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Author: John Edwards

As European politics, society, economy and religion underwent epoch-making changes between 1400 and 1600, the treatment of Europe's Jews by the non-Jewish majority was, then as in later periods, a symptom of social problems and tensions in the Continent as a whole. Through a broad-ranging collection of original documents, the book sets out to present a vivid picture of the Jewish presence in European life during this vital and turbulent period. This book discusses the history and background of the Jewish presence in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe. As far as the late medieval Church was concerned, the basis for the treatment of Jews, by ecclesiastical and secular authorities, was to be found in the decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council of the Roman Church, which were issued in 1215. The book is concerned with Jewish economic activities for their own sake, and Jews' financial relations with Christian rulers. It then concentrates on other aspects of the dealings which went on between European Jews and their Christian neighbours. The book includes the Jews' own economic presence and culture, social relations between Jews and Christians, the policies and actions of Christian authorities in Church and State. It draws upon original source material to convey ordinary people's prejudices about Jews, including myths about Jewish 'devilishness', money-grabbing, and 'ritual murder' of Christian children. Finally, the book demonstrates from the outset that much of the treatment of European Jews, in the period up to the Reformation and thereafter, was to be a practical result of the controversies within 'Christendom' on the subject of authority, whether ecclesiastical or secular.

Christian dualism originated in the reign of Constans II (641-68). It was a popular religion, which shared with orthodoxy an acceptance of scriptual authority and apostolic tradition and held a sacramental doctrine of salvation, but understood all these in a radically different way to the Orthodox Church. One of the differences was the strong part demonology played in the belief system. This text traces, through original sources, the origins of dualist Christianity throughout the Byzantine Empire, focusing on the Paulician movement in Armenia and Bogomilism in Bulgaria. It presents not only the theological texts, but puts the movements into their social and political context.

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Faith, religion and observance before the Reformation
Author: R. N. Swanson

Using original source material, This book seeks to explore the nature of religious belief and practice in pre-Reformation England. For most people in England the main access to the Bible, and indeed to instruction in the faith, would be through hearing priests from their pulpits. The book demonstrates with immediacy and potency the diverse expressions of faith and observance. It discusses the varieties of spirituality in later medieval England and the ways in which they received expression, through participation in church services, actions like pilgrimages, charitable foundations, devotional readings and instruction. Opposition to prevailing spirituality, expressed through 'Lollardy', is also considered. There is a great deal of written evidence for both the theory and the practice of late medieval English religion and spirituality. The mass was the central ceremony of the Church: the consecration of the bread and wine to become the body and blood of Christ. Within Christianity, the principal focus of devotion was necessarily the divinity, in particular Christ, the second person of the Trinity. While there was considerable concern to accumulate spiritual benefits during life, the most important issue was to secure salvation after death. For those who sought advanced domestic spiritual satisfaction, an episcopal licence for the celebration of divine offices within a private chapel or oratory was necessary.

Author: I.S. Robinson

This book is a translation of the eleventh-century Latin Annals of Lampert, the monk of Hersfeld. Lampert produced the most detailed account of the events of 1056-77 (the minority of Henry IV of Germany and the first decade of his personal rule), a period of crisis and rebellion culminating in the conflict between the king and Pope Gregory VII. Lampert is widely regarded as the unrivalled master among medieval historians and a superb story-teller, noted for his vivid characterisation and narrative.

This book is our principal source for the history of the Kingdom of Sicily in the troubled years between the death of its founder, King Roger, in February 1154 and the spring of 1169. It covers the reign of Roger's son, King William I, known to later centuries as 'the Bad', and the minority of the latter's son, William II 'the Good'. The book illustrates the revival of classical learning during the twelfth-century renaissance. It presents a vivid and compelling picture of royal tyranny, rebellion and factional dispute at court. Sicily had historically been ruled by tyrants, and that the rule of the new Norman kings could be seen, for a variety of reasons, as a revival of that classical tyranny. A more balanced view of Sicilian history of the period 1153-1169 has been provided as an appendix to the translation in the section of the contemporary world chronicle ascribed to Archbishop Romuald II of Salerno, who died in April 1181. In particular the chronicle of Romuald enables us to see how the papal schism of 1159 and the simultaneous dispute between the German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the north Italian cities affected the destiny of the kingdom of Sicily. In contrast to the shadowy figure of Hugo Falcandus, the putative author of the principal narrative of mid-twelfth-century Sicilian history, Romuald II, Archbishop of Salerno 1153-1181, is well-documented.

The reign of Richard II

This book covers one of the most controversial and shocking episodes in medieval English history, the 'tyranny' and deposition of Richard II and the usurpation of the throne by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, who became King Henry IV. Richard's deposition was arguably the most portentous event in the political history of late medieval England. The book represents all the principal contemporary chronicles from the violently partisan Thomas Walsingham, chronicler of St Alban's Abbey, who saw Richard as a tyrant and murderer, to the indignant Dieulacres chronicler, who claimed that the 'innocent king' was tricked into surrender by his perjured barons. Of the three most substantial contemporary chronicles which cover the earlier part of Richard's reign, two cease before 1397: namely the Westminster Chronicle, which ends in 1394, and the Chronicon Henrici Knighton, which peters out in 1395. Fortunately, the third, the Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, continues through the revolution of 1399 and well beyond, right up to 1420. The Lancastrian, French and Cistercian chronicles are the principal narrative accounts of the years 1397-1400, though they are not the only ones. The book focuses on the course of the Bolingbroke-Mowbray dispute, or his description of the early events of the 'Epiphany Rising'.

