The more complete text is called ‘The Autumn of the Middle Ages. . Norman Cantor, in Inventing the Middle Ages devotes five pages to Huizinga, in his closing. So begins one of the most famous works of history ever published, Johan Huizinga’s The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Few who have read this book in English. Published in , Johan Huizinga’s Herfsttij der middeleeuwen (Autumn of the Middle Ages and also known as Waning of the Middle Ages) is.

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Translated by Rodney J.

The Autumn of the Middle Ages

This review describes only a little more than the first chapter of Huizinga’s book, the chapter titled “The Passionate Intensity of Life. There was less relief available for misfortune and for sickness; they came in a more fearful and more painful way. Sickness contrasted more strongly with health Honor and wealth were enjoyed more fervently and greedily because they contrasted still more than now with lamentable poverty The lepers, shaking their rattles and holding processions, put their deformities openly on display.

Every estate, order and craft could be recognized by its dress.

The notables, never appearing without the ostentatious display of their weapons and liveried servants, inspired awe and envy The modern city hardly knows pure darkness or true silence anymore, nor does it know the effect of a single small light or that of a lonely distant shout Bells huizunga in daily life like concerned good spirits who, with their familiar jiddle, proclaimed sadness or joy, calm or unrest, assembly or exhortation.

People never became indifferent to these sounds, no matter how overused they were. Huizinga writes of sad times and processions lasting “day after day even for weeks on end,” always with many small children, and in Paris the processions included barefoot “country folk” from nearby villages.


People ot at the agea proclamation. People guarded him “day and night in the monastery of the Cordeliers; women standing watch “with their ammunition of ashes and stones huiziga. Following the death of Charles VII, King of France inpeople “lost their composure when the funeral procession came into view Politics are not yet completely in the grip of bureaucracy and protocol; at any moment the prince may abandon them and look elsewhere for guidelines for his administration.

Fifteenth-century princes repeatedly consulted visionary ascetics and renowned popular preachers on matters of state In these centuries a good many dethroned kings made the rounds of the princely courts — usually short of money and rich in plans, bathed in the splendor huizniga the mysterious East from which they came: Armenia, Cyprus, and even Constantinople.

The English Court was a full of hatred. Nowhere else had suspicions of royal relatives, charges against powerful servants of the crown, and secretive and judicial murders for the sake of security and partisanship so permeated the political scene as in England.

It was the feeling of party, not of statehood.

The Autumn of the Middle Ages, by Johan Huizinga

During medieval times, all those emotions were missing that have made us [in the early 20th century] cautious and tentative in matters of justice: Midrle, perhaps, better stated: Family pride and the thirst for vengeance or the passionate loyalty on the part of supporters are, in such cases [of honor], primary motivations.

Huizinga writes more generally, describing the age as “more conscious of greed than of any other evil In his last paragraph of Chapter One he describes people seeing their time, in the Middle Ages as “an evil world. The fires of hatred and violence burn fiercely. Evil is powerful, the devil covers a darkened earth with his black wings.


And soon the end of the world is expected. But mankind does not repent, the churches struggles, and the preachers and poets warn and lament in vain.

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

The first is “the path of denial. The more beautiful life seems to be attainable only in the world beyond; it will prove to be a deliverance from all earthly concerns. The Middle Ages hardly knew this way.

To them, the world was as good and as bad as it could be If early reality is so hopelessly miserable and the denial of the world so difficult, this leaves us to color life with lustrous tones, to live in a dreamland of shining fantasies, and to soften reality in the ecstasy of the ideal.

Chapter Three is titled the “Heroic Dream. The period of genuine feudality and the flourishing of knighthood ended during the thirteenth century.

What follows is the urban-princes period of the medieval era, during which the dominant factors in state and society are the commercial power of the bourgeoisie and, based on it, the monetary powers of the princes. God created the common people to work, agges till the soil, to sustain life through commerce; he created the clergy for works of faith; but he created the nobility to extol virtue, administer justice, and so that the beautiful members of this estate, may, through their deeds and customs, be a model for others.

The Decline of Symbolism The Failure of Imagination The Forms of Thought In Practice Art In Life Image in Word The Coming of the New Huizingw.

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