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"The Making of Europe": Essays in Honour of Robert Bartlett
 9004248390, 9789004248397, 9789004311367

Table of contents :
Abbreviations vii
List of Contributors viii
Introductory
Robert Bartlett: A Profile / John Hudson and William Ian Miller 1
'The Making of Europe': A Brief Summary / John Hudson 5
The Carolingian Past in Post-Carolingian Europe / Simon MacLean 11
Part 1. Geographical Perspectives
Introduction to Part 1 32
1. England and 'The Making of Europe': Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change / John Hudson 33
2. The Europeanization of Scandinavia / Sverre Bagge 53
3. Where’s Iceland? / William Ian Miller 76
4. The Duke as Entrepeneur: The Piast Ruler and the Economy of Medieval Poland / Piotr Górecki 96
5. Narratives of Expansion, Last Wills, Poor Expectations and the Conquest of Seville (1248) / Ana Rodríguez 123
Part 2. Thematic Perspectives
Introduction to Part 2 144
6. Military Technology and Political Resistance: Castles, Fleets and the
Changing Face of Comital Rebellion in England and Normandy, c. 1026–1087 / Matthew Strickland 145
7. The Evils of the Court: Judicial Melodramas in Medieval French Literature / Stephen D. White 184
8. Historical Writing and the Experience of Europeanization: The View from St. Albans / Björn Weiler 205
9. The Making and Unmaking of Rural Europe / Esther Pascua Echegaray 244
10. Landed Property and Government Finance in the Early ʿAbbasid Caliphate / Hugh Kennedy 264
11. Constructing Christendom / John Tolan 277
Bibliography of Books and Scholarly Articles by Robert Bartlett / Compiled by Nora Bartlett 299
Index of Names 307
Index of Places 314

Citation preview



“The Making of Europe”

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_001

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Robert Bartlett



“The Making of Europe” Essays in Honour of Robert Bartlett Edited by

John Hudson Sally Crumplin

LEIDEN | BOSTON

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iv



Cover illustration: Section of an illustrated itinerary to Jerusalem, from London to Beauvais. Royal 14 C VII f. 2. © The British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Hudson, John, 1962- | Crumplin, Sally. | Bartlett, Robert, 1950Title: “The making of Europe” : essays in honour of Robert Bartlett / edited by John Hudson, Sally Crumplin. Description: Leiden : Brill, 2016. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2015046152 (print) | LCCN 2016004046 (ebook) | ISBN 9789004248397 (hardback : acid-free paper) | ISBN 9789004311367 (e-book) | ISBN 9789004311367 (E-book) Subjects: LCSH: Europe--History--476-1492. | Europe--Colonization--History. | Conquerors--Europe--History--To 1500. | Social history--Medieval, 500-1500. | Social change--Europe--History--To 1500. | Europe--Social conditions--To 1492. | Bartlett, Robert, 1950- Making of Europe. | Europe--Politics and government--476-1492. Classification: LCC D200 .M35 2016 (print) | LCC D200 (ebook) | DDC 940.1--dc23 LC record available at http://lccn.loc.gov/2015046152

Want or need Open Access? Brill Open offers you the choice to make your research freely accessible online in exchange for a publication charge. Review your various options on brill.com/brill-open. Typeface for the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts: “Brill”. See and download: brill.com/brill-typeface. isbn 978-90-04-24839-7 (hardback) isbn 978-90-04-31136-7 (e-book) Copyright 2016 by Koninklijke Brill nv, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Brill Hes & De Graaf, Brill Nijhoff, Brill Rodopi and Hotei Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill nv provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, ma 01923, usa. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper and produced in a sustainable manner.

Contents Contents

Contents Abbreviations vii List of Contributors viii Introductory Robert Bartlett: A Profile 1 John Hudson and William Ian Miller The Making of Europe: A Brief Summary 5 John Hudson The Carolingian Past in Post-Carolingian Europe 11 Simon MacLean

part 1 Geographical Perspectives

Introduction to Part 1 32

1

England and The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change 33 John Hudson

2

The Europeanization of Scandinavia 53 Sverre Bagge

3

Where’s Iceland? 76 William Ian Miller

4

The Duke as Entrepeneur: The Piast Ruler and the Economy of Medieval Poland 96 Piotr Górecki

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vi 5

Contents

Narratives of Expansion, Last Wills, Poor Expectations and the Conquest of Seville (1248) 123 Ana Rodríguez

part 2 Thematic Perspectives

Introduction to Part 2 144

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Military Technology and Political Resistance: Castles, Fleets and the Changing Face of Comital Rebellion in England and Normandy, c. 1026–1087 145 Matthew Strickland

7

The Evils of the Court: Judicial Melodramas in Medieval French Literature 184 Stephen D. White

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Historical Writing and the Experience of Europeanization: The View from St Albans 205 Björn Weiler

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The Making and Unmaking of Rural Europe 244 Esther Pascua Echegaray

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Landed Property and Government Finance in the Early ʿAbbasid Caliphate 264 Hugh Kennedy

11

Constructing Christendom 277 John Tolan Bibliography of Books and Scholarly Articles by Robert Bartlett 299 Compiled by Nora Bartlett Index of Names 307 Index of Places 314

Abbreviations

vii

Abbreviations Bartlett, Making of Europe MGH ODNB PL s.a. SRG SRM

Robert Bartlett, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change 950–1350 (London, 1993) Monumenta Germaniae Historica Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Patrologia Latina sub anno (“under the year”) Scriptores rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum seperatim editi Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum

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Notes to the Reader

Notes To The Reader

List of Contributors Sverre Bagge is Professor emeritus of medieval history at the University of Bergen. Piotr Górecki is Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside. John Hudson is Professor of Legal History at the University of St Andrews, and William W. Cook Global Law Professor at University of Michigan Law School. Hugh Kennedy is Professor of Arabic at SOAS, University of London. Simon MacLean is Professor of History at the University of St Andrews. William Ian Miller is Thomas G. Long Professor of Law University of Michigan. Esther Pascua Echegaray is Lecturer in Medieval History at the Madrid Open University. Ana Rodríguez is Scientific Researcher at the Centre for Human and Social Sciences – CSIC, Madrid. Matthew Strickland is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Glasgow. John Tolan is Professor of History at the University of Nantes and member of the Academia Europaea. Bjorn Weiler is Professor of History at the University of Aberystwyth. Stephen D. White is Candler Professor of Medieval History (emeritus) at Emory University.

Robert Bartlett: A Profile

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Introductory

Robert Bartlett: A Profile Rob Bartlett was born in London on 27 November 1950. He was educated at Battersea Grammar School, and retained a considerable devotion both to South London and to grammar schools. He benefited from inspirational teachers and from a sound grounding not just in History but also in Latin, put to good use in his later work editing and translating texts. From there he went on to Peterhouse, Cambridge, where a diverse range of teachers provided inspiration. Realizing that he was in danger of breaching regulations by taking too much ancient and medieval history, he studied the early modern period with Roy Porter. A rather different historian he thanks for ridding him of ‘a lazy Marxism’ – many now would like to have watched the supervisions in which Maurice Cowling achieved this. And his greatest devotion was to a much less well-known figure, the ancient historian, Robert Tannenbaum. Following graduation he spent a period working nights in the international section of the Post Office telephone exchange – a job enlivened by the possibility of listening in to calls while they were being made. He then decided to pursue a doctorate, and went to St John’s College Oxford to work with Sir Richard Southern on Gerald of Wales. Southern has remained Rob’s lifelong inspiration; he edited a collection of Southern’s papers entitled History and Historians (2004) and the range of Rob’s work mirrors that of his mentor. Another lasting attachment, to the U.S., also began during his doctoral work, when he spent a year at Princeton as a Procter Fellow. He received his DPhil in 1978, and his external examiner has described the thesis as the best that he ever read. Gerald’s writings have remained a constant presence in Rob’s teaching, writing, and broadcasting In 1979–80 Rob was a Junior Fellow in the University of Michigan Society of Fellows. While in Ann Arbor, at Washtenaw County Courthouse, he married Nora, whom he had met in Oxford. They returned to Britain, but now to Edinburgh where Rob had been appointed to a Lectureship. It was there that Gerald of Wales, the Oxford Historical Monograph based on his DPhil thesis, was published in 1982. A natural development from that book was a volume edited with his colleague Angus MacKay, Medieval Frontier Societies (1989). Also in a related field was an essay on military technology and political power. Rob has taken considerable pleasure that the fate of this essay, when turned down by Past and Present, was publication in the journal to which Past and Present often seemed to aspire, Annales E.S.C.

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Connections with the United States continued whilst in Edinburgh, and he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Studies and a Fellow of the Davis Center at Princeton in 1983–4. An unexpected phone-call then brought a job offer at the University of Chicago, to which he moved in 1986. Also in that year was published his second book, Trial by Fire and Water: The Medieval Judicial Ordeal. Chicago differed from Edinburgh in its focus on postgraduates; it was in Chicago that Rob had the first of the doctoral students who have contributed to this volume and it was also there that he developed a taught-postgraduate course that continues to thrive, in evolved form, in north-east Fife. One feature of this course is that it encourages students to count, chart, and map, and such processes were also central to Rob’s research at this time, as he examined the expansion of Europe in the High Middle Ages. Geographically, if not thematically, this took him far from the areas where Gerald of Wales sang his own praises, and in particular it took him to the east of Europe; thanks to a von Humboldt Fellowship, Rob – now with Nora, young family, and old car – spent 1988–9 at Göttingen. The resultant book, The Making of Europe, appeared in 1993. By this time, however, Rob was no longer in Chicago, having been appointed to the Chair of Mediaeval History at St Andrews. Continuation of a pattern of a move every six years (Edinburgh 1980–6, Chicago 1986–92), at times threatened, but was resisted. The Making of Europe is a bold, book-length essay, its themes summarised in its the sub-title: “Conquest, colonization and cultural change 950–1350.” The volume achieved great acclaim. Despite its integrationist themes, fan mail arrived from Eurosceptic Tory MPs. Sir James Holt described it as the most important book since Southern’s Making of the Middle Ages. And it was awarded the Wolfson History Prize in 1993, a prize for books that are “readable, scholarly, and accessible to the lay reader.” Very different in approach was the next magnum opus, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings 1075–1225, a volume of the New Oxford History of England published in 2000. Rather than being an interpretative essay, this was a pointilliste survey, depicting an unparalleled variety of aspects of twelfth-century England, from grain yields to mer-men, from royal itineraries to religious sceptics. It displayed an immense mastery of the sources to produce a welter of unfamiliar example and anecdote. In particular it drew on the Lives of saints as sources for all aspects of history. These same sources formed the basis of Rob’s most recent book, Why can the Dead do Such Great Things? Saints and Worshippers from the Martyrs to the Reformation (2013). He planned it as a thorough descriptive study, which would provide the secure empirical base that too many earlier analyses had lacked. At the same time it was intended as another work open to

Robert Bartlett: A Profile

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the general reader. Rob was particularly pleased that a review in a German daily newspaper damned it as “readable.” To concentrate on the major books, however, is to underestimate the range of Rob’s publication. His very first article, published in 1981 and deriving from work undertaken at Princeton during his doctorate, was on “The Impact of Royal Government in the French Ardennes: The Evidence of the 1247 Enquête.” When he addressed the Royal Historical Society in 1993 it was on “Symbolic Meanings of Hair in the Middle Ages.” His 1998 Raleigh Lecture to the British Academy was entitled “Reflections on Paganism and Christianity in Medieval Europe.” Then there is the editing and translating for Oxford Medieval Texts, of miracles and saints’ Lives and charters, and currently – returning full circle – of Gerald of Wales’ De instructione principis. And there are the lectures, in particular the Wiles Lectures, published as The Natural and Supernatural in the Middle Ages, full of ideas and examples and a sparkle reminiscent of Maitland. And it is as a lecturer that many St Andrews undergraduates will best recognize Rob. “Occasionally outscores Bartlett in questionnaire approval” was the highest of praise that a Head of School could give the Promotions Panel about a candidate in the notoriously unquantifiable aspect of teaching quality – and this praise was only conferred on one occasion. What makes the lectures so good? The absolute assurance that the material is fascinating. The ability to recount a story in gripping fashion. And the ability to select what points are important, the confidence to omit those that are not. These too were the crucial features of another accidental part of Rob’s career, as television historian. Be it as one amongst several “talking heads,” or as a main contributor – as in his programme on Scotland’s music with the folk musician Phil Cunningham, a programme that took in both the Cathedral and the Central Bar – or as main presenter, clarity is obtained by selection. The three BBC series, “Inside the Medieval Mind,” “The Normans,” and “The Plantage­nets,” all display this same ability to choose what is important. And as reviewers commented, clarity comes with auctoritas, if without the vanities of many a historian-presenter: He is a large man who looms at the camera, and he is, if not dishevelled, not exactly shevelled. He projects a reassuring impression of a man who’s been asked to do this because he knows about it and has interesting things to say. (Robert Hanks, The Independent, 18 April 2008 on “Inside the Medieval Mind.”)

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When the Radio Times described him as looking rather like a debt-collector for the Kray Twins,1 Rob was delighted: “I wish my uncle Ray had read this – he used to drink with the Kray Twins.” What this reveals is a brave historian – not in the sense of physical bravery (though he has been known to protect weaker scholars from locals indignant at a bunch of medievalists usurping “their” pool table, a defence involving skilful use of a pool cue) – but of intellectual bravery, of being unafraid to say that one thing was more important than another. “Don’t write looking over your shoulder at other scholars” is his frequent advice. “I long to hear papers that begin ‘whereas historians have always thought this is a complicated issue, I will argue that it is quite a simple and clear one’” is his plea after many a seminar – it is no accident that he is a great admirer of the work not just of Southern but also of Patrick Wormald. And the work is put across with eminent clarity, in prose that carries the reader along with no sense of stylistic manipulation, in prose that is honed by the formidably thorough and careful comments of Nora. We await his own comments on our offerings below with eager anticipation and some slight trepidation. John Hudson and Bill Miller The Whey Pat April 2015 1 For the debt collector with his posse depicted in the background, see e.g. (accessed 20 October 2015).

The of Making of Europe The Making Europe

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The Making of Europe: A Brief Summary John Hudson The Making of Europe is an exceptionally bold, three-hundred-page essay on the processes of European expansion and on how this expansion “made Europe.” Its subject matter and core themes are pithily provided by the subtitle: “Conquest, colonization and cultural change 950–1350.” Such groupings of subjects, and their frequent but not inevitable interconnection, are the book’s defining characteristic.1

Subject Matter

Discussion of the various subjects and themes are intertwined, with the order of chapters perhaps hinting at, but simultaneously rendering impossible any firm conclusions about, Bartlett’s prioritization: the military aristocracy predominate in chapters 2 to 4, followed by economic development in chapters 5 to 7, and cultural relations (including religion) in chapters 8 to 10, before the book concludes with chapters on “The Europeanization of Europe” and “The political sociology of Europe after the expansion.” Yet any perceived progression from the crucial military through the socio-economic to the mere superstructure of the cultural is undermined by the presence of chapter 1, on the institutional Church; is revealed as misleading by, for example, the treatment of cultural issues in chapter 4, “The image of the conqueror”; and is brought to a juddering halt by statements such as “historians label the period between the fourth and sixth centuries the Völkerwanderungszeit, the ‘migration period’, but, in terms of number of migrants and long-term effects, the migratory movements of the High Middle Ages merit the appellation even more fully.”2 Violence, warfare and predation, are quite properly emphasized, in contrast to the anemia of some cultural histories, yet Bartlett points out that “it would be easy to concentrate a strictly military eye on this expansionary movement, but as important is the process of cultural change which 1 See e.g. Making of Europe, p. 292: “Between 950 and 1350 Latin Christendom roughly doubled in area, and, while this religious expansion did not always involve either conquest or immigration, it often did”; cf. p. 300 “Colonization and conversion were sometimes synonyms and sometimes not.” 2 Making of Europe, p. 111.

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interwove with the more simply military tale and was not merely a function of it.”3 Furthermore, the inter-relatedness of developments is not just a feature of Bartlett’s modern analysis but also of medieval comment: recruits were enticed to migrate eastwards in Europe by advertising rhetoric such as “Saxons, Franconians, Lotharingians and Flemings, here you will be able both to save your souls and, if you will, to acquire very good land to settle.”4 Geographically, the core area from which expansion came was “Frankish Europe,” the lands once ruled by the Carolingians,5 although Bartlett’s is quite properly a Frankish Europe in which Germany is much more prominent than in many a history of medieval Europe. The areas in which expansion occurred – what Bartlett at times calls (with cautions6) the periphery – were Eastern Europe, the Holy Land, southern Italy including Sicily, Spain, and Scandinavia. Expansion in turn led to new areas becoming part of the core, for example the lower Elbe becoming “no longer a precarious frontier, but the fulcrum of a vast trading system linking London and Novgorod. … Places like Hamburg, Pisa and Barcelona lost their frontier status and became instead prosperous centres of colonizing and mercantile activity.”7 Can it be any accident that the book is mainly the product of Bartlett’s time at Chicago, another frontier settlement that became a commercial fulcrum? The outcome of expansion was marked largely but not invariably by “standardization,” “transformation and convergence,” “homogenization” within Europe.8 There were powerful processes of integration, as when profits from Livonian trade and agriculture helped to fund an attack on Egypt in the early thirteenth century, and as more generally in the process that Bartlett calls “the Europeanization of Europe.”9 Standardizing diffusionist patterns were common, although not universal.10 At the same time, cultural categorizations could be exclusionist, most notably in attitudes to subject peoples in some colonized areas.11

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Making of Europe, p. 269. Making of Europe, pp. 136–137; see also e.g. pp. 123, 153. Making of Europe, p. 20. See esp. Making of Europe, pp. 306–307. Making of Europe, pp. 292–293. See e.g. Making of Europe, pp. 10–11, 21, 220, 274, 277, 283, 289, 306, 311. Making of Europe, pp. 268, 269. See esp. Making of Europe, p. 280. Note how in some matters, such as the widening use of charters, a “fairly regular pattern” can be identified; Making of Europe, p. 283. See esp. Making of Europe, chs 8 & 9; also e.g. pp. 23, 311–313.

The Making of Europe: A Brief Summary



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Method

All these issues are approached through a vast diversity of sources: texts and artefacts, narratives and records. There is a delight in counting and in mapping or charting: bishoprics; lesser noble families; the weight of armour; the proportion of grain paid by peasant to lord; the density of chartered urban settlements; personal names. Indeed the reason for starting with the institutional Church, with the bishopric, is methodological: the foundation of bishoprics provides an easy measuring block by which to chart expansion.12 Such counting and mapping and charting take place in conjunction with, or as part of, the case studies that give the book such richness. And the case studies do not just illustrate arguments but develop them, most notably through comparison. Comparison may be between different peripheral areas, between core and periphery, or between medieval and modern.13 Whilst many of the case studies particularly of the colonized areas reveal similar patterns, others show that development was neither unvaried nor unidirectional.14

Explanation

The very title of the book, “The Making of Europe” emphasizes agency. The pages are peppered with the adjective “energetic,” just as medieval biographers compliment kings by using the adjective strenuus. Some of those whom Bartlett calls energetic were kings, but not the majority.15 Rather the expansion of Europe was primarily the work of “Frankish knights, Latin priests, merchants, townsmen and … peasants.”16 Such people acted in connected ways, and at times collaboratively; they can be seen as “consortia, entrepreneurial associations.”17 These entrepreneurs of change came largely from the core areas but also included men such as Anders Sunesen, archbishop of Lund from 1201 to 1224, “both an agent and a beneficiary or recipient of the Europeaniza­

12 13 14 15 16 17

Making of Europe, p. 5. See e.g. Making of Europe, pp. 296, 297–298, 306, respectively. See e.g. Making of Europe, p. 239: in Ireland, “there was, indeed, a recognition of the danger that the colonizers would themselves be assimilated by the native population.” Note also Making of Europe, p. 196: “The unity of the medieval West was, in part, a traders’ unity.” Making of Europe, p. 307. Making of Europe, p. 307; see also p. 308, with qualification at p. 309.

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tion process.”18 Meanwhile, institutions too exercised agency: the chartered town, the international religious order, the university.19 Impersonal and non-institutional causation also receives attention. Popu­ lation increase and land hunger were crucial.20 Yet it is not in providing answers to the question “why” that the greatness of The Making of Europe lies. Rather, the question constantly being asked is “how?” The answers are to be found in individual and group activities, in cultural resources, in social organization, in technologies – armour, buildings, coins, documents, and ships – and in the complicated and sometimes obscure connections between these.21 In particular, the answers to the question “how” are found in the employment and operation of units made up of several elements, be they technological, legal, economic, social, cultural or religious: heavy cavalry, archers, castles, and vassals; planned villages and towns; recurrent motifs and patterns of emotions or series of psychological characteristics manifested by the conquering aristocracy; grants of land to be settled, the “intermediary and entrepreneurial role of the feoffee,”22 uniform plots for present and future settlers, legal models for the holding of these plots; and what might be seen as the archetype for these units, the rite and obedience of the Roman Church.23 Such units, or elements within them, crucially were “reproducible” or “replicable.” Particularly important characteristics of many of the transportable models were that they were international and legal.24 At the same time, even the legally defined models, and certainly the more broadly cultural or social, were characterized by their adaptability.25 18 19 20 21

22 23

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Making of Europe, p. 290. Making of Europe, p. 288. See esp. Making of Europe, pp. 44–51, 106–111. See e.g. Making of Europe, p. 24: “It is a difficult historical task to determine the relationship between the inflamed religiosity of the First Crusade and the acquisitive expansionism which the lay aristocracy of western Europe had already conspicuously displayed.” Note also e.g. Making of Europe, p. 295: “The incorporation of the pagan West Slavs into Catholic Christendom in the twelfth century coincided with the beginnings of documentary literacy, the creation of chartered towns and the introduction of minting. The arrival of writing, towns and money was part of a large social and cultural transformation in which Christianization had a vital but not an exclusive role.” [My italics.] Making of Europe, p. 118. See esp. Making of Europe, pp. 243–244, noting the “recurrent series of commands, exhortations and negotiations directed [by Pope Gregory VII] at actual or potential aristocratic allies.” See e.g. Making of Europe, pp. 181, 258, 306, 307, 309–310. See e.g. Making of Europe, p. 263: very rapidly “the events and images of the First Crusade [provided] material for a reformulation of the nature and meaning of warfare,” which

The Making of Europe: A Brief Summary

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This central argument of the book is also manifest in the imagery used. Much of it is biological: we hear not just of adaptation and transplantation,26 but also of metabolism and inoculation,27 and vitally of those fundamental building-blocks, the cells.28 Further scientific images are revealing of the processes being discussed – e.g. “crystallization”29 – or of the analytic methods that Bartlett is employing: “the silver penny and the post-Carolingian charter can be used as trace elements or indicators, whose paths of diffusion alert us to wider and less visible currents of change.”30 The book’s concern with how change occurred is manifest in mechanical imagery, in tools, motors, and oiling.31 And at the end of the book come the metaphors of the “codifiable blueprint” and the alphabet, yet another form of fundamental building block.32

Beyond 1350

The inter-connected units and patterns of medieval European colonization are significant in one further way. They can be compared with similar units in other colonizations. The geographical structure of the medieval “Italian colonial empires has some similarities to that of the British Empire of the year 1900 – a series of islands and headlands dotted along the main commercial pathways, linking the metropolis to distant markets.” Travelling times within the chronologically diverse empires may indeed have been similar.33 Furthermore, the effects of medieval colonization were long-lasting; the book is an essay not just on the period 950–1350. There was continuity to the next great expansionary movement, beyond Europe: “The European Christians who sailed to the coasts of the Americas, Asia and Africa in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries came from a society that was already a colonizing society.”34 And even in the late twentieth century, when the book was being written, “as

26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

could be applied elsewhere. Note also how, in their manipulability and portability, the models resembled two important elements of the units of expansion, charters and coins; Making of Europe, p. 287. E.g. Making of Europe, pp. 7, 260, 273. Making of Europe, pp. 47, 78. Making of Europe, pp. 5, 306. E.g. Making of Europe, p. 310. Making of Europe, p. 286. E.g. Making of Europe, pp. 219, 264, 291. Making of Europe, pp. 309–11. Making of Europe, pp. 188–189. Making of Europe, p. 314.

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German-speakers from eastern Europe still trickle back to Germany or men still die fighting for or against the rights of the British Crown to Irish soil, we can see how fundamental political problems … have their origins in the dynamic period of conquest and colonization that occurred six or seven centuries ago.”35 35

Making of Europe, p. 300.

The Carolingian Past in Post-Carolingian Europe The Carolingian Past in Post-Carolingian Europe

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The Carolingian Past in Post-Carolingian Europe Simon MacLean On 28 January 893, a 13-year-old known to posterity as Charles III “the Simple” (or “Straightforward”) was crowned king of West Francia at the great cathedral of Rheims. Charles was a great-great-grandson in the direct male line of the emperor Charlemagne and clung tightly to his Carolingian heritage throughout his life.1 Indeed, 28 January was chosen for the coronation precisely because it was the anniversary of his great ancestor’s death in 814. However, the coronation, for all its pointed symbolism, was not a simple continuation of his family’s long-standing hegemony – it was an act of rebellion. Five years earlier, in 888, a dearth of viable successors to the emperor Charles the Fat had shattered the monopoly on royal authority which the Carolingian dynasty had claimed since 751. The succession crisis resolved itself via the appearance in all of the Frankish kingdoms of kings from outside the family’s male line (and in some cases from outside the family altogether) including, in West Francia, the erstwhile count of Paris Odo – and while Charles’s family would again hold royal status for a substantial part of the tenth century, in the long run it was Odo’s, the Capetians, which prevailed. Charles the Simple, then, was a man displaced in time: a Carolingian marooned in a post-Carolingian political world where belonging to the dynasty of Charlemagne had lost its hegemonic significance, however loudly it was proclaimed.2 His dilemma represents a peculiar syndrome of the tenth century and stands as a symbol for the theme of this article, which asks how members of the tenth-century ruling class perceived their relationship to the Carolingian past. The relationship between the high Carolingian age of Charlemagne and the post-888 era of Charles the Simple has, in one form or another, long played a part in debates about the shift from the early to the central Middle Ages. At least since the formidable work of Georges Duby in the early 1950s, discussion of the tenth century in the Frankish world has been wrapped up in debates about periodization that revolve around two paradigms: the existence or 1 Bernd Schneidmüller, Karolingische Tradition und frühes französisches Königtum: Unter­ suchungen zur Herrschaftslegitimation der westfränkisch-französischen Monarchie im 10. Jahrhundert (Wiesbaden, 1979); Geoffrey Koziol, The Politics of Memory and Identity in Caro­ lingian Royal Diplomas: the West Frankish Kingdom (840–987) (Turnhout, 2012). 2 On the significance of the Carolingian royal monopoly and its disappearance in 888 see Stuart Airlie, Power and its Problems in Carolingian Europe (Farnham, 2012).

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otherwise of the so-called “Feudal Revolution” (or “Mutation”) of the year 1000; and the pre-history of the papal reforms of the eleventh century.3 Depending on where one stands in these debates, the tenth century is variously characterized as a relatively serene continuation of the Carolingian “project,” as the last gasp of Late Antiquity, or as a Dark Age of collapse from whose rubble the kingdoms and institutions of medieval Europe would begin to emerge only in the mid-eleventh century.4 Viewed in such terms, the tenth century is either a beginning or an end, lacking definition of its own – a shadowy valley separating the towering peaks of Charlemagne and Gregory VII. Historical periodization is a problematic business, and despite the dates in its subtitle it is one of the virtues of Robert Bartlett’s Making of Europe that it provides a panoramic perspective on these debates without becoming embroiled in their minutiae. Arguing that Europe was a product of the “fertile confusion” of the post-Carolingian period, Bartlett sees the tenth century neither as an end nor a beginning, but as part of a longer period with its own cultural traits dispersed by military-colonial expansion from the Frankish heartlands to the European peripheries.5 This “soft” periodization avoids the methodological traps of strict debates about continuity vs change and recognizes that all apparently stable systems contain the roots of their own change.6 The Making of Europe does emphasize some distinctions between the social and political characteristics of the early and central Middle Ages, but its undogmatic description of the post-Carolingian period also anticipates more recent views of the era’s religious and social changes as emergent conse-

3 Georges Duby, La société aux XIe et XIIe siècles dans la région mâconnaise (Paris, 1953); Stephen D. White, “Tenth-Century Courts at Mâcon and the Perils of Structuralist History: Re-Reading Burgundian Judicial Institutions,” in Warren C. Brown and Piotr Górecki (eds.), Conflict in Medieval Europe: Changing Perspectives on Society and Culture (Aldershot, 2003), pp. 37–68. 4 See for example the various articles debating the Feudal Revolution in Past and Present between 1994 and 1997 prompted by Thomas Bisson, “The Feudal Revolution,” Past and Present 142 (1994), 6–42; Richard Sullivan, “The Carolingian Age: Reflections on its Place in the History of the Middle Ages,” Speculum 64 (1989), 267–306. A clear discussion of the debate is provided by Charles West, Reframing the Feudal Revolution: Political and Social Transformation Between Marne and Moselle, c. 800–c. 1100 (Cambridge, 2013). 5 Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 2 (rejection of 1000 as a sharp turning point), 311 (quotation). 6 Chris Wickham, “Historical Transitions: A Comparative Approach,” The Medieval History Journal 13 (2010), 1–21. For an even broader perspective see Paul Fouracre, “Francia and the History of Medieval Europe,” Haskins Society Journal 23 (2011), 1–21.

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quences of, rather than radical breaks with, the structures and expansionary impulses of the Carolingian Empire.7 Whereas the debates about the emergence of Europe from the wreckage of the empire deal mainly with the chronologies of social and economic history, what follows turns instead to the complementary matter of perception. In what ways did members of the ruling class north of the Alps in the tenth and early eleventh centuries feel themselves connected to the ninth-century past? To what extent was the post-Carolingian period from which Bartlett’s Europe evolved perceived as such by those who lived in it? It would be easy to assume that Carolingian narratives about the past colonized and helped create the European imagination as part of the process by which Frankish cultural models were exported and imposed. After all, Europe is not just a region but also an idea, and the Frankish imperial past was an obvious touchstone for that idea.8 It was not by accident that the colonial aristocracies which created high medieval Europe described themselves as “Franks,” a hegemonic identification whose roots lay in the triumphal narratives generated by an earlier phase of European expansion under Charlemagne.9 Charlemagne’s imperialist achievements were euphemized by his apologists into his benevolent status as “Father of Europe” (pater Europae), and there is little doubt that he was remembered in something like that capacity by posterity, from the opening of his grave by Otto III in 1000 via his canonization by Frederick I Barbarossa in 1165 to his modern reinventions in the ideologies of the Nazis and the founders of the European Union.10 Modern accounts of this posthumous career tend to see it as more or less continuous, with his reign rapidly becoming a golden age from 7

8 9 10

West, Reframing the Feudal Revolution; Sarah Hamilton, Church and People in the Medieval West, 900–1200 (London, 2013); Wickham, “Historical Transitions,” 14–17. See also Timothy Reuter, “Modern Mentalities and Medieval Polities,” in Timothy Reuter, Medieval Polities and Modern Mentalities, ed. Janet L. Nelson (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 3–18, at pp. 5–6, for comments on the tendency of English-language scholarship to neglect a truly European perspective (with Making of Europe an exception, alongside the work of Sir Richard Southern and Susan Reynolds). Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 1. Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 85–105. For the earlier development of Frankishness see Rosamond McKitterick, History and Memory in the Carolingian World (Cambridge, 2004). Max Kerner, Karl der Grosse. Entschleierung eines Mythos (Cologne, Weimar and Vienna, 2000); Robert Morrissey, Charlemagne and France: A Thousand Years of Mythology (Notre Dame, 2003); Janet Nelson, “Charlemagne – Father of Europe?” in her Courts, Elites and Gendered Power in the Early Middle Ages: Charlemagne and Others (Aldershot, 2007); Anne Latowsky, Emperor of the World: Charlemagne and the Construction of Imperial Authority, 800–1229 (Ithaca, 2013).

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the moment of his death in 814.11 It would therefore be easy to presume that Carolingian glamour hung heavy in the air of tenth-century Europe, ready for use by rulers and intellectuals seeking to legitimize contemporary actions with reference to precedent. In this view, Charles the Simple’s celebration of his ancestors was merely a particularly clear example of a perennial political desire to appropriate the Carolingian past in the service of the present.12 On one level this is obviously true: the Carolingians were hardly forgotten. But in what follows I will argue (following Tim Reuter) that the evidence for the instrumentalization of Carolingian history in the successor kingdoms of the tenth century can also be viewed as a glass half empty – and that, therefore, a sense of distance from the past was another of the things that defined the period as post-Carolingian.13 A short article can hardly do full justice to the topic, so will be restricted to brief discussion of three samples of evidence. The first is the body of references to the Carolingian past in post-Carolingian narratives. Fabulously detailed studies of manuscript transmission have demonstrated the extent to which biographies of Carolingian rulers and histories celebrating their deeds were disseminated, read and copied across Europe between the tenth and twelfth centuries.14 That contemporaries realized the potential of this material for framing narratives of the post-Carolingian world is clear from the example of Adalbert of Magdeburg, whose triumphal account of the Ottonian dynasty down to 967 was written as a continuation of Regino of Prüm’s history of the rise and fall of the Carolingians, and thus presented his patrons Otto I and Otto II as inheritors and renewers of the Frankish empire in the West.15 Charlemagne in particular was clearly a figure of considerable stat11

12

13

14 15

Bernd Schütte, “Karl der Groβe in der Geschichtsschreibung des hohen Mittelalters,” in Bernd Bastert (ed.), Karl der Grosse in der europäischen Literaturen des Mittelalters (Tübingen, 2004), pp. 223–245. Matthew Gabriele, An Empire of Memory: the Legend of Charlemagne, the Franks and Jeru­ salem Before the First Crusade (Oxford, 2011), p. 20; Latowsky, Emperor of the World, pp. 15–16. For various reflections on matters of continuity and change see Bernd Schneidmüller and Stefan Weinfurter (eds.), Ottonische Neuanfänge: Symposion zur Ausstellung “Otto der Grosse, Magdeburg und Europa” (Munich, 2001). Timothy Reuter, “Regemque, quem in Francia pene perdidit, in patria magnifice recepit: Ottonian Ruler Representation in Synchronic and Diachronic Comparison,” in his Me­­ dieval Polities, pp. 127–146, at pp. 135–7; Timothy Reuter, “The Ottonians and Carolingian Tradition,” in his Medieval Polities, pp. 268–283. E.g. Matthias Tischler, Einharts Vita Karoli: Studien zur Entstehung, Überlieferung und Rezep­tion (Hanover, 2001). Adalbert, Continuatio, ed. Friedrich Kurze, Reginonis abbatis prumiensis Chronicon, cum continuatione treverensi, MGH SRG (Hanover, 1890), pp. 154–179; Bernhard Zeller, “Die Liudol­finger als fränkische Könige? Beobachtungen zur sogenannten Continuatio

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ure in the political discourse of the Ottonian ruling class – the “great Charles” was, for example, referred to as a yardstick for the reputation of Otto I in the early-eleventh century chronicle of Thietmar of Merseburg.16 However, there is a lot less of this kind of thing than one might expect. It is quite surprising how infrequently the Carolingians appear in tenth-century sources, and with only a handful of exceptions (like the passage from Thietmar) even Charlemagne is not held up as an explicit model for Ottonian rulers. One reason for this is that the Ottonians came from Saxony, a region which was conquered and Christianized by Charlemagne but remained peripheral to the itineraries of Carolingian kings. The Ottonian version of Charlemagne was lifted from the pages of Saxon hagiography rather than the triumphalist political narratives of Einhard and the Royal Frankish Annals. He was depicted less as a great ruler than as a founder of churches and converter of pagans, and his memory was much more likely to be invoked in disputes over ecclesiastical organization and the eastwards expansion of Christendom than in discussions about kingship per se.17 That it could easily have been otherwise is made clear from the Deeds of the Saxons written in the 960s by Widukind of Corvey, who clearly knew about Charlemagne via Einhard’s biography and the Royal Frankish Annals but only used them in passing (most notably in a parenthetical passage on Otto I’s physical appearance).18 Unlike the Carolingian historians of the later ninth century, or the world chroniclers of the twelfth, both of which groups habitually invoked Charlemagne’s reign as a golden age against which to measure his descendants, Widukind was a dog who didn’t bark – a writer who was well aware of the rich historiographical resources left by his predecessors, but nonetheless chose not to make much use of them. The starting points of histories are important indicators as to the stories that their authors wish to tell.19 One striking thing about the long-form histories of the tenth century is that most of them begin either at the very end of the Carolingian empire in the 880s or at the beginning of the reign of the

16 17 18

19

Reginonis,” in Richard Corradini et al. (eds.), Texts and Identities in the Early Middle Ages (Vienna, 2006), pp. 137–152. Thietmar, Chronicon, ed. Robert Holtzmann, Die Chronik des Bischofs Thietmar von Merse­ burg und ihre Korveier Überarbeitung, MGH SRG NS 9 (Berlin, 1935), 2.45, pp. 92–93. Hagen Keller, “Die Ottonen und Karl der Groβe,” Frühmittelalterliche Studien 34 (2000), 112–131. Widukind of Corvey, Rerum Gestarum Saxonicarum Libri Tres, ed. Paul Hirsch, MGH SRG (Hanover, 1935), 2.36, pp. 95–97; Sverre Bagge, Kings, Politics and the Right Order of the World in German Historiography, c. 950–1150 (Leiden, Boston and Cologne, 2002), pp. 58–59. Robert Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075–1225 (Oxford, 2000), pp. 619–620.

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first Ottonian ruler Henry I in 919 and made no real attempt to link the end of the old empire to the beginnings of its successor kingdoms: this is the case for Richer of Rheims, Liudprand of Cremona, Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim and Flodoard of Rheims (even though his knowledge of the ninth century is clear from his other works).20 Even those texts that do delve into a deeper past do not really make a case for continuity. Widukind roots his story in legendary post-Roman encounters between Franks and Saxons and makes a point of stressing that Henry I won his empire rather than inheriting it – despite the fact that inheritance/continuity was a story that could have been spun via the well-known marriage of Henry’s grandfather to a Carolingian princess.21 Even Adalbert qualified his implicit point about continuity with his declaration that with the death of Louis the Child in 911, “the royal line had now failed.”22 In fact, the first time that Carolingian descent was claimed for an Ottonian king seems to have been in Adalbold of Utrecht’s biography of Henry II, written c. 1012. A manifestly fanciful genealogy from the same period makes a similar claim about his wife Cunigunde.23 But these attempts to appropriate Carolin­ gian heritage were made as only one strand of argument among many during a complicated succession dispute in which all the competitors enjoyed very similar claims to legitimacy. Only in this extremely unusual situation was Carolingian continuity of this kind seen as a card worth playing.24 This apparent lack of interest at the political centre in asserting the continuity of the present from the past, even when such claims were available, or could be confected, is compounded by indications that historians of the tenth cen20 21 22 23

24

Reuter, “Ottonians and Carolingian Tradition.” Widukind, Rerum Gestarum Saxonicarum Libri Tres, 1.41, pp. 60–61. Adalbert, Continuatio, s.a. 911, p. 155. Karl Schmid, “Ein verlorenes Stemma Regum Franciae: Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Entstehung und Funktion karolingischer (Bild-)Genealogien in salisch-staufischer Zeit,” Früh­ mittelalterliche Studien 28 (1994), 196–225; Karl Schmid, “Geschlechterbewußtsein am Beispiel ausgewählter karolingischer (Bild-)Stemmata aus dem hohen Mittelalter,” in Claudie Duhamel-Amado and Guy Lobrichon (eds.), Georges Duby. L’écriture de l’histoire (Brussels, 1996), pp. 141–159. Adalbold of Utrecht, Vita Heinrici II imperatoris, cc. 1–2, ed. Markus Schütz, “Adalbold von Utrecht, Vita Heinrici II imperatoris: Übersetzung und Einleitung,” Bericht des Histo­ rischen Vereins für die Pflege der Geschichte des ehemaligen Fürstbistums Bamberg 135 (1999), 148–195, at 150–154. On this and the other claims made in the dispute see Steffen Patzold, “Königserhebungen zwischen Erbrecht und Wahlrecht? Thronfolge und Rechtsmentalität um das Jahr 1000,” Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 58 (2002), 467–507; Stefan Weinfurter, “Authority and Legitimation of Royal Policy and Action. The Case of Henry II,” in Gerd Althoff et al (eds.), Medieval Concepts of the Past. Ritual, Mem­ ory, Historiography (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 19–37.

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tury frequently made mistakes when referring to Carolingian history.25 With this in mind, it is also noticeable that several important authors of this period had a particular blind spot in the decades around 900. The Quedlinburg Annals, begun at the end of the tenth century, provide a history of the world going back to the creation which, although scrupulously constructed from a wide variety of sources, leaves the years 874–909 almost completely blank. This ignorance is particularly striking in that Quedlinburg was one of the institutions where the liturgical commemoration of the Ottonian dynasty was cultivated, and the annals both drew on and inspired several other important histories which shared the same gap.26 A similar caesura (between 887 and 925) can be found in the Deeds of the Bishops of Verdun, begun in the first half of the tenth century and continued in the eleventh.27 Folcuin of Lobbes (near Liège), writing a history of his abbey around 980, describes the decades after the death of Charles the Bald (d. 877) not only as a period marked by the end of hereditary kingship and confusion in the royal sphere, but even as an “interregnum”.28 This is not a common word in early medieval sources but could be highly ideological – it appears, for example, in some early Carolingian condemnations of the weakness and discontinuity of Merovingian kingship.29 Folcuin is overtly unsure about the sequence of kings in this section of his otherwise meticulouslyresearched narrative. Even Adalbert, an author who was interested in emphasizing continuity, is very unclear about events before the end of the 930s, to which point many of his entries are single sentences lifted from the equally sketchy monastic annals he had to rely on for sources. And given that Adalbert had learned his Carolingian history from Regino of Prüm, what’s perhaps more surprising still is that Regino himself, though he finished writing as early as 908 and lived in the kingdom of the Carolingian ruler Louis the Child, appears to have had only the slenderest grasp of ninthcentury chronology. Although he was able to tell the story of Charlemagne’s reign word-for-word as he discovered it in the Royal Frankish Annals, he seems 25 26

27 28 29

Reuter, “Ottonians and Carolingian Tradition.” Annales Quedlinburgenses, ed. Martina Giese, MGH SRG 72 (Hanover, 2004), pp. 306–310, 452. Giese’s discussion demonstrates that is not likely to be an effect of defects in the manuscript transmission. The story picks up again (s.a. 913, pp. 453–454) with the birth of Otto I and the Ottonianization of the future: “[Otto the Illustrious] dux praecipuus, de quo velut fertilissimo quodam stemmate imperatoria illa Otthonum propago totius Europae terminis non modicum profutura processit.” Gesta episcoporum Virdunensium, ed. Georg Waitz, MGH SS 4 (Hanover, 1841), p. 45. Folcuin, Gesta Abbatum Lobbiensium, ed. Waitz, MGH SS 4, cc. 15, 16, 19, pp. 61–63. Rosamond McKitterick, Charlemagne: the Formation of a European Identity (Cambridge, 2008), pp. 70–71.

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not to have been especially familiar with, or impressed by, that source: “I discovered the things which have been laid out above in a certain booklet composed in the language of plebeians and rustics.” Of Charlemagne’s son and successor Louis the Pious he knew even less, “because I have not found written texts, nor heard from the seniores anything that was worth committing to memory.”30 Moreover, what he knew about Lothar II, one of the key figures in his narrative, appears to have derived from a collection of letters surviving in a single manuscript which he had been fortunate to stumble upon.31 When reading Regino’s protestations about the limitations of his knowledge and the difficulty of finding sources, we should remember that he was no provincial rustic himself – Prüm, where he had been abbot, was a large monastery with impec­cable Carolingian connections, and a major cultural-political centre. The archiepiscopal seat of Trier, where he wrote his history, was another – and also where a much-copied biography of Louis the Pious had been written a few decades earlier. Regino’s blind-spots are therefore surprising, and worthy of note. How might we understand these silences separating narratives of the Carolingian era from those of the Ottonians? Part of the answer might be that the Ottonians and their apologists did not want to compete for a Carolingian identity when the descendants of Charles the Simple, who ruled West Francia between 936 and 987, were in a position to outbid them in that game.32 However, it was not an easy matter for new political regimes to simply cast off the symbols of their predecessors if those symbols still carried cultural weight.33 Nor is it at all clear that any of the Ottos, whose political and expansionary energies were mainly directed to the east and south, cared much about the sensitivities of their weaker neighbours in the west (at least after about 950). When they did clash, as when King Lothar occupied the iconic Carolingian palace of Aachen in 978 and then suffered a retaliatory invasion by Otto II, the indications are that they saw each other as simple antagonists with anxieties about their shared frontier rather than as competitors for the potent symbols of a shared history. Tenth- and eleventh-century descriptions of these events elaborate little on the palace’s association with its founder Charlemagne, and 30

31 32 33

Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 813, p. 73. For discussion see Stuart Airlie, “‘Sad stories of the deaths of kings’: Narrative Patterns and Structures of Authority in Regino of Prüm’s Chronicon,” in his Power and its Problems. Charles West, “Regino of Prüm and the Lost Manuscript: Knowledge of the Past and the Judgement of History in Tenth-Century Trier,” Early Medieval Europe (forthcoming). Reuter, “Ottonians and Carolingian Tradition,” p. 278. Thomas Sizgorich, “Narrative and Community in Islamic Late Antiquity,” Past and Present 185 (2004), 9–42.

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sources written in the empire even use ‘Carolingian’ as a derogatory term for the West Frankish rulers and their people.34 Perhaps, then, we should think in terms of a more profound type of cultural “forgetting” such as that argued by Patrick Geary to have characterized the eleventh century.35 This need not reflect ignorance of the past per se, as opposed to a shift of categories – perhaps post-Carolingian writers did not “know” about the Carolingian past precisely because it did not matter to them as much as we might think. We should remember here that the tight-knit ninth-century world of historical writing, in which different authors responded to, critiqued and continued each other’s work, fizzled out completely in the first decade of the tenth, with no long-form histories written in the East Frankish kingdom between those of Regino in 908 and Liudprand of Cremona half a century later (and a similar silence in West Francia broken only by the regional histories of Flodoard of Rheims). This silence coincides with a wider political uncertainty occasioned by the end of the Carolingian monopoly on royal power in 888, after which dynastic politics became markedly unpredictable, with different families competing for thrones and sons rarely succeeding their fathers. Given that the ninth-century boom in the writing of annals patterned around the movements of kings was underpinned by the relative stability of Carolingian hegemony, then the end of those narratives can be seen as a symptom of the dynastic instability that characterized the decades either side of 900 – how could histories be written towards and about the political centre now that it had become a site of constant competition between rival families? To borrow a term coined by historians of the late Roman period, it might be useful to think of a post-Carolingian “crisis of representation” in which it became difficult to purposefully rewrite the past because of the uncertainty of the present.36 And when narrative histories reappeared after this 34

35 36

Theo Riches, “The Carolingian Capture of Aachen in 978 and its Historiographical Footprint,” in Paul Fouracre and David Ganz (eds.), Frankland: the Franks and the World of the Early Middle Ages. Essays in Honour of Dame Jinty Nelson (Manchester, 2008), pp. 191–208, esp. pp. 203–205 and 207–208. Patrick Geary, Phantoms of Remembrance: Memory and Oblivion at the End of the First Mil­ lennium (Princeton, 1994). Gerda Heydemann, “Biblical Israel and the Christian gentes: Social Metaphors and the Language of Identity in Cassiodorus’s Expositio Palmarum,” in Walter Pohl and Gerda Heydemann (eds.), Strategies of Identification: Ethnicity and Religion in Early Medieval Europe (Turnhout, 2013), pp. 143–208, at pp. 145–146. For another parallel see Chris Wickham, “Lawyer’s Time: History and Memory in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Italy,” in Henry Mayr-Harting and Robert I. Moore (eds.), Studies in Medieval History Presented to R.H.C. Davis (London, 1985), pp. 53–71.

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period of “crisis,” they were mainly written in and focused on alternative centres of power – churches, especially bishoprics – rather than royal courts.37 This period of historiographical silence caused by political rupture has a parallel in post-Conquest England. In each case, when history writing re-emerged after a couple of generations, authors accommodated the past to the present in various ways that do not necessarily map onto our own debates about continuity vs change.38 If the Anglo-Saxon past formed an important part of new post-Conquest political discourses, the Ottonians’ relatively weak interest in the Carolingian past might be said to have helped construct a specifically postCarolingian consciousness. A second sample of evidence concerns the residual tenth-century importance of Aachen, the Carolingian palace founded by Charlemagne towards the end of his reign and associated also with his son Louis the Pious. Four of the five Ottonian kings were crowned there (Ottos I, II and III in 936, 961 and 983 respectively, and Henry II in 1002), as were most members of the German dynasties who succeeded them. In retrospect, this clearly became a regnal tradition, with Aachen elevated to the status of “sacra sedes” by the time of Frederick Barbarossa in the twelfth century and formally designated as the realm’s coronation site by Charles IV in the fourteenth.39 Without doubt, this was a place with strong Carolingian associations in the post-Carolingian age – in 1000, Otto III even exhumed the body of Charlemagne from its grave in the palace chapel, certainly as a way of advertizing his admiration, and perhaps as a prelude to proclaiming him a saint.40 It has therefore been taken for granted that these dynastic associations were what mattered to the Ottonians above all, and from the beginning.41 But we also need to take into account the fact 37

38 39

40

41

Theo Riches, “The Changing Political Horizons of gesta episcoporum from the Ninth to the Eleventh Centuries,” in Ludger Körntgen and Dominik Waßenhoven (eds.), Patterns of Episcopal Power: Bishops in Tenth and Eleventh Century Western Europe (Berlin, 2011), pp. 51–62. Bartlett, England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, pp. 616–633, esp. pp. 618–619. Heinz Krieg, Herrscherdarstellung in der Stauferzeit: Friedrich Barbarossa im Spiegel seiner Urkunden und der staufischen Geschichtsschreibung (Ostfildern, 2003), pp. 341–342; F.R. Erkens, “Ex iure regni debitus coronatur: zum Krönungsrecht des Kölner Erzbischofs,” Zeitschrift des Aachener Geschichtsvereins 104/5 (2002/3), 25–49. Knut Görich, “Otto III. öffnet das Karlsgrab in Aachen. Überlegungen zu Heiligenverehrung, Heiligsprechung und Traditionsbildung,” in Gerd Althoff and Ernst Schubert (eds.), Herrschaftsrepräsentation im ottonischen Sachsen (Sigmaringen, 1998), pp. 381–430. E.g. Eckhard Müller-Mertens, “The Ottonians as Kings and Emperors,” in Timothy Reuter (ed.), The New Cambridge Medieval History vol. 3, c. 900–1024 (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 233– 266, at p. 244.

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that Aachen’s symbolism was anchored in a region, northern Lotharingia, far from the Saxon heartlands of Ottonian power. How might the changed political geography of the post-Carolingian world have influenced the meaning of Ottonian attempts to appropriate the palace? Here we need to bear in mind that even though Lotharingia had become (with hindsight) a permanent part of the East Frankish kingdom in 925, the north in particular remained contested territory. Otto I visited often enough for Eckhard Müller-Mertens to classify it as a royal heartland in his pioneering study of that ruler’s itinerary, but in truth those visits were irregular and concentrated into periods when the western Franks were unable to press their claims.42 West Frankish rulers invaded in 939–40, 978 and 985, and at other times took opportunities to advertize their claims rhetorically – the naming of young Lothar in 941 was surely intended to proclaim West Frankish ambitions in “Lothar’s realm”; and in 959 those ambitions were still thought sufficiently current to warrant a public renunciation.43 But Lotharingia’s in-betweenness meant that it was tricky for kings on either flank to establish a consistent presence there.44 For local observers like Folcuin of Lobbes, the dominant figures were powerful regional aristocrats such as Reginar III of Hainaut, whom he describes as harassing his monastery with impunity during the 950s.45 Folcuin was sympathetic to Ottonian rule but saw it as distant and mostly absent – at one point he refers to Otto I as “king in the south.”46 This sense of distance can also be detected in texts written from the perspective of the political centre: a charter of the 960s laments Otto’s lack of resources in the region; and when Otto II stayed at Aachen in 973, a contemporary author from Alemannia described him as being “in the remotest corner of his kingdom.”47

42

43 44 45 46 47

Eckhard Müller-Mertens, Die Reichsstruktur im Spiegel der Herrschaftspraxis Ottos des Großen (Berlin, 1980). Further discussion in Simon MacLean, “Palaces, Itineraries and Political Order in the Post-Carolingian Kingdoms,” in John Hudson and Ana Rodriguez (eds.), Diverging Paths? The Shapes of Power and Institutions in Medieval Christendom and Islam (Leiden, 2014), pp. 291–320. Flodoard, Annales, ed. Philippe Lauer, Les Annales de Flodoard (Paris, 1906), s.a. 959, p. 146. West, Reframing the Feudal Revolution, pp. 109–138. Folcuin, Gesta, c. 26, pp. 67–69. Folcuin, Gesta, c. 22, p. 64. Theodor Sickel (ed.), Die Urkunden Konrad I., Heinrich I. und Otto I., MGH Diplomata regum et imperatorum Germaniae 1 (Hanover, 1879–1884), no. 322; Gerhard, Vita S. Oudal­ rici Episcopi, ed. Georg Waitz, MGH SS 4, c. 28, pp. 415–416; Karl Leyser, “Ottonian Government,” English Historical Review 96 (1981), 721–753, at 750–751.

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A sense of the “middle kingdom” as a kind of in-between zone can also be detected in the ways the Lotharingians were characterized as a gens. According to Ruotger of Cologne, they were a “savage” people until they were tamed by his hero Archbishop Bruno.48 For Thietmar of Merseburg, writing nearly half a century later, the Lotharingians (here denied a group label and generically described as “the people of the West”) were “always fickle” and displayed a “tendency towards arousal” – they were cowards who resisted the rule of God and king and “serve[d] only their bodily desires.”49 This ideologically-charged language recalls the withering ethnographic gaze that the political centre turned towards the “uncivilized” frontier in the age of medieval European expansion.50 But here the polarity is reversed as authors in what had hitherto been a border region, itself subject to conquest and Christianization, projected the “image of the barbarian” onto the inhabitants of one of Europe’s cultural and economic heartlands.51 This geographical shift may be linked to the changes in historical consciousness discussed earlier. Some scholars argue that the persistence of social memory is underpinned by the maintenance of “a stable system of places,” and this might be particularly relevant to a society whose characteristic historical genre – annals structured by the progress of the king around the nodal points of his realm – was closely linked to contemporary understandings of space and place.52 The inversion of Carolingian political geography compounded the effects of dynastic instability in disrupting the writing of history and complicating the relevance of the past to the present. This shift also helps us realize that Aachen did not occupy the same position in the Ottonian system of places as it had in the time of the Carolingian Empire, and this in turn might make us think twice about the meaning of the nascent coronation tradition associated with the site. Given the contested politics of the region, it can be argued that most of these coronations were not simple performances of dynastic majesty, but also had secondary audiences. Otto I’s inauguration in August 936 took place a matter of weeks after the coronation at Laon of Louis IV, the teenaged son of Charles the Simple whose unarguable 48

49 50 51

52

Ruotger of Cologne, Vita Brunonis, ed. Irene Schmale-Ott, MGH SRG NS (Weimar, 1951), c. 39, pp. 41–42. Writing around the same time, Widukind of Corvey, Rerum Gestarum Sax­ onicarum, 1.30, 2.15, 2.36, pp. 42–43, 79–80, 95–97 was considerably less scathing. Thietmar, Chronicon, 6.48, p. 334; trans. David Warner, Ottonian Germany (Manchester, 2001), pp. 270–271. Robert Bartlett, Gerald of Wales: 1146–1223 (Oxford, 1982), pp. 158–177. Robert Bartlett, “Heartland and Border: the Mental and Physical Geography of Medieval Europe,” in Huw Pryce and John Watts (eds.), Power and Identity in the Middle Ages. Essays in Memory of Rees Davies (Oxford, 2007), pp. 23–36. Quotation from Paul Connerton, How Modernity Forgets (Cambridge, 2009), p. 5.

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Carolingian credentials gave weight to his ambitions to re-take Lotharingia; Otto’s decision to stage his own crowning in Aachen can be interpreted as an anxious attempt to pre-empt this possibility and push Ottonian claims to the middle kingdom (which hitherto had been fragile at best).53 Widukind’s muchdiscussed description of the coronation lays heavy stress on the Frankish and Carolingian connotations of the occasion, but it is interesting that he appeals to these traditions really only at this point in his text, and amidst a pile of other historical references.54 Moreover if, as is generally argued, Widukind was writing in 966–7, his description was composed in the wake of a rare direct intervention in the Aachen area by Otto I, who in early 966 visited Cologne and “arranged all the affairs of the Lotharingian kingdom as he deemed suitable.”55 It was on this occasion that Otto issued a remarkably verbose charter which refers to the legacy of Charlemagne and describes the palace complex at Aachen (the charter’s recipient), as “the most important royal seat this side of the Alps.”56 In other words, both the choice of Aachen for the coronation and the nature of Widukind’s account must be interpreted in the context of Ottonian self-assertion in northern Lotharingia in 936 and 966–7. The other key examples can also be seen in light of the region’s contested politics. Otto II’s coronation at Aachen in 961 was in fact his second, and was specifically intended to elicit “the agreement and election of all the Lotha­ ringians.”57 The implication is that the latter group needed to be consulted separately from the bulk of the East Frankish aristocracy, and on their own territory, having failed to attend his prior coronation in Worms – hardly a sign that this was an unproblematic staging of royal majesty. Otto III’s coronation at Aachen in 983 was likewise a supplementary event which followed an initial inauguration at Verona.58 Aachen also played a role in the manoeuvrings surrounding the disputed succession to the childless Otto III in 1002. This took the 53

54 55 56

57 58

Timothy Reuter, Germany in the Early Middle Ages, 800–1056 (London, 1991), p. 148. For Henry I’s limited influence in Lotharingia, where he ruled through intermediaries, see Adalbert, Continuatio, s.a. 931, pp. 158–159. Steve Robbie, “Can Silence Speak Volumes? Widukind’s Res Gestae Saxonicae and the Coronation of Otto I Reconsidered,” Early Medieval Europe 20 (2012), 333–362. Adalbert, Continuatio, s.a. 966, p. 177. Adalbert, Continuatio, s.a. 961, p. 171; Die Urkunden Ottos I., no. 316: “hoc palatium precipua cis Alpes regia sedes.” Cf. Thomas Zotz, “Symbole der Königsmacht und Spiegel gesellschaftlicher Interaktion: zur Rede von palatium in den Urkunden der Ottonen,” in Sylvain Gouguenheim et al. (eds.), Retour aux sources. Textes, études et documents d”histoire offerts à Michel Parisse (Paris, 2004), pp. 363–372, at pp. 363–366. Adalbert, Continuatio, s.a. 961, p. 171; Ruotger, Vita Brunonis, c. 41, pp. 43–44. Gerd Althoff, Otto III (University Park, 2003), pp. 29–30.

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form of a struggle to control his funeral, which eventually took place at Charlemagne’s famous palace. But while it would be easy to assume that this outcome simply reflected Otto’s own well-attested interest in his great predecessor, conflicts among the living were at least as important. The impresario of the elaborate funeral was Archbishop Heribert of Cologne, who supported the succession claims of Herman of Swabia and in whose backyard Aachen lay. Not coincidentally, the texts that claim Otto III wished to be interred there are also markedly pro-Heribert. Meanwhile, the party supporting Herman’s main rival Henry of Bavaria, which had failed to gain control of the dead king’s body, was led by Archbishop Willigis of Mainz. The succession dispute was therefore linked to a conflict over which churchman had the right to oversee the burial of the old king and the inauguration of the new; the choice of Aachen was clearly conditioned by these circumstances.59 Despite Heribert’s initial success, in the end Henry was the victor and accordingly his coronation was staged at Mainz. It was only when he decisively gained the upper hand in later in 1002 that he visited Aachen for a second coronation, in which the archbishop of Cologne (whom Henry had recently imprisoned) refused to participate. As in 961, this was an election specifically conducted for an audience of “the Lotharingians” who had not yet submitted to the new king’s authority. Our main source for all this is the pro-Henry Thietmar, whose claim that the new king’s enthronement at Aachen was conducted “according to the custom of his ancestors” is clearly somewhat disingenuous – and indeed forms part of the dispute it purports to describe. In retrospect the event did sit in an emerging tradition of Ottonian inaugurations, but at the time it took place in response to a very specific set of circumstances: it was primarily intended to impress or win over a local political faction which had previously resisted the new ruler.60 This often-overlooked interplay between Aachen’s regional significance and its broader historical resonance did not end there: although his biographer Wipo depicts Conrad II’s post-coronation visits to Aachen in 1024–5 in terms of the new king’s desire to lay claim to “Charlemagne’s throne,” in fact his visit was at least partly influenced by a need to pre-empt the expansionary ambitions of 59

60

Joachim Ehlers, “Magdeburg-Rom-Aachen-Bamberg. Grablege des Königs und Herr­ schafts­verständnis in ottonischer Zeit,” in Bernd Schneidmüller and Stefan Weinfurter (eds.), Otto III.–Heinrich II.: Eine Wende? (Sigmaringen, 1997), pp. 47–76, at pp. 58–64; Weinfurter, “Authority and Legitimation,” pp. 29–30. For a longer context in the Mainz vs Cologne rivalry see Erkens, “Ex iure.” Thietmar, Chronicon, 5.20, p. 245. Likewise, Henry’s visit to Aachen in 1003 was to enable him to “meet with the Lotharingians as a whole” (Thietmar, Chronicon, 5.28, p. 253). On the various post-fact justifications given for Henry’s succession see Patzold, “Königserhebungen zwischen Erbrecht und Wahlrecht?”

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Count Odo of Champagne, who had threatened to occupy the palace over Christmas, and to win over the Lotharingians who had been hostile to his election. Conrad’s only other visit, over a decade later, had a similar context.61 The contours of such disputes were not simply dictated by inherited political traditions. In fact, the reverse might be true: these traditions were themselves conjured into being (by the likes of Thietmar) in large part as a response to the disputes. These kings and their supporters may have been thinking global, but they were acting local. The fact that northern Lotharingia was contested territory raises the possibility that performing their royal status at Aachen was not simply a means by which rulers laid claim to the legacy of Charlemagne. What if, on the contrary, they needed to appropriate the memory of Charlemagne as a means of laying claim to Aachen and its hinterland? Of course, these possibilities are not mutually exclusive. But it is possible to argue that even for the two rulers whose interest in the ninth-century Carolingians is clearest, the middle kingdom was a crucial setting: Charles the Simple’s royal documents proclaimed his annexation of Lotharingia in 911 as the moment at which he came into his full Carolingian inheritance; and Otto III’s interest in Charlemagne manifested itself specifically at Aachen.62 As important as it was to them, even for Charles and Otto Lotharingia remained a region at the edge of their reach, and Aachen a former political centre rendered peripheral by tenth-century reconfigurations of Carolingian political geography. In this light, post-Carolingian Aachen might be thought of as a “site of memory” in the sense described by Geoffrey Cubitt as “quintessentially residual…bring[ing] into focus not the existence of still living communities of memory, but merely the lingering awareness of memories and traditions that once had social meaning.”63 The palace was still rich with meaning, but the world around it had changed irrevocably. Read against the grain, the loudly-proclaimed Carolingian credentials of 61

62

63

Wipo, Gesta Chuonradi II imperatoris, ed. H. Bresslau, MGH SRG (Hanover and Leipzig, 1915), cc. 2, 6, pp. 19–20, 27–29. Cf. Herwig Wolfram, Conrad II, 990–1039. Emperor of Three Kingdoms (University Park, 2006), pp. 56–58, 72–76, 183–184; Björn Weiler, “Describing Rituals of Succession and the Legitimation of Kingship in the West, ca. 1000–ca. 1150,” in Alexander Beihammer et al. (eds.), Court Ceremonies and Rituals of Power in Byzantium and the Medieval Mediterranean (Leiden and Boston, 2013), pp. 115–140, at pp. 118–124. On Odo see West, Reframing the Feudal Revolution, pp. 126–129. Charles: Jens Schneider, Auf der Suche nach dem verlorenen Reich. Lotharingien im 9. und 10. Jahrhundert (Cologne, Weimar and Vienna, 2010), p. 120. Otto: Ludwig Falkenstein, Otto III. und Aachen (Hanover, 1998). Geoffrey Cubitt, History and Memory (Manchester, 2007), p. 47 (here discussing the ideas of Pierre Nora).

