Ranging from Connacht to Constantinople and from Tynemouth to Timbuktu, the forty-four contributors to The Medieval World seek to bring the Middle Ages to life, offering definitive appraisals of the distinctive features of the period.

This second edition includes six additional chapters, covering the Byzantine empire, illuminated manuscripts, the 'ésprit laïque' of the late middle ages, saints and martyrs, the papal chancery and scholastic thought. Chapters are arranged thematically within four parts:

1. Identities, Selves and Others

2. Beliefs, Social Values and Symbolic Order

3. Power and Power Structures

4. Elites, Organisations and Groups

The Medieval World presents the reader with an authoritative account of original scholarship across the medieval millennium and provides essential reading for all students of the subject.

chapter One|7 pages


part I|211 pages


chapter Two|22 pages

Courts in East and West

chapter Three|22 pages

At the Spanish frontier 1

chapter Four|17 pages

Muslims in Christian Iberia, 1000–1526

Varieties of Mudejar experience 1

chapter Six|18 pages

Christians, barbarians and monsters

The European discovery of the world beyond Islam

chapter Seven|20 pages

The empire of Byzantium

chapter Eleven|18 pages

Imagines historiarum

Visions of the past in medieval illuminated manuscripts 1

chapter Twelve|25 pages

Strange eventful histories

The middle ages in the cinema

part II|216 pages

Beliefs, social values and symbolic order

chapter Fifteen|17 pages

The unique favour of penance

The church and the people c.800–c.1100

chapter Sixteen|20 pages

Gender negotiations in France during the central middle ages

The literary evidence

chapter Seventeen|12 pages

Symbolism and medieval religious thought

chapter Eighteen|16 pages

Sexuality in the middle ages

chapter Nineteen|16 pages

Sin, crime and the pleasures of the flesh

The medieval church judges sexual offences

chapter Twenty|23 pages

Through a glass darkly

Seeing medieval heresy

chapter Twenty-Three|15 pages

The corpse in the middle ages

The problem of the division of the body

part III|213 pages

Power and power structures

chapter Twenty-Six|17 pages

The outward look

Britain and beyond in medieval Irish literature

chapter Twenty-Seven|18 pages

Powerful women in the early middle ages

Queens and abbesses

chapter Thirty|19 pages

Beyond the comune

The Italian city-state and the problem of definition 1

chapter Thirty-One|19 pages

Trans-Saharan trade and Islam

Great states and urban centres in the medieval West African Sahel

chapter Thirty-Two|18 pages

Medieval law

chapter Thirty-Three|16 pages

Rulers and justice, 1200–1500

chapter Thirty-Four|16 pages

The king’s counsellors’ two faces

A Portuguese perspective

chapter Thirty-Six|13 pages

The papal chancery

Avignon and beyond 1

part IV|180 pages

Elites, organisations and groups

chapter Thirty-Seven|21 pages

A new legal cosmos

Late Roman lawyers and the early medieval church

chapter Thirty-Eight|31 pages

Medieval monasticism

chapter Forty-Three|19 pages

Everyday life and elites in the later middle ages

The civilised and the barbarian

chapter Forty-Four|22 pages

Scholastic thought in humanist guise

François Hotman’s ancient French constitution

chapter Forty-Five|20 pages

On 1500