Often misleadingly called the Dark Ages, the period between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance was a time of great creativity. The Middle Ages gave rise to some of the world's most enduring and influential literary works, including Dante's Commedia, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and a large body of Arthurian lore and legend. This reference is a comprehensive guide to literature written between 500 and 1500. While the volume is primarily devoted to the early literature of England, it also includes entries for historical persons and subjects of cultural relevance which would have been discussed in literary works or which might have affected their creation. Multicultural in scope, the book also covers Islamic, Hispanic, Celtic, Mongolian, Germanic, Italian, and Russian literature and culture of the Middle Ages.
Medieval literature encompasses a broad sweep of people, cultures, and styles. Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature offers a comprehensive account of the literary works, writers, and concepts of the Middle Ages; from 500 to 1500 CE. Covering not only European literature but also that of India, the Far East, and the Muslim world, this invaluable A-to-Z guide is one of the most inclusive single-volume references of its kind. Approximately 700 entries cover works, authors, and terms from the following cultures and languages: English: Old English and Middle English, ncluding Beowulf, Chaucer, morality play, Sir Thomas Malory, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Robin Hood, and Troilus and Criseyde; French: Joan of Arc, Marie de France, Parzival, The Song of Roland, and Francois Villon; Provencal: troubadours and Peire Vidal; Celtic: Cuchulain, The Mabinogion, and Ulster cycle; German: Tristan, The Nibelungenlied, Ulrich von Lichtenstein, and Gottfried von Strassburg;
The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages is a major new reference resource for all key aspects of European history, society, religion, and culture from circa 500 CE to circa 1500 CE. During this time, neighboring areas of Asia and North Africa greatly influenced and helped shape the civilization of the West. Relevant aspects of the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic dynasties, and Asiatic peoples such as the Avars and the Mongols are also included in this comprehensive work. Coverage spanning the whole geographical extent of the European Middle Ages and balanced treatments of sixteen topics centrally important to the study of the period distinguish The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages from all other resources on the subject.
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