100 books like The Map of Knowledge

By Violet Moller,

Here are 100 books that The Map of Knowledge fans have personally recommended if you like The Map of Knowledge. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of "On Second Thought" and Other Essays in the History of Medicine and Science

Vivian Nutton Author Of Galen: A Thinking Doctor in Imperial Rome

From my list on Galen and Galenism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vivian Nutton is an emeritus professor of the History of Medicine at UCL and has written extensively on the pre-modern history of medicine. He has lectured around the world and held posts in Cambridge and Moscow as well as the USA. His many books include editions and translations of Galen as well as a major survey of Greek and Roman Medicine, and he is currently writing a history of medicine in the Late Renaissance.

Vivian's book list on Galen and Galenism

Vivian Nutton Why did Vivian love this book?

This series of essays by a humane physician-historian who first attracted me to medical history examines basic ideas in medicine across centuries and cultures. Published when the author was almost a hundred, it raises important questions about medical ethics and the place of medicine in society from the Greeks onwards.

By Owsei Temkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked "On Second Thought" and Other Essays in the History of Medicine and Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Over the course of a career spanning most of the twentieth century, distinguished historian Owsei Temkin has argued passionately for the necessity of chronicling and analyzing the history of medicine. The essays presented in "On Second Thought" and Other Essays in the History of Medicine and Science span Dr. Temkin's career, bringing together new pieces and many previously unavailable outside the journals in which they were originally published. Here the reader will find new thoughts and ideas that deviate from Dr. Temkin's earlier beliefs and reflect a lifetime of research into the historical and ethical foundations of modern medicine. Dr.…


Book cover of Galen: Psychological Writings: Avoiding Distress, Character Traits, the Diagnosis and Treatment of the Affections and Errors Peculiar to Each Person'

Vivian Nutton Author Of Galen: A Thinking Doctor in Imperial Rome

From my list on Galen and Galenism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vivian Nutton is an emeritus professor of the History of Medicine at UCL and has written extensively on the pre-modern history of medicine. He has lectured around the world and held posts in Cambridge and Moscow as well as the USA. His many books include editions and translations of Galen as well as a major survey of Greek and Roman Medicine, and he is currently writing a history of medicine in the Late Renaissance.

Vivian's book list on Galen and Galenism

Vivian Nutton Why did Vivian love this book?

Galen is his own best advocate and his own worst enemy. This volume includes translations of five works, including one discovered only in 2005 and another preserved largely in Arabic. It tells us much of his life in Rome, his book collecting, and his views on education and ethics.

By P.N. Singer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Galen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All Galen's surviving shorter works on psychology and ethics - including the recently discovered Avoiding Distress, and the neglected Character Traits, extant only in Arabic - are here presented in one volume in a new English translation, with substantial introductions and notes and extensive glossaries. Original and penetrating analyses are provided of the psychological and philosophical thought, both of the above and of two absolutely central works of Galenic philosophy, Affections and Errors and The Capacities of the Soul, by some of the foremost experts in the field. Each treatise has also been subjected to fresh textual study, taking account…


Book cover of Hippocrates

Vivian Nutton Author Of Galen: A Thinking Doctor in Imperial Rome

From my list on Galen and Galenism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vivian Nutton is an emeritus professor of the History of Medicine at UCL and has written extensively on the pre-modern history of medicine. He has lectured around the world and held posts in Cambridge and Moscow as well as the USA. His many books include editions and translations of Galen as well as a major survey of Greek and Roman Medicine, and he is currently writing a history of medicine in the Late Renaissance.

Vivian's book list on Galen and Galenism

Vivian Nutton Why did Vivian love this book?

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, was Galen’s hero. This study by the leading expert in ancient Greek medicine sets his life and ideas in the wider context of life in the Aegean world of the fifth and fourth centuries BC.

