Bibliographic data

Curtis Giordani, Mário: História do Império Bizantino. Petrópolis: Editora Vozes Limitada, 1968, 10–11.

"Temporal Boundaries of the Middle Ages"

[p. 11]


Having outlined the possible temporal boundaries of the Middle Ages, let us move on to the problem of its geographic limits, which can be phrased in the following way: What is the geographic scenario whose events fit into the historic period in question? A simple glance through the handbooks a of Universal History will reveal to the reader that the authors classify three distinct types of civilisation b under the epigraph ‘Middle Ages’: the Western Civilisation, which developed from the great invasions and under the defining influence of Christian notions, the Byzantine Civilisation and the Arab Civilisation. The geographic frame in which these civilisations originated and expanded defines the imprecise territorial horizons of the Middle Ages.

As the reader probably observed right away, the chronological and spatial boundaries of the Middle Ages not only exhibit an artificial aspect, but they also explicitly exclude from their sphere important civilisations (like, for example, that of China) that are part of the great current of constitutive events of the General History of Humankind. In the work we are compiling under the title of Middle Ages, we will study the three aforementioned civilisations and, in passing, the civilisations that had some kind of connection to the former over the course of the millennium that spans from the demise of the Western Roman Empire until the fall of Constantinople. We will highlight an account of those events that, especially in the European West, have composed the genesis of our civilisation. The events in other regions of the world (e.g. in the Far East and also in pre-Columbian America) that are situated in the same chronological context as the ‘Middle Ages’, will need to be presented in separate volumes.


[a] Translator's note: Literally: a simple leafing through the handbooks .

[b] Translator's note: The concept civilização can mean both civilisation and culture .


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