A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age - Study Guide Chapter I, The Medieval Mind Summary & Analysis

William Manchester
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William Manchester, the popular historical author and biographer, sets out a depiction of the demise of the medieval world and the rise of the Renaissance in three parts. Part I, "The Medieval Mind" provides a quick and highly polemical characterization of the medieval period that does not line up with contemporary historical opinion of its day. The chapter begins with Manchester emphasizing that the period between 400 A.D. and 1400 A.D. should still be called the "Dark Ages" despite the fact that historians have set aside this term for decades. It was a miserable, squalid time. The Roman Empire had fallen, destroying by barbarian tribes who would rule for forty generations.

The Dark Ages represented a stark decline in standards of living, with peasants struck constantly by famines, plague, the Black Death, and tumultuous climatic changes. Criminal...

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This section contains 693 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age Study Guide
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