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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'.

Editor: E.A. Jones

This source book offers a comprehensive treatment of the solitary religious lives in England in the late Middle Ages. It covers both enclosed anchorites or recluses and freely-wandering hermits, and explores the relation between them. The sources selected for the volume are designed to complement better-known works connected with the solitary lives, such as the anchoritic guide Ancrene Wisse, or St Aelred of Rievaulx’s rule for his sister; or late medieval mystical authors including the hermit Richard Rolle or the anchorite Julian of Norwich. They illustrate the range of solitary lives that were possible in late medieval England, practical considerations around questions of material support, prescribed ideals of behaviour, and spiritual aspiration. It also covers the mechanisms and structures that were put in place by both civil and religious authorities to administer and regulate the vocations. Coverage extends into the Reformation period to include evidence for the fate of solitaries during the dissolutions and their aftermath. The material selected includes visual sources, such as manuscript illustrations, architectural plans and photographs of standing remains, as well as excerpts from texts. Most of the latter are translated here for the first time, and a significant proportion are taken from previously unpublished sources.

Frutolf of Michelsberg and his continuators

This book is the first English translation of one of the most significant chronicles of the middle ages. Written in Bamberg at the end of the eleventh century, Frutolf of Michelsberg's Chronicle offers a lively and vivid account of the great struggle between the German emperors and the papacy known today as the Investiture Contest. Frutolf's Chronicle has numerous continuations written in the first quarter of the twelfth century. Together with that, Frutolf's Chronicle offers an engaging and accessible snapshot of how medieval people reacted to a conflict that led to civil war in Germany and Italy, and fundamentally altered the relationship of church and state in Western society.

Selected sources
Author: Gervase Rosser

This book is the first collection of translated sources on towns in medieval England between 1100 and 1500. Drawing on a variety of written evidence for the significan and dynamic period, it provides an overview of English medieval urban history. Readers are invited to consider the challenges and opportunities presented by a wide range of sources. The merchant, for example, is seen from different angles - as an economic agent, as a religious patron and in Chaucer's fictional depiction. The prominence of London and the other major cities is reflected in the selection, but due attention is also given to a number of small market towns. Occasions of conflict are represented, as are examples of groups and societies which both contributed to and helped to contain the tensions within urban society. Changing indicators of wealth and poverty are considered, together with evidence for more complex questions concerning the quality of life in the medieval town. The book moves between the experience of urban life and contemporary perceptions of it - from domestic furnishings to legends of civic origins and plays in which townspeople enacted their own history.

Paschasius Radbertus' funeral oration for Wala of Corbie
Authors: Mayke de Jong and Justin Lake

This book presents a new and accessible translation of a well-known yet enigmatic text: the ‘Epitaph for Arsenius’ by the monk and scholar Paschasius Radbertus (Radbert) of Corbie. This monastic dialogue, with the author in the role of narrator, plunges the reader directly into the turmoil of ninth-century religion and politics. ‘Arsenius’ was the nickname of Wala, a member of the Carolingian family who in the 830s became involved in the rebellions against Louis the Pious. Exiled from the court, Wala/Arsenius died Italy in 836. Casting both Wala and himself in the role of the prophet Jeremiah, Radbert chose the medium of the epitaph (funeral oration) to deliver a polemical attack, not just on Wala’s enemies, but also on his own.

This book is about the rise of Christian dualism and its influence in the Byzantine world. Before the seventh century there had been dualist religions like Gnosticism and Manichaeism which contained Christian elements, but they were theosophical movements, based on myths which were not Christian, although they could be interpreted in a Christian sense. The Christian dualism preached by Constantine of Mananalis in the mid-seventh century was truly Christian because it was based on the authority of the New Testament alone. Christian dualism began with Constantine of Mananalis who lived in the reign of Constans II, and the Byzantine Empire ended with the conquest of Constantinople by the Sultan Mehmet II in 1453. The book focuses on two areas of Christian dualism. The first is the Tondrakian movement in Armenia, which appears to be cognate with, but not identical to, Paulicianism. Superficially Bogomilism seemed to have a good deal in common with Paulicianism. The second area which the authors have only dealt with in a limited way is Bosnia, which though on the frontiers of the Byzantine world was not part of it. Tefrice became a refuge for Paulicians who were persecuted in the Byzantine Empire, and Carbeas is said also to have offered attractive terms to non-Paulician Byzantines who would come and settle in this dangerous frontier zone.

Heresy is a topic that exerts almost universal fascination. This book an invaluable collection of primary sources in translation, aimed at students and academics alike. It provides a wide array of materials on both heresy (Cathars and Waldensians) and the persecution of heresy in medieval France. The book is divided into eight sections, each devoted to a different genre of source material. A large proportion of evidence for heresy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries comes from chronicles, but by the thirteenth century they do not loom quite so large in comparison to other genres. Historians sometimes use the label 'chronicle' as a shorthand term to cover any kind of medieval written account of past events. For those interested in seeing how 'heresy' was constructed rhetorically by orthodoxy, sermons are an invaluable source. The book presents a selection of extracts from two of the most important works of preaching in the thirteenth century, the tales collected by Stephen of Bourbon and those written by Humbert of Romans. It also offers a variety of letters, from a very public letter, widely circulated with the aim of stirring prelates into action against heresy, to administrative letters. In the wake of the Peace of Paris, a series of ecclesiastical councils provided for the prosecution of heresy in Languedoc. There is an abundance of modern scholarship on inquisition records and registers of inquisition trials.

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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.

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. 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.

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

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.