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“An audacious, entertaining page-turner. Dan Jones covers a thousand years of history with elegance and panache.”—Dan Carlin, host of Hardcore History
"Simply the best popular history of the Middle Ages there is."—The Sunday Times (UK)
The New York Times bestselling author returns with an epic history of the medieval world—a rich and complicated reappraisal of an era whose legacy and lessons we are still living with today.
When the once-mighty city of Rome was sacked by barbarians in 410 and lay in ruins, it signaled the end of an era--and the beginning of a thousand years of profound transformation. In a gripping narrative bursting with big names—from Sts Augustine and Attila the Hun to the Prophet Muhammad and Eleanor of Aquitaine—Dan Jones charges through the history of the Middle Ages. Powers and Thrones takes readers on a journey through an emerging Europe, the great capitals of late Antiquity, as well as the influential cities of the Islamic West, and culminates in the first European voyages to the Americas.
The medieval world was forged by the big forces that still occupy us today: climate change, pandemic disease, mass migration, and technological revolutions. This was the time when the great European nationalities were formed; when the basic Western systems of law and governance were codified; when the Christian Churches matured as both powerful institutions and the regulators of Western public morality; and when art, architecture, philosophical inquiry and scientific invention went through periods of massive, revolutionary change.
The West was rebuilt on the ruins of an empire and emerged from a state of crisis and collapse to dominate the world. Every sphere of human life and activity was transformed in the thousand years covered by Powers and Thrones. As we face a critical turning point in our own millennium, Dan Jones shows that how we got here matters more than ever.
About the Author
Dan Jones is the New York Times bestselling author of Crusaders, The Templars, The Plantagenets, Wars of the Roses, and Magna Carta. He wrote and presented the popular Netflix series Secrets of Great British Castles, and has an exclusive deal with Sony Pictures Television to produce and develop historical TV series, including adaptations of his books.
"A lively history . . . [Jones] has managed to touch every major topic. As each piece of the puzzle is placed into position, the modern world gradually comes into view . . . Powers and Thrones provides the reader with a framework for understanding a complicated subject, and it tells the story of an essential era of world history with skill and style."—The New York Times
"A great achievement, pulling together many strands with aplomb."—Peter Frankopan, The Spectator
“Despite the immensity of the task, renowned historian Jones makes the 1,000-year history of the Middle Ages accessible and utterly fascinating. He does so by consistently applying two techniques, strategic use of primary source material and relatable comparisons to modern times . . . The book’s subtitle includes the word new, and deservedly so. This is a refreshing take on a long, complex period in the human story.” —Booklist
“This gripping history manages to bring novelty to a well-trod subject, spanning the Dark Ages and the globe. Traversing crises and empires and shedding new light on famous subjects, this archive of a fascinating time enthralls till the final page.”—Newsweek
"A terrifically colourful and compelling narrative history, with all the confidence, bravura and swift judgements essential to an overview of such a vast time span . . . A hugely impressive achievement, bustling and sizzling with life on every page . . . This is now simply the best popular history of the Middle Ages there is."—The Sunday Times (UK)
“Jones covers 1,000 years of world history in this entertaining chronicle of the period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Protestant Reformation. Throughout, Jones displays flashes of humor and reveals unexpected links between events and figures . . .This richly detailed history will appeal to aficionados and newcomers alike.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred review)
“Absorbing . . . Jones writes a lively narrative . . . A fine account of a distant era that still echoes today.”—Kirkus Reviews
“An audacious, entertaining page-turner. Dan Jones covers a thousand years of history with elegance and panache. Taking a long view and a wide lens, Powers and Thrones offers both the big picture and unique insights. It felt as though I were reading a classic history of my youth, but updated with modern factual information and a 360-degree cultural perspective.”—Dan Carlin, host of Hardcore History