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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Religion, War, Famine and Death in Reformation Europe


  • Date Published: February 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521467018

£ 27.99

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About the Authors
  • This book offers an exciting interpretation of early modern European history (1490–1648). Cunningham and Grell's point of departure, and a prism through which events of the period are interpreted, is Dürer's famous woodcut of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This image came to characterise the outlook and expectations of most early modern Europeans, who experienced a dramatic rise in population, leading to repeated episodes of war, epidemics and famine. These were seen as indicating the imminent end of the world. The book is lavishly illustrated with fascinating contemporary images which, like many texts of the period, are preoccupied with Apocalypticism and eschatological expectations. Lucidly written and carefully organised, it brings together religious, social, military and medical history in one survey, giving a unique insight into why the early modern world linked all the crises of the age to the Day of Judgement.

    • Includes fascinating illustrations
    • A clear and student-friendly style, based on the authors' extensive experience of teaching the subject
    • Ideal for second-year courses in early modern history or the Reformation
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The Four Horsemen is a well-constructed and eminently readable work.' Peter Taylor-Whiffen, The Independent

    'The book should appeal not only to the general reader but also to specialist scholars, filled as it is with stimulating observations and insights.' The English Historical Review

    '… an ingenious and refreshing assessment of the Reformation … a brave and lively textbook which produces a useful rapport between the interests of social history and the history of religion.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

    'What makes this book stand out from others is the attention the authors lavish on religious interpretations of this period of new disasters and epidemics. … they have written an important book that stimulates even as it summarizes. The abundance of excellent illustrations also makes the book a joy to look at.' Medical History

    'The result is a gripping and original study …' The New York Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2001
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521467018
    • length: 376 pages
    • dimensions: 243 x 170 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 71 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    1. Introduction: an apocalyptic age
    2. The White Horse: religion, revelation and reformation
    3. The Red Horse: war, weapons and wounds
    4. The Black Horse: food, f(e)ast and famine
    5. The Pale Horse: disease, disaster and death
    6. Epilogue

  • Authors

    Andrew Cunningham, University of Cambridge

    Ole Peter Grell, The Open University, Milton Keynes

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