The Fanatasy Role-Playing Game of Medieval Germany




General History

These volumes provide a general background to either the Middle Ages as a whole, or a specific aspect of it. An astute reader will discover that these historians have widely differing theories, some of which clash with the analysis of Gothic Germany given here. For specific information about medieval affairs, Green, Bishop and Fossier are the most useful. For the best overview of Europe in this era, choose Hay. Barraclough is unmatched for providing a detailed but well-guided path through the minefield of German medieval development. For interesting if sometimes radical opinions, see Huizinga and Aston.

  • Medieval Civilization in Western Europe, V.H.H. Green, St. Martin's Press, 1971
  • The Middle Ages, Morris Bishop, Houghton Mifflin, 1968.
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe, George Holmes ed., Oxford University Press, 1988.
  • The Middle Ages 1250-1520, Robert Fossier ed., S.H. Tenison trans., Cambridge University Press, 1986.
  • Europe in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, Denys Hay, Longman, second edition 1989.
  • The Origins of Modern Germany, Geoffrey Barraclough, Capricorn Books, 1963 reprint of 1947 edition.
  • A History of Denmark, Palle Lauring, Dorset Press, 1960.
  • The Waning of the Middle Ages, J. Huizinga, St. Martins' Press, 1924.
  • The Fifteenth Century, Margaret Aston, W. W. Norton, 1968.

    Local and Political History

    These books provide specific historical insights into the important people and events of the region. The most useful and highly recommended is Du Boulay, the definitive English treatment of this subject. For a sense of detail and specific issues, Strauss, Cohn and Schildhaus are the best, Fuhrmann and Arnold are mainly for those interested in the early Middle Ages (1000-1250), included purely as a courtesy. Vaughan's great four-volume work on the Burgundian princes (the last two are noted here) is also quite fascinating.

  • Germany in the Later Middle Ages, F.R.H. Du Boulay, Athlone Press, 1983.
  • Nuremberg in the Sixteenth Century, Gerald Strauss, Indiana University Press, revised edition 1976.
  • The Government in the Rhine Palatinate in the Fifteenth Century, Henry J. Cohn, Oxford University press, 1965.
  • The Hansa, Johannes Schildhaus, K. Vanovitch trans., Edition Leipzig, 1985.
  • The Princes and Parliaments in Germany, F. L. Carsten, Clarendon Press, 1959.
  • Philip The Good, Richard Vaughan, Barnes & Noble, 1970
  • Charles the Bold, Richard Vaughan, Barnes & Noble, 1973.
  • Princes and Territories in Medieval Germany, Benjamin Arnold, Cambridge University Press, 1991.
  • Germany in the High Middle Ages (c. 1050-1200), Horst Fuhrmann, Cambridge University Press, 1986.

    Social, Cutural & Economic History

    Many of these books intermix the social institutions of the early middle ages with those of later times. After the Black Death, actual social patterns changed greatly, even though popular perceptions and attitudes took longer to catch up. For this reason, Rossiaud, Geremek and Dyer are actually much more useful then the commonly available books of Rowling and The Gies family. For information on trade, industry, mining, currency, etc., the Cambridge Economic History of 1987 completely outclasses all other works in the field.

  • Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages 1200-1520, Christopher Dyer, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  • The Margins of Society in Late Medieval Paris, Bronislaw Geremek, J. Birrell trans., Cambridge University Press, 1971 (trans. 1987).
  • Medieval Prostitution, Jacques Rossiaud, L. G. Cochrane trans., Basil Blackwell, 1988.
  • The Cambridge Economic History of Europe: II: Trade and Industry in the Middle Ages, Postan & Miller ed., Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  • Private Life in the Fifteenth Century, Roger Virgoe ed., Toucan Books, 1989.
  • A History of Private Life, II: Revelations of the Medieval World, Georges Duby ed., A. Goldhammer trans., Harvard University Press, 1988.
  • A History of Private Life, III: Passions of the Renaissance, Roger Chartier ed., A. Goldhammer trans., Harvard University Press, 1989.
  • Everyday Life in Medieval Times, Marjorie Rowling, Dorset Press, 1968.
  • Life in a Medieval City, Joseph and Frances Gies, Apollo, 1973.
  • Everyday Life of Medieval Travellers, Marjorie Rowling, Dorset Press, 1971.
  • Women in the Middle Ages, Frances and Joseph Gies, Harper & Row, 1978.

