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The Middle Ages is a term coined around 1450 to describe a thousand years of European History. In this Very Short Introduction, Miri Rubin provides an exploration of the variety, change, dynamism, and sheer complexity that the period covers. From the provinces of the Roman Empire, which became Barbarian kingdoms after c.450-650, to the northern and eastern regions that became increasingly integrated into Europe, Rubin explores the emergence of a truly global system of communication, conquest, and trade by the end of the era. Presenting an insight into the challenges of life in Europe between 500-1500 - at all levels of society - Rubin looks at kingship and family, agriculture and trade, groups and individuals. Conveying the variety of European experiences, while providing a sense of the communication, cooperation, and shared values of the pervasive Christian culture, Rubin looks at the legacies they left behind. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.