The period from the reign of Constantine to the great voyages of discovery—or from the fourth to the fifteenth century—was once seen merely as the long, slow decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Yet for Europeans, it is also a "supreme story of defeat turned into victory".
Colin McEvedy's pioneering atlas, revised and expanded for this new edition, treats as one unit the Mediterranean, Europe and the nomads' steppeland to the East (the habitat of Huns, Turks and Mongols). Illuminating maps and lively commentaries present the towns and trade routes, the changing population patterns, the boundaries of Christendom (and later Islam) and the ever-shifting political units. The result is a wonderfully eloquent picture, as Dr. McEvedy puts it, "of how old empires fell and new ones rose, and how, in Europe, a new society emerged which had the energy to break free from the geographical, intellectual and technical limitations that defined the medieval world".
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