5 thoughts on “From the Brink of the Apocalypse

  1. I love the Black Death, I really do. I find it so fascinating how our ancestors lived: precarious and full of fear of sickness all the time. We have no idea. This is a very interesting analysis of a dark time in humanity and why it was so awful. Average lifespan of 25? 10-30 percent of the population wiped out as disease swept through the continent? Horrific and fascinating.

  2. John Aberth’s From the Brink of the Apocalypse is a broad scope presentation of the interrelated elements of famine, war and plague and their effect upon the social and cultural landscape of fourteenth century Europe. Organized around the “Four Horseman” trope, Aberth attempts to illustrate that the Black Death was only one of the catastrophic influences upon the population. This edition is updated to include new scholarship and a re-written “Epitaph” chapter that addresses his underlying, thoug

  3. Good in some parts, but also tries too hard to make the apocalyptic thesis fit. Special mention though for Aberth – bizarrely – claiming that the persecution of the Jews occurred outside of longstanding resentment of Jews and didn’t mark a change in Jewish-Christian relations because it was “a quite rational attempt to avert or end the plague.” He doesn’t say the action was “rational” or defend the pogroms, but he does play down anti-Semitism as the cause of pogroms (though he then seems to cont

  4. Criticised by some on its release, this book has now gone into a second edition and is vital reading for anyone interested in the European (especially British) Mediaeval worldview.

Leave a Reply