Heart of Europe A History of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire lasted a thousand years far longer than ancient Rome Yet this formidable dominion never inspired the awe of its predecessor Voltaire distilled the disdain of generations when he

  • Title: Heart of Europe: A History of the Holy Roman Empire
  • Author: Peter H. Wilson
  • ISBN: 9780674058095
  • Page: 292
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Holy Roman Empire lasted a thousand years, far longer than ancient Rome Yet this formidable dominion never inspired the awe of its predecessor Voltaire distilled the disdain of generations when he quipped it was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire Yet as Peter Wilson shows, the Holy Roman Empire tells a millennial story of Europe better than the histories of individuThe Holy Roman Empire lasted a thousand years, far longer than ancient Rome Yet this formidable dominion never inspired the awe of its predecessor Voltaire distilled the disdain of generations when he quipped it was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire Yet as Peter Wilson shows, the Holy Roman Empire tells a millennial story of Europe better than the histories of individual nation states And its legacy can be seen today in debates over the nature of the European Union.Heart of Europe traces the Empire from its origins within Charlemagne s kingdom in 800 to its demise in 1806 By the mid tenth century its core rested in the German kingdom, and ultimately its territory stretched from France and Denmark to Italy and Poland Yet the Empire remained stubbornly abstract, with no fixed capital and no common language or culture The source of its continuity and legitimacy was the ideal of a unified Christian civilization, but this did not prevent emperors from clashing with the pope over supremacy the nadir being the sack of Rome in 1527 that killed 147 Vatican soldiers.Though the title of Holy Roman Emperor retained prestige, rising states such as Austria and Prussia wielded power in a way the Empire could not While it gradually lost the flexibility to cope with political, economic, and social changes, the Empire was far from being in crisis until the onslaught of the French revolutionary wars, when a crushing defeat by Napoleon at Austerlitz compelled Francis II to dissolve his realm.

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      Published :2018-09-14T10:37:13+00:00

    One thought on “Heart of Europe: A History of the Holy Roman Empire”

    1. Majesterial. I'd assume this will be the standard English-language history for some time. From a UK perspective, very depressing in its examination of other, less nationalostic ways of building legal and governmental systems. A shame it was published just before the wretched brexit vote, and thus does not cover this in iys closing chapter on the Empire's legacy in the EU

    2. A beautifully designed book that is almost entirely unreadable: less a monograph than an encyclopedia. There is, no doubt, very good reason to write the history of the HRE in this order (Sections: Ideal, Belonging, Governance, Society). Wilson gets to avoid the perils of Great Man History (i.e it's totally fatuous), and the perils of Materialist History (i.e it's totally fatuous). He gets to privilege the very hip no-really-ideas-matter-a-lot perspective of contemporary history. The form doesn't [...]

    3. Heart of Europe is one of those books which can rightfully be called a tome: a sprawling history of the Holy Roman Empire from its beginnings with Charlemagne to its dismantling by Napoleon to the ways in which the Empire has been used and abused by modern historians and politicians. I'm giving it a four stars out of five largely out of sheer respect for the mastery of such a wide range of sources and scholarship that are needed to write such a work. Peter Wilson is clearly steeped in knowledge [...]

    4. heavy, requiring constant back-and-forth between chapters, but a highly recommended book that should adorn any collection of history books for the interested non-specialist as a fundamental reference to both the Empire, medieval and pre-modern Germany and Europe more generallyI would recommend first giving an overview of the book, than starting to read whichever topics one is interested in most and then just follow the arguments through the book, rather than trying a sequential read which will m [...]

    5. Saya membeli buku ini dengan harapan untuk mengetahui secara asas tetapi teliti mengenai Holy Roman Empire (Empayar Rom Suci). Hal ini kerana saya mempunyai pengetahuan yang sangat nipis mengenai kerajaan pemerintahan yang sudah lama berkubur ini. Namun,harapan saya itu nampaknya tersasar kerana buku ini bukan ditulis untuk para pembaca seperti saya. Sebaliknya,buku ini khalayak pembacanya disasarkan kepada golongan pembaca yang sudah sedia maklum mengenai empayar di benua Eropah ini. Tidak mela [...]

    6. If people today consider the Holy Roman Empire at all, they do so merely to reflect on Voltaire's quip that it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. For modern secular commentators, the Empire embodied all of the ugliest aspects of the medieval order, which, since the time of the French Revolution, we have so justly dispensed with: it was a hideous, formless, bloated, and bewildering array of overlapping political, legal, and ecclesiastical jurisdictions. It was weak, inefficient, corrupt, [...]

    7. Peter Wilson has written a long and fairly thorough history of the Holy Roman Empire, which started with the coronation of Charlemagne and ended in 1806 (or thereabouts depending on who you read).What can you say about a 1000 year old empire that died? Quite a lot it seems. After all, the history of the empire overlaps with much of European history up through the 19th century. The problem with this, of course, is that there is an unbelievable amount of complexity at work here and it is pointless [...]

    8. A comprehensive and authoritative retelling of the Empire that rejects the previous narrative that it was a failed German nation-state unable to keep up with the modern world. Rather, changes in Europe and in the 'heart of Europe' were what led to the specific features of modernity as we know it. Wilson's main contribution is in distilling several decades of German scholarship for an anglophone audience, and is essential reading if only for its detailed history on imperial government, politics, [...]