By Jacques Jouanna,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hippocrates as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hippocrates, considered for more than two thousand years the father of medicine, came over time to be credited with a life of mythic proportions and an enormous body of work. Hippocrates' pronouncements on health, disease, and prognosis went unchallenged in the Western world until scientific advances in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries made many of his ideas obsolete. And yet medical students in the United States and Europe still recite the Hippocratic oath upon completion of their studies. In view of Hippocrates' exceptional importance in the history of medicine, it may seem surprising that our knowledge of this fifth century…


Book cover of Pagans and Christians

Rebecca I. Denova Author Of Greek and Roman Religions

From my list on the religious lives of Greeks and Romans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I could never “get” the secrets of math or science. If I could, I would have been an archaeologist. But I was always interested in “origins;” where do our modern ideas come from? My passion for reading led me to begin to uncover “origins” (or, the element of “looking for clues” in a “murder mystery”). Uncovering “ancient origins” entails thoroughly exploring ancient society. I continue to daily keep up with the research and new interpretations in the study of these fascinating worlds.

Rebecca's book list on the religious lives of Greeks and Romans

Rebecca I. Denova Why did Rebecca love this book?

I first encountered Lane Fox when I was working on my dissertation in graduate school. Working on “Gentiles” in the New Testament, I had to thoroughly understand the historical background. This book became my “pagan Bible,” in effect. The first half fully details ancient concepts and rituals, and the second emphasizes which elements were absorbed by the rise of Christianity and which were rejected and why.

By Robin Lane Fox,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pagans and Christians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explores the character of early Christianity, with details on religious life, secular daily life, and the condition of paganism at the time of its defeat


Book cover of How the Irish Saved Civilization

Angela R. Hughes Author Of Elanor and the Song of the Bard: The Once and Future Chronicles, Book 1

From my list on historical fantasy with twists on Arthurian legend.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the fantastic since childhood—ever since I read my first book, The Princess & the Goblin. As a young adult, I lived on the Emerald Isle of Ireland and I fell in love with the history and legends of the British Isles. Stories of King Arthur, Saint Patrick, and the mighty warrior Cu Chulainn inspired my imagination. Now through years of studying Arthurian Legend and Celtic Mythos—I write historical fantasy filled with the ageless inspirations of the ancient Celtic world.

Angela's book list on historical fantasy with twists on Arthurian legend

Angela R. Hughes Why did Angela love this book?

As someone who loves history, particularly Celtic history, this one hit me in a really special place in my heart. This little-known history of the Celtic Saints, and particularly Saint Patrick really opened my eyes. It details how Celtic monks quietly saved the written word while barbarians and Vikings burnt Roman literature—which would have made all western thought—even the bible on the threat of extinction. It dazzled me to be given a much bigger perspective on the infamous Book of Kells, and even how schools throughout the western world originated because of these men that hid behind the chaos of the times. All this history by itself was amazing to learn, but even more, the author wrote with wit and charm that made it a fun read.

By Thomas Cahill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How the Irish Saved Civilization as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Shamelessly engaging, effortlessly scholarly, utterly refreshing history of the Irish soul and its huge contribution to Western culture' Thomas Keneally

Ireland played the central role in maintaining European culture when the dark ages settled on Europe in the fifth century: as Rome was sacked by Visigoths and its empire collapsed, Ireland became 'the isle of saints and scholars' that enabled the classical and religious heritage to be saved.

In his compelling and entertaining narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Irish monks and scrines copied the mauscripts of both pagan and Christian writers, including Homer and Aristotle, while libraries…


Book cover of The Times of Bede: Studies in Early English Christian Society and its Historian

Richard Shaw Author Of How, When and Why did Bede Write his Ecclesiastical History?

From my list on Bede and his Ecclesiastical History.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Professor of History at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Canada. Previously a journalist and a diplomat serving in the Middle East, since returning to academia I have published several books and a wide variety of academic articles – winning the 2014 Eusebius Essay Prize. My work is focused on source analysis and the use of sources to reconstruct the truth of the past – especially in the early Middle Ages: as a result, I have been able to discover the date of Augustine of Canterbury’s death; the underlying reasons behind the need to appoint Theodore of Tarsus as bishop; and the essential story of how Bede produced his Ecclesiastical History.

Richard's book list on Bede and his Ecclesiastical History

Richard Shaw Why did Richard love this book?

Patrick Wormald’s early death was a tragedy for early medieval studies as a whole.

Thankfully his former student, Stephen Baxter – an exceptional scholar in his own right – had the energy to carry some of his mentor’s projects over the line, including this collection of some of Wormald’s best essays, articles, and book chapters relating to Bede and his world.

