WILLIAM J. BOUWSMA. The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga. We have come a long way since Bury informed us so firmly that history is a science. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : Huizinga, ioned. The Waning of the Middle Ages has ratings and reviews. Jan-Maat said : Bought this by mistake thinking it was a book by Burckhardt, which was ob.

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In many of Huizinga’s works, he discusses the play element in culture. Huizinga gained further international renown with his Homo ludensin which he framed the bold hypothesis that culture has emerged in all the great civilisations in the form of a game. Homo Ludens contains some very interesting ideas, but it presents these ideas in a rather dry and scholarly manner. Bad governance, exactions, the cupidity and violence of the great, wars and brigandage, scarcity, misery and pestilence—to this is contemporary history nearly reduced in the eyes of the people.

Johan Huizinga is the greatest of all Dutch cultural historians, whose fascination with the past speaks from every page of his work. Now this scrupulous realism, this aspiration to render exactly all natural details, is the characteristic feature of the expiring Middle Ages.

Finally, when his life was drawing to a close, and he was a prisoner of the Nazis, he collected his thoughts on this subject into a book called Homo Ludens: Among other topics, the author examines the violent tenor of medieval life, the idea of chivalry, the conventions of love, religious life, the vision of death, the symbolism that pervaded medieval life, and aesthetic sentiment.


Gone are the flowers, the trees, the landscape, the roofs and towers of the distant town, the colour symbolism and elaborate folds of the stiff clothes, the sweet douceur of the faces and the sentimental tears of the mourners. Lists with This Book.

The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga (1919)

Huizinga believed that in the late 14th and early 15th century the Mediaval faith had become ritualistic and overly ripe. Jul 05, Shira rated it it was ok. However, his work was pioneering at the time, and it still concludes many gems of insight for those willing to work through huizingaa classic book.

People must always have dressed like they do today. Being retired, I read for my own pleasure and not for research purposes. Maybe the most though-provoking idea in the book for me was this notion that, Chivalry was all they had to think about society with. Is this source a bit dated? In his histroiograhical tour of middle ages scholarship, Norman F. It analyzes the nature of both the plastic arts and the literary, religion and symbolism, chivalry and politics, and love and pessimism to the Medieval mind.

That same year his critical biography of the great humanist Erasmus appeared, in English as well as in Dutch.

Imagination, both literary and artistic, had been led into a blind alley by allegory. In a typically illuminating aside, Huizinga points out how the worlds of chivalry and theology overlapped in the figure of the archangel Michael, who is generally portrayed in armour, wielding a sword against the rebel angels.


For example, when reading the following quote I could not help but think about the reactionary forces inherent in the rise of Dominionism and the Tea Party: I will not claim that the book is bad or wrong but the style of writing was just not my cup to tea and every chapter I got lost in the words. Christian dogma and the code of chivalry.

Huizinga nos acerca a esta realidad, con un estudio muy profundo.

Book – The Waning of the Middle Ages – Letterenfonds

The more complete text is called ‘The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Decadent, nostalgic and beautiful. This classic study of art, life, and thought in France and the Netherlands during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries ranks as one of the most perceptive analyses of the medieval period. Books by Johan Huizinga. The other thing I took from my first reading all those years ago was the comedy names of the rulers of Burgundy in this period:.

Huizinga describes how medieval piety often found expression in rituals and external forms. God has made the world as perfect as it can be. Following a group of these is in another spoiler the sometimes edited status that I submitted at that point in my read. He saw the period as one of pessimism, cultural exhaustion, and nostalgia, rather than of rebirth and optimism.

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