (sadly, not credited to an illustrator) as well as photographs of many famous Italian mosaics, frescoes, and paintings. You probably won't run across this book, but if you do, I recommend it. ( )
  DeniseBrush | Sep 28, 2019 |
Another great read about the characters from the middle ages that Cahill follows.
  Kevin.Bokay | Aug 5, 2018 |
In popular imagination the medieval period is a time of ignorance and superstition, fear and violence, and crushing religious intolerance of anything the Church was against. Mysteries of the Middle Ages is the fifth volume of Thomas Cahill’s ‘Hinges of History’ series, focusing on the individuals in the High Middle Ages who shaped Western society that we know today. Over the course of 300+ pages, Cahill sets out to give his reader a new way to look at the Middle Ages.

Cahill begins the book not during the Middle Ages, but in the city of Alexandria in Egypt looking at how the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions began their long processes of synthetization began before exploring how the Romans became the Italians as a way to differentiate between the Greek East and Latin West for the rest of the book. Then beginning with Hildegard of Bingen, Cahill makes the reader look at the Middle Ages in a vastly different way by showing the power and importance of 12th century Abbess who would one day be declared a saint then turned his attention to a woman of secular power, that of Eleanor of Aquitaine who held political power in a significant way while also allowing the developing “courts of love” evolve. This evolving form of culture spread into the Italian peninsula and influenced a young man from Assisi, Francis who would shift this emphasis of earthly love into spiritual love. The focus of the spiritual then shifted to Peter Abelard and St. Thomas Aquinas who became to emphasis the thoughts of Aristotle over those of Plato in theological discussions while Roger Bacon used Aristotle to begin examining the world around him and thus science that we see today. Yet the world around those during the High Middle Ages began to influence art and literature in both secular and spiritual ways from the Cathedral of Chartres to the works of Dante and Giotto would have influences even to today.

Although Cahill readily admits that he could have and wanted to discuss more individuals from a wider swath of Europe, he does an adequate job in showing that the Middle Ages were not what the popular view of the time period was believed to be. Cahill several times throughout the book emphasizes that the Middle Ages, especially from the 12th to the early 14th centuries, were not a time of stagnate culture that the humanists of the Renaissance began calling it. However, Cahill’s asides about Islamic culture as well as the Byzantines were for the most part a continuation of centuries-long mudslinging or a product of today’s ideological-religious conflicts and ironically undermined one of his best arguments, the role of Catholicism in shaping Western society. Cahill’s Catholicism was that of all the individuals he wrote about, who were Christians, not the Church and its hierarchy that over the course of the High Middle Ages became a point of embarrassment to both lay and cleric alike.

Mysteries of the Middle Ages shows the beginnings of the synthesis of the two strains of Western society, Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian, that Thomas Cahill has built up to in his previous four books. As a popular history it very well written, but its flaws of modern and centuries old prejudice undercut a central theme Cahill was developing and wrote about at the end of the book. Yet I cannot but call it a good book to read. ( )
  mattries37315 | Jul 4, 2017 |
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After the long period of cultural decline known as the Dark Ages, Europe experienced a rebirth of scholarship, art, literature, philosophy, and science and began to develop a vision of Western society that remains at the heart of Western civilization today. On visits to the great cities of Europe--monumental Rome; the intellectually explosive Paris of Peter Abelard and Thomas Aquinas; the hotbed of scientific study that was Oxford; and the incomparable Florence of Dante and Giotto--Cahill captures the spirit of experimentation, the colorful pageantry, and the passionate pursuit of knowledge that built the foundations for the modern world.--From publisher description.

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