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Medieval, Renaissance, & Reformation History

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  1. An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies

    Bartolomé De Las Casas
    Edited, with Introduction, by Franklin W. Knight,
    Translated by Andrew Hurley

    An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies

    “This is a splendid new translation of Brevísima Relación, the famous denunciation of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, written by Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas (1483-1566). . . . The Hackett edition of Brevísima Relación . . . has a lot to offer to undergraduates. . . . Knight’s introduction to the text makes in fact for a compelling read. . . . Together with Knight’s ample annotations, which refer students to the most up-to-date secondary literature, it makes for a wonderful introduction to the history of Europe’s expansion into the Western Hemisphere.”
         —Martine van Ittersum, Journal of Early Modern History

  2. Augsburg During the Reformation Era

    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by B. Ann Tlusty

    Augsburg During the Reformation Era

    "Sixteenth-century Augsburg comes to life in this beautifully chosen and elegantly translated selection of original documents. Ranging across the whole panoply of social activity from the legislative reformation to work, recreation, and family life, these extracts make plain the subtle system of checks and balances, violence, and self-regulation that brought order and vibrancy to a sophisticated city community. Most of all we hear sixteenth-century people speak: in their petitions and complaints, their nervous responses under interrogation, their rage and laughter. Tlusty has done an invaluable service in crafting a collection that should be an indispensable part of the teaching syllabus."
         —Andrew Pettegree, University of St. Andrews

  3. Byzantine Philosophy

    Basil Tatakis
    Translated, with Introduction, and Notes, by Nicholas Moutafakis

    Byzantine Philosophy

    “The translation of Tatakis’ 1949 book is a welcome contribution to the field as it offers a remarkable overview of Byzantine philosophy for specialists and students alike. . . . Moutafakis has performed a great service to the English-speaking academic world not only with his very readable translation of what is standard reading material in many universities in Europe but also with the useful list (at the end of the book) of contributions to the field made after the original French edition.”
         —Yannis Papadoyannakis, Religious Studies Review

  4. Columbus on Himself

    Felipe Fernández-Armesto

    Columbus on Himself

    "Columbus had been the subject of many biographies, but the approach of Columbus on Himself is unique. Fernández-Armesto has created, as far as it is possible, an account of Christopher Columbus's life based on his own words. Columbus left far more potentially autobiographical writings than his contemporary explorers from the age of European expansion, but there are gaps in the record. Fernández-Armesto has arranged Columbus's writings chronologically so readers can see Columbus's development, and intersperses them with his insightful commentary. The translations are Fernández-Armesto's own. Recommended."
        —R. Fritze, Athens State University, in Choice

  5. Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World

    James E. Lindsay

    Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World

    "Lindsay gives an excellent overview of the medieval Islamic world.  Intended for an audience with little or no background on this topic, the book offers a thorough introduction to the beginnings of Islam, its history up to the year 1300, and material on a wide range of other topics, e.g., warfare, social practices, entertainment, and geography. . . . Numerous maps, photographs, and illustrations are spread throughout the text. . . . This book will be very valuable to history students and anyone interested in learning about the faith and practices of Muslims.  Highly recommended."

  6. Discourse on Voluntary Servitude

    Étienne de La Boétie
    Translated by James B. Atkinson & David Sices
    Introduction and Notes by James B. Atkinson

    Discourse on Voluntary Servitude

    "An excellent translation: clear, crisp and accurate. The introduction is also a helpful contextualization of the text, Boétie's relation to Montaigne, and a brief discussion of the history of this important text on non-cooperation in the 20th-Century. I highly recommend it for courses in the history of political theory and of non-cooperation as a means of regime change."
         —James Tully, Department of Political Science, University of Victoria

  7. Florence in the Age of the Medici and Savonarola, 1464–1498

    Kenneth Bartlett

    Florence in the Age of the Medici and Savonarola, 1464–1498

    Series: Passages: Key Moments in History

    "A brief narrative overview of the mainly political history of Florence to the end of the fifteenth century that also offers an attractive collection of illustrative documents, aimed to engage student interest and discussion." —Melissa Bullard, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    "Bartlett cuts through the political complexities of fifteenth-century Florence to offer students an engaging and accessible narrative supplemented by a wide range of relevant primary documents. This story of a key turning point in Florentine history continues to have much relevance in our own society.” —Brian J. Maxson, East Tennessee State University

  8. Jesuit Writings of the Early Modern Period

    Edited and Translated by John Patrick Donnelly, S. J.

