Mohammed and Charlemagne
Introduced by Averil Cameron
Distinguished historian Averil Cameron introduces this seminal book about the origins of the Middle Ages. Numerous photographs show a fascinating array of archaeological sites, illuminations and mosaics.
In 1937, two years after its author’s death, Henri Pirenne’s Mohammed and Charlemagne appeared, challenging Edward Gibbon’s view of the fall of the Roman Empire and the development of early Medieval Europe. The ‘Pirenne thesis’ held that ‘the cause of the break with the tradition of antiquity was the rapid and unexpected advance of Islam.’ The questions that he raised – particularly about how we view and define our past – remain critical to our understanding of the world we live in. For him, the Germanic invaders were neither simply the progenitors of Western Europe, nor were they responsible for the final collapse of the Roman Empire. To Pirenne, once the Romans ‘abandoned the struggle’, the barbarians in effect became assimilated with the civilisation they had invaded.
Bound in cloth and blocked with a design by Neil Gower based on a T and O map, with Arabic calligraphy by Josh Berer
Set in Dante with Charlemagne display
Frontispiece and 16 pages of colour plates
Printed map endpapers
9½˝ x 6¼˝