Post-classical history

The History of the Renaissance World: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople

The History of the Renaissance World: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople

Beginning in the heady days just after the First Crusade, this volume—the third in the series that began with The History of the Ancient World and The History of the Medieval World—chronicles the contradictions of a world in transition.
Popes continue to preach crusade, but the hope of a Christian empire comes to a bloody end at the walls of Constantinople. Aristotelian logic and Greek rationality blossom while the Inquisition gathers strength. As kings and emperors continue to insist on their divine rights, ordinary people all over the world seize power: the lingayats of India, the Jacquerie of France, the Red Turbans of China, and the peasants of England.

New threats appear, as the Ottomans emerge from a tiny Turkish village and the Mongols ride out of the East to set the world on fire. New currencies are forged, new weapons invented, and world-changing catastrophes alter the landscape: the Little Ice Age and the Great Famine kill millions; the Black Death, millions more. In the chaos of these epoch-making events, our own world begins to take shape.

Impressively researched and brilliantly told, The History of the Renaissance World offers not just the names, dates, and facts but the memorable characters who illuminate the years between 1100 and 1453—years that marked a sea change in mankind’s perception of the world.




Chapter One - Logic and Compromise • England, Rome, and the Holy Roman Empire, 1100–1122

Chapter Two - The Crusader Enemy • Byzantium, Venice, and the Crusader kingdoms, 1100–1138

Chapter Three - Anarchy • England, Western Francia, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1120–1139

Chapter Four - The Lost Homeland • China, Dai Viet, and Khmer, 1127–1150

Chapter Five - Crusade Resurrected • The Turkish and Crusader kingdoms, with visitations from Germany and France, 1128–1149

Chapter Six - Reconquista and Rediscovery • The Spanish peninsula, 1134–1146

Chapter Seven - Questions of Authority • France and Italy, 1135–1160

Chapter Eight - The New Song • China, 1141–1165

Chapter Nine - The Heiji Disturbance • Japan, 1142–1159

Chapter Ten - Death of an Army • Goryeo, 1146–1197

Chapter Eleven - The First Plantagenet • England and Western Francia, 1147–1154

Chapter Twelve - Frederick Barbarossa • Germany and Italy, 1147–1177

Chapter Thirteen - The Almohads in Spain • North Africa and Spain, 1147–1177

Chapter Fourteen - “Many Nations” • Africa, sometime in the twelfth century

Chapter Fifteen - The Last Fatimid Caliph • The Turkish and Crusader kingdoms, 1149–1171

Chapter Sixteen - Monks and Brahmans • South India, 1150–1189

Chapter Seventeen - Conquest of the Willing • Northern India, 1150–1202

Chapter Eighteen - Death of a Priest • England and France, 1154–1170

Chapter Nineteen - Foreign Relations • Byzantium, Hungary, and the Balkans, 1157–1168

Chapter Twenty - The Venetian Problem • Byzantium and Italy, 1171–1185

Chapter Twenty-One - Resentments • England, Ireland, and France, 1171–1186

Chapter Twenty-Two - Saladin • The Turkish and Crusader kingdoms, 1171–1188

Chapter Twenty-Three - The Gempei War • Japan, 1179–1185

Chapter Twenty-Four - Kings’ Crusade • England, France, and the Turkish and Crusader kingdoms, 1188–1199

Chapter Twenty-Five - The Sack of Constantinople • Byzantium and Europe, 1195–1204


Chapter Twenty-Six - Westward • Central and South America, 1200

Chapter Twenty-Seven - The Mongol School of Warfare • China, North and Central Asia, 1201–1215

Chapter Twenty-Eight - John Softsword • England and France, 1203–1213

Chapter Twenty-Nine - Sundiata of the Mali • Africa, 1203–1240

Chapter Thirty - The Jokyu War • Japan, 1203–1242

Chapter Thirty-One - The Unwanted Throne • The old Byzantine lands, 1204–1225

Chapter Thirty-Two - The First Delhi Sultanate • Northern and central India, 1206–1236

Chapter Thirty-Three - Heresy • France, 1209–1210

Chapter Thirty-Four - Reconquest and Failure • France and the Spanish peninsula, 1210–1213

Chapter Thirty-Five - From Bouvines to Magna Carta • France, England, and the Holy Roman Empire, 1213–1217

Chapter Thirty-Six - The Birth of the Inquisition • France, 1215–1229

Chapter Thirty-Seven - Moving Westward • China, North and Central Asia, and the Middle East, 1215–1229

Chapter Thirty-Eight - South of India • India and Sri Lanka, 1215–1283

Chapter Thirty-Nine - The Fifth Crusade • Egypt and the Crusader kingdoms, 1217–1221

Chapter Forty - From the Golden Bull to the Baltic Crusade • Hungary, Poland, and the lands of the Lithuanians, 1218–1233

Chapter Forty-One - Lakeshores, Highlands, and Hilltops • Africa, 1221–1290

Chapter Forty-Two - The Sixth Crusade • The Holy Roman Empire, the Crusader kingdoms, and the Ayyubid empire, 1223–1229

Chapter Forty-Three - The Tran Dynasty • Southeast Asia, 1224–1257

Chapter Forty-Four - Young Kings • England, France, and the kingdoms of Spain, 1227–1242

