Originally published in 1953 From Roman Empire to Renaissance Europe looks at the broader picture of the Middle Ages, drawn in terms of the men and women and the situations that they had to face. The constant theme of change is revealed not by detailed narrative of elements but by commentary and examples that show how ideas and systems developed, and how theses affected the patterns of everyday life. The book looks at how the Roman Empire of the West gave way to a decentralized society, vigorous, brutal and inventive for which the only unifying factor was a universal acceptance of Latin Christianity. In turn Christendom began to lose its coherence during the 13th and 14th centuries and by the fifteenth century Europe had emerged as a rival term, a Europe in which the landed magnates had capitulated to the omnipotent and ubiquitous prince, commerce, as well as land now being a source of wealth. This is not a static picture of the ‘Middle Ages’ with fixed characteristics, but of real men and women facing genuine situations.