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The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History by Colin McEveedy

October 22, 2009

I agree; not the most inspiring book title in the world. However this one is on my list of recommendations with good reason.

Well told, and well laid out, this book follows a format of a one-page map opposite a one-page explanation of what was going on at the time. The maps show shifting borders and empires and nations rise and fall, and new migrations give rise to new nationalities.

This is no dry list of kings and battles. The social and political systems get their airing, and the maps also show trade routes and resources, population centres, and the boundaries of religion.

In describing the book I feel like I am doing it a disservice. If you’ve ever wondered where things came from, why certain things are so, or why some countries have a mixed religion and others just one, many of the answers lie in this book. So much useful and engaging information packed into one compact package.

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