The Origins of Medieval Architecture

Building in Europe 600-900 A.D.
McClendon, Charles B.
Date published: 
September 2005

This book is the first devoted to the important innovations in architecture that took place in western Europe between the death of emperor Justinian in 565 A.D. and the tenth century. During this period of transition FROM Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages, the Early Christian basilica was transformed in both form and function. .

Charles McClendon draws on rich documentary evidence and archaeological DATA to SHOW that the buildings of these three centuries, studied in isolation but rarely together, set substantial precedents for the future of medieval architecture. He looks at buildings of the so-called Dark Ages - monuments that reflected a new assimilation of seemingly antithetical “barbarian” and “classical” attitudes toward architecture and its decoration - and at the grand and innovative architecture of the Carolingian Empire. The great Romanesque and Gothic churches of subsequent centuries owe far more to the architectural achievements of the Early Middle Ages than has been generally recognized, the author argues.