Bibliographic Details

The Oxford dictionary of the Middle Ages / edited by Robert E. Bjork.

Imprint Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
Description 4 v. (xc, 1847 p.) : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Language English
Subject Middle Ages -- Encyclopedias.
Civilization, Medieval -- Encyclopedias.
Civilization, Medieval.
Middle Ages.
Reference works.
Encyclopedias.
Format E-Resource, Print, Book
URL for this record http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/8129979
Varying Form of Title Portion of title Dictionary of the Middle Ages
Other authors / contributors Bjork, Robert E., 1949-
ISBN 9780198662624 (hardback : set)
0198662629 (hardback : set)
Notes Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
Review by Choice Review

The new Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages (ODMA) in four volumes (and available online), edited by Bjork (English, Univ. of Arizona), falls between one-volume works and the massive Dictionary of the Middle Ages (1982-89), edited by J. R. Strayer et al. (see, e.g., v. 12, CH, Feb'89, 26-3034). It resembles recent two-volume efforts such as the Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, edited by A. Vauchez (CH, Jun'01, 38-5347; also online). ODMA has over 800 contributors and 5,000-plus entries ranging from Amalarius of Metz to 30 pages on women. It contains articles with no parallel in the two-volume work edited by Vauchez, but the reverse is true as well. Vauchez covers religious topics more thoroughly, but architecture is treated more fully by ODMA, which also claims to be more thorough on eastern Europe and the Middle East. The brief bibliographies include recent works.One can find faults, of course. The headwords can most charitably be described as eccentric. An article titled "Supernatural Beliefs in the Scandinavian World" is included, but no articles relating to other regions. Scotland, Ireland, and Wales are treated as one group with individual articles for each country under a common heading. One imagines that the inhabitants of these countries would not be happy to see that they are treated as appendages to England. A number of headwords are phrases, many of which are inverted, e.g., "Women, learned Jewish." This probably would not be problematic in the online version but is awkward for users of the print volumes. ODMA, however, is a useful work both for nonspecialists and for specialists who want quick identifications. It will be valuable for comprehensive collections or those lacking a recent multivolume reference work on the Middle Ages. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers. L. S. Creider New Mexico State University Library

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review