This is a series of 3 books. Each are available to purchase separately or can be bought together for a discount.
“History is the essence of innumerable biographies.”
Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian
“Histories make men wise.”
Francis Bacon, English courtier and essayist
The Middle Ages saw the flowering of a Christian civilisation that had its source in the life and teaching of Christ, but took centuries to become established in the form of a new culture. Chief amongst the characteristics of the Middle Ages was the quality of devotion. Inspired by the example of Christ, such men as Benedict, Gregory, Alcuin, Erigena, Anselm and Francis of Assisi offered unique models of Christian virtue that could be emulated by men and women from emperors and kings to monks and peasants. Devotion found expression in many forms: in love for Christ and the Church, in creating astonishingly beautiful art exemplified by the great cathedrals, and in men of action like those who became soldiers of Christ in the crusades. Three times a cultural renaissance of thought, religion and social and economic principles renewed its authority over all levels of society, despite endemic poverty, disease and warfare.
Ancient tradition challenges the view that mankind is ever progressing from ape-like origins towards an apotheosis of humanity. The study of history tends to confirm the contrary thesis of a gradual descent from a golden age to an age of iron. Yet throughout history there have arisen societies that rise above decline to exhibit the characteristics of a high civilisation, where knowledge and art flourish and inspire later generations. The Advancement of Civilisation in the Western World seeks to portray these exemplary times of human genius, whilst showing them against the background of oft-recurring times of darkness.
Brian Hodgkinson qualified as a Chartered Accountant, before reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford. During a long teaching career at Sussex University, Dulwich College and St James Schools in London, he developed a strong and diverse interest in writing, which involved studying History, Economics, Sanskrit, Indian Philosophy and epic literature. Brian is the author of a number of Shepheard-Walwyn books.
You can read more about Brian Hodgkinson on his author page.
This series is published by Originals (an Imprint of Low Price Publications, Delhi, India) and distributed in the UK by Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers with their permission.
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Creation of Medieval Culture
Chapter 1: The Once and Future King King Arthur
Chapter 2: A Being Self-sufficient Boethius
Chapter 3: The Way Found by Us The Empire of Justinian
Chapter 4: One Sacred Work The Beginning of Monasticism
Chapter 5: Servant of the Servants of God Gregory the Great
Chapter 6: Beneath the Banner of Muhammad The Rise of Islam
Chapter 7: The Bonds of Kinship The Nature of the Anglo-Saxons
Chapter 8: A Host of Heroes The Growth of Unity in Anglo-Saxon England
Part 2: The Carolingian Renaissance
Chapter 9: New Athens The Age of Charlemagne
Chapter 10: The Greatest Treasure-giver of all the Kings Alfred the Great
Chapter 11: The Peace of all Christians Otto the Great
Chapter 12: The Annihilation of Hades The Byzantine Empire under the Macedonian Emperors
Chapter 13: Cruel Injustice Feudalism in the Eleventh Century
Chapter 14: Redemption John Scotus Eriugena and Anselm
Part 3: The Twelfth Century Renaissance
Chapter 15: The Royal and Ancient Seat The Character of Paris in the Twelfth Century
Chapter 16: How Shall a Man not Sing? The Awakening of Reason
Chapter 17: The Land which He had Promised Them Economic Revival in the Twelfth Century
Chapter 18: Under God and the Law Henry II and the Common Law
Chapter 19: Soldiers of Christ Chivalry and the Crusades
Chapter 20: The Imitation of Christ Crisis in the Medieval Church
Chapter 21: The Law Makes the King Magna Carta and the English Parliament
Chapter 22: La Douce France St Louis
Part 4: The Decline of Medieval Culture
Chapter 23: The Love that Moves the Sun Dante and Late Medieval Italy
Chapter 24: Houmout; Ich Dene The Black Prince and the Hundred Years’ War
Chapter 25: The Roots of the Truth Faith Wycliffe and Hus
Chapter 26: The Dance of Death The End of the Middle Ages
“I have been reading his extraordinary new three volume book which is so beautifully written and crafted it could be called poetry. The three volumes cover The Advancement of Civilisation in the Western World, and that is just what it is, a great panorama of millenia which makes sense of who we are now and what we might have been and what we could be.”
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