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By Richard Hoffmann

Because the first actual publication of its type, An Environmental historical past of Medieval Europe offers a hugely unique survey of medieval family members with the flora and fauna. attractive with the interdisciplinary firm of environmental historical past, it examines the best way normal forces affected humans, how humans replaced their atmosphere, and the way they thought of the area round them. Exploring key subject matters in medieval historical past - together with the decline of Rome, non secular doctrine, and the lengthy fourteenth century - Hoffmann attracts clean conclusions approximately enduring questions relating to agrarian economies, tenurial rights, know-how and urbanization. Revealing the importance of the flora and fauna on occasions formerly regarded as in basic terms human, the booklet explores concerns together with the therapy of animals, sustainability, epidemic illness and weather switch, and through introducing medieval heritage within the context of social ecology, brings the flora and fauna into historiography as an agent and item of heritage itself.

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1). On its southern margin the Mediterranean basin comprises the sea and a narrow, mountainous coastal strip. 1 Europe’s land forms and principal geographic regions Natural dynamics in Holocene Europe 25 contains relatively few and small areas of level ground. Bedrock lies close to the soil surface in much of its abrupt relief. Young and highly folded mountains of the Alpine system bound the entire northern shore of the Mediterranean, extending from the Pyrenees to the Caucasus with only a few major breaks to ease regular or large-scale passage.

At first this comprised cereal grasses, legumes, and ‘ovicaprids’ (a collective term for sheep and goats, closely related herbivores often indistinguishable in archaeological contexts). Intensive hand labour by humans maintained the system until draught animals (oxen, donkey) and a simple plough arrived by the early Bronze Age. European communities equipped with these technologies practised rainfalldependent ‘dry farming’, different from the flood and irrigation systems by then used in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

This moved some Romans to compose manuals of agricultural practice. 60CE), and others provide more information on overall purposes, managerial intent, and traditional knowledge of farming than is otherwise available in Europe for another 1,500 years. For all their skewed perspectives and very large omissions, the Roman agronomists offer one important avenue into classical thinking about the natural world. Ancient Greco-Roman environmental thought was largely enmeshed in religious-philosophical-scientific speculation, manifest in several idea complexes, not a single package.

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