    Military Affairs

    We are greatly indebted to Professor Kelly DeVries for use of his manuscript for an upcoming book on late medieval warfare. Among the published sources, Contamine offers the most useful general history. Wise the best military- and wargaming-oriented work. Burne has the best military history of the Hundred Years War, the later half occurring in this era. Beeler and Oman offer useful insights to preceding and later eras, and are recommended to anyone who thinks medieval or early modern warfare was "simple." For technical information on arms and armor, the WRG (Wargames Research Group) publications and the Osprey illustrated booklets remain the best available, despite attacks on specific information within them.

  • War in the Middle Ages, Philippe Contamine, Michael Jones trans., Basil Blackwell, 1984.
  • Medieval Warfare, Terence Wise, Hastings House, 1976.
  • Armies of the Middle Ages (volumes 1 and 2) 1300-1500, Ian Heath, Wargames Research Group, 1982-84.
  • Armies of Feudal Europe 1066-1300, Ian Heath, Wargames Research Group, 1977.
  • German Medieval Armies 1300-1500, Gravett & McBride, Ospreyu, 1985.
  • The Swiss at War, 1300-1500, Miller & Embleton, Osprey, 1979.
  • Armies of Medieval Burgundy, 1364-1477, Michael & Embleton, Osprey, 1983.
  • The Agincourt War, Lt. Col. Alfred H. Burne, Greenwood Press, 1976 reprint of 1956 edition.
  • Warfare in Feudal Europe; 730-1200, John Beeler, Cornell University Press, 1971.
  • The Art of War in the Sixteenth Century, Sir Charles Oman, E.P., Dutton, 1979 reprint of 1937 edition.
  • Medieval Warlords, Tim Newark, Blandford Press, 1987.
  • "Towns and Defence in Later Medieval Germany," David Eltis, Oxford.
  • "Early Bow Design and Construction," McEwen, Miller & Bergman, Scientific American, June 1991.


    The single best source of medieval German map information is the Grosser Historischer Weltatlas, almost unobtainable in the United States. For basic topography, nothing beats the Times atlas. For specific details about specific cities, the Baedeker travel guides are quite useful, especially the rare pre-WWI series kindly lent to us by Bruce Milligan.

  • Grosser Historischer Weltatlas -- Zweiter Teil Mittelalter ("Greater Historical World Atlas - Vol. II, Middle Ages"), Josef Engel ed., Bayerischer Schulbuch-Verlag, 1979.
  • The Times Atlas of the World, Seventh Edition, Times Books, 1988. Maps by John Bartholomew & Sons, Limited, Edinburgh.
  • Northern Germany, Baedeker's, Charles Scribner, 1913.
  • Southern Germany, Baedeker's, Charles Scribner, 1914.
  • Belgium and Holland, Baedeker's, Charles Scribner, 1910.
  • Austria, Baedeker's, Prentice-Hall Inc. (for U.S. edition), third edition, c. 1980s.
  • Germany [West], Baedeker's, Prentice-Hall Inc. (for the U.S. edition), c. 1980s.
  • Switzerland, A Phaidon Cultural Guide, Prentice-Hall Inc., 1985.
  • Atlas of Secret Europe, Charles Walker, Dorset Press, 1990.

    Folk Tales

    No single one of these books is especially useful in itself. We had to assemble bits and pieces from all of them.

  • The Ring of the Niblung, Richard Wagner, M. Armour trans., Garden City, 1939.
  • German Myths and Legends, Donald A. MacKenzie, Avenel Books, 1985.
  • The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, Lily Owens ed., Avenel Books, 1981.
  • Grimms' Fairy Tales, Lucas, Crane & Edwardes ed./ trans., Grosset & Dunlap; c. 1940s.
  • Werewolves in Western Culture, Charlotte Otten ed., Syracuse University Press, 1986.
  • On Monsters and Marvels, Ambroise Pare, J.L. Pallister trans., University of Chicago Press, 1982 (originally published in 1570s).
  • The Bestiary -- A Book of Beasts, T.H. White, Capricorn Books, 1960.
  • A Dictionary of Fabulous Beasts, Richard Barber & Anne Riches, Macmillan, 1971.