Patrick was also my tutor for several undergraduate courses at Oxford as well as being the supervisor for my Master's Thesis and I too owe him a great debt. This edited collection – with the advantage of updated references and comments – showcases the searing brilliance which made Wormald such a prized commentator on everything connected to the early Middle Ages.

Coupled with Campbell's Essays in Anglo-Saxon History, readers will quickly gain nuanced perspectives on elements and themes crucial in comprehending the conversion of the early English.

By Patrick Wormald, Stephen Baxter (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Times of Bede as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written by the late Patrick Wormald, one of the leading authorities on Bede's life and work over a 30-year period, this book is a collection of studies on Bede and early English Christian society. A collection of studies on Bede, the greatest historian of the English Middle Ages, and the early English church. Integrates the religious, intellectual, political and social history of the English in their first Christian centuries. Looks at how Bede and other writers charted the establishment of a Christian community within a warrior society. Features the first map of all known or likely early Christian communities in…


Book cover of Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature

Holger Gzella Author Of Aramaic: A History of the First World Language

From my list on becoming a scholar.

Why am I passionate about this?

I hold the chair of Old Testament at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at Munich University in Germany. My main area of expertise is Semitic languages, though, which is also the field for which I previously held a chair at Leiden University in the Netherlands for fifteen years (eventually, however, Munich made me an offer one cannot refuse). Hence my main occupation concerns the interpretation of ancient texts in exotic languages such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician, and others, mostly at the baseline of individual words, grammatical forms, and syntactic constructions. Despite the seemingly dry, specialized character of my work, it is, in my view, a lifestyle rather than a job. 

Holger's book list on becoming a scholar

Holger Gzella Why did Holger love this book?

For half a century, this classic has introduced students to the ways and circumstances in which Greek and Latin texts, often seen as the pillars of any literate education, were transmitted from Antiquity throughout the Middle Ages into the Renaissance. While it is, despite its crisp and lucid presentation, a highly technical manual, it singles out, based on robust empirical evidence, the importance of tradition and unassuming daily labor in the formation and preservation of knowledge. The effects of unconscious or intentional changes in the manual transmission of ancient texts also constitute the core matter of my own field, philology. On a more personal note, I cherish fond memories of a class on Greek textual criticism by Nigel Wilson when I was an undergraduate at Oxford some thirty years ago.

By L.D. Reynolds, N.G. Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Scribes and Scholars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the remarkable facts about the history of Western culture is that we are still in a position to read large amounts of the literature produced in classical Greece and Rome despite the fact that for at least a millennium and a half all copies had to be produced by hand and were subject to the hazards of fire, flood, and war. This book explains how the texts survived and gives an account of the reasons why it was thought worthwhile to spend the necessary effort
to preserve them for future generations.

In the second edition a section of…


Book cover of Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800

Patrick J. Geary Author Of The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe

From my list on the end of Antiquity and the early Middle Ages.

Why am I passionate about this?

Patrick Geary is Professor of History Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at UCLA. He is the author of some fifteen books and many articles and edited volumes on a broad range of topics including barbarian migrations, religious history, ethnicity, nationalism, genetic history, and the modern misuse of ancient and medieval history in the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries. Currently he co-directs an international, interdisciplinary project funded by an ERC Synergy Grant that uses genomic, historical, and archaeological data to understand population structures during the so-called Migration period at the end of the Roman Empire in the West.

Patrick's book list on the end of Antiquity and the early Middle Ages

Patrick J. Geary Why did Patrick love this book?

Rather than following a chronological order or a political narrative, Wickham, the leading British historian of the Early Middle Ages, takes a thematic and regional approach to the transformation of the Roman world across the Mediterranean.

His dense comparisons of the economic and social structures of specific regions, both some like Denmark and Ireland that were never part of the Roman Empire, as well as core regions around the entire Mediterranean, highlight the diversity already existing within the Roman Empire and the differing fates of these regions as they emerged from its disappearance.