    Jesuit Writings of the Early Modern Period

    "A first-rate piece of work, very useful both for undergraduate and graduate students.  Also of real interest for non-scholars, non-students, and people interested in Jesuits in general.  The introductions are especially valuable in situating the readings in context.  The Illustrations are well-chosen."
         —John W. Padberg, S. J., Director, The Institute of Jesuit Studies

  9. Machiavelli: Selected Political Writings

    Niccolo Machiavelli
    Edited and Translated by David Wootton

    Machiavelli: Selected Political Writings

    “The Introduction is vibrant, comprehensive and persuasive. Manages to address the needs of undergraduates while constituting an original contribution to contemporary scholarship. Bravo!” —Alan Houston, University of California, San Diego

    “Wootton’s Introduction is an excellent piece of work that offers both scholars and students a valuable guide to Machiavelli’s texts.”  —Maurizio Viroli, Princeton University 

  10. Montaigne: Selected Essays

    Michel de Montaigne
    Translated by James B. Atkinson and David Sices
    Introduction and Notes by James B. Atkinson

    Montaigne: Selected Essays

    "A superb achievement, one that successfully brings together in accessible form the work of two major writers of Renaissance France. This is now the default version of Montaigne in English." —Timothy Hampton, University of California, Berkeley

    "Inspired. In every page—beginning with Atkinson's brilliant Introduction—this magical Montaigne betrays a lifetime of meditation on its subject." —Stephen G. Nichols, Johns Hopkins University

  11. On Law, Morality, and Politics (Second Edition)

    Thomas Aquinas
    Edited by William P. Baumgarth and Richard J. Regan, S. J.

    On Law, Morality, and Politics (Second Edition)

    The second edition of Aquinas, On Law, Morality, and Politics retains the selection of texts presented in the first edition but offers them in new translations by Richard J. Regan—including that of his Aquinas, Treatise on Law (Hackett, 2000). A revised Introduction and glossary, an updated select bibliography, and the inclusion of summarizing headnotes for each of the units—Conscience, Law, Justice, Property, War and Killing, Obedience and Rebellion, and Practical Wisdom and Statecraft—further enhance its usefulness.

  12. On the Dignity of Man

    Pico Della Mirandola
    Translations by Charles Glenn Wallis, Paul J. W. Miller, and Douglas Carmichael
    Introduction by Paul J. W. Miller

    On the Dignity of Man

    Reflecting the broad range of interests of a major Renaissance philosopher and his distinctive brand of syncretism, this anthology offers in their entirety three central works of Pico’s. On the Dignity of Man, the quintessential expression of Renaissance humanism, appears in the context of two lesser known but equally representative mature works: On Being and the One, a treatise defending what Pico held to be the agreement between Aristotle and Plato on the relation between unity and being, and Heptaplus, an interpretation, influenced by a blend of cabalism and Christian doctrine, of the first verses of Genesis. New Selected Bibliography.

  13. On the Freedom of a Christian

    Martin Luther
    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Tryntje Helfferich

    On the Freedom of a Christian

    "The translations are accurate and clear, and the introductory essay does a wonderful job of distilling complicated theological controversies into terms that are comprehensible by an undergraduate audience. The edition's greatest asset, though, is the range of texts that it includes. By including works by Luther's Catholic opponents and his erstwhile allies, this edition demonstrates that On the Freedom of a Christian represented not only a high point in Luther's thought, but also a starting point in a debate that spanned Christendom and had massive social and political implications." —Philip Haberkern, Boston University

    "On the one hand, [the related texts] introduce readers to the key theological concepts taught by Luther, the Catholic theologians, and the radical reformers. On the other hand, they disclose the social, cultural, and economic aspects—topics that are of paramount interest in recent Reformation scholarship. The introductory essay in each section is crisp, clear, and concise. The success of this work is the ability to distill complicated theological controversies and divergent contents into nuances that are accessible to a wider audience." —Dennis Ngien, Tyndale University College & Seminary, in Renaissance and Reformation

  14. Readings in Medieval Political Theory: 1100-1400

    Edited by Cary J. Nederman and Kate Langdon Forhan

    Readings in Medieval Political Theory: 1100-1400

    This anthology includes writings of both well-known theorists such as Thomas Aquinas and John of Salisbury as well as those lesser known, including Christine de Pisan and Marie de France, and will be of value to students of the history of political theory as well as those of medieval intellectual history.

  15. Reformation Thought

    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Margaret L. King

    Reformation Thought

    "A superb anthology of primary sources relating most directly to sixteenth-century Reformation movements. The initial selection is from the late fourteenth century and the final two from the mid-eighteenth century. The fifty texts here are wide and well focused. They are drawn from forty-one authors with diversities across many categories—birth, occupation, gender, religious orders, and 'the rest married women of middling and noble rank.' . . . This book has many excellencies. It can be highly recommended as a well-conceived collection of well-constructed presentations and as an eminently useful textbook."
    —Donald K. McKim, in Renaissance Quarterly

    Click here to see the complete Table of Contents (PDF).

