Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 40 items for

  • Series: Manchester Medieval Sources x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Abstract only
Chronicles of the Spanish Reconquest

The Visigothic monarchy of Spain which flourished in the seventh and eighth centuries was the most sophisticated of the misleadingly so-called barbarian successor states which replaced the Roman Empire in western Europe. It was sophisticated in its grasp of the institutional inheritance from Rome, in its nurturing of the wealth of the rich provinces of the Iberian peninsula and in its encouragement of a lively Christian literary and artistic culture. This cultural achievement was shattered and dispersed by the Islamic conquest of Spain in the early years of the eighth century. The book focuses on four of the principal narrative sources for the history of the Spanish kingdom of León-Castile during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. They are Historia Silense, Chronicon Regum Legionensium by Bishop Pelayo of Oviedo, Historia Roderici and Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris. The first three chronicles focus primarily upon the activities of the kings of León-Castile as leaders of the Reconquest of Spain from the forces of Islam, and especially upon Fernando I, his son Alfonso VI and the latter's grandson Alfonso VII. The fourth chronicle is a biography of the hero Rodrigo Díaz, better remembered as El Cid, and is the main source of information about his extraordinary career as a mercenary soldier who fought for Christian and Muslim alike.

Author:

The towns of later medieval Italy were one of the high points of urban society and culture in Europe before the industrial revolution. This book provides more inclusive and balanced coverage of Italian urban life in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In looking for the chief features of Italian communal cities, it focuses on: the unity of city and dependent countryside, the stability of population, urban functions, the development of public spaces, social composition, the development of autonomous institutions, and civic culture. The book begins with three of these: Bonvesin da la Riva's innovative description of Milan, Giovanni da Nono's more conventional, but lively description of Padua, and an anonymous, verse description of Genoa. It also focuses on the buildings and their decoration, and urban 'social services'. The book then addresses Italian civic religion. It explores production and commerce: the effects of monetary affluence, the guilds and markets, government interventions to stimulate production, to regulate exchange, and to control the city's population. The book deals with social groups and social tensions: popolo against magnates, noble clans against each another, men against women, young men against city elders, Christians against Jews, freemen against slaves, food riots and tax revolts, acts of resistance and indecency. Finally, it examines the great variety of political regimes in late-medieval Italy: from consolidated communes such as Florence or Venice, to stable or unstable 'tyrannies' in Pisa, Ferrara or Verona.

From minority to tyranny 1377–97

The first twenty years (1377-97) of Richar II's reign was characterised by war and rebellion, show trials, scandalous royalty, horrible murders, attempts to solve the Irish question and the making of England's oldest alliance. This richly-documented period offers exceptional opportunities and challenges to students, and the editor has selected material from a wide range of sources: well-known English chronicles, foreign chronicles, and legal, administrative and financial records. This book describes the complex domestic and international situation which confronted the young king, and offers guidance on the strengths and weaknesses of the reign's leading chronicles. Students of Richard II's reign are blessed with numerous written sources. This reign saw the last great flowering of medieval chronicle-writing.

Lives of Pope Leo IX and Pope Gregory VII
Author:

The papal reform movement of the eleventh century is the best documented of a number of parallel movements dedicated to the reform of ecclesiastical institutions. The eleventh-century papal reform transformed western European Church and society and permanently altered the relations of Church and State in the west. The reform was inaugurated by Pope Leo IX and was given a controversial change of direction by Pope Gregory VII. This book is a collection of biographies and other narrative sources concerned principally with the lives of Leo IX and Gregory VII. These works were composed by intellectuals with markedly different ideas of reform, writing in different centres of learning. The anonymous author of the Life of Leo IX wrote in Lotharingia, perhaps in the abbey of St-Evre in the diocese of Toul, completing his work before 1061. Bishop Bonizo of Sutri wrote his polemical history of the Church, The Book to a Friend, in exile in Tuscany soon after the death of Gregory VII in 1085 and that pope is the central figure in the work. Paul of Bernried wrote his biography of Gregory VII in 1128, perhaps in Regensburg, drawing on a large collection of late eleventh-century Gregorian materials. Bishop Benzo of Alba completed his polemic addressed to Henry IV in 1085 in Lombardy. Finally Bishop Bruno of Segni composed his Sermon concerning Simoniacs probably in the later 1090s, when he was an active member of the papal curia.

Abstract only
Author:

From 1348 to 1350 Europe was devastated by an epidemic that left between a third and one half of the population dead. This book traces, through contemporary writings, the calamitous impact of the Black Death in Europe, with a particular emphasis on its spread across England from 1348 to 1349. It charts the social and psychological impact of the plague, and its effect on the late-medieval economy. Focusing on England, an exceptionally well documented region, the book then offers a wide range of evidence for the plague's variegated repercussions on the economy and, no less complex, on social and religious conduct. It is concerned with the British experience of plague in the fourteenth century. Students of intellectual history will find a wealth of pseudo-scientific explanations of the plague ranging from astrological conjunctions, through earthquakes releasing toxic vapours, to well poisoning by Jews. From narrative accounts, often of heartrending immediacy, the book further proceeds to a variety of contemporary responses, drawn from many parts of Christian Europe. It then explains contemporary claims that the plague had been caused by human agency. The book attempts to explain the plague, which was universally regarded as an expression of divine vengeance for the sins of humankind.

