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The Achaemenid Persian Empire (550–330 bce)  

A. Shapur Shahbazi

Print publication date:
Feb 2012
Online publication date:
Sep 2012
Reinforced Assyrian invasions from the mid-eighth century prompted Iranian tribes to consolidate at local states. Thus, while the Medes strain consolidated around King Deioces, Persians ... More

Aristocratic Economies: Women and Family  

Joanna Drell

Print publication date:
Aug 2013
Online publication date:
Jan 2013
This essay examines the economic activities and "work" of aristocratic women, c.1000–c.1400. Despite the limitations posed by law, custom, and social expectation, women played a central ... More

Atlantic Trade and Commodities, 1402–1815  

David Hancock

Print publication date:
Mar 2011
Online publication date:
Sep 2012
This article reviews the transfer of goods and services between the continents bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It shows that the demands of long-distance trade, particularly but not solely ... More

Bishops, Education, and Discipline  

Sarah Hamilton

Print publication date:
Aug 2014
Online publication date:
May 2014
Church discipline and the ways in which it was implemented offers an important window on to the relations between churchmen and lay people. But historians need to understand what ... More

The Boundaries of Christendom and Islam: Iberia and the Latin Levant  

Amy G. Remensnyder

Print publication date:
Aug 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
This chapter examines the geographical, conceptual, and spiritual boundaries between Christendom and Islam in the middle ages, focussing on Iberia and the Levant. It notes that the ... More

The Bride of Christ, the “Male Woman,” and the Female Reader in Late Antiquity  

Kate Cooper

Print publication date:
Aug 2013
Online publication date:
Dec 2013
Christian literature in late antiquity offered contrasting models of female sanctity, emphasizing alternately the gender ambiguity of the young woman dressed as a man, and the nuptial ... More

Brideprice, Dowry, and other Marital Assigns  

Susan Mosher Stuard

Print publication date:
Aug 2013
Online publication date:
Jan 2013
Between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, morgengabe, a husband's gift to his wife marking the formal consummation of marriage, was replaced in Italian, southern French, and Spanish ... More

The Byzantine Body  

Kathryn Ringrose

Print publication date:
Aug 2013
Online publication date:
Jan 2013
The Byzantines perceived the body as malleable, able to be changed to suit the needs of society. They also believed that the appearance of the outer body reflected the quality of the inner ... More

Caring for Gendered Bodies  

Monica Green

Print publication date:
Aug 2013
Online publication date:
Dec 2013
Given the comparatively slow pace of human evolution, the body, as a biological entity, may be taken more or less as a historical constant during the past 1500 years. But every interaction ... More

Carolingian Domesticities  

Rachel Stone

Print publication date:
Aug 2013
Online publication date:
Jan 2013
Carolingian ideas of "home" and "family" encompassed a wide range of meanings from physical buildings to kin and free and unfree dependents. Kinship ties played a vital role, both socially ... More

Central and Late Medieval Europe  

Len Scales

Print publication date:
Apr 2010
Online publication date:
Sep 2012
This article examines genocide in the Central and late Medieval Europe. The existence of peoples in Europe in the central and later Middle Ages reflected the facts of power: for ... More

The Christian Church, 13701550  

David J. Collins S.J.

Print publication date:
Jul 2015
Online publication date:
Nov 2014
This chapter reviews major themes in the history of Western Christianity from the onset of the Western Schism (1378) to the opening of the Council of Trent (1345). Topics include late ... More

Christian Experiences of Religious Non-conformism  

Grado Giovanni Merlo

Print publication date:
Aug 2014
Online publication date:
Jul 2014
Noting that ‘heresy’ is an identity and label which is imposed rather than self-ascribed, this chapter places at its centre the notion of ‘non-conformity’ within Christianity, tracing the ... More

Christianity and Its Others: Jews, Muslims, and Pagans  

Sara Lipton

Print publication date:
Aug 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
For many historians, western Christendom between 1100 and 1500 can be characterized by the defining of Christian identity and the forging of Christian unity against an abstracted, ... More

Christianizing Kingdoms  

Sverre Bagge

Print publication date:
Aug 2014
Online publication date:
May 2014
This chapter considers processes of conversion in the medieval Church, from the Roman empire to the Duchy of Lithuania, but with a particular focus on the northern European kingdoms that ... More

Christianizing Political Discourses  

Geoffrey Koziol

Print publication date:
Aug 2014
Online publication date:
Apr 2014
This chapter notes the early dominance of kings and emperors within the narrative of ‘the Church’, and argues that rather than thinking of early Christianity as a ‘royal religion’, we can ... More

The Church as Lord  

George Dameron

Print publication date:
Aug 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
Church lords were among the most powerful owners of property in the middle ages. We have learned much about the cultural and social histories of the medieval Church in the past generation, ... More

Civic Religion  

Nicholas Terpstra

Print publication date:
Aug 2014
Online publication date:
Apr 2014
‘Civic religion’ is a modern term, but useful nonetheless in framing the particular context of religion in medieval towns and cities, where greater social and political stratification ... More

Conclusion: Looking Back from the Reformation  

Ronnie Po-chia Hsia

Print publication date:
Aug 2014
Online publication date:
May 2014
This chapter considers the changes wrought by the Reformation, in an attempt to sketch continuities and changes from the Christianity of the middle ages. It looks to the further ... More

Conflicts Over Gender in Civic Courts  

Carol Lansing

Print publication date:
Aug 2013
Online publication date:
Dec 2012
Civic court records are a rare source for medieval social experience and attitudes, including low-status people who do not appear in most records. Because the requirements for proof in ... More

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