    Read Margaret King's post, Teaching the Reformation in a Secular Age, on The Hackett Colloquim blog.

  16. Renaissance Humanism

    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Margaret L. King

    Renaissance Humanism

    "By far the best collection of sources to introduce readers to Renaissance humanism in all its many guises. What distinguishes this stimulating and useful anthology is the vision behind it: King shows that Renaissance thinkers had a lot to say, not only about the ancient world—one of their habitual passions—but also about the self, how civic experience was configured, the arts, the roles and contributions of women, the new science, the 'new' world, and so much more."
    —Christopher S. Celenza, Johns Hopkins University

    Read Margaret King's post, Teaching the Reformation in a Secular Age, on The Hackett Colloquim blog.

  17. The Battle over Free Will

    Erasmus & Luther
    Edited, with notes, by Clarence H. Miller
    Translated by Clarence H. Miller and Peter Macardle
    Introduction by James D. Tracy

    The Battle over Free Will

    This compilation of writings from Erasmus and Luther’s great debate—over free will and grace, and their respective efficacy for salvation—offers a fuller representation of the disputants’ main arguments than has ever been available in a single volume in English. Included are key, corresponding selections from not only Erasmus’ conciliatory A Discussion or Discourse concerning Free Will and Luther’s forceful and fully argued rebuttal, but—with the battle now joined—from Erasmus’ own forceful and fully argued rebuttal of Luther. Students of Reformation theology, Christian humanism, and sixteenth-century rhetoric will find here the key to a wider appreciation of one of early modern Christianity’s most illuminating and disputed controversies.

  18. The Book of Her Life

    Teresa of Avila
    Translated, with Notes, by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD & Otilio Rodriguez, OCD; Introduction by Jodi Bilinkoff

    The Book of Her Life

    The Hackett edition of Teresa of Avila's spiritual autobiography features Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez's authoritative translation of The Book of Her Life with a new Introduction by Jodi Bilinkoff that will prove especially valuable to students of Early Modern Spain, the history of Christian spirituality, and classic women writers.  A map, chronology, and index are also included.

  19. The Book of John Mandeville

    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Iain Macleod Higgins

    The Book of John Mandeville

    "The Book of John Mandeville, one of the most important medieval travel books, has been translated into English from the original Anglo-Norman French for the first time since the late fourteenth century. Iain Macleod Higgins's accurate, readable, and judiciously edited rendering now supersedes the modernizations of Middle English versions that have hitherto been the English-speaking world's chief access to a work second only to Marco Polo's Travels in its influence and the duration of its popularity. Higgins's copious annotation, detailed index, and inclusion of translated excerpts from Mandeville's sources and other relevant texts make this a historically important contribution to our knowledge of medieval travel literature and of Western perceptions of non-Western peoples. Impressive scholarship combines with skillful translation of a medieval work with great modern relevance." —Modern Language Association

  20. The Crusades

    Helen Nicholson

    The Crusades

    "Nicholson discusses the many different types of crusades, including not only the expeditions to the Holy Land, but also those against heretics and pagans in Europe; the "reconquest" of Spain from the Muslims; and crusades against the Turks in the Balkans. She also discusses the different schools of thought among historians as to how to define crusades and why medieval Christians went on them. . . . The appended biographies and glossary are well done, but even more useful are the relevant primary documents conveniently included."
         —School Library Journal

  21. The Description of the World

    Marco Polo
    Translated, with an Introduction and Annotations, by Sharon Kinoshita

    The Description of the World

    "Marco Polo’s account provided both what was thought to be a reliable guide to East Asia—Columbus carried with him a heavily annotated copy of Marco Polo’s work during his own expedition to the Americas—and an intriguingly fantastical account that for centuries has continued to fuel the imagination of poets and artists. Kinoshita’s superb, groundbreaking translation brilliantly renders into modern English this crucial text of the Middle Ages. Indispensable in the undergraduate and graduate classroom, The Description of the World will also appeal to a wide range of readers curious about the medieval encounter of East and West."
         —Suzanne Conklin Akbari, University of Toronto

  22. PNG

    Translated and Edited, with an Introduction, by Michael Harney

    The Epic of The Cid

    "Harney’s translation and literary panorama will become a standard reference for students and scholars throughout the English-speaking world for decades to come. Harney’s profound knowledge of the cultural and creative ferment that surrounded the birth of this masterpiece is unchallenged. . . . The complementary medieval texts that Harney assembles—all the bright fragments that make up this mosaic of a ferocious warrior, clan chieftain, family man, and hero—have never before been brought together in one place with reliable translations from the Arabic, Latin, and Spanish."  —George Greenia, College of William & Mary

