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2017 4. Middle Ages ★★★★☆ Europe Reviews

Slavery After Rome, 500-1100

★★★★☆ (2017)
Professor of Medieval History at King’s College, London, Alice Rio, looks at unfreedom in the early Middle Ages, focusing on Western Europe in the period 500 to 1100.

This period of history is bookended by iconic forms of unfreedom: the period before is associated with classical Roman slavery, which involved an all-encompassing form of domination by a slave owner. From the 11th century onwards, Western Europe is associated with both serfdom…

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2021 4. Middle Ages Asia ★★★★☆ Reviews

The Horde

★★★★☆ (2021)
I first learned to fear the power of the Mongols while playing the computer game Medieval II Total War. Playing as king of the English I was pretty pleased with my thuggish army of knights and archers. By the year 1250 they had expanded my empire into most of France, a good proportion of the German states and also the Russian principalities. A small advance force of bowmen and men-at-arms had just attacked and captured Novgorod (unprovoked) when the Mongols appeared on the horizon.

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2. Late Modern 2021 3. Early Modern 4. Middle Ages Asia ★★☆☆☆ Reviews

Empire of Silver

★★☆☆☆ (2021)
Silver mining is not an easy job – when you dig the raw ore out of the ground it typically contains less than 0.1% silver – 1 part in a thousand. You then have to go through a laborious process of discarding the the 0.99% that you don’t want and turning that precious 0.1% into something shiny, attractive and valuable. Reading the financial history book “Empire of Silver: a new monetary history of China” by Jin Xu can feel a bit like mining silver. The valuable nuggets of insight can feel very laborious to extract. After you have finished you will have a little pile of intellectual treasures but many readers may feel that the payoff was not worth the effort.

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2021 4. Middle Ages ★★★★★ North America Reviews

Norse America

★★★★★ (2021)
On a clear sunny day in 1170 CE, the Welsh prince Madoc, illegitimate son of the famous Owain Gwynedd, set sail from Rhos-on-Sea on the north coast of Wales. Travelling with him in his several ships were over 100 men, women and children. Passing the Great Orme copper mound and then rounding the sacred and ancient druidical island of Anglesey, the voyagers shed tears of joy as well as sadness. They were fleeing the deadly conflict between Owain Gwynedd’s sons and seeking a new life….