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Europe around 1500

| Discussion topics | Documents | E-Texts | Reading |

Discussion topics

  • Why is historical periodization such a difficult task? When does 'early modernity' begin?
  • Which states were the significant 'powers' in Europe c.1500? What were the interests and objectives of their rulers?
  • How can we describe the economic system at the end of the Middle Ages?
  • How was the Church in Western Europe organized c.1500? What was the role and significance of the papacy?


**NOTE: Some e-resources are accessible only on-campus or via off-campus proxies or the athens service**






* You may also like to refer to the readings listed under 'Reference Works'

Key Texts

E. Cameron, 'Editor's Introduction', in his: Early Modern Europe (1999)

B. Kümin (ed.), The European World (2009), Part I ‘Starting Points’ (Europe in 1500 / Beyond Europe c. 1500)

A. Pagden, 'Europe and the World around', in: Cameron (ed.), Early Modern Europe (1999) (scanned extract)

R. W. Scribner, 'Understanding early modern Europe', Historical Journal 30 (1987) [review article]

Other Introductory Works

C. Cook, The Longman Handbook of Early Modern Europe (2001)

G. Elton, Reformation Europe (1963)

G. Elton, New Cambridge Modern History, vol. 2: The Reformation, 1520-1559 (1990 edn) (ebook)

S. Fletcher, The Longman Companion to Renaissance Europe, 1330-1590 (1999)

J. R. Hale, Renaissance Europe 1480-1520 (1971)

H. Koenigsberger & G. Mosse, Europe in the Sixteenth Century (new edn, 1989)

Peter Linehan and Janet Nelson eds., The Medieval World (2003)

R. MacKenney, Sixteenth-Century Europe (1993)

A. Pettegree, Europe in the Sixteenth Century (2002)

A. Pettegree, 'Introduction' to The Reformation World (London, 2000) (ebook)

R. Porter & M. Teich (eds), The Renaissance in National Context (1992)

J. Shennan, Origins of the Modern European State 1450-1725 (1974)

L. Spitz, The Renaissance and Reformation Movements (1971)

R. N. Swanson, Religion and Devotion in Europe c. 1215-c. 1515 (1995)

J. A. F. Thomson, Popes and Princes 1417-1517: Politics and Piety in the Late Medieval Church (1980)

Module Forum

Module Homepage




External Websites

The European World - companion website to the European World course textbook. Includes links to primary sources and useful websites, an image gallery, glossary, interactive timeline of European history

Late Medieval Maps 1300-1500

Gothic Cathedrals

Historical Texts (E-book platform): - offers access to 350,000 texts published, chiefly in Britain, from the late C15th to the C19th.

The European Library - offers access to the collections of the 48 National Libraries of Europe and leading European Research Libraries