'For years, leaders of undergraduate courses on the central Middle Ages have longed for a book like this; a single volume which supplies useful outline reference material as an adjunct to a clear and wide ranging analysis of complex events, and one which presents a rounded view of the different aspects of the period, on association with a bountiful supply of relevant primary sources in translation...a real tour de force.' - Times Higher Education Supplement 'Malcolm Barber has succeeded admirably...a fine book...should find a wide and grateful readership.' - History 'a valuable introduction.' - History Today '...a historical survey of unusual comprehensiveness. Warmly recommended to upper-division undergraduates and their instructors.' - ChoiceFirst published to wide critical acclaim in 1992, The Two Cities has become an essential text for students of medieval history. For the second edition, the author has thoroughly revised each chapter, bringing the material up to date and taking the historiography of the past decade into account. The Two Cities covers a colourful period from the schism between the eastern and western churches to the death of Dante.
It encompasses the Crusades, the expansionist force of the Normans, major developments in the way kings, emperors and Popes exercised their powers, a great flourishing of art and architecture and the foundation of the very first universities. Running through it is the defining characteristic of the high Middle Ages - the delicate relationship between the spiritual and secular worlds, the two 'cities' of the title. This survey provides all the facts and background information that students need, and is defined into straightforward thematic chapters. It makes extensive use of primary sources, and makes new trends in research accessible to students. Its fresh approach gives students the most rounded, lively and integrated view of the high Middle Ages available.
Malcolm Barber is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Reading. His many books include The Templars, The Cathars and The New Knighthood, A History of the Order of the Temple.