For introductory courses on Medieval History or Medieval Europe, or a supplement for survey courses in Western Civilization, World Civilizations, or for literature and art history courses that deal with the medieval period. Using a fresh, lively narrative, this innovative history of medieval Europe provides a coherent description of the chaotic, but compelling, era. It focuses, but not narrowly, on the history of Europe from the fifth through the fifteenth centuries - setting the subject in the broader context of world events. It explains complex issues (e.g., social evolution, scholasticism, etc.) clearly and illuminates large issues by showing how they manifested themselves intimately and directly in the lives of memorable individuals.