The more complete text is called ‘The Autumn of the Middle Ages. . Norman Cantor, in Inventing the Middle Ages devotes five pages to Huizinga, in his closing. So begins one of the most famous works of history ever published, Johan Huizinga’s The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Few who have read this book in English. Published in , Johan Huizinga’s Herfsttij der middeleeuwen (Autumn of the Middle Ages and also known as Waning of the Middle Ages) is.

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Autumn of the Middle Ages: A Century Later

Between hellish fears and the most childish jokes, between cruel harshness and sen- timental sympathy, the people stagger-like a giant with the head of a child, hither and thither. With only a few lapses, Huizinga treats the entire culture as one object, a system wholly contained within forms of life and culture. Yet it also con- tributes to the marginalization of his work within the context of active academic. A Manifesto Next review: This translation is considerably longer or more completehas more references, is divided into fewer chapters, and differs in its interpretation of some passages.

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 This classic study of art, life, and thought in France and the Netherlands during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries ranks as one of the most perceptive analyses of the medieval period.

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The Autumn of the Middle Ages

What are we to make of the peculiar rashness that is continuously revealed in the superfi- ciality, inexactness, and credulity of the waning Middle Ages? 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.

The Failure of Imagination All this might be inconsistent. Book titles OR Journal titles. The period of genuine feudality and the flourishing of knighthood ended during the thirteenth century. Evil is powerful, the devil covers a darkened earth with his black wings.


The center of his untimeliness is the fusion of middl shibboleths of European let- ters, poetical prose-writing and the incisive judgment of an individual and know- ing author. Retrieved from ” https: God created the common people to work, to till the soil, to sustain life through commerce; he created the clergy for works of faith; but he created the nobility to extol virtue, administer justice, and so that the beautiful members of this estate, may, through their deeds and customs, be a model for others.

We have oddly been better over the last decades at knowing that values are there, embedded in metahistori- cal structures, in texts, in ideology, than at becoming comfortable with the fact that they are inevitably there.

The Autumn of the Middle Ages, by Johan Huizinga

Because the information is arranged by theme, it is difficult to use it in any other way. Gibbon and Livy represent a different but related category. I am a history major and I still could not immediately place every historical figure or reference Huizinga used and even if I could it is a style I truly detest.

Honor and wealth were enjoyed more fervently and greedily because they contrasted still more than now with lamentable poverty Product Description Product Details This classic study of art, life, and thought in France and the Netherlands during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries ranks as one of the most perceptive analyses of the medieval period. The metaphors and images rather than any extrinsic mechanism or explanation carry the weight of much of the interpretation of medieval decline.

Because the foms are indigenous to the medieval period, because the age will hang itself, it is worthwhile abiding with it, giving it more careful attention than was habitual, even if the later medieval period is often “tedious and disappoint- ing.

He advised his friend William Robertson against the history of Charles V.

But it points us to a story of failure in the midst of suc. History needs some honesty about the seriousness of its calling at a time when the assumption of a simple objectivity is gone.

The basis of change, the unity of the culture. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. I felt that the earlier chapters of this book aged better than the latter It’s difficult to balance the merits of this book against its faults. As the forms’ vitality fails, the medieval ways become exhausted.


This is of course more than a minor insight.

For while most of those even- tually disappear, virtually all histories become curiosities relatively quickly, dust- catchers waiting for the occasional scholar, dead-weights in the librarian’s bud- get; and this is especially true of those solemn works of synthesis that survey entire centuries.

The contrast between suffering and joy, between adversity and happiness, appeared more striking I have just suggested the crude activeipas- sive divide as one way to distinguish works within the narrow ambit of the prac- tice of current researchers and teachers.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. So too was his strong general argument for the study of daily life over traditional political concerns, a tendency he developed well beyond his Burckhardtian model. One of the achievenlents of deconstructivists. However, one wonders if he manages more profound insights than more cautious and rigorous historians would achieve. David Hurne developed his history increasingly away from Scotland towards England, whose history “mattered. The fif- teenth century was more often discussed as a justification for the transport to summer, as prolegomenon to Renaissance and Reformation.

View all 18 comments. Several touches of surface along extreme spine ends. It is the same tendency which we encountered in all the fields of thought of the epoch, a sign of decline and not of rejuvenation. Chapter Three is titled the “Heroic Dream. My understanding of the study of history is to take many interpretations of learned historians into account and weigh them with the evidence.

There were quite a few quotes, some extensive, in French fortunately with English footnoteshjizinga from authors either obscure or unknown at least to me.

Huizinga is mentioned on the first page of F.