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Aachen might in fact be read as another symbol of the discontinuousness of Carolingian political consciousness and traditions in the tenth century.64 A third and final way of sampling post-Carolingian attitudes to the past can be found in charters. Historians now see royal diplomas as much more than the dry administrative documents of nineteenth-century legal history. Via their formulas, narratives and seals, they acted as a medium of communication between rulers and recipients, as quintessential symbols of Frankish cultural belonging and, consequently, as “trace elements” which can be used to map the expansion of Europe.65 Moreover, the micro-narratives and references to grants made by earlier rulers contained in royal charters also articulated and transmitted a form of episodic memory. This is not just a modern observation but something that that was fully recognized in the tenth and eleventh centuries, when charters were used to construct the histories of nunneries, monasteries and bishoprics where none had existed before.66 Wherever we look in this material, we meet the Carolingian past: the scribes who wrote the texts (whether they worked for the granter or the recipient) habitually referred to past rulers whose earlier gifts were being confirmed or enhanced, and often positioned post-Carolingian kings in a royal continuum beginning in the seventh, eighth or ninth centuries. But in view of the fact that diplomas were designed to communicate the stylized ideologies of kingship (which in general terms show few major breaks with existing models), it is perhaps surprising that very few of the hundreds of tenth-century examples drew specific attention to Carolingian precedent. Indeed, in some ways it was tacitly rejected: the Ottonians consistently and studiously avoided appropriating the

64

65

66

Aachen was “quoted” architecturally in other places of power, but this is a primarily post1000 phenomenon: Thomas Zotz, “Carolingian Tradition and Ottonian-Salian Innovation: Comparative Perspectives on Palatine Policy in the Empire,” in Anne Duggan (ed.), Kings and Kingship in Medieval Europe (London, 1993), pp. 69–100; Jenny Shaffer, “Letaldus of Micy, Germigny-des-Prés, and Aachen: Histories, Contexts, and the Problem of Likeness in Medieval Architecture,” Viator 37 (2006), 53–84. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 286. On charters see now Hagen Keller, “Zu den Sieglen der Karolinger und der Ottonen. Urkunden als ‘Hoheitszeichen’ in der Kommunikation des Königs mit seinem Getreuen,” Frühmittelalterliche Studien 32 (1998), 400–441; Hagen Keller, “Ottonische Herrschersiegel. Beobachtungen und Fragen zu Gestalt und Aussage und zur Funktion im historischen Kontext,” in H. Keller, Ottonische Königsherrschaft. Organisation und Legitimation königlicher Macht (Darmstadt, 2002), pp. 131–166; Koziol, Politics of Memory. Geary, Phantoms of Remembrance, pp. 81–114; Riches, “Changing Political Horizons.”

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titulature of their predecessors.67 Royal seals also show a clear break with the past. By the 920s rulers in all parts of the former empire had relinquished Carolingian iconographies, and from the middle of the tenth century a new Ottonian imperial seal became a standard model imitated even by the West Frankish descendants of Charles the Simple.68 And even though it was customary for the drafters of royal charters to invoke past kings as predecessors of the current ruler, sometimes in a very pointed way, they by and large chose not to instrumentalize Carolingian kings as models – even Charlemagne, who is generally assumed to have been a touchstone for legitimate kingship from his death in 814. West Frankish charters refer to Charlemagne surprisingly rarely, and he does not stand out in eastern diplomas either. Although a proper statistical analysis would need to take into account the complexities of authorship, survival and genre, and therefore might well be impossible, we can gain at least a crude sense of the historical horizons of the post-Carolingian world by counting references to past rulers. Of 163 references to Carolingian predecessors in the charters of the first three non-Carolingian kings in the east (911–73), 42 (26%) are to Charlemagne, and in the few examples where he is identified as a specific model, it is not as a paragon of kingship per se but as a founder of churches. This is typical of the way he was remembered by the ruling classes of Saxony, who thus positioned themselves at the forefront of European expansion and authorized their own religious-colonial ambitions in the east.69 By the twelfth century, as is well known, Charlemagne had indeed become ubiquitous, a towering figure whose reputation all but obscured the other kings of his dynasty; in the charters of Frederick Barbarossa (1152–90) over half the references to Carolingian kings were to the great Charles. This reflects the mythologizing of Charlemagne as he was abstracted from his historical context and recast as an iconic and omnipresent figure, appropriated as a potent predecessor even (or especially) in regions he had hardly visited.70 But in the 67

68 69

70

Eckhard Müller-Mertens, “Frankenreich oder Nicht-Frankenreich? Überlegungen zum Reich der Ottonen anhand des Herrschertitels und der politischen Struktur des Reiches,” in Carlrichard Brühl and Bernd Schneidmüller (eds.), Beiträge zur mittelalterlichen Reichsund Nationsbildung in Deutschland und Frankreich (Munich, 1997), pp. 45–52. Keller, “Ottonische Herrschersiegel.” Keller, “Die Ottonen.” For parallel lack of attention among tenth-century bishops to Carolingian synodal authority per se, see Ernst-Dieter Hehl, “Die Synoden des ostfränkischdeutschen und des westfränkischen Reichs im 10. Jahrhundert. Karolingische Traditionen und Neuansätze,” in Wilfried Hartmann and Annette Grabowsky (eds.), Recht und Gericht in Kirche und Welt um 900 (Munich, 2007), pp. 125–150. Amy Remensnyder, Remembering Kings Past: Monastic Foundation Legends in Medieval Southern France (Ithaca, 1995).

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Frankish heartlands in the twelfth century, it was still at Aachen itself where Charlemagne’s reputation was most carefully nurtured and insistently advertized.71 The Charlemagne of the twelfth century was a specifically imperial figure, with his Roman coronation of 800 a key part of the origin story of the medieval German empire as it emerged in the “universal” histories of the period.72 But the real origins of this Charlemagne were comparatively recent, and lay in the nascent imperial-papal conflicts of the mid-eleventh century. It is surely not a coincidence that the first ruler whose charters make a pronounced reference to Charlemagne as the starting point for a sequence of rulers running up to the present was Henry IV, who in a series of diplomas from 1063 declared that he saw himself acting in imitation of “our predecessors the emperors of the Romans and kings of the Franks from the great Charles up to our own times.”73 Such a statement is not surprising in the context of what we know about Charlemagne’s posthumous reputation – but what is surprising is that we do not find this sentiment expressed so clearly by earlier rulers, other than in the setting of Aachen. The elements of tenth-century political discourse sampled in this article do not show this level of attachment to Carolingian precedent, and seem to indicate a sense of the Carolingian past as distant – as past. Whatever the trajectories of its social and economic development, the world from whose “fertile confusion” Europe was made was thus 71

72

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Knut Görich, “Karl der Große - ein ‘politischer’ Heiliger im 12. Jahrhundert?” in Ludger Körntgen and Dominik Waßenhoven (eds.), Religion und Politik im Mittelalter. Deutsch­ land und England im Vergleich (Berlin and Boston, 2013), pp. 117–155. Richard Southern, History and Historians, ed. Robert Bartlett (Oxford, 2004), pp. 11–86; Timothy Reuter, “Past, Present and No Future in the 12th-Century Regnum Teutonicum,” in Paul Magdalino (ed.), The Perception of the Past in Twelfth-Century Europe (London, 1992), pp. 15–36; Johanna Dale, “Imperial Self-Representation and the Manipulation of History in Twelfth-Century Germany: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 373,” German History 29 (2011), 557–583. Dietrich von Gladiss and Alfred Gawlik (eds.), Die Urkunden Heinrichs IV., MGH Diplomata regum et imperatorum Germaniae 6 (Hanover, 1941–1978), nos. 103, 108, 112, 113, 115: “a Karolo magno predecessores nostri Romanorum siquidem imperatores vel Francorum reges usque ad tempora nostra.” These were mostly written for and in collaboration with the church of Hamburg-Bremen, whose archbishop Adalbert was Henry’s main protector and adviser – they can thus be seen as reflecting the “official” discourse of the court at this moment. For Charlemagne as precedent see also nos. 254, 283. NB also most of the numerous forged diplomas attributed to Charlemagne date from the eleventh and twelfth centuries: Constance Brittain Bouchard, Remembering Saints and Ancestors. Memory and Forgetting in France, 500–1200 (Philadelphia, 2015), pp. 63–4. On attitudes to Charlemagne in the eleventh- and twelfth-century Empire, Latowsky, Emperor of the World, is now the starting point.

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post-Carolingian not just in the jargon of modern historians, but also at the level of contemporary historical consciousness. Charles the Simple protested too much: he not only lived in a post-Carolingian world, he surely also knew it. It was left to his successors, like Otto III, Henry IV and Frederick Barbarossa, to forget.74 74

For comments and criticism I am grateful to Stuart Airlie, Max Diesenberger, Jinty Nelson, Theo Riches and Charles West.

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The Carolingian Past in Post-Carolingian Europe

Part 1 Geographical Perspectives



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Introduction to Part 1

Robert Bartlett’s The Making of Europe is a book-length interpretative essay of immense range and analytic power. It is also unusual in being truly a work of European history, rather than one that makes general statements about the history of Europe based on specialized expertise in a single area. Particular geographical concentration occurs when it provides especially revealing evidence, but the variety of areas used thus is considerable. At the same time, the book, and especially its last chapter, provides a set of analytical tools that can be applied not just to European history as a whole, but also to particular geographical areas or particular fields of study. Such focussed application is one of the main approaches adopted in this book, in the hope that historians will be able to see further when sitting on the giant shoulders of The Making of Europe.

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Chapter 1

England and The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change John Hudson England’s position in The Making of Europe is a complex one: it appears both as a region that was conquered and colonized and as one from which conquest and colonization was launched, it sometimes illustrates characteristics of Europe’s periphery, sometimes those of its core. Within the book, such a duality is peculiar to England.1 The present essay first briefly illustrates the book’s analytical and evidentiary use of England; second, it considers how England, particularly in the period c. 950–1100, fits within the book’s picture of European development; third, it examines law and lawbooks in England, to discover how their history further illuminates the issues raised in the previous two sections; finally it suggests some explanations of the characteristics that produced England’s complex position in The Making of Europe. 1

England in The Making of Europe

The conquest of 1066 and the subsequent settlement were carried out by men who saw themselves as Franks – primarily but not entirely Normans – and it is the deeds of the Franks that form the pulsing heart of The Making of Europe.2 Here England has the position of the conquered and the colonized. English examples are used to illustrate the expansionary activities of the Franks, for example, the transplantation en bloc of lords and vassals from their home to a new area of settlement,3 and expropriation, where “the native aristocracy is killed, exiled or pushed down the social scale and the newcomers take its position.”4 1 A different chronological range might have allowed Normandy a similar position, and, for example, areas of Spain may have played similarly mixed roles – note esp. Making of Europe, pp. 178–179. I would like to thank Bill Miller and Elina Screen for their comments on drafts of this essay. 2 See Making of Europe, e.g. pp. 20, 30, 40, 43, 51, 54, 70, 101–105. 3 Making of Europe, p. 54. 4 Making of Europe, p. 303.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_005

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In addition, there are hints in the book that political developments in England in the mid-eleventh century might make a particularly interesting test case for many of its themes, through a comparison of the initial Frankish/ Norman intrusion under Edward the Confessor (1042–1066) with the cataclysmic takeover of 1066. Developments in England might have been closer to those that Bartlett examines in Scotland, featuring gradual, invited aristocratic settlement, the piecemeal appearance of castles, competition at court between native and foreigner, liturgical reform, and some changes in church dedications.5 England might have been an example just of Colonization and Cultural Change; instead the Confessor’s failure to produce a child made it also one of Conquest.6 Yet if England features significantly in The Making of Europe as a realm that was conquered, it appears still more prominently as a base for further expansion, especially into the Celtic world from the second half of the twelfth century.7 Settlement in Wales and Ireland is used to illustrate the grant of great lordships to magnates and subsequent subinfeudation,8 the use of castles,9 the image of the conqueror.10 The case of Ireland is central to the depiction and analysis of law and race relations.11 Whereas “Anglo-Saxon” gets eight pagereferences in the index, “Anglo-Normans” have thirty-three, almost all relating to the Celtic world.12 Such quantitative evidence, very much in accord with the method of The Making of Europe, is significant, although – as in the book – not to the exclusion of other forms of analysis. Gerald of Wales receives only four entries in the index; this does make him one of the more prominent authors yet it is a number far from revealing the omnipresence of his spirit.13

5

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

See e.g. Making of Europe, p. 29 for “the band of Norman adventurers around Edward the Confessor, king of England”, p. 70 for castles appearing from c. 1050. For Scotland, see e.g. Making of Europe, pp. 53–54, 78–82. Cf. the counter-factual for thirteenth-century Wales sketched in Making of Europe, p. 302. Note Making of Europe, pp. 88, 102, on Norman and English participation in the Lisbon expedition of 1147. Making of Europe, p. 52; see also p. 92 on prospective grants, pp. 145–148, 181–182 on settlement in Ireland. Making of Europe, pp. 76–77. Making of Europe, p. 97. Making of Europe, pp. 214–217; note also Miller, below, pp. 76–95. Making of Europe, p. 417. Making of Europe, p. 422; note that there is e.g. only one page entry for Adam of Bremen (p. 417), four for Helmold of Bosau, author of the Chronicle of the Slavs (p. 423), two for the Song of Roland (p. 430).

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Late Anglo-Saxon England: Heartland or Periphery?

One of the great virtues of The Making of Europe is its willingness to generalize with confidence, to construct models, but also to recognize that these will only explain when the particularities of individual cases are taken into full account. In the book, and a related essay, Bartlett makes considerable use of the notions of “core” (or “heartland”) and “periphery.” At the same time, he is clear that there are difficulties in assigning England only to the core or to the periphery of Europe: “‘Frankish Europe’, as we may call it, the lands ruled by the Carolingians, was the heart of the West. In the High Middle Ages this area (to which, with some reservations, England may be added) retained a natural centrality.”14 Geography may be one complicating element: at times much of southern and eastern England may have displayed the characteristics of Frankish Europe, much of western and northern England characteristics of the periphery. More important, though, is an obvious chronological distinction: eleventh-century England features in the book as the object of conquest and colonization, later twelfth- and thirteenth-century England as the base for such activities.15 However, as Bartlett makes clear, conquest and colonization was not necessarily a matter of core taking over periphery; the Norman conquest of England might be an instance that does not fit that model. Therefore let us examine how The Making of Europe deploys late Anglo-Saxon England in its argument. Because of the nature and focus of the book, one has to assemble individual points scattered in the thematically organized text. Most mentions suggest that eleventh-century England might be seen as a part of the periphery being brought into the core by the Norman, i.e. Frankish, Conquest of 1066.16 The point is made diagrammatically in a map of “Dynastic diffusion in the High Middle Ages” with arrows from northern France to England (and Scotland).17 Militarily, Anglo-Saxon England lacked castles and armoured knights fighting on horseback: “the spread of the Frankish aristocracy entailed diffusion of a military technology – armaments, fortifications, and methods of waging war – from its place of origin in the old Carolingian heartlands (to which one may 14

15 16 17

Making of Europe, p. 20. On core and periphery, see also Robert Bartlett, “Heartland and Border: The Mental and Physical Geography of Medieval Europe,” in Huw Pryce and John Watts (eds.), Power and Identity in the Middle Ages: Essays in Memory of Rees Davies (Oxford, 2007), pp. 23–36. Note e.g. Making of Europe, p. 173. See also above, p. 34, for the situation in the reign of Edward the Confessor. Making of Europe, p. 41.

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add England after the Norman Conquest of 1066) into other parts of Europe.”18 Again presented diagrammatically as well as textually, it is the tenth-century Anglo-Saxon burh that provides the greatest contrast with the eleventh- and twelfth-century motte in the comparison of “areas of selected medieval fortifications.”19 The fief was absent from Anglo-Saxon England, but introduced by the Conquest.20 Bartlett follows Holt in seeing a transformation of family structure to a patrilineal one in Normandy before and in England after 1066.21 England also provides “a neat example” of transformation in naming practices: the range of names changed and became more restricted and uniform.22 Given the astonishing scope of The Making of Europe, the number of examples from any one country is necessarily limited. Further post-1066 English examples can easily be found to support arguments made in the text. For instance, following the Conquest some English bishoprics were moved from their Anglo-Saxon sites to larger towns, closer to the pattern in the “core” area of Frankish Europe.23 The English vernacular did not disappear, but lost status relative to Latin and to the conquerors’ own vernacular.24 Such change would leave lasting effects even on the English that was later to re-emerge, including, notably, on languages of authority: in the 1890s Maitland wrote that: It would hardly be too much to say that at the present day almost all our words that have a definite legal import are in a certain sense French words. … We enter a court of justice: court, justices, judges, jurors, counsel, attorneys, clerks, parties, plaintiff, defendant, action, suit, claim, 18 19 20 21

22

23 24

Making of Europe, p. 60. Making of Europe, pp. 65–66. Note Making of Europe, pp. 46–47, 51; below, p. 45. See esp. Making of Europe, pp. 50–51, reference to Holt at p. 325. See further Sir James Holt, What’s in a Name? Family Nomenclature and the Norman Conquest (Stenton Lecture for 1981; Reading, 1982); cf. Patrick Wormald, “On Þa wæpnedhealfe: Kingship and Royal Property from Æthelwulf to Edward the Elder,” in Nicholas Higham and David Hill (eds.), Edward the Elder (London, 2001), pp. 264–279; John Hudson, The Oxford History of the Laws of England. Volume II: 871–1216 (Oxford, 2012), pp. 124–126. Making of Europe, pp. 271–273. One may speculate as to what name Edward the Confessor might have given to a son. Change with regard to saints’ cults was more complicated; ­Making of Europe, pp. 272–273. At p. 273 Bartlett writes “Clearly, in this English case, conquest spread one element of the conquerors’ linguistic culture, nomenclature, while simultaneously exposing them to the influence of unfamiliar cults.” Making of Europe, pp. 6–7. On language, see Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 198–204.

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demand, indictment, count, declaration, pleadings, evidence, verdict, conviction, judgment, sentence, appeal, reprieve, pardon, execution, every one and every thing, save the witnesses, writs and oaths, have French names. In the province of justice and police with its fines, its gaols and its prisons, its constables, its arrests, we must, now that outlawry is a thing of the past, go as far as the gallows if we would find an English institution.25 Yet there are also other aspects in which Anglo-Saxon England does not resemble the areas that typify Bartlett’s periphery.26 The clearest is the wealth of the country and the nature of its economy.27 At the end of the eleventh century the Flemish hagiographer Goscelin wrote of England that: There stretch before you the most fertile fields, flourishing meadows, broad swathes of arable land, rich pastures, flocks dripping with milk, spirited horses and flocks. It is watered by fountains of leaping spray, bubbling streams, notable and excellent rivers, lakes and pools crowded with fish and birds and the coming and going of boats, all well suited for cities and people.28 The mixed arable and pastoral economy, the trade and the cities, are typical of Bartlett’s European heartland. A further aspect of such wealth was the silver coinage, prominent in The Making of Europe as “a technology that spread slowly across Europe”; the silver penny issued by Charlemagne was “immediately imitated by the Anglo-Saxon kings, [before being] taken up at different times by different peoples.”29 The number of coins was very large indeed: it has been suggested that the amount 25 26

27

28 29

Sir Frederick Pollock and Frederic William Maitland, The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I (2 vols.; 2nd edn, Cambridge, 1898), 1.80–81. Note in general the many pertinent points made, a few years before the appearance of The Making of Europe, by James Campbell in “Was it Infancy in England?”, in Michael Jones and Malcolm Vale (eds.), England and Her Neighbours, 1066–1453: Essays in Honour of Pierre Chaplais (London, 1989), pp. 1–17. Peter Sawyer, The Wealth of Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 2013), suggests a strong connection between the wealth of Anglo-Saxon England and its acquisition of German silver, particularly through wool exports. The following discussion should, of course, not be taken to imply that there were not further economic developments after 1066. Goscelin, Historia major sancti Augustini, Patrologia Latina 80, col. 51, cited and translated at Robert Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings (Oxford, 2000), p. 287. Making of Europe, p. 281, and more generally pp. 280–288.

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in circulation in the period c. 973–c. 1059 varied between 1.3 million and 12 million pennies.30 The degree to which the whole economy was monetized is disputed. Fiscal aspects, in particular the geld, may have been very important to the generation and utilization of coin.31 Moreover, within the economy, the upper orders of society may have made considerable use of coin, and received considerable cash income; the use of coin by the lower orders is less clear, although the wide spread of single finds may be suggestive.32 Overall the commercial significance of the coinage was considerable. This aspect of the economy firstly distinguishes pre-1066 England from areas of Europe, including Scotland, where a coinage was only introduced in the twelfth century, under Frankish influence.33 Secondly, written ecclesiastical evidence and coinage survivals suggest that cash income may have been considerably more important to lords in England than in France, coin considerably more important to the economy. The cash income of Christ Church Canterbury in the eleventh century seems to have been very significantly higher than that of the great Burgundian monastery of Cluny.34 Monetization may be associated with growing trade and urbanization.35 There are late Anglo-Saxon records of tolls being taken on overseas trade, and an early eleventh-century treatise states that “if a trader prospered, so that he crossed the open sea three times at his own expense, he was then entitled to

30

31

32

33

34

35

Campbell, “Infancy,” p. 3. Such estimates are fraught with uncertainty; for a recent summary, see Martin Allen, Mints and Money in England (Cambridge, 2012), pp. 318–319. Note also Sawyer, Wealth. Note Sawyer, Wealth, p. 27 (a similar point is made at p. 98): “Domesday Book and other eleventh-century texts show that, although many renders were in kind, coins were used for many transactions, large and small. Numismatic evidence confirms that England then had a large and well-controlled coinage. It was, however, produced and managed for the purposes of government, not commerce.” Sawyer does not seem to have meant by this last sentence that the coinage was not used for commercial purposes, with considerable economic consequences; see e.g. Sawyer, Wealth, pp. 103–104, 111. Note Sawyer, Wealth, p. 11; Robin Fleming, Britain after Rome (London, 2010), pp. 311–313; Rory Naismith, “The English Monetary Economy, c. 973–1100: the Contribution of Single Finds,” Economic History Review 66 (2013), 198–225, esp. at 213, 218, 220. Making of Europe, pp. 282–283; Campbell, “Infancy,” p. 3; Fleming, Britain, ch. 11. In the case of Scotland, the “Frankish” influence was, of course, Anglo-Norman, and is clear, for example, in coin designs. Sawyer, Wealth, pp. 113–114; Pamela Nightingale, “The Evolution of Weight-Standards and the Creation of New Monetary and Commercial Links in Northern Europe from the Tenth to the Twelfth Century,” Economic History Review new series 38 (1985), 192–209, at 196–197. On trade, see in general Sawyer, Wealth, pp. 25–26, 105–108.

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the status of a thegn.”36 As well as such textual evidence, archaeological investigation of late Anglo-Saxon England provides evidence of significant trade, both long distance and local. Some was based on industry; for example the finding of Stamford and Thetford wares in rural sites suggests industrial production for peasant consumers, whilst what is probably a large tannery excavated in York amounts to a factory rather than a workshop.37 In addition there may have been significant trade in agricultural produce; it is possible that much of the silver crucially present in eleventh-century England was the product of wool exports.38 A predominance of pastoralism might be a characteristic of a less developed economy, but pastoral agriculture within a mixed economy could be a force for development. There are also strong signs of urban growth, particularly from the latter part of the tenth century.39 As in Bartlett’s account of new towns founded for purposes of colonization, deliberately founded burhs play a part in the economic development of England. However, rather than being set up for economic purposes, the burhs may originally have been created for military ones, with many developing a stronger economic role as the tenth century went on, and in particular in the second half of that century. Then, like the later towns in northern and eastern Europe, they combined the military, the ecclesiastical, and the mercantile.40 At Worcester by the mid-tenth century the large and carefully laid out holdings or hagae along the central High Street were being divided and becoming a much less orderly collection of tenements, for traders and artisans, whilst suburbs with craftsmen were also developing.41 Moreover, even if 36 37

38

39

40 41

Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen, ed. Felix Liebermann (3 vols.; Halle, 1903–16), 1.458. Note also Ælfric’s Colloquy, lines 149–166, ed. G.N. Garmonsway (Exeter, 1991), pp. 33–34. James Campbell, “Norwich,” in Mary D. Lobel (ed.), Historic Towns (London, 1975), pp. 1–25; Campbell, “Infancy,” p. 10; note also e.g. Fleming, Britain, pp. 250, and esp. 305 on change in the tenth century. For references to markets in Domesday Book, see Henry C. Darby, Domesday England (Cambridge, 1977), pp. 369–370. Sawyer, Wealth, pp. 16–19. Cf. the caution of Campbell, “Norwich,” p. 6: “The most important unknown factor is the wool trade”; also Nightingale, “Evolution of Weight-Standards,” 209. On “cerealization” and the image of the primitive, see Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 152–156; also Bartlett, “Heartland and Border,” p. 27. For urban growth in late Anglo-Saxon England, note e.g. Campbell, “Norwich,” pp. 4–8; more generally Fleming, Britain, ch. 9; Sawyer, Wealth, pp. 23–26, 89–90; D. Palliser (ed.), The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. I: 600–1540 (Cambridge, 2000), especially the chapters by Grenville Astill, David Hinton, and John Blair. Cf. the emphasis in The Making of Europe, p. 167, on the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as “a period of dramatic urbanization in virtually every part of Europe.” For a summary, see Sawyer, Wealth, pp. 95–96. Fleming, Britain, pp. 243–252.

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they did not have the peculiar legal status of later chartered towns, some Anglo-Saxon towns certainly enjoyed privileges.42 Such growth could involve the spread from more to less developed areas of, for example, skills, although sometimes in a complicated fashion: according to James Campbell: it has been suggested that Thetford ware was first made in England by potters from the Rhineland, who came in shortly after the Danes settled in Thetford and elsewhere. If this is true, then the Danes may have been largely responsible for introducing to East Anglia an industry which could have had very important effects on the economy of the region.43 Flemings may have migrated to English towns before 1066, just as they did more widely across Europe in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries, whilst evidence of burials has been taken to suggest that “London was not just a place where foreigners lived, but a community developing an interesting and cosmopolitan culture all its own out of the many traditions brought there by people coming not only from the English countryside, but from Scandinavia, France, Germany and elsewhere.”44 The pattern is not a simple one of movement from core to periphery. Determination of weight standards may be a good indicator of economic importance, and it has been argued that “England played a central part in developing the medieval economy of northern Europe and in creating the new weight-standards which replaced the Carolingian system.” It did so partly because of its position as “the involuntary paymaster of Scandinavian, Norman and Angevin forces,” but also because of its commercial influence.45 42

43 44

45

J. Campbell, “Power and Authority 600–1300,” in Palliser (ed.), Cambridge Urban History, pp. 51–78, at pp. 58–59. On towns legally defined and their place in colonization, see Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 168–177; cf. pp. 167–168 on towns economically defined. Campbell, “Norwich,” p. 5. On Flemings, see Campbell, “Norwich,” p. 6; Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 114. On London, Fleming, Britain, p. 262. The fate of the Anglo-Saxons in English towns after 1066 may have been happier than that of native populations in some later towns; in some towns their influence may have been considerable, their status higher than Bartlett’s comment suggests occurred in twelfth- and thirteenth-century towns in colonized areas: “Native populations lived within the walls, sometimes in the humble position of manual labourers, sometimes as artisans or even merchants”; Making of Europe, p. 234, cf. e.g. James Campbell, “Some Agents and Agencies of the Late Anglo-Saxon State,” in James C. Holt (ed.), Domesday Studies (Woodbridge, 1987), pp. 201–218, at pp. 209–210. Nightingale, “Evolution of Weight-Standards,” 195–201, 208–209, quotations at 209.

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The tenth- and eleventh-century rural economy, too, shows developments that resemble those later exported as part of colonization, but which in England’s case were indigenous. Domesday Book reveals the existence of at least 6000 watermills by 1086, indicating the degree of capital investment already made.46 The type of nucleated village that would be planted by colonizers in the twelfth and thirteenth century was appearing in the latter part of the Anglo-Saxon period, just as it was in many other areas of the “heartland” of Europe.47 As with the later colonization, these villages were planned, and the dimensions of plots indicate the use of measuring rods.48 However, whereas in some areas of Europe new villages would sometimes be created in previously unpopulated areas, those in late Anglo-Saxon England were largely founded in previously settled areas.49 Thus there is much evidence for economic developments in late AngloSaxon England; the developments resemble, in some respects possibly even outstrip, those in Frankish areas. Although precision in chronology is difficult, there are signs that the second half of the tenth century saw the start of significant acceleration. It also seems plausible that the changes were most marked in England south of the Humber and outside the most westerly areas. The result would be a division of Britain into distinguishable socio-economic areas: a portion of England that resembled many regions south of the Channel;50 the 46 47

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50

Campbell, “Infancy,” p. 13; Reginald Lennard, Rural England 1086–1135 (Oxford, 1959), pp. 278–287. On mills and colonization, see Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 143–144. For caution on the extent of development in the Anglo-Saxon period, see e.g. John Blair, Anglo-Saxon Oxfordshire (Stroud, 1994), pp. 143–144, 179. For social, economic, and legal aspects of these changes, see e.g. Rosamond Faith, The English Peasantry and the Growth of Lordship (London, 1997). A point already made more generally in Frederic William Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond (Cambridge, 1897), pp. 372–375; see now John Blair, “Grid-Planning in AngloSaxon Settlements: the Short Perch and the Four-Perch Module,” Helena Hamerow (ed.), Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 18 (Oxford, 2013), pp. 18–61; for use in later colonization, see Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 140. On population growth and new villages, see Bartlett, Making of Europe, esp. pp. 106–107, 120. See in general Fleming, Britain, ch. 10. Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond, pp. 435–436, puts forward evidence suggesting that the number of acres in England under the plough in the time of William I may have matched and in some places exceeded the number in the time of Queen Victoria. Within this area it should not be assumed that the areas closest to Frankish Europe were necessarily the fastest developing; see e.g. Sawyer, Wealth, p. 96, “Until the mid-tenth century there is little evidence of pottery manufacture in English burhs, and although the technique of producing high-quality wheel-thrown pottery spread very rapidly in the Danelaw, it spread very slowly elsewhere.”

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remainder of England, more pastoral, less urbanized (with the exception of York);51 and the rest of the island, lacking features such as coins and towns, the characteristics that most clearly distinguished periphery from core in The Making of Europe.52 Is, therefore, a central reason for the complexity of late Anglo-Saxon England’s place within The Making of Europe the disjuncture between an economy similar to that of Frankish Europe and the absence of two defining features of Frankish military technology, the armoured knight fighting on horseback and the castle?53 As the Bayeux Tapestry shows, Anglo-Saxon warriors in 1066 used almost all of the military equipment characteristic of the Frankish knight: conical helmet, coat of mail, large shield, sword and spear. As with the development of the economy, the increase in the number of heavily armoured warriors in late Anglo-Saxon England may have been a phenomenon of the period c. 950–1050. The evidence of wills suggests that helmets and armour became more common around 1000; for instance, in 1003 or 1004 Archbishop Ælfric bequeathed to the king sixty helmets and sixty coats of mail.54 Lacking in the Tapestry, however, is the last element in Bartlett’s list of the Frankish knight’s equipment: “indispensable for offensive action was the heavy war-horse, or destrier.”55 How important is the absence of fighting on horseback, mounted on a destrier? Certainly it might have social and financial ramifications, as horses were expensive and the training to fight on horseback lengthy. Yet the tactical desirability of fighting on horseback may have been limited; the iron-clad warrior was as characteristic of late-Anglo-Saxon England as of contemporary France, even if he dismounted before battle.56 A depiction of the Norman knights fighting on foot at Tinchebray in 1106 would surely have 51

52 53

54

55 56

On the geography of coinage use, note Naismith, “Single Finds,” 212–214. Cf. Dublin within Ireland, on which see Andrew Woods, “Economy and Authority: A study of the coinage of Hiberno-Scandinavian Dublin and Ireland” (Cambridge University PhD thesis, 2013). Note e.g. Fleming, Britain, pp. 287–289, on Scotland and Wales. See esp. Matthew Strickland, “Military Technology and Conquest: The Anomaly of AngloSaxon-England”, Anglo-Norman Studies 19 (1997), 353–382; Strickland concludes that “in terms of resources, structure and military capacity, late Anglo-Saxon England was not, as William of Poitiers well recognized, a society on the periphery of a ‘non-Mediterranean Europe’, but one which was very much a ‘central area’ long before 1066.” Anglo-Saxon Wills, ed. and trans. Dorothy Whitelock (Cambridge, 1930), no. 18. Campbell, “Infancy”, p. 13; Nicholas Brooks, “Arms, Status and Warfare in Late Anglo-Saxon England,” in David Hill (ed.), Ethelred the Unready: Papers from the Millenary Conference (British Archaeological Reports, British Series 59, 1978), pp. 81–103. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 61. See esp. Strickland, “Military Technology,” 359–360, 367–369.

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resembled that of Harold’s men at Hastings, and those Norman knights would have been close in social status and in many aspects of culture to the English thegns of forty years earlier.57 What then of castles? Pre-1066 castles in England were closely associated with Edward the Confessor’s French followers; version E of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that in 1051 “the foreigners [i.e. Normans] then built a castle in Herefordshire.”58 So castles were an innovation, and the contrast between large burhs and small castles is clear. Yet it may be that burhs do not provide the best comparison to castles for the early eleventh century. More significant may be aristocratic residences, many of them fortified as at Goltho.59 In terms of surface area covered, these were much closer to French castles than to English burhs. The limits of their fortifications might be taken as indications of peace. Both the increase in costly weaponry and the building or rebuilding of thegnly residences are linked to the wealth of England at the time.60 Along with such economic and military development, did late Anglo-Saxon England display other characteristics of Bartlett’s expansionary heartland? There are hints of colonization activities, albeit activities with limited success, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s entry for 1065: In this year before Lammas Earl Harold ordered some building to be done in Wales – at Portskewett – when he had subdued it, and there he got together many goods and thought of having King Edward there for hunting. And when it was nearly all got together, Caradoc, son of Griffith, went there with all those he could get and killed nearly all the people who were there, and took the goods that were collected there.61

57 58 59

60 61

Jim Bradbury, “Battles in England and Normandy, 1066–1154,” in Matthew Strickland (ed.), Anglo-Norman Warfare (Woodbridge, 1992), pp. 182–193, at p. 187. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. A Collaborative Edition. Volume 7 MS. E, ed. Susan Irvine (Cambridge, 2004), p. 81. Strickland, “Military Technology,” 369–370; also Ann Williams, “A Bell-House and a BurghGeat: Lordly Residences in England before the Norman Conquest,” in Christopher HarperBill and Ruth Harvey (eds.), Medieval Knighthood IV. Papers from the Fifth Strawberry Hill Conference, 1990 (Woodbridge, 1992), 221–240; Guy Beresford, Goltho: The Development of an Early Medieval Manor, c. 850–1150 (London, 1987); Fleming, Britain, pp. 304–305. So too is a further crucial element of late Anglo-Saxon royal power, the fleet; Strickland, “Military Technology,” 373–380. Note also Bagge, below, p. 61. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. A Collaborative Edition. Volume 5 MS. C, ed. Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe (Cambridge, 2001), p. 117.

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It is difficult to tell how far the attitudes to “barbarians” that are manifested in the twelfth century existed unrecorded in the eleventh, perhaps in lost oral literature. Anglo-Saxon legal texts such as that known as Dunsæte do not display the type of discriminatory attitude towards the Welsh that appears, for example, towards the Irish in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.62 It is also uncertain whether expansion was accompanied by a “literature of conquest,”63 celebrating the energy and heroism of the participants, because such a literature may well have been oral. The surviving military classic of late Anglo-Saxon England is a tale of heroic defeat rather than triumph, the Battle of Maldon. However, preparing for battles such as Hastings, the Anglo-Saxons, like their Norman opponents, were surely roused by tales of past bravery.64 Just as with regard to weaponry, so with regard to culture the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy shared at least some defining features of their Frankish conquerors. In the forms and technologies of government Anglo-Saxon England outstripped the Normandy whence came its conquerors. Bartlett writes that like the silver penny, charters “can be used as trace elements or indicators, whose paths of diffusion alert us to wider and less visible currents of change.”65 Charters were used to record land grants on both sides of the Channel before 1066. The administrative writ, on the other hand, may be a trace element that shows diffusion from Anglo-Saxon England to Normandy after 1066.66 And at least from Edgar’s reign, the English kings exercised a control over the coinage far beyond that of the dukes of Normandy or kings of France. Such a situation explains the large-scale adoption of English royal powers and administrative practices by the Norman conquerors. It may also be significant that – with the possible exception of the communal “murder” fine used to protect Normans – legislation did not treat Anglo-Saxons as inferiors, and that “personal law” seems to have been of very limited importance in post-1066

62

63 64

65 66

Gesetze, ed. Liebermann, 1.374–379; on this text, see George Molyneaux, “The Ordinance concerning the Dunsæte and the Anglo-Welsh Frontier in the Late Tenth and Eleventh Centuries,” Anglo-Saxon England 40 (2011), 249–272. On Ireland, see Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 214–217; on discriminatory wergild scales, see p. 211. Making of Europe, p. 96. Wace, The Roman de Rou, ed. Anthony J. Holden, trans. Glyn S. Burgess (St Helier, 2002), lines 8013–8018; cf. the young Alfred listening to “Saxon songs”, according to Asser, Life of King Alfred, c. 22, ed. William H. Stevenson (Oxford, 1959), p. 20. Making of Europe, p. 286, and more generally pp. 283–288. David Bates, “The Earliest Norman Writs,” English Historical Review 100 (1985), 266–284; Mark Hagger, “The Earliest Norman Writs Revisited,” Historical Research 82 (2009), 181– 205.

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England.67 Whilst there are plenty of alternative explanations, this pattern is compatible with the notion that the England the Normans conquered was recognizable to them as a society similar to their own, rather than a primitive one. 3

Law and Lawbooks

Lastly, let us further examine law and lawbooks in England, now taking our investigations beyond the eleventh century. If one looks broadly at legal development over the period c. 950–1250, and in particular the impact of the Norman Conquest, one sees illustrated the ambiguous position of England. In the development of land law, the Conquest clearly had a major impact. Bookland, the characteristic form of much aristocratic land ownership in Anglo-Saxon England, disappeared after 1066. Instead, the characteristic form of post-Conquest land-holding was the fief, closely associated with forms of lordship introduced by or arising from the process of conquest and colonization.68 Likewise, as Bartlett points out, English law was exported to other areas of the British Isles in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.69 Such evidence would fit a view of England as being first taken into the developed Frankish world and then continuing the export of development further north and west. Yet other elements of English law owed much more to the Anglo-Saxon period.70 Although seignorial courts dealing with the landholding affairs of lords and tenants seem to be a post-Conquest innovation, other aspects of the court system owed much to the Anglo-Saxon period, in particular the courts of hundreds and counties. Local surety arrangements, the tithing, were crucial in the prevention and the policing of crime before 1066 and were maintained by the Norman rulers after the Conquest. The jury, once contested historical ground 67

68 69 70

On the murdrum fine, see Hudson, Oxford History, pp. 405–409; on personal law, John Hudson, “The Fate of Waltheof and the Idea of Personal Law in England after 1066,” in David Crouch and Kathleen Thompson (eds.), Normandy and its Neighbours: Essays in Honour of David Bates (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 223–235; note also George Garnett, “‘Franci et Angli’: the Legal Distinctions between Peoples after the Conquest,” Anglo-Norman Studies 8 (1986), 109–137. On personal law, see Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 204–205; at p. 219, he in this respect explicitly contrasts England after 1066 with “the continental peripheries and … eastern Europe”. Note also Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 206, where it is pointed out that in some colonized areas “the law was avowedly race-blind.” See John Hudson, Land, Law, and Lordship in Anglo-Norman England (Oxford, 1994), and Oxford History, chs 5, 14, 24; Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 51–54. Making of Europe, pp. 214–218. See also above, p. 44, on writ and charter.

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between those who wished to emphasize Continental influence and those who championed the native, may best be seen as a manifestation of the types of communal legal activity common to many societies at this time.71 The contradiction between royal promises to preserve the laws of Edward the Confessor and the Canterbury writer Eadmer’s dark statement that William the Conqueror desired “to keep in England the usages and laws that his forefathers and himself were accustomed to have in Normandy” is in part a contrast between justification and criticism of the regime. However, it also reflects the differing fate of elements of pre-Conquest English law, some replaced, some surviving, some very deliberately maintained. If one looks more specifically at lawbooks, the same complexity in England’s position appears. There is evidence from England that clearly illustrates the process of colonization and the expansion of the heartland of Europe. The laws of Breteuil exemplify the replication of sets of urban customs that characterizes such expansion in many areas.72 Canon law texts spread from con­tinental Europe to England, at first on a quite piecemeal basis, for example with the coming of Lanfranc’s Collection, and later in thoroughgoing fashion, particularly with the coming of Gratian’s Decretum.73 In this way England, like many other areas of geographically peripheral Europe, quickly came to share with the heartland of Europe a standardized textual basis for ecclesiastical law. And then English lawbooks spread to other parts of the British Isles. The lawbook known as Glanvill reached Scotland, although how many Scottish manuscripts once existed is uncertain. If they were numerous, and particularly if they were put to practical use, this may help to explain why Glanvill formed the basis of the Scottish lawbook Regiam majestatem when it was put together in c. 1320.74 Meanwhile the process of legal diffusion itself may have stimulated 71 72

73 74

See esp. Susan Reynolds, Kingdoms and Communities in Western Europe, 900–1300 (2nd edn, Oxford, 1997). See Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 172–173; also Mary Bateson, “The Laws of Breteuil,” ­English Historical Review 15 (1900), 73–78, 302–318, 496–523, 754–757, and 16 (1901) 92–110, 332–345; Adolphus Ballard, “The Law of Breteuil,” English Historical Review 30 (1915), 646– 658. See Richard H. Helmholz, The Oxford History of the Laws of England. I: The Canon Law and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction from 597 to the 1640s (Oxford, 2004), pp. 120–134. Note Archie Duncan, “Regiam majestatem: a Reconsideration,” Juridical Review 6 (1961), 199–217; Alan Harding, “Regiam majestatem amongst Medieval Lawbooks,” Juridical Review 29 (1984), 97–111; Hector L. MacQueen, Common Law and Feudal Society in Me­dieval Scotland (Edinburgh, 1993); Sarah Tullis, “Glanvill after Glanvill” (Oxford University DPhil. thesis, 2007), ch. 4, with discussion at pp. 171–172 as to which Glanvill manuscript the compiler or compilers of Regiam majestatem may have worked from.

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the creation of new types of legal literature; the first Register of writs appears to have been compiled in connection with King John’s export of English law to Ireland in 1210.75 Again, though, Anglo-Saxon England shared characteristics displayed, or formerly displayed, by the Frankish heartlands. Take the production of written law: King Cnut, wrote Maitland, “had published in England a body of laws which, if regard be had to its date, must be called a handsome code. If he is not the greatest legislator of the eleventh century, we must go as far as Barcelona to find his peer.”76 It may be that some historians have exaggerated how impressive Anglo-Saxon legislation was; the unpatriotic might argue that it was less extensive than the Carolingian capitularies and that its production in the vernacular was a sign not of the wide reach of royal government but of the limited reach of Latinity. Yet as with writs and charters, the legislation does indicate the integration of England within the formerly Carolingian core of Europe. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries England may have contributed to a peculiar extent to the shared law of that core region. In part this was a matter of travel of scholars to the great European centres such as Paris and Bologna, a pattern examined in The Making of Europe.77 In addition, England played a disproportionate part in the formation of the material for the early Decretal collections.78 And examples of the genre of procedural tracts known as Ordines travelled from England to Italy and France, as well as vice versa, the Ordo of Ricardus Anglicus being used by Tancred in Bologna.79 Such activities may reflect long-term patterns of legal culture in England as well as particular conditions in the latter part of the twelfth century. Finally in this brief consideration of law and lawbooks in England, let us look at how the analytic tools presented in Chapter 12 of The Making of Europe can be employed for examining subjects beyond Conquest and Colonization on the geographical periphery of Europe. In particular Bartlett emphasizes the importance of: legal and institutional blueprints or models which were easily exportable and adaptable but also resistant. In new circumstances these forms could 75 76 77 78 79

Paul Brand, “Ireland and the Literature of the Early Common Law,” in his The Making of the Common Law (London, 1992), pp. 445–463, at pp. 450–456. Pollock and Maitland, 1.20. Making of Europe, pp. 288–290. See e.g. Christopher Cheney, Twelfth-Century Decretal Collections and their Importance in English History (London, 1963). Linda Fowler-Magerl, “Ordines iudiciarii” and “Libelli de ordine iudiciorum” (Turnhout, 1994), pp. 81 (Ricardus Anglicus), 82 (Actor et reus), 105 (Ricardus Anglicus).

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be modified and survive, but they also transformed their surroundings. … As the image of crystallization suggests, many of the elements that composed them were already in existence but not yet in the exact arrangement or relationship that they were to assume. … What was characteristic of these forms was their uniformity and reproducibility.80 Those blueprints in which Bartlett is particularly interested for his purposes were, he writes, “distinguished by two vital features: they were legal and they were international.”81 Now the international nature of these blueprints is linked to those processes that he sees as important within his analysis of supranational expansion. Yet within the legal development at the national level too, the characteristics of blueprints, especially legal ones – that they are codifiable, transmissible, replicable, combinable – remain significant. Take England. If one looks at legal development in the period traditionally associated with the beginning of the Common Law, from the last third of the twelfth century, one finds again the use in various combinations of replicable elements with a capacity for adaptation: in particular the writ, the jury or recognition of local men, the visitation of royal justices to the localities, the plea roll. These standardized elements gave legal development in Angevin England a different character from that under the powerful kings of late Anglo-Saxon England, or indeed their Anglo-Norman successors. They encouraged administrative and normative standardization, reminding us of Bartlett’s depiction of change occurring in part through the use of the blueprints or models, working like an alphabet to bleach out distinctive colour but encourage operational efficacy: the world of the early Middle Ages was one of a diversity of rich local cultures and societies. The story of the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries is of how that diversity was, in many ways, superseded by a uniformity. … The story of the spread of powerful new blueprints in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries is also the story of how one of the many local cultures and societies of the Middle Ages attained a position of hegemony over the others.82

80 81 82

Making of Europe, pp. 309–310. Making of Europe, p. 310. Making of Europe, p. 311. Similar analyses might be undertaken of, for example, elements in Ius commune and its application.

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Conclusion

The preceding sections have explored the twofold peculiarity of England’s position in The Making of Europe: firstly as, on the one hand, a country conquered and colonized in the eleventh century, and, on the other, a base for conquering and colonizing in the twelfth and thirteenth; secondly as a country which at the time of its mid-eleventh-century conquest shared many characteristics of the Frankish heartland whence its conquerors came. Discussions in The Making of Europe fully explain the first, chronological, polarity. The second merits explanations that were outside the remit of The Making and must be much more extensive than can be attempted here. It also requires further geographical and chronological refinement. Discussions above suggested that England south of the Humber may have closely resembled and had close ties to Frankish Europe in ways that England north of the Humber, and certainly north of York, did not; and that important changes, most significantly economic but also military, occurred during the period 950–1066 – changes similar to ones in areas of the Frankish heartland such as Normandy. Keeping in mind such refinements, two explanations stand out, one governmental, the other economic. First, the inclusion of Anglo-Saxon England as part of the Frankish heartland is readily compatible with the arguments, particularly associated with James Campbell and Patrick Wormald, that tenth- and eleventh-century England was the best preserved Carolingian-style state, preserving features that were decaying in most if not all areas of France.83 How far this Carolingianstyle state had extended through England by c. 850 and how far it survived the Viking takeover of large areas needs further investigation. However, it may well be that the tenth-century northward extension of West Saxon power worked through replication of administrative blueprints that already existed in the Carolingian-style government of Wessex, for example the shire and the hundred, the burh, and legislation recorded in writing.84 Secondly, crucial was the wealth of England, discussed above.85 The explanation for that wealth, and the developing economy, cannot be easily pinned down. Some factors, such as possible climate change, might explain growth, 83

84 85

See e.g. James Campbell, Essays in Anglo-Saxon History (London, 1986), The Anglo-Saxon State (London, 2000); Patrick Wormald, Legal Culture in the Early Medieval West (London, 1999). For a contrary position, see George Molyneaux, The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century (Oxford, 2015). See above, pp. 37–42.

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but perhaps not any peculiar degree of development in England or parts of that country. Other explanations, for example Peter Sawyer’s emphasis on the export of wool and the inflow of silver from Germany, are possible but in some aspects unprovable.86 A further possibility is that England’s very extensive coastline, the limited distance of any place from the sea, and the navigability of rivers was significant. James Campbell has estimated that the annual herring catch in the mid-eleventh century may have exceeded 3,000,000. The economic consequences of this haul were not just nutritional. It created demand for the salt with which to preserve the catch, quite possibly over five tons of salt. It may be that the salt industry in turn produced demand for peat, for the heating of saltpans. Fishing and associated industries enriched the countryside and also led to urban growth, for example at Dunwich, the town with the sixth highest population recorded in Domesday Book.87 Such economic development would then create further demand for goods, perhaps carried from more distant producers via inland waterways. One is reminded of the Fleming Goscelin’s statement, quoted above, which linked “excellent rivers,” “fish” (albeit freshwater ones), and “cities and people.”88 Are these governmental and economic explanations inter-related? It should not be assumed that comparative disorder in areas of post-Carolingian France is necessarily a sign of economic decline in those areas; indeed it can be argued that many disputes arose from economic development leading to conflicting claims, for example arising from the building of new mills. Yet the relatively strong royal government of England may have fostered economic development. Royally protected peace could ensure conditions favourable in particular to trade. The obligation to maintain bridges seems to have been a widespread, public one, mentioned in charters from the eighth century onwards.89 Such an obligation had clear benefits for communications and the economy.

86 87

88 89

Sawyer, Wealth; also above, p. 39. James Campbell, “Domesday Herrings,” in Christopher Harper-Bill, Carole Rawcliffe, Richard Wilson (eds.), East Anglia’s History: Studies in Honour of Norman Scarfe (Woodbridge, 2002), pp. 5–17. See above, p. 37. Campbell, “Infancy,” p. 4; Nicholas Brooks, “Church, Crown and Community: Public Work and Seigneurial Responsibilities at Rochester Bridge,” in Timothy Reuter (ed.), Warriors and Churchmen in the High Middle Ages: Essays Presented to Karl Leyser (London, 1992), pp. 1–20, “Medieval European Bridges: a Window onto Changing Concepts of State Power,” Haskins Society Journal 7 (1997 for 1995), 11–29. On the issue of royal grants of markets, and the significance of these, note Richard Britnell, “English Markets and Administration before 1200,” Economic History Review new series 31 (1978), 183–196. Britnell contrasts the

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In addition to royal protection, it is also possible that royal extraction stimulated economic activity. The high levels of royal demands in the late Anglo-Saxon period, primarily although not exclusively through the taxes called the Danegeld and the heregeld, are well known. Their economic effects depend on how far demands were met by the transformation of treasure into coin, on how far the revenues remained in England, how far they were exported particularly to Scandinavia, and on how those revenues that remained in England were spent.90 Quantitative assessment of all three is very difficult. Nevertheless, it is conceivable that royal tax demands increased the level of coinage beyond what it would otherwise have been. Military expenditure may well have stimulated a monetized economy. Such expenditure in the first half of the eleventh may have been very high, and have been concentrated on paying troops, in particular maritime troops.91 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, version E, records under the year 1039 that in the time of King Harold Harefoot, “16 ships were paid for at eight marks to each rowlock, just as had been done in King Cnut’s time,” and that under his successor, Hardacnut, “62 ships should be paid for at eight marks for each rowlock.”92 Eight marks is probably the annual rate for payment of a member of the crew, and with the steersman being paid at twelve marks the annual cost of an eighty-oarsman ship would be 652 marks – working with the lowest estimate of the value of a mark this amounts to approximately £325, working with the highest to approximately £520.93 Such income must have created considerable demand in the first instance wherever

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pre- and post-1066 situations, but may underestimate the significance of late Anglo-Saxon grants of “sake and soke and toll and team and infangentheof”. See Naismith, “Single Finds,” 210–211, 215; also e.g. Pamela Nightingale, “The Origin of the Court of Husting and Danish Influence on London’s Development into a Capital City,” English Historical Review 102 (1987), 559–578, at 574, where she distinguishes between the periods before and after 1018: “Whereas before 1018 it appears that the kingdom could go on paying the Danegeld from its accumulated treasure and probably also from replenishment of the supply of silver by overseas trade, the estimates of mint production indicate that after Cnut’s accession the supply of new silver progressively diminished, and with it the size of the currency.” However, cf. Sawyer, Wealth, Appendix, on coin numbers; also below, n94. Note also Campbell, “Agents and Agencies,” p. 205. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, MS. E, ed. Irvine, p. 77. Campbell, “Agents and Agencies,” pp. 202–203; M.K. Lawson, “The Collection of Danegeld and Heregeld in the Reigns of Aethelred II and Cnut,” English Historical Review 99 (1984), 721–738.

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the men were stationed – quite probably in towns – and then rippling out from those places.94 Royal violence underlay resource extraction as well as internal peace. Yet neither wealth nor royal power could ensure military triumph against external invaders. As others have argued, internal royal strength may indeed have eased the replacement of one royal house by another, and facilitated subsequent control of the country. Again this contrasts with the difficulties experienced in gaining sustained control of less strongly governed peripheral regions, for example Wales. 1066 was not so much the triumph of core over periphery as the acquisition of one heartland area by another. England could thereafter take on a simpler role in The Making of Europe. 94

Note e.g. Nightingale, “Husting,” 567–569. Such a view is compatible with, although not proved by, the findings of Rory Naismith, “London and its Mint c. 880–1066: a Preliminary Survey,” British Numismatic Journal 83 (2013), 44–74. Some of the wealth, however, would have gone to Scandinavia, as is suggested by inscriptions; see e.g. Birgit Sawyer, The VikingAge Rune-Stones: Custom and Commemoration in Early Medieval Scandinavia (Oxford, 2000), pp. 28, 80, 118.

Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

The Europeanization of Scandinavia Sverre Bagge The Making of the Middle Ages and The Making of Europe – two classics, forty years apart (1953 and 1993) – both attempt an overall interpretation of the European Middle Ages and the long-term importance of the epoch. The similarity between the two titles is no coincidence. R.W. Southern was Bartlett’s teacher and mentor and a great source of inspiration for him as well as for other medievalists. The attempt to grasp the essential character of the Middle Ages is common to both authors, as is also their way of depicting this character by concrete and vivid examples rather than by abstract reasoning. But Bartlett’s book is also written in opposition to Southern, as can be illustrated by comparing one of the most memorable examples of each book. In his introduction, Southern traces the journey of an anonymous monk from the neighbourhood of Barcelona in the south to Maastricht in the north, visiting a number of monasteries whose communities each added some text to the book he was carrying with him, texts which signal the dawn of a new civilization. While those from the south, the areas facing the Meditterranean, continue the Latin tradition going back to Late Antiquity, those from the north signal a new approach; they “reflect the freedom and lightness which are two of the most prominent characteristics of the civilization which was slowly emerging in the eleventh century.”1 The monks are there in Bartlett’s book as well but they are overshadowed by the warriors, condensed in the picture of the Norman knight who starts his negotiations with a Byzantine envoy by killing his horse by a knock with his fist.2 There are warfare, politics and intellectual culture in both books, but the two examples show the different emphasis. Bartlett’s powerful and brutal Norman has an equivalent in Southern’s portrait of Fulk Nerra of Anjou, but his role is to serve as a representative of the old order that was changed by the introduction of ecclesiastical reform, Roman law and royal administration.3 To Bartlett, knights of this type were the main driving force in the making of Europe throughout his period, either as conquerors of new lands such as Ireland, the Baltic region, East Central Europe and parts of the Mediterranean, 1 Sir Richard Southern, The Making of the Middle Ages (London, 1953), p. 24. 2 Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 86. 3 Southern, Making, pp. 83–88.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_006

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or as new elites introduced to the parts of the periphery that managed to avoid conquest from the centre. Southern’s Middle Ages are the Bright Middle Ages, in accordance with a strong trend in twentieth-century scholarship, which, however, has not succeeded in eradicating the popular view of the Dark Middle Ages. By contrast, Bartlett’s Middle Ages have a darker shade, in accordance with the trend in scholarship from the 1970s onwards, 4 although without directly representing a return to earlier views of the Dark Middle Ages. To both, however, the Middle Ages are an important period, in anticipating later developments: to Southern, humanism and constitutional government, to Bartlett, the formation of Europe as a cultural and political entity and the first stage in the European conquest of the rest of the world. Here we meet another difference between Southern and Bartlett: the geographical scope. Southern’s Europe is mostly confined to the west; most of his examples are from England, France and the Low Countries, whereas Bartlett not only covers a larger geography, but identifies the making of Europe with its expansion in all four directions of the compass. In one sense, the west is not part of this making; there is no history of the formation of France or the growth of the English parliament. In another sense, the west is in the centre, as the driving force in the development of the new parts of Europe, either as conquerors or as transmitters of influences or inventions to the periphery, from military technology to new dynasties when the local ones become extinct. 1

The Importance of Scandinavia

There can hardly be any doubt that the influence from the west was significantly stronger than the one in the opposite direction. However, despite Bartlett’s impressive coverage of the expansion of Europe in all directions, it might be objected that his book contains relatively little information on Scandinavia. This comment should not be understood as the usual complaint from an inhabitant of the area, but concerns a major issue in Bartlett’s approach, namely his emphasis on conquest and colonization rather than peaceful influence in the “Europeanization of Europe.” Bartlett is of course aware of various examples of voluntary adaptation of European impulses, such as military technology and political organization. His emphasis is nevertheless on the period of conquest and colonization from the twelfth century onwards, 4 Paul Friedman and Gabrielle Spiegel, “Medievalisms Old and New: The Rediscovery of Alterity in North American Medieval Studies,” American Historical Review 103 (1998), 677–704.

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whereas actually, a considerable part of the process of Europeanization had taken place in the previous period. Six new Christian kingdoms were formed in the tenth and eleventh centuries, three in the east (Poland, Bohemia and Hungary) and three in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden), all governed by indigenous rulers. We are thus dealing with a distinct phase or aspect of the Europeanization of Europe, in which violence played a less prominent part than later and in which the European impulses, notably in the form of Christianity, were accepted voluntarily. The main reasons for this are first, that the west lacked the military superiority it was later to acquire and second, that the crusading ideology was less developed in the tenth and early eleventh centuries than it became later. In this period, we can distinguish more clearly between a religious attitude, aiming at the souls, and a secular one, aiming at military conquest, as can be illustrated by Thietmar of Merseburg’s and Adam of Bremen’s comments on the Slavic rebellion in 983.5 Although favouring their imperial project, Thietmar blames the German rulers for provoking the Slavs unnecessarily, while Adam takes a step further, contrasting the secular authorities’ greed and arrogance with the missionaries’ care for the salvation of souls. By contrast, the development of the crusading ideology engaged the military aristocracy in the religious project of converting the pagans, which in practice meant that conversion involved submission to western authorities. 2

The Formation of Christian Kingdoms in Scandinavia

How did Scandinavia become part of Christian Europe? Let us for a moment forget everything about critical historical scholarship and consider how Snorri Sturluson imagined the process in the first half of the thirteenth century.6 In the year 995, the Viking chieftain Olav Tryggvason returned from England to Norway in order to claim his right as the heir to the kingdom. A rebellion against the local chieftain Håkon, Earl of Lade in Trøndelag and the most powerful man in the country, had just broken out. Olav exploited the opportunity, defeated and killed Håkon’s son and supported the rebels, while Håkon had 5 Thietmari Merseburgensis episcopi Chronicon, ed. Robert Holzmann, MGH SRG (Berlin, 1955) 3.17; cf. Ottonian Germany. The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg, trans. David A. Warner (Manchester, 2001), pp. 141–142, and Magistri Adam Bremensis Gesta Hammaburgensis eccle­ siae pontificum, ed. Bernhard Schmeidler, MGH SRG (Hannover & Leipzig, 1917) 1.9. 6 Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla, ed. Bjarni Ađalbjarnarnason (Reykjavík, 2002), 1, pp. 290–372; Heimskringla, trans. Lee M. Hollander (Austin, 1992), pp. 187–244.

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to hide beneath a pigsty where he was killed by his slave. Olav claimed to be recognized as king of the whole country, but did not confine himself to that; he also demanded that the inhabitants should be baptized and convert to Christianity. For this purpose, he travelled along the coast from the Oslofjord area to Trøndelag, presenting his message at the local assemblies. He achieved his aim easily in the east, where he had relatives and the new religion was already known, but he met with increasing resistance further north and west, which he overcame partly with rewards, partly with punishments. He won large parts of western Norway by marrying his sister to a member of the most powerful kindred of the area and by promising other men his friendship as well as rich gifts – the surplus of Olav’s previous plundering expeditions. In addition to what he was able to offer, he was an attractive and charismatic personality, tall, handsome and the greatest athlete that had ever lived in Norway, a man who could walk on the oars of his ship while his men were rowing, who climbed one of the steepest mountains along the coast and carried one of his men down from it when he had got stuck there. He used the sword equally well with both hands and he could throw two spears at once. Who would not gain the friendship of such a man? Well, some people still preferred the old gods and had to be forced to convert, by torture and the threat of death. In Trøndelag, the core area of the old religion, Olav pretended to be willing to take part in the traditional sacrifice, the blot, after which he declared that he would make the greatest sacrifice ever, replacing the horses and other animals with the greatest chieftains of the area. In this way, he converted the whole country in only five years, after which he was killed in battle against the neighbouring kings and the son of his rival Håkon. This story is based on a long tradition whose development can be traced to some extent.7 Despite much embroidery and distortion it illustrates some important aspects of the Europeanization of Scandinavia. The first is the connection to the Viking expeditions. Olav is mentioned in contemporary English sources as a Viking chieftain who plundered in England but eventually was reconciled with King Æthelred and was baptized and confirmed with Æthelred as his godfather. Christianity as well as monarchy came from abroad. Between the death of the alleged founder of the Norwegian kingdom, Harald Finehair (c. 930) and that of Harald Hardrada (1066), all Norwegian kings came from abroad, normally with wealth gained from plundering or military service. This wealth could be used to gain followers in the country and to replace local 7 Sverre Bagge, “The Making of a Missionary King – the Medieval Accounts of Olaf Tryggvason and the Conversion of Norway,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 105 (2006), 473–513.

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chieftains who could not afford the same generosity. Snorri as well as other saga writers also state that Olav was a descendant of Harald Finehair, but this is probably derived from twelfth- and thirteenth-century ideas of dynastic continuity.8 Olav had to gain power through his own military and diplomatic skills. Having stayed for a long time in other countries, kings like Olav lacked the natural authority a link to the traditional religion might give them, while a change of religion meant an advantage over their rivals. Moreover, Christianity gave the king stronger authority than the old religion and was more compatible with lordship over larger areas. Some of the sagas point to the parallel between the king ruling the whole country and God ruling the world. The story of Olav Tryggvason shows the importance of European impulses for the development of the Scandinavian kingdoms but also that these impulses were largely transmitted through indigenous rulers. Although Olav as well as his successor Olav Haraldsson, who became the national saint of Norway, brought priests and bishops with them, missionaries in the traditional sense play a subordinate part in the saga tradition.9 Admittedly, this tradition may well have exaggerated the importance of the kings compared to the clergy, but Scandinavia nevertheless shows a striking contrast to the Baltic area from the twelfth century onwards, which was conquered and converted by knights from western Europe through a series of crusades, as Bartlett develops in his book. Anglo-Saxon England had a strong monarchy which might serve as a model for the Scandinavian kings but it was not strong enough to conquer other countries or force them to accept Christianity. By contrast, Ottonian Germany was a great power which might exert political pressure as well as engage in direct conquest. Norway and Sweden were too far away for this to have any importance for them, whereas Denmark bordered on Germany. Danish kings are mentioned in Carolingian sources from the early ninth century onwards but we do not know whether they ruled the whole country. The first missionaries, Ebo and Ansgar, also arrived during this period. However, the final conversion did not take place until the 960s, when the German cleric (and later bishop) Poppo, during a discussion at King Harald Bluetooth’s court, 8 Claus Krag, “The Early Unification of Norway,” in Knut Helle (ed.), The Cambridge History of Scandinavia (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 184–201, at p. 191. 9 On the Christianization of Scandinavia, see most recently the articles by Michael Gelting, Sverre Bagge, Sæbjørg W. Nordeide, Nils Blomkvist, Stefan Brink and Thomas Lindkvist on the Scandinavian countries in Nora Berend (ed.), Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy. Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus’ c. 900–1200 (Cambridge, 2007); Sæbjørg W. Nordeide, The Viking Age as a Period of Religious Transformation: The Christianization of Norway from AD 560–1150/1200 (Turnhout, 2011); Anders Winroth, The Conversion of Scandinavia (New Haven, 2012).

