Written with passion and personal malice, the Secret History of Procopius is a scathing indictment of the emperor Justinian and his sixth-century Byzantine court. Never has there been a more calculated attempt to ruin an entire reign in the eyes of posterity. Procopius writes of:
. . . How the Great General Belisarius was hoodwinked by his wife, whose lover became a monk.
. . . How Theodora, most depraved of all empresses, won Justinian's love.
. . . How she saved five hundred harlots from a life of sin, made off with her own natural son, and other curious incidents of her passion.
Women in Frankish Society is a careful and thorough study of women and their roles in the Merovingian and Carolingian periods of the Middle Ages. During the 5th through 9th centuries, Frankish society transformed from a relatively primitive tribal structure to a more complex hierarchical organization. Suzanne Fonay Wemple sets out to understand the forces at work in expanding and limiting women's sphere of activity and influence during this time. Her goal is to explain the gap between the ideals and laws on one hand and the social reality on the other. What effect did the administrative structures and social stratification in Merovingian society have on equality between the sexes? Did the emergence of the nuclear family and enforcement of monogamy in the Carolingian era enhance or erode the power and status of women?
Wemple examines a wealth of primary sources, such deeds, testaments, formulae, genealogy, ecclesiastical and secular court records, letters, treatises, and poems in order to reveal the enduring German, Roman, and Christian cultural legacies in the Carolingian Empire. She attends to women in secular life and matters of law, economy, marriage, and inheritance, as well as chronicling the changes to women's experiences in religious life, from the waning influence of women in the Frankish church to the rise of female asceticism and monasticism.
How did people make sense of the end of one era and the start of another? The Year 1000 plunges readers into the past in colorful detail and provides them with a historically accurate portrait of life on the cusp of the first millennium.
In this compelling new biography, historian Niccolo Capponi frees Machiavelli (1469-1527) from centuries of misinterpretation. Exploring the Renaissance city of Florence, where Machiavelli lived, Capponi reveals the man behind the legend. A complex portrait of Machiavelli emerges--at once a brilliantly skillful diplomat and a woefully inept liar; a sharp thinker and an impractical dreamer; a hardnosed powerbroker and a risk-taking gambler; a calculating propagandist and an imprudent jokester.
Capponi's intimate portrait of Machiavelli reveals his behavior as utterly un-Machiavellian, his vision of the world as limited by his very provincial outlook. In the end, Machiavelli was frustrated by his own political failures and utterly baffled by the success of his book The Prince.
WINNER OF THE 2015 PEN/JACQUELINE BOGRAD WELD AWARD FOR BIOGRAPHYQueen Elizabeth I acceded to the throne in 1558, restoring the Protestant faith to England. For over forty years, her bedchamber was the heart of court. Elizabeth's private life was of public concern: Her body represented the State itself, and her bedfellows were charged with safeguarding both the Queen and her propriety. These women bore witness to the figure beneath the makeup and the raiment, and also to the Queen's rumored dalliances. They were her friends, confidantes, and spies-nobody knew her better. And until now, historians have overlooked them. In The Queen's Bed, the historian Anna Whitelock offers a revealing look at the Elizabethan court and the politics of intimacy, dramatically reconstructing the Queen's quarters and the women who patrolled them. With expert research and lively prose, Whitelock weaves a fascinating tale of sex, gossip, conspiracy, and intrigue, brought to life amid the colors, textures, and routines of the court: the untold story of Elizabeth I laid bare.
Winner of the Pulitzer PrizeIn this intellectual biography, Sebastian de Grazia presents a new vision of Machiavelli that evokes, with uncanny precision, the great Florentine thinker's presence. After providing an engrossing account of Machiavelli's childhood and the period following his imprisonment and torture, the book turns to an examination of The Prince. The details of Machiavelli's life never cease to weave in and out of the narrative, as we read how his ideas gather power and coalesce into a unified vision of humankind and the world. "De Grazia's achievement is to present a totally comprehensive view of Machiavelli mediated entirely through Machiavelli's own language."--Journal of Modern History
From Jericho to Troy, medieval Europe knew siege warfare as a tradition of antiquity. Long before the advent of city culture, rivaling civilizations had relied on siege tactics as a means of taking over fortified palaces, temples, and defensive walls. But the dawn of the medieval period brought the "golden age" of siege warfare, as the proliferation of formalized cities made siege tactics the ideal choice from a militaristic standpoint.In Medieval Sieges & Siegecraft, Geoffrey Hindley looks at the subject from every angle. He traces the development of strong points, castles, and fortified towns and considers the architects and masons who built them; describes the problems of medieval logistics and food supply that confronted both sides during a siege (and which often decided the outcome); and pens vivid portraits of the machinery of warfare--from towers, mines, trebuchets, and mangonels to boiling oil and Greek fire; and considers the parts played by women and camp followers in battle. With the support of fifty illustrations printed throughout the text, Hindley shows siege tactics in action through real-life case studies of famous sieges that changed the course of history in medieval Europe and the Holy Land. A definitive account of an often overlooked portion of military history, this stimulating and accessible study will be fascinating reading for medieval specialists and for anyone who is interested in the history of warfare. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
This narrative of events between the years 1173 and 1202--as recorded by Jocelin of Brakelond, a monk who lived in the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, in the region of West Suffolk--affords many unique insights into the life of a medieval religious community. It depicts the daily worship in the abbey church and the beliefs and values shared by the monks, as well as the whispered conversations, rumors, and disagreements within the cloister--and the bustling life of the market-town of Bury, just outside the abbey walls. This edition offers the first modern translation from the Latin to appear since 1949.