Ninth-Century Histories, Volume I
Author:

This book presents a translation of the Annals of St-Bertin (AB). The AB give a detailed record of events in the Carolingian world, covering the years 830-882. They constitute the most substantial piece of contemporary historical writing of their time, a time that was a critical one in western European history. The AB contain uniquely extensive information about Viking activities, constructive as well as destructive, and also about the variety of responses to those activities. Produced in the 830s in the imperial palace of Louis the Pious, the AB were continued away from the Court, first by Bishop Prudentius of Troyes, then by the great scholar-politician Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims. The AB have little information for the year 840 after the death of Louis the Pious, and something like the earlier density of reporting is resumed only with the battle of Fontenoy. From 841 on, the AB were based in the western part of the old empire, in what became, with the Treaty of Verdun in 843, the kingdom of Charles the Bald. Thus the division of Verdun is, again, faithfully reflected in the AB's record. From time to time, information was received from Lothar's Middle Kingdom, and from Louis the German's East Frankish kingdom; but the AB's main focus after 843 was on events in the West and on the doings of Charles the Bald.

Abstract only
Ninth-century histories, volume II
Author:

This book presents a translation of the Annals of Fulda (AF). By the ninth century annals were one of the major vehicles for historical writing within the Frankish empire. The AF are the principal narrative source written from a perspective east of the Rhine for the period in which the Carolingian Empire gave way to a number of successor kingdoms, including the one which was to become Germany. AF offer the major narrative account of the east Frankish kingdom from the death of Louis the Pious down to the end of the ninth century. The surviving manuscripts are only an echo of what must once have been a much more extensive transmission, to judge by the use made of AF by a number of later annalists and compilers. The brief description of the manuscript tradition must be amplified by looking at the content of the annals. For the years 714 to 830 the work is undoubtedly a compilation which draws on earlier annals, in particular on the Royal Frankish Annals and the Lorsch Frankish Chronicle, with occasional use of other smaller sets of annals and saints' lives. The account of the origins of AF was heavily criticised by Siegmund Hellmann in a number of articles written some fifteen years after the appearance of Friedrich Kurze's edition in 1891.

Author:

The saints' Lives in this book were written in Italy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Here translated into English and in full for the first time, they shed light on the ways in which both lay men and women sought God in the urban environment, and how they were understood and described by contemporaries. Only one of these saints (Homobonus of Cremona) was formally canonised by the Pope: the others were locally venerated within the communities which had nurtured them. Earliest in date were Homobonus of Cremona and Raimondo Palmario of Piacenza, near-contemporaries and inhabitants of neighbouring cities, who died in 1197 and 1200 respectively; the latest was Enrico ('Rigo') of Bolzano, who died in Treviso in 1315. This was a period of rapid demographic and economic growth in the Italian urban environment; it witnessed much social and political upheaval, accompanied by religious change. Miracle collections are important hagiographical genre for some saints. The miracles which Umiliana de' Cerchi did in the first three years after her death and her posthumous appearances to her devotees were separately recorded, constituting, together with the Life, a hagiographical dossier. Umiliana and Pier Pettinaio were associated with the Franciscans, while Homobonus and Raimondo Palmario lived and died before 'the coming of the friars'. The Lives of both Pier Pettinaio of Siena and Rigo of Bolzano were written some time after their deaths, apparently to satisfy local and community pietas. There is no cross-reference between the Lives of Zita of Lucca and Rigo of Bolzano and their extensive miracle collections.

Author:

The Norman kingdom of Sicily is one of the most fascinating and unusual areas of interest within the discipline of medieval history. The unification of the island of Sicily with the southern Italian mainland in the years after 1127 altered the balance of power in the Mediterranean and had a major impact on the power politics of Europe in the central Middle Ages. Count Roger II of Sicily was crowned as the first king of the new kingdom of Sicily in Palermo cathedral on Christmas Day 1130. Two principal narrative texts, the 'History of King Roger' of Abbot Alexander of Telese and the Chronicle of Falco of Benevento, reveal diametrically opposing views of King Roger and his state-building. Alexander of Telese suggested that Roger deliberately cultivated an image of restraint and remoteness that he might be feared by evildoers, and the chronicle attributed to Archbishop Romuald of Salerno said that he was more feared than loved by his subjects. If the German sources show the expedition of 1137 from the viewpoint of the invaders, the Montecassino chronicle depicts it from that of the recipients, trying to safeguard their own interests in the face of conflicting pressures on them. The 'Catalogue of the Barons' is a source of great importance for the study of the kingdom of Sicily in the mid-twelfth century, both for the military system and for the structure of landholding in the mainland provinces, but it is a problematic text.

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.