Worldwide coverage of important men and women in all areas of achievement who flourished in the middle ages. Plus complimentary online access to the full content of this great reference.
Great Lives from History: The Middle Ages, 477-1453 is the second installment in the revised and expanded Great Lives series, initiated in 2004 with Great Lives from History: The Ancient World. The editors have sought to provide coverage that is broad in areas of achievement as well as geography, while at the same time including the recognized shapers of history essential in any liberal arts curriculum. Major world leaders appear here--emperors, conquerors, kings, and khans--as well as the giants of religious faith who were central to the medieval world: popes, monks, and saints who left their imprint on political as well as spiritual institutions. The set also includes figures who have received little or no attention in the past--from the seventh century queen of the Berbers Damia el-Kahina to the eleventh century Italian gynecologist Trotula.
Each essay ranges from 1,500 to 4,000 words in length, with the majority falling in the range of 2,000 to 2,500 words. The familiar standard format offers easy access to biographical information. The body of the article is divided into three parts:
Early Life provides facts about the individual's upbringing and a pronunciation of the subject's name (if unusual) is included;
Life's Work consists of a straightforward account of the period during which the individual's most significant achievements were made;
Significance provides an overview of the individual's place in history. Each essay is supplemented by an annotated bibliography.
The "See Also" section is a list of cross-references to essays in the set covering related personages. Finally, the "Related Articles" section lists essays of interest in Salem's companion publication, Great Events from History: The Middle Ages, 477-1453 (2 vols., 2005). Scattered throughout are 110 tables listing rulers and dates of reign or works of literature.
There are several special features that distinguish this series as a whole from other biographical reference works. The front matter includes the following aids--Complete List of Contents, Key to Pronunciation, List of Maps and Tables, Maps, and Genealogical charts. The back matter to Volume 2 contains several appendices and indexes including a comprehensive listing of Rulers and Dynasties, covering 37 Chronological List of Entries, Category Index, Geographical Index, Personages Index, and Subject Index. In addition to the sections of world maps and genealogical charts appearing in the front matter to each volume, more than 130 illustrations supplement related text throughout.