WILLIAM J. BOUWSMA. The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga. We have come a long way since Bury informed us so firmly that history is a science. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : Huizinga, ioned. The Waning of the Middle Ages has ratings and reviews. Jan-Maat said : Bought this by mistake thinking it was a book by Burckhardt, which was ob.

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The Waning of the Middle Ages

The Middle Abes are also discusses in his collection of essays Men and Ideas. Huzingia is a fore runner of later developments in social history, both in France and the United States.

There were quite a few quotes, some extensive, in French fortunately with English footnotesoften from authors either obscure or unknown at least to me.

This is one of the first books that I ever read concerning medieval history, and it had quite a big impact on me, so Autumn of the Middle Ages is always going to have a special place in my heart.

The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga (1919)

Jul 17, Ivan rated it it was amazing. Burckhardtian in its attempt to capture the “mood” of the late middle ages, but based on a number of false premises primarily, that the Renaissance was in any way secular, and that it lacked continuity with the culture of the middle ages, which apparently decayed and actually went away entirely that add up to a distorted and unhistorical picture of the era.

Of course it is — it is nearly a hundred years old. Thus, quite as much as the book was, in its inception and writing, not the typical heavily researched academic study, it is a work of the historical imagination.

Much of this book is written not for the general reader, but for fellow Dutchmen and contemporaries. Huizinga shifted his interest towards historical studies however, with a particular emphasis on studies as a Cultural historian in line with the school established by Jacob Burckhardt.

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Lists with This Book. Ein-de-lijk heb ik het boek uitgelezen. The mentality of the declining Middle Ages often seems to us to display an incredible superficiality and feebleness.

I suppose I feel more relevant topics to be more useful at this point in my life. In other words, happiness is feared together with misfortune. I’ll never toss the book, who could huiainga away that title from their bookshelf? No wonder the Duchy of Burgundy, located away from England in the East, was able to rise to relative power, by allying or at least declaring peace with England, and protecting the trading wealth of its coastal ports in what is now Holland.

Nov 21, Tue added it. Helpless old women or sassy young age who stepped out of line, or in fact had often done nothing at all, could quickly find themselves short-circuiting the anxiety of an entire culture, instantly blamed for every bad harvest, illness and death which had happened anywhere near them.

The Waning of the Middle Ages

Anyone interested in plumbing the depths of human nature, anyone interested in the question of why people fight wars, create culture, etc.

Beautifully written, and presented here in a new rendering that’s far closer to the original text than the standard English version of “The A classic look at the final flowering of medieval culture a world alien in so many ways, yet whose obsessions seem all-too-familiar. Future readers should read the comment section, which has more value than my current hrrruumphs!

Imagination, both tue and artistic, had been led into a blind alley by allegory. Generally I found these somewhat difficult, particularly XXI.

Fascinatingly, wajing have the opinion of Michelangelo himself on Netherlandish art, recorded by Francesco de Holanda. Articles with Project Gutenberg links. Inexactitude, credulity, levity, inconsistency, are common features of medieval reasoning. It is confusing as hell and was the main reason why I quickly lost track of the point being made. Every event, every action, was still embodied in expressive and solemn forms, which raised them huizingw the dignity of a ritual.

And this explains why all the chroniclers and historians and priests, in their sermons and pamphlets and books and works have one message and one message only — since the world depends for its continued wealth and stability on the virtue of the prince, of the noble ruler — ALL of these books without exception start, focus on and end with earnest, heart-felt pleas to the ruler and prince to be Noble and Virtuous and to Rule Well.


It discusses the problems besetting the West, from moral anarchy to artistic decadence. One of these called, “The Task of Cultural History,” argues that history should resurrect the past, and should give the reader a sense of what it was like to be alive during a particular period. Aesthetically, it is a masterpiece, and anyone who enjoys reading history as literature regardless of its methodological rigor should not fail to read Huizinga’s work. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Alas, this version is out of print but the complete translation, titled “The Autumn of the Middle Ages” is still in print. For a threat to any part of the fixed and repressive structures huizihga medieval society was a threat to ALL of it and therefore tbe threat to the entire mental and psychological paraphernalia which was all these people had to stave off bottomless fear and anxiety.

His explanation of the internal logic of this approach is fascinating enough — but it is riveting when he then goes on to draw out the connections between this mindset and the prevalence of proverbs which crystallise everyday behaviour into idealised patternsto the emblems and mottos chosen by aristocratic households, and their connection of all these with the complexity of heraldrywhich had a more-than-decorative purpose for the aristocracy which commissioned it.

From then on, he was also considered yuizinga cultural critic.

The focus here is on northern France and the Low Countries, but Huizinga’s vision is wide-ranging and informed.