Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

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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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War and Peace

(3,021 words)

Author(s): Hans-Henning Kortüm
Neither the association nor the sequence of the two terms is accidental. War can be defined as the absence of peace, and the precedence of the term war is undoubtedly justified, particularly for the M…
Date: 2016-08-09

Warlike Occurrences of Violence

(705 words)

Author(s): Hans-Henning Kortüm
Earlier histories of warfare were only too ready to sketch an image of wars that were shaped by great battles. That image – and this must be emphasized – does not reflect the reality of medieval wars,…
Date: 2016-08-09

Western European Regions

(3,131 words)

Author(s): Joachim Ehlers
The west of the European continent is marked by special climatic, geological, and topographical features which are reflected to a certain extent in its history and which facilitated both ethnic and li…
Date: 2016-08-09

Western Schism

(3,484 words)

Author(s): Bernard Schimmelpfennig
Like the Investiture Controversy, the Western Schism (1378-1417) had important consequences for Europe, although this time it did not favor the rise of the papacy and an ideological weakening of the p…
Date: 2016-08-09