Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Get access Subject: History

Edited by: Gert Melville and Martial Staub.

Brill's Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages Online offers an accessible yet engaging coverage of medieval European history and culture, c. 500-c. 1500, in a series of themed articles, taking an interdisciplinary and comparative approach. Presenting a broad range of topics current in research, the encyclopedia is dedicated to all aspects of medieval life, organized in eight sections: Society; Faith and Knowledge; Literature; Fine Arts and Music; Economy; Technology; Living Environment and Conditions; and Historical Events and Regions. This thematic structure makes the encyclopedia a true reference work for Medieval Studies as a whole. It is accessible and concise enough for quick reference, while also providing a solid grounding in a new topic with a good level of detail, since many of its articles are longer than traditional encyclopedia entries. The encyclopedia is supported by an extensive bibliography, updated with the most recent works and adapted to suit the needs of an Anglophone audience.

Brill's Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages Online is a unique work, and invaluable equally for research and for teaching. Anyone interested in the art, architecture, economy, history, language, law, literature, music, religion, or science of the Middle Ages, will find the encyclopedia an indispensible resource.  

This is an English translation of the second edition (2013) of the well-known German-language Enzyklopädie des Mittelalters, published by Primus Verlag / Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

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(445 words)

Author(s): Klaus Schreiner
Canonization, the procedure by which a person is declared a saint, was intended to provide official certitude that…
Date: 2016-08-09

Canon Law

(3,963 words)

Author(s): Herbert Kalb
Date: 2016-10-18


(996 words)

Author(s): Klaus Oschema
Love, which since time immemorial possessed an aspect of a numinous superhuman power, could be differentiated in Greek by the terms éros (Lat. amor), philía (Lat. amicitia), and agápē (Lat. caritas). Here éros denotes a movement of …
Date: 2016-08-09


(3,538 words)

Author(s): Lars Hageneier
The Carolingian period was of fundamental importance for the "birth of Europe." The Frankish Kingdom, as the most successful and enduring "Germanic" kingdom to emerge in the wake of the Migration peri…
Date: 2016-08-09

Categories of Fine Art

(892 words)

Author(s): Eberhard König
From at least as early as the civilizations of the Near East and Egypt, art as religious cult or sovereign representation requires a house: temple and palace, and in the Middle Ages church and castle …
Date: 2016-08-09

Categories of Fine Art: Contents

(40 words)

Introduction 1 Architecture 2 Sculpture and the Plastic Arts 3
Date: 2016-09-20

Cathedral Schools

(1,637 words)

Author(s): Rainer A. Müller
Cathedral schools provided diverse forms of organized instruction; usually tied to the cathedral church of a diocese…
Date: 2016-08-09

Celtic Languages

(907 words)

Author(s): Kaarina Hollo
During the medieval period, Celtic languages were spoken throughout the British Isles and in what is now France. There are two major branches of the Celtic languages, commonl…
Date: 2016-08-09

Celtic Literature

(2,103 words)

Author(s): Kaarina Hollo
The term Celtic includes the medieval literatures written in Welsh, Cornish, Breton, and the Gaelic of Ireland and Scotland (→Celtic languages; →Anglo-Saxon and Hiberno-Scottish regions).…
Date: 2016-08-09

Central European Regions

(3,992 words)

Author(s): Jörg Oberste
At the time of its greatest expansion and internal consolidation in Europe, the Carolingian Empire (→Carolingians) occupied a central area of dominion in both political and geographical terms. In the …
Date: 2016-08-09

Ceremonial – Ritual

(1,068 words)

Author(s): Gerd Althoff
Problems of Terminology In international scholarship it has long been customary to describe the phenomena discussed here as "ceremonial" and/or "ritual." There is, however, little consensus on the questi…
Date: 2016-08-09