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allegedly demonstrated Christianity’s truth by carrying hot iron.10 Here we are dealing with a more conventional conversion carried out by missionaries rather than by charismatic warrior kings, although the missionary in this case appealed to the king who then decreed that Christianity should be the only legitimate religion, as Harald himself boasts in the inscription on the Jelling stone.11 It is also likely that some political pressure was involved. At the time, Germany had reached the height of its power, after the victory against the Hungarians at Lech (955) and Otto’s imperial coronation (962). The Danish king Harald Bluetooth may well have feared the power of Otto the Great or wanted his friendship. Denmark was also vulnerable at its southern border. Otto’s successor Otto II conquered parts of southern Jutland, but had to give it up after his defeat against the Saracens in 982. On the other hand, Denmark was a great sea-power and Harald’s successor, Sven Forkbeard, conquered England in 1013, while in turn his son, Cnut the Great, founded a large North Sea empire consisting of Denmark, England and Norway, which lasted until his death in 1035. The conversion of Denmark shows some parallels with that of the kingdoms of east central Europe, where political pressure from Germany is likely to have played some part, but where the conversion itself was carried out by indigenous kings and served to strengthen their power. Both Christianity and the idea of monarchy reached Scandinavia from abroad, although at the initiative of the Scandinavians themselves. The actual foundation of the three kingdoms, however, was the result of prolonged struggles between powerful and charismatic chieftains like Olav Tryggvason. Snorri and other saga writers give a glimpse of one stage in the process in their detailed account of what is usually referred to as the Battle of Svolder, an otherwise unknown island off the coast of Rügen, in the year 1000. Olav’s enemies have prepared an ambush for him and are waiting on shore for Olav’s enormous ship, Ormen Lange (=the Long Serpent), believing one after the other of the large ships passing by to be the right one, until it finally arrives and they attack with an overwhelmingly superior force. Spotting his enemies, Olav refuses to flee, speaking with contempt about the Danes and the Swedes but recognizing his Norwegian adversary, Earl Eirik, as a brave man and a dangerous enemy. Olav is proved right; the Danes and the Swedes try to board, but are driven back, whereas Eirik and his men finally manage to board and, after hard fighting, defeat Olav’s exhausted and decimated crew. Having fought heroically 10

11

Widukindi Monachi Corbeiensis Rerum gestarum Saxonicarum libri tres, ed. Paul Hirsch, MGH SRG (Hannover, 1935), 3.65; cf. Michael Gelting, “The Kingdom of Denmark,” in Berend (ed.), Christianization, pp. 80 f. Gelting, “The Kingdom,” p. 84.

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until almost all the men around him have been killed, Olav jumps overboard and drowns or – as most of the sagas will have it – escapes and spends the rest of his life as a monk in the Holy Land. Both the accounts in the sagas and the numerous skaldic poems quoted in them show that the battle must have been a memorable event, but otherwise, it is not easy to get an impression of what really went on. Nevertheless, we can be fairly certain about the site of the battle, which was not near Rügen, but in Øresund, the main sea passage between the Baltic and the North Sea and now as well as later one of the most important sailing routes in Europe. The fact that Denmark managed to control this area until the mid-seventeenth century shows the strength of this country. Whether Olav tried to gain control of it or, more likely, made a preemptive strike against the contemporary great power, is uncertain. In any case, the result of the battle was that King Sven of Denmark gained control over Norway, thus laying the foundation of his son’s North Sea empire. The formation of the kingdom of Norway and, to a lesser extent, that of Sweden, seems largely to have been the result of reactions against Danish attempts at conquest. The final phase of the development was the break-up of Cnut’s North Sea empire, which first led to an attempt from the king of Norway to control both kingdoms and finally to an agreement in 1065 about a division between them, approximately along the later border. It thus seems that the initiative for the formation of kingdoms in Scandinavia mainly came from Denmark, which was the strongest of the three countries until the seventeenth century, with the largest population and the best agricultural land. Compared to east central Europe, the Scandinavian borders were settled at an early stage. The reason for this is that they corresponded to natural divisions in an age where the main military power was sea power.12 The sea united, while forest and mountains divided. Consequently, Jutland, the surrounding islands and the lands across Øresund could be easily united under the king of Denmark, while the king of Norway gained control of the long, protected coast from Finnmark in the north to Göta Älv in the south. The third kingdom, Sweden, was difficult for the two others to conquer, but lacked their easy access to the sea. It was therefore land-locked to the west, until the thirteenth century, when it gained a tiny corridor in the border area between Norway and Denmark, near present-day Gothenburg. Political unification seems instead to have 12

For the following, see Sverre Bagge, From Viking Stronghold to Christian Kingdom. State Formation in Norway c. 900–1350 (Odense, 2010), pp. 21–40 and Cross & Scepter. The Rise of the Scandinavian Kingdoms from the Vikings to the Reformation (Princeton, 2014), pp. 27–38. See also the chapters on the formation of the Scandinavian kingdoms in Cam­ bridge History of Scandinavia, pp. 160–234.

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centred around the great lakes. Sweden naturally falls into two parts: Götaland in the west around the lakes of Vänern and Vättern, and Svealand in the east, around Lake Mälaren. The two regions were divided by dense forests, and few kings were able to exert control over both of them before the mid-thirteenth century, by which time the coastal region to the west had already been divided between Norway and Denmark. By contrast, there was less foreign competition in the east, so that the principality of Svealand was not only able to reach the coast but also to expand on the other side of the Baltic Sea, in the southern and western part of present-day Finland. Once the formal conversion to Christianity had taken place, the next step was the establishment of church organization, whose development forms important evidence of Europeanization, as pointed out by Bartlett.13 The organization of dioceses in Scandinavia came late, up to a hundred years after the official conversion, while dioceses were introduced shortly after conversion in the three eastern countries Poland, Bohemia and Hungary. The rulers of the latter countries clearly wanted to establish their equality to and independence from the strong German Empire. Poland and Hungary became independent church provinces in the early eleventh century, whereas Bohemia, closer to Germany and more dependent on this country, had to wait until 1344. The Scandinavian church provinces came earlier than this but later than those of Poland and Hungary. They might even have been further postponed were it not for the Investiture Contest and the following conflicts between the pope and the emperor. Lund was erected in 1103, when the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen sided with the emperor against the pope. Nidaros in 1152/53 came at a time when the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen tried to reassert his superiority over the Scandinavian churches, and although there was at the time no open conflict between the emperor and the pope, the latter may have found a division of the province of Lund a useful precaution. Finally, the Swedish province was established during the papal schism, when the Danish king sided with the anti-pope Victor IV (1164). This would seem to give a somewhat different picture than that of the conversion itself, with Scandinavia more dependent on Germany than Poland and Hungary were. However, the explanation rather seems to be that the Scandinavian rulers found ecclesiastical dependence on Germany to be less of a threat than was the case for their Polish and Hungarian counterparts. The influence from the English Church, which was less concerned with the formal ecclesiastical organization than the German one, may also have been of some importance. This is particularly the case with Norway and Sweden, whereas 13

Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 5–9.

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Danish kings worked for the foundation of an independent archbishopric from the reign of Svend Estridsen (1043–75). The Norwegian attitude may be illustrated by a papal letter quoted by Adam of Bremen, according to which King Harald (1046–66) appointed his own bishops and had them consecrated in England. When confronted about this by the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, according to Adam, he replied that he knew of no other head of the Norwegian Church than himself.14 3

Scandinavia and the European State System

Concerning the consolidation and further development of the new kingdoms, Bartlett points to two main factors, military technology in the form of castles and heavy cavalry and new instruments of government in the form of coins and charters. Bartlett classifies Scandinavia together with Scotland and Wales as the zone of foot soldiers before the adaptation of European military technology, in contrast to light cavalry in east central Europe.15 This is correct in the sense that the Scandinavians did not use horses in battle. However, the really distinctive feature of early Scandinavian military technology is the fleet, which had some of the same advantages as castles and heavy cavalry, namely speed and defensive walls. The ships could move fast along the coast and a tall ship gave the defenders similar advantages over the attackers as would the walls of a castle. The fleet not only gave increased mobility but was also used in battles; the most important battles in early Scandinavian history were fought at sea. Given the topography of large parts of Scandinavia, with long stretches of coast and hilly terrain in many places as well as a large number of islands, the advantages of European military technology are not obvious. However, it was adapted from the 1130s onwards, first in Denmark, which bordered on Germany and whose kings during the following centuries attempted to conquer or influence the principalities of northern Germany. From Denmark the new technology spread to Sweden, whereas Norway maintained the old one until well into the fourteenth century. Most of this country could be controlled from the coast, and the mountainous inland regions were not suited to heavy cavalry. The Norwegian fleet could also operate with considerable success along the Danish coasts during the war between the two countries in the 1290s. The new military technology had the same effect in Scandinavia as in the rest of Europe: the formation of a military aristocracy which lived off the 14 15

Adam Bremensis, Gesta, 3.16. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 70.

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production of the peasants. A new administrative system, based on castles, developed in Denmark and Sweden in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and also partly in Norway at a somewhat later date. Although Scandinavian nobles, like their counterparts in the rest of Europe, often built their own castles, the main castles in the region belonged to the king, who appointed their commanders, normally nobles. The commander seems in most cases to have kept most of the incomes from his district to himself in return for his administrative services and military aid to the king. Thus, it would seem that the Scandinavian countries in the Later Middle Ages in practice consisted of smaller principalities, nominally subordinated to the kings. However, in contrast to many other European countries, these principalities never became hereditary, and the king might appoint as well as depose their commanders. In addition, there were specifically royal courts of law and a royal central administration. Here we come to Bartlett’s two other inventions, the coins and the charters, which to some extent balanced this weakening of royal power.16 The former were valuable objects that served as means of exchange, but whose value also depended on the king’s authentication. The latter meant a new way of guaranteeing rights and ownership that could serve as evidence in royal and ecclesiastical courts of law. Both tended to increase the power of the monarchy. The king might increase his incomes substantially, once he succeeded in making his coinage the only legal instrument of payment, which happened already in the eleventh century. He could then increase his profit by issuing coins with less silver than the official value indicated.17 Through charters, he could make his will known to his subjects without being present in person, and through his central administration, staffed by men loyal to himself, he could receive more information and keep better control over the country than his potential rivals within the local aristocracy. Although Scandinavia was far behind England and the most advanced countries of western Europe in this respect, there was clearly a development in a bureaucratic direction, expressed 16 17

Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 280–288. Svein Gullbekk, Pengevesenets fremvekst og fall in Norge i middelalderen (Oslo 2003); Nils Hybel and Bjørn Poulsen, The Danish Resources c. 1000–1550, The Northern World 34 (Leiden, 2007), pp. 323–346. Gullbekk calculates the profit from issuing debased coins at 3–400 per cent, but the total income the king might gain from this depends on the amount of coins in circulation, on which there are widely different opinions. Thus, Kåre Lunden, “Money Economy in Medieval Norway,” Scandinavian Journal of History 24 (1999), 19–33 and “Mynt, andre pengar og politisk-økonomisk system i mellomalderen,” Historisk tidsskrift 86 (2007), 7–34, rates the use and importance of money significantly lower than Gullbekk.

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in the increasing number of extant written documents from the royal chanceries, royal legislation and an expanding royal bureaucracy in the king’s service. If we add the bureaucratic organization of the Church, these numbers increase even more.18 However, neither the new military technology nor the introduction of coins and charters gives the full explanation of the continued existence of the three kingdoms and their gradual transformation into states. Here we have to turn to another aspect of Europeanization, namely the concept of monarchy as such. In the late 1070s, Pope Gregory VII addressed the kings of Denmark, Norway and Sweden with advice and admonitions in a series of letters that form some of the earliest examples of papal correspondence with the Scandinavian countries. One of his concerns was to prevent the king of Norway from meddling in the conflict over the succession to the Danish throne. The pope sternly warns him about the disasters that may follow from such a course of action, quoting Christ’s words in the Bible about division of a kingdom leading to destruction (“Omne regnum in seipsum divisum desolabitur,” Luke 11,17).19 The pope here expresses a concept of the world as divided into kingdoms, whose rulers were appointed by God and who were obliged to respect one another’s rights, a gradual change from the idea of an empire encompassing the whole world, which had prevailed when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century. Eventually, the doctrine of the emperor’s sovereign power and the equality of obedience to him and to God from the Bible and Roman Law was transferred to the national kings. Although the immediate effects of Gregory’s admonitions are unknown and there continued to be a distance between ecclesiastical ideals and political reality, the development of the Scandinavian monarchies can to a considerable extent be understood in the light of this ideology. The three kingdoms were defined by the right of one particular person to rule them, a person who held an office that entitled him to judge and command his subjects. The reception of this ideology can be traced through the gradual regulation of royal succession.20 In Norway, there was apparently open competition for 18

19 20

Sverre Bagge, “Administrative Literacy in Norway,” in Slavica Rancovic et al. (eds.), Along the Oral-Written Continuum (Turnhout, 2010), pp. 371–95; Jan Ragnar Hagland, “On Evaluating ‘the Growth of a Literate Mentality’ in Late Medieval Norway,” ibid., pp. 397–409; Inger Larsson, “The Role of the Swedish Lawman in the Spread of Lay Literacy,” ibid., pp. 411–427 and Bjørn Poulsen, “Using the Written Word in Late Medieval Rural Society: The Case of Denmark,” ibid., pp. 429–448. Das Register Gregors VII, ed. Erich Caspar, MGH Epistolae Selectae 2.1–2 (2nd edn, Berlin, 1955), 6.13, 2.417. Bagge, Cross and Scepter, pp. 50–60.

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the throne until the mid-eleventh century, which was followed by competition between the kings’ descendants, whether born in wedlock or not, until individual succession and clear rules to distinguish between various pretenders were laid down in the laws of succession of 1260 and 1274. An earlier attempt to do so, in 1163/64, had had little effect in practice. The Danish dynasty goes back to Harald Bluetooth in the mid-tenth century. Individual succession seems to have been practised from early on, but there were periods of rivalry between different claimants, in the mid-twelfth and the second half of the thirteenth century. Here the final solution was not a law of succession, but royal election, in which the council of the realm, dominated by the aristocracy, eventually had the decisive vote. Although the king’s son was always elected if there was one, this allowed the aristocracy to pose conditions for the election, expressed in an election charter which the king had to seal. In Sweden, inner conflicts were more or less endemic throughout the Middle Ages. Several kings were deposed and the country was even without a king for around fifty years (1470– 1520). Dynastic stability was only introduced by the Vasas (1523–1718). Thus, the means used to establish a stable monarchy were the same in the new kingdoms in Scandinavia and east central Europe as in the rest of Europe, namely a clearly defined line of inheritance, individual succession and the demand for legitimate birth. Whereas these changes were introduced in the older parts of Europe from the Carolingian period onwards, they were not firmly established in Scandinavia until the thirteenth century. The murder of the Danish king Erik Klipping in 1286, the last in Scandinavia in the Middle Ages and the second last in the whole history of the Scandinavian dynasties (the last was that of Gustaf III of Sweden in 1792) can be regarded as a turning point. Before that date, the open competition for the throne led to frequent murders of kings and the murderer normally came forward to claim the throne himself. In 1286, the murderers were unknown – and are still so today – and the murdered king was succeeded by his son. It was no longer possible to kill the king and then come forward to replace him with a more acceptable candidate. The formation of the dynasty, combined with the rule about individual succession, gave the monarchy a legal foundation. One particular person had a birthright to rule the country which was in this sense his property, in the same way as a farmer had rights to his land. This was most clearly emphasized in Norway, where the monarchy was defined as hereditary and where this analogy actually occurs in The King’s Mirror from the mid-thirteenth century,21 but the principle of individual succession and thus of one individual’s exclusive 21

Sverre Bagge, The Political Thought of The King’s Mirror (Odense, 1987), pp. 31–39.

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right to the realm was equally strong in the two other countries, where the monarchy was elective. The idea of lawful succession and the king’s right to rule the country was developed in charters, historiography and didactic works and served to defend the monarchy against internal as well as external rivals. To this was added the ecclesiastical ideology of kingship as an office and the king as God’s representative on earth, expressed in the ritual of coronation, introduced in Norway in 1163/64, in Denmark in 1170 and in Sweden – where it never had the same importance as in the other countries – in 1210. During the coronation, the king received the symbols of his power: crown, sceptre, globe and sword, which served to distinguish him from other people and were used in pictures, statues and seals to represent the royal dignity. He also had a special seat, the throne, to which he was led or lifted during the acclamation and coronation, showing that it was his by right and general consent. Although the medieval state was far less bureaucratic and powerful than its early-modern counterpart, the king was stronger than it would immediately appear from the castle administration and the strength of the aristocracy. He was in the centre, he controlled the distribution of castles and could play the members of the aristocracy off against one another. From a rational-choice point of view, there was more to be gained for the individual aristocrat by a good relationship with the king than by rebellion. However, this is hardly a complete explanation; culture, socialization and ideology are also important factors. The exalted description of the king as God on earth in The King’s Mirror is no doubt exaggerated, but points to an important aspect of the contemporary ideology: society and the social order were largely identified with the king in person; the social order ultimately depended on him. Despite the increasing exclusivity of the aristocracy, there was a qualitative difference between its members and the king. On the other hand, the distance in rank between the two was balanced by proximity in most other respects. The royal court consisted of the members of the aristocracy, whose sons and daughters served as pages and ladies-in-waiting, not of eunuchs and slaves, as in China or the Muslim world.22 The power of individual kings largely depended on their ability to deal with these people, while the courtly ceremonial and the official ideology served to instil obedience and loyalty towards the king. The formation of the three Scandinavian kingdoms represents an important step in making the territorial kingdom the normal political unit in Europe. In contrast to the countries converted during the second phase of the Christian 22

The consequences of this are well developed in Jacob Tullberg, “Beyond Feudalism. Comparative Perspectives on the European Middle Ages” (PhD thesis, Copenhagen, 2012), pp. 95–109.

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expansion from the twelfth century onwards, the Scandinavian ones, together with those of east central Europe, became independent kingdoms, the latter admittedly with greater difficulty than the former. Widukind depicts Duke Miesco of Poland as Otto I’s friend,23 but Miesco never became king, and his successor Bolesław only succeeded in this towards the end of his reign, in 1025. Stephen of Hungary had fewer problems, probably because of the distance from the centre of German power and his ability to play the eastern and the western emperors off against one another. Although some earlier rulers held the royal title, Bohemia, the country closest to Germany, did not permanently become a kingdom until 1198. As we have seen, the development of the ecclesiastical organization shows the same pattern. By contrast, there was nothing to prevent the Scandinavian rulers from claiming the royal title, thus becoming members of the very exclusive club of European monarchs. As Bartlett points out, there were fifteen kingdoms in Europe around 1350.24 The number had not changed much since the time when the Scandinavian kingdoms were formed. In addition to Bohemia, only two new kingdoms were formed in the twelfth century, namely Sicily (1130) and Portugal (1139–43). Only two were added during the following centuries until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, namely when the Margrave of Brandenburg became King of Prussia in 1701 and the Duke of Savoy became King of Sardinia in 1720. In practice, there was not necessarily a great difference between kingdoms and other political entities. Late-medieval Burgundy and early-modern Saxony, Bavaria, Brandenburg and Savoy were more important political entities than the kingdom of Navarre. Nevertheless, this distinction of rank was not without importance. A kingdom could not be divided, whereas other principalities could, despite restrictions on this in some cases. A king had no secular superiors, as stated by Pope Innocent III as well as by Roman lawyers in France and other countries, and thus had a status approaching the later idea of the sovereign state, which, from 1648 in addition included a number of other principalities. Thus, the formation of the six kingdoms in the tenth and eleventh centuries was an important step towards making the territorial kingdom the normal political entity in Europe. Nevertheless, it might seem that the independent kingdom did not represent the final stage in the evolution, as unions between kingdoms became a characteristic phenomenon in the later Middle Ages. This is largely a logical consequence of the development of dynasties in the previous period. First, the solution to the old problem of a surplus of pretenders might easily lead to a 23 24

Widukind, Rerum gestarum Saxonicarum, 3.69, p. 144. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 40.

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new problem, namely the lack of them, as the chances of kings leaving legitimate sons over many generations are very slim. Then it might easily happen that the nearest heir to the throne in one country was the king of another. Secondly, kings or princes tended to have their own ambitions which did not necessarily coincide with those of the population in the country where they ruled; they wanted to extend their power by ascending to the throne of a new country. Thirdly, even the aristocracy might find their interests served by a dynastic union, which might increase the position of their country in the international competition. Bartlett points to the importance of French or French-speaking princes from this point of view; of ten ruling dynasties around 1350, seven were of French or French-speaking origin.25 The remaining three include the Polish Piasts and two Scandinavian ones, Magnus Eriksson of Sweden and Norway, a descendant of the national dynasties of both countries, and King Valdemar of Denmark. Fifty years later, these three dynasties had also become extinct. The Polish Piasts, the last of the three dynasties of East Central Europe, died out in 1370, which led to a union first with Hungary and then with Lithuania (from 1386). The last in the male line of the Danish dynasty, Valdemar IV, died in 1375 and the last of the Swedish and Norwegian one, Olav Håkonsson, in 1387. In Scandinavia, this led to a union between the three countries that was entered in Kalmar in 1397 and lasted intermittently until 1523, when the Swedes finally broke out, while Denmark and Norway remained united until 1814. Within each country, the union served to increase the importance of the aristocratic council of the realm as a political institution beside the king, which meant a continuation of the previous institutionalization of the royal government.26 A king ruling three countries could not be present in all of them at the same time, which necessitated a certain delegation of power, or, alternatively, led to organized resistance when the Danish king tried to impose his own favourites on castles in the two other countries. The increased importance of the councils of the realm is also expressed in the royal elections. The imme­ diate impression of royal succession in Scandinavia in the later Middle Ages is that of a return to the competition for the throne of the early Middle Ages, with two depositions in Denmark and Norway (1439–42 and 1523–24) and a whole series of them in Sweden. However, Sweden never managed to create a stable monarchy during the Middle Ages. Concerning Denmark and Norway, we have to take into account the high number of kings dying without a male heir during this period, which in earlier ages would have led to major crises, 25 26

Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 40–43. Herman Schück, “The Political System,” Cambridge History of Scandinavia, pp. 679–709.

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but which were now solved easily through a unanimous election by the council of the realm. This happened in Denmark in 1376, 1387, 1439 and 1448, after which the new dynasty, the Oldenburgs, continued to have male heirs for 400 years (1448–1863). The situation in Norway was largely similar to that of Denmark, although the election of 1448 was more complicated there, with a division between the adherents of the Danish and Swedish candidate. Concerning the election of foreign princes, there was no inclination towards French dynasties in Scandinavia, unlike the situation in east central Europe. Rather than linking themselves to an internationally prestigious dynasty, as the Hungarians did when electing Charles of Anjou (1301) and the Bohemians when electing John of Luxembourg (1310), the Danes preferred German dynasties of middle or low rank: Pomerania, Bavaria and Oldenburg. They wanted a ruler who would have his main interest in his new country, while at the same time preferring a foreigner to a native noble, to have the king as a neutral umpire above the competing nobles. Thus the development of the monarchy in Scandinavia in the later Middle Ages corresponds to the consolidation of the aristocracy that was the consequence of the military revolution, while at the same time illustrating the degree to which this consolidation was compatible with state formation. 4

The Europeanization of Scandinavia: Social and Cultural Aspects

One of the many strengths of Bartlett’s book is that it shows the effects of Europeanization in concrete and often surprising ways, not only battles and conquests but changes affecting the daily life of common people. The most obvious is the changes of landscapes through intensive cultivation and the immigration of people, often from far away, to carry it out. Here Scandinavia represents a striking contrast to east central Europe and an equally striking similarity to the west. There was demographic growth and clearing of new land but it was carried out by the indigenous population. The sources for the demographic growth of Scandinavia are clearly inferior to those for England, according to which Bartlett estimates the total population of the country at between 1.2 and 2.4 million in 1086 and between 4 and 6.6 million at the maximum just before 1350.27 There are no tax records that can be used for demographic purposes for the whole of Scandinavia before the seventeenth century, only some evidence for each country or parts thereof. Lists of farms or place names form the main evidence for the Middle Ages. Estimates based on 27

Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 106–111.

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this material give a similar impression to the English one, a population two to three times as large in the mid-fourteenth as in the mid-eleventh century and then a sharp fall as a consequence of the Black Death. In absolute numbers, the calculations of the maximum population suggest over 1 million, perhaps nearly 2 for Denmark, 350–500,000 for Norway and 500–600,000 for Sweden.28 Thus, we may guess at between 2 and 3.5 million as the total population of the Scandinavian kingdoms in the 1340s. Although there was no significant immigration from abroad, the German trade network also extended to Scandinavia.29 This is in marked contrast to the early-medieval pattern, when Scandinavian traders brought luxury goods like furs, hunting birds and walrus teeth to the European markets, as well as selling slaves and other surplus from their raiding. In the later Middle Ages, although luxury goods continued to be exported, the great expansion in trade was the result of the export of fish, meat, butter, hides, timber and iron, in return for grain, beer and cloth. This trade was increasingly controlled by German merchants. However, this did not result in any great invasion of Germans or in the foundation of German towns. On the contrary, the Germans settled in already existing Scandinavian towns, the two most important of which were Bergen in the west, in Norway, and Stockholm in the east, in Sweden. Bergen was the centre for fish export from northern Norway and Stockholm for the export of iron from Dalarna in highland Sweden. A third centre was the peninsula of Scania, with its rich herring fisheries, but here the season was shorter, so the Germans did not settle in towns but bought the fish at certain meeting places along the shore. The main reason for this German dominance was capital and organization. From a Scandinavian point of view, at least from point of view of the Scandinavian aristocracy, the Germans served a useful function in picking up the commodities close to where they were produced, thus saving the sellers from having to bring them to the markets themselves. From point of view of the kings, they had the disadvantage that they prevented the growth of an indigenous merchant class, which might increase the king’s wealth in the form of taxes and loans, as well as serving to balance the power of the aristocracy. The Hanseatic League also interfered in Scandinavian politics on various occasions in order to protect its trade interests and even on one occasion (1367–70) conducted a successful war against the king of Denmark. Numerically, however, the Germans were a tiny minority in Scandinavia, despite their dominance 28 29

Juoko Vahtula, “Population and Settlement,” Cambridge History of Scandinavia, pp. 562– 564. Hybel and Poulsen, The Danish Resources, pp. 353–379.

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in a few towns, and caused no division of society of the kind that occurred in east central Europe. There was German influence on the language but no conflict between German and the national language of the kind we find in Bohemia. However, the German influence was stronger in Denmark than in the other countries, as the king of Denmark was also the ruler of some Germanspeaking areas and Danish foreign policy from the late twelfth century onwards became strongly oriented towards Germany. Concerning the change of names and saints as the result of Europeanization, Bartlett’s most striking examples come from Scotland, England and Mecklen­ burg – the latter representing the crusading phase of the Europeani­zation. New aristocracies establishing themselves in a conquered country are likely to bring with them their old names. A strong cultural influence from a neighbouring country, as in the case of Scotland, is likely to lead to the introduction of new personal names. None of these conditions applied in Scandinavia, which led to different results regarding saints and personal names. As seems likely in countries converted at a late stage, the earliest saints known to have been venerated are the main saints of western Christendom, largely identical with those venerated in Rome, such as the Virgin, the apostles and archangels and St John the Baptist, St Lawrence, St Clement and St Nicholas. Some indigenous Scandinavian saints were eventually added to the list, the most popular of whom was the Norwegian King Olav (d. 1030), but due to its late Christianization, Scandinavia was unlikely to develop a set of saints radically different from the rest of Europe. Turning to personal names, we find no drastic change in the direction of international names, which once more provides evidence of the significance of conversion before the period of conquest. The three kingdoms of east central Europe show the same pattern. We find only one international name within the original Norwegian dynasty, namely Magnus (=Charlemagne), first used for St Olav’s son (king 1035–46) and then later for six others. The great majority of kings have traditional Norwegian names, like Harald, Håkon, Sigurd, Øystein, Sverre, Eirik and Olav. In the Danish dynasty, the name Valdemar was introduced in the twelfth century, from Russian Vladimir. The introduction of such a foreign name may possibly be explained by the fact that its bearer was not born to be king. He was the son of Knut Lavard, who belonged to a side-line of the dynasty and who had married a daughter of the king of Russia, a match of sufficient nobility to name the son after his maternal rather than paternal grandfather. Thanks to Valdemar I’s success, three other kings received the same name. The next examples are Abel and Christoffer, both younger sons of King Valdemar II who eventually became kings. When the last descendant of the then Danish-Norwegian dynasty, Olav (Da. Oluf) died in 1387, he was

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replaced by Queen Margrete’s nephew, the son of her sister and the Duke of Pomerania, whose name was Bugislav, which was changed to Erik, a name widely used in the dynasties of all three countries. Finally, German names took over with the accession of Christian I in 1448, whose successors until today are named alternately Christian and Frederik, with two exceptions, Hans (1481– 1513) and the present Queen Margrete. In Sweden, there were two competing branches of the dynasty until the mid-thirteenth century, which are referred to as respectively the Sverker and the Erik line, after the most common names of their kings. The last king within the former was called Johan (d. 1222). The Erik line died out in 1250 and was replaced by the descendants of Earl Birger. Here international names like Valdemar and Magnus were introduced, probably under influence from the neighbouring countries. Not surprisingly, international names are more frequent for queens than for kings. We find Margrete/Margareta, Agnes, Dagmar, Berengaria, Blanca (=Blanche), Kristin, Dorothea and others beside traditional Scandinavian names like Ingeborg/Ingebjørg, Ingrid, Gunnhild and Astrid. Queens mostly came from other countries outside or inside Scandinavia and their names were less the expression of dynastic continuity than those of their husbands or fathers. Outside the royal dynasties, we find some striking examples of imported names for members of the aristocracy relatively early, such as the Norwegian magnate Gregorius in the twelfth century. However, the general impression of names in the narrative sources as well as in charters is that the national names dominate throughout the Middle Ages, although some saints’ names in a Scandinavian form eventually became popular, such as Lars/Lavrans (Laurentius), Nils (Nicholaus), Jon/Jens/Jøns or Hans (Johannes), Peder/ Pär/Per (Peter), Pål (Paulus) and Andres/Anders (Andreas). A calculation of Norwegian names in the period 1405–19 – long after the official conversion – gives the following impression.30 The two most popular names for men are Jon (122) and Olav (121), both saints’ names, although the latter is also a traditionally Norwegian name. Hallvard (79), a traditional name but also the name of a saint, is also popular. Andres, Lavrans, Peter and Pål also occur relatively often. But traditional names from the pagan period are still frequent. Sigurd (83) is the great hero of the Norwegian version of the Niebelungen epic, equivalent to German Siegfried. There are 81 examples of Tord/Tore, derived from the pagan god Tor, in addition to a number of composite names like Torbjørn, Tormod, 30

The source is the index of names in the Regesta Norvegica 9, ed. Gunnar I. Pettersen (Oslo, 2010), which gives a summary of all charters and letters extant or known to have existed from the period.

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Torgeir etc. Among women’s names, the most popular are Ingeborg/-bjørg (42) and Margrete (34) – the number of women in the sources is far below that of men. Apart from Margrete, the most popular names are traditionally Norwegian: Ragnhild, Sigrid, Åsa, Gunnhild, Gudrun. Thus, Christianity has made some impact on name-giving, but with considerable adaptation to the local language, while most of the traditional names still survive. As the numbers indicate, only a tiny part of the population occur in the written sources, evidently the wealthier part, but there is at least little reason to think that Christian names were more common in the rest of the population. Turning to Southern’s chosen field, the intellectual elite culture, Bartlett adduces the Danish Archbishop Anders Sunesen (1201–23) as his main example, a man educated at elite institutions in France and the author both of a Latin version of Danish law and a theological poem on the History of Salvation, the Hexaemeron. A number of similar examples can be added, particularly from Denmark. One is Saxo Grammaticus, one of the main representatives of the twelfth-century renaissance in Europe through his Gesta Danorum, the history of Denmark from its origins until 1185, written in complicated Silver-Age Latin and full of learned allusions to classical and biblical history. Another is Boethius of Dacia, one of the leading Aristotelians at the University of Paris and probably the main target of Bishop Étienne Tempier’s condemnation of the Aristotelians in 1277.31 Various texts from all three countries give an impression of the Scandinavian participation in the European elite culture, as do also the records of Scandinavian students in Paris, Bologna and, in the Later Middle Ages, at various German universities.32 Equally interesting, however, are the expressions of a specifically Scandina­ vian culture or the preservation of ancient local traditions. This is a difficult and controversial field, as we have very little independent evidence of original Scandinavian culture apart from what is extant in manuscripts from the Christian period. It is therefore difficult to know what is really old tradition and what are inventions based on biblical or classical models. However, two features may indicate that there is a certain amount of Scandinavian originality. One is language. Whereas Denmark and Sweden conform to the normal pattern in the European periphery, with Latin as the only or almost the only literary language, as in Poland and Hungary and Bohemia until the fourteenth 31

32

Anders Piltz et al., Cambridge History of Scandinavia, pp. 494–495; Robert Pasnau and Christina van Dyke (eds.), The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy (Cambridge, 2010) 1.204–208; Bagge, Cross and Scepter, pp. 176–187. Sverre Bagge, “Nordic Students at Foreign Universities,” Scandinavian Journal of History 9 (1984), 1–29.

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century, Norway and Iceland made extensive use of the vernacular from the twelfth and particularly the thirteenth century, similar to countries like France, England, Germany and Spain and somewhat later Italy. In Norway, the royal chancery used the vernacular from the early thirteenth century onwards at the latest and most literary texts produced there were also in the vernacular. Iceland produced an enormous literature in the vernacular, which is generally regarded as one of the most important national literatures of the Middle Ages. The other feature is the survival of the pagan mythology. Regardless of the authenticity of the sources, the interest is in itself an indication of the continued importance of the pagan past. Most of this literature originates in Iceland and to some extent in Norway. However, Saxo’s extensive account of early Danish history, going back to around the time of the foundation of Rome, indicates something similar, despite the fact that much of it may well be the result of his own invention. By contrast, there are few parallels to this in the kingdoms of east central Europe. Thus, the myth of the origins of the Polish dynasty in the earliest history of the country by Gallus Anonymus, contains a brief account that seems to be based on biblical parallels.33 From a literary point of view, one of the main claims for Scandinavian originality has been made for the saga literature, above all the Icelandic family sagas but also the sagas of the Norwegian kings. Without going into the pros and cons of these claims,34 I shall present one example which represents a literary style radically different from what can be found in the Latin prose of contemporary Europe. The passage is taken from Heimskringla, the most wellknown and celebrated of the kings’s sagas. After St Olav’s death in the Battle of Stiklestad and a period of Danish rule, Olav’s son Magnus is brought to Norway and put on the throne at the initiative of two of his father’s enemies, one of whom, Kalv Arnesson, actually fought against him at Stiklestad. Eventually, the young king wants to know more of what happened during the battle and hears rumours that Kalv might actually have participated in the killing of his father. He then summons Kalv to show him the battlefield: Then the king said to Kalv: “Where is the place where the king fell?” Kalv answers and points with the shaft of his spear: “Here he lay when he fell,” 33 34

Gesta Principum Polonorum, ed. & trans. Paul W. Knoll & Frank Schaer (Budapest, 2003), cc. 1–3, pp. 16–25. I have discussed this in more detail in “Scandinavian Historical Writing,” in Sarah Foot and Chase F. Robinson (eds.), The Oxford History of Historical Writing 400–1400 (Oxford, 2012), pp. 414–427 and “The Old Norse Kings’ Sagas and European Latin Historiography,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology (forthcoming).

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he says. The king then said: “Where were you then, Kalv?” Kalv answers: “Here, where I stand now.” The king was then red like blood and said: “Then your axe might have reached him.” Kalf answers: “My axe did not reach him.” Then he went to his horse, mounted it and went away with all his men.35 The text is intensely dramatic, exactly because of its lack of rhetorical effects. It presents the confrontation between two men in the form of brief sentences of almost exactly the same length. There is no comment by the author and no attempt at direct description of emotions, except for the comment about the king being red like blood, which is typical of the “behaviouristic” attitude of the sagas, which emphasize visual expression rather than trying to describe people’s inner life. Through the combination of simple syntax, visual description and the retreat of the author, the sagas create the illusion of immediate observation of people and events, without the mediation of the author. This differs markedly from the classical Latin tradition, where the author comes forward through stylistic elegance and even more so from medieval Latin authors with their frequent comments on moral or theological aspects of the events. The sagas are also generally concerned more with the relationship between people and political explanation and less with moral and religious aspects. However, the Old Norse literature also contains texts which attempt to imitate Latin prose (“the learned style”) and a great amount of translations, mostly from Latin or French. 5

The Europeanization of Europe: Conquest and Cultural Transmission

The importance of Scandinavia for the understanding of the Europeanization of Europe lies in demonstrating the distinctive forms of conquest and colonization that characterize the processes in different areas of Europe at different times. Scandinavia resembles the three kingdoms of east central Europe, while showing somewhat more “self-Europeanization,” due to less pressure from 35

«Ƿá mælti konungr til Kálfs: “hvar er sá staðr, er konungrinn fell?” Kálfr svarar ok rétti frá sér spjótskaptit: “Hér lá hann fallinn,” segir hann. Konungr mælti þá: “Hvar vartu þá, Kálfr?” Hann svarar: “Hér sem nú stend ek.” Konungr mælti ok var þá rauðr sem dreyri: “Taka myndi þá øx þín til hans.” Kálfr svarar: “Ekki tók øx mín til hans”; Gekk hann þá i brot til hests sins, hjlóp á bak ok reið leið sína ok allir hans menn.» (Heimskringla, III, pp. 24–25).

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powerful European neighbours. There was less immigration from the rest of Europe, more of the earlier cultural heritage was preserved, and politically, Scandinavia was more distant from the greatest European powers. This applies particularly to Norway and Sweden, whose only powerful neighbour was Denmark until the rise of Russia in the fifteenth and above all the eighteenth century. By contrast, Denmark would immediately seem to be in a similar situation as the three kingdoms of east central Europe, as a neighbour of Germany. However, the imperial power of Germany from the fourteenth century onwards was located in the south, where the Luxembourg and above all the Habsburg had their hereditary lands. After the fall of Henry the Lion in 1180, northern Germany consisted of principalities of moderate size which might as well be the target of the Danes as vice versa. If we consider the later history of Europe and the rest of the world, conquest and colonization seem to dominate, from the conquest of America in the sixteenth century to the Scramble for Africa and the exploitation of China in the nineteenth. This of course involved all the kinds of brutality described in Bartlett’s book and has led to resentment against Europeans in the countries it affected. However, European impulses extended far beyond the areas that were directly conquered and even in the conquered areas, their reception was not always the direct result of the conquest. The crusading and colonizing ideology has played a prominent part in European history from the twelfth century onwards, but it did not completely replace the trend towards peaceful export of European culture of the early period, when Scandinavia was Europeanized.

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Chapter 3

Where’s Iceland? William Ian Miller Iceland the largest of the islands of the north, lies at a distance of three days’ sailing to the north of Ireland.1 Its people say little but they always tell the truth. Gerald of Wales, Topography of Ireland II.46

⸪ My remit is Iceland, something of a thankless task in this volume, so I will take the liberty of expanding a bit to allow myself some remarks on other Scandinavians and some on Ireland, to preempt charges of digression when Iceland seems as remote as it indeed is. Iceland is an outlier in Europe’s self-conception, literally and figuratively, being exactly at the edge, because it is also in the middle of nowhere. It makes a dent on the general consciousness of Europe now and then, a cod war here, an erupting volcano disrupting air traffic there, following fast upon its having become the purest symbol of the excesses of high finance that brought the world economy down in 2008, and then, yes, the highest rate of major beauty contest victories by a factor of thousands over any other nation. 1

Iceland and Ireland

Europe was always more central to medieval Iceland than Iceland to it, and it gets only one mention in The Making of Europe, when it too gets its one-sizefits-all bishopric. I am not criticizing. There are good reasons for not making Iceland the western frontier of Europe, of which more anon, though a mere three day’s sail to the north and west of Ireland, as Gerald would have it. But 1 The distance is c. 580 nautical miles. A three-day sail would require an average speed of eight knots, which would require very propitious winds, but not an impossible speed, though an optimal one, depending on the class of ship. More likely it took a week, and there is more than enough evidence that it could take well longer.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_007

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why Ireland is so much juster and an inspired western boundary of Bartlett’s Europe that got made, and not Iceland, is worth some attention. Ireland makes for a grimmer tale, surely, and one which does much to provide the darkest underbelly of the energy that was mobilized to make Europe Europe, an energy largely celebrated, or certainly respected, in The Making of Europe. When one has a speciality, one sees the world though its eyes. The plumber who comes into your house sees pipes and drains, the rest is so much gloss and commentary; likewise the electrician who sees wires and knobs, spirited by amps and volts, resisted by ohms. I suppose I can be pardoned for at least entertaining the thought that it was a trick of the QWERTY keyboard, substituting an R for the C Odin would have preferred, and not Bartlett’s own subspeciality with Gerald, and Gerald’s anthropologies of Ireland, Gerald’s own family’s prominent position in its expugnatio, that made Bartlett’s finger forget that C and reflex-like reach for the R, a centimetre’s sail away. To be sure, Ireland figured in the Icelandic imagination, but it hardly played such a crucial role there as it plays in The Making of Europe. In the Icelandic view, Ireland was a place from which one collected women, stories, and magical dogs; the Irish had something of a reputation for weirdness among the saga Icelanders. When a certain Hoskuld brings back an Irish slave girl to Iceland, his wife is none too pleased. The slave girl is thought to be mute, but Hoskuld hears her talking to the baby he fathered with her, and asks her to come clean about her speechlessness, whereupon she reveals that she is the daughter of an Irish king. Hoskuld asks her why she would keep silent so long about such highborn kin. I suspect she waited until she saw she had given birth to a promising child, quickly becoming the father’s favourite, before she advanced such a tale. Hoskuld tells his wife the news, but she, Jorunn, is wise in the ways of genealogy creation and foundling tales, especially ones coming from Irish slaves: “Jorunn said she had no way of knowing whether the woman was telling the truth, and that she had little liking for mystery folk.”2 It was not just the Normans who thought the Irish “otherly”. But then the Irish were not very otherly to the Icelanders. The Icelandic genome project has roughly confirmed just what the sagas and other late written sources suggest; that many of the first settlers’ women were of Celtic origin, picked up either in Scotland, the Western Isles, or in Ireland. The mitochondrial DNA of Icelanders shows that 5/8 of the female settlers were Celtic, compared with about 20 percent of the original males, presum-

2 Laxdæla saga, c. 12, trans. Hermann Pálsson (Harmondsworth, 1969). The author of Laxdæla is obsessed with quality of blood, and though he lets Jorunn deflate his own pretensions for an instant here, the message seems to be lost on the saga author for the rest of his saga.

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ably representing the contribution of male slaves or of Norwegians already the sons of Celtic mothers.3 One might, as a thought experiment, see Iceland in some respects as a colony of Ireland, but then it makes a difference when developing a typology of colonization, whether the colonizers are men or women and in what proportion, and at what rate they arrive, and if mostly men, whether they come with mattocks, ploughs, and cows, or rather with swords, mailshirts, and catapults. And then too, if they come as warriors, we must consider the makeup and origin of the campfollowers. Some of the original settlers of Iceland qualify as matriarchs, holding land in their own name: Unn the Deep-Minded, and lesser sorts such as Njal’s mother Asgerd, and Steinunn the Old, who got there a bit too late to claim land but acquired hers by purchase instead: “Steinunn…, Ingolf’s kinswoman [Ingolf is reputed to have been the first settler] went to Iceland and stayed with him the first winter. He offered to give her all Rosmhvalaness, west of Hvassahraun, but she gave him a spotted cloak for it and claimed it to be a purchase. She thought thereby better to secure the arrangement against revocation.”4 These women were not just tough; they were also smart. Steinunn knows something about the risks of accepting gifts of land clearly denominated gifts; she has enough acquaintance with land law to want to make sure she ends up on the best side of it by paying for the land. Unn, Steinunn, and Asgerd were not campfollowers, it being hard to qualify as one when it is not an army you are following, but a member of a group looking to find land to farm and pasturage for grazing. In fact, as the story has it, Unn, after her son was killed in Scotland, took over the leadership of their group, organized a venture to Iceland, staked out a large land claim there, and was the source of title of many a prominent landowner in the west of Iceland 300 years later in Landnámabók’s rather tendentious filiation of land titles to the advantage of her descendants. But whether Unn was real or concocted, her example shows that some thought it advantageous to trace title to her, rather than to some real or concocted male. For a true campfollower, sagaworthy in her own right we must revert to Bartlett’s Ireland. It shows that some soldiers in the expugnatio of Ireland brought their women from home, which might mean that either they intended to stay, or they just preferred their known girlfriends, or women with whom they shared a language, to the uncertainties of the general array of female 3 For males see Agnar Helgason et al., “Estimating Scandinavian and Gaelic Ancestry in the Male Settlers of Iceland,” American Journal of Human Genetics 67 (2000), 697–717. 4 Landnámabók, Íslenzk Fornrit 1:29–397, ed. Jakob Benediktsson (Reykjavík, 1968), pp. 392–393, S 394, H 350.

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campfollowers and captives. Thus a certain Alice, who plays a brief but unforgettable role in a source that figures in The Making of Europe – The Song of Dermot and the Earl. She is apparently an Anglo-Norman from Wales. Alice of Abervenny reveals that the men were quite willing to let a woman become sagaworthy if doing so would cause greater shame to their foe: Des yrreis esteint pris Bien desque a seisant dis; Mes li barun cheualer Iceuz firent de coler, A vn baesse firent bailler Vne hache tempre de ascer, Que tuz les ad de coles E pus les cors aphaleises, Pur co que aueit le ior Son ami perdu en lestur. Aliz out non de berueni, Que les yrreis seruist isi. Pur les yrreis uergunder Vnt co fet li cheualer. E les yrreis de la tere Desconfiz sunt entele manere, Returne sunt leur pais De baratez e desconfiz : En leur pais sunt returnez Desconfiz e de baratez. Of the Irish there were taken Quite as many as seventy. But the noble knights Had them beheaded. To a wench they gave An axe of tempered steel, And she beheaded them all And then threw their bodies over the cliff, Because she had that day Lost her lover in the combat Alice of Abervenny was her name Who served the Irish thus. In order to disgrace the Irish

1480

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The knights did this. And the Irish of the district Were discomfited in this way. To their country they returned Outdone and discomfited.5 Alice of Abervenny captures the imagination: greater love hath no woman. But she is not cast in the mould of the tough, ruthless, saga women, who depute their murders to men they order about, and their blood is mostly cold as they do so. Not Alice’s. She is transported by a berserkr rage. How else could she summon the strength, after beheading the first dozen Irishmen and tossing their bodies over a cliff, to decapitate and launch five dozen more? Noteworthy too is some subtler triumphalism in this vignette lurking amidst the general glorying, captured superbly by the repetition in the last lines of “leur pais” the Irish return to, the possessive pronoun bearing smirking ironies. This scene bears comparison for its “calculated brutality” with the chilling power of the story no one who reads The Making of Europe ever forgets: the Norman welcoming a Greek emissary by knocking the latter’s horse down with a punch to the poor animal’s neck and then magnanimously giving him a replacement.6 The “noble knights” who handed Alice the axe were of an ilk with the Norman knocking down the horse, both episodes showing a keen sense of the threat value of comedy. 2

Points of the Compass and Northern Emptiness in The Making of Europe

Two of the “Others” that set defining frontiers for European expansion by conquest and colonization in The Making of Europe are obvious as frontiers. To the east of the Elbe dwelt pagan Slavs. To the south in the Iberian and Italian peninsula, and in Holy Jerusalem, were infidel Muslims, who end up providing some of the taint that would come to cling to Orthodox Greeks as they too were hardened into Otherness, when more than a few pagan Slavs to the east become Orthodox Slavs, not much better than Christian Irishmen to the west, but somehow not in for as much misfortune at the hands of the Franks.7 5 6 7

The Song of Dermot and the Earl, ed. and trans. Goddard Henry Orpen (Oxford, 1892), pp. 110–111. Making of Europe, p. 86. The Jews are the obvious outsider inside the walls, but The Making of Europe only indirectly touches on them as an aspect of the late and increasing racism that colours the

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To the south and east were either infidels or pagans, but to the west? It is counterintuitive to have a frontier there that is not the ocean. But Bartlett gives us Ireland, which extends the grand role the Normans play in The Making of Europe in all directions, for they take us to Sicily, Spain, Byzantium, Jerusalem. The Normans provide Bartlett his western frontier in Ireland, and lucky for the Icelanders that was west enough for these erstwhile, now Frenchified, Norwegian cousins of theirs. These Normans could not succeed or saw no point in trying that hard even to get Galway and Mayo under their thumbs. One must admit though that it is another one of The Making of Europe’s rather ingenious moves, to make the Norman conquest of England a mere launching pad for their intrusions into Ireland in the next century. There is virtually no Norman Conquest of England in The Making of Europe. Elsewhere the Normans are nothing but awesome, making the otherwise über-cool Anna Komnena’s jaw drop in a mix of loathing and desire. But then no Englishman was about to situate England at the periphery, when Ireland was there to abuse. Nor is this a criticism. For as a scholarly matter, no matter how partial an Englishman might be on this issue, he would still be right no matter what his motivation. England could never be peripheral to Europe’s story. It was just too materially rich.8 But where is the North in The Making of Europe? It barely finds mention. The Scandinavians figure only briefly in Bartlett’s account and for good reason. Except for a few Swedes, they caved in too easily to Christianity to lend themselves to a story that features conquest and colonization as its chief themes.9 They surrendered before being threatened militarily; and when they turned Christian, some fairly important people in Latin Christendom refused to count them anyway. In William of Malmesbury’s masterful version of Pope Urban II’s chilling call to jihad we find Urban lamenting Europe’s smallness, even smaller than it appears in our view, because, in his view, the North is not properly part of it: there remains Europe the third division of the world; and how small a part of that do we Christians live in! For all those barbarous peoples who in far-distant islands frequent the ice-bound Ocean, living as they do like beasts – who could call them Christians?10

8 9 10

concluding portions of The Making of Europe. But Jews’ misfortunes as inside outsiders were brought to bear on them earlier than the 14th-century endpoint of The Making of Europe. Before the First Crusaders got out of the Rhineland on their way south and east, they decided to get blooded by butchering the internal infidel in Worms and other places. See Hudson, above. See Bagge, above. William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum Anglorum 4.347.7; ed. and trans. R.A.B. Mynors, R.M. Thomson, and M. Winterbottom (2 vols; Oxford, 1998).

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And as for colonizing those barbarous beasts? Few to the south of the northlands felt the call to move there and displace the locals, even to spread the faith. A mission here and there, would go or be sent, but return, as Thangbrand did from Iceland to Norway in 998, or as St Ansgar in the ninth century returned to Bremen and then to Hamburg from his two missions to Sweden. A noteworthy few stayed. Adam of Bremen tells of one English missionary to Sweden who never left; he, Wolfred, took an axe to a wooden Thor who was being propitiated by worshipping Swedes. The worshippers took offence at Wolfred’s lack of manners and hacked him down: “His body was mangled by the barbarians and, after further being subjected to much mockery, was plunged into a swamp.”11 That was c. 1030. Adam also tells of an Englishman, Henry, who had been bishop of Orkney and was given the diocese of Lund by King Sven of Denmark, Adam’s royal informant, who also figures as one of the three main characters in Audun’s story, dear to my heart, winning a potlatch with Harald Hardrada.12 Henry ended up staying, also dying a noteworthy death, a martyr of sorts: “reveling in the pestiferous practice of drinking his belly full, he at last burst and suffocated.”13 Both Adam and Bartlett tell us of Gerbrand, an Englishman, whose drinking habits were not noteworthy, whom Cnut named to be first bishop in Zealand, but, Avoco, Gerbrand’s successor, Adam says, was given to the same vice as Henry.14 Avoco shows one need not have been an Englishman to drink oneself to death in ecclesiastical office in Denmark. Shakespeare had it right that it was also a custom to which the Danes were to the manner born. A good number of Swedes were almost as dilatory as the Slavs in converting, or as unwilling to stay in the fold once baptized, but that did not prompt crusading orders or conquest states in or among them. There was nothing much more than saving souls to lure anyone northward for more than the minimal time necessary, unless the North was merely relatively North, as England was to Normandy, or to provide a place for a Hanseatic merchant who meant to bring back dried fish and furs brought down by Norwegians north of Bergen to the Staple there. Duty at the Bergen Staple was probably a posting that was not considered the best, something perhaps on the order of a naïve aspirant 11

12 13 14

Adam of Bremen, History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen 2.60, trans. Francis J. Tschan (New York, 2002). Such aggressive importuning of pagans almost did in St Martin of Tours too; Vita Martini 14.3; . William Ian Miller, Audun and the Polar Bear (Leiden, 2008; pbk. with corrections 2014). Adam of Bremen, History, 4.8. Making of Europe, p. 9.

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seeking to rise in the Roman administration, who like poor Pilate found himself posted to Judea, and could hardly believe the lunatics among whom he had landed. What had he done to deserve that? The only Scandinavians un-Scandinavian enough to matter in The Making of Europe are the Danes, who can pass for real Europeans because, in an unstated assumption, they, in the ninth century, were not totally off the Carolingian radar screen, perfumed, to shift metaphors, by incense drifting northward from Aachen. They were in the German orbit whether they liked it or not. And it is a Dane whom Bartlett treats to the fullest biography in The Making of Europe:15 Anders Sunesen. Sunesen stands as the example of what the Europeanization of university education could produce in the outlying areas. And though men like Strongbow or Guiscard will get more scattered mentions in The Making of Europe, no single person gets more focused attention than Sunesen, a perfectly civilized Dane. Sunesen is also dear to legal historians for rendering the laws of Scania into Latin, which because of the difficulty of the task ended up as much a commentary as a translation. But Sunesen is no mere intellectual. He did more than look southwest to Paris; he also cast his eyes east to the Slavic frontier, where he crusaded against the Estonians: “after taking the children of the Livonian aristocracy as hostages, [he] had priests sent out to preach.” Assuming Sunesen’s hostage-taking was more in the interests of making the world somewhat safer for his priests, given the dangers he was subjecting them to, he is well on the safe side of the behaviors that William of Sabina had in mind when counseling German Christianizers “not to place a yoke of intolerable weight upon the shoulders of the neophytes, but rather the yoke of the Lord, light and sweet.”16 Another Scandinavian figures briefly, but tellingly: Valdemar I, the Danish king who “stormed the famous pagan temple of Arkona on the island of Rügen” in 1168. That ended the official cult of the West Slavs. “There was no longer a public alternative to Christianity.”17 But Valdemar is recruited not as a symbol of Latin Christianity moving north, but of it moving east. The Danes are assimilated to the Drang nach Osten in the Baltic, giving some assistance to a movement otherwise signatured as German. The North thus becomes the East. And this is not meant as a criticism of Bartlett. He is assuming a truth we pretty much all know. Once the Viking menace ended, the Scandinavians ceased to matter much to the grand story of Europe until they reappeared mightily in the

15 16 17

Making of Europe, pp. 89–91. Making of Europe, p. 98. Making of Europe, p.17.

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seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, when the Swedes produced kings who were uncommonly good soldiers. Naming-customs figure importantly in The Making of Europe. King Valde­ mar’s name, its eastward “orientation”, merits a word. His name is Slavic, which Valdemar acquired from his maternal grandfather, Vladimir II of Kiev, making Valdemar only half a Scandinavian by blood. But his Slavic name can pass for Germanic. The elements of the Slavic Vladimir (great ruler) are reflexes of Indo-European roots that also passed into the Germanic languages and were common name elements there too. Thus Norse Thorvald and Ingimarr, or Anglo-Saxon Waldere, Æþelmær and Frankish Chlodomer. Valdemar’s name works as a symbol of ethnic mixing, linguistic assimilation, and a fortuitous, and somewhat ironical, instance of Bartlett’s main themes of fungibility and standardization of social and legal forms, right down to naming. This is not a name like John, Peter, or Mary, names at the core of a universalizing Christian culture, but a standardization of local pagan names, a standardization achieved by the luck of the phonemes of the two elements of Valdemar’s name pretty much having been left unmolested from their Indo-European origins, so that the major differences that developed to distinguish the Slavic and Germanic branches of Indo-European, simply did not happen with vald and mer; Valdemar is a calque by sheer luck. In Bartlett’s scheme it makes perfect sense that the Danes be pointed east even if Cnut went west to England and north to Norway. The boundary getting the most attention in The Making of Europe is the Balto-Slavic one. Indeed, one can read a good portion of The Making of Europe as Bartlett’s own Eisenstein epic from the other side’s point of view. And that is even the case given the Norman thrust of so much of the book’s first third, which goes to show, in any event from a Nordicist’s point of view, that for a Northman to get a part in this play he must either have grown up speaking French, or have joined the Germans pushing east.18 It is refreshing though, for an Icelandophile, to see the papal legate William of Sabina make an appearance; his document establishing the Prussian bishoprics in 1243 merits him Plate I, still with seal attached. William was in Norway

18

On the forgotten Norden see the historiographical and social theoretical discussion of Johan P. Arnason, “Europe and its Regions: the Views from North and East of Centre,” in Leidulf Melve and Sigbjørn Sønnesyn (eds.), The Creation of Medieval Northern Europe: Christianisation, Social Transformations, and Historiography, Essays in Honour of Sverre Bagge (Oslo, 2012), pp. 246–268. Even his account finds it easier to go east than north, where again the story is mostly a Danish one.

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in 1247 to crown Hákon Hákonarson king, at which time he offered his opinion on Icelandic society: At that time an order was made regarding Iceland, with the counsel of the Cardinal [William], that the people who dwelled there should be subject to King Hákon, because he claimed that it was not proper that a land should not be subject to some king like all others in the world.19 The claim for Icelandic exceptionalism is rather strange coming from an Italian cardinal with the example of the Lombard League and its resistance to imperial claims, but he was right as a general matter about Northern Europe, if we ignore arguments that could be made on behalf of the Frisians and the peasants of the Ditmarschen. William got his wish; within fifteen years Iceland submitted to Hákon. Before William arrived in Norway, though, he had been in England where “it was told him by the Englishmen because of envy of Norwegians, that he would get no honour there, hardly any food and no drink but sour whey; the Englishmen urged him not to go to Norway and frightened him as much as they could against going with the sea voyage and the grimness of the folk.”20 We then get William’s speech to the Norwegian court: Praised be God that I did not cancel my trip here as I was urged. I was told I should here see few men; and if I managed to see any, that they would behave more like animals than humans, but I have now seen many people here and they are well behaved… I was made fearful that I would have little bread, and other food, and that which there was would be bad, but I find the ships and houses are full of good things. I was told I would have nothing to drink but sour whey. But now praise God here are all kinds of good things which it was better to have than to have missed out on.21 William and the English thought of the North as Other, much as the Franks did the Irish. One must admire, or at least wonder at, William’s style of diplomacy. 19

20 21

Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar, c. 257. The saga is authored by the Icelander Sturla Þórðarson, Snorri’s nephew. See David Ashurst, “The Ironies in Cardinal William of Sabina’s Supposed Pronouncement on Icelandic Independence,” Saga-Book 31 (2007), 39–45. William also ordered them to cease employing ordeals, the prohibition against them in 1215 taking a long time getting to Norway and then to Iceland. Hákonar saga, c. 249. Hákonar saga, c. 255.

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He tale-bears and backbites, selling out his recent English hosts, risking fomenting strife, the better to sell the sincerity of his rather backhanded compliment regarding Norwegian civility, given that as he admits, his expectations were very low. He is nothing but surprised that they in fact are not the barbarous beasts Pope Urban had declared them to be a century and a half earlier. But the Cardinal is counting on Norwegian pleasure in his impugning of English judgment outweighing any offence that they might take at the barely suppressed insults within his compliments. Besides, he probably rightly counts on them having already internalized a sense of the superiority of his views on such matters as manners. Ethnic jokes, ethnic politics, are here already moving in the direction that The Making of Europe shows all Europe moving in at an accelerating speed at the end of its timeframe in 1350. 3

Moving in on No One, of Landnám and Fantasy, and the Irish Again

Iceland does not fit, nor would it work as the grit, as does Ireland, that makes The Making of Europe such a pearl. Ireland holds something of an explanatory key to The Making of Europe because its discordance is not irrelevant, whereas Icelandic discordance would only be so much noise. Ireland fits and does not fit. Its story of colonization in the The Making of Europe style is eerily different from that which takes place in the Reconquista and the Ostsiedlung, and even though the slaughter on the other two fronts was immeasurably greater, something about the Irish story is utterly depressing in a way that the grander confrontations on the southern and eastern frontiers are not. Bartlett, of course, recognizes it: “With the exception of Ireland – which can perhaps be termed a colony in the modern sense – the eventual result of the outward movements of the Middle Ages was never the permanent political subordination of area to another”.22 Ireland, sadly, ends up replicating itself only as a dependency, not as “an autonomous replica” of the core that characterizes the expansions East and South, replication being one of the core themes of The Making of Europe. Ireland thus replaces Iceland as the outlier. Iceland got rich and is already getting rich again as it recovers from its near suicide in 2008. Ireland would not stand out were it poor in southern Europe, but to be a poor, irrevocably poor, Northwest European nation is what makes it the western wall of The Making of Europe. Irish tragic exceptionalism aside, consider that the colonization of the lands east of the Elbe, of the Iberian peninsula, of Palestine, and of Ireland too, all share the fact that the colonizers have to deal with people already there who stubbornly think that the place is theirs. Thus Bartlett’s story necessarily 22

Making of Europe, p. 309.

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couples conquest with colonization. And herein is the most glaring difference that the Scandinavian colonization of Iceland presents. Iceland was empty, not in the way colonizers declared lands empty because they were not utilized by the natives in the fashion that the colonist proposed to use it, as in the European colonization of North America. Empty Iceland did not mean it was populated even thinly by hunters or gatherers, Livonians, or Latvians. But a qualification must be made to Iceland’s emptiness, and it involves the Irish. The famous late-sixth- and seventh-century expansion of Irish monks and Christianity eastwards had a later northwestward cousin. Monks, anchorites, holy men, ventured in their currachs to the Faroes and then to Ultima Thule, and they make it into the historic record thanks to Dicuil, an Irish monk, who spent time in the Carolingian court in the early ninth century. He records directions and sailing times that clearly indicate the Faroes and Iceland. He cites informants who spent nearly a year in Iceland and returned to tell him about its most interesting feature: “not only at the summer solstice but for days before and after it… that it never got dark enough so that if a person wanted to work or pick lice out of a shirt he could.”23 The homeliness of the detail pullulates with veracity. Yet one must imagine that for every holy man who found his way to Iceland a considerable number must have floated away into the blue.24 Ari Þorgilsson the author of the earliest surviving native text, Íslendingabók, a short history of Iceland, though writing c. 1125, also tells that the earliest Norse settlers encountered some Irish anchorites when they first arrived; the proof claimed was that they left behind “Irish books, bells and croziers,” but no archaeological evidence backs up either Dicuil or Ari. Ari says that the Irishmen departed when the Norsemen arrived because they did not want to share the space with heathen men. Dicuil says much the same about the Irish in the Faroes when the Northmen came, that though Irish hermits had been living there for some hundred years, they now abandoned it “to piratical Northmen, and their sheep and the sea birds.” And we hasten to remind, that the Northmen brought with them or commandeered Celtic women already there, who if

23 24

Dicuil, Liber de Mensura Orbis Terrae, 7.2.6 . The smarter ones apparently headed east knowing they would wash up on the shores of Wales or Cornwall; see the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, s.a. 891, Parker MS: “þrie Scottas comon to Ęlfrede cyninge, on anum bate butan ęlcum gereþrum [oars] of Hibernia, þonon hi hi bestęlon forþon þe hi woldon for Godes lufan on elþiodignesse beon, hi ne rohton hwær.” The Chronicler’s “they cared not where”, cannot help but carry a tone of dismay at such behaviour, even as he is a bit impressed despite his better judgement.