By Chris Wickham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Framing the Early Middle Ages as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Roman empire tends to be seen as a whole whereas the early middle ages tends to be seen as a collection of regional histories, roughly corresponding to the land-areas of modern nation states. As a result, early medieval history is much more fragmented, and there have been few convincing syntheses of socio-economic change in the post-Roman world since the 1930s. In recent decades, the rise of early medieval archaeology has also transformed our source-base, but
this has not been adequately integrated into analyses of documentary history in almost any country.
In Framing the Early Middle Ages Chris Wickham combines…


Book cover of Origins of the European Economy: Communications and Commerce AD 300-900

Sarah Davis-Secord Author Of Where Three Worlds Met: Sicily in the Early Medieval Mediterranean

From my list on medieval Sicily.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like many travelers and writers, I was drawn to the Mediterranean Sea because of its vibrant cultures, sun-drenched landscapes, and delicious foods. As a medieval historian, I am attracted to stories of people and cultures in communication with each other across religious and cultural divides. I found the perfect combination in the history of Sicily, which in the Middle Ages had populations of Greek Christians, Latin Christians, Muslims, and Jews living together in both peace and conflict. I study the histories of travel, trade, and exchange in and around Sicily, which allows me to think about big questions of how medieval people related to each other even when they came from different religions or cultures.

Sarah's book list on medieval Sicily

Sarah Davis-Secord Why did Sarah love this book?

No other book has inspired my own work as much as this one, although it is about far more than the history of Sicily.

McCormick found extensive evidence for travel and communication in the early medieval Mediterranean—a period in which it was previously thought that long-distance trade had all but stopped after the decline of the Roman Empire.

McCormick’s method was to collect every tiny anecdote he could find about something or someone that went from one place to another across the Sea. All these tidbits of data added up to something huge, and showed clearly that travel and exchange across the Mediterranean did not end when the Roman Empire did. To the contrary, the Mediterranean Sea in these centuries was teeming with people of all faiths, carrying coins and packages of trade goods on ships sailing between Christian and Muslim controlled regions.

His method, of collating masses of data…

By Michael McCormick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Origins of the European Economy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fifty years debate has raged about early European commerce during the period between antiquity and the middle ages. Was there trade? If so, in what - and with whom? New evidence and new ways of looking at old evidence are now breaking the stalemate. Analysis of communications - the movements of people, ideas and things - is transforming our vision of Europe and the Mediterranean in the age of Charlemagne and Harun al Rashid. This is the first comprehensive analysis of the economic transition during this period for over sixty years. Using new materials and new methodology, it will…


Book cover of The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades

Nick Brodie Author Of 1787: The Lost Chapters of Australia's Beginnings

From my list on changing how you see history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professional history nerd who is perennially interested in both sides of the history coin: What happened? How do we know? I’ve got a PhD in sixteenth-century European history, have written articles that cover things from antiquity to Vikings in America, and have written several history books about Australia and its region. I like history that is robust, so I’m always looking for books that make clever use of sources. And I love stories that disrupt preconceptions, so I enjoy researching and writing and reading histories that make you think.

Nick's book list on changing how you see history

Nick Brodie Why did Nick love this book?

A great insight informs every aspect of this excellent book. While few historians today would put the crusades down to mere fanaticism, too many uninformed people still think of the crusades in absurdly simplistic terms of clashing civilizations, cultures, and religions. This book takes aim at that sort of ignorance by telling the history of one of the world’s great historical phenomena in a very accessible way from the perspective with which most readers will be least familiar.

By Paul M. Cobb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Race for Paradise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1099, when the first Frankish invaders arrived before the walls of Jerusalem, they had carved out a Christian European presence in the Islamic world that endured for centuries, bolstered by subsequent waves of new crusaders and pilgrims. The story of how this group of warriors, driven by faith, greed, and wanderlust, created new Christian-ruled states in parts of the Middle East is one of the best-known in history. Yet it is offers not even half of the story, for it is based almost exclusively on Western sources and overlooks entirely the perspective of the crusaded. How did medieval Muslims…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Middle Ages, the East–West dichotomy, and the Mediterranean?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Middle Ages, the East–West dichotomy, and the Mediterranean.

The Middle Ages Explore 416 books about the Middle Ages
The East–West Dichotomy Explore 15 books about the East–West dichotomy
The Mediterranean Explore 62 books about the Mediterranean