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Desan’s fascinating book approaches the only seemingly obvious act of ‘making money’ by examining what it actually means to ‘make money’. While Desan does acknowledge the physical act involved in this process, such as the striking of coins and the printing of bills, her primary focus is to study what gave money value and validated it as a reliable medium of egalitarian exchange.
This edited collection fills some important gaps in the historiography of rulership and the interactions between royal couples, particularly in cases when the man is not the legitimate heir.
Several large projects focusing upon the social history of the late medieval period have come to completion in the past few years, two of which have culminated in the publication of online resources as their main outputs.
Following the many other ‘turns’ which have engulfed history, the ‘spatial turn’ can safely be regarded as well established. While few historians have formal geographical training, it is now de rigueur to ask spatial questions, and to seek to map research findings in publications.
In 845, Li Deyu 李德裕 (787–850), arguably the most powerful man of the realm at that time and scion of one of the great aristocratic clans of medieval China, submitted a ‘Stele Inscription for Commemorating the Sagely Deeds in Youzhou, with preface’ (‘Youzhou ji shenggong beiming bing xu’ 幽州紀聖功碑銘并序) to Emperor Li Yan 李炎 (r. 840–46), better known under his temple name Wuzong 武宗.
Arguably, no other institution in the Middle Ages and early modern era was as subject to as many legal disparities and disputes between royal and papal power as that of royal marriage. In fact, a royal marriage was far from a private affair. On the spiritual level, the marriage of a royal couple was to reflect the sanctity of the life union between woman and man at the highest strata.
Essay collections are always a mixed bag, and this one is more muddled than most. The warning signs are clear. The volume is part of a series ominously titled ‘Austrian Studies in English’. Six of the 15 essays were papers presented at a 2010 conference of the same name at the University of Vienna.
The main aim of this book is to answer the following question: how does one account for the speed with which the Arab empire was built? The period covered extends from the rise of Islam down to the middle of the eighth century.
Over 40 years ago, in the preface to his The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492, Alfred Crosby, a key figure among the first generation of environmental historians, emphasized that `Man is a biological entity before he is a Roman Catholic or a capitalist or anything else’ (p. xiii).
As this book begins (p. 1), the author marvels how the art of the Wycliffite Bible, one of the most popular books in late medieval England, has not been studied systematically. The answer lies in the historiography of the Wycliffite Bible. Kennedy suggests that the ‘Shadow of the Reformation’ has created a binary view of Wycliffite Bibles, linking them to heresy and illegality.