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these women soon produced culturally Norse offspring, the mtDNA of these descendants retained a good portion of its Irishy.25 These few Irishmen do not count as a native population that got displaced by colonizers. The number of anchorites could never have been great, nor might they have stayed any more than short periods if we take the example of Dicuil’s informants, the only ones who have a voice in the historical record. One year in Iceland was enough for them and was a feat that a fiercely competitive anchorite would want to get back home to tell about, as a challenge to those homebodies, who merely stood for a day in freezing streams on winter nights to test their mettle.26 Iceland was truly empty. It is hard to find historical examples where people, if unlike nomads they intend on staying, move into a territory, wandering or expanding beyond their place of origin, without having to displace, kill, enslave, or otherwise subdue or set to flight a native population; and then even dedicated nomads who have no intention of staying are known for their marauding and murderous habits, as many an ancient Babylonian or Akkadian city dweller would attest if he or she could. Iceland, and less dramatically the Faroes, are the only ready examples I can think of, the Polynesian eastward island hopping counting as prehistorical, though I would not be surprised if some were escaping me. Who would live in Patagonia, or in Barrow, Alaska or in the Gobi desert if they had their druthers, assuming that is, most people do not share the sensibility of Irish self-mortifiers or desert saints? The Patagonians got pushed or fled there; those in Barrow found they could not push any further south, because those to the south would not be pushed. Those in deserts were presumably, like Ishmael and Hagar and an occasional scapegoat, expelled to or had fled to such regions. Once they recognized their lot, they developed ways to exploit what niggardly Nature made exploitable, but often as in the case of mountain and desert dwellers, they developed ways to plunder the people of the plains, or those who were wealthy enough to ship goods up rivers or down the coasts, or across the wastes in caravans. For no sooner does a trader transport goods from point A to point B than almost by spontaneous generation arise pirates, who must either be paid off to go away or hired on to provide protection against those not paid off. Such at one point reads the resumé of those who settled Iceland. 25

26

Agnar Helgason et al., “mtDNA and the Islands of the North Atlantic: Estimating the Proportions of Norse and Gaelic Ancestry,” American Journal of Human Genetics 68 (2001), 723–737; also above, p. 78n3. Lester Little, Benedictine Maledictions (Ithaca, 1993), p. 184, for an example of a Frank trying to imitate the Irish style “who, on a winter nights, recited psalms while immersed in a mountain stream amid chunks of ice”; citing Vita Sancti Wandregiseli, c. 8 MGH, SRM 5:17.

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The later Icelandic accounts mix stories of being pushed with ones of being pulled, but these notions are relative. The desert or glaciers might beckon if one is about to be butchered in the lush plains; Iceland could look good merely by being empty, given that for most of the people settling there, the latitude was something they were used to. One myth generated by the Icelanders was that they fled Norway to escape the overlordship being claimed and achieved by King Harald Finehair, for whom virtually no contemporary evidence exists.27 And though he is not wholly invented, the sagas’ notion of his power, and the extent of his dominion, is a fiction, more in line with what thirteenth-century kings were achieving. What is mildly interesting about this tale is that it also maps on to The Making of Europe’s reasons for people leaving the Carolingian heartlands to head east: freedom. In the Icelandic version it is to maintain it; in the The Making of Europe version it is to acquire it. If Harald cannot be blamed one finds the usual suspects for such non-­ negligible movements of people offered up: overpopulation in Norway, the lure of greater opportunities elsewhere, the love of adventure, freedom, etc., though not as in The Making of Europe any sense of changing inheritance rules pushing younger brothers and bastards to seek fortunes away from home. Overpopulation is relative to food supplies, obviously, and also, for a certain class of people, availability of capital assets, land or ships, horses or cows. For late-ninth-century Norway, there is no evidence of famine, or really much sign of such a sudden increase of population, that it would send some 20,000 to 70,000 people to Iceland over a sixty-year period, to say nothing of those heading to Scotland, Ireland, the Western Isles, Orkney and the Shetlands, or those heading further south, drawn by the condensed wealth available in monasteries.28 A lot of weight ends up placed on a fad for adventurism, on the character of a people who do not scare easy when it came to getting in ships and setting sail out of sight of land, or who are willing to face the risks of starting up from scratch in other places. Recall how the English tried to frighten William of Sabina from taking his intended trip to Norway with tales of the dangers of the sea. 27 28

See Sverre Bagge, From Viking Stronghold to Christian Kingdom: State Formation in Nor­ way, c. 900–1350 (Copenhagen,, 2010), pp. 25–26. If the Vikings had had an idea of banks, they would have found it hard to articulate the difference between them and these poorly defended places of prayer. I argue that one way of understanding Njal’s function in the disputing process in his saga is that he functions as a kind of clearing house for unprosecuted claims, loaning them out to others, or selling them. There is something of the banker about him. See William Ian Miller, Why is Your Axe bloody?: A Reading of Njáls Saga (Oxford, 2014), pp. 126–131.

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There is another Icelandic story: Iceland was claimed to have attractions, mostly because it was absolutely empty for starters, but still relatively empty for at least a generation after the first land rush beginning in 870, which is the date Ari gives us, the discovery voyages taking place a few years earlier. By 930 Ari declares the land fully settled, albyggt.29 That sixty-year period is known as the Settlement Age, the landnám. Tephrachronology, the dating of ash layers in the Icelandic soil by datable volcanic eruptions, coupled with supplementation by ash in corings from the Greenland icecap, prove Ari’s date of 870 to be spot on.30 The population estimates of 20–70,000 by 930 that I mentioned above are rather remarkable, even if the lower number is probably closer to the truth than the higher.31 Ari says that so many people left Norway to head for Iceland that King Harald feared depopulation and imposed a tax on those leaving. Supposing 30,000 made the voyage we must marvel at the number of trips and ships. Add in too that there are instances of reverse migration. People go back and forth. A grim reminder of the risks involved comes from Landnámabók, this time dealing with those responding to Eirik the Red’s exaggerated claims about Greenland: “Learned men say that that summer [986] 25 ships sailed to Greenland from Breidafjord and Borgarfjord, but only 14 got there. Some were driven back, others were lost.”32 The mention of shipwrecks in Landnámabók becomes almost a refrain. Estimates for how many ships carrying how many people per trip, must be discounted by another estimate of how many of those ships loaded with men, women, children, cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, barley seed, did 29

30 31

32

See Orri Vésteinsson, “Patterns of Settlement in Iceland: a study in pre-history,” Saga-Book 25 (1998), 1–29 and also The Christianization of Iceland: Priests, Power, and Social Change, 1000–1300 (Oxford, 2000), arguing for two stages of settlement, the first already completed as early as 880 taking the prime land in large claims, feeding their cows with the wetland grasses, and a later stage once the land had been cleared, in which the units were smaller and dependent. Vésteinsson and Thomas McGovern, now argue for 24,000 people arriving within the first twenty years, for which the term land rush would be appropriate; Orri Vésteinsson and Thomas H. McGovern, “The Peopling of Iceland,” Norwegian Archaeo­ logical Review 45 (2012), 206–218. “So accurate that it is almost uncanny”; Vésteinsson, “Patterns of Settlement,” 4. Circa 1100, Bishop Gizur took a census of the farmers qualified to pay a certain Thing attendance tax, called þingfararkaup. There were 3580 wealthy enough to pay it. Guesses as to the number of people immigrating during the settlement period, are ultimately back projected from Gizur’s enumeration; Íslendingabók, Íslenzk Fornrit 1:1–28, ed. Jakob Benediktsson (Reykjavík, 1968), c. 10. Landnámabók S 90. Hauksbók has “Ari Þorgilsson” for Sturlubók’s “learned men.”

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not make it.33 Undertaking risks like this either bespeaks desperation or a bit of desperation spiced with a love of risk, or a callousness to risk unfathomable to most people likely to become medieval historians. Allowing between twenty-five and thirty per ship, something like 1000 to 1200 successful voyages would have to be assumed. If as The Making of Europe notes34 that some 200,000 Germans moved east of the Elbe-Saale line in the twelfth century, call it double the length of time, the Icelandic settlement approaches a third of the Ostsiedlung movements; nothing to sneeze at.35 What Iceland would provide The Making of Europe, differently from Ireland, is a point of contrast between a colonization requiring no conquest, where the risks are the weather and neighbours who speak your language and who are most likely your kin, and one in which conquest is part of the picture. Whatever the gains, if any, may have been by exchanging life in Norway or the Shetlands for settling in Iceland, they were not enough to let anyone aspire to serious lordship until the thirteenth century, and even then it would be lordship lite. With no external enemies willing to cross that much sea for so little, and no conquered subject population to control, a good part of the need and justification for lords disappears. And even were justification available, the surpluses generated were insufficient to support a thoroughly oppressive non-producing class of warriors and clerks. The occupation of eastern Ireland, of lands east of the Elbe, and the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula raise some other contrasts with Iceland; though not all the Slavic lands would qualify, many still would. Because Iceland was empty, every place had to be named, and every boundary had to be staked, every homefield fenced off with turf and stone. One could not do there as so 33

34 35

Vésteinsson, Christianization, p. 172, argues that cattle and sheep would fill the early ships but would be dispensed with by the later settlers who could buy their stocks from those already settled. That would depend, of course, on people making the return trip with fairly reliable information about the availability of animals, and it would be another added risk to trust to the cattle market. One of the first explorers and would-be settlers, Floki, the man who gave Iceland the name that stuck, was so occupied with the good fishing that he did not take care to make hay, “and all their livestock died during the winter” and he returned to Norway; Landnámabók SH 5. Making of Europe, p.144. Poor Iceland is forgotten in this statement in The Making of Europe, proof that it is not really part of the Europe being made, even if the souls living there thought they were: “really large-scale transmarine migration, so significant for the New World in modern times, does not appear to have taken place in medieval Europe. Transmarine colonies were indeed established, notably in the Holy Land—Outremer, ‘the land across the sea’, as it was termed—and in the eastern Baltic and in Ireland” (Making of Europe, p. 111).

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many conquerors do which is to economize on the labour of naming, and of field demarcation. The Making of Europe shows just how much labour this can involve in setting up new settlements in the wooded regions of the East, but so many conquerors do more than just accept the boundaries of the conquered because it is simply easier to do so, they also respect them. Thus the biblical injunction: “In the inheritance which you will hold in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess, you shall not remove your neighbour’s landmark, which the men of old have set.”36 These are not the landmarks of your ancestors; the men of old – in Hebrew literally “the first ones” – are the ancestors of those you are about to conquer. Respect the layout of the land, not just for reasons of efficiency, but because those boundary markers bear curses, and are protected by demons, and occasionally by corpses lying beneath them. Do not risk alienating the spirits of the land, even if you are the Deuteronomist. This is the principle that The Making of Europe notes was employed by grants in Aragon of land reclaimed from the Muslims.37 Moving boundary markers a tiny bit in small increments, a classic sneaky move of your neighbour, is anathema in the Bible. In the litany of curses in Deuteronomy 27, moving your neighbour’s landmark is third after making graven images and dishonouring your father or mother. It is more curseworthy and iniquitous than misleading a blind man on the road, bestiality or incest, and, incredibly, than secret killing. 4

The Rate and Gender of Conquest/Colonization

I hinted at this earlier: conquest and colonization are points on a continuum. The variables that locate a particular movement of people on the graph will include the size of the groups that are moving in, their demographic makeup, whether mostly young men, or with a good mix of women and children, whether armed or not, and the durée, the perceived streaming effect of the movement, among other things. When the newcomers are mostly male and armed we call them armies (they are raiders if they only stay a short while and cart off women and cattle). Depending on the size of an army, if successful, as The Making of Europe shows, the invaders may be satisfied with simply replacing the ruling class, and eventually end up speaking the language and becoming more identified with the substrate of people they conquered: Normans in England, Mongols in China, Norwegians and Danes in Normandy. If they come armed, bringing their women and children, we might end up with Visigothic 36 37

Deut. 19.14. Making of Europe, p. 141.

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Spain, or the United States of America; in the first case the conquerors eventually lost their language, in the other the conquerors eliminated whole languages if not quite the descendants of all their speakers. If they come unarmed, whether male and female, they are called immigrants, but depending on their number they too can in the long durée end up conquerors after a fashion; such is the worry among some with Muslim immigration to Europe, and Mexican immigration to the US. Conquest is a funny thing. If you win at Hastings and have a few mop up operations that occupy the next couple of years, or if in 1846 you attack Mexico, much in the manner William invaded England, simply to acquire land and lordship and end up with either England or California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and more, chroniclers and historians past and present will call William a conqueror, and the US the winner of the Mexican War. But in the one case the conquering army did not follow with a general Völkerwanderung and in the other, slowly but surely, the defeated undertook a steady Völkerwanderung to match the one the victors undertook in the decades following the war. And to the horror of certain Californians, Arizonans, Coloradans, Spanish-speaking Indians are not just reclaiming land lost, but rather making gains into lands they never held. In a panic the immigrants are named illegals, which moves them in the direction of being thought of as invaders, as members of an army; they are even claimed to be toting guns and bearing poisons called drugs. We might say that insistent immigration by one group capable of being declared to be ethnically of the same gens can, over the course of a couple of hundred years, produce rather greater gains than a conquest. Some would wish to gender the former female, the latter male, though that is not really quite correct; we can designate the former as peaceful with people looking more to escape horror and misery from whence they came, and not looking to kill those among whom they settle. Armies can be mobilized to escape horrors at home too, and as we noted above the distinction between being pushed out and being drawn toward, does not have any consistent analytical force. But armies come to kill, and that surely looks rather different at least at the outset than smaller groups, the size of individual and family, coming to work and to till, though in the end these latter, if constituting a continuous stream, might work greater transformations. So with that hasty and inadequate presentation of some few ideas regarding people moving let us return to Iceland and Ireland. Iceland was colonized, but no conquest was at issue. The fighting that occurs in the sagas is part of the political and social activity of a people that recognizes itself as united by history, blood, geography, and membership in an acknowledged community, if not of economic and social equals, then of juridical equals, fellow countrymen.

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My paranoid sensibility makes me wonder if Bartlett set the timeframe of The Making of Europe at 950–1350 just to make sure Iceland’s colonization was not included, but then he was right to exclude it, it perhaps figuring as a tardy (and not quite apt) instance of a Germanic Völkerwanderung, a genus of colonization that did not so much make Europe as unmake Rome, and in the Icelandic case unmaking absolutely nothing, except topsoil.38 But the Icelanders were not finished. They had moved westward and they thought that more emptiness might lie further west and indeed eventually south. Greenland was not quite empty, but it took about 500 years for the Inuit to make Norsemen lose language and culture, and perhaps their lives, if not all their genes: here are colonizers going the way of conquerors who do not bring sufficient people of their own in their wake. And the colony that finally gets them imitating the Norman colonists in East Ireland, the Icelandic one in Vinland, could not endure more than a generation because the Norsemen and women arrived with too few, with even fewer to follow, and without any technological superiority that could make up for their being entirely overwhelmed numerically by Skrælingar. The failure of the Vinland colony does take place in The Making of Europe’s timeframe, but it is no longer a European story at all, but the one success story of Native Americans delaying European conquest and Westsiedlung of the Americas if we may grant these Icelanders and Greenlanders an EU passport for the nonce. The story of Europeans in America is, as The Making of Europe would have it, a tale of “Frankish” strenuitas, and the Icelanders have no place in that story, even if the Muslims were so confused as to think of King Sigurd of Norway, Sigurðr Jórsalafari (the Jerusalem-farer) – who later died insane, one sign of which was throwing a bible into the fire – as a “Frankish king”, which Bartlett shows as an example of just how completely generalized the term “Frank” had become.39 5

Coda

The Making of Europe is ambitious and fully succeeds in its ambitions. There is so much to admire: the myriad perfect examples, each a story in its own right, the topics, some of which no one is surprised are covered – they would have to be there – and others which surprise, like the discussion of measuring systems, the laying out of mansi, the Slavic vs. the Germanic plough, which in fact end 38 39

See Bryan Ward-Perkins reaffirming view that the Völkerwanderung was catastrophic, not a peaceful transition; The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization (Oxford, 2005). Making of Europe, p. 103.

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up giving the work its powerful poetics. The work’s special feel, independent of the openly avowed grandness of its subject, is the convergence of its multiple themes on metaphors and hard facts of standardization and ready transmis­ sibility, on fungibility and serviceability of institutions and concrete things, of charters, coinage, one size fits all town laws, replicable monastic houses, ­standardized education and liturgy, the spread of styles of weaponry and fortification. In the end we get, by the process Bartlett describes, McEurope. How did he get this much material under control and then spin his tale so that it never ceases to be gripping? It helps that he writes well; it helps also that he is not predictable. Thus Ireland’s role, if not the exclusion of Iceland. And thus too, in my opinion, he has succeeded in writing a book that takes its place among the absolute best of the grand medieval historical books of the past century. But to conclude my tale: the three McDonalds in Iceland closed in 2009, out of business; the króna collapsed, thus increasing the cost of importing everything that makes up a quarter-pound hamburger, for just as Iceland was empty when the settlers arrived in 870, it is still empty of the ingredients making up a McDonald’s quarter-pounder. These must be imported. McDonald’s remained however at the Frankish core and elsewhere at the Bartlettian periphery of Europe, a Celtic revenge of sorts.

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Chapter 4

The Duke as Entrepeneur: The Piast Ruler and the Economy of Medieval Poland Piotr Górecki 1

Robert Bartlett’s Middle Ages: A Small Example

Sometime in 1175, Duke Bolesław I the Tall of Silesia issued the foundation charter for the Cistercian monastery in Lubiąż.1 The charter provided the culmination of the egress by a group of monks from the mother community at Pforta, “in Germany, on the river Saale.”2 The duke described the new monastery’s estate, granted by him and by other donors, to whom he referred generically as “any spiritual person, secular power, or any … lords [żupany] or other good [persons] [boni]” who “confer … goods upon the … monastery,”3 and of whom he identified two individually: “Count Bezelin gave … two oxen and a horse and the village near Broście with the fields,” and “Nikor gave Żórawin with the fields, 25 horses, six oxen and three cows, with the tavern and bridge on the [river] Widawa,” and “transferred what he had in Ołbin – the orchard and farmstead, the meadow, the fields, and the ninth of the fish from the lake, and the revenue of 300 pence from the butcher stall.”4

1 Schlesisches Urkundenbuch 1, ed. Heinrich Appelt (Vienna, Cologne, and Graz, 1963–71), no. 45 (1175), pp. 26–29, at p. 28. An earlier version of this article was delivered at the XVIth World Economic History Congress, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, in July 2012. I thank my colleague Lucille Chia for our many discussions about the connections between key commodities and power. 2 Waldemar Könighaus, Die Zisterzienserabtei Leubus in Schlesien von ihrer Gründung bis zum Ende des 15. Jahrhunderts, Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau/Niemiecki Instytut Historyczny w Warszawie – Quellen und Studien 15 (Wiesbaden, 2004). 3 Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1: no. 45 (1175), p. 28; Aleksander Brückner, Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego (Kraków, 1927), p. 668, s.v. żupa; Słownik staropolski, ed. Kazimierz Nitsch et al. (11 vols.; Wrocław, Kraków, and Warsaw, 1953–2007), 6:17–21, 11:602, s.v. pan, żupan; Tadeusz Wasilewski, “Żupan,” in Słownik starożytności słowiańskich, ed. Gerard Labuda et al. (8 vols.; Wrocław, 1961–96), 8:269–270; Krystyna Długosz-Kurczabowa, Wielki słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego (Warsaw, 2008), pp. 481–484, s.v. pan. 4 Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 45 (1175), p. 28; Piotr Górecki, Economy, Society, and Lordship in Medieval Poland, 1100–1250 (New York, 1992), pp. 47–48, 50.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_008

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The duke paired this record with a promise of security for the current and anticipated rural population under the monastery’s lordship: Wherever Germans should cultivate the monastery’s possessions, or inhabit them after being established in them by the abbot, they shall be free from every Polish law [ab omni iure Polonico], without exception, in perpetuity. While if any Poles who do not belong to anyone’s lordship [dominium] should be the abbot’s settlers [coloni], they shall not be compelled to pay anything [in tax or rent], or to perform any service, to anyone other [than the abbot].5 Bolesław capped these terms with a striking description of his role in the creation of the monastic community and estate: “[T]he entire possession shall be, and be said [to be], solely the abbot’s and the monks’, because we have received them not to be peasants [agricolae] or builders [structores], but to be lettered celebrators of the divine matters, and contemplators of the heavens.”6 These passages concern several subjects, which have furnished Robert Bartlett with empirical and conceptual material for what, in the splendid book evoked by the present volume, he meant by “the making of Europe.”7 One is the replication, throughout Europe, of a standardized unit of the Church: the diocese and the monastery, including the Cistercian variant, here in a moment of filiation.8 Lubiąż was the third of three Cistercian communities created in Poland near the mid-twelfth century, after Łekno in Great Poland and Sulejów in Little Poland. After 1200, the Cistercian network thickened substantially,9 a 5 6 7

8 9

Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 45 (1175), p. 28. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 45 (1175), p. 28; Górecki, Economy, p. 124. Bartlett, Making of Europe; Piotr Górecki, “‘Tworzenie Europy’ Roberta Bartletta w kontekście anglosaskich badań historycznych nad początkami i kształtowaniem się Europy,” in Robert Bartlett, Tworzenie Europy. Podbój, kolonizacja i przemiany kulturowe, 950–1350, trans. Grażyna Waluga, ed. Jan M. Piskorski (Poznań, 2003), pp. 505–515. Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 5–7, 255–260, especially p. 259, map 12. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 259, map 12; Jerzy Kłoczowski, “Les Cisterciens en Pologne du XII e au XIII e siècle,” Cîteaux 28 (1977), 111–134; Louis J. Lekai, “The Germans and the Medieval Cistercian Abbeys in Poland,” Cîteaux 28 (1977), 121–132; Jerzy Strzelczyk (ed.), Historia i kultura Cystersów w dawnej Polsce i ich europejskie związki (Poznań, 1987), ­especially Heinrich Grüger, “Die Beobachtung der Statuten von Cîteaux bei den Zisterziensern in Schlesien,” pp. 163–79, Jerzy Rozpędowski, ““Opactwo pań cysterek w Trzebnicy,” pp. 263–81, and Brygida Kürbis, “Cystersi w kulturze polskiego średniowiecza. Trzy świadectwa z XII wieku,” pp. 321–42; J. Kłoczowski, “Cystersi w Europie Środkowo­ wschodniej wieków średnich,” in Andrzej Marek Wyrwa and Józef Dobosz (eds.), Cystersi

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process parallel with the proliferation of other communities of the religious, and of parishes.10 The resulting network was a source and a symptom of acculturation, especially of long-term religious conversion, well underway at the mid-twelfth century and continuing for decades thereafter.11 Another criterion for Europe’s “making” is the adoption, throughout the Continent, of a uniform mode of written expression – the charter – of which this diploma is noted as an example.12 The diploma marked a dramatic expansion of writing. The sole extant document of Bolesław’s reign, and one of a handful of documents produced his contemporaries before 1200,13 it preceded a remarkable documentary acceleration, throughout Poland, in the course of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.14 A third index of Europe’s “making” is the appearance and impact of what Bartlett called the “aristocratic diaspora”, and of “colonization” – two closely interrelated processes, involving ethnically distinct populations – in Piast Poland, above all the arrival of Germans.15 In 1175, the “Germans,” whom

10 11

12 13

14

15

w społeczeństwie Europy Środkowej (Poznań, 2000), pp. 11–39; Piotr Górecki, A Local Society in Transition: The Henryków Book and Related Documents (Toronto, 2007), pp. 75–86. Piotr Górecki, Parishes, Tithes, and Society in Earlier Medieval Poland, ca. 1100–1250, Transactions of the American Philosopical Society 83.2 (Philadelphia, 1993). Piotr Górecki, “Ambiguous Beginnings: East Central Europe in the Making, 950–1200,” in Thomas F.X. Noble and John Van Engen (eds.), European Transformations: The Long Twelfth Century (Notre Dame, 2012), pp. 194–228, at 214–215. Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 280–288, with the diploma at p. 285. Górecki, Economy, pp. 17–26, 45–62, 67–101, 123–134; Zofia Kozłowska-Budkowa, Reperto­ rium polskich dokumentów doby piastowskiej (Kraków, 1937, repr. Kraków, 2006); Karol Maleczyński, Studia nad dokumentem polskim (Wrocław, 1971), especially “O kanclerzach polskich XII wieku,” pp. 37–54, “Wpływy obce na dokument polski w XII wieku,” pp. 89–115, “Uwagi nad dokumentem legata Idziego biskupa tuskulańskiego dla klasztoru w Tyńcu rzekomo z roku 1105,” pp. 150–69, and “Rozwój dokumentu polskiego od XI do XV w.” (pp. 242–76). Anna Adamska, “The Introduction of Writing in Central Europe (Poland, Hungary and Bohemia),” in Marco Mostert (ed.), The New Approaches to Medieval Communication (Turnhout, 1999), pp. 165–190; Anna Adamska, “‘From Memory to Written Record’ in the Periphery of Medieval Latinitas: The Case of Poland in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries,” in Karl Heidecker (ed.), Charters and the Use of the Written Word in Medieval Society (Turnhout, 2000), pp. 83–100; Anna Adamska, “The Development of Ecclesiastical Chancelleries in Medieval Poland as Intellectual Centres,” Quaestiones Medii Aevi Novae 10 (2005), 171–98; Anna Adamska and Marco Mostert (eds.), The Development of Literate Mentalities in East Central Europe (Turnhout, 2004); here and for what follows (regarding Silesia in particular), Piotr Górecki, The Text and the World: The Henryków Book, Its Authors, and Their Region, 1160–1310 (Oxford, 2015), pp. 55–80. Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 24–58, with “colonization” at p. 32.

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Bolesław mentions were present on and near the monks’ estate, and more of whom he anticipated in the future, comprised a (very) early part of the subsequent “colonization” in Silesia, and to a lesser extent the remaining Piast duchies, by German peasants. All of this was a part of (to use a word adapted by Bartlett, throughout The Making of Europe) the Ostsiedlung. Like much of that later material, the diploma situated the “Germans” in the indigenous context. It presumed, and anticipated, the existence of a rural population, classified along two lines: subjection to lordship, secular or ecclesiastical; and ethnicity, expressed through the distinction between “Poles” and “Germans.” The diploma also illustrates a phenomenon ubiquitous in Bartlett’s book, namely, the endowment of these ecclesiastical institutions with estates, which, throughout the Piast period, consisted of a range of resources drawn from the underlying economy and society. Such diplomas express, in Poland as elsewhere in Europe, that these estates were gifts to God and the saints.16 With a touch of circularity, we assume that this kind of gift-giving was distinctly privileged, and that its protagonists were the most important actors in their polity.17 No less importantly, the diploma refers to people subject to lordship – above all, to the rural agriculturalists, or peasants – and, to lords who impinged upon that population. At present, I would like to focus on a different subject raised by Bolesław in 1175: himself. It appears in the culminating passage, with its attribution, in the first person, of the creation of the monastery and its estate. Here, the duke imagined himself as the independent variable in the creation of a local economy, especially of one part of it: the people inhabiting it, whom he classified into “peasants,” “builders,” and “contemplators of the heavens.” These categories are essentially equivalent. All three populations had been “received” – recruited, and thus in an important sense created – by the duke; all are conceived instrumentally, or teleologically, each existing for the duke as his resource, engaged in a particular task, or labour: grain cultivation, physical construction, and worship. The clause raises the role of one protagonist in the gifts to the saints: the ruler, usually the duke, intermittently the king. Bolesław was one of many rulers of the “duchies” comprising Piast Poland, and members of a dynasty later conventionally called the Piasts, several of whom contended, on either side of 16 17

Stephen D. White, Custom, Kinship, and Gifts to Saints: The Laudatio Parentum in Western France, 1050–1150 (Chapel Hill, 1988). Piotr Górecki, “Words, Concepts, and Phenomena: Knighthood, Lordship, and the Early Polish Nobility, c. 1100–c. 1350,” in Anne Duggan (ed.), Nobles and Nobility in Medieval Europe: Concepts, Origins, Transformations (Woodbridge, 2000), pp. 115–155, at 118–121.

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1300, for the kingship of a reunited Poland. Throughout this long history, the Piast ruler acted with respect to ecclesiastical endowment in several capacities, which, in conjunction, add up to ducal power – a subject simultaneously enormous, unwieldy in scope,18 and today an area of a new wave of interest.19 One such capacity is what I will call the entrepreneurial. Echoing Bolesław, the rulers sometimes presented themselves in their documents as transmitters, protectors, and, in an implied yet real sense, creators of that wide range of lucrative resources which they conveyed to the saints, in their own names and on behalf of others, in the course of the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries. At first glance, this may seem an odd subject for present purposes. Despite its enormous thematic richness, The Making of Europe does not use rulership or its attributes as a criterion of Europe’s “making,” or, as Bartlett alternatively

18

19

Stanisław Szczur, Historia Polski–Średniowiecze (Kraków, 2002), pp. 132–161, 210–218, 257– 326; Malcolm Barber, The Two Cities: Medieval Europe, 1050–1320 (2nd edn, London, 2004), pp. 326–333; Jerzy Lukowski and Hubert Zawadzki, A Concise History of Poland (Cambridge, 2001), pp. 3–32; Bisson, “Polish Bread”; Norman Davies, God’s Playground: A History of Poland (2 vols.; New York, 1982), 1:61–105; Paul Knoll, The Rise of the Polish Monarchy: Piast Poland in East Central Europe, 1320–1370 (Chicago, 1972); Knoll, “Economic and Political Institutions on the Polish-German Frontier in the Middle Ages: Action, Reaction, Interaction,” in Robert Bartlett and Angus MacKay (eds), Medieval Frontier Societies (Oxford, 1989), pp. 151–174, at 158–159, 165–166; Richard C. Hoffmann, Land, Liberties, and Lordship in a Late Medieval Countryside: Agrarian Structures and Change in the Duchy of Wrocław (Philadelphia, 1989), pp. 16–22; Górecki, Economy, pp. 14–15, 29 (n1); Jerzy Mularczyk, Władza książęca na Śląsku w XIII wieku (Wrocław, 1984); Benedykt Zientara, Henryk Brodaty i jego czasy (Warsaw, 1975; 2nd edn, Warsaw, 1997); Roman Michałowski, Princeps fundator. Studium z dziejów kultury politycznej w Polsce X–XIII wieku (Warsaw, 1993); Tomasz Jurek, Dziedzic Królestwa Polskiego Książę głogowski Henryk (1279–1309) (Poznań, 1993); Janusz Kurtyka, Odrodzone Królestwo. Monarchia Władysława Łokietka i Kazimierza Wielkiego w świetle nowszych badań (Kraków, 2001); Paweł Żmudzki, Studium podzielonego królestwa. Książę Leszek Czarny (Warsaw, 2000). A study concerning the early-modern period to which I am much indebted, on the exact subject of this article, is Antoni Mączak, Rządzący i rządzeni. Władza i społeczeństwo w Europie wczesnonowożytnej (Warsaw, 1986), pp. 56–113. Piotr Górecki, “The Early Piasts Imagined: New Work in the Political History of Early Medieval Poland,” The Mediaeval Journal 1 (2011), 81–102; Eduard Mühle, “Neue Vorschläge zur Herkunft des Gallus Anonymus und zur Deutung seiner Kronik,” Zeitschrift für Ostmit­ teleuropa-Forschung 60 (2011), 265–285; E. Mühle, Die Piasten. Polen im Mittelater (Munich, 2011); Józef Dobosz, Marzena Matla, and Leszek Wetesko (eds.), Gnieźnieńskie koronacje królewskie i ich środkowoeuropejskie konteksty (Gniezno, 2011).

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puts it, “Europeanization.”20 Despite – or perhaps because of – this thematic distance, this subject works as a terrain for a texturing of some of the criteria which do clearly appear in the book. In addition, the subject works as a historiographical bridge between The Making of Europe and the work of our Polish (and, in smaller numbers, German, Czech, and Hungarian) colleagues. That outcome is important, yet, as of today, it is surprisingly elusive. This is because, while The Making of Europe is known, read, and admired by medieval histo­ rians in Poland, it has elicited only a sparse response in print, whether in the form of agreement, debate, reframing the major issues of inquiry, or simply in book reviews. Paradoxically, that latter outcome has been exacerbated, rather than eased, by the book’s appearance in an excellent Polish translation in 2003.21 2

The Other Historiography

Among Polish medievalists, the role of the Piast ruler in the economy has long been the core strand of the broader inquiry into ducal power. Although key aspects of this subject remain controversial, let me note the following major areas of historiographical consensus. Regarding its early phase, the mid-tenth century until about 1200, ducal power has been conceptualized under the tag of “ducal law” (ius ducale, or, in Polish, prawo książęce). The phrase describes a type of social and political order, of which the central protagonist was the ruler, and the central element was his power over a wide array of lucrative resources.22 20

21 22

Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 269–291; Sverre Bagge, “The Europeanization of Europe: The Case of Scandinavia,” in Noble and Van Engen (eds.), European Transformations, pp. 171–193. Bartlett, Tworzenie. In Poland, it is not accepted practice to review books in translation, an explanation for which I am grateful to Grzegorz Myśliwski. Karol Buczek, “O tak zwanych prawach książęcych i królewskich,” Kwartalnik Historyczny 73 (1966), 89–110, repr. in Buczek, Studia z dziejów ustroju społeczno-gospodarczego Polski piastowskiej (3 vols.; Kraków, 2006), 1:311–36; Karol Modzelewski, “The System of the Ius Ducale and the Idea of Feudalism: Comments on the Earliest Class Society in Medieval Poland,” Quaestiones Medii Aevi 1 (1977), 71–99; Piotr Górecki, “Ius Ducale Revisited: Twelfth-Century Narratives of Piast Power,” in Krzysztof Stopka (ed.), The Gallus Anony­ mous and His Chronicle in the Context of Twelfth-Century Historiography (Kraków, 2010), pp. 35–44, at 37–39; Górecki, “Medieval Peasants and their World in Polish Historio­ graphy,” in Isabel Alfonso (ed.), The Rural History of Medieval European Societies: Trends and Perspectives (Turnhout, 2007), pp. 253–296, at 260–261.

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Ascribed to the ruler is an exceptionally active, purposeful “organization” of the economy, above all of people, what has since the 1950s been called the “service population” (ludność służebna in Polish, Dienstleute in German), inhabiting a network of “service settlements.” This “service population” was made up of agriculturalists who specialized simultaneously in other occupations, and were compelled to serve the ruler with goods or labour in those areas of specialization.23 In recent years, an important group of historians has narrowed this broad meaning to the relationship between the ruler and that specialized framework and labour force.24 Thus, specifically in the case of Poland, rulership is imagined as a primeval act of entrepreneurship, at a high level of generality and impact. Ducal law, as a construct, is historiographically-generated. The phrase was developed by twentieth-century medievalists. In the documents, it almost always occurs in the plural, as iura ducalia,25 and means a range of those specific “rights” possessed by the ruler over his subjects and other resources which medievalists otherwise variously conceptualize as: ducal lordship; the local variant of the ban; or an example of the regalia, a commonplace bundle of privileges enjoyed by the ruler, and inherent in rulership. The shift, by histori23

24

25

Karol Buczek, Książęca ludność służebna w Polsce wczesnofeudalnej (Wrocław, 1958); Karol Modzelewski, “La division autarchique du travail à l’échelle d’un état: l’organisation ‘ministériale’ en Pologne médiévale,” Annales: Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations 19 (1964), 1125–1138; Barbara Krzemieńska and Dušan Třeštík, “Služebna organizace v raňe středove­ kých Čechach,” Československý Časopis Historický 12 (1964), 637–667; Karol Buczek, “Regalia w Polsce i na Pomorzu,” Słownik starożytności słowiańskich, 5:479–484; Karol Buczek, “Organizacja służebna w pierwszych wiekach państwa polskiego,” Studia Historyczne 20 (1977), 353–376; Karol Buczek, “Gospodarcze funkcje organizacji grodowej w Polsce ­wczesnofeudalnej (wiek X–XIII),” Kwartalnik Historyczny 86 (1979), 364–384; Karol Mo­­ dzelewski, “L’organizzazione dello stato polacco nei secoli X–XIII. La società e le strutture de potere,” Settimane di studio di Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo 30 (1983), 557– 599; Karol Modzelewski, Organizacja gospodarcza państwa piastowskiego, X–XIII wiek (2nd edn, Poznań, 2000), pp. 5–10; Florin Curta, “The Archaeology of Early Medieval Service Settlements in Eastern Europe,” in Piotr Górecki and Nancy van Deusen (eds.), Cen­ tral and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages: A Cultural History (London, 2009), pp. 30–41, 221–225. Mühle, Die Piasten, pp. 55–60; Mühle, “Gab es das ’Dienstsystem’ im mittelalterlichen Polen – oder was war das ius ducale,” (accessed on 20 July 2014). Joseph Joachim Menzel, Jura ducalia. Die mittelalterlichen Grundlagen der Dominialver­ fassung in Schlesien, Quellen und Darstellungen zur schlesichen Geschichte 11 (Würzburg, 1964).

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ans, from the plural to the singular has essentialized, or reified, “ducal law,” as a unitary phenomenon. The result is an impression that, specifically in Poland, the particulars of the ruler’s interaction with these resources is in some sense unusual or distinct in the context of contemporary Europe.26 Over the entire subsequent period of Piast rule, historians of medieval Poland have consistently presented ducal or royal power as radically discontinuous. Usually, the discontinuity begins with the end of “ducal law”, conceived as its supervention, decline, or active dismantling. After a long transition, it culminates with some other type of order, similarly paradigmatic, but entirely different, also expressed by a label, or tag, such as the “monarchy of estates” (in the sense of socio-political groups, not manors: monarchia stanowa in Polish),27 or “an economy based on the manor and rent” (gospodarka folwarcznoczynszowa): all, like the “ducal law” before them, historiographical creations. However its watersheds are named, the most discontinuous phenomenon over the Piast centuries was the economy and the people labouring in it: the variables with which the Piast ruler interacted. That discontinuity entailed: (1) a shift toward an increasingly intensive agriculture, or “cerealization,” as Bartlett has called it;28 (2) a differentiation between the rural and the urban dimensions of the economy and society, and thus between towns and countryside; (3) a shift toward estates specialized principally or solely in agricultural output; (4) the formation of lordship, specified, here, as access to the lucrative resources undergoing these transition; and (5) the exogenous impact upon these transitions by a foreign, ethnically distinct population, especially Germans. All of this is conceived today as “the breakthrough,”29 or more extravagantly as “the revolution,” “of the thirteenth century.”30 26 27

28 29 30

Thomas N. Bisson, “Princely Nobility in an Age of Ambition (c. 1050–1150),” in Duggan (ed.), Nobles and Nobility, pp. 101–113, at 107; Górecki, Economy, pp. 3, 7, 30–31 (nn10, 13). Juliusz Bardach, Bogusław Leśnodorski, and Michał Pietrzak, Historia państwa i prawa polskiego (Warsaw, 1979), pp. 88–134; Stanisław Grodziski, Porównawcza historia ustrojów państwowych (Kraków, 1998), pp. 58–107; Stanisław Grodziski, Z dziejów staropolskiej kul­ tury prawnej (Kraków, 2004), pp. 81–139. Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 152–156. Jerzy Kłoczowski, Młodsza Europa. Europa Środkowo-Wschodnia w kręgu cywilizacji chrze­ ścijańs­kiej średniowiecza (Warsaw, 1998), pp. 72–82. Kazimierz Bobowski, “Rewolucja agrarna w polityce innowacji w sferze gospodarczej zainicjowanej przez Henryka Brodatego,” in Antoni Barciak (ed.), Piastowie śląscy w kul­ turze i europejskich dziejach (Katowice, 2007), pp. 66–72; Sunhild Kleingärtner et al. (eds.), Landscapes and Societies in Ancient and Medieval Europe: Interactions between Environ­ mental Settings and Cultural Transformations (Toronto, 2013), especially Kleingärtner, Rossignol, and Wehner, “Introduction: Perceptions, Reconstructions and Interdisciplinary

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However it is conceptualized, my subject is necessarily comparative. To pose the question of the ruler “as an entrepreneur” calls for an explanation of a phenomenon that either resembles, or differs from, one aspect of rulership throughout medieval Europe. One might compare to the Polish case the nexus between rulers and resources in other parts of the Continent; or, the degree of convergence in this regard between Poland and other polities; or, more problematically, with some general European model or norm. As a step in that direction, let me unpack what is meant by “entrepreneurship,” so that its particulars are as consistent with one another as possible, potentially across the different places and times in medieval Europe. In Poland, the protagonist who most conspicuously interacted with resources was the ruler. There may have been others; there is no reason to assume that, in or before 1175, Nikor or Bezelin had not taken active steps to create or enhance the estates they conferred on the Lubiąż monastery. However, the duke is by far the best-documented, and retains that position throughout the medieval period, centuries past the presumed supervention, or dismantling, of “ducal law.” A desire to create, make permanent, shape, and enhance resources, for the benefit of the dukes themselves and other consumers – above all, God and the saints – is a recurrent and explicit subject of the ducal documents, right until the fourteenth century. In this regard, despite the enormous transitions within these resources themselves, this subject also represents a considerable degree of continuity. 3

The Duke as Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship can now be defined as specific activities directed at, and in response to, resources, with a view to their future use by their recipients. One such activity was their aggregation in writing, expressed in the form of a list.31 Such lists, embedded in Polish documents, contain several components: personal names, place-names, other designations of people and groups; units of arable and other space; nodes of specialized production and exchange, above all taverns and market spaces; environmental or natural phenomena,

31

Research,” pp. 3–23, at p. 22; Krzysztof Fokt, “Archaeological Remarks on High and Late Medieval Rural Landscapes in Silesia and Upper Lusatia,” pp. 226–244, at p. 237. I am indebted to Dr. Radosław Kotecki of the University of Bydgoszcz for our conversations about “the thirteenth-century revolution,” as a currently received construct. Lucie Doležalová (ed.), The Charm of a List: From the Sumerians to Computerised Data Processing (Newcastle, 2009).

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including animals (wild and domesticated), forest, park, water, fish, and minerals. Because of the prominence of this material, the narration clauses of Polish diplomas resemble, in form and content, short Carolingian polyptyques, and may have been ultimately modelled on that prototype.32 These embedded lists sometimes expanded into fuller descriptions of the itemized components: fragments of their histories, their environmental or productive attributes, or their present and future use, disposal, alteration, and protection. These fuller passages reflect an active analysis of resources, a reflection upon, and sometimes an explanation of, the economic, demographic, and other dynamics of a described component; and, again, the creation of a record of such reflection. Another entrepreneurial role of the duke was what might be called the permissive, the enabling, or the protective. In this case, the ruler did not, at least not explicitly, shape lucrative resources, but presumed their existence, and promised the beneficiaries unfettered access to them. In 1175, Duke Bolesław did so in general terms, by “tak[ing] all the appurtenances of the monastery of Lubiąż under our protection, and commit [them] to our successors to be protected for all time,” and stipulating that “the entire possession” encompassed by the new estate “shall be, and be said [to be], solely the abbot’s and the monks’.”33 This role recurred in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, resulting in an important genre of ducal diplomas: charters of liberty, or immunity.34 A more active ducal role was a targeted transfer of resources, conceived and analyzed in this way. This entailed an identification, by the duke, of some area of demand on the part of the beneficiary of the document, and of some source for satisfying that demand.35 In a kind of targeted, one-to-one correspondence, the duke linked one or more components and flows of wealth – revenue, goods, or human labour – to one or more specific consumption requirements which that component, or those components, were meant to satisfy.36 The configurations of such resources varied from one estate to another, and over time. Just to give one example, here as elsewhere in Europe, a notable type of demand was

32 33 34 35 36

Górecki, Economy, p. 25. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 45 (1175), 28. Górecki, Economy, pp. 54–55, 123–203. For this role, in its early phases and documentation, see Górecki, Economy, pp. 48–53, 56–58. Górecki, Economy, pp. 45–65, 67–73, 79–88, 91–99, 101–105, 110, 112–113, 138–139, 148.

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for church lighting.37 The goods assigned for that purpose were wax, candles, or coin.38 At the most active end of these activities, the ruler deliberately reshaped, or more thoroughly “reorganized” resources. One such resource was people, conceived as a source of labour or product. On occasion, a duke specified some exact role which a person, or a group, were to carry out for a lord. In 1208, Duke Władysław Odonic gave to the monks in Lubiąż “the village of Lubogoszcz and its heir, Wrócisz, with his two sons, that they be beekeepers,” and to the nuns in Trzebnica “the villages of Pyszczyn and Braciszewo with its heirs, … the sons of Piszcza, Siestrzemił [and] Kwiatek, and two sons of Lutuj, Nicholas and Pętyn, and their uncle James, that they be fishermen of the said church.”39 At other times, dukes responded, with targeted action, to collective behaviour by people subject to lordship. In 1202–1203, Henry the Bearded recalled that, some time in the past, he had made a plan to remedy the abandonment of a specific locality by its peasants, and the resulting fall of its tithe revenue. Its original tithe possessor, “Parish Priest Clement, convinced me with prayers to … resettle, with people, Chinino, from which Clement’s tithe had completely disappeared because of the settlers’ departure.” The duke indeed did so – “I did this, just as I promised” – but did not divulge how. What was important was the outcome: “so, Clement gratefully renounced the … tithe” from the locality, enabling the transfer of its tithe revenue to the newly founded convent of Trzebnica.40 Nearly ten years later, Conrad of Masovia confirmed for the house of canons regular in Czerwińsk its peasants, whose descent he traced to a substantial group of individuals whose names appear in a list, presumably drawn from a much earlier document. Conrad did so as a response, or preemption, of the peasants’ behaviour, “[i]n order that they do not assume for themselves a presumption of freedom because of passage of time.”41 The duke anticipated that the peasants were likely to change their status, and seek to migrate; and he offset that prospect.42 37

38 39 40 41 42

Paul Fouracre, “Eternal Light and Earthly Needs: Practical Aspects of the Development of Frankish Immunities,” in Wendy Davies and Paul Fouracre (eds.), Property and Power in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1995), pp. 53–81. Górecki, Economy, pp. 56, 97; Fouracre, “Eternal Light,” pp. 68–81. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1: nos. 116–117 (1208), pp. 86–87; for other, likewise relatively early, examples, see Górecki, Economy, pp. 74, 82–83, 85, 88–99. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 83 (1202–3), p. 57. Codex diplomaticus et commemorationum Masoviae. Zbiór ogólny przywilejów i spominków mazowieckich, ed. Jan Konrad Korwin-Kochanowski (Warsaw, 1919), no. 212 (1222), 210–211. For the fuller story and context of this document, involving the status and residence of one of the canons’ peasants, Miłoszka, see Górecki, Economy, pp. 165–70, 189 (nn6–20).

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Two early but representative documents issued by Henry the Bearded reflect several active interactions between duke and economy. In his 1212 charter concerning the market space situated in Lubiąż, Henry “conceded the following freedom to the monastery of Lubiąż: [that] the market of Lubiąż shall be exempt from every Polish exaction,” and added that “the moneyer shall not levy” in the market space a payment called “the pomot from anyone, and shall have no right there other than to effect an exchange of coin by the sale of salt, and the exchange [of salt for] pennies during [no more than] three markets” in a specified amount of time.43 In this case, Henry did not create, move, or “reorganize” the market space, or grant it to the monks. In 1212 that space was already part of the monks’ estate. The intervention consisted of a discontinuation, by the duke and his agents, from certain types of activity in it, and from related economic phenomena: social demand for market activity; use of coin; and use of salt as a medium of exchange in the process of a recoinage.44 In a detailed piece of narration, embedded in the 1202–1203 diploma for Trzebnica, Henry recalled: that my grandfather transferred the market which had once existed in Trzebnica to Cerekwica, for the use[s] of the [cathedral chapter] of Wrocław. But, since as a result the [new convent] is hardly able to have a market nearby for its usual needs …, I have established a market in Trzebnica, without any diminution of the revenue [accruing] of the market of Cerekwica. But since the populace [plebs] [wishing to attend any one market] is divided by many markets [in]to single [persons], I expect that, because of the very close proximity [of the two markets to one another], the market of Trzebnica will be a source of harm to the market of the canons [of the chapter]. In order to avoid this, and forever to secure for the canons the fullness of their revenues, I have allayed the [canons’] fear of loss, by [a subsidy of] 7 silver marks, accruing from toll, annually.45

43 44

45

Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 132 (1212), p. 96; Górecki, Economy, p. 54. Thomas N. Bisson, Conservation of Coinage: Monetary Exploitation and Its Restraint in France, Catalonia and Aragon, c. ad 1000–c. 1225 (Oxford, 1979), pp. 5–7, 11–12; Ryszard Kiersnowski, Pieniądz kruszcowy w Polsce wczesnośredniowiecznej (Warsaw, 1960), pp. 239–327; Stanisław Suchodolski, Początki mennictwa w Europie Środkowej, Wschodniej i Północnej (Wrocław, 1971), pp. 221–228; Górecki, Economy, pp. 51–52. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 83 (1202–3), p. 56; Górecki, Economy, pp. 52–55, 64.

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This passage reports a sequence of active interventions, by Henry and his two lineal predecessors, which, in various ways, created, modified, anticipated, and responded to, economic phenomena: market space; demand by the possessors of that space, for the goods or revenues accessible through it; demand by a broader, open-ended population – the “populace” (plebs) – for that market space, and the same goods and revenues; and coin, assumed to accrue from yet another revenue, a ducal toll, which was used to offset the anticipated complications arising from the above, market-centred, mix of factors and conditions. One could give many other examples. Most of Duke Henry’s diplomas reiterating the endowment for the nuns in 1204, 1208, 1218, and 1224,46 swarm with provisions of this type, concerning: taverns, market spaces, butcher stalls, ­arable, forest, and people. Logically, these interventions resemble the entrepreneurial activity which historians have long projected back upon that primeval moment of “organization” of the earliest Piast economy, and thus the formation “ducal law,” and are, when they appear in the record, presumed to have been the final, declining symptoms of that “law.” However, as I have argued elsewhere, this aspect of ducal entrepreneurship must not be essentialized, because such responses were one aspect of a bigger context, of other types of ducal interaction with resources.47 What is distinctive about the Piast dukes is not a single, paradigmatic, type of interaction between themselves and the economy, but the mix, or range, of such interactions, and their explicit responsiveness to the surrounding economic and social context. Over the rest of the Piast period, the ruler’s role was continuous in some respects, discontinuous in others. What continued was the ruler’s ubiquity as a protagonist active across the wide range of interventions. What changed was the range of economic phenomena in which the duke intervened, and the documents presenting that range. While in the early period, individual documents present the duke intervening across a broad, indeed a bit bewildering, spectrum of economic and demographic events and processes, later on we note a marked specialization. Each document tends to concern one, specific 46

47

Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 93 (1204), pp. 64–66; nos. 114–115 (1208), pp. 79–85; no. 181 (1218), pp. 132–135; no. 247 (1224), pp. 180–181; Górecki, Economy, pp. 23–26; Roman Grodecki, “Książęca włość trzebnicka na tle organizacji majątków książęcych w Polsce w XII w.,” Kwartalnik Historyczny 26 (1912), 433–475, and 27 (1913), 1–66; Kazimierz Tymieniecki, “Najdawniejsza polska ustawa dworska,” in Studia z historii społecznej i gospodarczej poświęcone prof. dr. F. Bujakowi (Lwów, 1931), pp. 21–44; Karol Buczek, “W sprawie interpretacji dokumentu trzebnickiego z r. 1204,” Przegląd Historyczny 48 (1957), 38–77, repr. in Buczek, Studia, 1:107–149. Górecki, Economy, pp. 6–7, 71–72, 85–88; Górecki, “Viator to Ascriptitius.”

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phenomenon, and one specific ducal role tailored to it. Over time, the ruler intervened in a more restricted set of economic or demographic phenomena, and he did so by a diminished (if no less active) range of interventions. Those phenomena, and those interventions, are presented to us in the record in more technical detail. The ducal interventions, and the sectors they affected, seem to have become more specialized, and technically more intensive. These shifts reflect major underlying transitions in the economy and society toward which the ruler’s entrepreneurial interventions were directed, and which I cannot describe, let alone explain, at length here. Any one of them, when closely examined, textures and refines the exact role of the Piast duke or king as an entrepreneur. The area of output, production, and decision-making through which I would like to trace out the longer-term continuity and change in the ruler’s entrepreneurial role is the extraction and distribution of salt.48 4

Salt

Salt, as a lucrative resource, was an important part of estates ever since the earliest written record.49 In the mid-eleventh century, the Benedictine monastery in Tyniec, southwest of Kraków, received, among a much larger endowment, the locality called “Big Salt,” with “four taverns, … and, each week, three trays” of salt.50 Between the mid-twelfth century and 1198, the canons regular in Miechów, north of the city, acquired, also as part of a larger endowment, “the salt in Bochnia, [the] salt in Przebieczany, [the] salt of Sydzina,” and “[a] tavern in Studzienka.”51 References of this kind, listing the commodity among much wider ranges of components, recur in ducal charters throughout the Piast period.52 The salt was assigned as rent or tithe to several recipients, above all to the 48

49

50 51 52

Robert P. Multhauf, “Salt Trade,” in J. Strayer (ed.), Dictionary of the Middle Ages (13 vols.; New York, 1982–1989), 10:629–634; J.C. Hocquet and S. Farokhi, “Salz,” in L. Lutz et al. (eds.), Lexikon des Mittelalters (10 vols.; Munich, 1977–1999), 7:cols 1324–1329. Jerzy Wyrozumski, “Sól,” Słownik starożytności słowiańskich, 5:346–649; Multhauf, “Salt Trade,” p. 633; Hocquet and Farokhi, “Salz,” cols 1324, 1326; Józef Piotrowicz, “Żupy krakowskie w pierwszych wiekach rozwoju, od połowy XIII do początków XVI wieku,” in Antoni Jodłowski et al (ed.)., Dzieje żup krakowskich (Wieliczka, 1988), pp. 103–158. Monumenta Poloniae Historica, ed. August Bielowski (6 vols.; Lwów and Kraków, 1864– 1893, repr. Warsaw, 1960–1961), 1:518, lines 4–7; Górecki, Economy, p. 47. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, ed. Franciszek Piekosiński (2 vols.; Kraków, 1876–86; repr. New York, 1965), 2:no. 375 (1198), p. 13. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 419 (1242), pp. 64–65; no. 423 (1243), p. 70; no. 439 (1253), p. 88; 1:no. 40 (1254), p. 45; Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej ś. Wacława,

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dukes and ecclesiastical communities. It was received in kind,53 or as a source of coin, through its sale in market spaces.54 The salt originated at two points: in Pomerania, which served as a base for its long-distance export to Silesia; and in Little Poland, where it was included in the estates of several recipients, all in that duchy. The Pomeranian connection is documented early, while the Little-Polish salt resources were exploited throughout the rest of the Middle Ages. They were all located east and southeast of Kraków, in a cluster of localities among which the most important were Wieliczka (the equivalent, in Polish, of “Big Salt”, Magna Sal) and Bochnia. Wieliczka in particular remained among the most significant European salines well into the modern period.55 Pomeranian salt was important specifically for two Cistercian monasteries, Lubiąż and Trzebnica. We know this from three ducal charters, two issued by Henry the Bearded for the monks in 1211 and 1222, the third for the nuns by Dukes Bogisław and Casimir of Pomerania in 1214. Henry’s second document is a nearly identical reissue of the first, and comprises our final record of salt originating in Pomerania. Henry’s documents concern the transport of salt along a north-south axis between Silesia and the Baltic, through a territorial network consisting of: carts and boats, for overland and river transport respectively; a line of units of that transport, called “farmsteads” (curiae) in 1211 and “granges” (grangiae) in 1222, each presided over by a “master” (magister); the roads along which the carts travelled; and the river along which the boats floated, presumably the Odra.56 On the other hand, Bogisław and Casimir were concerned with the provenance of the commodity. Even though Pomerania, as

53

54

55 56

ed. Franciszek Piekosiński (Kraków, 1874; repr. New York, 1965), no. 40 (1254), 53; Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 446 (1255), p. 100; 1:no. 44 (1257), p. 53; no. 52 (1259), p. 64; no. 58 (1262), p. 72; 2:no. 470 (1263), p. 122; no. 473 (1264), pp. 125–126; no. 476 (1270), p. 129; 1:no. 93 (1277), p. 110; 2:no. 515 (1290), pp. 177–178; 3:no. 658 (1339), p. 30. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 419 (1242), p. 65; no. 423 (1243), p. 70; no. 429 (1248), p. 78; Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 31 (1250), p. 40; Kodeks dyplo­ matyczny Małopolski, 1:no. 93 (1277), p. 110; 2:no. 501 (1285), p. 162; Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 92 (1290), p. 128; no. 97 (1294), p. 133; Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 528 (1295), pp. 195–196; no. 533 (1296), p. 201. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 446 (1255), p. 100; no. 52 (1259), p. 64; 1:no. 58 (1262), p. 72; 2:no. 476 (1270), p. 129; Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 83 (1279), p. 113; Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 501 (1285), p. 162; Kodeks dyplomaty­ czny katedry krakowskiej, no. 91 (1290), p. 128; no. 95 (1291), p. 131; no. 97 (1294), p. 133; Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 536 (1298), p. 203; 3:no. 786 (1365), pp. 191–192. Robert Multhauf, Neptune’s Gift: A History of Common Salt (Baltimore, 1978), pp. 40–41. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 123 (1211), p. 90; no. 220 (1222), p. 161; Górecki, Economy, pp. 56–57.

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a location, suggests the extraction of salt from the sea, the enterprise described here was inland; the convent received “one [salt] hut in Kołobrzeg, [situated] on the salt mountain, with every convenience and revenue …, according to the following … liberty: this hut shall be possessed free from every exaction and service by which the other huts are known to be obligated” to the dukes.57 These details matter, because “mountains,” overlaid with buildings and other structures specialized in the processing of salt, remained the basic unit of extraction throughout the Piast period. During this early period, salt was closely tied to two other aspects of the economy: fish and coin. In the same three documents, the dukes allowed the recipients free import from Pomerania of salt-pickled herring (allec): the monks, through the same network of boats, carts, and “farmsteads” or granges whereby they imported salt; and the nuns by means of “a single boat …, called the szkuta, annually.”58 The link between salt and herring is also reflected by the 1198 Miechów document, and in 1226, by a schedule of tolls pertinent to Silesia, compiled by Bishop Lawrence of Wrocław at the behest of a duke.59 In 1198, the duke of Little Poland, Casimir the Just, allocated revenues in salt and in fish between himself and the canons: “from every cart [carrying] salt, fifty heads [capita] [of salt] shall accrue to the lord of the land,” that is, to himself, and “twelve heads of salt to the monastery; and, of pickled herring,” the canons shall receive “the same amount.”60 Three decades later, Bishop Lawrence noted that “an empty cart proceeding” northward to Pomerania “shall pay a stone of salt, while a [cart] returning with pickled herring [shall pay] thirty pickled herring.” Apart from these two commodities, carts carrying, or en route to receive, any product other than those two commodities were subjected to toll in coin: “[O]ther carts coming and going along the same road, whatever they may carry, however many of them there should be, [shall pay] half a scotus of silver.”61 Allec and salt appear here, simultaneously, as transported goods, and as media of payment imposed upon transported goods, or upon carts travelling without merchandise. Salt appeared as a medium of exchange in Henry the Bearded’s 1212 liberty charter for the market belonging to the monks of Lubiąż, where the duke noted “renewals of coinage” by his moneyers in “market places,” which involved the

57 58 59 60 61

Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 140 (1214), p. 99; Górecki, Economy, pp. 56–58. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 123 (1211), p. 90; no. 140 (1214), p. 99; no. 220 (1222), p. 161. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 269 (1226), pp. 197–198; Górecki, Economy, pp. 58–61. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 375 (1198), p. 14. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 269 (1226), p. 198; Górecki, Economy, pp. 58–59.

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exchange of currently circulating coin for salt in these localities.62 In 1224, Henry amplified this use of salt when, among the other terms favouring the nuns, he “completely renounced all the rights which the moneyers have had until now in Trzebnica, in the market place as well as in taverns – except that the moneyer may sell salt [there] in a renewal of coinage, for [the duration of] three markets” in the course of some, presumably specified, period.63 A similar use of salt is noted by the anonymous German compiler of Polish law, who wrote sometime between the mid-thirteenth and the early fourteenth centuries, and, in the relevant clause, looked back into a deep though unspecified past.64 Among the fines used in the Polish law courts, one was, in the author’s present, called “the three hundred” in Polish vernacular, because “[f]ormerly in Poland, one used to break salt into pieces, each of which was called a krusza; and one paid 300 of these [as a fine]. Even though now salt is no longer used” for this purpose, “the fine is still called the ‘three hundred.’”65 The unit of the salt, described here in the Polish vernacular – krusza – means (today, in archaic form) a small fragment of a mineral.66 These fragments are sparse, but we know a great deal about their contexts: moneyers, their positioning in market places and taverns, and their roles regarding coinage, its minting, “renewals,” disbursement, and collection;67 judges, their network and hierarchy, the substantive laws through which they acted, and the penalties they imposed;68 and coin itself. Implied in the 62 63 64

65 66 67 68

Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 132 (1212), p. 96. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 247 (1224), pp. 180–181; Peter Spufford, Money and Its Uses in Medieval Europe (Cambridge, 1988), p. 95 n3. Najstarszy zwód prawa polskiego / Das älteste polnische Gewohnheitsrechtsbuch, ed. and trans. Józef Matuszewski and Jacek Matuszewski (Łódź, 1995); Adam Vetulani, “Über der Ursprung des Polenspiegels as de Mitte des XIII. Jahrhuderts,” Studia Gratiana 9 (1966), 171–188; Adam Vetulani, “Prawo Polaków. Niemiecki spis polskiego prawa zwyczajowego z XIII wieku,” in his Z badań nad kulturą prawniczą w Polsce piastowskiej (Wrocław, 1976), pp. 129–161. Najstarszy zwód, cc. 19.1, 20.2, pp. 82–85. Jerzy Wyrozumski, Państwowa gospodarka solna w Polsce do schyłku XIV wieku (Kraków, 1968), pp. 44–48. Górecki, Economy, pp. 51–52, 54, 56, 60–61, 101, 266. Piotr Górecki, “Communities of Legal Memory in Medieval Poland, c. 1200–1240,” Journal of Medieval History 24 (1998), 127–154, at 135; Piotr Górecki, “A Historian as a Source of Law: Abbot Peter of Henryków and the Invocation of Norms in Medieval Poland, c. 1200– 1270,” Law and History Review 18 (2000), 479–523, at 481; Piotr Górecki, “Assimilation, Resistance, and Ethnic Group Formation in Medieval Poland: A European Paradigm?” in Thomas Wünsch and Alexander Patschovsky (eds.), Das Reich und Polen. Parallelen, Inter­ aktionen und Formen der Akkulturation im hohen und späten Mittelalter, Vorträge und

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anonymous Polish law compilation is a dynamic relationship between coin and salt: a transition from the latter to the former. After 1222, the story of salt production concerns Wieliczka and Bochnia. Salt was extracted here from the eleventh century, if not earlier, but our earliest source on the specifics of that extraction is a diploma issued between 1221 and 1227, in which Leszek the White extended “liberty” to “all skilled men [artifices] who seek, by digging, gold and silver or other metals … or … salt, in whatever places they may live in our duchy, whether they are Walloons [Romani], Germans, or any other guests.”69 This diploma is open-ended territorially, concerning “our duchy” in its entirety. It is a call for a specialized labour force, miners, implying that some such population was already present somewhere in the duchy. The duke outlined here, in general contours, major aspects of salt extraction in Piast Poland over the subsequent two centuries. He associated salt with “digging,” or “cutting,” into solid matter,70 which later documents further identify as, “salt digs,” or “salt veins” (salisfodinae)71 – or, in simple English, mines. He expected the “diggers,” or miners, to be foreign: Walloon or German, as a presumptive conceptual benchmark, and otherwise ethnically open-ended. For much of the century, we know more about the implements, structures, and units of measurement used by that labour force than we do about the labour force itself. Those technical aspects were continuous in some respects, innovative in others. A unit of salt called a “tray,” or a “trough” – reported in Latin as alveum – recurs right from the mid-eleventh until the fourteenth century.72 Other recurrent and continuous units were a “measure” (mensura, or modius) and a “portion” (portio) “of salt.”73 Increasingly frequent in the 1270s, are expressions that referred simultaneously to a specialized implement and to a standard of measure: above all, a “pan,” expressed variously as caldarium,

69 70 71 72 73

Forschungen 59 (Ostfildern, 2003), pp. 447–476, at 447–448, 452–55; Górecki, “Words,” pp. 128–129, 133; Górecki, Economy, pp. 164–168, 169–182, 195–202, 219, 265. Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 12 (1221–27), p. 17. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 515 (1290), p. 178; 3:no. 809 (1368), pp. 215–216. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 439 (1253), p. 88; 1:no. 64 (1257), p. 53; 1:no. 93 (1277), p. 110; 3:no. 786 (1365), pp. 191–192. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 423 (1243), p. 70; no. 446 (1255), p. 100; 1:no. 44 (1257), p. 53; no. 58 (1262), p. 72; no. 93 (1277), p. 110. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 414 (1242), p. 63; 419 (1242), p. 65; no. 423 (1243), p. 70; no. 501 (1285), p. 162.

