What is medieval history? At Five Books, we define medieval history as the millennium that started approximately at the time of the fall of the Roman Empire (c. 500 AD) and lasting through to the Renaissance.
The Vikings discovered America and traded slaves in Baghdad. They sometimes buried their dead in ships, but probably did not burn them. And they did not wear horned helmets. Historian Eleanor Barraclough separates myth from reality and recommends books on the medieval Norse pillagers who have fascinated everyone from Hollywood to Hitler.
Dante’s epic poem The Divine Comedy has inspired countless thinkers and writers since it was first published almost 700 years ago. Here, Dante scholar and author Nick Havely picks the best five books on how one medieval poet had such a lasting impact on world literature, and how Dante’s vitality transmits into modern culture.
The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion
by Leo Steinberg
Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art
by Michael Camille
The Reformation of the Image
by Joseph Leo Koerner
Early Medieval Bible Illumination and the Ashburnham Pentateuch
by Dorothy Verkerk
by Alexander Nagel & Christopher Wood