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Five lives from twelfth-century Germany

Noble society in the twelfth-century German kingdom was vibrant and multi-faceted, with aristocratic families spending their lives in the violent pursuit of land and power. This book illuminates the diversity of the aristocratic experience by providing five texts that show how noblemen and women from across the German kingdom, from Rome to the Baltic coast and from the Rhine River to the Alpine valleys of Austria, lived and died between approximately 1075 and 1200. The five subjects of the texts translated here cut across many of the strata of German elite society. how interconnected political, military, economic, religious and spiritual interests could be for some of the leading members of medieval German society-and for the authors who wrote about them. Whether fighting for the emperor in Italy, bringing Christianity to pagans in what is today northern Poland, or founding, reforming and governing monastic communities in the heartland of the German kingdom, the subjects of these texts call attention to some of the many ways that noble life shaped the world of central medieval Europe.

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Thirteenth-century exempla from the British Isles
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Exempla, the stories with which preachers enlivened their sermons and impressed salutary moral lessons on their hearers, have long been appreciated as a source of key importance for medieval history. They played an important part in popular preaching and yet, for all the work being published on preaching and on the mendicant orders more generally, little of the abundant primary material is available in English translation. This book presents translation material from two collections of exempla assembled in the British Isles in the last quarter of the thirteenth century. One, the Liber Exemplorum (LE), was compiled by an English Franciscan working in Ireland. The other, probably the work of an English Dominican based in Cambridge (DC), is represented by fifty-two stories, about one-sixth of the total. These two collections are important because they are among the earliest to survive from the British Isles. Their short, pithy narratives are not limited to matters of Church doctrine and practice, but touch on a wide range of more mundane matters and provide vivid snapshots of medieval life in the broadest sense. The first part of the collection is chiefly devoted to Christ and the Virgin, the Mass and the saving power of the Cross. The second part has exempla on a wide variety of doctrinal, moral and other topics. These include the vices, the virtues, the sacraments and church practice, and the sins and other failings thought to beset particular professions or groups.

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.

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La Pucelle
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This book collects together for the first time in English the major documents relating to the life and contemporary reputation of Joan of Arc. Also known as La Pucelle, she led a French Army against the English in 1429, arguably turning the course of the war in favour of the French king Charles VII. The story of Joan of Arc has continued to elicit an extraordinary range of reactions throughout almost six centuries since her death. Her story ended tragically in 1431 when she was put on trial for heresy and sorcery by an ecclesiastical court and was burned at the stake. The book shows how the trial, which was organised by her enemies, provides an important window into late medieval attitudes towards religion and gender. Joan was effectively persecuted by the established Church for her supposedly non-conformist views on spirituality and the role of women. She was ransomed by her captors to their English allies who in turn handed her over to the Church to be tried and finally executed for heresy at Rouen on 30 May 1431. This slur against her reputation would remain until her friends and acquaintances gave evidence before a Nullification trial that eventually overturned the earlier judgement against her on 7 July 1456. The textual records of the Nullification trial also present problems for modern scholars, parallel to those for the original Rouen trial.

The Chronicle of Regino of Prüm and Adalbert of Magdeburg
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The career, mental world and writings of Regino, abbot of Prüm, were all defined by the Carolingian empire and, more particularly, by its end. The high Ottonian period of the mid-tenth century also witnessed a revival of historiography, exemplified by the work of the two major authors who wrote about the rise of the dynasty. The first of these was Liutprand of Cremona, whose Antapodosis, a history of European politics from 888 until around 950, and Historia Ottonis, a focused account of events surrounding Otto's imperial coronation, were both written in the earlier 960s. The second was Adalbert, who most probably wrote his continuation to the Chronicle in 967/968. Regino's Chronicle, dedicated to Bishop Adalbero of Augsburg in the year 908, was the last work of its kind for several decades, and as such its author can be regarded as the last great historian of the Carolingian Empire. The Chronicle is divided into two books. The first, subtitled 'On the times of the Lord's incarnation', begins with the incarnation of Christ and proceeds as far as the death of Charles Martel in 741. The second 'On the deeds of the kings of the Franks' takes the story from the death of Charles Martel through to 906. The much shorter continuation by Adalbert of Magdeburg enjoys a place in the canon of works relating to the history of the earliest German Reich and consequently has received considerably more attention.

Italy, France, and Flanders

This book is comprised of over 200 translated sources related to popular protest in Italy, France and Flanders from 1245 to 1424 . In particular, it focuses on the ‘contagion of rebellion' from 1355 to 1382 that followed in the wake of the plague. They comprise a diversity of sources and cover a variety of forms of popular protest in different social, political and economic settings. Their authors range across a wide political and intellectual horizon and include revolutionaries, the artistocracy, merchants and representatives from the church. They tell gripping and often gruesome stories of personal and collective violence, anguish, anger, terror, bravery, and foolishness. The book documents the best-known revolt in France before the French Revolution, the Jacquerie. The book also focuses on the best known of the urban revolts of the fourteenth century, the Revolt of the Ciompi, which set off with a constitutional conflict in June 1378. It then views the 'cluster of revolts' of northern France and Flanders, 1378 to 1382, concentrating on the most important of these, the tax revolts of the Harelle in Rouen and the Maillotins or hammer men in Paris. It looks beyond the 'cluster' to the early fifteenth century.

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The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg
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The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg has long been recognised as one of the most important sources for the history of the tenth and early eleventh centuries, especially for the history of the Ottonian Empire. Although there is sufficient evidence of continuity between the Ottonians and the early Salians to justify a long Ottonian period extending at least to 1056, it is the Ottonians alone who defined the mental landscape of Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg. Thietmar's testimony also has special value because of his geographical location, in eastern Saxony, on the boundary between German and Slavic cultures. He is arguably the single most important witness to the early history of Poland, and his detailed descriptions of Slavic folklore are the earliest on record. Among anglophone readers, Thietmar's reputation rests chiefly on the various studies of Ottonian society and politics produced by the late Karl Leyser, one of the most influential historians of his generation. Although Thietmar placed great importance on kings and royal politics, he was scarcely reticent when it came to expressing his opinions on other matters. Notwithstanding his emphasis on the Divinity's role in directing Ottonian kings, Thietmar did not conceal the fact that the effect of royal government could be disruptive.

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Faith, religion and observance before the Reformation
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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.

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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.

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.