Essay on Review: Making of the Middle Ages

899 Words Jan 11th, 2013 4 Pages
The Making of the Middle Ages
R.W. Southern

Personally, when thinking of the middle Ages, I tend to have the misconception that it is a period of darkness with no progress. However, R.W. Southern’s book, ‘The Making of the Middle Ages’, offers an in depth study of the development of history in the world today. Observing that this book was published during the 1950s, Mr. Southern’s interpretation of the ‘Middle Ages’ was very distinctive in comparison to other historians of his time. He explores the significance of the Middle Ages as a separate sector in the study of history by which the audience will notice that previous categories of studied history is set aside, as we are no longer focusing on the usual ‘Classical Greece’ and ‘Rome’
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Of course in his attempt to convince his academic peers, he seems to be very selective in his choice of sources. When examining the index, it clearly shows that there is little written about other themes. Southern conveys a very Eurocentric attitude towards the topics that are discussed in his book, as he mentions very little of the developments in Africa, the role of women and children and when compared to people of the upper classes and serfdoms, the ratio seems bizarre. There is a large list of various Saints that Southern mentions, as well as many powerful men with high social statuses that claim more pages and notice about serfdom which concludes to my point of Southern’s poor demographic as there isn’t a chapter on women. Southern’s ‘Making of the Middle Ages’ is a history of men and powerful political men. Southern also uses imperial terms that show that his book was written for the upper classes if placed in the wider context with the books published at the same time.

Mr. Southern uses five main headings for each of his discussions and it is obvious that his main interest lies within the role of religion.
‘dark ages’ no progress? Regression he argues that there are things and events that happened which form Europe as it is today …
Not just shaped by classical rome in shaping modern Europe.

About the book in the wider context about the books in the same