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sartago, and patella, of which the latter two are sometimes described as synonymous.74 Throughout the entire Piast period, “cooking” – boiling the saline – was a technique for obtaining purified salt. It is consistently related to the “pans”: in a gift to a monastery of “a pan [sarthago] … for the cooking of salt,” a reference to “four pans [patellas] of salt to be cooked freely,” and many similar records.75 An early, but recurrent, source of saline was the “salt spring” (fons salis), sometimes expressed as “jutting” – that is, as freely flowing from the earth – or expressed in the diminutive as a fonticulus.76 References to “springs” also reflect the relationship between salt extraction and water, through the harvesting of naturally occurring saline, or through the artificial creation of saline by application of water current. Beginning in the 1270s, the unit of salt-bearing space was increasingly described as a mine, salisfodina,77 situated on, or in, a “mountain”, and encompassing structures in which the salt was processed (“cooked”) called “houses” (domus) – presumably similar to the “salt huts” reported on the “salt mountain” in Kołobrzeg in 1214. The most continuously documented trait of the labour force specialized in these activities was its ethnicity. That fact is consistent with Leszek the White’s 1221–1227 diploma, but the significance of this factor is a bit more complicated than the duke expected. We can assess it by the method Robert Bartlett has used in The Making of Europe for the same purpose. He infers the ethnic spe­cificity of particular sectors of the medieval Polish economy from the appearance of words specific to that sector in a given vernacular.78 Words regarding salt extraction do indeed relate to ethnicity, with the relevant terminology reported in the vernacular: “in the common speech” (vulgariter), or “by the people” (a vulgo). Such reports imply the existence of substantial populations using the vocabulary: Polish or German, depending on the reported vernacular.

74 75

76 77 78

Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 429 (1248), p. 78; Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 31 (1250), p. 40; no. 80 (1278), p. 107. Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 40 (1254), p. 53; Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 476 (1270), p. 129; Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 80 (1278), p. 106; Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 515 (1290), p. 178. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 429 (1248), p. 78; no. 478 (1273), p. 152; 3:no. 797 (1367), p. 202. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 439 (1253), p. 88; 1:no. 93 (1277), p. 110; 3:no. 639 (1334), p. 11. Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 140, 200.

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Much of the relevant vocabulary is Polish. The documents gloss “tray” (or “trough”), alveum, as, “in the common speech,” koryto,79 the Polish word for “trough”, meant as a type of vessel and as a man-made depression in the ground.80 “Portions of salt” – units of its assessment – are indicated as peczini, an archaic word, relating to the oven and to baking; korce (plural of korzec), meaning, approximately, a bushel; and, in the final years of the century, bałwany (plural of bałwan), meaning a pillar, an idol, or a statue.81 Likewise, the “house” placed on a “salt mountain” consistently elicited a “commonly” used Polish name, wieża: in the past, a variety of vertical buildings, today specifically a tower.82 Other aspects of salt-related activity elicited German names. In a document of 1273, they occur in conjunction with Polish words, and refer to a single productive complex, consisting of “four houses, commonly called wieże, … placed [together] with four small fountains used to crystallize … salt,” and the fountains are “called” s[ … ]rsalhc: a word poorly transcribed, but clearly containing in its suffix the German word for salt.83 Five years later “liquid salt” was designated with the German word sarzalach.84 Most importantly, one technological feature, especially notable since the late 1270s and reported in Latin as puteum – a “well” or a “shaft” – was glossed, in “common” speech, as sacht: a German word, meaning, then and today, a shaft. In the course of the fourteenth century, that word further evolved in its meaning, to designate a salt mine in its entirety, not merely the deep cavity which was part of it.85 These patterns suggest that much of the population involved in salt extraction and processing was indigenous, or Polish. This is not surprising, in light of 79

80

81

82

83 84 85

Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 423 (1243), p. 70; no. 446 (1255), p. 100; 1:no. 44 (1257), p. 53; no. 58 (1262), p. 72; Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 80 (1278), p. 106. Brückner, Słownik, p. 258, s.v. koryto; Słownik staropolski, 3:348–349, s.v. koryto; Franciszek Sławski, Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego (4 vols. to date; Kraków, 1952–), 2:502–504, s.v. koryto. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 419 (1242), p. 65; no. 528 (1295), p. 196; Brückner, Słownik, pp. 12, 258, s.v. bałwan, korzec; Słownik staropolski, 1:58–59, 3:349–350, 6:62, s.v. bałwan, korzec, pecyna or pieczyna; Sławski, Słownik, 1:26, 2:504–506, s.v., bałwan, korzec. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 478 (1273), p. 152; Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 80 (1278), pp. 106–107; Brückner, Słownik, pp. 619–620, s.v. wieża; Słownik staropolski, 10:208–209, s.v. wieża. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 478 (1273), p. 152: [D]omos qui uulgariter vese dicuntur cum … fonticulis pro minori sale quod s[ … ]rsalhc dicitur. Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 80 (1278), p. 107. Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 80 (1278), pp. 106–07; Kodeks dyploma­ tyczny Małopolski, 3:no. 786 (1365), pp. 191–192.

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the long legacy of salt exploitation in Poland. However, one part of the range of salt-related activities attracted a German population – in the longer term, the most important part. This was the relatively deep, subsurface mining, clearly reflected by the presence of “shafts.” However, the other aspects, and presumably the populations, continued. All of it – the ethnic, demographic, terminological, and technological mix – was nicely summed up by Bolesław the Chaste in 1278 at the start of his diploma, with a report, at the time he wrote this document, of “men of various nations in Wieliczka and Bochnia” active in, or drawing revenue from, “the shafts – that is, sachtis – the pans, the cooking enclosures – that is, wieże – and the troughs – that is, koryta,” all of them “so called in the common [languages],” Polish in two cases, German in one.86

5

Salt: The Specialized Ducal Estate

Beginning at a certain point in the thirteenth century, salt was extracted and purified in a distinct type of estate. That distinction is reflected by its consistent designation with a specific name, always in the Polish vernacular: żupa.87 Written references to the żupa begin in the 1260s, though with an implication of its routine existence beforehand. By the time żupa acquired this meaning, the word and its cognates were quite old. In 1175, Bolesław the Tall had used one such cognate to designate high lordship, as he protected the Lubiąż monastery from the power of the “lords,” to whom he referred as żupany.88 The root żup- associated people with distinctive power or status, specifically with the performance of officium: a specialized and sustained role on behalf of someone important.89 This association between the żupa, office, and salt was explicit in 1285, when Leszek the Black referred his subordinate population in Wieliczka as “those who possess and execute the żupa, or the office, of salt.”90 The holder, or lord, of the żupa was always the ruler. Although other lords continued to possess salt-based resources, we simply have no suggestion of a 86 87 88 89 90

Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 80 (1278), p. 106. Brückner, Słownik, pp. 667–668, s.v. żupa; Słownik staropolski, 11:600–602, s.v. żupa; Tadeusz Wasilewski, “Żupa,” Słownik starożytności słowiańskich , 8:268–269. Schlesisches Urkundenbuch, 1:no. 45 (1175), p. 29. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 1:no. 60 (1262), p. 76; 2:no. 473 (1264), p. 126; Górecki, Economy, pp. 74, 142–143, 160 (n59); Górecki, Local Society, pp. 57–58, n226. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 501 (1285), p. 162.

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żupa belonging to anyone other than the duke or king. Immediately related to the żupa was a population working in connection with it, designated by a variant of that word, latinized in the documents as supparius in the singular and supparii in the plural, and re-polonized in the early-modern period as żupnik and żupnicy, respectively.91 The żupa as an estate, and the żupnik as its labourer, served the dukes as a source of revenue in, or derived from, salt, to be transferred to designated ecclesiastical communities. In 1266, Bolesław the Chaste gave the Clarissan convent in Skała, near Kraków, “a mark of gold in Bochnia each year …, to be paid by the żupnik, who shall possess that żupa for a time.”92 Twelve years later, Leszek the Black instructed “those who possess and manage the żupa” in Wieliczka to disburse “ten measures of salt, according to the measure of Kraków,” to the monks of Trzemeszno in Great Poland, while, in two diplomas issued in 1290, Przemysł II gave the bishop and chapter of Kraków “a hundred marks …, and the full tithe, from one half of the … żupa of Kraków.”93 The żupa coexisted with other kinds of salt-estates and with their possessors. The Piast dukes regulated that coexistence. In 1273, Bolesław the Chaste confirmed, for the Cistercian monastery in Wąchock in Little Poland, “the old salt spring in Bochnia.” The monks had, for some substantial time (since “many years back”), received “from” the spring “the ninth part” of the salt, or the revenue from it, “freely, by hereditary right.”94 A crucial part of the story of this estate was its sudden environmental disruption: “[B]y accident, the earth slipped, and because of the flow of water” the spring “was so completely filled that it seemed utterly destroyed.”95 Much of what we know about this estate stems from the duke’s plan to restore the damaged spring. In addition to confirming the monks’ past revenue, Bolesław “conceded” to the monks an additional salt-bearing estate, consisting of “four pans of salt, to be cooked freely, and four houses commonly called ‘towers’ [wieże], to be established freely, [together] with four small springs [fonticuli] for the extraction of minor salt.” He also mentioned the plan for a labourer specialized in the core mining portion of the estate, and his remuneration: “The master of the … shaft … shall forever freely possess one [salt-]pan.”96 91 92 93 94 95 96

Brückner, Słownik, p. 667, s.v. żupa; Słownik staropolski, 11:602, s.v. żupca, żupnik. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 1:no. 72 (1266), p. 88. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 501 (1285), p. 162; Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 91 (1290), p. 128; no. 92 (1290), p. 128. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 478 (1273), p. 151. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 478 (1273), p. 152. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 478 (1273), p. 152.

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Five years later, Bolesław radically reallocated control over salt production and its revenues in Wieliczka and Bochnia, so as to benefit specifically two recipients: himself, and one ecclesiastical beneficiary. He reported that, “by common counsel and consent of our barons, we have caused all the rights” to salt exploitation which “men of various nations” have heretofore enjoyed “in Great Salt and Bochnia, … to be forever terminated and completely annulled.” This step was an appropriation, by Bolesław, of salt resources in Poland’s two most productive localities: a move toward the ruler’s “monopoly” over this sector through a series of revindications.97 Out of the accumulated resources, Bolesław re-allocated one portion to “our chapel in Bochnia.” He presented that gift, with that word, as a “restoration” (restituere), out of his resources, made in response to the “humble petition” of James, “our chaplain of Bochnia.”98 The “restoration” implies that, sometime before issuing the diploma, the duke had confiscated this flow of revenue, from James as from the other prior possessors. What follows in the narration is our second detailed image of a salt-estate. At its core, James and the chapel received one “pan … of salt,” and “all the revenues which may arise from” it in the future, presented in a functional relationship to the pan, in a kind of mental map, moving outward from that central object: We give … to our church … the … pan of salt with the house commonly called the “tower” [wieża], and with all the appurtenances …. So that it shall be appropriate for the chaplain of ours … and for his men – that is, the tenants of this pan – to receive the sorzalach (meaning liquid salt) from each shaft (that is, sachta), sufficient for the cooking of salt in the pan just mentioned; and, freely to sell the salt cooked there to whomever they wish.99 The third document, issued by Przemysł II in 1290 when he ruled over Little Poland, intersects with yet another subject, important to The Making of Europe: urbanization. The document situates salt production and revenue in the context of the “establishment” (locatio) of the city of Wieliczka. Strictly speaking, the 1290 diploma confirmed that “establishment,” which had been effected previously by Duke Henry IV the Righteous of Silesia, during his reign over the duchy. At the present occasion, Przemysł reiterated, and enhanced, Henry’s 97 98 99

Wyrozumski, Państwowa gospodarka, pp. 67–68. Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 80 (1278), p. 106. Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 80 (1278), pp. 106–107.

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“document … about the establishment of the city.” The earlier diploma was brought forward and “shown” to Duke Przemysł by its two original recipients and “brothers,” Jeszko and Heisinbold, who had received from Henry IV the “city” of Wieliczka, “to be established according to Franconian law,”100 one of the several variants of the “German law” used in Poland as a blueprint for urban and rural settlement for about seventy years before both diplomas. Henry and Przemysł’s documents placed salt, and a salt-bearing estate, in the urban context. Regarding Wieliczka, the earlier plan for the two brothers corresponds exactly to the plans spelled out for people who took on the same role as they did: “by reason of the establishment,” they received from the duke an estate consisting of a mix of components situated in the urban space; and, beyond Wieliczka, rural resources “addition[al] to the city estate;” and, a liberty for “the city and the city’s inhabitants … from all services and obligations of Polish law,”101 and “from [judicial] summons before a castle,” the ordinary ducal court, competent in most matters.102 Conspicuous by its absence from the earlier diploma was any gift to the two urban entrepreneurs of Wieliczka’s most important commodity: salt. This was Duke Przemysł’s addition to the earlier transaction. “[W]ishing to reform the state of our land for the better,” the duke “forever confirm[ed]” Henry’s “gift and establishment for Jeszko and Heisinbold,” and, “mindful of their generous services” to himself, offered them two salt-related interests: jurisdiction over the labour force specialized in salt production (“we wish the cutters of salt, and the cooks [who work] the aforesaid place,” the space of Wieliczka where salt was produced, “to respond [only] before the judges of the city”); and a revenue in salt, consisting of “a … pillar of salt [bancum salis] each week from the żupa, to be sold or disposed of in any fashion whatever,” when and to whomever the recipients wished.103 What is notable in these plans is the separation – conceptual and presumably spatial – of the salt-bearing resources in Wieliczka from the rest of the “city.” Their sole linkage was Duke Przemysł’s enhancement of Jeszko and Heisinbold’s estate with the two interests in those resources. The jurisdictional provision does not, at least at face value, situate the “cutters” and the “cooks” of salt among the “inhabitants” of the “city.” Instead, it extends one element of civic authority – jurisdiction – over those specialized labourers. Likewise, the 100 101 102 103

Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 515 (1290), p. 177. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 515 (1290), pp. 177–178. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 515 (1290), p. 178. Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 515 (1290), p. 178; Brückner, Słownik, p. 12, s.v. bałwan (łac. bancus).

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salt revenue does not place the salt production in the civic space, but presumes its origin from a different venue: the żupa – the ducal estate, which may have been situated near the city, yet, at the same time, apart from it. The żupa intersected with the salt-bearing resources possessed by other, ecclesiastical lords. In 1273, Bolesław the Chaste capped his description of the productive complex in Bochnia possessed by the Wąchock monastery, with a reference to the żupa: “[W]e added [this] for the abbot, and his rector,” that is, parish priest, “living near the [salt] shaft in Bochnia, that whatever salt” the abbot or rector “receive,” they may “sell that salt freely, just as [is the case with] the salt of the żupnicy.”104 In this case, the specialized labourers of the żupa were presumed to engage in sale of the salt yielded by the żupa. In that capacity, they served as a standard for the use of salt by its ecclesiastical recipient: its sale on the market. Five years later, the żupnicy were significant for other reasons. In his 1278 “restoration” of the salt revenue to Chaplain John, Bolesław the Chaste added that John, his “people,” and the “tenants” of his pan, “may sell the salt freely to whomever they wish, without any objection by the żupnicy.”105 This provision implies that this ducal population may be a source of complication for the ecclesiastical recipient of salt revenue. In addition, it refers to the population exploiting salt for the ecclesiastical lord as that lord’s “people,” or the “tenants” of the pan, suggesting, once more, that this form of labour was a type of tenure. The żupnicy were potentially a source of another complication. “[I]f” John or his “tenants” “are hindered on account of the said pan, the żupnicy … shall pay … to the … church and chapel a mark of silver and one good pillar of salt each week for the aforesaid pan … forever.”106 Bolesław did not explain the nature of that “hindrance.” He merely presumed that his dependent population may be, and thus that it routinely was, a source of such “hindrance.” Fragmentary as they are, these records concerning salt exemplify several kinds of ducal interaction with the economy. One is creation of a written record: the placement of salt, together with other lucrative resources, into the narrations of ducal diplomas, in the form of a list, sometimes expanded into closer descriptions of some aspect of that resource. Another is permission for, or protection of, some activity related to salt. A third is a ducal response to, or alteration of, economic resources, such as a specialized population. Finally, the routine existence of salt-estates, possessed specifically by duke, suggests some

104 105 106

Kodeks dyplomatyczny Małopolski, 2:no. 478 (1273), p. 152. Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 80 (1278), p. 107. Kodeks dyplomatyczny katedry krakowskiej, no. 80 (1278), p. 107.

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kind of ducal activity in their creation; although that subject, its course, and the principal agency behind it, are not accessible to us. 6

Back to the Making (and The Making) of Europe

The interactions between the Piast duke and the economy resonate with The Making of Europe, as a book and as a subject, on several levels. They affect our perspective on a wide range of Bartlett’s criteria of that “making.” One is the ethnic-specific “diaspora,” which here appears at the egress of the German monks from Pforta to Lubiąż; the expectation, articulated by Leszek the White, that the “seekers,” and miners, of metals and salt in his duchy, would be foreigners; and at Duke Przemysł II’s references to German law, the civic space of Wieliczka, and the relationship between that space and the two civic entrepreneurs entrusted with it. Another is the ethnic specificity of technique, here reflected by a German vernacular name for one especially important feature of the economy associated with deep mining. Salt, as an economic sector, reflects a specialization and intensification of a kind which Bartlett has discerned regarding other economic sectors, above all agriculture. These resonances could be multiplied. Yet, in their particulars, they deflect from a big, overarching part of the “Europeanization of Europe.” The great theme underlying The Making of Europe is seismic, global transition. To this theme, the present study adds a layer of continuity. When we first observe the Piast duke, he attributes to himself, and indeed appears to have exercised, a wide range of roles in the economy over which he presided. Early on, he was lord, and exploiter, of a mix of specialized labourers, agricultural and otherwise, and of resources framed as estates. Centuries later, he attributed to himself, and exercised, more specialized, but still important, roles in that economy and society, including a network of specialized ducal estates, and a specialized population working on them. Thus, he did not retreat from an entrepreneurial role. Assuming that, once upon a time, “ducal law” existed, perhaps it never ended. Salt, as a sector, is helpful as a test for continuity and change because of its long-term exploitation. And so it is not surprising that, alongside Bartlett’s foreign “diaspora,” this sector reflects an indigenous population. This, however, does not end the story. Late in the period of Piast rule, under King Casimir the Great, the managers of the żupy were increasingly recruited from among the German immigrants. In the same late period, the vernacular language related to salt continued along its complicated trajectory of ethnic specificity: what Bartlett called “germanization,” followed by a “polonization.” And so the story

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continues. Nearly a quarter-century ago, our magnificent colleague and friend gave us a remarkable study, emphasizing an optic upon the impact of a European “core” on the rest of the medieval world. The present piece is a modest study in some of the issues that optic has illuminated, from the perspective of one specific fragment related to Europe and its “making.”

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Chapter 5

Narratives of Expansion, Last Wills, Poor Expectations and the Conquest of Seville (1248) Ana Rodríguez In his The Making of Europe Robert Bartlett reflected in depth on the fact that “Between 950 and 1350 Latin Christendom roughly doubled in area and, while this religious expansion did not always involve either conquest or immigration, it often did.”1 If this is clearly a characteristic of the formation of Europe in the Middle Ages, the Iberian Peninsula and its constituent kingdoms are a particularly suitable laboratory to analyse a process of expansion of similar extent but conducted over a remarkably short period of time. In July 1212 the Castilian armies led by King Alfonso VIII defeated the Almohads of the Caliph al-Nasir in the pitched battle of Las Navas, a victory that for the Christians effectively meant the opening of access to the territories of present-day Andalusia, which had been in Muslim hands for five centuries. In December 1248 the triumphant armies of Ferdinand III, grandson of Alfonso VIII, entered the emblematic Muslim city of Seville. In the course of barely 36 years, the territory of the kingdom of Castile had increased in size by nearly half; in fact, it had almost doubled if we take into account that in 1230 the king of Castile had inherited the kingdom of León on the death of his father Alfonso IX, as well as the Leónese conquests from the Muslims on the western border with Portugal.2 There is no doubt that the consequences of conquests had already been felt in the Iberian Peninsula for centuries. The exploitation of new areas took various forms, depending on the chronology, the type of grant by royal authority, and the pre-existing demographic and economic structure. After the conquest of Toledo by Alfonso VI in 1085 the basic problem facing the Castilian monarchs was occupying great tracts of land very close to the major Muslim cities; to these it was not easy to attract Christian settlers. The territorial gains became more and more concentrated in the hands of new beneficiaries, such as the Military Orders, particularly those of Santiago, Calatrava, and Alcántara, which had firmly established themselves on Spanish soil thanks to decisive 1 Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 292. 2 Grosso modo, the territory of Castile occupied about 162,000 km 2 of the surface of the Peninsula, and that of León, 109,000 km2. Territory conquered between 1212 and 1248 amounted to about 80,000 km2.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_009

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royal support, and which had devoted the greater part of their efforts to the conquest of Al-Andalus. This led to a model of settlement in which the inhabited areas were few and far between, with large areas of land given over to pasture, used by migratory flocks that came down from the northern kingdom in the winter months.3 The impact of the conquests was greater from the final decades of the twelfth century, when the momentum of conquest increased and was led almost exclusively by the Christian kings. This momentum, from 1212 onwards, put into Christian hands great areas capable of being settled, colonized and exploited economically. Since the conquest had been on the orders of the kings, the kings handed out the territories to their armies and subjects, occasionally allowing defeated Muslims to remain as cultivators in rural holdings once they had lost their lands. The beneficiaries of this great expansion were again the Military Orders, some of the most powerful noble houses, and the major frontier bishoprics, keen to incorporate new lands and rents into their dioceses. In addition, some municipal councils that had taken an active part – providing money and men, according to the regulations laid out in the fueros – received land in the territories won from Al-Andalus. A new system was then put into practice by the monarchs, and the so-called repartimientos, or distributions of land, became a more common and efficient way of translating Christian military achievements into the incorporation and organization of conquered territory. As will be illustrated with the case of Seville, the purpose was to encourage the massive settlement of colonists in the new territories – colonists coming in the main from the victorious kingdoms themselves – as well as to reward those who had shouldered the burden of the campaigns. The process involved a re-ordering of space which, as the term repartimiento implies, was distributed among a complex social group, whose members ranged from peasants to great lords. Various circumstances caused the distribution operations to multiply over the years, and their results were far from stable and definitely not final.4 The process of expansion in the transition from the twelfth to the thirteenth centuries was distinguished by the increasing power of the monarchy in the territorial organization and political construction of the Christian kingdoms of 3 An excellent synthesis in Hilario Casado, “La economía de las Españas medievales (c. 1000– c. 1450),” in Francisco Comín et al. (eds.) Historia económica de España, siglos X–XX (Barcelona, 2002), pp.14–22. 4 Pascual Martínez Sopena, “Poblar y repartir en el siglo XIII. Expertos y experimentación en la corona de Castilla,” in Laurent Feller and Ana Rodríguez (eds.) Expertise et valeur des choses au Moyen Âge. Savoirs, écritures, objets (forthcoming, Madrid, 2016).

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the Peninsula. A strong ecclesiastical network, with ample resources and headed by powerful bishops achieved – as The Making of Europe rightly comments – considerably greater scope than did those of the rest of Europe. It was also characterized by low demographic pressure on the land and resources, and by the importance of a “war economy” which generated an enormous, albeit irregular, flow of wealth and cash, all dependent on the relations between the kings and the nobility of their kingdoms. The Iberian experience of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, in certain respects corresponding with that of some other European Christian kingdoms, set up diverse models of political, economic and social integration which would be manifest throughout the Later Middle Ages.5 In the following pages this process of expansion is tackled from three complementary perspectives. The first deals with the construction of an epic narrative on the conquest of Seville in 1248, the epitome of the final defeat of Al-Andalus, which created the historiographical perception – not supported by other contemporary sources – of an exceptional event differentiated from other military campaigns. The second deals with the transformation of the property and settlement structures around Seville recorded in the Libro del Repartimiento (Book of Apportionment) as a consequence of the distribution of the war profits. The third deals with the perception of both processes – the conquest and the sharing of benefits – moulded through the experience of some of their actors coming from the areas most remote from the war-zone. 1

Seville, a Christian Narrative

The arrival of the Christians in Seville was the culmination of the great process of expansion that followed the victory of King Alfonso VIII of Castile at Las Navas in 1212. In 1236, in an unstoppable advance begun shortly after the accession of Ferdinand III, the Christians entered Cordoba, the main city of Al-Andalus, where the Caliphal power had left its lasting artistic and cultural mark. From there they continued on their way, leading to the long siege and surrender of Seville twelve years later, in 1248. The conquest of these two cities, both strongholds of the legitimacy of the past and the present of Al-Andalus, represented a founding moment in the construction of the image of the royal achievements, and one that would be firmly anchored in a new narrative of the Christian re-conquest that endured into modern historiography. 5 Ana Rodríguez, “Spain,” in Harry Kitsikopoulos (ed.), Agrarian Change and Crisis in Europe, 1200–1500 (New York, 2011), pp. 167–203.

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The solemn entry of Ferdinand III into Cordoba in late June 1236, accompanied by the nobility and ecclesiastics of the kingdom, together with the con­version of the mosque – built in the ninth century and subsequently extended up to the time of Almanzor – into a Christian church after ritual purification and stripping of its Islamic past, formed a powerful image of the Christian victory. The conquest of Cordoba was a unique event and one of undeniable symbolic value. The memory of the entry of the hosts of Ferdinand III was maintained in the dating of documents issued by the royal chancery for two years, between July 1236 and July 1238: the clause secundo uidilicet anno quod ego rex Ferrandus obsedi Cordubam, famosissimam ciuitatem, et cooperante immo penitus faciente gratia Spiritus Sancti per laborem meum reddita est cultui christiano (“that is, in the second year after I besieged the very famous city of Cordoba, and it was restored to Christian worship through my efforts with the great help of the grace of the Holy Spirit”) can be found at the end of a document dated September 1237 and issued by the royal chancery in Burgos.6 The value of the conquest of Cordoba, both real and symbolic, was partly a consequence of the extraordinary historiographical activity that developed precisely at that moment in the kingdoms of Castile and León, and this was also a fundamental factor in the remarkable propagation of this event throughout the Christian world. In a very short time – and after a twelfth century with something of a dearth of historiography – three chronicles appeared: the Chronicon Mundi by Luc of Tuy; De Rebus Hispaniae, written by the Archbishop of Toledo, Rodrigue Jimenez of Rada; and finally the so-called Chronica Regum Castellae, attributed to John of Soria, Ferdinand III’s royal chancellor.7 All three 6

7

Reinado y diplomas de Fernando III, ed. Julio González (Cordoba, 1986), 3.doc. 609, pp. 136–138. It was not the first time that the chancery had become a mouthpiece for royal success: the use of the memory of the conquest in royal documentation had a long tradition in Castile, as can be seen in the propaganda work of the chancery manifest in the dating of the documents of Alfonso VIII following the victory of 1212. The Chronicon Mundi, a universal history written between 1232 and 1236 by Luc of Tuy, a canon of San Isidoro in León, commissioned by Queen Berengaria, the mother of Ferdinand III; De Rebus Hispaniae, another history of the world, written between 1237 and 1243 by the Archbishop of Toledo – holder of the most economically and politically powerful ecclesiastical see of all the Christian kingdoms of the Peninsula – at the request of King Ferdinand III; and the so-called Chronica Regum Castellae, attributed to John of Soria, Bishop of Osma, Ferdinand III’s royal chancellor, and written at two different times between 1230 and 1236. Lucas Tudensis, Chronicon Mundi, ed. Emma Falque, Corpus Chris­ tianorum. Continuatio Medievalis 74 (Turnhout, 2003); Rodericus Ximenez de Rada. Histo­ ria de Rebus Hispaniae, ed. Juan Fernández Valverde, Corpus Christianorum. Continuatio Medievalis 72 (Turnhout, 2003); Chronica Latina Regum Castellae, ed. Luis Charlo Brea, Corpus Christianorum. Continuatio Medievalis 73 (Turnhout, 2003). See, among others,

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conclude with the taking of Cordoba, giving meticulous accounts of the military campaign, of the entry of the king and his armies, and of the conversion of the mosque into a cathedral. Hardly any subsequent event caught the attention of these three writers, despite the fact that they all lived for some time after putting an end to their accounts, and that conquests were continuing at a dizzying pace. There have been several explanations for this lack of interest.8 Whatever the reason, the conquest of the Ummayad city – perhaps due to the rapid and early circulation of some of these chronicles – had an immediate impact on historiography outside the Iberian Peninsula.9 The fall of Cordoba thus became a key event in the construction of the contemporary narrative of the defeat of Islam at the hands of the Christians. Much more might have been expected when the victorious King Ferdinand III accepted the surrender of Seville after subjecting it to a long siege, given that it was the recovery for Christianity of what had been the principal Visigothic see and, until the arrival of the Muslims in the Iberian peninsula in 711, the metropolis totius Hispaniae in the time of Isidore of Seville. That the conquest of Seville by the armies led by King Ferdinand III was arduous is very clear from the documents issued by the royal chancery during the long months of the siege of the city. In July 1247 the Castilian king granted the Order of Santiago a licence to populate some properties in the north of the kingdom, in Zamora. For the first time a document was issued in exercitu prope Sibillam.10 From that moment until 24 November 1248 the chancery included the siege of Seville in the dating of the diplomas as the place where the king, his court and

8

9

10

Ana Rodríguez, “La preciosa transmisión. Memoria y Curia Regia en Castilla en la primera mitad del siglo XIII,” in Pascual Martínez Sopena and Ana Rodríguez (eds.), La construc­ ción medieval de la memoria regia (Valencia, 2011), 295–324. The relationship between the exact moment of writing of the chronicles and the fear of the Church’s restoration of old Visigoth sees that could be foreseen in view of the advance of Ferdinand III’s armies, and which might pose a threat to the interests of the cathedral of Toledo or the episcopal city of León, has also been highlighted by Peter Linehan, His­ tory and the Historians of Medieval Spain (Oxford, 1993). The conquest of Cordoba had an immediate effect on contemporary historiography, mentioned, among others, in the Chronica Majora of the monk Matthew Paris and the chronicle of Alberic of Trois-Fontaines. Ana Rodríguez, La consolidación territorial de la monarquía feudal castellana. Expansión y fronteras durante el reinado de Fernando III (1218–1252) (Madrid, 1994); Derek K. Lomax, “La conquista de Andalucía a través de la historiografía europea de la época,” in Andalucía entre Oriente y Occidente, 1236–1492 (Cordoba, 1988), pp. 37–49; Muhammad Benaboud, “La caída de Córdoba según las fuentes andalusíes,” ibid., pp. 71–77. Reinado y diplomas de Fernando III, 3.doc. 747, pp. 312–313.

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officials were to be found. On 24 November, a document was dated in the city of Seville. The Christian king had finally conquered the Almohad capital. The first royal document in which King Ferdinand III added to his titles that of King of Seville is a letter to James I of Aragon concerning the marriage of their respective offspring, the future Alfonso X and Violante of Aragon. Justifying what seems to be a refusal to celebrate it immediately, he ask him “to consider the place where we are and how far we are from our land and kingdom [considerati debetis vos in quo loco sumus et quam elongati sumus a terra et regno nostro].” He goes on to explain that his presence, and that of his nobles and knights, cannot be spared in the newly conquered city of Seville.11 That the exact date of the conquest was not recorded in the document, nor remembered in subsequent years, as had happened after that of Cordoba, is probably because of changes in the customs of Chancery on the death of the chancellor John of Soria, who had been the holder from the final years of the reign of Alfonso VIII to 1243. Surprisingly, an event so laden with political and ecclesiastical significance received less attention than the conquest of other places of much less importance. In the case of Seville there were no witnesses of the events to immortalize the moment in the pages of a chronicle, as had the Archbishop of Toledo or the royal chancellor; there were no chancellors like John of Soria to recall its importance in the dating of royal documents; and, perhaps because of these absences, it did not have the same impact outside the Iberian Peninsula that the conquest of Cordoba had in the Christian world. The construction of the narrative of the conquest of Seville was not, as with Cordoba and the Christian victory in the Navas, contemporary with the events themselves. The enormous importance that the conquest of Seville would acquire in the Hispanic imagination in the late medieval and early modern period – even greater than that of Cordoba which was perhaps more decisive in the eyes of its actors and more widely-known at the time – in fact had much to do with the story developed in the Estoria de España of Alfonso X the Wise, one of the fundamental texts composed in the so-called Alphonsine historiographical workshop, ending with the story in extenso of the reign of Ferdinand III until his death in 1252, written seventy years later, in about the 1320s.12 The main 11 12

Reinado y diplomas de Fernando III, 3.doc. 769, pp. 339–340. Ramón Menéndez Pidal, Primera crónica general: Estoria de España que mandó componer Alfonso el Sabio y se continuaba bajo Sancho IV en 1289 (Madrid, 1906). In addition to the complexities inherent in the Estoria de España, Menéndez Pidal’s edition lent the text a homogeneity and deliberate consistency totally at odds with the process of composition. Diego Catalán, La Estoria de España de Alfonso X. Creación y evolución (Madrid, 1992); Inés

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sources used by the Alphonsine compilers, in particular the Chronicon Mundi of Luc of Tuy and De Rebus Hispaniae by the Archbishop of Toledo, stayed silent after the conquest of Cordoba, and since there were no surviving direct witnesses of such significant events as the conquests of Jaen, Seville and the territory in the valley of the Guadalquivir, a new text was added to the Estoria de España. Here the conquest of Seville was given particular importance, thus establishing the master narrative which would not be omitted from the chronicles written until modern times, nor in the histories produced in Seville which were taken as the basis of the process of canonization of Ferdinand III in the seventeenth century.13 The conquest of Seville thus acquired, from the early fourteenth century onwards, an importance in the construction of the account of the Christian re-conquest that it had not enjoyed in its own day. Of the ninety-six chapters devoted to the reign of Ferdinand III in the Estoria de España, fifty-five are centred on the siege and fall of Seville. The siege, according to this account, lasted seventeen months, starting in the summer of 1247. Between the laying of the siege and the surrender of the city by its inhabitants, there appear all kinds of episodes and anecdotes: from the arrival of the nobles and the armies of the Military Orders, the strategies of the attackers to undermine the resistance of those trapped in the city, the felling of trees and burning of natural resources, and skirmishes with the warriors, up to the pact made with some of the surrounding Muslim towns. In addition it includes noble and chivalrous deeds that may have come from sources now lost. The siege of Seville obliged a large part of the nobility and concejos of the realm to serve the king and to remain in the Christian camp with their armies. It was the Military Orders, whose masters accompanied the king throughout the campaign, charged with the protection of strategic sectors of the Castilian camp, and the municipalities nearest the frontier who took the most active part in the Seville campaign. On 23 November 1248, more than a year after the arrival of the Christians at the gates of Seville, the city surrendered, its inhabitants exhausted and starving. The Muslims of Seville handed the city over to the Castilian king. They were given a month to sell their property and to leave the city. On the feast of the Translation of St Isidore, a date of extraordinary symbolic value for its commemoration of the ecclesiastical and cultural greatness of the Visigothic period, a solemn procession headed by Ferdinand III entered

13

Fernández-Ordóñez, Las ‘Estorias’ de Alfonso el Sabio (Madrid, 1992); Inés FernándezOrdóñez (ed.), Alfonso X el Sabio y las Crónicas de España (Valladolid, 2001). Ana Rodríguez, “Fernando III el Santo (1217–1252): Evolución historiográfica, canonización y utilización política,” in Miscellània en Homenatge al P. Agustí Altisent (Tarragona, 1991), pp. 573–588.

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the former mosque, baptized as the church of St Mary. Afterwards, according to the Estoria de España, the king established the patrimony of the church and restored the archiepiscopal see of the time of Isidore of Seville, organized the city, populated it, awarded land and other goods to the Military Orders, to the knights, to the princes and wealthy men, divided up the region of the Aljarafe and had it populated and worked by people from many different places, to whom he granted freedoms and privileges14. In other words, he took the steps necessary to finalize what had been a great conquest with a complex process of colonization. 2

Repartimiento, Settlement and Immigration

In 1253, the year after his accession to the throne and five years after his victorious father had entered Almohad Seville, King Alfonso X gave the Libro del Repartimiento – “Book of Apportionment” – to the city. The model of apportionment was not new. Probably tested in the distribution of land and booty that took place after the conquest of cities and their surrounding regions in the preceding centuries, it had been adapted to the new reality of providing inhabitants for the vast lands conquered by Castile and Aragon during the thirteenth century.15 The immediate objective of the Libros de Repartimiento was the handing over of town and rural property to the beneficiaries of the conquest. However, it is far more important than a mere process of population, for the books record not only the property granted to those who came to inhabit the land from the north of the kingdom or from the borderlands, but also ex gratia donations given to the king’s family, the nobility and the Church as a share of the spoils gained in conquest. There is no record of how many Libros de Repartimiento may have been written during the thirteenth century. Only six have been preserved, all of them corresponding to different towns of the Almohad kingdom of Seville; it seems, however, reasonable to think that their writing was more widespread. 14 15

Processes discussed in Bartlett, Making of Europe, ch. 7. The sophistication of structure and concepts shown by the different surviving libros de repartimiento leads one to think of precedents whose origins may be found in the conquests of Toledo and Zaragoza. Manuel González, “Repartimientos andaluces del siglo XIII: Perspectiva de conjunto y problemas,” Historia, Instituciones y documentos, 14 (1987), 103–122; Manuel González, “Frontier and Settlement in the Kingdom of Castile (1085– 1350),” in Robert Bartlett and Angus MacKay (eds.), Medieval Frontier Societies (Oxford, 1992), pp. 49–74.

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The Repartimiento de Sevilla is the most extensive and complicated.16 The parcels of land were distributed using the twin criteria of the size of the holdings and the social position of the beneficiaries. The relatives of Alfonso X – the queens, the infantes of Castile, Portugal and Aragon – the great nobles and members of the royal court, the bishops, and the masters of the Military Orders were the recipients of rural properties of enormous size, with a variety of crops; these were the so-called donadíos mayores, or major gifts. The military nobility who had taken part in the conquests alongside the king, knights of lower rank, such as the mounted crossbowmen of King Ferdinand III as well as a group of Catalan crossbowmen, motley royal servants, the entourages of the queens and some monasteries, as well as a large group of Muslim alfaquíes and Jews – who possibly had granted the king loans for the campaigns – received smaller parcels of land producing cereals, olives, and figs, or houses and mills; these were the so-called donadíos menores, or minor grants. Albeit indirectly, the record of the granting of the donadíos provides valuable information not only about the organization of the holdings but also about military strategy and its consequences for the land. In general, the grants were of rural properties already under cultivation, where the existing Muslim workers would have been retained. Likewise, the reference to burned crops – “thirty thousand feet of healthy olive and fig groves, and ten thousand burnt,” for example, were granted in the location of Amarlos – suggests devastation as a tactic of the Christian armies during the siege of Seville. In the city, the royal officials in charge of the distribution, accompanied by scribes (who wrote down to whom the lots were given, together with their size and location) and Muslim sabidores who knew the terrain well, parcelled out some of the neighbourhoods and gave them to settlers coming from very different parts of the kingdom. Properties were granted to, among others, 200 knights, with the proviso that they should populate the land and occupy the houses within two years. Some of them abandoned their properties shortly afterwards; when this happened immediately after the handover, the Libro de Repartimiento re-assigned the same lots to other knights coming from the northern territories, many of them relatives and vassals of those who already had benefited in the distribution. Finally, King Alfonso gave out properties for the maintenance of the cellars and royal storerooms and for the royal galleys. 16

Julio González, Repartimiento de Sevilla (2 vols.; Madrid 1951). There are two surviving versions, both from the fourteenth century. The whole of the apportionment of the city of Seville has not survived, and neither has the complete list of inhabitants; it is not known how many knights, infantrymen or simple colonists initially took part in the repopulation of Seville.

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The thirteenth-century repartimientos granted large estates to the Castilian nobility and some of the most important ecclesiastical institutions, bishoprics and monasteries of the kingdom. But the problems in populating these vast territories, where the number of Muslim peasants would have been significantly reduced, and the fact that many of the beneficiaries had not given up their possessions in their places of origin when they answered the royal summons, caused a considerable number of those who had benefited in the distribution of land to abandon the property received from the king and to return to the towns and villages from which they came. A substantial proportion of the donadíos given to the military nobility and knights changed hands in a short time. As a result, in the fourteenth century it became necessary to proceed to a new redistribution of land in some regions that had lost their initial inhabitants.17 The surviving documentation reveals that some of the first beneficiaries of the divisions sold their properties shortly after receiving them, even though – at least in the properties established in the city – there was a specific condition that they could not change owners for five years, a condition clearly intended to ensure stability of the urban population and the consequent maintenance of economic life. It is clear, however, that the rapid integration of Al-Andalus would have side effects. The extent of the consequences of the Christian conquest in the final years of the reign of Ferdinand III and the first decade of Alfonso X – soon after Seville, Jerez and the kingdom of Niebla fell into Christian hands after painful sieges – has been much debated. The emphasis has generally been placed on the disruption of the production systems of land in the north of the CastilianLeónese kingdom from the second half of the thirteenth century, and on the fact that the repopulation of the Andalusian territories sparked a southward migration of peasants from north of the border. The decline in population experienced since the late thirteenth century as a consequence of the conquest of Andalusia, exacerbated by the expulsion of the Mudejars in 1264 after their revolt against Alfonso X, would thus add a local factor to the crisis felt in all its harshness throughout Europe in the middle decades of the fourteenth century.18 17

18

Manuel González, En torno a los orígenes de Andalucía. La repoblación del siglo XIII (Seville, 1988); Manuel González, La repoblación en la zona de Sevilla durante el siglo XIV (Seville, 1993). Teofilo Ruiz, Crisis and Continuity. Land and Town in Late Medieval Castile (Philadelphia, 1994); Teofilo Ruiz, Las crisis medievales (1300–1474) (Barcelona, 2007). For Ruiz, the depopulation caused by the Black Death in 1348, a century after the conquest of Seville, was just one more factor added to a problem that already existed. This point of view, however, has received considerable criticism from Spanish scholars. On this, see the cited

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Although the relationship between the policies of population settlement and the economic crisis is more complex than this interpretation implies, it is clear that it concerns a fundamental problem: to understand how such a vast conquered territory could be organized in so short a time. Little is known, however, of those who were not recorded individually in writing as beneficiaries in the division of Seville. Some of them probably stayed in the city and its surroundings, but others returned, immediately or shortly after, to settle their debts or to recover the lands that they may have had to mortgage in their regions of origin. This is to a large extent hypothesis and conjecture, since the scraps of information available only allow us to glimpse the impact that the Christian conquest of the great cities of Al-Andalus had on the northern territories of the kingdoms of Castile and León between the decades of 1230 and 1260, and the transformations that it produced. Nor is it easy, finally, to determine whether the local nobility, knights and other servants of the high nobles and bishops and archbishops consciously became involved in a process of conquest capable of generating a strong Christian identity; or whether they were simply meeting the onerous feudal obligations to which they were subject, and hoping to receive some benefit from them. The regions that had been closest to Al-Andalus in the twelfth century were, by the first decades of the thirteenth, very far from the frontier areas. Those regions where it was hardly possible to remember the presence of the Muslims, for example in the north of the kingdoms of Castile and León, had already been distanced from the phenomenon of conquest for two centuries. Nevertheless, however distant the military campaigns being waged by the kings on the frontiers of Al-Andalus might seem, their repercussions on monastic domains, on the property of minor noble houses on a local scale, and on the chains of dependence in the local world, would have been extraordinarily important by the time of one of the greatest of Christian conquests, that of the city of Seville in 1248. A change in the scale of the subjects under analysis, from solemn events in the kingdom to everyday life in the small worlds, from great narratives to monastic charters, enables us to approach these issues with new perspectives, involving a greater number of actors.

works by Manuel González and Ruiz’s own clarifications in Sevilla, 1248 (Madrid, 2000). A new approach in a general Iberian context in Ana Rodríguez, “Spain,” pp. 167–203.

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Last Wills and Poor Expectations

In his Vie de Saint Louis, Jean de Joinville gave details of his preparations for what would be the earliest crusade of Louis IX of France, and of the consequences that the royal expedition had on his estates in the Champagne region. In common with many other French knights, Joinville summoned his vassals at Easter 1248 – probably while Fernando III was organizing the campaign leading to the conquest of Seville in November of that year – to announce to them that he was going to set off for the Holy Land with his lord the king. He then proceeded to settle some issues in his lands, dealing with grievances that the nobles had brought him: he did not wish to leave after causing harm to anyone, although it is possible that this settlement also sought to avoid conflict in his territory during his absence. Then he went to the city of Metz to borrow money against his territorial heritage, which – he confessed on the eve of starting the journey to the Holy Land – brought him barely a thousand pounds, because his mother was still alive and enjoying some of their resources. He was able to gather a modest force, a group of nine knights, to which were added two more to carry his banner. With a neighbouring count, who was also going to the Holy Land accompanied by nine knights, he rented a ship to travel from Marseille. When he reached Cyprus to join Louis IX, having paid the cost of transport he had only 240 pounds left. The knights who accompanied him threatened to leave him unless he obtained more money to meet the expenses of the crusade. Then, as a grateful Joinville recounts, the King of France came to his aid, taking 800 pounds from his treasury and handing it to Joinville.19 Any Crusader leaving for the Holy Land in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries had to face a similar situation: to find the money needed to meet the expenses of the expedition, to safeguard their assets and to ensure the interests of their families. Some testimonies have survived recounting the activity generated thereby: its protagonists, who sold or pawned their lands; its beneficiaries, the local monasteries or knights who took the opportunity to increase their wealth; the repayment conditions imposed; and the consequences it caused in the medium term, when the Crusaders returned after a few years, if indeed they ever did. Joinville went to the city market to pawn his lands. Elsewhere, a register kept at the Abbey of Abingdon detailing the sales and pledges of the lands of Hugh, a knight from Berkshire who joined the crusades in about 1247, reveals the role played by ecclesiastical institutions as well as the impact of 19

Jean de Joinville, Vie de Saint Louis, ed. Jacques Monfrin (Paris, 1998) (110–113), 56–58 and (133–136), 66–67. Robert Bartlett has dealt with the relationship of the Joinville family with the Crusades from 1147 in The Making of Europe.

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transactions on the local land market and on the regional lordship structure. The return from Egypt of Guy de Lusignan at Christmas 1250, told in detail by Matthew Paris, shows the hardship sometimes faced by Crusaders and the difficulty they encountered in enforcing the agreements that they had reached before their departure from England, in this case with the Abbot of Faversham. As with Joinville, it was a king, Henry III, who had to come urgently to the aid of his half-brother Guy, providing him with land and goods.20 In this aspect, the way in which lords, great and small, had to bear the expense of the Christian military campaigns in Al-Andalus was very similar. The conquest of Seville again provides an excellent overview of what was involved in the mobilization of men and resources to deal with the enormous conquering momentum of the middle decades of the thirteenth century. In the long months of the siege of Seville, the seigneurial armies continued to join the royal camp. Juan Arias, Archbishop of Santiago, did so in the spring of 1248. Although he is the only prelate whom the Estoria de España shows in command of his armies in Seville, the Archbishop did not play a prominent role in the siege: he fell ill upon arrival, or perhaps was already ill, and had to withdraw unceremoniously soon after.21 Although nothing is said, it is reasonable to assume that the troops who accompanied him returned with him to Galicia. Their number – in contrast to the scant dozen knights brought by Joinville to the Crusader armies of France – must have been high, since they even formed their own camp.22 Who made up this army that accompanied the archbishop to Seville? Although the Estoria de España does not give details, they would be knights 20

21

22

For these and other cases in England, see Simon Lloyd, “Crusader Knights and the Land Market in the Thirteenth Century,” in Peter R. Coss and Simon D. Lloyd (eds.), ThirteenthCentury England, II, pp. 119–136. “ … ueyendo el rey en como estaua muy flaco, mandolo tornar para su tierra et que punnase en guarescer et en pensar de si. Et el arçobispo ouolo de fazer, et fuese ende, pesandol mucho. [… the king, seeing that (the archbishop of Santiago) was very thin, ordered him to return to his land and to strive to recover and to think of himself. And the archbishop had to do so, and went from there, greatly distressed,]” c. 1117. It has been estimated that Ferdinand III’s retinue consisted of 200 knights and crossbowmen, the forces of the ricoshombres and of the infantes made up of 2,000 knights and between 6,000 and 8,000 foot-soldiers, while the Military Orders provided 150 friars, 150 knights and 400 foot-soldiers. To these must be added the fighters from the municipal militias and those accompanying the bishops and nobles, whose number is difficult to estimate. In total, the number of participants in the siege and conquest of Seville may have ranged from 3,000 to 4,000 horsemen and 8,000 to 10,000 infantry. Francisco García Fiz, “El cerco de Sevilla: reflexiones sobre la guerra de asedio en la Edad Media,” in Sevilla 1248 (Madrid, 2000), pp. 115–154.

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from the area of Compostela. Some of them were able to benefit from the Repartimiento of Seville, although their varying status was reflected in the type of endowment they received. Don Rodrigo Gómez of Galicia, a member of the line of the counts of Traba, won a donadío mayor in Cerraja, which he named Trastamar – the place from which his family originated – and arable land in a place called Corán. Like the majority of the great aristocrats who accompanied the king, he certainly did not actually settle there. Velasco Fernández de Ambía and García Pérez de Ambía received donadíos menores in a place called Mesnada, which was handed over to the Leónese retinues (mesnadas in Spanish) of King Alfonso X. They both returned to their properties in the region of Orense in the following years, as can be deduced from the fact that in 1274 they received the loan of places and houses in Allariz belonging to the monastery of Melón.23 The Archbishop of Santiago too, despite his unsuccessful participation in the conquest, received a donadío mayor in the Repartimiento, which he called, as was to be expected, Santiago. No other Galician bishop received any grant in the area of Seville; nor did the municipalities of the region, which had been absent – unlike the majority of those of the kingdom – from the siege of the Almohad capital.24 From the information provided both by the Estoria de España on the conquest of Seville and by the Repartimiento of the city it is difficult to assess the magnitude of the recruitment conducted by the great nobles and prelates who participated with the king in the conquest of Al-Andalus. However, valuable information on the local impact of mobilization comes from the monastic archives of the north of the Iberian Peninsula, which have preserved a number of wills of knights and minor local nobility from the second half of the thirteenth century, mostly written between 1250 and 1270. Throughout these decades, the conquering momentum of the Christians continued. Castile took over the countryside around Seville and the Muslim kingdom of Niebla; at the same time the conflicts between Alfonso X and the Castilian nobility acquired a prominence that they had not had in the reign of Ferdinand III. Some of these wills provide an insight into the logistics of the Cordoba and Seville 23 24

Pablo Otero Piñeyro and Xosé Antón García, “Apuntes de los Ambía: linaje y parentelas (siglos XII–XVI),” Cuadernos de Estudios Gallegos 56 (2009), 445–457. In June 1248, from the siege of Seville and in dire need, Ferdinand III asked for an extraordinary loan from the Galician municipalities of 5% of the assets of each of them. This was probably the reason for their exemption from the obligation to provide military aid. This task had been assigned to the royal porter Domingo Pérez of Toro who between 1245 and 1251 collected almost 150,000 maravedis. Reinado y diplomas de Fernando III, 3.docs 765 and 829. He was finally rewarded in the Repartimiento of Seville as a member of Ferdinand III’s household.

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campaigns, for instance the call to arms in late winter to reach the royal camp in spring. Thus in March 1236 a knight undertook to hand all his possessions and three mares to the monastery of Santo Toribio in Liebana si io finare in la oste (“if I should die in the army”), probably referring to the Cordoba campaign. In March 1248, cuando yva a la hueste de Sevilla (“when going to the army in Seville”), another knight listed the debts he had incurred with the Leónese monastery of Otero de las Dueñas.25 Other wills reveal that the mobilization of people and resources to answer a royal call, such as that in Seville, was not the only circumstance in which it was necessary to summon the feudal armies: there were minor campaigns against the Muslims of Al-Andalus, not mentioned in the chroniclers’ stories; continuous activity in the royal court, which the king’s closest advisers had to attend; and clashes between factions of nobility, and of these factions against the king. This meant that the need to address military spending was more important than implied by the narrative of Christian expansion in the chronicles of the time, or even in documents issued by the Castilian royal chancery. The chain of dependencies reached places most remote from the scenes of the conquest of Al-Andalus. One, recorded among the documents of the Cistercian monastery of Oseira (Galicia), started in the heart of Orense, reached to the see of Compostela, and from there went to the countryside of Seville in the years after the conquest of the city. In 1251, Diego Garcia, an armi­ ger, obliged to accompany his master to Seville, borrowed 300 sueldos from the monastery of Oseira, giving as guarantee a piece of land, which the monastery would inherit if he died during the expedition.26 The master of this squire, as we can deduce from contemporary evidence, was a member of the local minor nobility, tenant of a place known as Tabulata. In February 1254, before leaving for Castile, Arias Pérez, a knight from Tabulata and probably a relative of the said tenant, stipulated in the first of his three surviving wills his desire to be buried in Oseira, pawning some goods that would become monastic property– if he died in the land to which he was riding [“quod si forte obiero in terra ad quam in presente equito”] – and would pay for his malfetrías (misdeeds) and his debts. He also took care to see to the organization of the family assets, widely 25

26

Cartulario de Santo Toribio de Liébana, ed. Luis Sánchez Belda (Madrid, 1948), doc. 145; Colección documental del Monasterio de Santa María de Otero de las Dueñas, ed. José Antonio Fernández Florez and Marta Herrero de la Fuente (León, 1999), 2.doc. 577. For this and the following documents, see Colección diplomática del monasterio cister­ ciense de Santa María de Oseira (1025–1310), 1.docs 670, 683, 718, 790 and 876. Volens ire in exitu Hispalensi, pergere cum domino meo I. Egidii ad Sibillam, pergens ad Castellam, are the formulae used.

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dispersed and partly consisting of undivided properties. Arias Pérez did not die during the campaign. In May of the same year he had another will prepared, for he had to leave again. The complexity of the assets to be organized, together with the need for money to finance a new expedition, probably obliged him to do so. In 1257 he wrote his third will, before setting off for Castile to attend the royal court. The terms of the will were reminiscent of the previous ones. Some of the agreements reached between the knight of Tabulata and the monastery of Oseira in the previous decade were renewed for the last time in 1260.27 Within a period of five years, this knight of Tabulata had three times undertaken journeys – from all of which he had returned – in order to comply with his military obligations. Other nobles of the area undoubtedly found themselves in similar situations, such as the knight Juan López, who before leaving for Seville in about 1250 made a will bequeathing property to the Oseira monastery, where he asked to be buried, and handing over 400 sueldos to compensate for his malfetrías in the kingdom of Portugal.28 Squires like Diego García were members of the entourage of the tenant of Tabulata. Relatives of the latter, such as Arias Pérez, followed nobles of higher status. The knight Pelayo Fernández of Rodeiro, one of the most powerful nobles of the region – one of his brothers was the royal merino or bailiff – had the first of his three wills written in October 1255 when he answered the summons of King Alfonso X. Immersed in a family dispute, he put his assets under the protection of the monastery of Oseira. Among the witnesses was Arias Pérez, knight from Tabulata. In the same year, Pelayo Fernández of Rodeiro confirmed the will made shortly before, this time because he had to join the king’s army by order of his lord the archbishop. He cannot have got very far. Shortly afterwards, while ill in Santiago, he had his third will prepared. He left some property to the monastery of Oseira and some to the church in Compostela, confirmed what was due to his brothers, and made a payment to compensate for his misdeeds. He then proceeded to list his debts: he owed 500 sueldos for the military campaigns in Tierra de Campos accompanying the archbishop of Santiago, as well as 200 sueldos for the debts inherited from his father.29 27

28 29

In 1264 Arias Pérez was still very much alive: on 8 July he established the dowry of land and property in different places that his wife should receive. On 9 July he sold to the Archdeacon of Lugo precisely the same goods that he had supposedly handed to his wife only one day before. Colección diplomática del monasterio cisterciense de Santa María de Oseira, 2.docs 911 and 912. Colección diplomática del monasterio cisterciense de Santa María de Oseira, 2.doc. 645. … quando ivi ad dominum regem per mandatum et vocationem ipsius, … quando volui ire de mandato domini mei archiepiscopi ad exercitum domini regis. Colección diplomática del monasterio cisterciense de Santa María de Oseira, 2. docs 742, 745 and 748.

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A chain of obligations linked a squire of a small village in Orense with the king of Castile and with the military campaigns being carried out over 800 miles away, and no less than ten days’ journey on horseback. In 1251, the squire had to accompany his lord to Seville and therefore got into debt with the monastery of Oseira, using his land as guarantee. A knight of Tabulata, probably a relative of the lord of the armiger, before leaving for Castile, stipulated the giving of part of his property to the monastery if he were to die in distant lands. In the same terms he made two more wills in the space of five years. The aim, besides obtaining new cash loans to defray the costs of the journey, buying a horse and renewing his weapons, was to renegotiate his debts and to appoint the creditor monastery as the manager – and in time, as the owner – of a complex estate, and as guarantor of the rights of his underage children.30 The knight of Tabulata was in his turn obliged to accompany the lord of Rodeiro, member of a powerful noble family of the region. The latter made three wills in 1255, before joining the royal army with the Archbishop of Santiago. In the last of these he organized the family assets, gave goods to the monastery of Oseira, and revealed the high amount of his debts. Archbishop Juan Arias of Santiago, finally, also had to face the costs of the military campaigns against the Muslims of Al-Andalus. As well as his unsuccessful involvement in the siege of Seville, he may have been present at others for which we have no narrative such as that preserved in the Estoria de España. To our knowledge, of them all – the squire, the two knights of different social status, and the Archbishop of Santiago – only the last was rewarded in the royal distribution of loot and wealth listed in the Repartimiento of Seville. The indebtedness of these gentlemen resulted not only from their participation in campaigns against the Muslims of Al-Andalus. In 1255 Pelayo Fernández of Rodeiro had to prepare his military contingent to go to Tierra de Campos, on the former border between León and Castile, the scene of conflicts among royals and nobles since the early decades of the thirteenth century. In December of the previous year, another noble from the area of Oseira made a will before leaving for the war between Diego López of Haro and Gonzalo Nuñez of Lara, 30

Ana Rodríguez, “Monastic Strategy and Local Relations: the Social Influence of the Monastery of Oseira in the Thirteenth Century,” in Reyna Pastor et al., Beyond the Market: Transactions, Property and Social Networks in Monastic Galicia. 1200–1300 (Leiden, 2002), pp. 165–236. In practice, and only ten years after the first will, the older children of Arias Pérez had lost the rights over the properties of their father in favour of a minor under the guardianship of the monastery of Oseira. On recourse to mortgage in the region of Gascony and its possible relation to the Spanish Reconquest, see Constance Hoffman Berman, “Land Acquisition and the Use of the Mortgage Contract by the Cistercians of Berdoues,” Speculum 57 (1982) 250–266.

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instituting a legacy to pay for the malfetrias he had committed in Portugal. Between 1230 and 1240, the wills of Galician knights reveal that the places they went to war could just as well be Tierra de Campos and other places in the kingdom of Castile as the border of Al-Andalus. The calls to arms – of the great lords, of the Archbishop of Santiago – must have been very frequent in the middle decades of the thirteenth century. There are therefore no perceptible sudden changes in social relationships or in the ownership of land, or at least not the same attested by the evidence of the wills of the Crusaders who at the time had to sell or pawn part of their property to embark for the Holy Land. However, a debt that became habitual in the medium term might end by transforming relations between the families of the knights and ecclesiastical institutions, such as the monastery of Oseira, which acted as money-lenders, and with which links were created that would last over time, and would be renewed and renegotiated far beyond the purely economic aspect. For the local nobility whose family wealth was concentrated in the northern kingdoms and whose interests were totally unrelated to the dynamics of the border, the acceleration of the conquests in Al-Andalus during the reign of Ferdinand III and in the early years of that of Alfonso X created only low expectations, and provided no great benefit. Nothing in the wills preserved in monastic archives can confirm that the aspirations of those who had them drawn up went beyond obtaining enough liquidity to undertake the forced journey, and some reasonable assurance that their frequent absences would not complicate the management of their widely-dispersed heritage, shared among several members of the same family. Although potential profit obviously came into the calculation of the knights, in practice their expectations had to be limited to the possibility of renegotiating loans and not falling into social decline, which could be an unintended consequence of the expenses and debts incurred.31 What we do glimpse, however, is the socialization at the local level of certain political processes that were taking place in a world that was distant both spatially and mentally. And this is usually not something easy to find. The great military achievements related and amplified by the chronicles of the time conditioned not only the day-to-day experiences of the Galician 31

The calculation did not always turn out well: in 1224 one of them, not having received any benefits from King Alfonso IX of León, had joined the struggle of Count Gonzalo Núñez de Lara against Fernando III, king of Castile. He regretted the decision, but had been unable to break the engagement. He therefore left the management of his assets to the Galician monastery of Lorenzana. Ángel Rodríguez and José Ángel Rey, “El Tumbo del Monasterio de Villanueva de Lorenzana,” Estudios Mindoniensis 8 (1992), 11–324, doc. 118.

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knights and the forms of relationship among them, but also the links with the ecclesiastical institutions around them – institutions which sometimes ended up controlling the assets that had been placed under their custody. The religious expansion of Latin Christendom between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries did not always take place through a process of conquest and immigration, but this was often the case, as in the words of Robert Bartlett with which this article began. Seen from the north of Iberia in the mid-thirteenth century, the rapid Christian conquest begun with the battle of Las Navas in 1212 and culminating with the fall of Seville in 1248 at the hands of the armies of Fernando III represented one of the greatest moments of expansion of Latin Christianity through military conquest: it involved the extensive use of large contingents from all corners of the kingdom and inaugurated a process of colonization whose scope and consequences are difficult to determine. The view from the heart of a region involved in costs, but far removed from benefits, sheds light on the inequality of expectation, the weight of obligation, and the chain of dependency in the local context; as well as on the economic and social impact of the almost permanent mobilization that must have taken place during these decades. It also reveals that ultimately the rhetoric of war against the infidels, in Al-Andalus just as in the Holy Land, that fired up the discourse of the narrative sources of the period, would probably have been pretty meaningless for the life experience of those anonymous knights and squires who, in the spring of 1248, accompanied an archbishop of Santiago, perhaps already sick, on his way to the royal camp set up at the gates of Seville.

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Part 2 Thematic Perspectives



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Introduction to Part 2

The Making of Europe is thematic in its structure – with a diversity of themes as striking as its geographic range. The second part of this book picks up on several of these themes: military technology and political power; the literature and ethos of the aristocracy; the rural economy; Latin culture; the resources of power; identity. As in part one of the present book, the individual essays cannot rival the geographical range of The Making of Europe, but they do seek to explore that work’s concerns, and in doing so they together employ the wide variety of sources that is another of the defining characteristics of The Making of Europe.