    9. Hard to get through because it was too dense. It's probably not a bad history on the subject, but not a very rewarding read and in the end I don't really believe I've got to know the empire and its rulers better. If at all I've read an account about general European history, a rather dry and technical account. This is a book only for those really interested on the topic and with prior knowledge, or for the student who needs the information for his/her thesis.

    10. My initial inclination was to give this four stars rather than five, before I realized that it was a personal bias getting in the way: Heart of Europe isn't exactly arranged chronologically, or exactly arranged thematically, but rather a mix of both, which threw me a bit at first. But setting aside that bias jumped the rating to five stars, because it is an excellent book that gives a thorough history of a part of European history that has traditionally been ignored all too often. To summarize W [...]

    11. The author seems to have sat down before the word processor and written down his admittedly broad knowledge without much care for chronology or theme but with an overuse of passive voice and excessive wordiness. You may fill in his gaps with your own knowledge or but really what's the point?

    12. Despite having read many books about European history, I still had only the haziest idea about what the Holy Roman Empire was. The entry for it very helpfully carries a warning at the head of the page that readers should not confuse it with ‘The Roman Empire’, so I took consolation that I was not alone.Peter Wilson’s comprehensive book resolves any uncertainties about the nature, extent, achievements and ultimate decline of the Holy Roman Empire. He has produced a deeply researched and cl [...]

    13. I read this as a part of my mission to learn more about medieval Germany (often neglected in other books). There is a bunch of that in this massive book, though it continues the story up through 1806 and the dissolution of the Empire. (Forgive the overstretched joke that's coming.) One might say that this book is Roman in its structure, because rather than sticking to a chronological path it jumps around by topic, much as Roman biography used to do. It's Imperial in its goals and well, I guess i [...]

    14. This is a tough one to review I would recommend this book to everyone while cautioning that one should not expect this to be the best (or even the second best) book they've read this year, month, or even week. The topics the book covers are unimaginably important, especially in today's world (and one should keep in mind that this work covers a thousand years in the history of the vast majority of Europe), and, the approach chosen here is in-depth and thorough, especially so where the author like [...]

    15. It has been interesting, and sometimes boring, but I have to say that I learned a lot, even if this way of writing about history handling each main topic and not in chronological order didn't work this time for me. When I read SPQR it was easier because I already knew a lot of the story so the scaffolding was there, but this time it was not enough and from times to times information disappeared really fast.È stato un libro interessante, anche se a tratti noioso, ma stavolta, il modo di scrivere [...]

    16. A thick, weighty book on a vanished world, Heart of Europe is an exhaustive history of that polity which was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire. From its beginnings under Charlemagne to its quiet quietus under Francis II under the hammer blows of Napoleon, the book is not for the faint-hearted. It is a hard slog, with lots of dense details on the political, economic, and religious settlements of the 1,000 year Reich. It's not popular history, but not quite a book written for other historians, fa [...]

    17. Not an easy read but an interesting look at the institutions and social life of the Holy Roman Empire over its long existence examining both its benefits and disadvantages compared with other centralised European monarchies. The benefits explain why the Empire survived into the C19th and why the post-1806 constitutions incorporated (or attempted to incorporate) significant aspects of imperial laws.The main negative is the publisher's fault - the maps and tables in the ebook aren't scaling proper [...]

    18. Yikes! OK, this is one heck of a book. Dense dense dense, and with frequent references to proceedings, people, and places that you've never heard of. But it repays sticking with it and seeing how the same names reappear in different contexts, so that slowly you start to build up the picture. I suspect in three months I'll go through it all over again, and get a lot more value the second time round, but even after one pass I'm both humbled and impressed.

    19. Really been struggling with this book it’s packed with info but for me it’s not very readable and fails to maintain my interest or to make me enthusiastic about the subject. It’s a shame as I was really excited about delving into this when I bought it. Have decided to set it aside for now and comeback to it at some point in the future.

    20. A well researched and written book. A trove of fascinating information. The only thing that took away slightly was the presentation. This book opts for a thematic presentation which sometimes makes it feel as if you are covering the same ground more than once. This is only a minor quibble and does not take away from the overall majesty of this book.

    21. Way, way, waaaaaaaay too much detail. The final chapter on the dissolution and afterlife of the HRE was fascinating. The author believes its influence extents through to the present day in ideas behind the European Union. However, the first 654 pages contained vast barren wastelands of tedium. Enter with caution.

    22. This is an amazing work on an incredibly intricate and convoluted topic. So much information! So much deep research! Well done. Probably best read as a reference work or textbook (upper level). In other words, best read in smaller chunks.

    23. Listened to this book on Audible and did not enjoy. Great and enlightening topic but the book is all over the shop. Written in a schizophrenic manner switching backwards and forwards between centuries and topics. Maybe easier to follow the written copy.

    24. Probably needs to be read again and in companion to some detailed linear chronology of the Empire. But overall very informative and interesting

    25. Interesting overview of the Holy Roman Empire, if a little high-level and possibly assuming too much knowledge to be an introductory text.

    26. A remarkably detailed book about a period of history that has not been covered this well before. It will lead to more reading of this subject.

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