Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

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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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Languages

(1,259 words)

Author(s): Ursula Schaeffer
In the course of the Middle Ages – sooner or later – from a philological point of view the contours of what are now called "national languages" become visible. They do so, however, in quite different …
Date: 2016-08-09

Latin

(1,172 words)

Author(s): Thomas Haye
The Latin language used in the Middle Ages does not differ fundamentally from the Latinity of antiquity or that of the Renaissance and early modern period; it is primarily a chronologically defined se…
Date: 2016-08-09

Latin Literary Traditions and Text-Typological Models

(1,191 words)

Author(s): Thomas Haye
The Latin genres of the Middle Ages can be regarded as relatively open writing traditions, which were oriented around concrete pre-medieval models. Historically, these paradigms were effective, even t…
Date: 2016-08-09

Latin Literature

(1,063 words)

Author(s): Thomas Haye
Object The Latin literature of the Middle Ages is a relatively arbitrary subject, defined by extraliterary criteria. In purely chronological terms, it is the sum of all Latin texts (poetry, artistic pr…
Date: 2016-08-09

Latin Literature and its Relationship to the Vernacular

(257 words)

Author(s): Thomas Haye
Middle Latin literature existed in symbiosis with vernacular literatures in several areas (→vernacular literature). The manuscripts testify to this coexistence of languages: the vernaculars began thei…
Date: 2016-08-09

Law

(2,371 words)

Author(s): Herbert Kalb
From the standpoint of modern legal theory, the concept of a legal order depends on three conditions: it must be understood as a prescriptive system, as a system that has to be consciously created and…
Date: 2016-10-17

Laws, Statutes

(1,783 words)

Author(s): Herbert Kalb
In the period of absolute monarchy, legislation became the exclusive function of the ruler. Jean Bodin (d. 1596) founded his concept of sovereignty on potestas legibus soluta, and sees in the law which can be altered accordin…
Date: 2016-10-17

Lectures, Disputations

(828 words)

Author(s): Martin Kintzinger
In the Middle Ages, in contrast to the modern era, the communication of knowledge did not emphasize individual reading and learning but collective forms of acquisition and memorization: recitation of …
Date: 2016-08-09

Legal/Administrative Texts

(364 words)

Author(s): Jörg Oberste
The employment of literacy and the development of an ordered world of writing in the legal and administrative realm in the Middle Ages is an inheritance from the Greco-Roman world (→the Christianizati…
Date: 2016-08-09

Legal Structures

(783 words)

Author(s): Herbert Kalb
In 1956, in his short Geschichte der Gesetzgebung in Deutschland (History of Legislation in Germany), W. Ebel expounded an influential typology of medieval law, proposing that the ruling ( Weisung), statute ( Satzung), and decree ( Rech…
Date: 2016-10-17

Legal Traditions

(816 words)

Author(s): Herbert Kalb
As late as 1356, in the description of the rights of the count palatinate of the Rhine as arch-steward of the empire and those of the duke of Saxony as high marshal of the empire, the Golden Bull focuses on the two most important tribal …
Date: 2016-08-09