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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It is only towards the end of what feels like a long, dense account of the culture of the late Middle Ages, that Huizinga finally arrives at the subject which, apparently, triggered it — a consideration of the art of van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and their contemporaries.

On the professional side, this gave rise to countless Rules for the different religious orders prescribing their behaviour for every minute of the day. That same year his critical biography of the great humanist Erasmus appeared, in English as well as in Dutch. The beauty and simplicity of much of this kind of symbolism lives on to this day, especially when it is about the natural world.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the historical period – but in kohan or paperback. As Cantor says, Huzingia wrote this book hhe sources available in any “second tier library”.

The Waning of the Middle Ages

This book will take the same place as did Dante’s work, I acknowledge the importance of it and the impact but I can’t appreciate the original. Maybe the most though-provoking idea in the book for me was this notion that, Chivalry was all they had to think about society with.

While I used to be interested in medieval period, this book just did not hold my interest. Way more interesting than expected. Tevens is het, door mijn sporadische leesgedrag van dit boek, het mij ook niet echt gegeven om een goed overzicht te geven van dit boek. Mid way through my cursory reading of European history I felt myself overwhelmed with names, dates and wars.

Nick Stefanos 1 Previous library review: All experience had yet to the minds of men the directness and absoluteness of the pleasure and pain of child-life. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. Bought this by mistake thinking it was a book by Burckhardt, which was obviously pretty stupid as it clearly says Huizinga on the cover.


After teaching in Haarlem and Amsterdam, he became professor of history at the University of Groningen in and at the Leiden University in I felt that the earlier chapters of this book aged better than the latter It’s difficult to balance the merits of this book against its faults. The true study of history involves our imagination and conjures up conceptions, pictures, visions. The other thing I took from my first reading all those years ago was the comedy names of the rulers of Burgundy in this period:.

Generally I found these somewhat difficult, particularly XXI. To me, the second title is even more evocative.

Posted by Simon on March 24, https: The equally long index however is very good. Leave a comment Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here He was educated there and in Leipzig, Germany.

Johan Huizinga Cultural historian Waning of the Middle Ages

For example, when reading the following quote I could not help but think about the reactionary forces inherent in the rise of Dominionism and the Tea Party: Literary genres like history, chronicle, play, poetry, epic, lyric, satire and so on had been going for nearly 2, years. This book is too long and there is much too much of the author’s psycho-social speculation in it – some of it is fairly good, a little of huizingga is quite useless, and very, very little of it is absolutely essential or compelling.

This debatable but masterly study helped to make his name as a cultural philosopher. By it’s very nature this kind of study is always going to be unsuccessful. Future readers should read the comment section, which has more value than my current hrrruumphs!

For instance, when reflecting on the pessimism of its poets Huizinga states “Happy are the bachelors, for a man who has an evil wife has a bad time of it, and he who has a good one always fears to lose her. But these are precisely what I like so much about the art of the northern renaissance. Beautifully written, and presented here in a new rendering that’s od closer to the original text than the standard English version of “The Waning of the Middle Ages”.

His thesis is basically that the literature and art of the ages reveals that a culture in decay, ripened to the point where its cultural “forms” an idea he never defines exactly have overgrown the ideas they were meant to convey. Huizinga’s work is a classic look at the literary and artistic culture of fifteenth century Burgundy and France.


From until his death in Johan Huizinga was held in detention by the Nazis. Calamities and indigence were more afflicting than at present; it was more difficult to guard against them, and to find solace. Pretty much any criticism one might have of Foucault’s scholarship one might apply here. Following a group of these is in another spoiler the sometimes edited status that I submitted at that point in my read. There is not a more dangerous tendency in history than that of representing the past as if it were a rational whole and dictated by clearly defined interests.

Now, viewed thus by the author, it would seem that this thesis is not amenable to simple demonstration by testimony of historical document. 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. Alas, this version is out of print but the complete translation, titled “The Autumn of the Middle Ages” is still in print.

Authors and translators Books.

The Autumn of the Middle Ages – Wikipedia

I read the old translation The Waning of the Middle Ages many years ago and found it vivid. This book is heavy treading. His own religious beliefs and artistic preferences, though never stated, seem to exert a strong influence on his readings of the historical milieu.

Map of the Duchy of Burgundy in the s The other thing I took from my first reading all those years ago was the comedy names of the rulers of Burgundy in this period: Among other topics, the author examines the violent tenor of medieval life, the idea of chivalry, the conventions of love, religious life, the vision of death, the symbolism that pervaded medieval life, and aesthetic sentiment.

Much of midvle book is written not for the general reader, but for fellow Dutchmen and contemporaries. It is the speculative nature of Huzingia’s scholarship that is both the greatest strength and weakness of “Autumn”.