This text, designed for use in one- and two-term medieval history courses, is based on a political framework that includes social and cultural history. It emphasizes both high and popular culture, exploring what life was like in the court, the city, the countryside, and academia.
The narrative emphasizes two underlying themes: the gradual development of ideas of freedom and individuality, and the slow change from an oral culture to a literate society. The text primarily focuses on Europe, but also gives extensive attention to the areas that affected Europe, such as Byzantium and the Islamic world."Medieval Voices" features present excerpts from sources of the period."Medieval People" features include brief biographies of significant historical figures of the period.The text features an extensive map and illustration program.