- John Waller
The decline of the Roman Empire led to a dramatic drop in trade and the loss of much ancient scholarship. Then, around ad 1000, advances in farming, transport, and finance and an improving climate allowed crop yields to grow and commerce to flourish once again. A dramatic increase in wealth sustained an upswing in scholarly activity, encouraged the territorial expansion of European kingdoms, and led to the rise of more complex social hierarchies. ‘Sex, seed, and sin in the medieval world’ explains how the rediscovery of key texts by Aristotle and Galen as well as growing social inequalities and contact with other ethnicities reinvigorated ancient debates about the nature of heredity.