The Militant Middle Ages

Contemporary Politics between New Barbarians and Modern Crusaders


In The Militant Middle Ages, historian Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri delves into common perceptions of the Middle Ages and how these views shape contemporary political contexts. Today more than ever, the medieval era is mined from across the political spectrum for symbols, examples, allegories, and models to represent and interpret the present. From “new crusades” to fantasy literature and cosplay, from Catholic Traditionalism to environmentalism, from neo-Vikings to medieval tourism and festivals, Carpegna Falconieri leads us in an impassioned and often disquieting journey through the “Modern Middle Ages.” The first book-length study dedicated to the broad phenomenon of political medievalism, The Militant Middle Ages offers a new lens for scrutinizing contemporary society through its instrumentalization of the medieval past.

First published in Italian as Medioevo militante. La politica di oggi alle prese con barbari e crociati - © 2011 Giulio Einaudi editore s.p.a., Torino.

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Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri, Ph.D. (1996), is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Urbino. Among his numerous books and articles on Italian history and medievalism is The Man Who Believed He Was King of France (Chicago, 2008).
  Preface to the English Edition (2019)


1 The Neo-Medieval West

2 All New Barbarians and Same Old Crusaders

3 Once upon a Time in the Middle Ages

4 The Middle Ages of Identity

5 Merchants and Bowmen: Middle Ages of the City

6 Folk and Jesters: Anarchist and Leftist Middle Ages

7 Templars and Holy Grail: Middle Ages of Tradition

8 Warriors of Valhalla: Middle Ages of the Great North

9 Druids and Bards: Celtic Middle Ages

10 Popes and Saints: Catholic Middle Ages

11 Peoples and Sovereigns: Middle Ages of Nations

12 Emperors and Wanderers: Middle Ages of a United Europe


  References and Sources
  Index of Personal Names
All interested in contemporary history, political science, and communication and media studies; in public history and its instrumentalization in current affairs; and in medieval studies and medievalism.
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