Mediaeval Europe (814-1300)

Mediaeval Europe (814-1300)

Mediaeval Europe (814-1300)

Mediaeval Europe (814-1300)

Excerpt

The present volume owes its origin to repeated requests, coming from widely scattered and widely different sources, that I would go on with the history of continental Europe from the point where it was left at the close of a little book published in the year 1888. That earlier book, "An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages," was written in the hope that it might fill a place, at that time unoccupied, between the manuals of Roman history and those upon mediaeval times. This hope has been fairly realized, and the many kind expressions of good-will it has brought me have given me confidence for this new venture.

When I began the former volume I had in mind a reader of about fifteen years of age; but this person grew insensibly older as the work progressed, and, in fact, the book has found its chief use in the earlier stages of college teaching. This second book will assume a certain familiarity with the period covered by the former, a period now, happily, to be studied in more than one excellent manual, it has for its subject the period extending from the death of Charlemagne to about the middle of the thirteenth century, and it seems important to justify in some way this selection of limits. The division of history into periods is at best a very doubtful matter. Any attempt of the sort must seem to violate the first great canon of historical science that history admits of no breaks in its continuity. All division must needs be arbitrary, and one principle of division is better than another only in so far as it does less violence to that fundamental idea of an . . .

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