What dictionaries and encyclopedias are necessary to understand the history of the middle Ages and early modern times

Scientific information becomes obsolete, and articles in encyclopedias and dictionaries hold 10 – 15 years. In the era of Wikipedia references was needed even less. But Wikipedia, although updates faster, but it is rough. There are good articles and are weak. And yet, what we have today in the middle Ages and Early New time?We have been told what textbooks and books need to read in order to understand the history of the Middle ages and early modern times, and now it is the turn of dictionaries and encyclopedias. Almost all the books from this set have become rare.

1. The medieval world in terms of titles and names. — Minsk: Belarus. E. D. Smirnova L. P. Sushkevich V. A. Fedosik. 1999.

The publication of Belarusian historians – useful, especially for those who are learning. A small dictionary with only the compressed reference information. Sometimes after the articles have the shortest bibliography. The periodization of the classical – V – XV century. But then there are the names and terms and names. So if you are already or not yet distinguish the rage from the feud, from Charles Evil Charles the Bold, do not remember the date of the Board of all the major European dynasties, in particular the Almoravid confused with the Almohads, then welcome, you are here. In high school we passed by the Middle ages a separate oral terminological classification, and without this publication it would be quite impossible. Our teacher specifically this dictionary is advised. The competition was long and pretty scary, and although I passed it successfully, the memories are still difficult. I think some of my classmates this lovely book, too, remember, and truly hate, but in vain. It is not bad. Suggest.

2. Dictionary of Medieval culture under the General editorship of A. Ya. Gurevich. M. 2003.

This edition, perhaps, from a scientific point of view the most valuable among all, we are talking about today. The chronological period of the middle Ages is defined in General as the classic V – XV century. Geography – Western Europe. The concept of culture, in contrast, is interpreted not Orthodox, as a set of spiritual and related material values created in the Middle ages, and more broadly, in line with the school of historical anthropology, to which belong the authors of this book. What do you mean? The fact that anthropologists studying «primitive» societies, drew attention to the fact that in these societies all aspects of life are closely interrelated and cannot, for example, separately to study the economy of a tribe in isolation from the philosophy of those people. Thus, the concept of culture began to include «all sustainable forms of individual behavior in collective, as well as the behavior of small groups in the context of broader social formations» (p. 6). This integrated approach has influenced historians – especially Medievalists, in particular the founders of the famous school of «annals» by Marc Block and Lucien Faivre, and then on their followers. Thus was born scientific field, historical anthropology, which had an enormous influence on the development of historical science in the twentieth century. Has a «new historical science»: a new economic history, new political history, new social history, history of mentality, history of ideas, etc. At the time of publication (actually the work was completed in 1999, although the book was published only the year 2003) the book was unique not only for Russia but also for the world of medieval studies. At the same time in the West released a similar publication under the editorship of Jacques Le Goff and Jean-Claude Schmitt. It should be noted that this is a dictionary of medieval concepts and realities, and not an encyclopedia. Here in particular there are no special articles about people. The book has an excellent Foreword by editor-in-chief A. J. Gurevich, in which, in addition to the above, highlights the concept of feudalism and some other General categories of the European middle Ages. For example, consider the first article of the dictionary is «Autobiography». Article talks about the difference of this genre from autobiography of a New time, first of all, the XIX century, peculiarities of the evolution of autobiographical texts from the «Confessions» of St. Augustine to the texts of the Renaissance.Even for a person with historical education information the majority of new and extremely curious. After an article has a valuable bibliography. I all highly recommend this book. This reading is not entertaining, but very interesting and useful.

3. The Historical Lexicon. History in persons and events. V–XIII centuries Volume 1-2. M. 2006. / A historical lexicon. History in persons and events. XIV –XVI centuries Volume 1-2. M. 2006. / A Historical Lexicon. History in persons and events. XVII, V. M. 2006.

This encyclopedia for students. Ideally, we should have a whole series of «Historical lexicon», but it is not easy. Your humble servant in his time was needed in the XVII century (needed information about the pirate Henry Morgan), and others, he never made it. As the name implies, it is about encyclopedic dictionary of biography and main events. Covered not only Europe but the entire world. The texts are grouped in alphabetical order. Style popular science – like essay, but based on good material and written by serious authors. This is the case when there seems to be reference books nice and easy to read through, and not only when you need specific data. Highly recommend and not just children.

4. History of the middle Ages: an encyclopedia Umberto Eco. M. 2015. / Civilization Of The Middle Ages. Encyclopedia, edited by Umberto Eco. M. 2016.

Start with the sad. Books new, get them while not very difficult, but it’s very expensive books. I personally have not allowed myself to buy them yet. More precisely, on the money set aside for one of these, I bought four books. However a little look through them I managed. Publications are very beautiful and quite meaningful for the popular science literature. The first book is mostly concerned with the political history of the middle Ages. Second – the whole range of features of the middle Ages as a civilization from the development of society and economy to the daily lives and spiritual quest. These two volumes of the encyclopedia part of the project of Italian scientists under the leadership of Umberto Eco to create a multi-volume encyclopedia of the middle Ages. It is particularly interesting that this book the Italian researchers, and they are relatively little published in Russia. That the undertaking is serious, I convinced the editor-in-chief. Umberto Eco, alas, left this world in 2016, the famous writer whose novels and essays I strongly recommend it as great literature. But he is also a distinguished philologist and a Medievalist, a specialist in medieval aesthetics and not only. That is why his literary texts are of such a high scientific and intellectual level that reading them sometimes difficult. The figure of this magnitude, I hope, guarantee the quality, but you have to understand that, like all richly published the encyclopedia, it is largely entertaining books. I recommend at least partly in absentia. In addition they are excellent gifts.However, some encyclopedias for the study of Medieval history is not enough, be sure to see what textbooks and books need to read in order to understand the history of the Middle ages and early modern times.Author: George Tatosian

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