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The capetian monarchs of France and the early Crusades

Scholars of medieval power structures, feudal relations, monarchy, and ritual performance have long recognized that the early twelfth century was ground zero in the cultural, social, and political transformation of France from a weak and fragmented kingdom to one centralized under the leadership of a purposeful ruler. This book considers the role played by the crusaders in the development of the French monarchy. While the First Crusade was launched in 1095 ,the first French monarch did not join the movement until 1146, when Louis VII led the ill-fated Second Crusade. The failure of the French kings to join the crusading movement created a ‘crisis of crusading’ that the French royal court confronted in a variety of media, including texts, artwork, architecture, and rituals. The book finds that in a short span of time, members of the court fused the emerging crusade ideas with ancient notions of sacral kingship and nobility to fashion new, highly selective and flexible images of French history that exploited the unknown future of crusading to negotiate a space into which the self-fashioning of French kingship could insinuate itself. By the middle of the twelfth century, these negotiated images were being widely disseminated to a popular audience through various channels, thus contributing to the rise of the ‘crusading king’ as an idea ruler-type from the early thirteenth century onwards.

Simon Walker

Few aspects of the reign and personality of Richard II have attracted as much attention as the related questions of his views on the rights and duties of kingship and the effect that these views had on his conduct of government. The range of opinion among historians on the issue remains unusually wide, from those who maintain that Richard was animated by a clear and consistent set of absolutist principles that anticipated the Divine Right theories of the Renaissance monarchies, to those who insist upon the unremarkably traditional nature of his thinking, his

in Political culture in later medieval England
Abstract only
R. C. Willis
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Sylvie Joye

Hincmar’s treatise De raptu, written in the 850s, is the only early medieval moral text which tackles raptus, the abduction of women, but it also forms part of a new and wider discourse on marriage. Hincmar depicts raptus as the negation of the social peace that a king must create, and demands that he plays a key role in its suppression. The king ought to obey divine law: Hincmar presents a serious of positive and negative images of the king and his counsellor working together or in opposition. He is keen, however, to ensure that the interpretation of Old Testament images of raptus remained the prerogative of bishops rather than laymen. A model is produced in which the authority of fathers and kings mirrors each other: obedience to these ensures the creation of unity both within marriage, where there is an increased emphasis on consent, and in wider society. Respect and fidelity are the key values in this imagined ideal society; Hincmar justifies stern punishment by Charles the Bald against those who fail to show due respect to him as a king and father.

in Hincmar of Rheims
Trevor Russell Smith

This article reconsiders the value of ‘shorter’ chronicles written in fourteenth-century England through a case study of the most popular of these, the Cronica bona et compendiosa, which survives in more manuscripts than most of the chronicles frequently used in scholarship. It examines the text’s authorship and narrative to show what it can reveal about history writing and ideas of the past, especially as they relate to medieval readers. It demonstrates the text’s influence on contemporary writers by showing how it was slightly adapted by the important chronicler Henry Knighton, which use has so far gone unnoticed. This article also includes an appendix listing twenty-three ‘shorter’ histories and their manuscripts, nearly all of which have not hitherto been identified.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Hincmar of Rheims’s De divortio
Authors: and

Between 858 and 869, an unprecedented scandal played out in Frankish Europe, becoming the subject of gossip not only in palaces and cathedrals. It was in these years that a Frankish king, Lothar II, made increasingly desperate efforts to divorce his wife, Queen Theutberga, and to marry instead a woman named Waldrada, the mother of his children. Lothar, however, faced opposition to his actions. Kings and bishops from neighbouring kingdoms, and several popes, were gradually drawn into a crisis affecting the fate of an entire kingdom. This book offers eye-opening insight not only on the political wrangling of the time, but also on early medieval attitudes towards issues, including magic, penance, gender, the ordeal, marriage, sodomy, the role of bishops, and kingship.

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Wendy R. Childs
Phillipp R. Schofield

aimed at a more consultative style of kingship which was followed by the further conciliatory response of Edward I in the ‘Articles upon the Charters’ in 1300. 2 This process of complaint and concession is mirrored, often word for word, in the jostling of opposition and counter-opposition in the first years of Edward II’s reign; on more than one occasion in the opening years

in The reign of Edward II, 1307–27
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Life and work
Editors: and

Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims (d. 882) is a crucial figure for all those interested in early medieval European history in general, and Carolingian history in particular. As the powerful Archbishop of Rheims, Hincmar shaped the times in which he lived, advising and admonishing kings, playing a leading role in the Frankish church, and intervening in a range of political and doctrinal disputes. But Hincmar also shaped how those times would later be seen by historians up to the present day, by writing historical accounts such as the Annals of St-Bertin, and by carefully preserving dossiers of material for posterity.

This book puts the archbishop himself centre-stage, bringing together the latest international research across the spectrum of his varied activities, as history-writer, estate administrator, hagiographer, pastorally-engaged bishop, and politically-minded royal advisor. For the first time since Jean Devisse’s magisterial studies in the 1970s, it offers a three-dimensional examination of a controversial figure whose actions and writings in different fields are often studied in isolation, at the cost of a more integrated appreciation. Combining research from recognised experts as well as early-career historians, it will be an essential companion for all those interested in the early medieval Frankish world, and in the history of early medieval Europe more broadly.

The cosmo-logics of power
Marshall Sahlins

‘mystical influence’ of affines and the substantive relations among own people (cf. Leach 1961). Again this alterity of power (and vice versa) appears in Maurice Bloch’s striking analysis (1992) of its acquisition in the passage through the wild in Orokaiva initiation rites, whence initiates return to society with a touch of divinity and a gift of victory. Like Needham, for Valerio Valeri dual kingship is a widespread phenomenon, whether in the form of diarchy or in the transformation of the one ruler in the course of his reign from violent outsider to the source of

in Framing cosmologies