    Religion, Saints & Alchemy

    In addition to the works below, the various multi-volume editions of "Butler's Lives", revised as research continues, are an excellent source of information. We feel Delaney is the best single-volume work, although short on interesting anecdotes. Bokenkotter and Bossy present very sympathic church histories, yet even they find it hard to say many positive things about the Church in this era. Those who dispute our opinion of the medieval Catholic church are urged to read them. Incidentally, both were acquired at a Catholic-sponsored bookstore.

    For alchemy, in addition to various short pieces in histories of chemistry or science, we found Holmyard's book invaluable. The Book of Abramelin is very interesting, but its authenticity has been questioned. Fabricius' self-published effort is amusing, but few give it serious consideration.

  • Butler's Lives of Patron Saints, Michael Walsh ed., Harper & Row, 1987.
  • Pocket Dictionary of Saints, John J. Delaney, Image Book -- Doubleday, 1980.
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, David Hugh Farmer, Oxford University Press, 1987.
  • Saints and their Cults, Stephen Wilson ed., Cambridge University Press, 1983.
  • The Medieval Imagination, Jacques le Goff, A. Goldhammer trans., University of Chicago Press, 1988.
  • A Concise History of the Catholic Church, Thomas Bokenkotter, Image Book -- Doubleday, 1977.
  • Christianity in the West, 1400-1700, John Bossy, Oxford University Press, 1987.
  • Alchemy, E.J. Holmyard, Dover, 1990 reprint of 1957 book.
  • The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, S.L. MacGregor Mathers trans., Dover, 1975 reprint of 1900 book of manuscript reputedly written in 1458.
  • Alchemy, Johannes Fabricius, Johannes Fabricius, 1989 third revised edition.

    Magic and Witchcraft

    Because of the "witch craze" that peaked in Germany in the late 16th and early 17th Century, historians are still arguing what it involved, and what causes lay behind it. The "Malleus Maleficarum" is the key source, while Russell's detailed analysis is the best modern examination of all groups and events, done with remarkable fairness to all possible viewpoints. Norman Cohn presents a popular, modern, liberal view; Montague Summers is a classic arch-conservative. Meanwhile Kieckhefer makes an interesting attempt to define "magic" in medieval terms, as separate from the witchcraft issue.

  • Malleus Maleficarum, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, Montague Summers trans., Dover, 1971 reprint of 1928 translation of c.1480s publication.
  • Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, Jeffrey Burton Russell, Cornell University Press, 1972.
  • Europe's Inner Demons, Norman Cohn, Meridian Book - New American Library, 1975.
  • A History of Witchcraft and Demonology, Montague Summers, Dorset Press, 1987 reprint of 1925 edition.
  • Magic in the Middle Ages, Richard Kieckhefer, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  • Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe, Edward Peters ed., University of Pennsylvania Press, 1980.
  • The Magician, the Witch and the Law, Edward Peters, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1978.
  • Witchcraft, Magic & Alchemy, Grillot de Givry, J.C. Locke trans., Dover, 1971 reprint of 1931 edition.

    Art and Architecture

    The images in Darklands came from many sources, the most important being the imaginations and inner visions of the MicroProse art staff. Many of the following were used for inspiration, rather than for specific items. Furthermore, the list below is just a sampling of the resources used. Incidentally, although Fraenger's book on Bosch has superb reproductions, his interpretive theories are rarely supported in the academic community. Similarly, while Koch's analysis of medieval warfare is weak, but the plethora of period illustrations is a virtual gold mine.

  • Medieval Cities, Howard Saalman, George Braziller, 1968.
  • Medieval Architecture, Howard Saalman, George Braziller, 1962.
  • Hieronymus Bosch, Wilhelm Fraenger, H. Sebba trans., G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1983.
  • The Complete Woodcuts, Albrecht Durer, revised by Dr. M. Heffels, Artline, 1990.
  • Medieval Warfare, H.W. Koch, Prentice-Hall, 1978.
  • The Book of the Medieval Knight, Stephen Turnbull, Crown, 1985.
  • Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight, Edge & Paddock, Crescent, 1988.
  • Germany -- A Photography Journey, Rupert Matthews, Crescent, 1990.
  • Devils, Monsters and Nightmares, Howard Daniel, Abelard-Schuman, 1964.
  • Konrad Gesner: Beasts & Animals, Carol B. Grafton ed., Dover, 1983 reprint of woodcuts from 16th and 17th Centuries.


    Written by Arnold Hendrick
    Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 by MicroProse Software, Inc.    All rights reserved.



    Back to:   Table of Contents |  Darklands Domain