Author night with Matthew Gabriele
Venue: Blacksburg Books, Blacksburg
Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Time: 6:30 - 7:45 PM
Event Types: Speaking Engagements
Cost: Free
Blacksburg Books presents an Author Night with Matthew Gabriele on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.

The word “medieval” conjures images of the “Dark Ages”—centuries of ignorance, superstition, stasis, savagery, and poor hygiene. But the myth of darkness obscures the truth; this was a remarkable period in human history. In The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe medieval historians Matthew Gabriele and David Perry refute common misperceptions of the European Middle Ages, showing the beauty and communion that flourished alongside the dark brutality.

The book is a lively and magisterial popular history that takes us through ten centuries and crisscrosses Europe and the Mediterranean, and moves into Asia and Africa, revisiting familiar people and events with new light cast upon them. Gabriele and Perry look with fresh eyes on the Fall of Rome, Charlemagne, the Vikings, the Crusades, and the Black Death, but also to the multi-religious experience of Iberia, the rise of Byzantium, the genius of Hildegard of Bingen and Marie de France,and the power of queens.

They begin under a blanket of golden stars constructed by an empress with Germanic, Roman, Spanish, Byzantine, and Christian bloodlines and end nearly 1,000 years later with the poet Dante, inspired by that same twinkling celestial canopy in Ravenna, writing an epic saga of heaven and hell that endures as a masterpiece of literature today. The Bright Ages confronts all the things people “know” about the Middle Ages with the most recent research made digestible and woven into a coherent story.

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