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The symbolism of largesse

Europe, as in many other civilisations, contracts were fulfilled and exchanges of goods made by means of gifts. Though in theory these gifts were voluntary, Mauss argued that in fact they were given and repaid under obligations. In his celebrated essay on gift giving, Mauss outlined a theory of the so-called potlatch . Mauss applied this Chinook word, originally meaning ‘to

in Peacemaking in the Middle Ages
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‘appreciate’ or ‘prefer’. Yet there may be more going on in this apparent rejection of the Blackletter Chaucer than first meets the eye. Quotations of Walpole’s letter almost always omit the second half of his comment: ‘still my antiquarianility is much obliged to your pimping for it’. 25 Walpole’s jocular transformation of the exchange with Mason into a transaction codes the

in Affective medievalism

kind of relief, they should not receive temporal reward in exchange. But, according to the word of the Lord ‘Freely you received, freely give’ [Matthew 10:8] they must give generously what they have received by the grace of God to those around them, that is what they were given freely – freely indeed meaning without awaiting temporal counterpart. 16 From a human experience that provides an exemplum , and from a saying from the Scriptures, Hincmar generalises: this is the most common homiletical method. The originality of the Vita Remigii

in Hincmar of Rheims
The case of Trising in context

emperor in 875, and Pope John VIII. This is why Hincmar acted as Charles’s ghost-writer, in a long and learned text known as De iudiciis et appellationibus . It was composed as if the emperor resided in Rome, and commented from this southern vantage point on the affairs of his transalpine kingdom. The high-level exchange that Hincmar envisaged never took place, for Charles died on 6  September 877, before he ever reached Rome. Still, this eminently imperial document may also have been meant to impress audiences closer to home. If so, they would be informed that

in Hincmar of Rheims
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The Dunsoete Agreement and daily life in the Welsh borderlands

recent decades of frontier scholarship away from the ‘frontier-as-barrier’ concept and towards an understanding of frontiers as important zones of cultural exchange.51 The role 9 Writing the Welsh borderlands of medieval frontiers in creating rather than dividing cultures underlies Robert Bartlett’s argument for the importance of hundreds of individual frontier zones in the eventual coalescence of western Europe.52 However, the word ‘frontier’ itself is an inadequate characterisation of the situation in the Anglo-Welsh borderlands prior to 1066. Medieval frontier

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England

part of Charles’s permanent court. 47 Rheims’ proximity to Louis and Charles’s favourite hunting grounds in the Ardennes meant that correspondence could easily travel from Hincmar to the king, wherever he was. The Historia Remensis ecclesiae records several letters sent from Hincmar to Louis during the winter of 878, so communications were clearly being exchanged when the two men were in different locations. 48 Through his correspondence, Hincmar was able to advise and guide Louis when they were in the same region, if not in the same city, just as he had done for

in Hincmar of Rheims

Craswall.96 Just as interesting are the arrangements made between Simon of Clifford and Walter de Lacy, discussed in Chapter 7, which aided Simon’s commission as Walter’s seneschal. Before May 1234, Simon exchanged his manor of Yarkhill for an annual rent of £30, still owing the service of one and a half knights. The rent was split, with £15 drawn from the manor of Holme Lacy (Herefordshire) and £15 from Hayestown (Co. Meath).97 Yarkhill likely had been granted to Simon by Walter previously, because it was one of the Lacy demesne manors confirmed to Walter’s father Hugh

in Lordship in four realms

Timahoe (bar. Cullenagh, Co. Laois) for Meiler fitz Henry in his new territory of Laigis. Hugh also gave his niece in marriage to Meiler, and granted him the cantred of Ardnurcher (bar. Moycashel, Co. Westmeath) in Meath.71 These acts may have formed part of the compensatory package for Meiler’s exchange of lands in Uí Fáeláin, but they also harnessed the energy of the veteran campaigner. Hugh further secured the Leinster midlands by constructing castles for Robert de Bigarz in Uí Buide (bar. Mallyadams, Co. Laois), for Thomas of Flanders just across the river Barrow at

in Lordship in four realms

appearance under the accounts for that year’s scutage for Normandy suggests that it arose from Richard’s campaigns in the duchy. Furthermore, there is evidence that Walter’s Norman lands had been confiscated about this time. An undated entry on the Norman memoranda rolls under Vaudreuil reads: ‘The bailiff is to take into the king’s hand all the lands of Walter de Lacy, and answer for them. And Geoffrey the Exchanger (Cambitor) is to answer for the profits of the same land from the previous year.’95 W. E. Wightman suggests that the accounts referred to the fiscal years

in Lordship in four realms

the early British Isles was not simply a profit of battle but its goal, one which was embedded into the fabric of early Celtic society.102 Indeed, as the discussion in the beginning of this chapter has indicated, cattle and slaves were equated as property (and plunder) in the early British Isles. After the Norman Conquest, as John Gillingham in particular has shown, the fact that England moved away from slavery as such (exchanging it, of course, for serfdom) more quickly than did Wales meant that, from the perspective of Anglo-Norman England, Wales became identified

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England