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Johanna Kramer

The books of the New Testament reveal little about the Ascension beyond establishing it as a Christological event: Christ assembles his disciples and somehow disappears from before their eyes. This reticence can make the richness of later developments seem surprising. The sparse biblical sources nonetheless provide basic themes for the Ascension that invite the creativity of the early Christian theologians who interpreted them. In their post-Resurrection accounts, the New Testament books focus most on the physical manifestations of

in Between earth and heaven
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

’s power. The analytical framework upon which the book is constructed draws on recent theoretical developments in the history of women and power and utilises traditional scholarly approaches to the study of the twelfth century. In so doing it re-defines the nature of twelfth-century lordship. The debate on the roles of medieval women has moved a long way from seeing them as victims of male dominance, and the ideology of separate spheres has been superseded by recent theoretical insights which consider the importance of gender and the impact of the female life cycle on

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Debating the medieval English peasantry

The study of the medieval English peasantry began in the nineteenth century as an adjunct to the study of other themes. Medievalists have tended to assume that modern working definitions of peasant, as proposed by Thorner et al., are sufficiently accommodating as to make room for a medieval English peasantry and conceive of a peasant society operating in medieval England. The book describes the ways in which historians have discussed change within the village community, notably in the pre- and post-Black Death village communities. It examines the ways in which debates or particular avenues of research have emerged from three main strands of research: population movement and its determining; the demands and constraints of the seigneurial economy and of resistance to the same; and the development of commerce and the market. The book analyzes the peasant family and household in demographic terms and by looking at household formation, age at marriage and the size and structure of the peasant household, as well as the evolution of the peasant household in the high and late middle ages. It suggests that the study of the medieval peasantry is not a plaything of historical fashion, subject only to the whims and musings of historians the views of whom are rooted only in the present; it reflects a nuancing and refining of questions that will lead to a fuller understanding of a topic and period of great and enduring interest.

Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

. Heslop, like Chassel, has begun the important task of placing seals into their sociocultural contexts and has, for example, studied the Virgin Mary’s regalia in terms of its production and varied meanings.9 In particular he warned of the difficulties in analysing the iconography of Romanesque seals of twelfth-century England. His work which has discussed the development of seal iconography has done much to distinguish the way that broader artistic and cultural changes affected seal iconography, use and design. Thus, for example, he related the iconography of croziers

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

women could exert. Thus, paradoxically, the position of women within the nobility was secured by their tenurial patterns, despite the cultural shift to primogeniture. The history of the twelfth century need not be understood only in terms of the dynamics of male tenurial lordship, which was itself in the process of development. As Paul Dalton has shown, even in the first half of the twelfth century there was a gulf between ideal society and the social and tenurial reality.3 Indeed, this book has shown that although historians such as Duby, Pollock and Maitland and

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
The Rotuli de Dominabus et Pueris et Puellis de XII Comitatibus of 1185
Susan M. Johns

Warren argued that under Henry II inquiries such as the 1185 Rotuli de Dominabus represent a significant restoration of royal authority over the magnates, baronage and knightly classes.10 This debate is focused on the development of institutions in a historiography dominated by concerns about government control over a ‘feudal’ society seen as male-dominated in which women played a passive role; and further this has become unhelpfully centred on the question of whether Henry II’s regime was efficient and ruthlessly exploitative or reformist in nature. By its nature this

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Susan M. Johns

the hands of women, and on these occasions the participation of women in the ceremony was witnessed by women. The concern of beneficiaries and patrons to ensure the security of their transactions explains the development of certain features of charters, including the inclusion of relatives in consent clauses to disbar future claims, the public ritual acts of placing gifts on altars, affidation, warranty, witnessing and countergifts. Warranty clauses are an indication of the concern to ensure good lordship, and were also a mechanism which neutralised family claims to

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

Psalms and seven prayers selected by Anselm at her request. He also sent some prayers that he had composed for her. These were a decisive break with previous traditions in personal prayer, and marked a significant step in the development of the Anselmian revolution in the composition of texts for personal devotion. He also included advice on how to meditate.20 The relationship between Adela and Anselm was of both a political and a spiritual, personal nature. Eadmer reveals that it was Adela who played a pivotal role in resolving a dispute between her brother Henry and

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

frequently followed by the phrase quondam uxor, with the name of deceased husband(s), and then the legia potestate clause. This closer attention to the definition of noblewomen’s status in charters is evidence of changes in documentary forms as a result of the proliferation of documents in the twelfth century. It was also a statement of female identity in a document intended for public consumption. With more individuals granting charters the need to record precisely who was who grew. The development of such clauses occurs after the impact of the Angevin reforms and hence

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

of the period high-status women such as Countess Hawise witnessed documents, by the end of the century, groups of women of freeholder status witnessed charters. This may 86 witnessing be related to the increasing awareness of procedures and jurisdiction typical of documents of this period and therefore of a trend to record more precisely those individuals involved in a grant.38 The twelfth-century development of co-parceny, that is, the division of inheritance among female heirs,39 may also have created tenurial relationships which brought women into business

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm