Review by Choice Review
Intended as an introduction to the society and culture of German- and Dutch-speaking Europe, c.500-1500, this encyclopedia's 647 articles by 204 contributors treat persons, places, historical occurrences, artistic and technological accomplishments, intellectual developments, and issues relating to daily life. The articles, written with general readers and experts in mind, are admirably succinct and balanced, cite bibliographies, and provide cross-references. The organization is extremely careful; besides the entries themselves, the book contains an alphabetical list of entries, a list of entries by category, an introduction, abbreviations, a list of contributors, maps, and an index. Layout and physical qualities are excellent. Despite the heavy price, highly recommended for libraries and individuals specializing in German studies. M. P. Olson Harvard University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
A few years ago, editorial staff at Garland conceived the idea of a group of encyclopedias organized around the cultural regions of medieval Europe. Medieval Scandinavia was published in 1993, followed by Medieval France in 1995 and Medieval England in 1998. Now comes this volume on Germany, with titles on Italy and Iberia in the works. Editor Jeep is an assistant professor in the Department of German, Russian, and East Asian Languages at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, and he is joined by more than 200 contributors, most from U.S. colleges and universities but some from institutions of higher learning in Europe. Nearly 650 alphabetically arranged entries cover German-and Dutch-speaking Europe from A.D. 500 to 1500. Articles cover "major persons, places, historical occurrences, artistic and technological accomplishments, intellectual developments, and daily life." Among the topics covered are Carmina Burana, Gardens and gardening, Hanseatic League, Heraldry, Jews, Meistersinger, Pregnancy and childbirth, and Printing press. There are also entries for persons, from Adam of Bremen, regarded as one of the finest historians of the early Middle Ages, to fifteenth-century painter Barthololmaus Zeitblom; and places, from the Carolingian capital Aachen to the Cistercian monastery Zwettl. Entries vary in length from a paragraph or two to 20 pages. Longer entries, such as Gothic art and architecture, are divided into subentries, each with its own contributor, see also references, and bibliography. According to the introduction, "authors were asked to keep the general reader in mind," so articles were written to be accessible to the nonspecialist as well as the scholar, and bibliographies cite English-language sources whenever possible. Preceding the entries are lists that sort contents both alphabetically and by category. The index is detailed and thorough, breaking down broader topics and citing main entries in bold type. There are just three maps. Many similar topics are covered in the Dictionary of the Middle Ages (Scribner, 1982-1989). However, anyone with a serious interest in the Middle Ages will welcome this new Garland volume, like earlier ones in the group, for the particular context it provides. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.