and controversy regarding dating and editing work. Fustel de
Coulanges relied heavily on formulae as a source in his Monarchie
franque , and his work can be said to represent the only serious
attempt to use them comprehensively in a general history on the same
level as, for instance, the lawcodes or narrative histories. 5 By the 1930s, formulae
looked set to become established as a source for the Frankish kingdoms
This volume of essays in honour of Dame Jinty Nelson celebrates the way in which Jinty has used her profound understanding of Frankish history as a frame for reflecting upon the nature of early medieval culture and society in general. It includes a tabula gratulatoria of those very many others who wish to express their appreciation of Jinty's work and their warm personal gratitude to her. She has remained at King's throughout her entire career. Her early career was combined with young motherhood, a tough experience that has made her strongly supportive of colleagues trying to balance work and family. Although she continued to write about early medieval inauguration rituals, a new departure came with the 1977 paper 'On the limits of the Carolingian Renaissance'. The book discusses what factors determined and informed their particular take on the Frankish world, and how this compares to law-codes and charters. It considers the possibility that land was sometimes taken in early medieval Europe, whether by kings or local lords, for what they claimed was the common good. Whenever only meagre information was available, it was impossible to make sense of the past, that is, to take a prosaic approach to a sense of oblivion. The book explores both the roots of the historical interpretation and the stimuli for change, by considering the long historiographical tradition, attitudes to textual sources, and the changing political environment. The subjects of queens and queenship have figured prominently among Nelson's publications.
The Welsh borderlands were a distinctive territory where two peoples came together throughout the Anglo-Saxon period. It was here that men skilled at law drew up the Dunsate Agreement, to solve the impending problems with cattle theft. This book explores what sets the Dunsate Agreement apart from other Anglo-Saxon law codes grappling with cattle theft, highlighting that creators of this document, and the community that it concerns, included both Anglo-Saxons and Welsh. It argues that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle represents the military culture of the Welsh borderlands in a distinctive way which aligns its inhabitants with outlaws. The book articulates a discernible culture in the Welsh borderlands prior to 1066. Bede's The Historia Ecclesiastica has long been interpreted as a narrative of Anglo/British strife. His rancour towards the pagan Mercians provides substantial information about the life of Penda of Mercia, whose entire reign over this borderlands kingdom was defined by consistent political and military unity with Welsh rulers. Expanding on the mixed culture, the book examines the various Latin and Old English Lives of the popular Anglo-Saxon saint, Guthlac of Crowland. Vernacular literary tradition reveals a group of Old English riddles that link the 'dark Welsh' to agricultural labour through the cattle they herd, and who have long been understood to show the Welsh as slaves. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is frequently cited as a paradigm of Anglo/Welsh antagonism. The book reveals that the impact of the Norman Conquest on the Anglo-Welsh border region was much greater than previously realised.
Some observations on the militarised frontier society of eastern Francia around 600
produced by one law alone.
East Frankish society according to the seveneth-century Ripuarian Law-Code
A more comprehensive view can be given on the basis of the Ripuarian Law-Code,
which is certainly the most important document we have for society and political organisation in the east Frankish kingdom of Austrasia. Originally designed for the Rhineland in the area of the city of Cologne ( pagus Ribuarius ),
but extending its
/aural culture of early medieval England would
undoubtedly not have been the same for everyone, and to assume so is to participate in what
Lennard Davis has referred to as ‘one of the foundational ableist myths of our
culture’. 9 Maren Tova Linett places
the growth of ‘these cultural biases in favor of hearing and speech’ as
reaching their height ‘during the modernist period’, 10 and indeed in early medieval England we find a situation
with arguably less imbalanced assumptions. Lawcodes from the period provide particular
. That society proves imperfect and that
its bonds prove weak is not Beowulf’s fault – the tendency
to murder and destruction present in the myth of Cain is to be found
even in Hrothgar’s Heorot, and undoubtedly was there in the hall
of every Anglo-Saxon Christian ruler.
The poet’s presentation of the myth of the Flood does
not articulate any lawcode or any offer of salvation, though the simple
discussion of earthly goods, of women and of adultery, and the
relatively simple theological instruction offered, might both suggest
that the answers relate to lay concerns, but goods, women and even lawcodes occupied the thoughts of monks: the distinction between lay and
clerical was a permeable boundary. 35 The dialogue form used here may suggest that
the answers were to be learned by heart.
There has been
Defining the boundaries of Carolingian Christianity
I N 763-4, A
RENEWED version of the oldest Frankish law-code, Lex
Salica , was issued in the name of the first Carolingian king,
Pippin. A verse prologue celebrated the achievements of ‘the
invincible race of the Franks’, among whose many qualities, it
was claimed, was that they were ‘immune from heresy’. 2 As Pippin’s reign
is beginning to emerge from the
This book provides a broad account of the nineteenth-century cult of King Alfred. It reveals the rich cultural interest of the corpus of texts as a whole. The book redresses a misleading modern emphasis on Arthur and the Victorians, and addresses a genuine gap in the current literature on nineteenth-century medievalism. The book focuses on what was probably the apex of Victorian Alfredianism. It provides the background to this event both in terms of the wider cultural movements and in the sense of the Alfredian tradition which the nineteenth century inherited. The intersection of the cult of Alfred with nineteenth-century British politics is considered in the book, which focuses upon the role that Alfredianism played in debate about the future of the monarchy. The book speculates how the Saxon king was enlisted to vindicate and ennoble those institutions of which Victorian Britain was most proud - notably its navy, law-code, constitution and empire. It examines the conceptions of ninth-century Wessex as a time of immense cultural change - the mirror-image of the nineteenth century - and reviews Victorian appropriations of Alfred's reign as a prestigious starting point for myths of national progress. The book further focuses upon more domestic narratives - the use of Alfred, by Victorian authors, to exemplify moral values, and the rewriting of his life as a parable of error and redemption. Finally, the crucial question of Alfred's decline in fame is addressed in the book, which surveys the diminished interest in the Saxon king after 1901.
By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this
volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of
violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities
across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications
of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the
study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical
significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the
myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and
non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the
Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex
than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance.
Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale
violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum,
ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was
privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early
modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent
forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in
activities not officially classed as war.