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Chapter 6

Military Technology and Political Resistance: Castles, Fleets and the Changing Face of Comital Rebellion in England and Normandy, c. 1026–1087 Matthew Strickland In 1075, Roger earl of Hereford and Ralph earl of Norfolk and Suffolk “fortified their castles (castella), prepared weapons, mustered their knights, and sent messengers to all far and near whom they trusted” in order to raise support for a major rising against the rule of William the Conqueror.11 With the aid of Danish allies, the rebels aimed, or so Orderic Vitalis believed, “to drive their royal lord out of the kingdom” and to divide the rule of England between Roger, Ralph, and Waltheof, the last surviving Anglo-Saxon earl, whom they had drawn into their conspiracy.2 King William’s regents, headed by Archbishop Lanfranc, succeeded in putting down the rising, but the “revolt of the earls” marked an important turning point in the initial stage of the Norman conquest and settlement.3 Forfeitures following the rising’s failure not only profoundly disrupted the nature of Breton settlement but also led to more widespread 1 The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis, ed. and trans. Marjorie Chibnall (6 vols.; Oxford, 1969–1980), 2.310–311; The Chronicle of John of Worcester, ed. and trans. Reginald R. Darlington and Patrick McGurk (3 vols.; Oxford, 1996), 3.24–25. I would like to thank John Hudson, David Bates and Stephen Marritt for their valuable comments on drafts of this paper. 2 Orderic, 2.310–315. Orderic, born in the year of the revolt, was writing considerably later, but may here be drawing on the lost portion of William of Poitiers’ Gesta Guillelmi. William of Malmesbury believed that Ralph wanted to usurp the throne for himself; Gesta Regum Anglorum, ed. and trans. Roger A.B. Mynors, Rodney M. Thompson and Michael Winterbottom (2 vols., Oxford, 1998), 1.472. For Waltheof, son of Earl Siward, who held a large Midlands earldom (often but anachronistically called the earldom of Huntingdon or Northampton) and was granted Northumbria by King William in 1072, see F. Scott, “Waltheof, earl of Northumbria,” Archaeologia Aeliana 4th Ser. 30 (1952), 149–215; Ann Williams, The English and the Norman Conquest (Woodbridge, 1995), pp. 28, 57–65; Christopher P. Lewis, “Waltheof, earl of Northum­ bria (c. 1050–1076),” ODNB; and Joanna Huntingdon, “The Taming of the Laity: Writing Waltheof and Rebellion in the Twelfth Century,” Anglo-Norman Studies 32 (2010), 79–95. 3 Its significance is reflected in 1075, rather than 1066 or 1087, being the chosen starting date for Robert Bartlett’s England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075–1225 (Oxford, 2000). For discussions of the revolt, see David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (London, 1964), pp. 231– 233; David Bates, William the Conqueror (Stroud, 1989), pp. 154–156; Williams, The English and

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tenurial upheavals.4 The defection of Roger, son of one of the Conqueror’s staunchest supporters William fitz Osbern, highlighted the fragility of the loyalty of the next generation of Normans to the older king; the support of a strong Breton element reflected the importation of long-standing NormanBreton tensions into the process of the colonization of England;5 and the execution in 1076 of Waltheof symbolized the final failure of the Conqueror’s attempts to assimilate surviving Anglo-Saxon magnates into the new regime.6 Here, however, we are principally concerned with two closely related features of the revolt of 1075. It was the first major rising in post-Conquest England by members of William’s Franco-Norman nobility (with the exception of Count Eustace of Boulogne’s attack on Dover in 1067), and it was the first time castles had been used as a mechanism for a major aristocratic rebellion in England.7 The significance of the castle in the successful conquest of England from 1066 was famously summed up by Orderic Vitalis: “For the fortifications called castles by the Normans (quas castella Galli nuncupant) were scarcely known in the English provinces, and so the English – in spite of their courage and love of

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the Norman Conquest, pp. 59–65; Mark Hagger, William, King and Conqueror (London, 2012), pp. 106–110. Laura Marten, “The Impact of Rebellion on Little Domesday,” Anglo-Norman Studies 27 (2004), 132–150; Laura Marten, “The Rebellion of 1075 and its Impact in East Anglia,” in C. Harper-Bill (ed.), Medieval East Anglia (Woodbridge, 2005), pp. 168–182. ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1075, noting that Roger and Ralph “lured the Bretons to their side,” and that after the rising’s collapse many Bretons involved were mutilated or exiled; The Letters of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, ed. and trans. Helen V. Clover and Margaret T. Gibson (Oxford, 1979), pp. 124–127. For Ralph, Williams, The English and the Norman Conquest, pp. 60–63; and Ann Williams, “Ralph, earl (d. 1097 x 9),” ODNB; for the Bretons in post-Conquest England, Katherine Keats-Rohan, “The Breton Contingent in the non-Norman Conquest,” Anglo-Norman Studies 13 (1991), 157–172; “The Bretons and Normans of England, 1066–1154: the Family, the Fief and the Feudal Monarchy,” Nottingham Medieval Studies 36 (1992), 42–78; and “Le rôle des Bretons dans la politique de colonisation normande d’Angleterre (1042–1135),” Mémoires de la Société d’Histoire et d’Archéologie de Bretagne 74 (1996), 181–215. Orderic, 2.312–323, 344–7; John Hudson, “The Execution of Earl Waltheof and the Idea of Personal Law in England after 1066,” in David Crouch and Kathleen Thompson (eds.), Normandy and its Neighbours, 900–1250: Essays for David Bates (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 223–235; Carl S. Watkins, “The Cult of Waltheof at Crowland,” Hagiographica 3 (1996), 95–111; Emma Mason, “Invoking Earl Waltheof,” in David Roffe (ed.), The English and their Legacy, 900– 1200. Essays in Honour of Ann Williams (Woodbridge, 2012), pp. 185–203. The nascent cult at Crowland abbey affords an early and prominent example – two centuries before that of Simon de Montfort – of how execution might transform a defeated rebel into a venerated saint. In 1067, Eustace had unsuccessfully attempted to seize Dover castle, but his opposition was very different in its scope and aims from the rising of 1075; see below, p. 171.

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fighting – could only put up a weak resistance to their enemies.”8 Yet this was, as Robert Bartlett so masterfully demonstrates in his Making of Europe, but one example of its fundamental role as a mechanism of invasion and colonization of the peripheries of Europe by a military elite drawn from the heartlands of France and Germany. This distinctive form of fortification, combined with heavy cavalry and crossbows, allowed for both rapid conquest and consolidation by numerically smaller but technologically superior forces, whether in the German Ostmark, the Baltic, southern Italy or Britain.9 In regard to Britain, however, the fact that some early Norman castles are known to have been ringworks, comprising a banked and ditched enclosure, and that in some cases mottes were later additions to such structures, has been used to qualify the extent to which Norman fortifications can be seen as radically distinct from those existing in pre-Conquest Britain.10 Nevertheless, although the debate as to the nature and origins of “the castle” remains ongoing, and although archaeology continues to reveal the diversity and complexity of earth and timber fortifications, “there is still no convincing case that either great towers or mottes were ever erected by the Anglo-Saxons.”11 It is, moreover, undeniable 8

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Orderic, 2.218–219. As Richard Eales has recently pointed out, the fact that Orderic was probably here drawing on the lost portion of William of Poitiers’ Gesta Guillelmi, so his remarks “have some claim to be an opinion held by the Norman leaders themselves”; Richard Eales, “Castles and Borders in England after 1066,” Château Gaillard 26 (2014), 149–157, at 152. Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 60–84. Brian K. Davidson, “The Origins of the Castle in England,” Archaeological Journal 124 (1967), 202–211; Brian K. Davidson, “Early Earthwork Castles: a New Model,” Château Gail­ lard 3 (1969), 37–47; Reginald Allen Brown, “The Norman Conquest and the Genesis of English Castles,” Château Gaillard 3 (1966/9), 1–14; “A Historian’s Approach to the Origins of the Castle in England,” Archaeological Journal 226 (1970), 131–148, and “The Castles of the Conquest,” in Ann Williams and R. Erskine (eds.), Domesday Book Studies (London, 1987), 69–74, all three papers being reprinted in Reginald Allen Brown, Castles, Conquest and Charters. Collected Papers (Woodbridge, 1989), pp. 75–89, 1–18, and 65–74; and B. English, “Towns, Mottes and Ringworks of the Norman Conquest,” in Andrew Ayton and J. Price (eds.), The Military Revolution (London, 1995), pp. 43–62. A valuable recent survey of the ongoing debate is given by Tom McNeill, “Davison versus Brown, quarante ans après,” in Anne-Marie Flambard-Héricher and Jacques Le Maho (eds.), Château, ville et pouvoir au Moyen Age (Publications du CRAHM, Caen, 2012), pp. 41–50. As Brown, “The Origins of the Castle,” pointed out, the fact that some of the earliest castles in Normandy were ringworks without mottes had already been noted in Ella Armitage’s pioneering study, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London, 1912), p. 78 n. 1. John Goodhall, The English Castle (New York and London, 2011), p. 57. The essential survey on earth and timber castles, including a summary of the authors’ groundbreaking

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that the circumstances of the Norman invasion led to a rapid and intense militarization on an unprecedented scale, and it has been estimated that at least 500 castles may have been constructed in the first decade of the Conquest.12 Nevertheless, since the appearance of The Making of Europe, much scholarship has focused on the residential, social and symbolic aspects of castles as well as their place in both physical and conceptual landscapes of lordship, factors whose importance were readily acknowledged in The Making of Europe itself.13 While such approaches have rightly qualified the overriding emphasis by earlier scholars on the military functions and design of castles, the relative primacy of military, social or symbolic considerations in the construction or use castles is highly variable in terms of time and place, and the “military paradigm” continues to be debated.14 In relation to the Norman Conquest, moreover, the strategic and tactical military role of the castle building and location has recently been forcefully re-asserted.15 Yet if the castle was indeed a key mechanism for expansion from “core” to “periphery,” in warfare within that Frankish core between the principalities employing the same military technology, its defensive potential served to render conquest far more difficult (though not impossible). Equally, the offensive use of castles as bases for raiding and the control of a locality’s material and human resources saw them frequently serve as a means by which political

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excavations at Hen Domen, remains Robert Higham and Philip Barker, Timber Castles (London, 1992). See also Robert Higham, “Timber Castles: A Reassessment,” Fortress 1 (1989), 50–60, reprinted in Robert Liddiard (ed.), Anglo-Norman Castles (Woodbridge, 2003), pp. 105–118, and “Castles Studies in Transition: A Forty Year Reflection,” Archaeo­ logical Journal 167 (2010), 1–13. Richard Eales, “Royal Power and Castles in Norman England,” in Christopher Harper-Bill and Ruth Harvey (eds.), The Ideals and Practice of Medieval Knighthood III (Woodbridge, 1990), pp. 49–78, reprinted in Liddiard (ed.), Anglo-Norman Castles, pp. 41–67, at 46–51. See, for example, Charles Coulson, “Cultural Realities and Reappraisals in English Castle Study,” Journal of Medieval History 22 (1996), 171–208; “Peaceable Power in Anglo-Norman Castles,” Anglo-Norman Studies 23 (2001), 69–95, and Castles in Medieval Society (Oxford, 2003); Robert Liddiard, Landscapes of Lordship: Castles and the Countryside in Medieval Norfolk, 1066–1200 (Oxford, 2000); Matthew Johnson, Behind the Castle Gate. From Medi­ eval to Renaissance (London, 2002); Oliver H. Creighton, Castles and Landscapes (London, 2002); and Designs upon the Land: Elite Landscapes of the Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 2009). Colin Platt, “Revisionism in Castle Studies: A Caution,” Medieval Archaeology 51 (2007), 83–102; Oliver H. Creighton and Robert Liddiard, “Fighting Yesterday’s Battle: Beyond War or Status in Castle Studies,” Medieval Archaeology 52 (2008), 161–169. Stuart Prior, A Few Well Positioned Castles. The Norman Art of War (Stroud, 2006), especially ch. 2; for a very different view, see Oliver H. Creighton, Early European Castles. Aris­ tocracy and Authority, AD 800–1200 (London, 2012), especially pp. 42–48.

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frontiers could be challenged and destabilized.16 In turn, within those territorial principalities themselves, castles could serve as focal points for political resistance to authority. One of the great paradoxes of the Norman Conquest, therefore, was that castles, introduced as a vital means of establishing Norman control and settlement, could be, and soon were, turned against the king himself by dissident members of the new ruling elite. From the outset of the Anglo-Norman realm until the eventual decline of the castle as a mechanism for baronial rebellion by the early fourteenth century, kings of England would be faced by a potential military threat which profoundly shaped their policies on internal peace-keeping, heavily influenced the priorities of expenditure and impacted directly, and often adversely, on their relationship with members the aristocracy. Nowhere was the corrosive impact on royal authority of widespread resistance from numerous castles more visible than during the troubles of Stephen’s reign, even if the emergence of widespread fortification has been seen as “a dangerous symptom of disorder, not its cause.”17 The majority of castles, for the majority of the time, were not, of course, deployed against the king, and the fortifications held by loyal supporters often played a significant role in the suppression of revolt. Yet as the rebellions of 1075, 1088, 1095, 1102 and 1173–4 sharply revealed, castles might pose a “clear and present danger” if held by rebellious lords. An early and striking example is furnished by the significance of Norwich castle in the rising of 1075. The castle had been constructed in the early stages of the conquest, c. 1067, not only to dominate the developing urban centre of this wealthy and populous area,18 16

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For an excellent study of the role of such fortifications in contesting frontiers, and the wider context of such castle-based warfare, see John Gillingham, “William the Bastard at War,” in Christopher Harper-Bill, Christopher Holdsworth and Janet Nelson (eds.), Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. Allen Brown (Woodbridge, 1988), pp. 141–158, reprinted in Matthew J. Strickland (ed.), Anglo-Norman Warfare (Woodbridge, 1992), pp. 143–160, especially 150–155. (All subsequent references are to the latter pagination). David Crouch, The Reign of King Stephen (Harlow, 2000), pp. 150–151, and 275–276; Charles Coulson, “Castles of the Anarchy,” in Edmund King (ed.), The Anarchy of King Stephen’s Reign (Oxford, 1994), pp. 67–92, and reprinted in Liddiard (ed.), Anglo-Norman Castles, pp. 179–202; and Sarah Speight, “Castle Warfare in the Gesta Stephani,” Château Gaillard 19 (1998), 415–420. In 1066 Norwich itself had a population of c. 5000, making it the fourth largest town in England; James Campbell, “Norwich,” in Mary D. Lobel (ed.), Historic Towns (London, 1975), pp. 1–25, at 1–8; Sue Margeson, Fabienne Seiller, and Andrew Rogerson, The Nor­ mans in Norfolk (Norfolk Museums Service, Norwich, 1994), pp. 70–82, and cf. pp. 24–26 for the castle; Brian Ayers, “The Urban Landscape,” in Carole Rawcliffe and Richard Wilson (eds.), Medieval Norwich (London, 2004), pp. 1–28, at 13–19, and James Campbell, “Norwich before 1300,” Rawcliffe and Wilson, Medieval Norwich, pp. 29–48.

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but also to protect against seaborne invasion, primarily from Scandinavia.19 When in 1069 the great fleet sent by King Svein Estrithson to assist the major Anglo-Saxon rising had landed near Norwich, it was Earl Ralph who had fallen upon their raiding parties, killing many and driving the Danes back to their ships.20 Ralph’s defection starkly revealed the danger of such a strategic stronghold not only being held against the king, but serving as the landing base for the rebels’ external allies – for ironically, in 1075, he now sought the aid of a Danish fleet. The rebellion of 1075, involving as it did a Norman, an Anglo-Breton and an Anglo-Saxon earl, raises important questions regarding their respective traditions of revolt, the place of fortifications within them, and how far these were affected by the circumstances of the conquest itself. In this paper, I shall argue that irrespective of whether or not the arrival of the Normans in England brought in forms of fortification which differed significantly from pre-existing seigneurial or communal defences, what the Conquest undeniably did witness was the importation of patterns of rebellion closely linked to the castle, which had been long visible in Normandy but which differed markedly from the mechanisms of armed opposition employed by the aristocracy in pre-Conquest England. I shall concentrate in particular on the nature of comital rebellion – for it is striking that almost all the recorded instances examined here involved counts or earls – looking first at the part fortifications played in resistance to the ruler in early ducal Normandy, then briefly comparing the markedly different mechanisms of armed opposition to the king by earls in late Anglo-Saxon England. I will then return to the events of 1075 as a case study of the castle’s role in both the implementation and suppression of rebellion in newly conquered England, before concluding with an examination of the serious and recurrent threat that castles held by dissident lords on the frontiers of Normandy might pose to the authority of the king-duke in the final

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The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers, ed. and trans. R.H.C. Davis and M. Chibnall (Oxford, 1998), pp. 164–165, noted that King William built a castle at “Guenta” within the city walls, which he entrusted to William fitz Osbern. Scholars have been divided as to whether he was referring to Norwich or Winchester, but the latter reading is argued strongly for by Frank Barlow, “Guenta,” Antiquaries Journal 44 (1964), 217–219. Nevertheless, Norwich, rather than Winchester, would still appear to more appropriate to Poitiers’ statement that “It can quickly receive help from the Danes. It is fourteen miles from the sea which separates England from the Danes” (Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 164–5). It is possible that Poitiers conflated information about the two sites. Orderic, 2.226–7.

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years of William’s rule.21 Given the scope of the subject, such can only be a brief tour d’horizon, but it may afford revealing comparisons of the nature of aristocratic revolt and of how the differing military technologies of the two societies helped shape the forms of armed resistance to the ruler within the polities which they had helped to create. 1

Pre-Conquest Normandy

The spread of localized warfare between rival noble families and a concomitant increase in castle building have long been recognized as features common to the political fragmentation of the territorial principalities of France from the later tenth century; in Maine, for example, during the early decades of the eleventh century the comital house increasingly lost control to powerful castellan families, such as those based at Laval, Craon, Mayenne, Chateau-Gontier, and Vitré.22 In Normandy during the later 1030s and 1040s castles – irrespective of whether they took the form of ringworks, mottes or other structures – played an integral role in the bitter feuding between families such as the Tosny against Beaumont, or Bellême against Géré of Échauffour.23 To William of Jumièges, the multiplication of castles had been synonymous with the outbreak of violence and disorder which had marked the weakening of ducal authority during William’s minority from 1035: “From his tender years onwards many Normans built earthworks in many places and erected fortified strongholds for their own 21

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As such, what follows can only gloss the fundamental study of Jean Yver, “Les châteauxforts en Normandie jusqu’au milieu du XIIe siècle,” Bulletin de Société des Antiquaires de Normandie 3 (1955), 28–115, and the important reflections of Marjorie Chibnall, “Orderic Vitalis on Castles,” in Studies presented to Allen Brown, pp. 43–56 and 389–399, and in Liddiard (ed.), Anglo-Norman Castles, pp. 119–132. Robert Latouche, Histoire du comté du Maine pendant le Xe et le XI siècle (Paris, 1910), pp. 60–62, 116–127; Douglas, William the Conqueror, p. 57; Richard E. Barton, Lordship in the County of Maine, c. 890–1160 (Woodbridge, 2004). On the nature of some of these early fortifications, see M. Fixot, “Les fortifications de terre et la naissance de la féodalité dans le Cinglais,” Château Gaillard 3 (1966), 61–66; E. ZadoraRio, “L’enceinte fortifiée du Plessis-Grimoult, residence seigneuriale du XIe siècle,” Châ­ teau Gaillard 5 (1972), 227–239; Joseph Decaëns, “La motte d’Olivet à Grimbosq (Calvados), residence seigneuriale du XIe siècle,” Château Gaillard 12 (1985), 23–37. For useful overviews of castle typology in early Normandy, see Michel de Bouard, Les Châteaux nor­ mands de Guillaume le Conquerant à Richard Coeur de Lion (Caen, 1987) and Joseph Decaëns, “Le temps des chateaux” and “Les origins du donjon rectangulaire,” in Maylis Baylé (ed.), L’Architecture Normande au Moyen Age (2 vols.; 2nd edn., Caen, 2001), 1.177–180 and 181–195.

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purposes. Having dared to establish themselves securely in their fortifications, they immediately hatched plots and rebellions, and fierce fires were lit all over the country.”24 Equally, the destruction of many such fortifications following Duke William and King Henry I’s victory at the battle of Val-ès-Dunes over a coalition of rebel nobles from Lower Normandy in 1047 was regarded by both William of Jumièges and William of Poitiers as the essential pre-requisite for the re-establishment of ducal power.25 Yet castles had featured prominently in challenges to ducal authority well before 1035. The second half of the tenth century had witnessed the establishment by the Norman dukes of a series of major fortresses, either to guard the duchy’s frontiers or to extend and consolidate ducal power within it.26 Like Anjou under Fulk Nerra, moreover, Normandy appears precocious in the construction of such defences in stone: the particular importance of Richard II’s great tower at Rouen as a symbol of ducal authority has long been recognized,27 while recent studies have cast new light on the form, function and antecedence of some of the earliest great stone donjons within Normandy.28 The early dukes had been careful to keep such fortresses within the control of a small group of counts, all drawn from ducal kinsmen. Created during the reign of Richard II (r. 996–1026), these counts had the primary purpose of guarding key areas of the frontier;29 as Jean Yver noted, comital title appears to have been closely linked to the holding of one of these major high-status strongholds, rather than a territorial county per se. Robert of Torigni, for example, remarked that Richard I (r. 942–996) gave his half-brother Rodulf the castle of Ivry, “unde 24 25 26 27 28

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William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum Ducum, ed. and trans. Elisabeth van Houts (2 vols.; Oxford, 1995), 2.92–93. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.122–123; William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, p. 12. Yver, “Chateaux-forts,” 34–59. B. Gauthiez, “Hypothèses sur la fortification de Rouen au onzième siècle: Le donjon de Richard II, et l’enceinte de Guillaume,” Anglo-Norman Studies 14 (1992), 61–76. Edward Impey, “The Donjon at Avranches (Normandy),” The Archaeological Journal 159 (2002), 249–257; idem, “The ‘turris famosa’ at Ivry-la-Bataille, Normandy,” in G. MerionJones et al. (eds.), The Seigneurial Residence in Western Europe AD c. 800–1600 (British Archaeological Reports, International Series, 1088; Oxford, 2002), pp. 189–210; and cf. Edward Impey and E. Lorans, “Langeais, Indre-et-Loire. An Archaeological and Historical Study of the Early Donjon and its Environs,” Journal of the British Archaeological Associa­ tion 151 (1998), 43–106. David Bates, Normandy before 1066 (Harlow, 1982), p. 156. For a detailed study of the shaping of this frontier, see Pierre Baudoin, La première Normandie (Xe–XIe siècles). Sur les frontiers de la haute Normandie: identité et construction d’une principauté (Caen, 2004).

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vocatus est comes.”30 As with so many early medieval polities, however, it was precisely from family members that the most frequent and potentially dangerous challenges might come, and these comital castles afforded ready centres of resistance. The rebellion of Duke Richard II’s half-brother, William I count of Eu, which took place before 1012, may well have been based on the castle of Exmes, entrusted to him by the duke, and closely linked to the county of the Hièmois, which Richard had earlier granted him.31 In 1026 or 1027, Duke Richard III faced a rebellion by his brother Robert, possibly over the latter’s control of the Hiémois. Though Robert also held the castle of Exmes, he resisted his brother from Falaise, and the duke was forced to compel his brother’s submission by a full-scale siege.32 As duke himself, Robert I struggled to prevent loss of control of key strongholds, and early in his reign, c. 1027 or 1028, he besieged his uncle, Robert, archbishop of Rouen, in the city of Evreux, which the latter may have held as its count.33 The duke prevailed, and the archbishop and his men were permitted to leave under a truce for temporary exile in France.34 Robert faced further opposition from Hugh, bishop of Bayeux, son of Count Rodulf of Ivry,35 who “by cunning and trickery amply fortified the fortress of Ivry with arms and food,” and after installing a garrison, raised knights in France to help him defend the castle.36 Robert, however, moved swiftly to blockade Ivry, preventing its reinforcement with troops or supplies. Unable to raise the siege, Bishop Hugh “sent envoys to the duke to ask that they be allowed to leave freely.” Duke Robert granted this request and took over the castle, while Hugh and his followers were exiled to France.37 Such incidents underline the enormous importance attached to securing hereditary control of these major fortifications and their potency as symbols of 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

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Yver, “Les Chateaux-forts,” 36–38; Bates, Normandy before 1066, pp. 99–100, 156–158; William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.174. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.8–9 and n3. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.44–45 and n3. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.48 n2; Orderic, 3.85. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.48–9. David Bates, “Notes sur l’aristocratie normande,” Annales de Normandie 23 (1973), 7–38. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.52–3. Although William of Jumièges believed that his rebellion, occurring 1028x1032, was the result of Duke Robert ignoring his counsel, it may be that the duke was attempting to consolidate his power on the south-eastern borders of the duchy. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.52–3. He was back in the duchy by 1032; Marie Fauroux, Receuil des actes des ducs de Normandie de 911 à 1066 (Caen, 1961), no. 64.

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elite power. The great tower of Ivry had been built for Aubrée, wife of Rodulf of Ivry, Duke Richard I’s half-brother.38 In architectural terms its importance has been highlighted both for the development of the form of subsequent AngloNorman great towers and as a key antecedent to the White Tower at London, with which it shares a number of close similarities and dimensions.39 But whatever its residential and symbolic functions, Hugh clearly considered it also to be a highly defensible military base.40 His intention to seek aid from the Ile de France equally reveals the potential danger such a frontier castle could pose if in rebel hands, for it could easily be reinforced by forces drawn from the lands of rival territorial princes. Similarly, when in 1040 Thurstan Goz seized Falaise “because he did not wish to serve the duke,” he garrisoned it with a force of French knights serving as stipendiaries but seemingly drawn from the familia regis of Henry I of France. Such a threat prompted Ralph of Gacé, the magister militum of the ducal forces, to launch an intensive attack on the ­castle, forcing Thurstan to surrender and depart into exile.41 Thus well before the disturbances of William the Bastard’s minority, a pattern of revolt had emerged in which disaffected ducal kinsmen attempted to resist the authority of the duke from a major fortification, usually on or close to the frontier, and often seeking its reinforcement by external enemies of the duke. In each case, the duke successfully besieged the rebel fortress, but terms were invariably granted to the defenders: rebellious kinsmen were never harmed in life or limb, and exile, often only brief in duration, was the usual outcome. From at least the early eleventh century, castles thus appear in Normandy as vital catalysts for negotiated surrender and the application of chivalric conventions.42 Such clemency also reflected the limited nature of these challenges; resistance aimed not to topple the duke, but rather to force a recognition of rights or status from a position of strength. In turn, the duke aimed to re-establish his challenged authority and gain public acknowledgment from the defeated. The significance and complexity of rituals of surrender 38 39 40 41 42

Orderic, 4.114, 290, noting it had been designed by the same architect responsible for the great tower at Pithiviers. Impey, “The ‘turris famosa’ at Ivry-la-Bataille,” 189–210. Orderic, 4.114, calls it an “arx … fortissimoa.” William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.100–103, noting that Thurstan “regales milites stipendii conduxit.” On such conventions regulating conduct in siege warfare, Matthew Strickland, War and Chivalry. The Conduct and Perception of War in England and Normandy, 1066–1217 (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 204–229; and more generally, John France, “Siege Conventions in Western Europe and the Latin East,” Philip de Souza and John France (eds.), War and Peace in Ancient and Medieval History (Cambridge, 2008), pp. 158–172.

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have been highlighted by scholars such as Geoffrey Koziol and Gerd Althoff, though Althoff’s model of pre-arranged and agreed forms of submission appears less visible in suppression of rebellion by Anglo-Norman rulers than in eleventh- and twelfth-century Germany.43 Nevertheless, a major siege might conclude with honourable submission and reconciliation. At Falaise, for example, Robert had submitted to his brother Duke Richard III “datis dextris,” and thus “their former harmony was restored and having made a firm peace, each went his own way.”44 Although William of Jumièges had regarded the spate of earthwork fortifications erected during William’s minority as a challenge to ducal authority, it was again major comital castles, acting as centres for insurrection by rival members of the ducal kindred, which arguably posed a far greater threat to the duke between 1047 and 1057. In contrast to the earlier, limited opposition of kinsmen in the 1020s and early 1030s, moreover, these risings aimed at the overthrow of the duke or the permanent rejection of his authority. Despite the victory of Duke William over the rebels at Val-ès-Dunes, the leading figure of the revolt, Guy of Burgundy, had continued to hold out in the powerful fortress of Brionne, whose strategic location in central Normandy made it a dangerous rallying point for the disaffected.45 The fortress had initially been granted by Duke Richard I to his son Godfrey, and was inherited in turn by his son, Count Gilbert.46 Ironically, however, after Gilbert’s death, Duke William had granted Guy both the castles of Vernon and Brionne “as a gift so as to bind him in fealty,” 43

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Matthew Strickland, “Reconciliation ou humiliation? La suppression de la rébellion aristocratique dans les royaumes anglo-normand et angevin,” in Catherine Bougy and A-S. Poirey (eds.), La contestation du pouvoir en Normandie (Xe–XVIIIe siècles) (Caen, 2007), pp. 65–77. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.44–5, where “datis dextris” is translated as “placed his hands within his brother’s.” Discussing the preliminaries to the treaty of Montmirail between Henry II and Louis VII in 1169, John Gillingham has suggested the term may refer to a handshake or gesture implying greater equality than the immixtio manuum of homage; “Doing Homage to the Kings of France,” in Christopher Harper-Bill and Nicholas Vincent (eds.), Henry II. New Interpretations (Woodbridge, 2007), pp. 63–84, at 72–76. As Orderic noted, Brionne was an “oppidum munitissimum”: and in the heart of the duchy – “in corde terrae situm est,” “in meditullio terrae” (Orderic, 4.114–115, 208–9). As a grandson of Duke Richard II, Guy posed a serious threat to his kinsman William, whose bastardy he claimed made him unfit for rule. Prior to the outbreak of his rebellion, Guy had already seized the castle of Le Homme from his mother Adeliza (Orderic, 4.84–85), sister of Robert I, which he gave to Nigel the vicomte to assist in his rising (Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum. The Acta of William I (1066–1087), ed. David Bates (Oxford, 1998), no. 58). Orderic, 4.208.

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another indication of the intimate association between high status and possession of a major stone fortress.47 This was despite the fact, as Robert of Torigni later noted, that “from times long past Brionne had been a fortification which the dukes of Normandy had always kept as one of their own seats (una ex propriis sedibus).”48 The castle itself, situated on an island in the river Risle, “seemed impregnable, both from the nature of the ground and the construction,” noted William of Poitiers, for its defences included “a stone hall which serves as a citadel for the combatants (aulam lapideam arcis usum pugnantibus praeben­tem).”49 Unable to launch a direct assault, Duke William was forced to build siege castles on both banks of the Risle to blockade it, and though Orderic’s statement that the siege lasted for three years is probably a considerable exaggeration, it may have been over a year and a half before the defenders were eventually starved into surrender.50 Historians have been divided as to their assessment of how far the continuing siege hampered William’s effective assertion of authority in the duchy: while David Douglas believed that during this time the duke may well have lost control of Rouen and areas of eastern Normandy, David Bates has pointed to William’s ability to act elsewhere, including assisting the king of France in his expedition against the castle of Mouliherne.51 Nevertheless, one of the particular dangers posed to rulers by a long siege in the context of rebellion or civil war was that of fifth-column elements within his own army, who might not only empathize with kinsmen or friends among the besieged but might also actively collude by failing to enforce a blockade or even clandestinely sending in troops or supplies.52 Such a situation, for example, confronted William Rufus at the siege of Rochester in 1088, and King Stephen at the siege of Exeter 47 48

49 50 51

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William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.64–5, 120–1. Orderic, 4.204, describes it as “the noble castle of Brionne” (nobile castrum). William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.64–65, 120–121 and n2; William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 8–9, describing these as “validissima castra.” See Yver, “Les châteaux-forts,” pp. 67–68. William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 10–11. William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, p. 11 n3. See Douglas, William the Conqueror, p. 55: Bates, Normandy before 1066, p. 76; idem, Wil­ liam the Conqueror, p. 60. William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp.12–13, notes that after Brionne’s fall, “the citizens of Rouen had to abandon the insolence that they had presumptuously shown in defiance of the young count.” According to William of Poitiers, Count William of Arques took advantage of Duke William’s pre-occupation of the siege of Domfront, held for Count Geoffrey Martel of Anjou, to slip away from the ducal army to prepare his own rebellion; William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 34–35.

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in 1136.53 The length of the investment of Brionne, even accepting the shortest estimates, suggests that Duke William may have been faced with similar problems. Even if it did not significantly constrain William’s movements in central Normandy, the continued resistance of Brionne – as with the long siege of Kenilworth castle following the defeat of the Montfortians at Evesham in 1265 – remained a symbolic challenge to William’s authority and may have served to keep the spirit of rebellion alive.54 At the same time, it pinned down what must have been significant numbers of William’s troops in the surrounding siege castles, with the associated costs of their pay and victualling. Brionne’s eventual fall may well have been connected with its distance from the frontiers of the duchy, making reinforcement with men and supplies from beyond Normandy more difficult, especially at a time when Duke William’s alliance with King Henry I, albeit brief, would have prevented aid from the Capetian domains. Some time before 1051, however, Duke William faced a fresh rebellion on the duchy’s north-eastern frontier, when William Busac, son of Richard II’s half-brother William, count of Eu, defied the duke’s authority and, if Orderic is to be believed, claimed Normandy for himself. No mention is made of external support, and the duke was able to besiege and capture Eu, forcing Count William into a permanent exile in France.55 By contrast, the castle of Arques which in 1053 formed the focal point of the rebellion of the duke’s uncle, Count William of Talou, lent itself readily as a base for the invasion by a powerful coalition of external enemies, now including King Henry I of France, Geoffrey Martel of Anjou, and Enguerrand count of Ponthieu. William of Jumièges directly equated the castle’s construction by the count with his pride in his high ducal lineage, and thenceforth Arques, lying at the centre of the former Carolingian pagus of Talou, gave its name to the county 53 54 55

Orderic, 2.126–129; Gesta Stephani, ed. and trans. K.R. Potter and Ralph H.C. Davis (Oxford, 2004), pp. 36–39. For the significance of the siege of Kenilworth, Adrian Jobson, The First English Revolu­ tion. Simon de Montfort, Henry III and the Barons’ War (London, 2012), pp. 153–158. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.128–129. Following his exile, King Henry of France created him count of Soissons by marrying him to the daughter of Count Rainold of Soissions (2.128 n3). The siege probably took place before the wedding of Duke William to Matilda of Flanders at Eu, some time between October 1049 and 1051 (2.129 n5), though Baudoin, La première Normandie, p. 297, dates the revolt to 1048 or later. It may be significant that tenure of Eu had earlier been disputed by Gilbert of Brionne, and that a charter for La Trinité du-Mont noted that William Busac’s mother, the Countess Lesceline, widow of Duke Richard I’s natural son William, had been driven out of the castle of Eu, together with her sons, sometime in the early 1040s (Baudoin, La première Normandie, p. 297).

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itself.56 Though the stone keep is probably of a later date, its massive earthworks, reinforcing its strong defensive position on a steep hill, made Arques both a potent symbol of comital power and a formidable stronghold.57 The early course of Count William’s rebellion is as uncertain as the reasons which lay behind it,58 but was perhaps provoked by the duke’s seizure and garrisoning of Arques following the count’s withdrawal from the duke’s siege of Domfront without permission.59 William of Poitiers, though calling Arques “this refuge, this rampart of early pride and folly,” is notably defensive in his insistence that in placing his own knights within it, Duke William “in no other way diminished his [Count William’s] right (ius).” Yet the fact that the ducal garrison were subsequently persuaded by the count to yield it back to him suggests that beyond the promise of rewards alleged by Poitiers, they were motivated by sympathy for his cause or disquiet concerning Duke William’s actions.60 William of Poitiers was at pains to depict the raids carried out by Count William once back in possession of Arques as wanton pillage and the antithesis of the ducal peace protecting the Church, peasants and merchants, but Count William was evidently seeking to provision Arques not just in case of a siege, but as an offensive base from which to contest control of the Pays de Caux, while there appears to have been widespread defection to his cause.61

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William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.103 n4, and 2.102–103, “haughty because of his noble birth William built the stronghold (castrum) of Arques on top of that hill.” J. Decaens, “Le château d’Arques,” in L’Architecture Normande au Moyen Age, 2.312–314, noting that the keep probably dates from the later eleventh or earlier twelfth century, and that the castle built by Count William was thus a powerful enclosure, similar to that at Caen and Falaise. Bates, William the Conqueror, pp. 48–49, suggests that one reason may have been the rise of a group of councillors around the young duke whose growing influence eclipsed that of older ducal kin, including Count William and Malger. Liesbeth van Houts has noted that his initial resistance to the duke may have been more passive, as both the α-redactor and Orderic replaced William of Jumièges’ statement “ad rebellandum se munivit” with “ad resistendum se munivit”; William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.102–103 n5. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.102, notes that Count William refused to answer the duke’s summonses to come to court to show his allegiance. William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, p. 34. William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 34–35. William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 34–35. His brother Malger, archbishop of Rouen, may have been deposed by Duke William for his support of Count William’s rebellion; Orderic, 1.159, 4.85; William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.130–131 and n2, and 142–143.

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The danger posed by Arques is reflected in the fact that, on learning of the outbreak of the revolt, Duke William had ridden at breakneck speed from the Cotentin in order to prevent the castle from being strongly reinforced by the count’s external allies – a move reminiscent of his father’s rapid isolation of Ivry c. 1027. Driving the garrison back inside the castle, he then constructed a siege castle and left a strong force to blockade Arques while he moved against the invasion launched by King Henry and the count of Anjou.62 In attempting to relieve Arques, part of the French army was ambushed and badly cut up by a Norman force near St Aubin-sur-Scie, and Enguerrand of Ponthieu, Count William’s brother-in-law, was killed. King Henry in turn attacked the Norman siege castle, but though he succeeded in getting some reinforcements into the castle, he was eventually forced to withdraw from the duchy.63 Duke William was thus able to press the siege of Arques unhindered, though the dangers of a lengthy blockade are again revealed by William of Poitiers’ admission that during the siege some of the more powerful Normans (potentiores) defected to the side of King Henry, including Guitmund of Moulins-la-Marche, who handed over his castle to a powerful French garrison.64 Nevertheless, in the absence of further relief attempts by the French, the garrison of Arques was finally compelled by want of supplies to surrender on terms which guaranteed their lives.65 William of Poitiers’ statement that many left the castle “carrying their horse’s saddle on their bowed and weary backs,” while others rode out on starved mounts may indicate that William made a distinction between his treatment of Norman rebels, forced to undergo the humiliation of the saddle-bearing ritual or hamiscara, and the French knights who were allowed honourable egress with horses and arms.66 Count William left Normandy seemingly for permanent exile, but the campaign of 1053 was a graphic demonstration of 62

63 64 65 66

William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.102–105. For this campaign as a prime example of warfare dominated by the struggle to control supplies, see Gillingham, “William the Bastard at War,” pp. 153–154. William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 38–41, who notes the king reinforced Arques with supplies of money as well as knights. William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 42–43; Orderic, 3.132 n1. William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 38–43. For the campaign, Douglas, William the Conqueror, pp. 65–7. William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 40–43. William’s statement is (perhaps deliberately) obscure carrying, but it is otherwise hard to see why only some of the garrison exited the castle saddles. For the hamiscara, a Carolingian punishment for default of public duty, being imposed on defeated nobles see Jessica Hemming, “Sellam Gestare: Saddle– bearing Punishments and the Case of Rhiannon,” Viator 27 (1997), 45–64; and Strickland, “Reconciliation ou humiliation?” pp. 65–77. In noting the wretched state of the lightly

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how a single powerful fortification could become the lynchpin not only for a serious rebellion, but also for an external invasion.67 Despite the far greater threat to the duke of the rebellions of Guy and Count William, however, the possession of major fortresses continued to be a major factor in assuring negotiated surrender and lenient terms, which stands in marked contrast to the severity with which William would punish the rebels in England in 1075. Appreciation of the dangers posed by castles such as Brionne and Arques was reflected in the measures subsequently taken by William to ensure greater control over fortifications in the duchy through restrictions on castle building, enforcement of the ducal right of rendability of nobles’ castles in times of need and the installation of ducal garrisons in them.68 Castles might also be confiscated.69 Although it has been argued that the statement of such rights in the 1091 Consuetudines et Justicie may have been more a reaction to a spate of castle building and ducal loss of control of key fortresses during the troubled early years of Robert Curthose’s rule of Normandy, William himself had evidently established ducal garrisons in the principal castles of the great magnates by the time of his death.70 The duke’s attempt to install his own men in Arques in 1053 suggests that this process had begun at a comparatively early stage in his consolidation of rule, but how far it had advanced before 1066, or whether it was only his enhanced wealth and power as king of England which allowed

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armed troops (levis armaturae) William also indicates that clemency extended even to the common infantry. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.104–105; William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, p. 42 n1; Orderic, 4.84–85; Douglas, William the Conqueror, pp. 62–67. William of Poitiers protests that Count William was granted back his patrimony and additional revenues by the duke, but others, notably William de Warenne, appear as beneficiaries from his confiscated estates; William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 42–43; Bates, Normandy before 1066, p. 177. As the Consuetudines et Justicie, drawn up in 1091 by Robert Curthose and William Rufus to reflect ducal rights as enjoyed by their father, noted: ‘No one in Normandy might dig a fosse in open country (in planam terram) or more than one shovel’s throw in depth, nor set there more than one line of palisading, and that without battlements or allures (alato­ riis). And no one might make a fortification (fortitudinem) on the rock or on an island, and no one might raise a castle in Normandy, and no-one might withhold the possession of his castle from the lord of Normandy if he wished to take it into his own hand”; Charles H. Haskins, Norman Institutions (New York, 1918 reprinted New York and London, 1960), p. 282; R. Allen Brown, Origins of English Feudalism (London, 1973), p. 146. Thus, for example, William was able to confiscate the castle of Mortemer in 1054 from Roger of Mortemer, because following the Norman victory close by, Roger had given refuge there to Count Ralph of Montdidier. The duke then gave it to William de Warenne, a kinsman of Roger; Orderic, 4.88–89. Orderic, 4.112–115.

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him to occupy the castles of such powerful magnates as Robert of Bellême remains unclear.71 What is more certain is that such a policy was bitterly resented by the magnates of the duchy. Immediately on learning of the Conqueror’s death, Robert of Bellême, William count of Evreux, William of Breteuil, Ralph of Conches and many others hurried to expel the ducal garrisons.72 To the hostile Orderic Vitalis, Duke Robert’s subsequent inability or unwillingness to maintain such tight control was axiomatic of the weakness of his rule,73 just as allowing major fortresses such as Ivry and Brionne to leave ducal control was a sign of his “foolish prodigality”: “As he impoverished himself he strengthened the hands of others against him.”74 Such a policy, however, may in reality have been less a reflection of Robert’s weaker position than of his differing attitude to magnates’ retention of castles.75 Nor was it necessarily an unsuccessful one, for castles held by loyal magnates, whether as their own or as ducal castellans, must always have played a crucial supporting role against rebellion and in frontier defence. Indeed, the Conqueror himself had made his staunch supporter Roger of Beaumont the castellan of Ivry.76 In 1089, Robert granted Arques, which had proved such a threat to William in 1053, to Helias of SaintSaens in order to defend the county of Le Talou against the incursions of those nobles in north-east Normandy who had allied with William Rufus, a role he loyally performed.77 As Robert had married his natural daughter to Helias, with Arques, Bures and “the surrounding province” as her marriage portion, the possession of such a major fortress must also have been regarded as befitting the rank of one who was now ducal kin.78 Nevertheless, Robert’s reign clearly reveals how the very importance attached to possession of such high status fortifications, and competing claims to them, could be a source of conflict in itself. The castle of Ivry had remained in ducal possession since Duke Robert I had confiscated it from Hugh, bishop of Bayeux, but Curthose granted it to William of Breteuil, elder brother of the 71 72 73

74 75 76 77 78

Orderic, 4.112–115, 152–153. Orderic, 4.112–115. Orderic, 4.146–147: “Unlicensed castles (adulterina municipia) were built in many places and there the sons of iniquity – or rather wolf-cubs – were reared to tear the flocks to pieces.” Orderic, 4.xxxiii, 114–115. William Aird, Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy (c. 1050–1134) (Boydell, 2008), p. 106. Orderic, 4.114. Orderic, 4.182–183; Aird, Robert Curthose, p. 126. Orderic, 4.182–3.

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rebellious Earl Roger of 1075, whose great-grandmother Aubrée had built it.79 Yet the castellan installed by William, Ascelin Goel, also claimed the castle and, hoping to be granted it back in full possession, surrendered it to Duke Robert.80 So anxious was William to regain Ivry that, according to Orderic, he offered the duke a huge sum and Robert restored the castle to him, clearly realizing that not to do so would be a major provocation. However, William’s own subsequent actions in disseising Ascelin Goel for his betrayal provoked a serious frontier war in which Ascelin, aided by local French lords, defeated and captured him in battle. After enduring harsh conditions in captivity, William of Breteuil was forced to grant Ivry to Ascelin, together with the hand of his daughter Isabel, and a heavy ransom, as the price of his release.81 Subsequently, however, William was able to elicit the support of both Duke Robert and King Philip I of France for an attack on Goel, ravaging his lands and regaining Ivry from him after a sustained siege.82 It was similar claims to hereditary custodianship which saw the great fortress of Brionne again being held against the duke, though in very different circumstances from 1047. In order to grant Ivry to William of Breteuil, Duke Robert had compensated Roger of Beaumont, its former castellan, with the custody of Brionne in exchange – a telling indication of the high status attached to both fortresses.83 In 1090, however, Roger’s son Robert, count of Meulan, supported by William Rufus and doubtless as part of the king’s attempts to destabilize Robert’s rule further, demanded Ivry from the duke, refusing to accept the exchange. When, on being rebuffed, he unwisely threatened the duke, Robert not only had him imprisoned, but also installed as Brionne’s castellan Robert, son of Baldwin of Meules, who claimed the hereditary right to it from his grandfather, Count Gilbert.84 Roger of Beaumont offered the duke a large sum of money for the return of Brionne, but Robert the castellan refused the duke’s orders to hand it over. He protested his loyalty and informed Curthose that he would yield up the castle if the duke wished to keep Brionne for himself, as William the Conqueror had held it. He would not, however, surrender it to the Beaumonts, for its custodianship was his own family’s inheritance. Orderic 79

80 81 82 83 84

William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.226–229; Orderic, 4.114, 198–199 and n4. For a valuable discussion of the disputes over Ivry and Brionne, see Aird, Robert Cur­ those, pp. 130–134. Chibnall suggests that Ascelin’s grandmother may have been Bishop Hugh’s daughter; Orderic, 4.199 n4. Orderic, 4.98–203 William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.228–231. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.226–229; Orderic, 4.114. Orderic, 4.204 and n2, 208.

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has him tell Duke Robert, “by your favour, my lord, whom I wish to serve in all things, I now hold Brionne, my grandfather Gilbert’s chief castle (principale oppidum), and will continue to do so while God upholds my right.”85 Unwilling to risk alienating the Beaumonts, however, the duke was obliged to lay siege to Brionne, aided by both Roger of Beaumont and Robert of Meulan, whose large forces cut off the castle from outside support. In marked contrast to the earlier siege which had lasted many months, the castle quickly fell “between the ninth hour and sunset.” Not only was the garrison heavily outnumbered, for Robert commanded only six knights, but the attackers also shot arrows with heated tips into the wooden shingles of the keep’s roof, setting it ablaze.86 The ensuing conflagration soon rendered the castle inde­fensible, and the defenders threw themselves on the duke’s mercy.87 Duke Robert’s clemency could not be taken for granted: in 1088 he had ordered the blinding of the castellan and the mutilation of many of the garrison of the castle of St Ceneri, which had resisted him but been taken by storm, in a calculated act of severity, perhaps consciously imitating his father’s ruthless treatment of the defenders of Alencon in 1051.88 Given the circumstances of the siege of Brionne, however, the garrison appears to have been treated with leniency, and Robert the castellan, who had influential friends among the duke’s supporters, was compensated by Duke Robert for loss of the castellanry with lands in the Cotentin.89 The disputes over both Ivry and Brionne during Duke Robert’s reign, and indeed beyond, clearly highlight the enormous significance attached to the possession of these high status fortifications in the eyes of elements of the Norman nobility, the importance of competing claims as causes of strife between rival magnates, and the willingness of lords to defend their claims by force even if this meant armed resistance against the duke himself. Similar disputes would continue in Normandy through the reign of Henry I, and forcefully emerge in England during the troubles of Stephen’s reign. Recent scholarship has pointed to the symbolic importance of stone towers, whether burgh gates or church towers, to late Anglo-Saxon lordly complexes, and noted their influ85 86

87 88 89

Orderic, 4.204–207. Though they were probably accompanied by a larger number of retainers and servants, a garrison of six knights would not be unusual for a major fortress when not in a state of open war. Orderic, 4.208–211. Orderic, 4.154–155; Aird, Robert Curthose, pp. 121–122. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.228–229. Chibnall suggests that Roger of Beaumont received Brionne not simply as its castellan, but as a fief; Orderic, 4.210 n3.

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ence on the design of some post conquest castle gates.90 Yet pre-Conquest England yields no evidence of armed disputes between magnates over fortifications, whether seigneurial, or royal and communal: as with the castle, such forms of conflict were imported with the new Franco-Norman aristocracy. 2

Comital Rebellion in Late Anglo-Saxon England

During his upbringing in exile at the Norman ducal court, Edward the Confessor must have become familiar with the principal ducal castles, as well as witnessing the role of such fortifications in peace and war.91 Once king in England he is not known to have contemplated the construction of any secular building akin to the great towers of Rouen or Ivry to match his building of Westminster abbey on the model of Jumièges. Nevertheless, the siting of several of the first Norman castles on the borders of Wales suggests he well appreciated their value in frontier defence, and his nephew Ralph of Mantes, whom he made earl of Hereford, was from the French Vexin, “a battlefield studded with fortified towns and castles.”92 The long-standing association of castles with comital rank in Normandy, moreover, may also have influenced Edward’s decision to grant Ralph, who had borne a comital title from 1042, the earldom, with Hereford castle as his principal seat. How far the destabilizing influence of the activities of at least one of these the Norman garrisons on Earl Svein Godwineson’s earldom reflected royal policy is uncertain, but as well as Count Eustace’s presence at Dover their predations appear to have been a contributing factor in the revolt of the Godwines in 1051.93 90

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Ann Williams, “A Bell-house and Burghgeat: Lordly Residences in England before the Norman Conquest,” in Christopher Harper-Bill and Ruth Harvey (eds.), Medieval Knighthood IV. Papers from the Fifth Strawberry Hill Conference (Woodbridge, 1992), pp. 221–240; Derek Renn, “Burghgeat and Gonfanon: Two Sidelights from the Bayeux Tapestry,” Anglo-Nor­ man Studies 16 (1993), 177–198. Simon Keynes, “The Aethelings in Normandy,” Anglo-Norman Studies 13 (1991), 173–205; and Elisabeth M.C. Van Houts, “Edward and Normandy,” in Richard Mortimer (ed.), Edward the Confessor: the Man and the Legend (Woodbridge, 2009), pp. 63–76. Frank Barlow, Edward the Confessor (London, 1970), pp. 91–92; and Ann Williams, “The King’s Nephew: the Family, Career, and Connections of Ralph, earl of Hereford,,” in Stud­ ies Presented to R. Allen Brown, pp. 327–343. For pre-Conquest Norman castles in England, see John Horace Round, Feudal England (London, 1895), 247–257; Armitage, Early Nor­ man Castles of the British Isles, pp. 23ff; Higham and Barker, Timber Castles, pp. 42–45. ASC ‘E’, s.a. 1051, “The foreigners then had built a castle (castel) in Herefordshire in Earl Swein’s province, and had inflicted every possible injury and insult on the king’s men in

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Yet fortifications were to play no role in the resistance of Godwine and his sons to Edward in 1051–2. For while it is now recognized that leading members of the Anglo-Scandinavian aristocracy may well have had defended residences, these were neither on the scale of the great earth and timber castles constructed in the wake of the Conquest, still less stone fortresses such as Brionne,94 nor did they feature in the acts of rebellion by earls or other great nobles in Anglo-Saxon England.95 Perhaps more remarkably, the kingdom’s principal fortifications, the communal burghs, equally did not play any significant part in nobles’ acts of rebellion, notwithstanding their crucial role first in the defence of King Alfred’s Wessex, then in the expansion and consolidation of West Saxon power during the tenth century. This may in part have been because of their nature as public rather than seigneurial defences, with the strong presence within them of sheriffs or other royal representatives, and in part because their greater size necessitated a large number of men for their effective defence.96 Such numbers can only have been possible with the active support of the burgesses and others rendering military service owed to the king, readily forthcoming against external enemies but far less assured in the context of comital revolt. When in 1055 the exiled Earl Ælfgar and his Welsh allies stormed and sacked Hereford, no attempt was made to hold the town, which was seemingly unfortified.97 Similarly, after taking York in 1065, the northern rebels against Tostig’s rule did not fortify the city and await King Edward’s response, but marched south as far as Northamptonshire. In York itself, they had been able easily to break into Tostig’s great hall – seemingly unfortified – where they slew those of his retainers whom they could find.98 Indeed, the only examples of major Anglo-Saxon urban defences held against

94 95 96 97

98

those parts”; Barlow, Edward the Confessor, pp. 110–111 and n3, where Ewyas Harold is suggested as a the possible identification of this castle. For Ewyas, Andrew Boucher, Ewyas Harold Castle (Hereford, 2007). Williams, “A Bell-house and Burghgeat,” pp. 221–240. Williams, “A Bell-house and Burghgeat,” pp. 239–40. Bartlett, The Making of Europe, pp. 65–69. ASC, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’, s.a. 1055; John of Worcester, 2.576–579, noting that it was only after the attack that Earl Harold “encircled it with a broad and deep ditch, and fortified it with gates and bars.” Despite the defeat of Ralph’s forces in the field, the castle in Hereford appears to have remained untaken during the attack on the city. ASC, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’, s.a. 1065; though John of Worcester, 2.596–599, states that Tostig’s men were slain “on the north side of the River Humber,” and thus outside the city, before the rebels sacked his treasury. Whatever the case, as Rob Bartlett has noted, “the main vulnerability of the Germanic hall was that it could be easily surrounded and set on fire”; England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, p. 270.

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the king come in the years immediately after the Norman invasion. In the weeks following Hastings, London’s resistance might have proved critical, but was thwarted by lack of effective leadership and William’s efforts at intimidation; in 1067 the citizens of Exeter unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate the conditions on which they would accept William’s lordship from the strength of their Roman defences, while in 1068–9 Durham and York became the epicentres of the northern resistance to Norman rule.99 Nevertheless, the conflagration which had broken out in York during the confederates’ attack in 1069 was a major blow, for it denied them the ability to resist William’s counter-attack from the city’s potentially powerful defences. Instead, in late Anglo-Saxon England armed resistance by magnates to the king was based primarily on campaigns of movement, reflecting the primacy of ship-borne operations and forces which could operate as readily at sea as on land.100 Rebellions between 1042 and 1066, moreover, usually followed a distinctive pattern: an earl, exiled following a shift in the balance in power at court, would raise a mercenary fleet, either from the Hiberno-Norse in Ireland or from Flanders, while the earls of Mercia would additionally seek the aid of Welsh allies. Direct military confrontation with the king himself in battle was usually avoided, not only because of the qualitative and quantitative superiority of the royal forces, but also because of an innate reluctance to bear arms directly against the king, and the fact that his killing or overthrow was rarely if ever the rebels’ goal. Instead, forces raised by exiled magnates were commonly used to launch raids on the peripheries of the kingdom, whether on the coast or on the Welsh marches, to exert indirect military pressure to gain re-admittance to lands, office and favour. It was exceptional when, during the crisis of 1051, Earl Godwine mustered his forces at Langtree in Gloucestershire “all ready to do battle against the king,” but even here his initial intention seems only to have been to overawe Edward, then close by at Gloucester, into yielding up Eustace of Boulogne and other suspect Norman supporters.101 It quickly proved a major political blunder which his enemies were swift to exploit, and when King Edward called a general muster, the support of Godwine’s thegns melted away.102

99 100

101 102

Williams, The English and the Norman Conquest, pp. 19–21, 27–39. Nicholas Hooper, “Some Observations on the Navy in Late Anglo-Saxon England,” in Stud­ ies presented to R. Allen Brown, pp. 203–214; Ryan Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars. Sources and Inter­ pretations of Anglo-Saxon Warfare in the Viking Age (Woodbridge, 2010), pp. 141–176. ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1051; John of Worcester, 2.558–561. The pro-Godwine ASC ‘E’, protests that never­theless Godwine and his sons “were reluctant to stand against their royal lord.” ASC, ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1051.

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More representative was the kind of indirect hostilities visible in the actions of the exiled staller Osgod Clapa in 1049, who from exile in Flanders sent ships to raid around the Naze estuary.103 Similarly, during the revanche of the Godwines in 1052, Earl Harold raided along the north coast of Somerset and Devon before joining his father off the Isle of Wight.104 Godwine himself, sailing from Flanders, had landed on the Isle itself “and ravaged there so long that the people paid as much as they imposed on them,” before sailing further west to raid around the strategic anchorage of Portland.105 Such violence, however, was limited, for Godwine was seeking to win hearts and minds, and when their combined forces proceeded to sail along the south-east coast, “they would not do any great harm afterward, except that they lived off the countryside.”106 Raiding was restricted to gaining supplies and hostages, with the targeting of some royal estates.107 A more direct confrontation with King Edward occurred when the Godwines’ fleet advanced up the Thames as far as Southwark, and in such circumstances, as Barlow notes, Godwine’s command of mercenary liths­ men, who had fewer scruples in bearing arms against the king than had Anglo-Saxon thegns, was a marked advantage.108 Nevertheless, the earl managed to negotiate the support of many of those in London, and though the king was allegedly prepared to fight, wiser counsel forced him to enter into talks. Godwine’s studied gestures of submission and humility emphasized by the Vita Edwardi masked the reality of the military situation, but crucially allowed 103

104

105 106

107

108

ASC, ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1046; ASC, ‘C’, s.a. 1049, noted that his fleet of 29 ships had been gathered at Wulpe, near Sluys, but that Osgod himself had headed back to Flanders, where he placed his wife for safety at Bruges. The raid may also have been connected with the larger conflict between Count Baldwin of Flanders and a coalition which included King Edward the Confessor. It has been suggested that Osgod’s household office may have been linked to London as the main base of the royal fleet; Ann Williams, “Osgod Clapa,” ODNB. Peter Clarke, The English Nobility under Edward the Confessor (Oxford, 1994), provides a valuable wider context for the shifting fortunes ofthe rival noble families during the reign. ASC ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1052. Among the lands targeted were doubtless those of the west country magnate Earl Odda, who had been granted the western part of Godwine’s earldom in 1051 and was one of the leaders of the royal fleet stationed at Sandwich to prevent Godwine’s crossing from Flanders. ASC ‘E’, s.a. 1052. As even the ASC ‘C’, hostile to Godwine, admits s.a. 1052, such a policy was successful, for he “enticed all the men of Kent and all the sailors from the district of Hastings and the region round about there by the sea coast, and all Essex and Surrey and much else besides.” ASC ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1052. ‘E’ notes the burning of the royal manor of King’s Milton; Edward A. Freeman, The History of the Norman Conquest of England (5 vols.; Oxford, 1869–75), 2.596 (Appendix, “The Ravages attributed to Harold and Godwine”). Barlow, Edward the Confessor, pp. 123–124.

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King Edward to save face in granting pardon and readmission to his favour.109 In 1066 Tostig’s initial raiding from the Isle of Wight to Sandwich followed the pattern of 1052 and may have had a similar aim:110 only when such coastal raiding failed to compel King Harold to negotiate and restore him to the earldom of Northumbria did he finally throw in his lot with King Harald Hardraada’s invasion and seek to overthrow his brother.111 In such strategies, the defence of fortifications and siege warfare had little or no role. The use of fleets by contrast gave dissidents both strategic and tactical flexibility. In 1055, for example, Earl Ælfgar had raised a fleet in Ireland, to which he added his own ships – a reminder of the value of naval forces to Mercian earls whose lands bordered both the Irish Sea and the Severn estuary.112 In conjunction with his Welsh ally Gruffydd ap Llewelyn, his lithsmen easily routed in battle near Worcester a force under Earl Ralph of Hereford, inflicting heavy casualties.113 They wisely avoided, however, a direct confrontation with the main royal army under Earl Harold Godwineson which had mustered at Gloucester, falling back as it advanced into Wales, but Ælfgar’s military position remained strong enough for peace negotiations to result in his restoration to lands and office.114 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s statement that the mercenary fleet went to Chester to await payment by Ælfgar is a reminder that the effective prosecution of this form of political opposition was dependent on access to large quantities of treasure, and the need for moveable wealth may in part explain the sack of the minster at Hereford as well as the town.115 The employment of mercenary ships is not mentioned in the far more laconic 109

110 111 112

113 114 115

ASC ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1052; The Life of King Edward who Rests at Westminster, ed. and trans. Frank Barlow (2nd edn., Oxford, 1992), pp. 42–45. For a detailed discussion of the return of the Godwines see Barlow, Edward the Confessor, pp. 118–125; Frank Barlow, The Godwins (London, 2002), pp. 61–65. ASC ‘C’ and ‘D’, s.a. 1066 ; Frank M. Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (3rd edn., Oxford, 1971), pp. 586–587. ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1049; ASC ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1051; ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1058; ASC ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1052. ASC ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1055; John of Worcester, 2.576–579. It is ASC ‘C’ which notes Ælfgar’s own ships, in addition to the 18 ships raised in Ireland. For his alliances with the Welsh, Kari L. Maund, “The Welsh Alliances of Earl Aelfgar of Mercia and his Family in the midEleventh Century,” Anglo-Norman Studies 11 (1988), 181–190; Ireland, Wales and England in the Eleventh Century (Woodbridge, 1991), pp. 129–138; Stephen Baxter, The Earls of Mercia. Lordship and Power in Late Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 2007), pp. 45–7. As Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, p. 285, suggests, it may well be that levies raised from Mercian territory were reluctant to fight resolutely against a Mercian earl. ASC ‘C’, s.a. 1055; John of Worcester, 2.584–585. ASC ‘C’, s.a. 1051, “they stripped and robbed it of relics and vestments and everything”; John of Worcester, 2.576–579.

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record of Ælfgar’s second rebellion in 1058 after again suffering banishment, but he renewed his alliance with Gruffydd and was aided by a powerful Norwegian fleet led by Magnus, son of Harald Hardraada “which joined him unexpectedly.”116 Though no details of the military operations of his rebellion are known, support of Magnus’s forces doubtless contributed to Ælfgar’s subsequent restoration, and it might be suspected that the Norwegians received financial inducement from King Edward to withdraw. What is clear is that, unlike Tostig in 1066, Ælfgar did not throw in his lot with a major Norwegian invasion aimed at King Edward’s overthrow. Equally, the 1065 rising of the nobles of Northumbria and Yorkshire against the oppressive rule of Tostig Godwinson, accused of harsh taxation, unjust dispossession and political assassination, aimed not at deposing the king but an earl.117 A remarkable if isolated example of a major regional insurrection, the rebels did not seek independence for the north, but rather the king’s recognition both of Morcar as earl in place of Tostig and of the distinctive laws and customs of the Danelaw and Northumbria. They achieved both: as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle noted, King Edward “granted this…and gave them surety for it, and he renewed there the law of King Cnut.”118 Looking at the Confessor’s reign as a whole, what is striking is that the majority of acts of armed opposition to the king by earls or other magnates were successful – arguably far more so than in the post-Conquest AngloNorman regnum. The explanation for this may lie partly in their limited aims of re-establishing the political status quo, partly in the extensive power of the late Anglo-Saxon earls, including their ability to fund mercenary forces on a large scale, and partly in the anomalous circumstances of Edward the Confessor’s accession in 1042, which left him in a weaker position vis à vis his greatest nobles than most of his predecessors or successors. It is a matter of debate how far the events of 1066 indicate that the military institutions of late Anglo-Saxon England were outmoded or decayed, but in terms of the implementing limited and successful political opposition, the forces and technology available were certainly “fit for purpose”.

116 117 118

ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1058; John of Worcester, 2.584–585; The Annals of Tigernach, ed. and trans. Whitley Stokes, Revue Celtique 18 (1897), 374–419, at 399. John of Worcester, 2.596–8; Bertie Wilkinson, “Northumbrian Separatism in 1065 and 1066,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 23 (1939), 504–526. ASC ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1065.

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A Time of Transition: Mechanisms of Rebellion in the ­AngloNorman Regnum, 1066–1087

In the political and military landscape following 1066, such mechanisms met with more mixed fortunes. The raids launched by Eadric “the Wild” from the Welsh borders in alliance with the Welsh against the Norman garrison of Hereford echoed those of Ælfgar, though seemingly not on such a scale, and were concluded by reconciliation with King William. In contrast, in 1068 and 1069 the coastal ravaging by the sons of Harold Godwineson with fleets raised from Ireland was successfully repelled by local forces, both Anglo-Saxon and Norman, and achieved little; if beyond mere plundering raids their purpose had been to gain some form of territorial concessions from William, they lacked the political legitimacy and military influence to do so. The use of marshlands and fens in 1069 and 1070–1 as bases of resistance in lieu of fortifications had the advantage of preventing a direct attack by William’s forces, but it restricted the rebels’ offensive potential to limited raiding and made them heavily dependent on the fleets of their Danish allies. By the winter of 1069–70, moreover, the gravity of the military and political situation meant that the mere restoration of lands and titles was neither the insurgents’ principal aim nor a concession that William was prepared to make: the surrender and imprisonment of Earl Morcar in 1071 stands in striking contrast to Earl Ælfgar’s reinstatement following his rebellions in 1055 and 1058. The role of the Danes in the campaigns of 1068–1085 and the nature and extent of the Scandinavian threat to the Anglo-Norman realm into the early twelfth century merits a separate study, not least because it raises central questions as to how far Denmark, with its powerful fleets, can – at least in military terms – be seen as a kingdom on the European “periphery”.119 The campaigns of 1069–1071 revealed that the Danes were not prepared to commit to a major land engagement with Norman forces, but how far this was more a reflection of the essentially opportunistic nature of their intervention than a recognition of the superiority in the open field of Franco-Norman armies containing cavalry and missilemen is debatable. Against the advantages of surprise and mobility afforded by their fleets was the disadvantage that such seaborne forces were probably unable to transport siege equipment with them, even if the Danes had access to such by the mid-eleventh century, and it may be symptomatic that in 1069 their fleet was repulsed from attacks on the castles of Dover and Norwich. Nevertheless, William’s unprecedented military preparations in 1085, 119

See Bagge, above.