Chapter Forty-Five - The Mongol Horde • Most of Asia and Europe, 1229–1248

Chapter Forty-Six - The Debt of Hatred • The Holy Roman Empire, 1229–1250

Chapter Forty-Seven - The Shadow of God • India, 1236–1266

Chapter Forty-Eight - The Seventh Crusade • France, Egypt, and Syria, 1244–1250

Chapter Forty-Nine - The Splintering Khanate • The Mongol conquests, 1246–1264

Chapter Fifty - The Mamluks of Egypt • Egypt, Syria, and the Mongol lands, 1250–1268

Chapter Fifty-One - Louis the Saint • France and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1250–1267

Chapter Fifty-Two - The Lion’s Den • Germany, Italy, Sicily, and England, 1252–1273

Chapter Fifty-Three - The Recapture of Constantinople • The Latin Empire and the empire of Nicaea, 1254–1261

Chapter Fifty-Four - The Last Crusades • North Africa, Egypt, France, Italy, and the Crusader kingdoms, 1270–1291

Chapter Fifty-Five - Kublai Khan • China, Japan, Goryeo, Champa, and the Dai Viet, 1273–1294

Chapter Fifty-Six - The Sicilian Vespers • Germany, Italy, Sicily, Aragon, and France, 1274–1288

Chapter Fifty-Seven - The Wars of Edward I • England, Scotland, Wales, and France, 1275–1299

Chapter Fifty-Eight - The Second Sultanate of Delhi • India, 1287–1300

Chapter Fifty-Nine - The End of the Papal Monarchy • France, Germany, and Italy, 1301–1317

Chapter Sixty - The Appearance of the Ottomans • Byzantium and the Turks of the Il-khanate, 1302–1347

Chapter Sixty-One - The Fall of the Khilji • India, 1303–1320

Chapter Sixty-Two - The Triumph of the Bruce • Scotland, England, and Ireland, 1304–1314


Chapter Sixty-Three - The Great Famine • All of Europe, 1310–1321

Chapter Sixty-Four - The Sultan and the Khan • Egypt, the Il-khanate, and the Golden Horde, 1310–1335

Chapter Sixty-Five - Mansa Musa of Mali • West Africa, 1312–1360

Chapter Sixty-Six - After the Famine • France and England, 1318–1330

Chapter Sixty-Seven - The Southern and Northern Courts • Japan, 1318–1339

Chapter Sixty-Eight - Rebellions • India, 1320–1351

Chapter Sixty-Nine - Naming the Renaissance • Germany, Italy, and France, 1322–1341

Chapter Seventy - The Cities in the Lake • Central America, 1325–1375

Chapter Seventy-One - A Hundred Years of War • France and England, 1329–1347

Chapter Seventy-Two - The End of the World • Asia, Europe, and India, 1338–1353


Chapter Seventy-Three - The Will to War • France, England, and the Spanish kingdoms, 1349–1369

Chapter Seventy-Four - White Lotus, Red Turban • China, 1351–1382

Chapter Seventy-Five - After the Mongols • Southeast Asia, 1351–1399

Chapter Seventy-Six - The Turks and the Desperate Emperor • Byzantium and the lands of the Turks, with side journeys to France and Italy

Chapter Seventy-Seven - The Disintegration of Delhi • India and Sri Lanka, 1352–1388

Chapter Seventy-Eight - The Union of Krewo • Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania, 1364–1399

Chapter Seventy-Nine - The Rebirth of the Mongol Horde • Central Asia, the Middle East, India, and the lands of the Rus’, 1367–1399

Chapter Eighty - Compromises and Settlements • The Korean peninsula and Japan, 1368–1392

Chapter Eighty-One - The House of Visconti and the Papal States • France and Italy, 1368–1390

Chapter Eighty-Two - Bad Beginnings • France and England, 1369–1381

Chapter Eighty-Three - Dislocation • Africa, 1370–1399

Chapter Eighty-Four - Madness and Usurpation • Castile, Portugal, England, and France, 1383–1401

Chapter Eighty-Five - The Battle of Nicopolis • The Ottoman empire, Constantinople, and the lands of eastern Europe, 1385–1396

Chapter Eighty-Six - The Union and Disunion of Kalmar • Scandinavia, 1387–1449

Chapter Eighty-Seven - The Hussite Uprising • Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Bohemia, 1388–1419

Chapter Eighty-Eight - The Taking of France • France and England, 1401–1420

Chapter Eighty-Nine - After Timurlane • The north of India, the empire of Timur, the lands of the Ottoman Turks, Egypt, and Byzantium, 1401–1415

Part Five - ENDINGS

Chapter Ninety - The Withdrawal of the Ming • China and the land of the Dai Viet, 1405–1455

Chapter Ninety-One - Failure • The old lands of the Holy Roman Empire and the remnants of Byzantium, 1412–1440

Chapter Ninety-Two - Perpetual Slavery • Portugal, Castile, and Africa, 1415–1455

Chapter Ninety-Three - The Loss of France • France and England, 1422–1453

Chapter Ninety-Four - The Fall • The Byzantine and Ottoman empires, along with Hungary, Germany, Wallachia, Bohemia, and Serbia, 1430–1453


Works Cited

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