Early Middle Ages - Resource Bibliography

Publications - Early Middle Ages

The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe

By George Holmes
Oxford Press (2001)
440 Pages

Covering a thousand years of history, this richly illustrated volume tells the story of the creation of Western civilization in Europe and the Mediterranean. Written by noted scholars and based on the latest research, it offers the most authoritative account of life in medieval Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire to the coming of the Renaissance.


A Comprehensive Publication on Medieval  European Studies!

The Inheritance of Rome

By Chris Wickham
Penguin Books (2010)
688 Pages

Defying the conventional Dark Ages view of European history between A.D. 400 and 1000, award-winning historian Chris Wickham presents The Inheritance of Rome, a work of remarkable scope and rigorous yet accessible scholarship. Drawing on a wealth of new material and featuring a thoughtful synthesis of historical and archaeological approaches, Wickham argues that these centuries were critical in the formulation of European identity.

A unique and enlightening look at Europe's so-called Dark Ages!

The Middle Ages

By Morris Bishop
Mariner Books (2001)
352 Pages

THE MIDDLE AGES is the full story of the thousand years between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance — a time that saw the rise of kings and emperors, the flowering of knighthood, the development of Europe, the increasing power of the Church, and the advent of the middle class. With exceptional grace and wit, Morris Bishop vividly reconstructs this distinctive era of European history in a work that will inform and delight scholars and general readers alike.

Both authoritative and beautifully told!

Muhammad - His Life Based on the Earliest Sources

By Martin Lings
Inner Traditions (2006)
384 Pages

Martin Lings’ biography of Muhammad is an internationally acclaimed, comprehensive, and authoritative account of the life of the prophet. Based on the sira, the eighth- and ninth-century Arabic biographies that recount numerous events in the prophet’s life, it contains original English translations of many important passages that reveal the words of men and women who heard Muhammad speak and witnessed the events of his life. 

Scrupulous and exhaustive in its fidelity to its sources!

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

Translated By M. A. S. Abdel Haleem
Oxford Press (2008)
502 Pages

This superb new translation of the Qur'an is written in contemporary language that remains faithful to the meaning and spirit of the original, making the text crystal clear while retaining all of this great work's eloquence.


The translation is accurate and completely free from the archaisms, incoherence, and alien structures that mar existing translations. Thus, for the first time, English-speaking readers will have a text of the Qur'an which is easy to use and comprehensible. 


The Great Courses - Early Middle Ages


Documentaries - Early Middle Ages

The Dark Ages

2007 – History

Beginning with Rome's fall in the fifth century, this History Channel presentation sheds light on the Dark Ages, covering the continent-wide chaos, including raids by Vikings, Vandals and Visigoths, bubonic plague, famine, civil unrest and more. The program takes viewers from the darkest of times to the dawn of a new beginning as the turmoil besieging Europe gives rise to the Crusades, the Enlightenment and the Renaissance.

Byzantium – The Lost Empire

2007 – TLC

This documentary explores an ancient territory whose cultures sculpted much of today's Western world. The Byzantine Empire existed for more than 1,000 years as the first Christian empire, with influence on three continents for over 11 centuries. This civilization had the potential to follow in the footsteps of Greece and Rome, but was all but decimated by careless intruders. Historian John Romer hosts this fascinating program.

When the Moors Ruled Europe

2008 – Acorn Media

In this engrossing documentary, historian Bettany Hughes turns her attention to the mystery surrounding the Moors' 700-year reign over the Iberian Peninsula and the subsequent effect of Islamic culture on Western Europe.

Inside Mecca

2003 – Nat Geo

Journey to the very heart of Islam with this captivating documentary exploring the holy city of Mecca. Learn about Mecca's historical significance in Islam and experience the powerful meaning of the haji, as seen through the eyes of three pilgrims.

Vikings in North America

1995 – A/E

The exploits of Eric the Red. The legend of Leif Ericson. The struggle for power the bond of a family and the courage to sail beyond a dark and dangerous ocean. Guided by their hopes the explorers of the North moved their horizon west in an odyssey of ice and uncertainty. Five hundred years before Christopher Columbus can we find VIKINGS IN NORTH AMERICA?