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    Galileo Galilei
    Edited and Translated by Maurice A. Finocchiaro

    The Essential Galileo

    "Finocchiaro's new and revised translations have done what the Inquisition could not: they have captured an exceptional range of Galileo's career while also letting him speak—in clear English.  No other volume offers more convenient or more reliable access to Galileo's own words, whether on the telescope, the Dialogue, the trial, or the mature theory of motion." —Michael H. Shank, University of Wisconsin–Madison

    "Edited and translated by Maurice A. Finocchiaro, an international authority on Galileo, this collection makes available to scholars and students an excellent and extensive selection of Galileo's key works from his early career to the end of his life—some in toto and some represented by key selections. It presents not only Galileo's most famous works but also a range of less-known texts as well as an excellent selection of the documents from the trial of 1633 and from the 1616 condemnation of Copernicus. In addition to the breadth and quality of the selections, this volume is particularly attractive to students and instructors thanks to Finocchiaro's expert and up-to-date introductions, biographical sketch, chronology, annotated bibliography, and glossary. This is a must for anyone teaching or studying Galileo, the scientific revolution, and the relationship between science and religion." —Mario Biagioli, Harvard University

  24. The Essential Luther

    Martin Luther
    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Tryntje Helfferich

    The Essential Luther

    "This is a wonderful anthology. Its texts not only span the whole of Luther's reforming career, but also cover the theological, political, and social issues that mattered most to him and his age. Best of all, the original integrity of the texts remains perceptible, even when abridged. This valuable collection will be a great teaching tool and also a most useful resource for anyone interested in Luther or the Protestant Reformation." —Carlos Eire, Yale University

    "[Helfferich's] translations are clear and easy to read and couched in contemporary English that is appealing to the reader. The introductions to each document are informative and effective, sketching out each text’s major themes, and placing the document into a larger context. The information provided in the notes is helpful, particularly the references identifying Scriptural passages to which Luther refers. . . . The book features a balanced assortment of Luther’s works, including some of his most important and well known works, as well as some of his lesser known (or, at least, lesser read) writings. The collection reflects the broad range of subjects that Luther addressed during his lifetime and, since the documents are arranged in chronological order, it provides the reader with the opportunity to see how Luther’s thought developed. The thematic table of contents is extremely helpful as it identifies for the reader in which writings Luther addressed a particular topic. The collection of documents, then, is valuable in that it allows readers to explore both the breadth of Luther’s work as well as to engage a particular aspect of Luther’s thought as it developed over time." —Susan Mobley, Concordia University Wisconsin

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    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Peter Hainsworth

    The Essential Petrarch

    “Hainsworth’s translations from the Italian are first-rate, both in terms of accuracy to the intent of the originals . . . and in terms of conveying the force of Petrarch’s imagery. The translations from the Latin read freshly and easily . . . they are sure-footed, managing to capture the mix of pride and playfulness which characterizes Petrarch’s composite prose style. The notes to the individual poems are well-judged, just enough to keep the reader on track without parading off-putting erudition.”
         —Jonathan Usher, Emeritus, University of Edinburgh

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    Felipe Guaman Poma De Ayala
    Edited and Translated by David Frye

    The First New Chronicle and Good Government, Abridged

    David Frye's skillful translation and abridgment of Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala's monumental First New Chronicle and Good Government (composed between 1600-1616) offers an unprecedented glimpse into pre-colonial Inca society and culture, the Spanish conquest of Peru (1532-1572), and life under the corrupt Spanish colonial administration.  An Introduction provides essential historical and cultural background and discusses the author's literary and linguistic innovations.   Maps, a glossary of terms, and seventy-five of Guaman Poma's ink drawings are also included.

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    Abelard & Heloise
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by William Levitan
    Selected Songs and Poems Translated by Stanley Lombardo and by Barbara Thorburn

    The Letters and Other Writings

    The most comprehensive compilation of the works of Abelard and Heloise ever presented in a single volume in English, The Letters and Other Writings features an accurate and stylistically faithful new translation of both The Calamities of Peter Abelard and the remarkable letters it sparked between the ill-fated twelfth-century philosopher and his brilliant former student and lover—an exchange whose intellectual passion, formal virtuosity, and psychological drama distinguish it as one of the most extraordinary correspondences in European history. Thanks to this edition, Latin-less readers will be better placed than ever to see why this undisputed milestone in the intellectual life of medieval France is also a masterpiece of Western literature.

