WILLIAM J. BOUWSMA. The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga. We have come a long way since Bury informed us so firmly that history is a science. The Waning of the Middle Ages has ratings and reviews. Jan-Maat said : Bought this by mistake thinking it was a book by Burckhardt, which was ob. Brilliant study of art, life and thought in France and the Netherlands during the 14th and 15th centuries explores the period’s splendor and simplicity, courtesy.

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One of these called, “The Task of Cultural History,” argues that history should resurrect the past, and should give the reader a sense of what it was like to be alive during a particular period. I’m sure that huizinag many ways his work has been superseded and its limited focus on the world between Rhine and Seine is apparent but it remains readable and full of autumnal flavours.

The Waning of the Middle Ages

Courier Corporation- History – pages. Huizinga makes the interesting point that it is only with the Italian Renaissance that artists began to depict the saints in classical togas, thus for the first time setting them aside and apart from the everyday familiarity they had enjoyed during the Middle Ages. His explanation of the internal logic of this approach is fascinating enough — but it is riveting when he then goes on to draw out the connections between this mindset and the prevalence of proverbs which crystallise everyday behaviour into idealised patternsto the emblems and mottos chosen by aristocratic households, and their connection of all these with the complexity of heraldrywhich had a more-than-decorative purpose for the aristocracy which commissioned it.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Everything had to be nailed down with a meaning and a place in what was aspiring to be the Total System. Not that this is a dull journey of discovery, much of the exploration is through anecdote: Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. It is the speculative nature of Huzingia’s scholarship that is both the greatest strength and weakness of “Autumn”.

Incredible edible Middle Ages, so close to our mentality in the extremes of violent and amorous expressions, prejudice, supersticions and swaying from one extreme to the nexr, and so far away from us historically. Alas, this version is out of print but the complete translation, titled “The Autumn of the Middle Ages” is still in print.

Being retired, I read for my own pleasure and not for …more I read this one because it’s the one I own in my personal library. Huizinga comes across as being very interested in Mentalitie and is an early practitioner of that approach.


Cantor nevertheless has plenty of good things to say about Huizinga and the others. Paperbackpages. We view the late Middle Ages through the psychology and thought of artists, theologians, poets, court chroniclers, princes, and statesmen of the period, witnessing the splendor and simplicity of medieval life, its courtesy and cruelty, its idyllic vision of life, despair and mysticism, religious, artistic, and practical life, and much more.

On the other hand for all it’s shortcomings if you are interested the idea of trying to understand how people in a distant time experienced their world then this is still a book well worth reading.

View all 18 comments. He anticipates the field of “Cultural Studies” in his blend of source materials and thematic chapter arrangement. Huizinga deplores the modern tendency to write romanticized history and romanticized biography, to try to make history entertaining and amusing holding that “No literary effect in the world can compare to the huizihga, sober taste of history.

Um ano depois, o fim!!! This book changed my view on the Middle Ages. Goodreads helps mkddle keep track of books you want to read.

This explains why forms, patterns, orders, ranks and definitions ramified all over medieval society like weeds.

The Waning Of The Middle Ages

Of its author, the New York Times said, “Professor Huizinga has dressed his imposing and variegated assemblage of facts in the colorful garments characteristic of novels, and he parades them from his first page to the last in a vivid style.

Authors and translators Books. We can still sense — years later — the excitement of innovation huizingaa experimentation in their paintings. He saw the period as one of pessimism, cultural exhaustion, and nostalgia, rather than of rebirth and optimism.

History books about the Middle Ages books books. In order to escape an eternity of hellfire you had to devoutly follow Christian teaching.

The Waning of the Middle Ages

There is not a more midde tendency in history than that of representing the past as if it were a rational whole and dictated by clearly defined interests. The ideal of chivalry tallies with the spirit of a primitive age, susceptible of gross delusion and little accessible to the corrections of experience. He was educated there and in Leipzig, Germany. Leave a comment Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Every event, every action, was still embodied in expressive and solemn forms, which raised them ghe the dignity of a ritual.

It is, however, an interesting, brief and readable book, it argues that that modern education and the mass media both have harmful effects on culture: The will-to-complexity explains the gorgeous edifice of Courtly Love which grew up intertwined with the complex ideas of Chivalry.


It’s hard not to think of Foucault as one meanders through three hundred pages of tossed off analysis if how people thought about allegories five hundred years ago in northern france. First of all, I would like to thank Bertrand Russell for inspiring me to read this book. Chivalry As to everything else people saw around them, the behaviour of human society, this could be summarised in the other major theory of the time, Chivalry.

Among other topics, the author examines the violent tenor of medieval life, the idea of chivalry, the conventions of love, religious life, the vision of death, the symbolism that pervaded medieval life, and aesthetic sentiment. The abundant and detailed evidence collected and adduced throughout this volume, on the other hand, is by far the best part of huizniga book — though is often surrounded by the aforementioned generalities.

Way more interesting than expected. A brilliantly creative work that established the reputation of Dutch historian John Huizingathe book argues that the era of diminishing chivalry reflected the spirit of an age and that its figures and events were neither a prelude to the Renaissance nor harbingers of a coming culture, but a consummation of the old.

To write of the waning of an era in European history, an era which lasted several centuries, or by some reckonings, a thousand years, and to render the subject of the narrative as the fading away of this immense span of time, of human endeavor, human art – of millions of lives slowly fading into an irrevocable past … well, I love the title.

Saints multiply like rabbits until every day in the year was the Special Day of at least one saint if not several.

I found myself constantly having to re read sentences or paragraphs but it’s still a great read. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Most of the authors of the fifteenth century are singularly prolix.

Learn how your comment data is processed. In Dutch there is a word perfect to describe my sentiment; woordenbrij; roughly translated as mess of words. Though it sometimes reminds one of Ortega’s Revolt of the Massesits less pertinent to our time than Ortega’s work since much of it is a criticism of Fascism. He retired for the summer to his mother-in-law’s farm, sat there in the “hot attic” with some material from the fifteenth century, and wrote the book before the fall called him back wnaing the university.