Secrets of the Viking Sword

2017 – PBS

The Vikings were among the fiercest warriors of all time. Yet only a select few carried the ultimate weapon of their era: the feared Ulfberht sword. Fashioned using a process that would remain unknown to the Vikings' rivals for centuries, the Ulfberht was a revolutionary high-tech tool as well as a work of art. Considered one of the greatest swords ever made, it remains a fearsome weapon more than a millennium after it last saw battle.

Kings and Queens of England

2006 – Kultur

These illuminating programs explore the lives and times of the English Kings and Queens from Anglo-Saxon times to the House of Windsor and provide an absorbing journey through England's monarchy.-  Features period imagery and superb character


Engineering an Empire – Byzantines

2005 – History

The origins of the great civilization known as the Byzantine Empire can be traced to 330 A.D., when the Roman emperor Constantine I dedicated a “new Rome” on the site of the ancient Greek colony of Byzantium. Though the western half of the Roman Empire crumbled and fell in 476, the eastern half survived for 1,000 more years, spawning a rich tradition of art, literature and learning and serving as a military buffer between the states of Europe and the threat of invasion from Asia. The Byzantine Empire finally fell in 1453, after an Ottoman army stormed Constantinople during the reign of Constantine XI.

Inside Islam

2009 – History

This ambitious, wide-ranging documentary from the History Channel covers Muhammad's revelation, the growth of the Islamic religion and cultural matters that tend to puzzle non-Muslims about the ancient culture. 

Islam – Empire of Faith

2000 – PBS

Ben Kingsley narrates the spectacular story of the great sweep of Islamic power and faith during its first 1000 years - from the birth of the Prophet to the peak of the Ottoman Empire. In three 55-minute episodes, through re-enactments, art, architecture and scholarly comment, the epic story unfolds of the history and culture of an empire of faith that dominated a millennium and encompassed half the world.

Viking Wars

2009 – Cromwell

During the long years of the Dark Ages, the sight which signaled fear and terror for the inhabitants of coastal Britain was the first glimpse of an unfamiliar sail on the horizon. The sighting of the famous long ships heralded the arrival of Viking raiders; the harbingers of death and destruction.

Monarchy With David Starkey

2004 – Granada

Hosted by eminent British historian David Starky in his dramatic, no-holds-barred style, Monarchy ambitiously covers the entire 1,500-year history of British royalty. The filming of Monarchy was done on location at some of the most glorious historical sites in Europe.

Miraculous Canals of Venice

2006 – A&E

Of all the world's great cities, none defies nature and logic like Venice. This jewel of western civilization, built in the water, stands bravely against time and tide, weathering the capricious floods that have endangered its very existence since its birth, some 1500 years ago.

Secrets of the Koran

2006 – History

Trace the influence of the Koran from the Golden Age of Islam to the modern rise of jihadism, and hear from top Islamic scholars and holy men as they share their insights into the work that lies at the foundation of one of the world’s great religions.

The Vikings

2006 – PBS

While they're often portrayed in movies and history books as horned-helmeted barbarians, this fascinating installment of "Nova" reveals the Vikings to have been more civilized than we give them credit for. Startling new research from historians indicates that the 8th century Norsemen were, in fact, also shrewd merchants, accomplished artisans and superbly creative when it came to feats of nautical engineering.

Vikings Unearthed

2016 – PBS

Through stunning CGI recreations and careful investigation of archaeological 

evidence, "Vikings Unearthed" unravels the secrets of these intrepid adventurers. And now, new evidence is coming to light that these pioneering people may have ventured even farther than we had suspected. Renowned space archaeologist Sarah Parcak takes up the case, and is on the trail of the Vikings. What she discovers just might rewrite history.

Theatrical Features


The Message (1976)

After seeing a vision of the angel Gabriel, Mohammad calls to the people of Mecca to cast aside their idols and worship God. Mohammad and his followers are exiled to Medina, but God commands them to return to Mecca and fight their oppressors. Mohammad's uncle -- a brave warrior named Hamza (Anthony Quinn) -- leads the charge. This sweeping historical epic received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score.

Vikings (HBO)


Set in medieval Scandinavia, this gritty drama charts the adventures of renowned Viking hero Ragnar Lothbrok as he extends the Norse reach by challenging the rule of an unfit leader who lacks vision.

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