Peter Raedts

Peter Raedts is professor of medieval history at the Radboud University Nijmegen. He studied history in Utrecht and theology in Amsterdam. In 1984 he obtained his doctorate in history at Oxford with a thesis on the medieval theologian Richard Rufus of Cornwall. He then became increasingly fascinated by the topic of how people deal with their past, what they take from it for their own use, what they leave behind and forget, and why.

The Discovery of the Middle Ages

The Discovery of the Middle Ages

History of an illusion

(Wereldbibliotheek, 2011, 432 pages)

Until the late eighteenth century the Middle Ages were regarded as a dark, barbaric era between Classical Antiquity and the Enlightenment. Then the period began to be seen as exemplifying authen­tic humanity, mutual solidarity and reciprocal responsibility, embedded in close-knit national communities. Histo­rian Peter Raedts connects this radical change of attitude with the industrializa­tion of a previously agrarian society and the rise of the modern nation state.

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