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The central argument of The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century is that the English kingdom which existed at the time of the Norman Conquest was defined by the geographical parameters of a set of administrative reforms implemented in the mid- to late tenth century, and not by a vision of English unity going back to Alfred the Great (871-899). In the first half of the tenth century, successive members of the Cerdicing dynasty established a loose domination over the other great potentates in Britain. They were celebrated as kings of the whole island, but even in their Wessex heartlands they probably had few means to routinely regulate the conduct of the general populace. Detailed analysis of coins, shires, hundreds, and wapentakes suggests that it was only around the time of Edgar (957/9-975) that the Cerdicing kings developed the relatively standardised administrative apparatus of the so-called 'Anglo-Saxon state'. This substantially increased their ability to impinge upon the lives of ordinary people living between the Channel and the Tees, and served to mark that area off from the rest of the island. The resultant cleft undermined the idea of a pan-British realm, and demarcated the early English kingdom as a distinct and coherent political unit. In this volume, George Molyneaux places the formation of the English kingdom in a European perspective, and challenges the notion that its development was exceptional: the Cerdicings were only one of several ruling dynasties around the fringes of the former Carolingian Empire for which the late ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries were a time of territorial expansion and consolidation.
The workings of royal and ecclesiastical authority in Anglo-Saxon England can only be understood on the basis of direct engagement with original texts and material artefacts. This book, written by leading experts, brings together new research that represents the best of the current scholarship on the nexus between authority and written sources from Anglo-Saxon England. Ranging from the seventh to the eleventh century, the chapters in this volume offer fresh approaches to a wide range of linguistic, historical, legal, diplomatic and palaeographical evidence. Central themes include the formation of power in early Anglo-Saxon kingdoms during the age of Bede (d. 735) and Offa of Mercia (757–96), authority and its articulation in the century from Edgar (959–75) to 1066, and the significance of books and texts in expressing power across the period. Writing, Kingship and Power in Anglo-Saxon England represents a critical resource for students and scholars alike with an interest in early medieval history from political, institutional and cultural perspectives.
Between the imperial coronation of Edgar in 973 and the death of Henry II in 1189, English society was transformed. This lively and wide-ranging study explores social and political change in England across this period, and examines the reasons for such developments, as well as the many continuities. By putting the events of 1066 firmly in the middle of her account, Judith Green casts new light on the significance of the Norman Conquest. She analyses the changing ways that kings, lords and churchmen exercised power, especially through the building of massive stone cathedrals and numerous castles, and highlights the importance of London as the capital city. The book also explores themes such as changes in warfare, the decline of slavery and the integration of the North and South West, as well as concepts such as state, nationalism and patriarchy.
divAn imaginative reassessment of Æthelred "the Unready," one of medieval England’s most maligned kings and a major Anglo-Saxon figure The Anglo-Saxon king Æthelred "the Unready" (978–1016) has
'Community' and 'justice' recur in anthropological, historical, and legal scholarship, yet as concepts they are notoriously slippery. Historians and lawyers look to anthropologists as 'community specialists', but anthropologists often avoid the concept through circumlocution: although much used (and abused) by historians, legal thinkers, and political philosophers, the term remains strikingly indeterminate and often morally overdetermined. 'Justice', meanwhile, is elusive, alternately invoked as the goal of contemporary political theorizing, and wrapped in obscure philosophical controversy. A conceptual knot emerges in much legal and political thought between law, justice, and community, but theories abound, without any agreement over concepts. The contributors to this volume use empirical case studies to unpick threads of this knot. Local codes from Anglo-Saxon England, north Africa, and medieval Armenia indicate disjunctions between community boundaries and the subjects of local rules and categories; processes of justice from early modern Europe to eastern Tibet suggest new ways of conceptualizing the relationship between law and justice; and practices of exile that recur throughout the world illustrate contingent formulations of community. In the first book in the series, Legalism: Anthropology and History, law was addressed through a focus on local legal categories as conceptual tools. Here this approach is extended to the ideas and ideals of justice and community. Rigorous cross-cultural comparison allows the contributors to avoid normative assumptions, while opening new avenues of inquiry for lawyers, anthropologists, and historians alike.
Pioneering examination of the Old English version of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica and its reception in the middle ages, from a theoretically informed, multi-disciplinary perspective.
In medieval Europe, the death of a king could not only cause a dispute about the succession, but also a severe crisis. In times of a vacant throne particular responsibility fell to the bishops - whose general importance for the time around the first milennium has been revealed by recent scholarship - as royal counsellors and policy makers. This volume therefore concentrates on the bishops' room for manoeuvre and the patterns of episcopal power, focusing on the Eastern Frankish Reich and Anglo-Saxon England in a comparative approach which is not least based upon the research of a renowned medievalist, Timothy Reuter. His article about "A Europe of Bishops" ("Ein Europa der Bischöfe") is presented in English translation for the first time.

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