  28. The Prince (Atkinson Edition)

    Niccolo Machiavelli
    Edited and Translated by James B. Atkinson

    The Prince (Atkinson Edition)

    "This edition of the The Prince has three distinct and disparate objectives: to provide a fresh and accurate translation; to analyze and find the roots of Machiavelli's thought; and to collect relevant extracts from other works by Machiavelli and some contemporaries, to be used to illuminate and explicate the text. The objectives are all reached with considerable and admirable skill. The reader senses Professor Atkinson's empathy and feeling for even the tiniest movements in Machiavelli's mind. Professor Atkinson has done a great service to students and teachers of Machiavelli, who should certainly welcome this as the most useful edition of The Prince in English. "
         —Mario Domandi, Italica, 1978

  29. The Prince (Wootton Edition)

    Niccolo Machiavelli
    Translated, with Introduction, by David Wootton

    The Prince (Wootton Edition)

    "This is an excellent, readable and vigorous translation of The Prince, but it is much more than simply a translation. The map, notes and guide to further reading are crisp, to-the-point and yet nicely comprehensive. The inclusion of the letter to Vettori is most welcome. But, above all, the Introduction is so gripping and lively that it has convinced me to include The Prince in my syllabus for History of Western Civilization the next time that I teach it. . . . Great price, too! And lovely printing and layout."
         —Rachel Fulton, University of Chicago

  30. The Song of Roland

    Translated by John DuVal
    Introduced by David Staines

    The Song of Roland

    "The true poetry of the most well-known French epic springs vividly to life here in an entirely new way. DuVal's unique translation captures the meter and assonance of the original at the same time that it conveys the breathless pace, as simple as it is complex, of one of the most moving tales of all time. One can hear—and feel—the singer of tales speaking to us today. I cannot wait to teach this text in the classroom." —Jody Enders, University of California, Santa Barbara

    "This translation is a substantial improvement over what is otherwise available. . . . The editorial remarks provide a healthy perspective on the religious chauvinism of the poem. . . . I appreciate having the Old French version included. The narrative is clear and engaging and it effectively captures the fast-paced intensity of the original." —Linda Marie Zaerr, Boise State University 

  31. The Spanish Inquisition, 1478-1614

    Edited and Translated by Lu Ann Homza

    The Spanish Inquisition, 1478-1614

    "With very few exceptions the rich inquisitorial sources collected here have, until now, been available only to specialists with a knowledge of early modern Spanish.  The Spanish Inquisition, 1478–1614: An Anthology of Sources fills a gaping hole in the English-language literature, making these previously inaccessible documents available to a much wider reading public. . . . With a strong Introduction and supporting material for each document, this source reader provides a wealth of material for classes on late medieval or modern Europe; Spain and Latin America; Western civilization; or the history of Western religions.  This reader will also be valuable to seminars on subjects such as witchcraft, early modern legal history, and women's history."
         —Benjamin Ehlers, University of Georgia

  32. The Trial of Galileo

    Translated and Edited by Maurice A. Finocchiaro

    The Trial of Galileo

    "Finocchiaro is the foremost scholar and translator of Galileo's works and this book an invaluable collection of key documents concerning the 'greatest scandal of Christendom'—the trial and condemnation of the founder of modern science as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition in 1633. The book follows and complements Finocchiaro's magisterial work Retrying Galileo: 1633-1992, and provides essential, original source material concerning the facts and issues indispensable for scholars, students and educated lay persons. Finocchiaro’s masterly introductory essay provides a valuable guide to the history and issues, particularly helping to dispel the many myths regarding the scientific, philosophical, theological and political issues raised by Galileo’s trial. An unrivaled resource for understanding the 'Galileo Affair'."
         —Peter Slezak, University of New South Wales

  33. Utopia

    Thomas More
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by David Wootton


    “In addition to its elegant and precise translation of Utopia, this edition offers the prefatory material and postscripts from the 1518 edition, and More’s letter to Giles form the 1517 edition. Mr. Wootton has also added Erasmus’s ‘The Sileni of Alcibiades,’ which is crucial for the interpretation he gives in his Introduction of the many ambiguities and contradictions in More’s text as well as his life. The Introduction is a most valuable guide for understanding this man who was a proponent of toleration and a persecutor of heretics, a courtier full of worldly ambition ending as a fearless martyr. The contradictions of the man translated into a complicated and contradictory historiography to which Mr. Wootton’s Introduction is a most intelligent guide. A welcome addition to the More literature.”
         —J. W. Smit, Professor of History, Columbia University

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