European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages

Some works of scholarship are so monumental and have been so influential that they are worth reading 70 years after publication.



Published just after the Second World War in 1948, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages (translated from German) is a sweeping exploration of the remarkable continuity of European literature across time and place. It ranges from the classical era up to the early nineteenth century, and from the Italian peninsula to the British Isles. In what T. S. Eliot called a ‘magnificent’ book, Ernst Robert Curtius ( establishes medieval Latin literature as the vital transition between the literature of antiquity and the vernacular literatures of later centuries. It has stood as a masterful synthesis of European literature from Homer to Goethe.


In a recent edition, Colin Burrow provides critical insights into Curtius’s life and ideas and highlights the distinctive importance of this wonderful book. This is certainly worth nestling among your other works of mediaeval literature as a guide and a treasure.


Check if this work of literary scholarship is in stock at your local library by consulting the online catalogue at



752 pages in Princeton University Press

First published 1948

ISBN  978-0691157009



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Ernst Robert Curtius

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