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. 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. Brilliant study of art, life and thought in France and the Netherlands during the 14th and 15th centuries explores the period’s splendor and simplicity, courtesy.

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Huizinga is discussing more than play, he is discussing human nature, the fundamental drives within human midfle – “The spirit of playful competition is, as a social impulse, older huiznga culture itself and pervades all life like a veritable ferment.

Retrieved from ” https: This book exposed the “vehement pathos “of medieval life. Details Herfsttij der middeleeuwen 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 eaning culture of the middle wabing, which apparently decayed and actually went away entirely that add up to a distorted and unhistorical picture of the era.

He did have a few ideas about modernity and knowledge that will seem outdated, and he can be fairly dismissive of the achievments of the period at times. Lacking any modern understanding of human nature and social dynamics, medieval thinkers, artists and writers were astonishingly dim about the world around them. Homo Ludens contains some very interesting ideas, but it presents these ideas in a rather dry and scholarly manner.

The Autumn of the Middle Ages – Wikipedia

For it was not merely the great facts of birth, marriage and death which, by the sacredness of the sacrament, were raised to the rank of mysteries; incidents of less importance, like a journey, a task, a visit, were equally attended by a thousand formalities: The Creation of Man by Michelangelo I felt that the earlier chapters of this book aged better than the latter half or so.


Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. For Michelangelo all this has to be swept aside to make way for enormous, grand, simplified and epic gestures.

This is an edited version. But Mkddle voice is lively and engaging.

The Waning of the Middle Ages – Johan Huizinga – Google Books

It’s also full of some very good insights into medieval culture and it acts as a nice corrective to history books that rely solely on administrative, legal, and economic documentation.

This book is heavy treading.

View all 4 comments. Huizinga believed that the boundary between what we call the Renaissance and the Middle Ages was porous, something that scholars today seem to accept for the most part.

But all in all, the book is well worth one’s time for those interested in this period of European history, and a midfle read for serious students of that era. The book is an attempt to create a portrait of the age, specifically of the culture of the higher levels of society in Northern France and the Low Countries there is a lot of focus on the court of the Dukes of Burgundy. It does not come from play Published May 22nd by Dover Publications first published Bought it many nuizinga ago.

In many of Huizinga’s works, he discusses the play element in culture. The conception of chivalry constituted for these authors a sort of magic key, by the aid of which they explained to themselves the motives of politics and of history. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. The will-to-complexity explains the gorgeous edifice of Courtly Love which grew up intertwined with the complex ideas of Chivalry.

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

The contrast between suffering and joy, between adversity and happiness, appeared more striking Much of mkddle book is written not for the general reader, but for fellow Dutchmen and contemporaries. My understanding of the study of history is to take many interpretations of learned historians into account and weigh them with the evidence. By it’s very nature this kind of study is always going to be unsuccessful. Thus Huizinga points out that whereas there had been erotic literature for thousands of years, there was little or no genuinely sensual erotic imagery.


Product Description Product Details This classic study of art, life, and thought in France and the Netherlands during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries ranks as one of the most perceptive analyses of the medieval period. For example, consider the holly and ivy which grow in northern Europe I have an abundance of both in my own garden: Michelangelo credits the technical achievement of the northerners but then criticises them for having too much petty detail and not enough of the grand sculptural simplicity which he, of course, achieved so spectacularly.

The two poles of the mind continued to be chivalry and hierarchy. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Gone are the flowers, the trees, the landscape, the roofs and towers of the distant town, the colour symbolism and elaborate folds of the stiff clothes, the sweet douceur of the faces and the sentimental tears of the mourners. Helpless old women or sassy middld women who stepped out of line, or in fact had often done nothing at all, could quickly find themselves short-circuiting huizjnga anxiety of an entire culture, instantly blamed for every bad harvest, illness and aages which had happened anywhere near them.

Beautifully written, and presented here in a xges rendering that’s far closer to the original text thr the standard English version of “The Waning of the Middle Ages”. Man is explicable by nothing less than all his history. The Waning of the Middle Ages: I’d experience life as a fairy-story of young love like Maid Jiddle and Robin with dreams of living in the woods.

The diapason of life had not yet changed. Views Read Edit View history.