WHP Logo

Home Page

Books

Book Prices

cover

The Steppe to Europe: An Environmental History of Hungary in the Traditional Age

Lajos Rácz


A HISTORY OF HUNGARY’S PEOPLE AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT FROM EARLIEST TIMES TO THE LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

This book, a much-augmented translation of the author’s original Hungarian version, is an account of Hungary’s past from the perspective of environmental history, incorporating a wide range of environmentally-relevant research findings. Data on climate, agriculture, mining, hunting, urban development and political administration are synthesised to create a rich account of a people in the environment, and the processes of adaptation, exploitation and co-existence required for survival. Importantly, it offers anglophone readers access a considerable digest of important scholarship previously only available in Hungarian. Until now, there has been no environmental history in English of Hungary and the wider region from which the present country crystallised.

The book covers the environmental history of Hungary prior to the Industrial Revolution. It begins with the prehistory of the two protagonists in this environmental story, the Carpathian Basin and the Hungarians; and traces the transformation of the Hungarians, under environmental, social and economic forces, from nomadic tribes to a settled society in the Middle Ages. The environmental developments of the later Middle Ages, a period of relative stability, are explored before the story turns to a long era of war with the Ottoman Empire, during which the key to survival lay in findingadaptive forms of settlement and subsistence systems. Finally, the book chronicles the age of reconstruction following the Ottoman wars and the challenges posed as the country’s population more than doubled, a growth unmatched by agricultural or industrial development. The present volumes leaves Hungary at the dawn of the Industrial Age, a country displaying symptoms of over-population and environmental over-exploitation.


‘Due to the breadth of its concerns, the book serves as an outstanding general history of Hungary. The book uncovers a lost world of environmental and economic diversity that few could have imagined. Rácz’s mastery of the nuances of environment and climate should engender envy in every environmental historian.’
Anthony Amato in Environmental History

LOOK INSIDE THIS BOOK at Amazon.co.uk

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1. THE PRINCIPALS
CHAPTER 2. CONQUEST AND SETTLEMENT
CHAPTER 3. THE LATE MIDDLE AGES
CHAPTER 4. THE OTTOMAN AGE
CHAPTER 5. THE CENTURY OF REBUILDING
EPILOGUE. NOTES FOR A FURTHER STUDY
BIBLIOGRAPHY
APPENDIX: TABLE OF PLACE-NAMES IN THE CARPATHIAN BASIN
INDEX


Publication date: 15 July 2013, 270pp. Black and white illustrations and diagrams
ISBN 978-1-874267-76-8 (HB) £65.00/$100.00/€75.00

Home Page

Books

Book Prices