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which must have turned eastern England into an armed camp, suggests that he still adjudged Cnut IV of Denmark’s planned invasion as a grave danger. The strategic potential of naval operations from a major coastal fortress was recognized not only by the Danes but by rebels with the Anglo-Norman reg­ num. It was indicative of a pattern of rebellion in transition after 1066 that the first act of defiance against King William by one of his French followers was the attempted seizure of Dover castle by Count Eustace of Boulogne. The strategic value of the burgh at Dover for coastal defence had long been recognized, but Edward the Confessor’s close links to Normandy and William’s candidacy for the succession to the kingdom gave the fortification a new prominence after 1042.120 Eustace may have been promised custody of Dover by Edward the Confessor in 1051, possibly in order to build a castle within the existing burgh,121 but after the invasion, King William entrusted it instead to Hugh de Montfort. Eustace’s unsuccessful attack on Dover appears thus to have been an attempt to take by force what he held to be his due. His attack with a fleet, his limited objective, and his reconciliation with King William not long after, all cast his actions “in the tradition of similar expeditions by exiled or dispossessed lords attempting to regain their rights.”122 Yet equally, Eustace’s aim to negotiate from the position of strength gained by possession of a major stronghold was just as firmly grounded in the political traditions of northern France. The combination of this major coastal fortress and a fleet would have allowed Eustace control of the narrow seas, and placed him in a powerful position of influence in the affairs of King William’s new cross-channel regnum. The vulnerability of seaborne communication between England and Normandy to the combination of a castle and fleet in hostile hands was similarly recognized by King Philip I of France, who in 1074 offered the Anglo-Saxon prince Edgar Ætheling the castle of Montreuil sur Mer, “so that he could do daily harm to those who were not his friends.”123 The fleet provided for Edgar by King Malcolm of Scotland was wrecked by storms, but had it reached 120

121

122 123

According to William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 70–71, one of the pledges that Harold Godwineson swore to Duke William in Normandy in 1064 was that he would hold Dover for William. Williams, The English and the Norman Conquest, pp. 15–16. Eustace’s involvement at Dover in 1051, however, was the catalyst which sparked the rebellion of Earl Godwine and his sons. The fortification at Dover was taken soon after Hastings by William, who constructed a castle there. King Svein of Denmark’s fleet tried to take it in 1069, suggesting the Danes too may have sought to obtain it as a beach-head for invasion, but were driven off; Orderic, 2.180–181, 226–227. Williams, The English and the Norman Conquest, p. 16. ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1074.

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Montreuil, it would surely have been used to ravage not only the coast of southern England but also that of Normandy, in conjunction with any land-based assault. So seriously did King William regard this potential threat that he immediately rescinded Edgar’s outlawry and received him back into his court.124 It was fortunate for the Anglo-Norman kings that the Capetians themselves had no naval forces, and that until Philip Augustus’ acquisition of Artois in 1191 Montreuil remained their only foothold on the northern French littoral. The maritime capabilities of the counts of Boulogne and the potential of the Flemish ports such as Wissant as launching points for invasion would continue to pose periodic threats to the rulers of England, but it was a measure of the transformation of the nature of warfare in the decades after 1066 that few Anglo-Norman lords would employ fleets as mechanisms for rebellion, despite the continuing availability of Hiberno-Norse naval forces.125 A notable exception came in 1102 when Arnulf of Montgomery, based in Pembroke castle with its access to the Irish Sea, sought the aid of King Muirchetach O’Brien, who controlled the fleets of Waterford and Dublin, during Henry I’s systematic attempt to break the power of Robert of Bellême and the Montgomery family in England. Yet if such a move echoed those of rebellious pre-Conquest Mercian earls, the piratical activities of renegades such as Eustace the Monk or William Marsh, operating from Lundy Island, were from a very different mould, as shown by the nature and purpose of their operations, as well as their respective fates. The offensive naval capacity of the kings of England themselves would soon decline in the wake of the Conquest, but while they were still able to draw on the naval organization of late Anglo-Saxon England, possession of fleets gave them an added advantage in the suppression of rebellion. William the Conqueror’s subjugation of resistance on the Isle of Ely in 1071 was only possible by his ability to blockade it “with his buscarls,” while similarly in 1088 command of a fleet allowed William Rufus to contain the threat posed by Pevensey, held by Odo and other rebels, as an invasion point for Duke Robert’s forces.126 His fleet intercepted Robert’s advanced guard in the Channel, and 124

125

126

ASC ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1074; Douglas, William the Conqueror, p. 230. The strategic value of Montreuil for an attack on Normandy had been demonstrated as early as 944, when Herluin of Montreuil had aided Arnulf of Flanders in an attack on the region around Arques; Les Annales de Flodoard, ed. Philippe Lauer (Paris, 1905), p. 95. For Montreuil’s importance for controlling maritime commerce, see Richer, Histories, ed. Justin Lake (2 vols.; Cambridge, MA, 2011), 1.186–187, 2.386–387; Philippe Lauer, Le Règne de Louis IV (Paris, 1900), pp. 118–19; William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 1.107 n3. The Welsh prince Gruffyd ap Cynan, for example, was able to hire five such fleets between 1075 and 1099. For Arnulf’s alliance, see Edmund Curtis, “Murchetach O’Brien, high king of Ireland, and his Norman son-in-law, Arnulf de Montgomery, circa 1100”, Journal of the Royal Society of the Antiquaries of Ireland, 4th series, 51 (1921), 116–24. ASC ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1071; John of Worcester, 3.20–21.

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without further reinforcements the garrison of Pevensey was starved into surrender by Rufus’ land forces.127 By contrast the revolt of 1075 saw castles being used as bases for military operations on a more ambitious scale and with the aim of wresting control of England itself from King William. As the three earls involved each came from differing cultural and political traditions – Norman, Anglo-Breton and AngloSaxon – the extent to which castles played a role in their respective actions makes an instructive comparison. Waltheof was central to the rebels’ plans not only because he was the last surviving Anglo-Saxon earl, who as such might rally Englishmen to their cause, but also because his lands were strategically placed between those of Earl Ralph in East Anglia and of Earl Roger in Herefordshire and the marches.128 Yet though implicated in the conspiracy and later executed for not having revealed it to the king, Waltheof was to take no active part in the rebellion.129 Later sources sympathetic to him stress Waltheof’s scruples in taking up arms against the king who had shown him both clemency and favour, portraying him as being coerced into a reluctant complicity.130 But it may be as significant that, unlike Roger and Ralph, Waltheof as an Anglo-Saxon earl had no castles or other fortifications under his direct control from which he might have co-ordinated his uprising.131 Indeed, the situation was quite the opposite, for a number of powerful Norman castles had already been established within his large Midlands earldom; in the wake of the campaign against the Anglo-Saxon uprisings of 1068, King William had had built and powerfully garrisoned castles not only at York, Lincoln, Warwick and Nottingham, but also at Huntingdon and Cambridge – in the very

127 128

129 130 131

ASC ‘E’, s.a. 1088. He held lands in several Midland counties, while many smaller landowners were commended to him, and his influence in Cambridgeshire was notably strong; Christopher P. Lewis, “Waltheof, earl of Northumbria, c. 1050–1076,” ODNB. It is noteworthy in this regard that the plot had been hatched at a great feast at Exning in Cambridgeshire to celebrate the marriage of Ralph to Emma, the sister of Earl Roger. Nevertheless, Domesday Book reveals that a number of Anglo-Saxon landholders were disseised for their part in the revolt; Marten, “The Rebellion of 1075,” 176–178. John of Worcester, 3.25–29; Orderic, 2.314–315, 320–323. A possible exception was the great Northumbrian stronghold of Bamburgh, which Waltheof may have held from 1072, when he was made earl of Northumbria. Yet this was located too far to the north to be of direct use to the conspirators, and it receives no mention in connection to the revolt of 1075. It is possible that as earl of Northumbria, he had assisted from 1072 in the building of the great castle at Durham for Bishop Walcher, with whom he is said to have worked closely; Symeonis monachi opera omnia, ed. Thomas Arnold (2 vols.; London, 1882–5), 2. s.a. 1072.

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centre of Waltheof’s earldom – and perhaps at Northampton itself.132 Subse­ quently, as part of his efforts to suppress the continued resistance of Hereward and other Anglo-Saxon leaders from the Fens in 1071, William had castles built at Aldreth and Wisbech, and after the fall of the Isle of Ely itself, the king had a castle constructed at Ely.133 The same conflict saw the building of a castle close to the abbey of Peterborough by the militant Norman abbot Turold soon after his appointment in 1070.134 The continuing menace of Danish invasion, moreover, meant that many if not all of these fortifications were still well garrisoned in 1075. Such a concentration of castles would have hampered the mustering of any forces by Waltheof, and was to thwart the whole uprising’s chances of success. By contrast, Earl Roger had inherited from his father William fitz Osbern a powerful group of castles, including Chepstow, Monmouth, Clifford, Wigmore and the castle at Hereford, his comital seat. Sensing that Roger was on the verge of rebellion, Archbishop Lanfranc had written to him, urging him to follow the example of his father’s unswerving loyalty, and reminding him of King William’s recent command to his fideles “to do all in our power to prevent his castles (castella) from being handed over to enemies.”135 As Lanfranc feared, however, Roger, duly fortified his castles. His support among the marchers appears to have been limited,136 but following the practice of pre-Conquest 132

133

134 135 136

ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1067; Orderic, 2.218–219. The date of the building of the Norman castle within the burgh of Northampton is uncertain. It was almost certainly there by 1086, when the Domesday survey records that 35½ houses as waste, implying their demolition for its site; David J. Cathcart King, Castellarium Anglicanum (2 vols.; New York and London, 1983), 2.317 and n17. Waltheof’s fall in 1075 would have been a suitable opportunity to establish the castle, but given the strategic importance of Northampton, and Waltheof’s earlier disloyalty, it is equally possible that a castle was constructed well before this. Liber Eliensis, ed. E.O. Blake (Camden Society 3rd series 92, London, 1962), p. 194 (Aldreth, Ely); Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, ed. Henry R. Luard (7 vols.; London, 1872–1884), 2.7 (Wisbech); King, Castellarium Anglicanum, 1.36–42. The Chronicle of Hugh Candidus, a Monk of Peterborough, ed. William T. Mellows (Oxford, 1941), pp. 84–85, noting that it was called “Mount Turold.” Letters of Lanfranc, pp. 118–119. Little is known concerning Earl Roger’s supporters, although they included Ralph of Bernay, sheriff of Hereford, who presumably held the city’s castle on his behalf; Emma Mason, St Wulfstan of Worcester, c. 1008–1095 (Oxford, 1990), p. 146 and n146. The Book of Llandaff names three of fitz Osbern’s former vassals Humphrey, Osbern and William “Scriptor,” who had held half of Monmouth castle from William, who lost their lands after the revolt and “cum multis aliis exhereditati sunt”; Llyvyr Teilo vel Liber Landavensis, ed. J.G. Evans (Oxford, 1893), pp. 277–278. The prominence, however, among the royalist commanders of Walter de Lacy, who had earlier served as one of William fitz Osbern’s chief

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earls of Mercia in rebellion, he drew on an alliance with Caradog ap Gruffydd, the pre-eminent Welsh ruler in Glamorgan.137 The sparse chronicle accounts of the rising in the south-west, however, make little mention of the activities of Roger’s garrisons but concentrate instead on his offensive strategy of attempting to march east to unite “at the agreed place” with Earl Ralph as he moved out of East Anglia.138 Roger was thwarted, however, by powerful royalist forces led by Bishop Wulfstan of Worcester, Urse d’Abetot, the sheriff of Worcester, Æthelwig, abbot of Evesham, and Walter de Lacy.139 Though there is no record of a major engagement, the rebel earl was evidently contained west of the Severn, with the king’s men commanding the main crossings of the river at Gloucester, where a castle may have already been added to the powerful burgh defences, and Worcester, where a castle had been built by Urse in 1069.140 Of the three earls, Earl Ralph, who appears to have been the prime mover in the rebellion, posed the greatest strategic threat, for his power in East Anglia made his alliance with King Svein of Denmark particularly dangerous. Orderic’s description of him as “Ralph of Norwich” (Radulfus Nortiwicensis), suggests a close association between his comital authority and his principal castle of Norwich,141 and from the outset this fortress was intended to play a key role in

137 138 139

140

141

allies on the Welsh marches, indicates how limited Earl Roger’s support was among his father’s supporters. The role of Roger’s Welsh allies is not clear, but King William may subsequently have sent a punitive expedition into Glamorgan; Bates, William the Conqueror, p. 189. ASC ‘E’, s.a. 1075; John of Worcester, 3.24–25. For the military role of Wulfstan and the forces he commanded both in 1075 and in 1088, when he was again involved in suppression of the rebellion against Rufus, see Mason, St Wulfstan, pp. 141–146. Walter de Lacy held the strategically important castles of Weobley and Ludlow, as well perhaps as the castles of Ewyas Harold and Longtown; Wilfred E. Wightman, The Lacy Family in England and Normandy, 1066–1194 (Oxford, 1966), pp. 117– 134, with a valuable map at pp. 118–119. The early stone defences at Ludlow are more likely to be the work of his son Roger, but that a castle already existed by 1075 is strongly suggested by the fact that fitz Osbern had granted Walter a compact group of six neighbouring manors in the vicinity of Dinham, which almost certainly represented the creation of a major castellanry; Bruce Coplestone-Crow, “From the Foundation to the Anarchy,” in Ronald Shoesmith and Andrew Johnson (eds.), Ludlow Castle. Its History and Buildings Logaston, 2000), pp. 21–34, at pp. 21–22. ASC ‘E’, s.a. 1075; John of Worcester, 3.24–25; Mason, St Wulfstan, pp. 141–2. Gloucester was certainly constructed by 1086, for it is recorded in Domesday Book, 1.62. At Worcester, the castle’s construction encroached on the cathedral’s cemetery, and famously earned Urse the malediction of Aldred, archbishop of York and bishop of Worcester; William of ­Malmesbury, Gesta Pontificum, ed. N.E.S.A. Hamilton (London, 1870), p. 253. Orderic, 2.310–311.

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the rebels’ plans. At this date, the castle was still of earth and timber,142 but nevertheless was a large and powerful fortification; in the wake of the rebellion’s suppression, a royal garrison of three hundred knights and a large force of crossbowmen and siege engineers was installed there.143 With much of western Norfolk effectively cut off from the rest of the country by the Fens but easily accessible by sea,144 Norwich and its hinterland offered an excellent base for a rebellion planning to draw on Danish aid, much as the Fenland around Ely had been the base for the last stage of serious resistance in 1070–71 by Anglo-Saxon dissidents and their sea-borne, but all too mercurial, Danish allies.145 Why Earl Ralph attempted to move out of East Anglia before he had been reinforced by the Danes is unknown: fear of King William’s return from Normandy may have spurred him to pre-emptive action, perhaps with London as his target. Yet as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle noted, “Ralph also wanted to go forward with the men of his earldom, but the castle garrisons (castelmen) which were in England and also the local people came against them, and prevented them all from doing anything.”146 William’s commanders, led by William I de Warenne and Richard de Clare,147 intercepted and decisively defeated the rebel forces at Fawdon in Whaddon, Cambridgeshire,148 close to where the great prehistoric track of the Icknield Way passed the southern edge of the Fens.149 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s specific mention of castelmen indicates 142

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It is probable that the first castle at Norwich was on the site of the larger mound and stone keep, begun by William Rufus, though it may have been sited closer to the river Wensum; T.A. Heslop, Norwich Castle Keep (Centre for East Anglian Studies, Norwich, 1994), pp. 6–7. See also The Normans in Norfolk, pp. 24–26, 70; Ayers, “Urban Landscape,” pp. 13–14 and n81; Elizabeth Sheperd Posecu and Umberto Albarella, Norwich Castle: Excavations and Historical Survey, 1987–1998 (2 vols.; East Anglia Archaeology Report, 132, Dereham, 2009). Letters of Lanfranc, pp. 126–127. Heslop, Norwich Castle Keep, p. 6. Williams, The English and the Norman Conquest, pp. 50–57. ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1075. They were probably operating in conjunction with Geoffrey of Coutances, Odo of Bayeux and William Malet; John of Worcester, 3.24–25; Orderic, 2.316–317 and n3. Orderic, 2.316–317. For the location of the battle, Bruce Dickens, “Fagaduna in Orderic (ad 1075),” in F. Sandgren (ed.), Otium et Negotium. Studies presented to Olof von Feilitzen (Stockholm, 1973), pp. 44–45, who suggests that “Fagaduna,” meaning “piebald hill” from exposed patches of chalk, was the high ground on which the parish church of Whaddon now stands. For the Icknield Way, which leads from north-west Norfolk along the eastern edge of the Fenland via Newmarket to Royston in Hertfordshire, see Christopher Taylor, Roads and Tracks of Britain (London, 1979), pp. 16, 36–7; and for Roman roads connecting East Anglia

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how garrisons stationed at key castles and probably containing units of the familia regis could be quickly brought together to form an effective field force, stiffened by Anglo-Saxon infantry levied from the neighbouring counties.150 Indeed, the military successes of the first Anglo-Norman kings would owe much to the ability to combine elite Franco-Norman cavalry with wellequipped and organized Anglo-Saxon infantry. The Anglo-Saxons may not have had castles before 1066, but they adapted well to siege warfare against castles and were employed to some effect by the Conqueror not only in England but also in Normandy and Maine.151 The value of these troops in such warfare was to be seen most clearly in Rufus’ campaign against the widespread noble rebellion in 1088 in favour of Robert Curthose, where his English forces played a key role in the sieges of Rochester, Tonbridge and Pevensey.152 Conversely, the limited military effectiveness of Robert Curthose once duke of Normandy may have been the result not only of the loss of the rich revenues his father had been able to raise from England,153 but also his inability to draw on AngloSaxon troops and fleets, which could now be harnessed against him by his brothers as kings of England. Following the defeat near Cambridge, Earl Ralph and those of his men who had escaped the rout were able to fall back on the defences of Norwich castle, which became the focus of royalist efforts to crush the last vestiges of revolt before Danish reinforcements could arrive. William’s deputies pressed the siege closely for three months – an indication of the castle’s strength – and siege engines were brought to bear against the castle.154 Earl Ralph was able to take a ship to Denmark to seek aid, leaving his wife Emma and his garrison to hold out in the castle.155 Though Norwich could not be taken by assault, lack of

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to the south-west, see Ivan D. Margary, Roman Roads in Britain (revised edn., London, 1967), pp. 243–277. Marjorie Chibnall, “Mercenaries and the Familia Regis under Henry I,” History 62 (1977), 15–23; John O. Prestwich, “The Military Household of the Norman Kings,” English Histori­ cal Review 96 (1981), 1–37; both reprinted in Strickland (ed.), Anglo-Norman Warfare. Whaddon’s position a little to the west of Cambridge itself, suggests that the royal garrison of the castle at Cambridge, and in all probability of nearby Ely and Huntingdon, may have played a role in the engagement. ASC ‘D’, ‘E’, s.a. 1073. ASC ‘E’, s.a. 1088; Orderic, 4.125–135. Aird, Robert Curthose, ch. 4. Orderic, 1.316–317, “crebris assaltibus variisque machinationibus.” The damage caused by the siege, is reflected in Domesday Book’s record that some of the burgesses of Norwich had been “utterly devastated” as a result of the rebellion as well as royal taxation, Domes­ day Book. A Complete Translation, ed. Ann Williams and Geoffrey H. Martin (London, 1992), p. 1058. Orderic, 2.316–317; John of Worcester, 3.26–27.

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any external aid made the defenders’ position increasingly desperate, and when lenient terms of surrender were offered, Countess Emma accepted them.156 The garrison was granted safety in life and limb, while those Bretons who had held lands in England were given forty days to leave the kingdom, after swearing never to return without the king’s permission.157 By the time the Danish fleet of 200 ships under Svein’s son Cnut and Earl Hakon arrived off the coast of East Anglia, it was too late.158 Norwich castle now contained a powerful royal garrison, the king had returned to consolidate his position, and the Danes “dared not fight with King William,” sailing north to plunder York before heading to Flanders.159 In striking contrast to the rebels’ defence of Norwich or Guy of Burgundy’s earlier defence of Brionne after Val-ès-Dunes, Earl Roger of Hereford seems not to have attempted to use any of his castles to continue to hold out against King William. With his excommunication by Archbishop Lanfranc and King William’s return to England, he appears to have judged his position hopeless, and obeyed the royal summons to court to stand judgement.160 In the light of the mutilations inflicted on all those captured at “Fagunduna”, irrespective of rank, he may well have feared the consequences of William’s anger at further resistance, and may still have hoped for Lanfranc’s intercession. But if he had expected clemency he – like Waltheof – had miscalculated, for he was imprisoned for life, the earldom of Hereford was suppressed, and his lands and castles taken into royal hands.161 Roger was the first Norman of comital rank to suffer 156

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Orderic, 2.316–317; John of Worcester, 3.24–27; ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1075, notes that Emma “held it until she was given safe conduct; and then she went out of England, and all her men who wished to go with her”. Letters of Lanfranc, pp. 124–127. In his report to King William, Lanfranc noted that the landless mercenary knights had sued for and been granted similar terms. Emma later accompanied her husband on the First Crusade; William of Jumièges, Gesta Normanno­ rum ducum, 2.146; Orderic, 2.318. From Normandy, King William had warned Archbishop Lanfranc to be prepared to meet the Danish threat, and he in turn had ordered Bishop Walcher of Durham to “fortify your castles with men, weapons and stores” in readiness; Letters of Lanfranc, pp. 126–127. ASC ‘D’ and ‘E’, s.a. 1075. Letters of Lanfranc, pp. 122–123; Orderic, 2.318–319, “ad curiam regis vocatus venit”. ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1075, merely notes laconically that, after the fall of Norwich, “the king afterwards came to England, and captured Earl Roger, his kinsman.” John of Worcester, 3.26–27; Orderic, 2.319–332. Roger’s soubriquet “Contumax” (“the Stubborn”), coupled with Orderic’s story of how, to show his continuing hostility to William, Roger had burned the new robes sent to him in prison by the king as a gift, suggests that he had not displayed the requisite contrition or adequate submissiveness when appearing before the king.

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so heavy a punishment, and it is hard to dissociate his fate from the fact that he was one of the very few who had not used the strength of a major fortification to negotiate surrender on more lenient terms following an act of rebellion.162 Earl Ralph, however, had escaped, and from his great Breton lordship he continued the struggle against King William. His resistance, which further ignited an already volatile political situation in Brittany, was a striking indication of the strategic implications of armed rebellion by members of the new cross-Channel aristocracy created by the conquest of England.163 Significantly, this was not the first time that Ralph had fought against William in Brittany, for he had earlier supported Duke Conan against the major Norman expedition of 1064.164 Orderic noted that in Brittany Ralph was lord of two strong castles (optima castella), at Gael and Montfort,165 but in 1076 it was to be from the great fortress of Dol that he confronted William. Unlike Norwich, Dol was far more accessible to King William’s mutual enemies, and soon Ralph was joined not only joined by Geoffrey “Granon”, bastard son of Alan III and a major lord in the diocese of Dol, but also by a contingent of Angevin knights sent by Count Fulk.166 King William, alarmed at the threat to western frontier of Normandy, laid siege to the castle in September 1076, but in contrast to his successes of 1064 against the castles of Rennes and Dinan, he could make no headway against Dol’s defences.167 One of the great perils of siege warfare was that an army engaged in a major siege not only faced pressing logistical challenges but also left itself both strategically and tactically vulnerable to attack 162

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In this context, it may be significant that William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.8–11, makes no mention of a siege or negotiated surrender when noting the capture and imprisonment of William, Duke Richard II’s rebellious half-brother. Douglas, William the Conqueror, pp. 230–231, 233–234. As Bartlett, England under the Nor­ man and Angevin Kings, p. 19, neatly puts it, “the network of property and power spanned the Channel and a touch on the web in Norfolk or Paris could set it vibrating on the borders of Brittany” . That Roger had not likewise fled to Normandy to foment further rebellion indicates a lack of support, particularly from his elder brother William of Breteuil. Keats-Rohan, “The Breton Contingent”, 167. Ralph seems only to have come to England after the death of his father, Ralph the Staller, in 1069; Williams, The English and the Nor­ man Conquest, pp. 62–63. and n80. Orderic, 2.318–319. Chronicon Sancti Bieuc, in Receuil des Historiens de Gaules et de la France, ed. M. Bouquet (24 vols.; Paris, 1738–1904), 11.413; Chronica Britannicum, ibid., 12.566; Annales de Renaud, in Annales de Saint-Aubin, de Saint Serge, de Saint-Florent et de Vendome, ed. Louis ­Halphen and René Poupardin (Paris, 1913), p. 88; Douglas, William the Conqueror, pp. 233– 234. Among Ralph’s supporters who fled with him and lost their lands in England was Walter of Dol; Keats-Rohan, “The Breton Contingent”, 167–168. Annales de Renaud, p. 88.

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by a relieving force.168 What followed was a stark example of this, for King Philip I of France immediately raised a large army and attacked William as he invested Dol. The nature of the ensuing engagement cannot be reconstructed, but William evidently suffered a major reverse. As the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle noted, “the Bretons held it [Dol] until the king came from France, and then King William went away and lost there both men and horses and incalculable treasure.”169 The failed siege had left Ralph de Gael undefeated and William’s own position seriously weakened.170 For William, the defeat at Dol was not only “the first serious military check he had suffered in France for more than twenty years,” but also the first of a number of significant reverses which marked the last phase of his military career.171 Strikingly, all occurred in the context of major sieges on the duchy’s frontiers. In late 1077 or early 1078, William the Conqueror’s rebellious son Robert Curthose and his supporters were given refuge by William’s enemy Hugh of Châteauneuf, who “placed a number of his fortresses including Châteauneuf, Rémalard, and Sorel at their disposal, so that from there they could raid Normandy.”172 Soon afterwards, Philip I installed Robert in the frontier castle of Gerberoi in the Beauvaisis with a picked garrison of knights, whose raids caused such disruption that King William was forced to besiege it. A sudden sally by the garrison, however, routed William’s forces, and the king himself was wounded in an engagement which, Orderic noted, was his most humiliating defeat.173 Though ultimately Robert was unable to gain the authority and territories that he demanded, the campaign resulted in a settlement with his father, and a brief period of peace between them. The conflict at Gerberoi sharply reveals the important role frontier castles might play in the attempt of a disaffected son to apply effective military pressure against his 168 169 170

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Gillingham, “William the Bastard at War”, pp.152–154. ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1076; John of Worcester, 3.28–9; Orderic, 2.352–353; Douglas, William the Con­ queror, p. 233; Bates, William the Conqueror, p. 158. Douglas, William the Conqueror, p. 234, who notes that “his failure in Brittany in 1076 went some way to counterbalance the successful suppression of the rebellion of the earls in England.” There is considerable irony in the fact that the Bayeux Tapestry, with its depictions of William’s victorious Breton campaign of 1064, was being embroidered around the time of his serious defeat at Dol. For the depiction of the successful Norman sieges of Dinan and Rennes in 1064, see Lucien Musset, The Bayeux Tapestry, trans. Richard Rex (Woodbridge, 2005), pp. 69, 134–141. Douglas, William the Conqueror, p. 234. Orderic, 2.358–359. Hugh was brother-in-law of Robert of Bellême, one of Robert’s companions in rebellion; Orderic, 3.112–113, Bates, William the Conqueror, p.161. ASC ‘D’, s.a. 1079; Orderic, 3.108–111.

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father, especially when receiving the support of the French crown.174 Henry I was to be ceaselessly troubled by similar border raiding by supporters of his nephew William Clito. William’s shameful defeat at the hands of his own son made Gerberoi a particularly notable event, but the use of frontier castles to raid and thus destabilize an enemy’s territories was of long standing, and the duke himself might be as much the aggressor. In 1033, for instance, when Robert I gave refuge to King Henry of France, driven out by his stepmother Constance in favour of his younger brother Robert, duke of Burgundy, he not only equipped his retinues with horses and arms but fortified castles on the Norman border from which he launched sustained attacks against those resisting Henry I’s authority.175 Duke William’s own campaign to capture Alençon and Domfront in 1052–3 had resulted from the urgent need to prevent these two major frontier castles from being used as bases for raiding into Normandy, after they had fallen under the control of Geoffrey Martel, count of Anjou, while conversely his own construction of Ambrières, from which his forces devastated the surrounding region, marked the first crucial phase in his conquest of Maine.176 But it was to be on the frontiers of Maine and Anjou that William was to experience his final military reverse at his unsuccessful siege of Sainte-Suzanne in 1084. This was being used by Hubert, vicomte of Le Mans, as a base from which to harass the Norman garrison of Le Mans and of other castles held by William’s men to secure Norman control of Maine.177 The site of the castle, “built on a steep crag above the river Evre,” made direct assault or a strict blockade impossible, so William established a siege castle in the valley of Beugy.178 Its garrison, however, was repeatedly worsted by the castle’s defenders, whose numbers were swollen by mercenary knights eager for rich ransoms. Despite a long investment, perhaps 174

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While Orderic attributes the outbreak of Robert’s rebellion to a quarrel between Robert and his mischievious younger brothers, it is significant that Robert thereupon attempted to seize the keep in Rouen, an action which though unsuccessful, had surely been premeditated. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.54–57. King Henry’s own attack and destruction of Tillières in the early 1040s may similarly have been to strike at a base in Normandy from which Count Waleran I or his allies had pursued his rebellion; William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.100–101; Bates, Normandy before 1066, p. 74. William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, 2.122–127; William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi, pp. 23–29, 50–55; Douglas, William the Conqueror, pp. 102–103; Bates, Normandy Before 1066, p. 256; Gillingham, ‘William the Bastard at War’, pp. 151–153. Orderic, 4.46–49. Such was the castle’s strength that Hubert had abandoned his other castles of Beaumontle-Vicomte and Fresnay-sur-Sarthe to fall back on its defences; Orderic, 4.46–47.

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lasting over a year, William’s forces were unable to reduce Sainte-Suzanne, and after suffering heavy losses, including the deaths of several of his leading men, the king came to a negotiated peace with Hubert.179 As with William’s earlier investment of Brionne, the campaign of Sainte-Suzanne highlights the inadequacy of available siege technology to defeat places of such strength and how William’s preferred method of reducing fortresses by siege castles and blockade could be thwarted. It also reveals how such a siege might quickly attract stipendiary forces from a far wider area than that of the immediate conflict, and how the mechanism of ransom, while limiting the extent of killing, might serve to prolong the conflict by providing continuing war funding to the defending forces.180 Like the struggle for Sainte-Suzanne , King William’s last military engagement, an attack in 1087 on Mantes provoked by the raiding of its French castellans into the Norman Vexin, was emblematic of the destabilizing impact of frontier castles and of a pattern of conflict long visible in warfare between the territorial principalities of the Frankish heartlands, with their shifting and constantly contested boundaries.181 Within Normandy itself, the significance of major fortifications both as emblems of comital status and as military strongpoints ensured that from at least the early eleventh century, they would serve as nodal points for opposition against the duke, whether this took the form of limited acts of resistance, which might include efforts to gain or retain custody of such fortresses, or of attempts to overthrow his authority. In eleventh- and twelfth-century Normandy, as in pre-Conquest England, much of the military action of aristocratic resistance took place on the frontiers or peripheries, and was often at its most dangerous when it could readily draw on external support. Offensively, castles such as Arques could be used as bases for an enemy’s invasion of the duchy, while major sieges to contain and reduce rebel strongholds exposed the duke not only to collusion by those sympathetic to the dissidents’ cause, but also to the threat of attack from such external forces. Even when the duke was able to overcome a rebel lord’s resistance, moreover, the comparative strength of comital castles and the imbalance between the strength of fortification and siege technology almost always permitted the negotiation of surrender on lenient terms. By introducing these mechanisms of conflict into England from 1066, the Norman Conquest radically transformed the means by which leading nobles engaged in armed resistance to the king. Fortifications, so little utilized by 179 180 181

Orderic, 4.52–53. Strickland, War and Chivalry, pp. 185–186. Orderic, 4.74–79; William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum Anglorum, 1.510–511.

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Anglo-Saxon nobles in acts of rebellion, now became essential instruments for both the prosecution and suppression of revolt, as the rising of the earls in 1075 so clearly revealed. Conversely, fleets, which had frequently formed such a distinctive a feature of revolt in late Anglo-Saxon England, were deployed only in exceptional cases by dissident Anglo-Norman lords. Campaigns of rapid movement thus gave way to those characterized, as in pre-conquest Normandy, by more geographically limited raiding from one or more rebel-held castles, in which larger scale operations such as those resulting in the engagements at Val-es-Dunes in 1047 or “Fagaduna” in 1075 were rare. The contrast, moreover, between Earl Ralph’s successes against King William on the Breton border in 1076 and the failure of his rebellion in Norfolk in 1075 highlighted the greater vulnerability of rebels who, unlike those earls rebelling between 1042 and 1066, lacked their own naval forces and were thus dependent on the seaborne aid of allies. The separation of kingdom and duchy following William’s death in 1087 was to have a further profound impact on the functions and significance of castles in both England and Normandy. The rebellion of 1088 would witness the centrality of castles in a rising against William Rufus far greater in scope and danger than that of 1075, and the prominence of key coastal castles such as Pevensey and Rochester as potential invasion bases, this time not from Denmark as in 1075 but from Normandy itself. Conversely, across the Channel, castles, whether in the Pays de Caux or the Cotentin, would act as the crucial mechanism by which first William Rufus, then Henry I, sought to destabilize Duke Robert’s rule and bring increasing areas of Normandy under their own control. If castles continued to lie at the heart of the continuing process of conquest and settlement within Britain well into the twelfth century, by 1087 they equally had transformed the strategic and political landscape within the Anglo-Norman lands themselves.

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Chapter 7

The Evils of the Court: Judicial Melodramas in Medieval French Literature Stephen D. White Early in a sequel to La chanson de Roland called Gaydon (c. 1230), the emperor Charlemagne is threatened once again by treason as he retreats with his army from Spain.1 There, as all versions of the Roland-story relate, the traitor Ganelon had enabled the emperor’s Saracen enemies to ambush and kill not only 20,000 men in the rearguard of Charlemagne’s army but also the twelve peers of France, including Count Roland, Charlemagne’s nephew and favourite.2 Although forced to retreat without conquering the Saracens, Charlemagne, in Gaydon’s brief recapitulation of the Roland-story, had nevertheless remained in Spain long enough to avenge Roland’s death on Ganelon, whom his court had judged a traitor and executed after a certain Thierry, whom the OxfordRoland identifies as a brother of Geoffrey of Anjou, had killed Ganelon’s kinsman and champion Pinabel in a judicial duel, otherwise known as a trial by battle (1–13; see also 44–5, 424).3 As Gaydon begins, Thierry, identified here as Geoffrey’s son, has taken the name Gaydon (“The Jay”), after a bird of that type, which had alighted on his helmet at the moment of his victory over Pinabel (425–7). Although Thierry/Gaydon is Charlemagne’s new favourite at the outset of the poem, he is not to retain his privileged status for long. While Charlemagne is staying up late at night in his tent with some of his barons, a messenger from Gaydon brings him a gift of 30 apples.4 After 1

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Gaydon: chanson de geste du XIIIe siècle, ed. Jean Subrenat and co-trans. with Andrée Subrenat, Collection Ktemata 19 (Louvain, 2007). In the text of this article Arabic numerals within parentheses refer to line numbers in this text. On the relationship between Gaydon’s allusions to the Roland story and different versions of the story itself, see Jean Subrenat, “Position Littéraire de Gaydon,” in Gaydon, pp. 19–23; and notes to lines 16–18 and 46–9 at pp. 694–696. For the Oxford-Roland, which is by far the best-known version of the story, see La chanson de Roland, ed. Ian Short (Paris, 1997); and The Song of Roland, trans. Glyn S. Burgess (Harmondsworth, 1990). On other versions of the story, see Margaret Buckland, Strange Words: Retelling and Reception in the Medieval Roland Textual Tradition (Notre Dame, IN, 2007). Whereas the Oxford version of La chanson de Roland locates Ganelon’s trial at Aix in Francia, Gaydon places it in Spain. Gaydon, line 125: “Trente parmains” (a kind of apple called a “pearmain” in English).

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_011

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promising to reward the messenger the next morning, the emperor gives one of the fruits to the young nobleman who was carving up the apples but who, after taking a bite, drops dead, with his eyes popping out of his head: a sure sign of poisoning (179–259). Furious, the emperor sends for Gaydon, whom he charges with treason the next morning (260–316, 396–449). The charge is then corroborated by a baron called Thibaut d’Aspremont, who undertakes to prove it by fighting (547–76). After Gaydon denies the accusation (590–5), it is agreed that the two men will fight a judicial duel to determine whether he should be executed as a traitor (737–81). However, audience members following the story already know which party to the duel is in the right. The author has already explained how Thibaut, a brother of the dead traitor Ganelon, has conspired with seven of his kinsmen to poison Charlemagne, pin the blame on Gaydon, and have him executed for the crime, so that Thibaut can not only avenge Ganelon but otherwise advance his own interests and those of his kinsmen by taking over Charlemagne’s realm and distributing lands to them. Indeed, it is Thibaut himself who has infused the apples with poison – an art learned from his wicked uncle, the abbot of Saint-Denis (27–177). In the battle right prevails, when Gaydon forces Thibaut to confess to his terrible treason and then kills him, thereby winning an acquittal (1044–1989), though the story goes on for nine thousand more lines until Gaydon’s conflict with Charlemagne is finally resolved (10817–68).5 When analyzed as a law case, Gaydon’s case is structurally identical to dozens of other imaginary treason trials in which a male or female defendant usually enjoying great favour at court is falsely accused of treason, but eventually wins an acquittal and proves that the accuser is the real traitor.6 In 5

6

On the judicial duel in Gaydon, see Marguerite Rossi, “Le motif du duel judicaire dans Gaydon: Traitement littéraire et signification,” in Mélanges de littérature du moyen âge au XXe siècle offerts à Mademoiselle Jeanne Lods, vol. 1 (Paris, 1978), pp. 531–546; Jean Subrenat, Etude sur Gaydon: chanson de geste du xiii siècle (Aix-en-Provence, 1974), pp. 367–387. In a different kind of literary trial scene, the charge of treason is not totally groundless, but the defendant is nevertheless able to disprove it in battle – in person or by champion – because he or she did not have treasonous motives and/or because the appellant’s charge was motivated by hatred, envy, and spite. On literary law cases generally, see Stephen D. White, “Prosecuting and Proving Sexual Infidelity at the Court of King Arthur: The Case of Guinevere v. Lanval,” in Per Andersen, Mia Münster-Swendsen and Helle Vogt (eds.), Law and Private Life in the Middle Ages (Copenhagen, 2011), pp. 1–26; “The Ambiguity of Treason in Anglo-Norman-French Law, c. 1150 to c.1250,” in Ruth Karras, Joel Kaye, and E. Ann Matter (eds.), Law and the Illicit in Medieval Society (Philadelphia, 2008), pp. 89–102, 267–269; “The Problem of Treason: The Trial of Daire le Roux in Le roman de Thèbes,” in Pauline Stafford, Janet L. Nelson, and Jane Martindale (eds.), Law, Laity and

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these cases (here called “judicial melodramas” for reasons to be explained below) trial begins when the accuser – who, as in Gaydon, sometimes acts on behalf of the king himself – makes what the audience knows to be a flagrantly false charge that a blameless defendant has committed treason by betraying the king (e.g. by plotting to kill him), killing a nobleman or noblewoman by treason or engaging in an act of sexual infidelity.7 Eventually the defendant or defendant’s champion wins an acquittal by defeating and, in most cases, killing the accuser in a trial by battle.8 Literary law cases of this kind are referred to here as “melodramas,” because they bear the marks of what Peter Brooks, a scholar of nineteenth-century prose-fiction, calls “the melodramatic imagination.”9 Like the modern melodramas studied by Brooks, medieval judicial melodramas are characterized by what he calls “strong emotionalism” and “inflated and extravagant expression” and by a concern with “extreme states of being, situations, actions.”10 These characteristic features of melodrama are all clearly evident in Gaydon, for example, where both Charlemagne and Ganelon’s kinsmen repeatedly express overheated anger and hatred for their enemies, whom they curse and denounce, while proclaiming their determination to take vengeance against them (e.g. 39–68, 260–307). Judicial melodramas also create what Brooks calls “moral polarization and schematization” in several ways. In particular, they contrast an evil, dishonourable, treacherous accuser such as Thibaut, who is introduced as “un fier glouton” (14), with a good, honourable, and loyal defendant such as Gaydon, who merits great praise (5). At the same time, these episodes juxtapose an irascible, vindictive, and intermittently tyrannical lord such as

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Solidarities in Medieval Europe (Manchester, 2001), pp. 95–115; “Imaginary Justice: The End of the Ordeal and the Survival of the Duel,” Medieval Perspectives 13 (2008), 32–55. On the forms of treason represented in literary texts and their relationship to the types of treason mentioned in legal and historical texts, see White, “Ambiguity of Treason”; and “Alternative Constructions of Treason in the Angevin Political World: Traïson in the His­ tory of William Marshal,” e-Spania 4 (2007), 1–27. URL: . In a variant form of the judicial melodrama, the defendant is initially unable to rebut the accusation and is sent into exile, usually because the accuser and/or the lord of the court have violated customary judicial procedures. Much later the defendant is exonerated, usually at a second trial at which the original accuser loses a judicial duel. See, e.g., Macaire, ed. François Guessard (Paris, 1866); Doon de la Roche, ed. Paul Meyer and Gédéon Huet (Paris, 1921). Peter Brooks, The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama and the Mode of Excess (New York, 1985). Brooks, Melodramatic Imagination, pp. 11–12.

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Charlemagne in Gaydon – who often listens to evil counsellors, turns against his most loyal followers, and violates the judicial customs of his own court – with at least one good counsellor such as Gaydon’s uncle, Duke Naymon, who knows the court’s customs perfectly and tries to persuade the king to follow them. The king’s view of the case is also contrasted with that of the barons of his court, who sooner or later show themselves willing to support the honourable defendant or at least to oppose his immediate execution and to give him a chance to secure his own acquittal by fighting a duel against his accuser. Finally, like Brooks’ melodramas, judicial melodramas are designed to keep the audience in suspense, in this case about when and how the honourable defendant will escape death and disgrace and regain favour at court, despite the traitors’ “dark plottings” (to use another of Brooks’ phrases).11 The suspense in judicial melodramas starts to build as the author explains the traitor’s overall strategy, the key elements of which are: (1) to lay the groundwork for the false accusation of treason by devising and then executing a dastardly plot; (2) to induce the king to make or at least endorse the false accusation; (3) to secure the defendant’s condemnation in the king’s court and execution as a traitor; and (4) to gain honour and patronage at court or even take over the kingdom.12 The suspense continues to build after the defendant is falsely accused of treason. Eventually, the defendant is allowed to answer the accusation in the king’s judicial court, but not without naming pledges who agree to support him in spite of the king’s hostility to him and threats against his supporters (see, e.g., 626–781). Even then, the defendant has no hope of securing an acquittal without fighting a judicial duel in person or by champion against the treacherous accuser, who is such a powerful knight that he seems unlikely to lose (see, e.g., 1848–9).13 Lengthy preparations for the duel add to the suspense, as do even lengthier battles, in which each side gains and loses several chances for victory. Except in the extended melodramas already mentioned in a previous note,14 the battle’s conclusion ends the suspense, at least in the short-run, and brings what Brooks calls “breathtaking peripety” – that is, a sudden change of fortune: for the defendant, who gains “the reward of virtue” by winning an acquittal; and for the treacherous accuser, who is 11 12

13 14

Brooks, Melodramatic Imagination, p. 12. Since men are usually the targets of false appeals in judicial melodramas, this paper deals only anecdotally with the trials of women and genders the defendants in them as male. Since the stories that include judicial melodramas proper are invariably cast in a melodramatic mode, I sometimes refer to the former as judicial melodramas as well. See, e.g., Gaydon, lines 1848–9, where Thibaut is represented as such a formidable knight that he looks like a good bet to defeat Gaydon. See above, n8.

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finally revealed as the felon he truly is and who dies a traitor’s horrible death.15 Whether the defendant’s legal victory over the accuser fully resolves the political conflict that gave rise to the trial depends on where the judicial melodrama is positioned in a given epic or romance. When it takes place at the beginning of the story (as it does in Gaydon) or in the middle, defendants and their associates make only temporary escapes from the king’s wrath and from the dark plottings of the traitor, whose surviving kinsmen continue to seek their enemies’ destruction. When the trial is situated at the end of the story, the legal victories of the unjustly accused restore them fully to the king’s favour and result in the downfall of their enemies, though there is always the possibility that the traitors will return to the court. In either case, the judicial melodrama often structures the larger narrative so that it, too, takes on the character of melodrama. Aside from literary trials of women who are falsely accused of sexual infidelity by traitors acting out of hatred and spite, judicial melodramas have received little attention in discussions of late twelfth- and early thirteenth-century French literature and law. Indeed, the stories that include them, particularly the chansons de geste, have been treated dismissively by most literary scholars.16 Nevertheless, given how frequently this type of trial scene was incorporated into French epics and romances of the period and how important a role it played in the construction of their storylines, it must have had considerable appeal for late twelfth- and early thirteenth-century aristocratic audiences.17 But why? Although this question, like the one that scholars have repeatedly 15 16

17

Brooks, Melodramatic Imagination, pp. 11–12. For the view that trial scenes in medieval French literature expressed disapproval of unilateral and bilateral ordeals, see, e.g., R. Howard Bloch, Medieval French Literature and Law (Berkeley, CA, 1977); and John W. Baldwin, “The Crisis of the Ordeal: Literature, Law, and Religion around 1200,” Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 24 (1994), 328–353. For an alternative interpretation, see White, “Imaginary Justice.” On literary trials of queens accused of adultery, see, e.g., Peggy McCracken, The Romance of Adultery: Queen­ ship and Sexual Transgression in Old French Literature (Philadelphia, 1998); Nancy Black, Medieval Narratives of Accused Queens (Gainesville, FL, 2003); White, “Prosecuting and Proving Sexual Infidelity.” On chansons de geste that include judicial melodramas, see Adalbert Dessau, “L’idée de la trahison au moyen âge et son röle dans la motivation de quelques chansons de geste,” Cahiers de civilisation médiévale 3 (1960), 23–26; trans. as “The Idea of Treason in the Middle Ages,” in Fredric L. Cheyette (ed.), Lordship and Com­ munity in Medieval Europe: Selected Readings (New York, 1968), pp. 192–197 at 196, where these narratives are called “heroic romances rather than true chansons de geste”; and Sarah Kay, The ‘Chansons de Geste’ in the Age of Romance: Political Fictions (Oxford, 1995). In a sample of 120 trial scenes in twelfth- and early thirteenth-century French literature, the overwhelming majority can be classified as “melodramas.”

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posed about why “courtly love” became a major theme in medieval literature, can be answered only through an extended analysis on several different levels,18 this paper makes a start at addressing it by advancing the following argument. First, not only do judicial melodramas focus attention on an activity that was increasingly important for all twelfth- and early thirteenth-century nobles – namely, the competition for the king’s favour and patronage and for royal justice; the courts portrayed in these literary episodes resembled both the historical courts that nobles constituting the audiences for these texts frequented or hoped to frequent in order to compete for favour, patronage, and justice, and the imaginary courts that critics of the Angevin royal court such as John of Salisbury and Walter Map hyperbolically represented as Hell, at least partly because of the viciousness and corruption with which the competition was conducted. Second, although the authors of judicial melodramas brought out the evils of court life by deploying a “paranoid style” of political discourse, just as clerical critics of the court did, they presented their audiences with an appealingly simple diagnosis of these evils by blaming them on traitors and with a satisfyingly simple cure to them – a cure that merely required men of honour to purge the court of traitors, usually by killing their leaders in judicial duels. The main elements of an analytical framework for showing how judicial melodramas addressed the concerns of contemporary audiences about the corruption of the competition for patronage by traitors can be developed from two discussions of patronage by Robert Bartlett, one in The Making of Europe (1993) – which treats what I shall call “feudal patronage” – and the other in England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075–1216 (2000) – which analyzes another kind of patronage that I refer to as “courtly,”19 At a later stage of the argument, the paper also draws on Bartlett’s chapter on trial by battle in Trial by Fire and Water: The Medieval Judicial Ordeal (1986).20 For the purpose of showing how feudal and courtly patronage figure in judicial melodramas, Bartlett’s work is particularly pertinent, because, like the authors of these literary texts, he treats patronage mainly from the perspective of its recipients and would-be recipients and not from that of its distributors. When considering feudal patronage, with particular reference to how it was practiced on European 18 19 20

For a model of this kind of analysis, see Gadi Algazi and Rina Drory, “L’amour à la cour des Abbasides: un code de compétence sociale,” Annales HHS 55:6 (2000), 1255–1282. Bartlett, Making of Europe; Robert Bartlett, England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075–1225 (Oxford, 2000). Robert Bartlett, Trial by Fire and Water: The Medieval Judicial Ordeal (Oxford, 1986), pp. 103–126.

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frontiers during the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, Bartlett defines “the fief,” not as a means of supporting a “mounted warrior,” but as a reward for his military service.21 This is precisely how fiefs are represented at key moments in many judicial melodramas, whose story-lines require that the nobleman falsely accused of betraying his lord has previously – and deservedly – received a fief from him as a reward for fighting on his behalf. As Gaydon recalls, when Charlemagne falsely accuses him of treason, the king had previously given him lands, when they were together in the king’s pavilion, after he had killed Pinabel, Ganelon’s kinsman, in a judicial duel, thereby proving that Ganelon himself was a traitor and deserved to be killed as well (422–5; see also 477–92).22 That making a gift of this kind was not simply an established practice but an obligatory one is also evident from Bartlett’s discussion of feudal patronage, which mentions the “moral thread” running through legal texts and historical narratives that a “lord should grant” fiefs to his men to reward them for military service.23 If so, then from the perspective of recipients and would-be reci­pients of feudal patronage, the operative norm of reciprocity that governed their relations with their lord was not – as in so-called feudal contracts – that they owed him service for the fiefs he had granted to them, but that he owed them fiefs for their service.24 Moreover, when Bartlett maintains that if a lord disappointed his men by failing to reward them for their services, they had “a right” to abandon him and “look elsewhere” for feudal patronage, he implies that if the lord violated the norm of reciprocity just mentioned, they could legitimately impose sanctions on him. These sanctions also included defying the lord, withdrawing from his service, and perhaps even making war on him – a sanction which, Bartlett implies in another context, was “acceptable,” if not 21

22

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Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 46, 52; see also p. 51: “The successful conquerors or warriorimmigrants of the High Middle Ages expected a reward and that reward was typically what they called a fief.” Ironically, Charlemagne promises to give a pecuniary reward to the man who delivered the poisoned apples to the king’s tent and undertakes to make him a knight (192–7); the king also promises to increase the size of the fief of the young noble who then carved them (236–7). At the end of the story, Charlemagne not only renounces his anger and illwill against Gaydon (10839) and gives him his love once again (10824), but restores all of his lands (10825). Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 46. (My italics.) See Stephen D. White, “Fiefs for Service or Service for Fiefs,” in Gadi Algazi, Valentin ­Groebner, and Berhard Jussen (eds.), Négocier le don, Veröffentlichungen des Max Planck Instituts für Geschichte (Göttingen, 2003), pp. 63–98; rpt. in idem, Re-thinking Kinship and Feudalism in Early Medieval Europe (Aldershot, 2005), ch. 12.

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fully legitimate.25 Sanctions against a bad lord play a particularly important role in judicial melodramas, where in Gaydon, for example, Charlemagne provides the central character with ample justification for defying him (884, 897, 1985), leaving his court, and fighting a war with him, after the king withdraws his favor from his former favourite, strips him of the office of seneschal and grants it to his mortal enemy, Thibaut (756–7), and even considers stabbing Gaydon to death in the presence of all his other barons (409–12). Later, the king compounds these injuries to Gaydon by giving Thibaut’s surviving kinsmen both favour and patronage at court (1966–7). To understand why the sudden loss of royal favour and patronage by honourable defendants in judicial melodramas to their treacherous enemies at court would have resonated with aristocratic audiences, it is important to note, on the one hand, that this shameful process clearly violated the the norm of reciprocity that they would have seen as governing the distribution of patronage in an idealized feudal system and, on the other, that the same process was entirely consistent with the distribution of courtly patronage at the English royal court, as Bartlett explicates it in England under the Norman and Angevin Kings. Here, he identifies the royal court as a “group of people enjoying patronage, hoping for it, … losing it” and competing for it, with an acute sense that while gaining and keeping it were necessary for political survival, its distribution was arbitrary, capricious, and unpredictable and its loss was an ever-present possibility.26 Although royal favour, he writes, was “the single most important instrument for making or breaking individual fortunes,”27 successfully gaining and retaining it did not depend on the would-be recipient’s meritorious service to the king, as would have been the case in a feudal patronage system; instead, success in both endeavours turned on the volatile micro-political dynamics of court life and thus on what Bartlett calls “[t]he question of who was ‘in’ and who was ‘out’, the jealousies of factions, the dangers of flaunting one’s good fortune, [and] the crucial matter of who had the king’s ear.”28 Every feature of the courtly patronage system that Bartlett identifies in this passage has its parallel in all judicial melodramas, each of which presupposes that no matter where it is held, the court is central to the political, legal, social 25 26 27

28

According to Bartlett, England under Norman and Angevin Kings, p. 61, a “tradition of justified aristocratic violence could invest resistance to the king with a kind of acceptability.” Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, p. 29. Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, p. 32. According to Robert Bartlett, Gerald of Wales (Oxford, 1982), p. 61, “Among court clerks preferment was unpredictable, patronage essential and jealousy easily aroused.” Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 35.

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and economic standing of the nobles who are gathered there and to their kin, their friends, and their allies as well. In Gaydon, even when Charlemagne is on campaign in Spain, his ambulatory court is the place where fortunes are made and lost, as one can see from the previous reference to the munificent gift made by the king to his new favourite in the royal pavilion. Even though men who lose patronage may withdraw from the court – as Gaydon and his asso­ ciates do when they realize that Ganelon’s kinsmen have seized control of it – they rarely abandon it permanently, as they could do, according to Bartlett, under a feudal system of patronage. In the judicial melodramas included in chansons de geste, the competition for courtly patronage takes place, not between isolated individuals (as is sometimes the case in courtly romances), but rather between rival court factions, just as it does in Bartlett’s historical model. In Gaydon, where the faction made up of Ganelon’s surviving kinsmen competes with the faction led by Gaydon, the members of one group “enjoy” the king’s patronage, as Bartlett puts it, while those belonging to the other group hope to gain or regain it as the only way of making or restoring their fortunes. The former are “in” and have the king’s ear; the latter are “out” and don’t. As the story opens, it is Gaydon along with his kin and friends who enjoy Charlemagne’s favour and patronage and have every reason to believe that they will continue to do so. After all, as Alori, Thibaut’s kinsman, bitterly and enviously remarks to his fellow-members of the Ganelon faction, Gaydon and his two great allies, Duke Naymon and Ogier the Dane, are so intimate with Charlemagne that the king does nothing without their advice and, by implication, takes counsel with no one else. Moreover, because the three men’s tents are right next to Charlemagne’s, they not only have his ear but can presumably control access to him (57–64). As Alori’s speech suggests, the ongoing competition between rival factions for access to the king and for royal favour and patronage breeds intense feelings of jealousy for members of the “in”-faction on the part of those who are “out,” Even if the former do not flaunt their good fortune, their rivals in the “out”-faction will see them as doing so, envy them, and try to cut them down to size. In the courtly patronage system described by Bartlett, the atmosphere is bound to be even more “anxious and competitive” than the one he finds in the feudal system of patronage,29 because courtly patronage is limited in two main ways: first, by the scarcity of material rewards available for distribution;30 and, second, by the many obstacles that stand in the way of having the king’s ear 29 30

Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 46. On the scarcity of fiefs in a feudal system of patronage, see Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 46, 52.

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and gaining royal favour. In the morally polarized world of judicial melodramas, the zero-sum game of competing for royal patronage is particularly vicious, because there are only two ways of playing it, one of them open and honorable and the other treacherous and shameful. Whereas men such as Gaydon are depicted as competing honourably for royal patronage, as mounted warriors do in an idealized version of the feudal system of patronage, by striving to do meritorious service – usually military service – to their lord (in this case, the king), traitors compete for the same rewards underhandedly, by trying, not just to supplant their rivals at court in the king’s favour, but to secure their total destruction. As we have already seen, the traitors’ chosen method of doing so, in judicial melodramas, is to hatch a dastardly plot that culminates in their making or corroborating a false “appeal” – that is, a false accusation – that an honourable, meritorious recipient of royal patronage who belongs to the “in”-faction has committed an act of treason and deserves to die by hanging, burning, or some other shameful form of execution. The plots, as explicated below, are the melodramatic expressions of a “paranoid-style” of political discourse, while the false appeals are heard in the courts of mythologized monarchs, which, having been miraculously cleansed of lawyers, bureaucrats, and other clerics, are dominated by the king and his lay nobles. Nevertheless, the forms of treason with which defendants are falsely charged, the courts’ customary procedures, and the punishments they may impose on defendants judged to be traitors would all have been familiar to contemporary aristocratic audiences. For example, the kind of treason with which Gaydon is charged for plotting to kill Charlemagne is essentially the same as the one that the Leges Henrici Primi described as plotting against a lord and treated as a form of proditio, traditio, or infidelitas31 and that the author of Glanvill (c. 1189) mentioned when he stated that doing “something against the king’s life” was a form of lèse-majesty.32 Both of these texts, moreover, prescribed death as the proper punishment for plotting against the life of a lord and, in Glanvill’s case, the king. Furthermore, the court procedures followed in judicial melodramas correspond closely to ones that were outlined in law books such as Glanvill, described in historical accounts of treason trials, and documented in records of appeals of felony.33 31 32

33

Leges Henrici Primi, 75.2, ed. and trans. Lesley J. Downer (Oxford, 1972), p. 233. The Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Realm of England Commonly Called Glanvill, 14.1, ed. and trans. Derek G. Hall with a guide to further reading by Michael T. Clanchy (Oxford, 1993), p. 172; see also 1.2 (p. 3). Glanvill, 14.1 (pp. 171–3). On appeals of felony, see Paul R. Hyams, Rancor and Reconcilia­ tion in Medieval England (Ithaca, NY, 2003), pp. 146–147; John Hudson, The Formation of

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Because of the close resemblances between imaginary trials of traitors in judicial melodramas and contemporary judicial customs and practices, judicial melodramas could serve as effective literary vehicles for articulating and resolving the ambivalence of their aristocratic audiences, not only about royal courts as centres for the distribution of patronage, but about the king’s judicial court as the place where the king was obliged to do right to his men. On the one hand, the royal judicial court appears in these episodes as a political arena in which a traitor who gains the king’s ear can seek to have the court do the dirty work of destroying the traitor’s own enemies. This is achieved by committing the form of treason which, to paraphrase the late-thirteenth-century legal writer Beaumanoir, consisted of giving false witness in order that the accused will be hated by his lord and subsequently put to death, disinherited, or banished.34 On the other hand, despite the king’s support for the traitor and his disposition to override his judicial court’s customary procedures, the barons of the court can still act collectively as a judicial body to adjudicate conflicts between the treacherous accuser and the honourable defendant, provided that customary judicial procedures are properly followed. Of these procedures, two are particularly important in judicial melodramas, because they enable the falsely accused defendant to turn the tables on his accuser and achieve the “breath-taking peripety” that Brooks sees as essential to melodrama. First, there is the custom of referring the case to the king’s barons for a medial judgment (or award) on how – or whether – the case against the defendant should proceed. Due observance of this custom not only impedes the efforts of the traitor and the king to have the innocent defendant executed immediately, without judgment; it is also the principal prerequisite for the defendant securing the right to defend himself by battle against his accuser, proving that he is not guilty of treason, and establishing that the true traitor is the accuser. The proof, as we have already seen in the case of Gaydon, is provided by outcome of the procedure known as the judicial duel or trial by battle. Whereas modern scholars have often maintained that this procedure is represented

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the English Common Law: Law and Society in England from the Norman Conquest to Magna Carta (London, 1996), pp. 71–77, 166–175; John Hudson, The Oxford History of the Laws of England, vol. 2, 871–1216 (Oxford, 2012), pp. 722–733. On the procedures followed in literary trials, see Wolfgang Van Emden, “Trial by Ordeal and Combat: the Deliquescence of a Motif,” in Essays for Peter Mayer (Reading, 1980), pp. 173–193 at p. 181. Although Charlemagne is sometimes called “emperor,” he generally acts in literary trials as King of the Franks. Philippe de Beaumanoir, Coutumes de Beauvaisis, ed. A. Salmon (3 vols.; Paris, 1899), vol. 1, section 827, p. 430; The Coutumes de Beauvaisis of Philippe de Beaumanoir, trans. F.R.P. Aklehurst (Philadelphia, 1992), ch. 30, section 827, p. 303.

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unfavourably by the creators of trial scenes in medieval French literature, Bartlett’s discussion of it in Trial by Fire and Water provides grounds for doubting that literary texts produced for aristocratic audiences would have called into question the right of nobles to defend themselves in battle against charges of treason. Although the authors of these texts obviously did not aim to produce realistic descriptions of trial by battle, their accounts of the preparations for judicial duels achieved a noteworthy “reality effect” by capturing what Bartlett calls “the elaborate formalism” of this procedure.35 Moreover, because he finds a strong “link [in historical law cases] between accusations of treason and [the use of] trial by battle,” his work suggests that in literary ones, it was not simply a literary convention for men falsely accused of treason to be represented in judicial melodramas as defending themselves against their accusers by battle.36 Finally, by alluding to “a clash” between “rulers seeking to limit the duel and aristocracies jealous of their judicial authority and individual honour,” he enables us to see that the moral polarization between a tyrannical king and his good barons that is built into judicial melodramas was not simply the byproduct of the melodramatic imagination, but an important element of aristocratic culture.37 Starting from Bartlett’s objectivist model of the court as the place where nobles competed for the royal patronage that they needed to maintain their own power and honour and his remark about the “anxious and competitive atmosphere” in which men competed for feudal patronage, we need only four extra elements to construct the subjectivist model of the court that poets built into judicial melodramas – a model that represents the court from the imagined perspective of an honourable noble who has won honour, royal favour, and royal patronage by virtue of his own extraordinary merits; who loses them all when he is falsely accused of treason by traitors able to gain royal favour and patronage only by evil, underhanded means; and who regains these limited goods only after proving both his own innocence of treason and his accuser’s felony. First, “justice” or “right” at the king’s court needs to be counted as an item of royal patronage – a limited good that was distributed capriciously and arbitrarily and that often went to those who did not merit it. Second, the competition for royal patronage – including royal justice – should be understood as part of the general competition to gain and maintain honour at court, 35 36 37

Bartlett, Trial by Fire and Water, p. 111. Bartlett, Trial by Fire and Water, p. 107. Bartlett, Trial by Fire and Water, p. 126; on “monarchical hostility to the duel [and] an aristocratic preference for it,” see p. 124.

