Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism is a sustained exercise in historical sociology that shows how the slave-based societies of Ancient Greece and Rome eventually became the feudal societies of the Middle Ages. In the course of this study, Anderson vindicates and refines the explanatory power of historical materialism, while casting a fascinating light on the Ancient world, the Germanic invasions, nomadic society, and the different routes taken to feudalism in Northern, Mediterranean, Eastern and Western Europe.
Through this work and its companion volume, Lineages of the Absolutist State, Anderson presents a Marxist history of Western political development that takes readers from the first stirrings of political consciousness in the classical world to the rise of absolutist monarchies in Europe and the birth of the modern epoch.
“A complex, beautifully interwoven account of Europe from the ancient Greeks to modern absolutist monarchies ... exhilarating. ”
“Quite splendid ... A powerful and lucid intelligence. ”
“The breath-taking range of conception and the architectural skill with which it has been executed make his work a formidable intellectual achievement. ”