Author: Jennifer Ward

This book provides a broad-ranging and accessible coverage of the role of noble women in medieval England. Throughout the Middle Ages the men and women of the nobility and gentry occupied a position at the top of the social hierarchy. Marriage for noble and gentry children was arranged by their families, with the participation on occasion of their lords and of the king, and it was relatively rare for the children themselves to take matters into their own hands. As with marriage, the woman's relationship to her husband and children has to be seen within the framework of canon and common law, the Church being concerned with the marriage itself, and the royal courts with property. The crucial importance of land as the source of wealth for noble and gentry society has been underlined in the discussion of both marriage and the family. Women's landholding is well documented, the amount of land in their hands varying according to the accidents of birth and fortune. The household was the centre and hub of the lady's life and activities, and can be regarded as a community in its own right. Men and women of the nobility and gentry living in the world were encouraged to practise their religion through attendance at Mass, private prayer on behalf of themselves and the dead, works of charity, pilgrimage, and material support of the Church. Although many women's lives followed a conventional pattern, great variety existed within family relationships, and individuality can also be seen in religious practices and patronage. Piety could take a number of different forms, whether a woman became a nun, a vowess or a noted philanthropist and benefactor to religious institutions.

History and Hagiography 640–720

This book provides a collection of documents in translation which brings together the seminal sources for the late Merovingian Frankish kingdom. The collection of documents in translation includes Liber Historiae Francorum, Vita Domnae Balthidis, Vita Audoini Episcopi Rotomagensis, Acta Aunemundi, Passio Leudegarii, Passio Praejecti, and Vita Sanctae Geretrudis and the Additamentum Nivialense de Fuilano. The Liber Historiae Francorum was written while a Merovingian king still ruled over the Franks and by someone geographically very close to the political centre of that realm. Late Merovingian hagiography tends to emphasise miracles which heal and eliminate the maladies of the life, and the Vita Audoini follows the pattern. The Vita Sanctae Geretrudis makes no mention at all of Columbanus and his mission among the Franks, a strange omission if the Irish were all one group. The Passio Praejecti provides information on the relationship between the politics of the locality and the politics of the centre, for a land dispute between Praejectus and Hector, the ruler of Marseilles, was heard at the royal court at Autun at Easter 675. The Passio Leudegarii has an overt peace-making element, although the issue of who was on which side is much clouded by the complexity of the political narrative.

Authors: Andrew Brown and Graeme Small

The sense of a gulf between city and court has been perpetuated, in the case of the Burgundian Low Countries, by the long-standing influence of Johan Huizinga's Herfstij der Middeleeuwen. The foundation of the Burgundian curial Order of chivalry known as the Golden Fleece was proclaimed on the market place at Bruges on behalf of Philip the Good during the festivities of his wedding to Isabella of Portugal in January 1430. The ceremonies accompanying the formal Entry of a dynast into a subject city in later medieval Europe have generated a rich and varied literature in the last generation, particularly in the case of the Burgundian Netherlands. The book includes ceremonial events, such as the spectacles and gargantuan banquets that made the Burgundian dukes the talk of Europe, the workings of the court, and jousting, archery and rhetoric competitions. The regular contests of jousters, archers and poets in towns of the Low Countries were among the most distinctive features of festive urban society in the fifteenth century. The control that late medieval urban authorities sought to exercise over the sacred, articularly over cults of saints is a phenomenon identified in Italian city states as 'civic religion'. The Burgundian court developed a reputation as one of the most spectacular in Europe: the presence and function of ceremony in court and civic society require more detailed attention.

Author: Mark Bailey

This book aims to provide a broad introduction to the structure and composition of the English manor between c. 1200 and c. 1500 and to serve as a user's guide to its principal records. It considers the form, evolution and usefulness to historians of a group of closely related records: surveys, custumals, extents, terriers and rentals. Manorial accounts build upon the 'static' information contained in surveys, extents and rentals by recording in detail how the individual elements of the manor were managed and what they actually yielded over the agricultural year. The earliest known manorial accounts survive from the bishop of Winchester's estate in the 1200s and 1210s, where they were enrolled with other estate and household records. The abundant records of manor courts represent the single most important source for the study of English local society in the Middle Ages, and offer unique and highly detailed information relating to a wide range of subjects. The book provides a general introduction to the manorial court, its format, procedures and business, and its usefulness to the historian, and considers changes to its business in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The decline of the frankpledge system, and by extension the declining powers of the leet court, is mirrored by a fall in the business conducted in manor courts during the fifteenth century.