• Sign In
  • Help
  • My Basket0
The Measure of Multitude: Population in Medieval Thought (Hardback)
  • The Measure of Multitude: Population in Medieval Thought (Hardback)
zoom

The Measure of Multitude: Population in Medieval Thought (Hardback)

(author)
£120.00
Hardback 506 Pages / Published: 14/12/2000
  • We can order this

Usually despatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket

Check Marketplace availability

Peter Biller's innovative study challenges the view that medieval thought was fundamentally abstract. He shows how, by 1300, medieval men and women were beginning to measure multitude, counting, for example, numbers of boys and girls being baptized. Their mental capacity to grapple with population, to get its measure, was developing, and the author describes how medieval people thought about population through both the texts which contained their thought and the medieval realities which shaped it. He asserts that they found many topics - such as the history of population and variations between polygamy, monogamy and virginity-through theology, and that crusade and travel literature supplied the themes of Muslim polygamy, military numbers, the colonization of the Holy Land, and the populations of Mongolia and China. Translations of Aristotle provided not only new themes but also a new vocabulary with which to think about population. The Measure of Multitude sets academic discussions of population alongside the medieval facts of 'birth, and copulation, and death' to provide a challenging new approach to the study of medieval demographic thought.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198206323
Number of pages: 506
Weight: 889 g
Dimensions: 243 x 163 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
... this tour de force of intellectual archaeology ... a fascinating exposition of a whole series of 'demographic' subjects to which medieval writers gave their attention. * English Historical Review *
... a work of intellectual integrity and humility. Biller is acutely sensitive to what the surviving evidence can or cannot sustain ... a model of how intellectual history should be written, a work which is impressive as much for its formal approach as for its final conclusions. * English Historical Review *
This is a book which entertains as much as it instructs ... a lucid, scholarly, imaginative and persuasive book. Not the least of Biller's achievements is to have made so compelling a model for 'intellectual history' such an exciting read as well. * English Historical Review *
There are many strengths to this book, not least the imaginative lateral thinking required to conceive the topic in the first place ... an outstanding and original study, which approaches the high middle ages (in its reality as well as its thought worlds) from an unexpected but remarkably productive direction. Its heterogeneous interests should inspire a wide readership, including scholars of medieval medicine, population, theological thought, religious practice and canon law. * History *
This excellent book is not a study of medieval population (although it does contain, amongst many other riches, a helpful summary of work on medieval demography) but concerns how medieval people thought about population ... astounding range of material. * History *
Peter Biller has produced a trail-blazing book, packed with intellectual fireworks. It fuses diverse sources and scraps of information to detonate an explosion of insights ... anyone interested in pre-modern medicine must read it. It will stimulate and satisfy the curiosity of students and researchers alike. * Medical History *
Biller takes the reader on a grand tour of sources and themes ... There is no jargon in his book. He sensitively lets these texts speak, contextualizes them, and occasionally offers informed conjectures whenever the text does not provide a clear-cut proof. * Medical History *
This is not only a solid scholarly enterprise on the highest level, it is also a pedagogic manifesto of how one can and perhaps should handle historical sources. * Medical History *
This is an impressive piece of scholarship. Through careful explication of the sources, Biller provides an account of medieval demography that places medicine in a new and exciting context, one which gave medical theory added relevance for its contemporaries . This is a story to which every historian of medieval medicine will want to pay close attention. * Social History of Medicine *
Biller adopts a sophisticated approach to his material ... This work is primarily an exercise in the history of ideas, but it is also an extremely rich source of information for social historians of medicine. * Social History of Medicine *
Peter Biller ends his book with a question: is medieval demographic thought recognisably there? He has left his readers with only one possible answer - and in doing so changed the way we must think not just about the medieval past but about what has come after in terms of understanding the world. * History Today *

You may also be interested in...

The Swerve
Added to basket
£11.99
Paperback
How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World
Added to basket
Two Girls, One on Each Knee
Added to basket
The History of Sexuality
Added to basket
Madness
Added to basket
£11.99
Paperback
The Kit-Cat Club
Added to basket
£11.99
Paperback
Religion and the Decline of Magic
Added to basket
The Scottish Enlightenment
Added to basket
Germany and the Holy Roman Empire
Added to basket
Event
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Russian Thinkers
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
A New History of Western Philosophy
Added to basket
Plato: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
The Order of Things
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.