Writing about Charles Martel
in Law, laity and solidarities
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The task in writing about Charles Martel is to set the record straight. It is thus necessary to unpick both sides of his reputation and to confront the massive implications of the Heinrich Brunner thesis, which means examining very carefully the grounds on which this period is seen as a watershed. On all three counts, the work of Susan Reynolds can never be far from mind. Where Charles Martel is concerned, her work is the spur to revisit even the most familiar sources to check the terminology of landholding, lordship and clientage to see whether early medieval authors used the words and terms associated with 'feudalism', which modern historians read into them. This chapter aims to point to areas in which our understanding of the career of Charles Martel has changed significantly, that is, to draw attention to the recent refutation of old views and misunderstandings.

Law, laity and solidarities

Essays in honour of Susan Reynolds


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