Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Year M

The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium. Little, Brown & Company, 2000.

A good straight forward overview that sets a context for the years surrounding the year M (1000). Lacey and Danziger use a manuscript of the Julius Work Calendar for a month by month look at the life in Anglo-Saxon England. It was written in anticipation of the 2nd millennium, and ends on the one hand with a jab at nostalgia and on the other with an endorsement of the hard work, cooperation, and tolerance that was necessary for survival at the time of the first millennium. The authors indirectly suggest that we should keep these qualities in mind as we go forward into the current millennium without knowing about the degree of our current lack of cooperation and tolerance in the second decade of the second millennium. Broadly speaking, the authors look at religion and the transition to Christianity, technology and craftsmanship, agriculture, trade, commerce, and war.

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