An Environmental History of Medieval Europe

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 10, 2014 - History - 409 pages
"How did medieval Europeans use and change their environments, think about the natural world, and try to handle the natural forces affecting their lives? This groundbreaking environmental history examines medieval relationships with the natural world from the perspective of social ecology, viewing human society as a hybrid of the cultural and the natural. Richard Hoffmann's interdisciplinary approach sheds important light on such central topics in medieval history as the decline of Rome, religious doctrine, urbanization and technology, as well as key environmental themes, among them energy use, sustainability, disease and climate change. Revealing the role of natural forces in events previously seen as purely human, the book explores issues including thetreatment of animals, the 'tragedy of the commons,' agricultural clearances and agrarian economies. By introducing medieval history in the context of social ecology, it brings the natural world into historiography as an agent and object of history itself"--
 

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a very readable and useful volume. Handy for students of many subjects!

Contents

Long no wilderness
21
culture and nature
51
Humankind and Gods Creation in medieval minds
85
Medieval land use and the formation of traditional
113
Medieval use management and sustainability
155
Medieval use management and sustainability of local
196
This belongs to me
241
disease as
279
An inconstant planet seen and unseen
304
A slow end of medieval environmental relations
342
Afterword
371
A sampler for further reading
378
Index
391
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Richard Hoffmann is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at the Department of History, York University, Canada. As a pioneer in the environmental history of pre-industrial Europe, he is widely known for his contributions to medieval studies, environmental studies and historic fisheries.

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