The Age of Faith (Anglais) CD – Livre audio, 15 mai 2014
|Neuf à partir de||Occasion à partir de|
|CD, Livre audio, 15 mai 2014||
Aucun appareil Kindle n'est requis. Téléchargez l'une des applis Kindle gratuites et commencez à lire les livres Kindle sur votre smartphone, tablette ou ordinateur.
Pour obtenir l'appli gratuite, saisissez votre adresse e-mail ou numéro de téléphone mobile.
Détails sur le produit
Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
At nearly 1100 pages in length, the reader will see: The early Christian ascetics and martyrs such as Simeon Stylites, who sat atop a sixty-foot high pillar for thirty years, exposed to rain, sun, and snow, and rejoiced as worms ate his rotting flesh. Saint Augustine. The Great Kings such as Charlemagne, William, and Richard "the Lion-Hearted." The Popes. The Prophet Mohammed. The knights and pirates of the Crusades. The Age of Romance, Chivalry, and courtly love in literature. The Italian poet Dante, and the transition to the Renaissance. Plus more including plates and maps.
Although written to stand alone or in the series, this volume will most likely be read by more serious students of history, however, the Durants have created a prose which is very easy to read and understand. In short, this book is for everyone interested in history, both professional and layperson alike! I rate this book as five stars as the Durant's authoritative historical Magnum Opus!
For instance, his discussion of the rise of Islam was both interesting and difficult to read. Intriguing because we see that the conflict between Islam and the Christian west has antecedents that go back over a thousand years. I discovered that it was nip and tuck whether or not the West was going to be able to defend Europe from Moslem conquest. The current tension between radical Islam and the West is only the latest chapter in a long and bloody struggle; but our inability to grasp Arabic names, geography and history, makes this reading difficult. Another area of difficulty was his discussion on medieval architecture. Just how does one communicate form in words that does the form justice? Durant gets and A for effort, but, once again, I had to plow my way through sections like these.
Is it worth the read? You bet. What we see here is the drama of human achievement. From the death and destruction that followed the fall of the Imperial Rome to the civilizing of a continent, Durant shows us the triumph of the human spirit. Durant also shows us the legacy of Roman law, language and civilization on the West. Rather than being a sharp demarcation between ancient Rome and the middle ages, we see the survival of Roman culture, law and institutions as they were morphed by medieval culture. Oh, by the way, the prose is magnificant. I found myself underlying sentence after sentence and reading them to my wife,friends or anybody else who would listen.
So after almost a year and 1100 pages, I finally completed the book. Lets see, volume five is next, The Renaissance. Another 700 pages. Um. I think I'll take a break and read some light fiction first.
He wrote in the "To the Reader" section of this 1950 book, "This book aims to give as full and fair an account of medieval civilization from A.D. 325 to 1300, as space and prejudice will permit. Its method is integral history---the presentation of all phases of a culture or an age in one total picture and narrative."
He advises, "Nothing is lost in history; sooner or later every creative idea finds opportunity and development, and adds its color to the flame of life." (Pg. 150) He suggests, "While the poor solaced life with heaven, the rich sought heaven on earth." (Pg. 233) He observes, "Every conquest creates a new frontier, which, being exposed to danger, suggests further conquest." (Pg. 283) He proposes, "Literary prose comes later than poetry in all literatures, as intellect matures long after fancy blooms; men talk prose for centuries 'without knowing it,' before they have leisure or vanity to mold it into art." (Pg. 491)
He notes, "At the beginning of the Middle Ages the greater part of Europe's soil was untilled and unpeopled forest and waste; at their end the Continent had been won for civilization. Perhaps, in proper perspective, this was the greatest campaign, the noblest victory, the most vital achievement, of the Age of Faith." (Pg. 559-560) Later, he adds, "The Middle Ages disciplined men for ten centuries in order that modern men might for four centuries be free." (Pg. 621)
He concludes, "Medieval man thought that truth had been revealed to him, so that he was spared from its wild pursuit; the reckless energy that we give to seeking it was turned in those days to the creation of beauty; and amid poverty, epidemics, famines, and wars men found time and spirit to make beautiful a thousand varieties of objects, from initials to cathedrals... we thank a million forgotten men for redeeming the blood of history with the sacrament of art." (Pg. 894)
Although often forgotten in modern times, the Durants' series was once a staple of "Book-of-the-Month Club" introductory promotions, and widely read. It is still of immense value for someone wanting a comprehensive and unified "view" of history from a single author (or later, two married authors).
The prose is engrossing, engaging, spectacular, pithy, witty, warm, inviting--in short, I am exhausting the vocabulary of praise for them. I read these volumes, especially this one, over and over again for the sheer joy of the prose.
Durant covers the period from the year 300 until 1300, usually considered the Middle Ages in the West. He covers so much material it is simply astounding and impossible to aborb in ten readings. This book is one for a lifetime of reading.
The strengths are in the cultural area--particular the coverage of writers. Durant was an academic specializing in philosophy so his coverage of subject as overwhelmingly dull as the Scholastic Philosophers makes it come alive. He gives summaries of dozens of writers and the major literary movements in Europe, the Middle East and Islam.
The coverage Islam is extensive but contains the word "Mohammadan" to describe muslims. This is understandably offensive to muslims because it implies whorship of Mohammad. However, Durant is no bigot, the word was simply the fashion when the book was written, much as the word "negro" was in fashion at the same period of time (1950). Muslim readers should not be put off by this. His treatment of your faith and civilization is honest, fair and free of prejudice.
The primary weaknesses of the book (and the entire series) is in the military area. Durant admits his relative lack of interest in this area and relies on secondary sources. He is too credulous of ancient historians--often printing fantastic figures for soldiers and casualties; e.g. he states that the militia for the city of Bruges was 189,000 when the entire town could not have had more than 50,000 inhabitants! He has little grasp of military science and falls back on the conclusion of others with little of the critical examination most every other subject receives at his hands. This is a minor quibble and will probably only be noticeable by those who are avid scholars of military history.
There are, of course, many mistakes--impossible to avoid in a book over 1000 pages of text covering 1000 years, three continents, and three religions.
All minor quibbles compared to the thrill of one of America's greatest writers. Sadly, the Durants are given short shrift by critics and scholars.
As I said, read this book for a lifetime. I have been doing so for fifteen years and I continually learn new things.
In his eleven volumes Mr. and Mrs. Durant come up with a wonderful history of Western Civilization that is simply stunning in its achievement and unflagging level accomplishment for a work that began in 1930 and wasn't completed until 1975.