The attempt to both define and understand reform in the later tenth and eleventh centuries is the chief ambition of this book. The book explores ecclesiastical reform as a religious idea and a movement against the backdrop of social and religious change in later tenth- and eleventh-century Europe. In so doing, it seeks, on the one hand, to place the relationship between reform and the papacy in the context of the debate about 'transformation' in its many and varied forms. At the same time, although recognizing that the reform movement had its origins as much in individuals and events far away from Rome and royal courts, it has looked to act as something of a corrective to the recent tendency among historians of emphasizing reform developments in other localities at the expense of those being undertaken in Rome. The book addresses 'the religious revolution of the eleventh century' by exploring how reform and the papacy developed in the eleventh century, and how these changes affected the rules by which medieval society functioned. Particular attention is paid to the question of whether the 'peace of God' movement was a social revolution that progressively blurred into and merged with the papal-sponsored movement for reform, which was gathering pace from the middle of the century, or whether these forces were deliberately compacted by the reformers in their efforts to promote their vision for Christian society.
This book has explored ecclesiastical reform as a religious idea and a movement against the backdrop of social and religious change in later tenth- and eleventh-centuryEurope. In so doing, it has sought, on the one hand, to place the relationship between reform and the papacy in the context of the debate about ‘transformation’ in its many and varied forms. At the same time, although recognizing that the reform movement had its origins as much in individuals and events far away from Rome and royal courts, it has looked to act as something of a corrective to the
’s place in society. 2
Although the equation of Church and society can by and large be used to describe the condition of earlier medieval Europe as well, it is the argument of this book that during the course of the eleventh century the symbiosis of Church and society became more pronounced. This, of course, was a consequence of the movement for ecclesiastical reform. Indeed, as it will be argued, the attempt to improve standards in religious life had a revolutionary impact on eleventh-centuryEuropean society. Although these efforts emerged initially at local levels
, political, intellectual, cultural and economic changes of the eleventh century that formed the backdrop to the reform movement and influenced its objectives – remains contentious, as was discussed in the Introduction. But it is only by taking these interpretations and their modifications into account that we can begin to have anything like a real understanding of the religious and social revolution(s) that took place in eleventh-centuryEurope.
Thus, while considering the nature and evolution of the reform movement and the transformation of the papacy in the eleventh
Carolingian world. Thus, at the heart of their mutually reinforcing alliance lay the issue of property.
The increased emphasis on territory or landed property, which now more than ever was seen as the key to power in eleventh-centuryEurope can perhaps be seen most clearly in its impact on the composition and structure of aristocratic families. Although it is clear that lordship based on land ownership rather than one derived simply from commanding men meant that income could be both regularized and maximized, it also, perhaps inevitably, brought about animosity and
of embankments, or supervised the building of churches and monasteries, the notice of which repeatedly stands out in the sources for the first half of the eleventh century.
The oft-cited text of the Cluniac chronicler Rodulf Glaber underlines this activity in early eleventh-centuryEurope and it is still worth quoting:
Just before the third year after the millennium, throughout the whole world, but most especially in Italy and Gaul, men began to reconstruct churches, although for the most part the existing ones were properly built and not in the least
outside with new towns and cities, new secular and religious public buildings. New building is a manner of stating a new, revised, or ascendant identity. Pippin, father of Charlemagne, inaugurated a massive programme of cathedral and church building, the import of saintly remains and relics, and new or elaborated ceremonies and anointings. It was a use of ecclesiastical scenery and liturgy which was to be frequently repeated, and discussing the later church building of eleventh-centuryEurope, Diarmaid MacCulloch commented that ‘each new church was a reform in stone
). Extending the Elias highway analogy, the metaphor of the modern highway is the conceptual equivalent of the Danish children walking or cycling to school. In contrast, in terms of danger, US streets are analogous to eleventh-century roads. In Denmark there is less negative liberty than in the USA, as strong state regulations govern the ownership of firearms. However, the negative liberties afforded by the Second Amendment are a contributory factor in making US streets unsafe, analogous to eleventh-centuryEuropean roads. Normatively, in Denmark the positive freedom to
come to the fore, only to be supplanted in successive
pages by others, according to their significance in the development of the
world. Now India is seen in the Age of the Arians, now we switch to Labrador
in the Norman explorations; now we view Africa but see only the Phoenician
lands in detail; now eleventh-centuryEurope appears with Iberia slipping
out of sight.51 The practical and pedagogical aims of universalism reinforce
the effect as authors factor in the needs and abilities of their readership. In
elementary textbooks, universal history broke into staccato
Much more survives of the
classical collection of the renowned library of the Bamberg cathedral
school, probably the richest in the German kingdom and including
manuscripts of Livy’s History , a great rarity in
eleventh-centuryEurope. Among the survivals are fragments of a
fifth-century codex of Livy’s fourth decade in an uncial script.
Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek, Codex Class. 35 also contains Livy