It is no mean feat to describe the events of 800 years of medieval world history in one book. In order to accomplish this, Susan Wise Bauer limits the narrative to rulers and religion, and more specifically, how medieval kings and emperors em-ployed religion to justify their right to rule. This book follows her earlier History of the Ancient World, which focused on the rise of kingship based on power, and picks up the thread of the story as the justification for kingship changes from individual strength to divine blessing. The History of the Medieval World begins, appropriately, with the conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine to Christianity. With this event, "all at once, Christianity was more than an identity. It was a legal and political constituency—exactly what it had not been when Constantine decided to march under the banner of the cross" (11).
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Issue: "The Great Announcement" Jan./Feb. 2011 Vol. 20 No. 1 Page number(s): 51-52
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