Rome is never far away : a review of The Middle Ages by Johannes Fried : [Rezension zu:] The Middle Ages. By Johannes Fried (trans. Peter Lewis). 632 pp. Harvard University Press. $35.00

  • Johannes Fried saves the programmatic aim of his book for the last chapter, but I’ll begin with it: unlike their counterparts in China or India or really any other center of historical civilizations, Europe has a particular disdain neither for its oldest period nor for the most recent but for the middle age (507). Some, and Fried chooses his countryman Immanuel Kant as their chief, regard the middle ages as an age lacking in the beauty of the ancient world and without the dedication to reason that his modern counterparts share. He holds Gothic architecture in particular contempt (506). Just as bad, Fried notes, are those who would romanticize the middle ages, ignoring the truly radical thought of characters like Meister Eckhart and William of Ockham, whose philosophical explorations set the stage for the most radical thought of what Kant would regard as his own era’s Enlightenment (508). In his masterful book titled simply The Middle Ages, Fried begins with Boethius and wends his way to Machiavelli in a campaign against such dismissals and such flattening accounts, telling a tale of political thought and philosophical exploration and most importantly of complexity at every step, a journey through Western Europe’s middle millennium that encourages the reader to think of the period as a truly fruitful period of intellectual, political, and social transformation. ...

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Author:Nathan P. Gilmour
Parent Title (English):The Christian Humanist
Publisher:The Christian Humanist
Place of publication:[s. l.]
Contributor(s):Johannes Fried
Document Type:Review
Year of Completion:2015
Date of first Publication:2015/04/28
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/01/22
Tag:Boethius; Charlemagne; Dominicans; Franciscans; Holy Roman Empire; Johannes Fried; The Middle Ages; Vikings
Issue:28 April 2015
Page Number:8
The Christian Humanist by Michial Farmer, David Grubbs, and Nathan Gilmour is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Institutes:Philosophie und Geschichtswissenschaften / Geschichtswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:9 Geschichte und Geografie / 94 Geschichte Europas / 940 Geschichte Europas
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen