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.
fast became defenceless. A reinvigorated Church was said to have ridden to the defence of the weak, referred to as the inermes – the ‘unarmed ones’. A series of councils or meetings were held in which the Church called on lords to desist from violence and to stop oppressing the inermes. The initiative is known as the ‘PeaceofGod’ movement. The first of these meetings was called by Guy, bishop of Le Puy in the Auvergne in 975. The first council for which there are written records was held in 989 at Charroux, in northern Aquitaine. Seven more councils for which we
The practice of convoking councils to promote peace developed first in the Auvergne and Aquitaine, and then spread to Burgundy at the end of the tenth century. It is usually known as the ‘peaceofGod’ movement – though historians have often questioned the appropriateness of that term, given that the councils were independent initiatives responding to local circumstances rather than an organized ‘movement’, however much they have been used as evidence of the ‘feudal revolution’. The councils ostensibly sought to limit lawlessness by threatening with
society of which it was a part. On the other, it considers the reform movement against the backdrop of other critical developments in eleventhcentury Europe: the so-called castellan revolution and the rise of seigniorial or banal lordship, the move from a gift to a profit economy with incipient urbanization, the ‘peace’ movement and the emergence of the crowd as a force in Western society.
Particular attention will be paid to the question of whether the ‘peaceofGod’ movement was a social revolution that progressively blurred into and merged with the papal
obligations. But it strongly implies a changing allegiance initiated by problems of public authority in medieval Europe – an unavoidable but long-term impact that shaped socio-political life on both sides of the cloister walls.
Spiritually and administratively, the monastery became a sacred space defined almost exclusively by its individual rights and liberties. It makes sense to view this structural change as a conscious internal move towards stability and security. This is the socio-political landscape onto which the PeaceofGodmovement is
contemporary evidence. For example, conjuratio was the term
that Gervase of Canterbury used to describe the agreement(s) between
those English barons who joined the rebellion of Henry the Young
King in 1173/74. 81
Conjuratio also appears in documents or narratives recording
agreements concluded under the auspices of the PeaceofGodmovement, one such example being the collective
example because he was writing on the cusp of the start of the PeaceofGodmovement – often seen as the first to introduce measures
under the jus in bello (the law(s) covering how war should be
conducted) – but geographically and chronologically outside the
discussions of religious, moral, and political authority of the
Carolingian court circles of the late eighth and ninth centuries.
Moreover, he was
(1874) , p. 173 n. 1.
WC , p. 30. Henry proclaimed a peace
edict, perhaps influenced by the PeaceofGodmovement, at the
cathedral of Constance in the second half of October 1043. Cf.
Herman, Chronicle 1043, p. 124 ( SC , pp. 74