An Environmental History of Medieval Europe by Richard Hoffmann PDF

By Richard Hoffmann

ISBN-10: 0521876966

ISBN-13: 9780521876964

Because the first actual e-book of its variety, An Environmental heritage of Medieval Europe presents a hugely unique survey of medieval kin with the wildlife. enticing with the interdisciplinary firm of environmental historical past, it examines the best way usual forces affected humans, how humans replaced their atmosphere, and the way they considered the area round them. Exploring key topics in medieval historical past - together with the decline of Rome, non secular doctrine, and the lengthy fourteenth century - Hoffmann attracts clean conclusions approximately enduring questions concerning agrarian economies, tenurial rights, expertise and urbanization. Revealing the importance of the flora and fauna on occasions formerly regarded as basically human, the publication explores matters together with the remedy of animals, sustainability, epidemic illness and weather switch, and via introducing medieval historical past within the context of social ecology, brings the wildlife into historiography as an agent and item of background itself.

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Extra resources for An Environmental History of Medieval Europe

Sample text

As the Atlantic Optimum slowly passed, mean temperatures tended towards twentieth-century values, but humidity, seasonality, and regional variations gained distinctive importance. During 3500–2600BCE Mediterranean conditions became more arid, especially with warmer 26 Long no wilderness and drier summers. 4000–600BCE) was cooler and drier, but punctuated by century-scale wet spells. Two of the seven readvances that Alpine glaciers made before Roman times occurred during the late SubBoreal. 200BCE to 200CE as the ‘Roman Climatic Optimum’.

An abundance of ecological niches meant the Mediterranean region generally exhibited a high diversity of species, but its thin, often infertile, soils, and the sea into which they fed rather few nutrients, sustained comparatively low biological productivity. Wild herbivores included sheep, goat, cattle, donkey, pig, and deer, all prey in the mid-Holocene for such native carnivores as lion, leopard, wolf, and bear. Many, but not all, of these wild animals would still inhabit the woodlands, hills, and mountains of medieval Europe.

Near-drought conditions prevail as evaporation exceeds precipitation. In contrasting winter, storms from the Mediterranean bring rain and normal daily highs not or barely reaching 10°C. Lowland frost is, however, unusual and brief. In Atlantic or Maritime Europe a flow of oceanic air warmed by the Gulf Stream affects the climate year round. At low altitudes this extends as far east as Poland, but the Alps keep maritime circulation from reaching Hungary and the Balkans. Relatively stable sea temperatures moderate seasonal extremes compared with the same latitudes elsewhere.

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An Environmental History of Medieval Europe by Richard Hoffmann

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