The Two Cities: Medieval Europe 1050–1320, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Two Cities

Medieval Europe 1050–1320, 2nd Edition

By Malcolm Barber


560 pages

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pub: 2004-04-08
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First 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 key topics such as:

  • 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
  • the foundation of the very first universities.

Running through it all 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.


'Meets every conceivable need and effectively renders redundant all earlier textbooks on the high Middle Ages … in short, the book is excellent in every respect.' - History Today

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Social and Economic Structure 1. The Physical Environment 2. Social Structure 3. Economic Development Part 2: The Papacy 4. The Papacy 5. The Crusades 6. Monasticism and the Friars 7. Popular Religion and Heresy Part 3: Political Change 8. The Empire 9. The Kingdom of Sicily 10. The Italian City-States 11. The Capetian Monarchy 12. The Kingdom of England 13. The Iberian Kingdoms 14. The States of Eastern and Northern Europe 15. The Crusader States Part 4: Perceptions of the World 16. The Medieval World View 17. Intellectual Life 18. Art and Society 19. Western Christendom and the Wider World

About the Author

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Europe / Western
HISTORY / Medieval