By William Manchester
From stories of chivalrous knights to the barbarity of trial through ordeal, no period has been a better resource of awe, horror, and sweetness than the center a long time. In handsomely crafted prose, and with the grace and authority of his notable reward for narrative heritage, William Manchester leads us from a civilization tottering close to cave in to the grandeur of its rebirth--the dense explosion of power that spawned a few of history's maximum poets, philosophers, painters, adventurers, and reformers, in addition to a few of its so much marvelous villains--the Renaissance.
Using basically secondary resources, Manchester plunges readers into the medieval state of mind in a charming, marvelously shiny well known background that humanizes the tumultuous span from the darkish a while to the sunrise of the Renaissance. He delineates an age whilst invisible spirits infested the air, whilst tolerance used to be noticeable as treachery and "a mafia of profane popes desecrated Christianity." along with re-creating the onerous lives of standard humans, the Wesleyan professor of historical past peoples his tapestry with such figures as Leonardo, Machiavelli, Lucrezia Borgia, Erasmus, Luther, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Manchester ( The fingers of Krupp ) devotes a lot consciousness to Magellan, whose globe-straddling voyage shattered Christendom's implicit trust in Europe because the heart of the universe. His portrayal of the center a while as a time whilst the robust and the clever flourished, whereas the creative, the cerebral and the unlucky suffered, jewelry actual.
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Extra info for A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age
And the victims were not always pagans. Every flourishing religion has been intermittently watered by the blood of its own faithful, but none has seen more spectacular internecine butchery than Christianity. D. 330 Constantine I, the first Roman emperor to recognize Jesus as his savior, made Constantinople the empire’s second capital. Within a few years, a great many people who shared his faith began to die there for their interpretation of it. The emperor’s first Council of Nicaea failed to resolve a doctrinal dispute between Arius of Alexandria and the dominant faction of theologians.
It would not lift until forty medieval generations had suffered, wrought their pathetic destinies, and passed on. THE DARK AGES were stark in every dimension. Famines and plague, culminating in the Black Death and its recurring pandemics, repeatedly thinned the population. Rickets afflicted the survivors. Extraordinary climatic changes brought storms and floods which turned into major disasters because the empire’s drainage system, like most of the imperial infrastructure, was no longer functioning.
At the same time, a subtle but powerful new spirit was rising in Europe.