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Simon Walker

Writing a little before 1470, Sir Thomas Malory drew a clear lesson for his own time from the tale of the civil war between King Arthur and Sir Mordred that destroyed the fellowship of the Round Table: Lo! you, all Englishmen. See you not what a mischief here was? For he that was the most King and noblest Knight of the world and most loved the fellowship of noble knights and by him they were all upholden, and yet might not these Englishmen hold them content with him. Lo! thus was the old custom and usages of this land, and men say that we of this land

in Political culture in later medieval England
Principles and practice
Author: Jenny Benham

Few historical problems have received so much attention among those studying the modern period and so little attention among medieval scholars as that of peacemaking. In the medieval period, peace was intrinsically linked to Christianity. As peace was seen as the perfect realisation of the laws of God, peace in the medieval period also became a standard justification for war. This book develops Professor Christopher Holdsworth's ideas and to put these, and other, common themes into a wider context by examining two case studies: peacemaking involving the kings of England and their neighbours in Britain and on the continent; and that involving the kings of Denmark and their neighbours. For England, the investigation looks at the reigns of Henry II and his sons, Richard I and John, encompassing the period between 1154 and 1216. For Denmark, the focus is on the reigns of Valdemar I and his sons, Cnut VI and Valdemar II, thereby covering most of the period between 1157 and 1241. In 1177, the treaty of Winchester satisfied what both kings wanted to achieve at that particular time. At the heart of the medieval peacemaking process stood the face-to-face meeting.

Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

within a convention which dated from the poetry of Maximillian; therefore he wrote of eyes that shine like stars or teeth like ivory.11 Orderis Vitalis’s view of women’s power in the context of their political and warlike activity, like his view of men, is ambiguous, and by no means monolithic.12 For example, Orderic described women actively engaged in the military campaigns of their husbands. Isabel of Conches rode out to war ‘armed as a knight among the knights, and she showed no less courage among the knights in hauberks than did the maid Camilla’.13 His story

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

. Even so, Helen, although trained to rule, is also endowed with outstanding beauty, and fulfils her function by marrying and producing a male heir to the kingdom. Yet Geoffrey’s women could in fact be cruel and as vicious as any male character. He recites the tale of Gwendolen and Estrildis. Locrinus, one of the three sons of Brutus, the mythical founder of Britain, after defeating one of his brothers in war, reserved for himself the spoils of war, which included Estrildis, a native princess. Geoffrey provides a lyrical description of her beauty, a standard topos to

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

been part of the Chester land holdings since 1086. Possibly the manor had fallen to Matilda’s father, the earl of Gloucester, during the civil wars following the landing of the empress Matilda in 1139.44 Chipping Campden was a valuable manor, strategically important to both Robert of Gloucester and Ranulf of Chester: the gift to Matilda as part of her maritagium was thus used by her father as a way of returning the lands to the control of her husband as part of the traditional honor of Chester. Ranulf ’s charter confirming the gift of Earl Robert to Matilda may also

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

expresses the authority of the state, and her regalia leave this in no doubt: her seal of 1141–42, critical years in the civil war, depicts her enthroned and holding the sceptre – royal insignia designating royal powers.30 It has been suggested that the shape and iconography were a statement of her royal authority which conveyed her royal legitimate right to rule.31 The earliest extant impression of a non-royal secular noblewoman’s seal may be that of Matilda of Wallingford. It is difficult to date the charter precisely, but it may have been written between 1122 and 1147

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Abstract only
Pursuing enemies to death in France between the ninth and the eleventh centuries
John Gillingham

I N THIS ESSAY I shall consider the moral choices made by men at war when they decided either to kill their enemies or to spare them. I am less concerned with theoretical discussions of the sinfulness or otherwise of homicide in war as evidenced, for example, in Hrabanus Maurus (see below, pp. 254–5), and much more with questioning the narrative sources in an effort to

in Frankland
Abstract only
Jenny Benham

war, then the answer to this question is almost without exception negative. Few of the agreements mentioned in this book lasted longer than five years, and only three – the peace between Henry II and the Lord Rhys of 1171/72, the submission treaty of the king of Scots concluded in 1174, and the submission of Bogiszlav to Cnut VI in 1184/85 – were still in effect after ten years. Some

in Peacemaking in the Middle Ages
Jenny Benham

reflect the random survival of documents and not genuine practice. Chaplais has classified three different types of treaties in the medieval period: a peace treaty (ending war); treaties of alliance and friendship or confederations; and contracts of marriage. 53 He based his classification on how the first contacts between the two parties were

in Peacemaking in the Middle Ages
Susan M. Johns

specific portrayals of women in order to consider how his views about gender, conquest and war were shaped by his attitude to women. Gerald was a prolific writer and he wrote about Ireland and Wales because he felt they had been neglected by contemporary writers. 6 His Topographica Hibernica ( Topography of Ireland ) and Expugnatio Hibernica ( Conquest of Ireland ) were both published in the period 1188 – 89. His Itinerarium Cambriae ( Journey through Wales ) was completed in c . 1191, his Descriptio Cambriae ( Description of Wales

in Gender, nation and conquest in the high Middle Ages