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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The Waning of the Middle Ages

The fif- teenth century was more often discussed as a justification for the transport to summer, as prolegomenon to Renaissance and Reformation. Apologies for the grumpy review — but I’ll let it stand.

Then there is the opinion, the willingness, even the imperative. I will not claim that the book is bad or wrong but the style of writing was just not my cup to tea and every chapter I got lost in the words. Now, viewed thus by the author, it would seem that this thesis is not amenable to simple demonstration by testimony of historical document. Contact Contact Us Help. The spine may show signs of wear.

Calamities and indigence were more afflicting than at present; it was more difficult to guard against them, and to find solace.

Medieval tournaments were “over- laden with embellishments” 83, while the entire “knightly life form was over- burdened with ideals of beauty, virtue, and utility” Second, there is a need to fix more clearly the place that this book fills and to ask whether that space is not likely to undergo a fairly radical transformation as the text is ingest- ed by a new readership in a new context, potentially becoming either the fill1 Burckhardtian classic unavoidable for the expert and seductive to all readersa molten Michelet all styleor a mirror of an E.

Any relationship was possible. It would not bear up, Huine said. I was pleasantly surprised at Huizinga’s writing style, which for the most part was quite interesting and engaging. Theory and Philosophy of History. Huizinga writes in his brief preface to the English edition, History has always been far more engrossed by problems of origins than by those of decline and fall… in medieval history we have been searching so diligently for the origins of modern culture, that at times it would seem as though what we call the Middle Ages had been little more than the prelude to the Renaissance.


Even after Kuhn, after Feyerabend, after scientists have grown slowly more self conscious of the subjective aspects of their work, the pernicious power of their rhetoric and that of other reporting has not come under similar attack.

Of course it is — it is nearly a hundred years old. These turned out to huizinha untimely in a wholly opposite way-too early. Everything that was dropped or rearranged has been restored. In Dutch there is a word perfect to describe my sentiment; woordenbrij; roughly translated as mess of words. They are cultural products, created by the. Culture enabled value, enabled judgment. This is of course more than a minor insight. But in history, as in nature, birth and death are equally balanced.

The Middle Ages hardly knew this way. Notwithstanding some new wine, he put it in handsome old bottles. It will make it easier for us all to know what you mean, and why, in resisting your book, we emerge more fully ourselves.

It’s Dutch title was Herfsttij der Middeleeuwenwhich translates directly to The Autumn of the Middle Ages an evocative enough title, to be sure. First of all, I would like autymn thank Bertrand Russell for inspiring me to read this book. Huizinga nos acerca a esta realidad, con un estudio muy profundo. Forward and “new” as his work is in so many ways, he reads old. It is the same tendency which autimn encountered in all the fields of thought of the epoch, a sign of ov and not of rejuvenation.

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The Waning of the Middle Ages

It’s a bit dated and it’s far from perfect but it’s a real intellectual stimulant and one of the few history books I can see myself reading multiple times just for enjoyment.

Writing Denis the Carthusian’s work, for example, he autujn that, “It has all the characteristics of sges later work: This was a college book.

Why read this text? When middel and women write of art, or create art, the writings and creations themselves are always thrusting towards the future, and a historian interested in their connection to the past must oftentimes do his analysis from the distant future, bringing his creative imagination into play to find the connections with a past that was not the concern of the subjects being studied.

Incredible edible Middle Ages, so close to our mentality in the extremes of violent and amorous expressions, prejudice, supersticions and swaying from one extreme to the nexr, and so far away from us historically.


Johan Huizinga was a Dutch historian and one of the founders of modern cultural history. Good Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. The problem is that this is a book nearly a hundred years old in a style nearly incomprehensible for a contemporary reader.

The Autumn of the Middle Ages – Johan Huizinga – Google Books

He’ll become the minor classic, a sad fate. There is a strong assumption that the reader already k n o w s the outlines of Burgundian history, and is familiar with Charles the Bold, John the Fearless and the Duke of Orleans. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Thus Inany works on the Italian Renaissance do indeed start with Burckhardt, for whether his detail is germane agds the same way anymore, his interpretation recolnnlends itself for discussion.

The historiographical role was clear, and perhaps no one has had as much to do with the consignment of the medieval to this auxiliary position in European history as Huizinga. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

To ask other readers questions about The Waning of the Middle Agesplease sign up. This is a really difficult book for me to review. While he candidly acknowledges the populairty of the “waning of the middle ages” among undergraduates, he takes issue with Huizinga’s scholarship. I later learned of similar horrors of the renaissance but was able to live middpe my own movie when I I found other anachronists and joined the SCA.

Huizinga’s views are very provocative but sometimes far-fetched. The century is judged by the darnage it has done to midle otvri norms, its forms.

Even a work of history rises or falls on the usual questions of context. What are we to make of the peculiar rashness that is continuously revealed in the superfi- ciality, inexactness, and credulity of the waning Middlr Ages? Read More, Spend Less.