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to avoid shame, and, when necessary, to avenge dishonour. At court, honour and the patronage and favour that underpin it are, as we have already seen, such limited goods that there is never enough of them to go around. The only way of gaining them is to take them from others, sometimes by destroying them. Third, to bridge the gap between Bartlett’s objectivist model of court patronage and the subjectivist model of it that we can tease out of judicial melodramas, we also need to shift our perspective on the court and abandon the notion that competition for court patronage took place among undifferentiated noble competitors. Instead, we must view the competition – as authors of judicial melodramas do – from the perspective of an individual noble, who is so honourable and so clearly deserving of honour that we barely see him gaining it, much less competing for it. (Gaydon is established as Charlemagne’s favourite before the action of the poem starts.) If he is not quite the best knight in the world, his superiority over the other mounted warriors is simply taken for granted. Finally, we need to give particular emphasis to another emotion that is implicit in Bartlett’s references to “the dangers of court life,” “the instability of royal favour,” the role of “the royal patronage machine [in] the breaking of individual fortunes,” and “the sharpness of rivalry” for top positions at court.38 This additional emotion, which colours every judicial melodrama and heightens “the anxious and competitive atmosphere” of the court, is fear: fear of losing favour, patronage and honour and thus fear of shame. The proximate objects of this fear for individual competitors are the honourable noble’s rivals for favour, patronage and honour – the flatterers, false-friends, liars, seducers or would-be seducers, enemies, felons, and traitors. As we have already seen, these are the people who give false testimony in order to destroy honourable men and women. Also to be feared is the king himself, who is always ready to believe slanders, false rumours, and false complaints against honourable people; ready to turn against them and hate them; and thus ready to disinherit, banish, or even execute nobles he should love, honour, and reward. As a means of heightening the atmosphere of fear and danger in their court settings, authors of judicial melodramas rely heavily on a “paranoid style” of political discourse similar to that used by clerical critics of Henry II’s court.39 According to Stephen Jaeger, these authors:

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Bartlett, England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, pp. 28, 30, 32, 33. The phrase is from Richard Hofstadter, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” Harper’s Magazine (November, 1964), 77–86, which analyzes a strikingly similar technique in American political discourse that involves the use of “heated exaggeration” to spin out

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paint a picture of the court which makes it seem little better than hell itself. It is likened to the ocean, where men suffer shipwreck, or to the infernal regions. Courtiers are likened to dogs and serpents; they are called parasites and backbiters, and flatterers; men whose only motive is ambition, whose only interest is in raising or maintaining their positions by supporting the whims of the king; they are called enviers, intriguers, and manipulators, who conceal the emptiness of their minds behind a gloss of good manners and affability. The life of any court has two faces: the one is elegant, urbane, courtly; the other murderous, treacherous, swollen with stifled hatred. These texts focus on the latter.40 One of the main rhetorical effects that clerical critics of the court achieved by deploying a paranoid style of political discourse was to moralize the competition for patronage and favour there by openly identifying the vices that drove it, animated it, and corrupted it, making it a dangerous and even lethal environment for honourable men and women. As L. Harf-Lancner points out, Peter of Blois called the court a place of “ambition, flattery, lying, slander and false accusation, tricks, envy, cruelty, and impiety, [and] the pursuit of worldly goods and vainglory.”41 For Gerald of Wales, Harf-Lancner continues, the vices that made the court a hell on earth included “avarice, lying, [and] malice.”42 Walter Map made Covetousness (cupiditas) the Lady of the Court.43 John of Salisbury emphasized several different vices, including vainglory, envy and avarice, from which came other evils, including ones that flourished in the courts where judicial melodramas were played out:

40 41

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“conspiratorial” fantasies about the plots of “totally evil and unappeasable enemies and the active or passive complicity of corrupted rulers in these plots against the good.” C. Stephen Jaeger, The Origins of Courtliness: Civilizing Trends and the Formation of Courtly Ideals, 939–1210 (Philadelphia, 1985), pp. 55–56. Laurence Harf-Lancner, “L’enfer de la Cour: La cour d’Henri II Plantagenêt et la mesnie Hellequin,” in Philippe Contamine (ed.), L’État des les aristocraties, XIIe–XVIIe siècles (Paris, 1989), pp. 29–55 at p. 36, quoting from Peter of Blois, Letter 139 (PL 207, col. 297) at p. 48 n26. Harf-Lancner, “L’enfer,” pp. 48–49, citing Gerald of Wales, De Principis Instructione Liber, ed. George F. Warner, in Giraldi Cambrensis Opera, ed. J.S. Brewer (8 vols.; London, 1861– 1891), “Appendix to Introduction: In Librum de Principis Instructione Praefatio Prima,” 8.lvii–lxviii at p. lvii. According to Bartlett, Gerald of Wales, p. 17, Gerald called the court “that image of death and model of Hell.” Walter Map, De nugis curialium, 1.10, ed. and trans. M.R. James, C.N.L. Brooke, and R.A.B. Mynors (Oxford, 1983), pp. 14–15.

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From vainglory spring disobedience, boastfulness, hypocrisy, strife, stubbornness, discord, and presumptuous innovation. From envy are born hate, whispering, detraction, exultation at the adversity of one’s neighbor, and dejection at his prosperity … From avarice emerge betrayal, fraud, deception, perjury, restlessness, violence, and a hardening of the heart against mercy.44 Vernacular authors of judicial melodramas, too, used a paranoid style of discourse, but in a slightly different way to create the traitor as a stock character who could be scapegoated for the evils and uncertainties of the vicious competition for royal favour, patronage, and honour at court. Although the traitor of judicial melodrama bore a certain resemblance to the flatterer in clerical critiques, he appeared to be much more dangerous; and by building judicial melodramas around him, their authors personified most of the vices that clerical critics of the court saw as endemic to it as well. The traitor was repeatedly portrayed as a Judas, a felon driven by envy and hatred, prideful and arrogant, cunning and cruel, a liar, a murderer, a feminized sexual predator, and a shameless villain who uses deceit, perjury, subterfuge, ruses, trickery, and guile (not to mention poison) to achieve evil ends.45 The author of Gaydon neatly captures key characteristics of the traitor by representing one of Ganelon’s kinsmen taking a kind of oath of anti-fidelity or felony, in which he swears “never to be loyal and faithful to a lord and to betray those who are, to promote wicked men and overthrow the good, to run down good men behind their backs while flattering them to their faces, and to lie and cheat on all occasions.”46 In Gaydon, we can also see the traitor insinuating himself and his fellow traitors into the honourable reciprocities of the court in order to carry out his shamefully murderous plot. Another side to the traitor, which further distinguished him from the vile figures who populated the hellish courts of John of Salisbury and other court critics, made him a perfect character for judicial melodramas, in which good would ultimately triumph over evil. The traitor of judicial melodrama 44

45 46

John of Salisbury, Frivolities of Courtiers and Footprints of Philosophers, translation Poli­ craticus, Books 1–3 and 7–8 (selections) by Joseph B. Pike (Minneapolis, 1938), p. 295; John of Salisbury, Ioannis Saresberiensis episcopi Carnotensis Policratici sive De nugis curialium et vestigiis philosophorum libri VIII, 8.1, sect. 712a, ed. Clement C.I. Webb (2 vols.; Oxford, 1909; rpt. Frankfurt, 1965), 2.229. On traitors in chansons de geste, see Kay, Chansons de Geste, esp. pp. 177–188. Gaydon, lines 6431–69. For the translation and for a fine analysis of the passage, see David Crouch, The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France, 900–1300 (London, 2005), p. 49.

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was fallible and vulnerable, sometimes comically so, and could therefore be overcome by honourable men (and women, too), provided that they had opportunities to defend themselves against the traitor’s false accusations at a placitum conducted in accordance with customary procedures, as overseen by the king’s good counsellors. To see how a story about a queen and a courtier who were both falsely accused of adultery by envious court traitors was played out when the accused had no opportunity to defend themselves in court, consider Walter Map’s story of the king of Portugal, which brings out both similarities and differences between clerical critiques of the court and the criticisms built into judicial melodramas. To display to his readers “the tricks of the court [and] the deceits of devils that have place there,” Walter related that when the king was: beset by many enemies, and almost forced to submission,…there came to his aid a youth of noble build and remarkable beauty [who] re-established peace to the hearts’ desire of the king and the kingdom, and was as of right received into the closest intimacy with his sovereign, who showed him more favour – sending for him constantly, visiting him often, rewarding him richly – than tended to his prosperity. Since the noble youth – and, more specifically, his favoured position at court – provoked envy: The nobles of the court, seeing themselves less honoured than before by their lord, imagined that the favourite had by so much diverted favour from them, and … complained that they were defrauded by him … Maddened with envy, they … sank to the lowest form of persecution, that is, accusation. Knowing the king to be “madly prone to groundless jealousy,” two of the nobles accused “the innocent queen – a second Susanna – of adultery.” Without even considering the possibility of allowing his wife or the youth to answer the accusation in court and lacking good counsellors to persuade him to do so, the king “ordered the inventors of the crime to avenge him on the innocent man with the utmost savagery and secrecy.” Later, the king attacked the queen, who was then pregnant, and killed her with his bare hands.47 Map’s story – which may have been modeled on an historical incident – resembles another story, this one told by Roger of Howden, about a young man 47

Walter Map, De nugis curialium, 1.12, pp. 30–3.

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at court who was accused of adultery, perhaps falsely, and given no opportunity to defend himself. In 1175: Philip, count of Flanders, took prisoner a knight named Walter de Fontaines, one sprung from a noble family, and conspicuous before all his peers in feats of arms; making a charge against him that he had unlawfully known the countess of Flanders. On this, the said Walter, intending to make a denial thereof, offered to prove his innocence in any way whatever, affirming that he had never known the countess, nor had he ever had it in his thoughts to know her. The count, however, would not allow him to clear himself; but in the fury of his wrath gave orders that he should be put to death by being beaten with clubs. Accordingly, the executioners seized him, and binding him hand and foot, beat him with clubs, and hung him up half dead by the feet, with his head hanging downwards in a filthy sewer, and thus, being suffocated by the stench from the sewer, he ended his life most shockingly.48 In certain respects judicial melodramas obviously resemble these stories by Walter Map and Roger of Howden about falsely accused men and women. Nevertheless, they proceed very differently and have totally different endings. To understand the similarities and differences, it is first necessary to give closer consideration than the introductory section of the paper does to how traitors’ plots unfold in judicial melodramas. In the simplest cases, the traitor simply advances his own interests at the expense of a rival by fabricating a false accusation of treason against him. In Garnier de Nanteuil, the treacherous Auboin falsely accuses Garnier of plotting to kill Charlemagne.49 In Garin le Loherain, a member of the Bordelais faction secures his own release from prison by falsely accusing one of the Lorrainers of having conspired to kill King Pepin. In a much more elaborate case from the early thirteenth-century Prose-Lancelot, a seneschal’s daughter falsely claims to be the real Guinevere and accuses the real Guinevere of impersonating herself and thereby betraying Arthur and the entire court. Moreover, the truly false Guinevere falsely accuses King Arthur of 48

49

Translation adapted from The Annals of Roger de Hoveden, trans. Henry T. Riley, vol. 1, pt. 2, ad 1155 to 1180 (1853; rpt. Felinfach, 1996), p. 402; Roger of Hoveden, Chronica Magistri Rogeri de Houedene, ed. William Stubbs (4 vols.; London, 1868–71), 2.82–83; also Benedict of Peterborough, Gesta regis Henrici Secundi Benedicti abbatis. The Chronicle of the Reigns of Henry II and Richard I, ad 1169–1192 known commonly under the name of Benedict of Peterborough, ed. William Stubbs, 2 vols. (London, 1867), 1.99–101. Orson de Beauvais, ed. Gaston Paris (Paris, 1899), lines 3138–3745.

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being false to her by falsely and treacherously sleeping with his true wife. The horror of the false-Guinevere’s plot becomes clear when Arthur goes mad and threatens to flay the true Guinevere alive.50 In other stories, traitors set up – that is, they frame – the targets of their false accusations of treason. In Doon de la Roche, the despicable Tomile first has his men smuggle a serving lad into the bed of Doon’s wife Olive, sister of King Pepin, when she is drunk on spiced wine. Tomile then arranges for Doon to discover Olive in bed with the boy, whereupon Doon accuses the king’s sister of disloyalty and after threatening to burn her to death, sends her into exile.51 In Macaire, the eponymous traitor instigates much the same plot against Charlemagne’s wife, Blanchefleur, by smuggling a dwarf into her bed so that the emperor can discover them. Charlemagne threatens to burn his wife to death, but then exiles her.52 A similar plot gets a different spin in the early thirteenth-century poems making up the so-called “wager-cycle,” in which, to take the simplest form of the plot, a treacherous nobleman makes a bet with a more honourable one that he will have sex with the latter’s wife or mistress, on the understanding that the winner of the bet will take the other’s land. The traitor wins the wager by presenting the king’s court with false evidence of his success in seducing the woman, winning his wager and his rival’s land, and bringing terrible shame on the woman – and also on the man.53 In judicial melodramas, one also meets traitors at comital or ducal courts rather than royal courts who commit murders and then try to blame them on their enemies. In Florence of Rome, the treacherous knight Macaire schemes to take vengeance on Florence after she rejects his advances. He kills a woman called Beatrice with a knife, which he then places in the hand of the sleeping Florence, who is conveniently sharing a bedchamber with Beatrice. When Florence is discovered with the bloody knife in her hand, she is falsely accused in a count’s court of murdering her companion.54 This particular plot thickens a bit in Gerbert de Montreuil’s Roman de la Violette. There, a knight of the duke of Normandy called Meliatir tries to rape the virtuous Euriaut after she shames him by rejecting his lecherous advances, but she repulses him by kicking out 50 51 52 53

54

For one version of the episode, see Lancelot, ed. Alexandre Micha, vol. 3 (Geneva, 1979), 2.1–13, pp. 22–61. Doon de la Roche, lines 116–532. Macaire, pp. 2–63. For three wager-cycle poems, see Gerbert de Montreuil, Le roman de la violette ou de Ger­ art de Nevers, ed. Douglas Labaree Buffum (Paris, 1928); Le conte de Poitiers: roman du treizième siècle, ed. V.-Frédéric Koenig (Paris, 1937); Jean Renart, Le roman de la rose ou Guillaume de Dole, ed. Félix Lecoy and trans. Jean Dufournet (Paris, 2008). Florence de Rome, ed. A. Wallensköld (2 vols.; Paris, 1907–9), lines 4411–4677.

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several of his teeth. Meliatir decides to kill her later that night, when she will be sharing a bedchamber with the duke’s sister, Ysmaine, and then to cast blame for the murder on Ysmaine by placing the bloody murder weapon in her hand while she is asleep. However, the plot misfires when Meliatir kills Ysmaine herself by mistake and puts the bloody knife in Euriaut’s hand. Meliatir then revises his scheme by accusing Euriaut of murdering the duke’s sister and calls for her immediate execution, because, he claims, she has been caught literally red-handed.55 Audience-members, of course, can see these false accusations for what they are; and good royal counsellors at least suspect their mendacity. However, the king or other lord of the court is initially taken in by the plot, threatens to punish the blameless defendant, and is ready to allow his court to become the instrument of the traitor’s scheme to destroy his enemies. The more ridiculous the plots are made to be and the more incredible the accusations seem, the more foolish, fearful and credulous the king appears to be. One irony built into every judicial melodrama is that the real traitor is not the accused, but rather the accuser. There is another, less obvious irony as well. The king, far from being the dispassionate fount of justice that he should be, is instead so fearful of treason that he allows the treacherous accuser to use the royal judicial court as an instrument of his vengeance and sometimes the king’s own vengeance as well. Worst of all, the people who are targeted for the traitor’s false accusations of treason and who suddenly lose favour with the king are the people who are most deserving of royal favour. How then do honourable defendants falsely accused of treason escape from the peril that kings and their treacherous counsellors place them in? Significantly, they get help from characters who never figure in clerical court critiques, namely the king’s good lay counsellors, who ensure that honourable defendants are tried in accordance with customary judicial procedures. In Charlemagne’s court, as we have already seen, Duke Naymon often plays this role. In Le roman de la Violette, the good counsellor is the lord of Aspremont, who supposedly knows more about courts and law than any other knight in the world.56 Good counsel is also a critical factor in ensuring that male defendants are given a chance to defend themselves by battle, while female defendants are enabled to find champions who will act as their proxies. Judicial melodramas consistently represent the judicial duel as the perfect instrument to achieve a sudden reversal of fortune for the defendant, who wins an acquittal, and for the appellant, who is finally revealed as the real 55 56

Gerbert de Montreuil, Roman de la violette, lines 3947–4117, 5070–5721. Gerbert de Montreuil, Roman de la violette, lines 5380–3.

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traitor. Once Euriaut gets her case into court, her lover Gérard appears at the last minute and saves her from being burned to death by winning a duel against the treacherous Meliatir.57 After the odious Hugo has falsely accused Orson of Beauvais of plotting to kill Charlemagne, Orson’s son proves his father’s innocence by defeating Hugo in battle and forcing him to confess to his own treason.58 Although Auboin persuades Charlemagne to hear his false charge that Garnier de Nanteuil plotted to kill the emperor, Garnier succeeds in defeating Auboin in battle, forcing him to confess to his perjury and winning an acquittal for himself.59 In Le roman de Waldef, an early-thirteenth-century Anglo-Norman poem, when a wicked seneschal falsely accuses the wife of King Ode of Poitou of sexual infidelity because she has rejected him, Ode has her condemned to death by burning. But before he can have her executed, King Waldef accuses the seneschal of treason, and defeats him in battle.60 By overcoming the duke of Normandy in a duel, the eponymous hero of Le conte de Poitiers proves that his wife is a loyal woman and that the duke perjured himself when he accused her of being unchaste.61 Amazingly, no matter how big and bad and strong the traitor is and how well he fights, he always loses the battle to the defendant or the female defendant’s champion, no matter how improbable the traitor’s loss. In Macaire Charlemagne’s wife Blanchefleur is even defended in battle by her faithful knight’s faithful dog, who defeats her accuser and makes him confess publicly to his perjury before he dies a terrible death.62 Because the traitor seems to embody the worst evils of the court, his shameful death in a duel would seem to provide the author’s audience a particularly satisfying, appealing, and melodramatically effective way of ending the trial and, in some cases, the entire narrative.63 As previously noted, however, these endings do not always turn out to be fully conclusive. In Gaydon, the hero’s victory over the treacherous Thibaut does not end the struggle between his faction and the faction of Ganelon, whose surviving members quickly recover their power at court. In fact, the authors of judicial melodramas have two ways of 57 58 59 60 61 62 63

Gerbert de Montreuil, Roman de la violette, lines 5422–64. Orson de Beauvais, lines 3138–3745. Aye d’Avignon, ed. S.J. Borg (Geneva, 1967), laisses 7–23. Le roman de Waldef, ed. A.J. Holden, Bibliotheca Bodmeriana (Cologny-Geneva, 1984), lines 7602–8110. Le conte de Poitiers, lines 1033–1229. Macaire, pp. 32–63, 75–107. On the survival of judicial duels, see Bartlett, Trial by Fire and Water, pp. 103–126; White, “Imaginary Justice”; Bruno Lemesle, Conflits et justice au moyen âge: normes, lois et résolu­ tion des conflits en Anjou aux XIe et XIIe siècles (Paris, 2008), pp. 181–189.

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showing that courts will never be completely free from danger. First, they make sure that traitors can never be extirpated from courts, either by resurrecting the traitors killed off in one story and recycling them in another or else by creating entire lineages of traitors that will never die out.64 Second, they also represent kings and other rulers as so fearful of being betrayed by their men, poisoned, or shamed through their wives that they are always ready to listen to the evil counsel of traitors at their courts, who, it seems, always have or are about to have the king’s ear. The underlying issue that drives all of these narratives is competition for royal favour and patronage at a court where, however rich, powerful, honourable, and generous the king may be, the only item of patronage that really matters, namely land, is a limited good, for which competition is never-ending. As a result, the royal court is a place where, as the author of the Prose-Lancelot puts it, “No one is safe from treason.”65 64

65

On lineages of traitors, see M. Ailes, “Traitors and Rebels: the Geste de Maience,” in M. Ailes, P.E. Bennett, and K. Pratt (eds.), Reading Round the Epic: A Festschrift in Honor of Professor Wolfgang van Emden, King’s College Medieval Studies 14 (London, 1998), pp. 41–68. Lancelot do Lac: The Non-Cyclic Old French Prose Romance, ed. Elspeth Kennedy (2 vols.; Oxford, 1980), p. 5; Lancelot of the Lake, trans. Corin Corley (Oxford, 1989), p. 8.

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Chapter 8

Historical Writing and the Experience of Europeanization: The View from St Albans Björn Weiler At some point, probably in the ninth century – the exact date remains uncertain – Danish raiders attacked the English Benedictine abbey of St Albans in Hertfordshire. They carried off not only worldly treasures, but also the relics of the abbey’s patron saint, and brought them to a place called Owense (Odense). Distraught, the monks embarked on a penitential campaign of praying and begging, in the hope that God would allow the relics to be restored. One of those participating most fervently was Egwin, the abbey’s sacristan (and so in charge, among other things, of the relic collection). One night, while asleep, Egwin experienced a vision. In it a man of noble appearance, with the long flowing hair and beard that – the text stressed – made him easily identifiable as one of the ancient Britons, prodded the monk awake with a golden staff. Once assured of Egwin’s attention, the apparition revealed himself to be none other than St Alban, who told Egwin that God would grant the monks’ wishes. Egwin then set out to find the place where Alban’s remains were kept. On reaching Owense, he abandoned his monastic habit, and sought to make friends with the monks he found already resident there. Egwin eventually earned such respect for his morality, prudence, eloquence and knowledge, that the Danish brethren asked him to join their community. This Egwin did, and after a few years became their sacristan. He showed particular devotion to the shrine in which not only St Alban, but also the monks’ treasure was kept. He spent many a night praying there in solitude in order to prepare a casket in which to hide the bones of St Alban. Eventually, Egwin managed to retrieve the remains. Without revealing its content, he passed the casket to an English merchant he had befriended, with strict instructions to bring the chest to St Albans. The merchant, unaware of the nature of his cargo, delivered it to England safely. Once news reached Egwin that Alban was securely back in Hertfordshire, he asked for leave to visit his native shores. After a most festive welcome at St Albans, Egwin informed the monks of Odense as to what he had done, and his English brethren rejoiced at the miracles Alban immediately began to work.1 1 Thomas of Walsingham, Gesta abbatum monasterii Sancti Albani, ed. H.T. Riley (3 vols.; London, 1867–9), 1.12–18. © koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_012

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The incident is related in the mid-thirteenth-century redaction of the Gesta Abbatum, produced by St Albans’ most famous historian: Matthew Paris (c. 1200–c. 1259).2 In fact, Matthew identified the passage specifically as his addition to the earlier text.3 It is difficult to determine how far the episode reflects actual events. Matthew claimed that raid and recovery had taken place during the time of the fourth abbot of St Albans, but gave no date. Following the Gesta, which takes the – entirely legendary – foundation of St Albans in 793 as its starting point, this would locate the Egwin episode in the beginning or middle of the ninth century, just after the Christianization of Denmark had begun, and about a century before a bishopric was established at Odense.4 That is, Egwin’s adventures are chronologically impossible. The tale may, however, echo later events. A Danish tradition maintained that in the eleventh century, relics from St Alban had been acquired during a raid and brought to Odense Cathedral.5 The Peterborough Chronicle similarly reported Danish raids in the 1080s,6 while well into the twelfth century the monks of Ely disputed St Albans’ possession of the relics, claiming that they had been brought to Ely for safekeeping during a Danish raid in the previous century.7 Collectively, these accounts raise the possibility that relics from St Albans may indeed have been acquired through plunder, though, as we have seen, no firm evidence exists to link Egwin’s adventures to a concrete, independently attested event.

2

3 4

5

6 7

Matthew Paris has been the subject of a vast literature. Key works are: Richard Vaughan, Matthew Paris (Cambridge, 1958); Suzanne Lewis, The Art of Matthew Paris in the Chronica Majora (Berkeley, 1987); James Clark (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Matthew Paris (Cambridge, forthcoming). Gesta abbatum, 1.19. The Gesta were initially written c. 1178. The original text is, however, lost, and Matthew’s remains the earliest surviving manuscript. Tore S. Nyberg, Die Kirche in Skandinavien. Mitteleuropäischer und Englischer Einfluss im 11. und 12. Jahrhundert: Anfänge der Domkapitel Børglum und Odense in Dänemark (Sigmaringen, 1986). Vitae Sanctorum Danorum, ed. M. Cl. Gertz (3 vols.; Copenhagen, 1908–12), 1.60. The story was repeated in the Passio: Vitae Sanctorum Danorum, 1.60–70. I am grateful to Thomas Foerster and Paul Gazzoli for their help with the Danish evidence. For the cult of Cnut see also Haki Antonsson, St Magnús of Orkney. A Scandinavian Martyr-Cult in Context (Leiden, 2007), pp. 127–129. The Peterborough Chronicle, 1070–1154, ed. Cecily Clark (2nd edn; Oxford, 1970), pp. 2–3. I am grateful to Ann Williams for this reference. Liber Eliensis, ed. E.O. Blake (Camden Third Series; London, Royal Historical Society, 1962), pp. 176–177. See also Vaughan, Matthew Paris, pp. 198–204; Paul Gazzoli, “AngloDanish Relations in the later eleventh Century” (PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, 2010), pp. 138, 151.

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But then in the present context the episode matters for entirely different reasons: for what it can tell us about the Europeanization of Europe in practice. It is striking how central to the plot was the idea of a Europeanized society. There was, for instance, the appeal of St Alban to the Norse invaders. In fact, we know that Odense Cathedral had initially been dedicated to St Alban. The dedication could, in turn, denote an English connection (the canons originally came from Canterbury),8 but also that the first Danish king to become a Christian had been baptized at the Church of St Alban outside Mainz (in 824).9 Indeed, the cult of St Alban was itself a European phenomenon, with churches, shrines and liturgies commemorating the saint in England, Norway, Denmark, France, Belgium, Germany and modern Switzerland.10 Both St Albans and Odense thus formed part of a network of holy sites centring on the veneration of England’s first martyr. Similarly, that Egwin, on reaching Odense was (or at least was imagined) to be able to converse fluently with his Danish interlocutors, presupposes a shared linguistic and cultural frame of reference. Latin may, of course, have helped (though the assumption that all monks were fluent Latinists is probably mistaken).11 More importantly, such conversation required a shared set of values and norms. After all, Egwin impressed the Danes so greatly with his eloquence and morals that they asked him to join their community. This presupposes that the English monk demonstrated a kind of excellence that his Danish hosts would have recognized as such. Equally, that Egwin became sacristan – a function he had previously held at St Albans – suggests a shared sense of how a community of monks should be run and structured, as does the fact that Odense Cathedral was imagined to have been

8 9 10

11

Nyberg, Die Kirche in Skandinavien, pp. 113–118. “Chronicon Roskildense,” Scriptores Minores Historiae Danicae Medi Aevii, ed. M.Cl. Gertz (2 vols.; Copenhagen, 1917–18), p. 14. The truly international nature of the cult of St Alban still awaits exploration. See, in the meantime, Wilhelm Levison, “St. Alban and St. Albans,” Antiquity 15 (1941), 337–359; Maria Gabriela Panning, “Die Benediktinerinnenkongregation von St. Alban,” Studien und Mit­ teilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktinerordens und seiner Zweige 95 (1984), 72–82; Joachim Wollasch, “St. Alban in Basel. Zur Klostergründung eines exkommunizierten Bischofs im Investiturstreit,” in Lutz Fenske, Werner Rösener and Thomas Zotz (eds.), Institu­tionen, Kultur und Gesellschaft im Mittelalter. Festschrift für Josef Fleckenstein zu sei­ nem 65. Geburtstag (Sigmaringen, 1984), pp. 285–303. Julie Barrau, “Did Medieval Monks Actually Speak Latin?” in Steven Vanderputten (ed.), Understanding Monastic Practices of Oral Communication (Western Europe, Tenth-Thir­ teenth Centuries) (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 293–317; Scott G. Bruce, Silence and Sign Language in Medieval Monasticism. The Cluniac Tradition c. 900–1200 (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 91–95.

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organized as a monastic community in the English mould.12 Finally, there were trade networks that facilitated the transfer of people, goods, and news: Egwin had to find out where “Owense” was, but he also required already existing links to have the relics brought back to St Albans, and for news to travel between St Albans and Denmark: the recovery was, after all, possible only because there had been an English merchant engaged in regular trade with Odense and its surroundings. In the end, Egwin’s adventures would have been impossible without an already established framework of norms, practices and exchanges that tied together Latin Christendom. Whether or not Egwin’s adventures did in fact unfold as described, they must have seemed credible to Matthew Paris and his informants, perhaps not least because they reflected their own experiences. In the 1240s, the chronicler visited Norway to help settle the affairs of the Benedictine abbey of Nidarholm near Trondheim. The trip had come about because the monks needed his expertise in dealing with the debts that their fugitive abbot had incurred with Italian moneylenders operating from London.13 The mercantile dimension of Egwin’s adventures must have resonated especially well with Matthew’s informants. The chronicler claimed first to have heard the story from a group of St Albans citizens who had spent several years at the Danish royal court: Otto, formerly the king of Denmark’s treasurer; John of St Albans, a goldsmith and devout follower of St Alban; and John’s son Nicholas, who for thirty years had overseen the Danish royal mint before returning to England to perform a similar function under King Henry III.14 Nicholas can be traced in the English royal records. Between 1237, when he returned to England, and his death in 1258, he had acquired a controlling stake in the royal mints of Canterbury and London, making him one of the richest moneyers in England.15 Nicholas is also said to have given a sapphire to St Albans that had previously belonged to Archbishop Edmund Rich of Canterbury.16 While Otto cannot be identified, in 1257 the sculptor John of St Albans, who had produced a likeness of the king, 12

13 14 15 16

On the difficulties of enforcing common European norms in thirteenth-century Scandinavia, see Martin Kaufhold, “Eine norwegische Biertaufe. Probleme liturgischer Normierung im 13. Jahrhundert,” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte (Kanonistische Abteilung) 83 (1997), 362–376; Martin Kaufhold, “Norwegen, das Papsttum und Europa: Mechanismen der Integration,” Historische Zeitschrift 265 (1997), 309–342. Björn Weiler, “Matthew Paris in Norway,” Revue Bénédictine 122 (2012), 153–181. Gesta abbatum, 1.19. Nicholas Mayhew, “Moneyers,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004) [, accessed 2 July 2014]. Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, ed. H.R. Luard (7 vols.; London, 1872–84), 6.384.

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received a robe in exchange for his services,17 though he is unlikely to be with the same John as Nicholas’ father. Otto, Nicholas and John may furthermore have been behind several accounts of contemporary Danish affairs in the Chronica Majora. These were more detailed than any reports on Danish matters prior to John’s return, and far exceeded in both detail and frequency whatever news Matthew recorded about other Scandinavian kingdoms.18 It seems likely that Otto, John and Nicholas were the sources for those particular pieces of information. It may also have been these three who passed on a legend circulating at the Danish royal court concerning a prince Uffi (or Uffe). Either mute or unwilling to speak, Uffi regained the power of speech just in time to claim the throne and defend the Danish realm against its foes.19 A version of this tale resurfaced in Matthew’s Vitae duorum Offarum (c. 1255). A mostly fictitious account of the foundation of St Albans Abbey, it centred on Offa I and his eponymous descendant, who had also been unable to speak, but then acquired extraordinary gifts of oratory in time to claim the throne.20 The Egwin account formed part of a nexus of stories relating to Denmark and St Albans, conveyed to Matthew by patrons from an emerging urban class of merchant administrators. The content of the Egwin account and the way in which its memory was preserved had thus developed in parallel. Just as an English merchant had brought back the remains of St Alban, so English moneyers brought back news of Alban’s exile and Egwin’s mission. Viewed in this way, the original story and the manner of its preservation illustrate what the Europeanization of Europe could mean in practice. This is also the aspect on which I would like to focus. More specifically, I will consider what impact the process of Europeanization had on one particular kind of activity, namely the writing of history, and one particular practitioner of that craft: Matthew Paris. Most studies of Matthew Paris have centred on his attitudes – towards the crusades, the military orders, Jews, Frederick II, or the papacy. Delineating the worldview of this particular monk is, of course, important. He remains, after all, one of the most wide-ranging, well-connected and outspoken commentators on the affairs of his time. It is also a task that is by no means complete. In the present context I will, 17 18 19

20

Close Rolls for the Reign of Henry III, 1256–9, p. 179 (22 December 1257). A similar order was issued on 11 May 1258 (ibid., p. 217). Chronica Majora, 3.639; 4.92–93; 5.221–222, 650. Sven Aggesen, “Brevis Historia Regum Dacie”, Scriptores Minores, chs. 2 & 3. An English translation is available in The Works of Sven Aggesen. Twelfth-Century Danish Historian, trans. Eric Christiansen (London, 1992), pp. 50–4. Gesta Danorum, ed. Karsten Friis-Jensen, trans. Peter Zeeberg (2 vols.; Copenhagen, 2005), 1.101. Vitae duorum Offarum. Lives of Two Offas, ed. and trans. M.J. Swanton (Exeter, 2010).

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however, focus on the channels of communication that Matthew utilized: how he found out about events, not what he thought of them. Choosing this particular approach enables us to trace networks and channels of communication that all too often remain hidden from view, but which nonetheless formed a central pillar of the process of Europeanization. We have already seen what can be done by contextualizing as simple a tale as that of Egwin’s Nordic sojourn. Possibilities become even greater once we turn to Matthew’s main body of work. He was, after all, one of the most prolific writers of history in the Central Middle Ages. In modern printed editions, his writings number almost 7,000 pages, encompassing world, regnal, local and institutional history, as well as several lives of saints.21 The work for which Matthew is most famous, and on which I will focus, was the Chronica Majora, a monumental history of the world from the Creation to 1259, totalling about 3,000 printed pages. While centring on English matters, the Chronica nonetheless surveyed events in the Holy Land, Italy, Germany, France, Iberia, and Scandinavia. Moreover, Matthew was an avid collector (and redactor) of letters and pamphlets, many of which are otherwise lost. In fact, the Chronica’s appendix of documents, the Liber Additamentorum, contains over 450 of them. Matthew was, furthermore, careful to credit and name his sources. This, in turn, allows us to see more clearly lines and networks of communication that are equally relevant, but more difficult to trace in the works of many of his contemporaries. Matthew was, after all, not the only writer of universal history in the thirteenth century. In fact, the genre experienced something of a revival, but the texts produced were also fundamentally different from earlier examples. Much of the difference resided in a more extensive thematic and geographical coverage. These new approaches, in turn, clearly reflected expanding networks of exchange: there simply was more information circulating more widely. They cannot, however, be explained solely by these networks. Rather – and this will be the main argument of what follows – shifts in the practice of historical writing simultaneously reflected and drove forward broader cultural and social changes. First, though, let us return to Matthew Paris, and what his writings can tell us about the Europeanization of Europe. 1

Matthew Paris and the Europeanization of Europe

Matthew’s networks reflect fundamental changes associated with the process of Europeanization: a shared framework of ideas, and the implementation of 21

See Vaughan, Matthew Paris, pp. 125–204.

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a set of values and practices as normative that had initially been developed in only one part of the west. To these can be added phenomena distinctive to the thirteenth century: the rise of centralizing bureaucracies spanning the whole of Latin Christendom (the papal curia); the emergence of communities that, while increasingly adapting to local and regional peculiarities, nonetheless maintained a Europe-wide presence, and combined that with an ethos centring on the ready exchange of people, ideas and practices across Christendom and beyond (identifiable with the Friars, the reformed Cistercians, military orders); and the development of a more complex institutional framework for movements that defined themselves as inherently transcending regnal boundaries, and which, by the mid-thirteenth century, had begun to permeate every level of life in the west (such as the crusades). Some of these developments were distinctive in the sense that they were new (the mendicants, for instance). Others clearly predated the thirteenth century, and had partly helped bring about the changes we can observe, but had in the process themselves been transformed (the Cistercians, the crusades, or the papacy). Similarly, existing activities and institutions intensified or gained new significance. Commerce and universities provide especially striking examples for this development. In an English context, we can witness the establishment of the guildhall of the Germans in London, find evidence for men like Terricus de Colonia settling in Lincolnshire, or trace the activities of Italian moneylenders in London, and also the settlement of English merchants in Cologne and Valencia.22 Intensifying trade networks meant that individuals could easily move between the component parts of Latin Christendom – a central theme, too, in the Egwin episode. As far as universities are concerned, the thirteenth century witnessed several new foundations (most prominently at Naples, but even in the English Fenlands). In addition, universities make for a particularly striking case study of how several of the factors referred to above could work alongside, and mutually reinforce each other. The increasing bureaucratization of ecclesiastical and secular governance was one of the factors driving the expansion of universities, and was further aided by the

22

See Donald Matthew, Britain and the Continent: 1000 – 1300. The Impact of the Norman Conquest (London, 2003); Donald Matthew, The English and the Community of Europe in the Thirteenth Century, Stenton Lecture 1996 (Reading, 1997); Natalie Fryde, “How to get on in England in the Thirteenth Century? Dietrich of Cologne, Burgess of Stamford,” in Ifor Rowlands and Björn Weiler (eds.), England and Europe in the Reign of Henry III (1216–1272) (Aldershot, 2002), pp. 207–214; eadem, Ein mittelalterlicher deutscher Großunternehmer: Terricus Teutonicus de Colonia in England, 1217–1247 (Stuttgart, 2007).

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emphasis on doctrinal training in new religious orders.23 Equally, institutions of higher learning allowed their students and masters to establish a network of correspondents that spanned the whole of Christendom. Masters and students from Paris moved to Oxford, for instance, while, as we will see, Paris may have functioned as a central point of exchange for news about the Holy Land and the world beyond Christendom. How far, then, were these networks reflected in the work of Matthew Paris? There were, to begin, deepened exchanges across Latin Christendom, with visits to England from Armenia providing particularly poignant examples.24 In 1228, a group of Armenian clerics, led by an unnamed archbishop, arrived to visit the shrines of English saints. They also stayed at St Albans, where their leader explained that the Armenians celebrated not only the conception of Christ, but also that of the Virgin and of John the Baptist. The prelate furthermore gave an account of the Wandering Jew, and the location of Noah’s Ark.25 The last piece of information, Matthew pointed out, was subsequently confirmed by Richard of Argentan from Normandy, who had been to the Holy Land, and by the bishop of Beirut. Richard appeared on two further occasions in the Chronicle: in 1231, when his son Giles was captured by the Welsh,26 and in 1248, when Matthew recorded Richard’s death and penned an obituary in his memory.27 Matthew also reported on Reginald de Argentan, another member of the family, who had been a member of the Templars, and who was killed in battle in 1237.28 The bishop of Beirut, in turn, Matthew reported, had been dispatched by the prelates of the Holy Land after the loss of Jerusalem to Khwarizim Turks in 1244.29 He attended the Council of Lyon in 1245,30 and later visited England to muster support for a crusade.31 Another group of Armenians arrived in 1250,32 and visited St Albans two years later,

23 24

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

See, however, Neslihan Şenocak, The Poor and the Perfect: the Rise of Learning in the Fran­ ciscan Order 1209–1310 (Ithaca, 2012). Though this did not, of course, mean that there had not been earlier contacts; see R. Dachkévytch, “Les Arméniens en Islande au XI e siècle,” Revue des Etudes Arméniennes 20 (1986–7), 321–336. Chronica Majora, 3.161–164. Chronica Majora, 3.203. Chronica majora, 4.587. Chronica Majora, 3.403. Chronica Majora, 4.344–345. Chronica Majora, 3.431, 433–434. Chronica Majora, 3.488–489. Chronica Majora, 5.116.

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when they repeated the account of the Wandering Jew and the location of Noah’s Ark.33 The eastern pilgrims formed part of a complex nexus spanning Armenia, the Holy Land, Wales, Normandy and England. They also point to common types of links: pilgrimage, the crusades, the papal court, and family networks.34 The relative ease with which Armenian Christians could move across England (for two whole years) also merits attention, as does the respect with which Matthew treated them. That he praised their religious rigour and asceticism stands in striking contrast to what Matthew otherwise had to say about Nestorians and the eastern Christians.35 It also presupposes a shared framework of values and norms that – notwithstanding differences, for instance, in the liturgical calendar – facilitated easy communication between Armenian visitors and English monks. Moreover, like those St Albans citizens who told Matthew about Egwin’s northern sojourn, the Armenians’ arrival may have helped expand the range of contemporary news Matthew was able to report. Prior to these dates, he had only recorded the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 563, and the legend of King Abgar of Edessa.36 In the contemporary sections of the Chronica, by contrast, he also mentioned the demands made by the Mongols of the king of Armenia in 1244,37 and the latter’s defeat by the Tartars in 1246.38 The Armenians had become both a source for and an object of reporting. We do not know why the Armenians visited England. It is, though, possible that they had been sent, among other reasons, to muster support for the Christians of the East. At any rate, their first visit coincided with the much delayed departure of Frederick II for the Holy Land, and the second with that of Louis IX. Equally significant was the role of Richard of Argentan – whose judgement was trusted because, while on crusade, he had been to Armenia. 33 34

35 36

37 38

Chronica Majora, 5.340. For useful case studies see Guy Perry, John of Brienne: King of Jerusalem, Emperor of Con­ stantinople, c. 1175–1237 (Cambridge, 2013); Peter Edbury, “The de Montforts in the Holy Land,” Thirteenth-Century England 8 (2001), 23–31. Andrew Jotischky, “Penance and Reconciliation in the Crusader States: Matthew Paris, Jacques de Vitry and the Eastern Christians,” Studies in Church History 40 (2004), 74–83. Chronica Majora, 1.247 (conversion); 2.176 (Abgar). See on the latter Ira Karaulashvili, “The Abgar Legend Illustrated: the Interrelationship of the Narrative Cycles and Iconography in the Byzantine, Georgian, and Latin Traditions,” in Colin P. Hourihane (ed.), Interac­ tions: Artistic Interchange between the Eastern and Western Worlds in the Medieval Period (Princeton, 2007), pp. 220–243. Chronica Majora, 4.390. Chronica Majora, 4.547.

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The bishop of Beirut, finally, was representative of the increasing interaction between Outremer and the lands of the west – also evident, for instance, in the visit of the Latin Emperor of Constantinople to England in 1247, and the regular flow of letters from the east. In fact, the degree to which the affairs of Outremer feature in the sources collated by Matthew is worth noting: the travails of eastern Christendom often drove or even brought about the channels of communication on which the St Albans chronicler drew. Still, important as the Holy Land was, we should keep in mind less spectacular reasons for travel. In 1249, for instance, the archbishop of Rouen visited England to collect income due to his see;39 and in 1251 the abbot of Cluny crossed the Channel to gather funds from the English Cluniac houses.40 Such commercial transactions were by no means unusual: in 1250 the abbot of St Denis sold the manor of Deerhurst to the earl of Cornwall.41 More mundane motivations also came into play: in 1249 the Dominican bishop of Tortosa – a native of Reading – returned to England to visit his parents. The prelate brought news of alliances forged among the Muslim princes in preparation for St Louis’ crusade.42 International careers like that of the Berkshire Dominican were not unusual: Matthew’s brethren included one Nicholas the Greek (who helped Robert Grosseteste translate Greek texts into Latin),43 and in his entry for 1251 Matthew recorded the travails of Thomas, a monk at Sherborne, “de natione Neuster” (from Neustria).44 Monks were also sent on diplomatic and ecclesiastical missions. The Cistercian abbey of Kirkstead, for instance, seems to have had strong links with the kings of Norway.45 Thomas of Sherborne, in turn, had been in France on the king’s business when he was abducted and abused by the Pastoureaux.46 Similarly, Matthew Paris provided one of the most detailed accounts of the battle of Walcheren in 1254, which pitted William of Holland, a claimant to the imperial throne, against the countess of Flanders and her allies. Matthew, in turn, drew on information received from Prior John of 39 40 41

42 43 44 45 46

Chronica Majora, 5.72. Chronica Majora, 5.243. Chronica Majora, 5.112. See also William Chester Jordan, “The Priory of Deerhurst and the Treaty of Paris (1259),” Thirteenth-Century England 13 (2011), 133–140; William Chester ­Jordan, A Tale of Two Monasteries. Westminster and Saint-Denis in the Thirteenth Century (Princeton, 2009), pp. 55–58. Chronica Majora, 5.74. Chronica Majora, 4.233. Chronica Majora, 5.253–254. Chronica Majora, 5.222; Calendar of Patent Rolls for the Reign of Henry III, 1247–58, p. 64. Chronica Majora, 5.253–254. Matthew was in the audience when Thomas complained to the king of his maltreatment.

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Newburgh, who had been in Germany as King Henry III’s emissary.47 Members of the military orders played a particularly important role in this regard, partly because they could draw on an established network of contacts across Latin Christendom.48 In 1257, the master of the order of St Thomas of Acre thus visited St Albans, and brought news of the destruction of Mecca by the Mongols.49 In short, people moved freely across Latin Europe. That they did was not, however, what merited recording. As with the Armenians, their arrival mattered if they came from distant lands and thus helped to underline the glory of English saints and of St Alban in particular, or if they provided Matthew with concrete news that required recording. Otherwise, the chronicler as well as his informants took for granted a world in which monks, scholars, pilgrims, merchants and knights moved freely across Christendom. At the same time, while family connections, the administration of properties, and travel in the service of the king did of course matter, by far the most common reason for travel, especially among members of the Church, had to do either with the papal court, or the more centralized governance of religious orders as it emerged in the wake of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215).50 Prelates had to visit the curia to receive their pallium, but clerics also frequently travelled to Italy to pursue legal cases at the papal court. Accounts of such travel abound in the Chronica: St Albans, for instance, sent emissaries to Rome in 1235,51 1254,52 and 1256.53 Like travels were recorded for the monks of Durham,54 Bury St Edmunds,55 Ely,56 Hereford,57 Hurley,58 and Westminster.59 Similarly, Matthew’s own involvement in the affairs of the Norwegian abbey of Nidarholm followed two 47 48

49 50

51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59

Chronica Majora, 5.433–438; 6.252–254. Marie-Luise Bulst-Thiele, “Templer in königlichen und päpstlichen Diensten,” in Peter Classen and Peter Seibert (eds.), Festschrift Percy Ernst Schramm zu seinem siebzigsten Geburts­tag (2 vols.; Wiesbaden, 1964), pp. 289–308. Chronica Majora, 5.630–631. The best case study remains Paul B. Pixton, The German Episcopacy and the Implementa­ tion of the Decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council, 1216–1245: Watchmen on the Tower (Leiden, 1995). Chronica Majora, 3.307, 313, 316. Chronica Majora, 5.461. Chronica Majora, 5.551–552. Chronica Majora, 4.61; 5.534, 634. Chronica Majora, 3.239; 5.652, 661–662, 688, 695. Chronica Majora, 5.652, 661. Chronica Majora, 4.620, 621. Chronica Majora, 4.265, 286; 5.258. Chronica Majora, 5.305.

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visits to the papal court by the monks.60 There also were return visits: in 1229, papal tax collectors visited England,61 in 1241 papal emissaries collected funds in Ireland,62 and another official arrived in 1247.63 That same year, two friars came to St Albans on behalf of the curia to demand a payment of 40 marks,64 in 1251 a papal chaplain undertook a formal visitation of St Albans,65 and the archbishop of Messina followed suit in 1257.66 And there were, of course, two of Matthew Paris’ great bêtes noir: the papal notary Martin and Master Rustand, sent to collect funds for Innocent IV’s wars against Frederick II, and Henry III’s ill-fated attempt to conquer Sicily for his son Edmund respectively.67 To these travels need to be added the procurement of benefices – stipends paid from tithes attached to particular churches – for members of the papal court.68 Holders of these did not always come to England, but they did provide a channel of communication, and in some cases even intervened on behalf of the communities from which they drew an income.69 Proctors – clerics active at the papal court, who acted on behalf of English churches or the king – performed a similar role.70 They could establish links with particular members of the college of cardinals, and it is perhaps worth speculating whether the volume of information Matthew Paris had about Cardinal John of Toledo was in part due to the fact that John had intervened on behalf of St Albans in its dispute with Durham over the church of Hartburn.71

60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70

71

Chronica Majora, 5.42–45. Chronica Majora, 3.184–189, 288. Chronica Majora, 4.137, 160. Chronica Majora, 4.602. Chronica Majora, 4.600–601. Chronica Majora, 5.258–259. Chronica Majora, 5.614–615. Chronica Majora, 7.406–407, 494–495. Björn Weiler, Henry III of England and the Staufen Empire, 1216–1272 (Woodbridge, 2006), pp. 122–130, 148–157. Chronica Majora, 3.208, 473, 610; 4.31–32, 393, 443, 519, 655; 5.194, 227, 233, 279, 348, 405, 551–552. Christoph Egger, “Henry III’s England and the Curia,” in Rowlands and Weiler (eds.), Eng­ land and Europe, pp. 215–231. Chronica Majora, 3.107; 4.412–413, 426, 437; 5.225, 273, 346, 615; 6.219, 291, 317–322. Jane E. Sayers, “Canterbury Proctors at the Court of ‘audientia litterarum contradictarum’,” Tra­ ditio 22 (1966), 311–345. Chronica majora, 4.354, 578–579; 5.306, 430, 557; 6.321. Another likely source were, of course, the Cistercians (see below, pp. 217–218). On John see Hermann von Grauert, “Meister Johann von Toledo,” Sitzungsberichte der königlich-bayerischen Akademie der Wissen­ schaften (1901), 111–325.

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Rome and the curia thus constituted a regular presence in the affairs of St Albans. They also provided a key channel for gathering news, and may well help explain why Matthew knew so much about Rome and the papal court. He remains a crucial source for the regime of Brancaleone, the senator of Rome and close ally of Frederick II,72 and reported news, for instance, about Robert Sumercote (an English cardinal and possible point of contact),73 as well as the inner workings of the papal court. Contacts with Roman officials and English proctors could also explain some of the rumours Matthew had to report, be they the alleged murders of Robert Sumercote, Pope Celestine IV,74 Cardinal Romanus,75 and William of Savoy (all said to have been poisoned at the papal court),76 the attempted poisoning of Conrad IV (also at Rome),77 or the stories relayed by unnamed cardinals and priests about Innocent IV’s posthumous suffering in – at best, as Matthew stressed – purgatory.78 Just as significant as the papal court were more centralized means of governance within religious orders, such as regular annual chapters, most commonly associated with Cistercians and Friars. Matthew had good links with both. There is, in fact, considerable evidence, much of it preserved by Matthew Paris, that the Cistercians’ annual general chapter was used to disseminate news across Christendom. In 1244, Innocent IV thus called upon the monks to pray for Louis IX and his protection against the emperor, and in 1245 letters were read out (and later circulated), justifying the pope’s decision to depose Emperor Frederick II at the council of Lyon.79 In 1252, the Cistercian general chapter received several missives about Louis IX’s crusade, which seem to have circulated widely among Cistercian monasteries.80 It is sometimes difficult to determine how far such information was meant to reach beyond 72

73

74 75 76 77 78 79 80

Chronica majora, 7.81–82 lists over twenty entries for Brancaleone. On Brancaleone: Girolamo Giuliani, Il comune di Roma sotto il senatorato di Brancaleone degli Andalo, 1252– 1258 (Florence, 1957); Matthias Thumser, “Adel und Popolo in Rom um die Mitte des 13. Jahrhunderts,” in Wilfried Hartmann (ed.), Europas Städte zwischen Zwang und Freiheit. Die europäische Stadt um die Mitte des 13. Jahrhunderts (Regensburg, 1995), pp. 257–271. Chronica majora, 4.5, 16, 64, 165, 168; 5.194. Jane E. Sayers, “Somercotes, Robert of (d. 1241),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [, accessed 23 Feb. 2015]. Chronica majora, 4.172. Chronica majora, 4.168. Chronica majora, 3.623. Chronica majora, 5.284, 301. Chronica majora, 5.429–430, 470–472, 491–492 Chronica majora, 4.480. Chronica majora, 5.257, 306–307.

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Cistercian houses. When, in 1252, news of St Louis’s captivity reached the General Chapter, Matthew claimed that only rumours of the letter, rather than its actual content, spread north of the Alps.81 Still, the international nature of the order meant not only that news travelled quickly, but also that the Cistercians were utilized as active disseminators of news. Matthew Paris, in turn, clearly had access to documents and information circulating among Cistercians houses. He copied letters sent by Pope Alexander IV to the English Cistercians in 1255,82 recorded the miraculous writing witnessed by a monk from Citeaux in 1238,83 and events at the Cistercian general chapters of 1243,84 1244,85 and 1245,86 as well as the establishment of a house of study for Cistercian monks at Paris in 1249,87 and the deposition and failed reinstatement of Stephen of Lexington as abbot of Clairvaux in 1256.88 Matthew also wrote admiringly of the English Cistercians’ resistance, when, in 1256, a papal emissary demanded a subsidy from them. He not only included his version of a conversation between the king and the abbot of Buildewas,89 but also copied letters exchanged between the abbots and the papal court.90 Both personal links and the Cistercians’ institutional structure made them a key source for Matthew Paris. The Friars similarly acted as disseminators of news, especially with regard to the Holy Land. When in 1245 the bishop of Beirut visited England to recruit volunteers for a crusade, he was accompanied by a French Dominican.91 Matthew similarly copied letters sent by various Franciscans about the Mongol invasion of the 1240s.92 In his appendix of documents, the Liber Additamentorum, he furthermore included a series of missives from the Holy Land, addressed to Walter of St Martin, an English Dominican and old acquaintance of Matthew’s.93 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93

Chronica majora, 5.306. Chronica majora, 5.555. Chronica majora, 3.538. Chronica majora, 4.257. Chronica majora, 4.391–393. Chronica majora, 4.479–480. Chronica majora, 4.79–80, 195. Chronica majora, 5.596, 651–652. Chronica majora, 5.553–554. Chronica majora, 5.556–558; see also 5.610. Chronica majora, 4.488–489. Chronica majora, 6.80, 81, 83. When, in 1251, the remains of Cecilia de Sanford, a chaste and pious widow, were interred at St Albans, Walter, who had been Cecilia’s confessor, provided Matthew with an account of her life and death; Chronica majora, 5.235–236.

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Two of these letters had been penned by the master,94 and one by the treasurer of the Hospitallers.95 The latter was also copied into the main text of the Chronica. The epistles treated St Louis’ release from captivity, the return of the Hospitallers to Acre, and gave a general account of the affairs of the Holy Land. In fact, while Matthew’s attitude towards the Friars was famously ambivalent,96 he still had numerous informants amongst them. In 1237, he thus transcribed a letter by the prior of the Dominicans in England and France about the rumoured conversion to Catholicism of the leader of the Nestorian Church;97 in 1238, he recounted the objections raised privately by the Dominican William of Abingdon about papal dispensation for Simon de Montfort’s clandestine marriage;98 and in 1246 he provided the summary of a letter by Innocent IV to the master of the Franciscans in England.99 Matthew’s sources were not, however, limited to the Church. Commerce, for instance, also played a significant role. We do, though, face the problem that, with the exception of St Albans merchants who gave gifts to the abbey, Matthew was often reluctant to name his mercantile or artisan informants. Such hesitation may reflect Matthew’s understanding of what constituted a trustworthy source – normally either a cleric, or a layperson of some status. In fact, the only time Matthew cited as a source someone engaged in mercantile activities who was not also a patron of his community, it was an unnamed moneylender who, in 1251, was recorded as saying that he and his fellow bankers would have left England a long time ago, were it not for all the beautiful houses they had acquired in London. Even then Matthew felt it necessary to stress that the banker had told him this under oath.100 Merchants and tradesmen, while worth writing about, did not necessarily make for reputable informants. Such a lack of standing may have been rooted in the particular nature of their business: the pursuit of profit, and the ease with which trade could turn into – and the extent to which it was dependent on – usury. Matthew was thus quite willing to impugn less than honourable motives to traders: when, in 1245, rumours spread that Muslims had poisoned the pepper they were selling to Christians in Europe, he declared this to have been a ruse developed by pepper ­merchants 94 95 96 97 98 99 100

Chronica majora, 6.203–205. Chronica majora, 6.205–207. Williell R. Thomson, “The Image of the Mendicants in the Chronicles of Matthew Paris,” Archivum franciscanum historicum 70 (1977), 3–34. Chronica majora, 3.396–397. Chronica majora, 3.487. Chronica majora, 4.564–566. Chronica majora, 5.245–246.

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to increase the price of their goods.101 That the anonymous merchant to whom Egwin entrusted the relics of St Alban was left unaware of the nature of his cargo could reflect a similar attitude: he provided services of which Egwin was all too willing to avail himself (and on which he was, in fact dependent), but the very nature of the merchant’s business prevented him from meriting Egwin’s trust. We should, at the same time, note the inherent ambiguity in Matthew’s take on merchants: he was, after all, more than willing to acknowledge minters and goldsmiths from St Albans as the source for the Egwin story. On other occasions, Matthew demonstrated a degree of familiarity with the practices of money-lending far in excess of what one would expect from a monk. There is, in fact, circumstantial evidence to suggest that his own visit to Norway may have been brought about by Matthew’s deep familiarity with Italian bankers and their activities.102 Equally, the extent to which matters of trade featured in Matthew’s reporting remains striking. He recorded the reputed impact of the Mongol invasions on the price of herring at Great Yarmouth;103 the complaints of the wine merchants of Gascony against the government of Henry III in 1256;104 and an instrument of debt by the monks of Battle to Italian merchants.105 Frequently, Matthew sided with the citizens of London in their complaints about the king. He reported, for instance, a vision experienced in 1241 by an unnamed priest, in which Thomas Becket tore down the newly erected walls surrounding the Tower of London, and the great joy of the Londoners when the walls did indeed collapse shortly thereafter.106 He sided with the Londoners again, when, in 1250, they complained about the privileges granted to Westminster Abbey,107 or when, in 1258, they complained about corruption among the king’s officials.108 It may even be possible to detect in Matthew’s writing a degree of quiet acceptance of the political role of urban merchant communities and artisans. Not only did Matthew normally side with merchants when they took on the king, but in his reporting on European affairs he paid particular attention to the role of merchants and townspeople. They frequently acted as free and legitimate agents – as when the citizens of Avignon 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108

Chronica majora, 4.490. Adrian R. Bell, Chris Brooks and Tony K. Moore, “Interest in Medieval Accounts: Examples from England, 1272–1340,” History 94 (2009), 411–433; Weiler, “Matthew Paris in Norway.” Chronica majora, 3.488. Chronica majora, 5.371, 538, 585. Chronica majora, 6.334– 335. Chronica majora, 4.93–94. Chronica majora, 5.127–128, 333–334, 367. Chronica majora, 5.663, 675.

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offered hospitality to Earl Richard of Cornwall,109 or when the citizens of Turin and Asti captured and imprisoned Thomas of Savoy because he had violated their ancient rights and privileges.110 Similarly, in recounting Emperor Frederick II’s Italian campaigns, the leading role of merchants in communal politics was frequently registered.111 Matthew may have been wary of this new mercantile and urban class, but it still formed a major focus of and a perhaps not insignificant source for his reporting. Finally, universities, especially that of Paris, played a significant role, and one to which historians of the thirteenth century have not paid sufficient attention. Matthew reported the troubles of 1229, when the students left Paris, many of them settling in Angers;112 the theological dispute of 1243;113 and the squabbles between the established scholars and the Friars in 1253,114 1255,115 1256,116 1257,117 and 1259.118 He also recounted the foundation of a Cistercian house of studies,119 of which he approved not only because it was initiated by an Englishmen (Stephen of Lexington), but also because the Cistercians, unlike the Friars, abided by the rule of St Benedict. In addition, Matthew recounted the prophecies about the end of the world that began to emanate from Paris in 1257,120 and wrote of individual masters and teachers, such as Simon of Tournai,121 and William of Saint-Amour. It was William who in 1256 was sent to complain about the Friars at Paris and who, alongside Matthew Paris, was one of the most outspoken early critics of the mendicants.122 Matthew may, of course, have received some of this information via the scholars at Oxford (with 109 110 111 112

113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122

Chronica majora, 4.45. Chronica majora, 5.548, Chronica majora 5.99 Chronica majora, 3.167–169. The information had not been in Roger of Wendover’s Flores Historiarum, which Matthew’s Chronica continued, and on which most of its reporting pre-1235 was based. Chronica majora, 4.280–283. Chronica majora, 5.416–417. Chronica majora, 5.506–507, 528–529. Chronica majora, 5.598–599. Chronica majora, 5.645. Chronica majora, 5.744. Chronica majora, 5.79, 195, 529. Chronica majora, 6.350. Chronica majora, 2.476–477. Chronica majora, 5.598–599. See also Sita Steckel, “Narratives of Resistance: Arguments against the Mendicants in the Works of Matthew Paris and William of Saint-Amour,” in Janet Burton, Philipp Schofield and Björn Weiler (eds.), Authority and Resistance in the Age of Magna Carta (Woodbridge, 2015).

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whom he had close contact),123 but circumstantial evidence suggests that he may have been part of an informal network of correspondents centring on Paris, or at least with Paris as the nodal point through which much of the information passed that the network’s members then recorded. Martin Hall has thus drawn attention to several close parallels between Matthew Paris and John of Garland’s De triumphis ecclesiae. John of Garland, originally from England, was a master at Paris, and wrote De triumphis shortly after news of St Louis’ defeat and captivity in 1251 had reached France. The parallels between John and Matthew’s texts centre on information relating to the Mongols, the role Archbishop Edmund Rich of Canterbury, and information contained in letters sent from the Holy Land, but surviving only in Matthew’s Chronica.124 Hall surmised that John either had access to Matthew’s text or – more likely – that both accessed the same source, distributed via the university. This suggestion is given added weight by the amount of information that Matthew had about, or that originated with, William of Auvergne, the bishop of Paris.125 The St Albans chronicler thus offered a detailed account of the 1229 riots, in which William had played a prominent role.126 In 1241, Matthew quoted a letter about the Mongols sent by the duke of Brabant to William,127 and in the Liber included a fuller missive on the same topic, sent to William by the bishops of Hungary.128 The latter was also reproduced in the Annals of Waverley.129 The most detailed account, however, reports William’s attempts in 1248 to dissuade Louis from taking the Cross, including the record of a speech in which William outlined the many dangers facing the realm.130 Matthew does not list his source of information, and it may well be that he imagined rather than recorded the bishop’s words. None of this means that William himself had 123 124 125

126 127 128 129 130

Chronica majora, 7.442–443. Martin Hall, “An Academic Call to Arms in 1252: John of Garland’s Crusading Epic De ­triumphis Ecclesiae,” Crusades 12 (2013), 152–174, at 169–170. On William see also: Stephen P. Marrone, “Metaphysics and Science in the Thirteenth Century: William of Auvergne, Robert Grosseteste and Roger Bacon,” in John Marenbom (ed.), Medieval Philosophy (London, 1998), 204–224; Spencer E. Young, Scholarly Commu­ nity at the Early University of Paris. Theologians, Education and Society, 1215–1248 (Cambridge, 2014), pp. 75–92. Chronica majora, 3.167. Again, the information recorded went well beyond that contained in Roger of Wendover’s Flores Historiarum. Chronica majora, 4.111 (he also mentioned a similar letter sent from the archbishop of Cologne to Henry III). Chronica majora, 6.75–76. Annales Monastici, ed. H.R. Luard (5 vols.; London, 1864–9), 2.324. Chronica majora, 5.3–4.

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been Matthew’s informant: the chronicler normally would have indicated it, had this been the case. Still, the extent to which Matthew was informed about the affairs of Paris and the university (which was overseen by the bishop) remains striking and would at least strongly suggest that Paris and its community of scholars provided a conduit for news disseminated across Latin Christendom. We should, generally, not underestimate the importance of higher studies as a source for news and information. Nicholas of Farnham, for instance, the bishop of Durham (and great adversary of St Albans in a dispute over Tynemouth) had studied at Paris and Bologna,131 and was Matthew’s source for a story about Simon of Tournai (a master at Paris).132 Nicholas, in turn, had been among a group of English scholars who left Paris in 1229 to settle at Oxford. The group also included John Blund, later elected archbishop of Canterbury;133 Ralph of Maidstone, subsequently bishop of Hereford;134 Alan Beccles, archdeacon of Norwich, who was among several enemies of St Albans to meet their death in 1243;135 and William of Durham, rector of Wearmouth, “a most learned man,” who died on his return from Rome in 1249.136 Matthew seems to have been familiar with most of these – Nicholas clearly did share information with Matthew, while the obituaries for William and Alan suggest that Matthew knew the former by reputation, and had at least indirect dealings with the latter. We should also take note that higher education was by no means limited to Paris and Bologna, as the example of John of Basingstoke will illustrate.137 When recording John’s death in 1252, Matthew duly recounted that John had 131

132 133

134

135

136 137

Chronica majora, 3.168. On Nicholas see R.M. Franklin, “Farnham, Nicholas of (d. 1257),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [, accessed 17 Sept. 2014]. Chronica majora, 2.477. Chronica majora, 3.168, 223, 243. On John see C.H. Lawrence, “Blund, John (c. 1175–1248),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [, accessed 17 Sept. 2014]. Chronica majora, 3.168, 305. On Ralph see Julia Barrow, “Maidstone, Ralph of (d. 1245),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [, accessed 17 Sept. 2014]. Chronica majora, 3.168; 4.262. On Alan see Henry Summerson, “Beccles, Alan of (d. 1240),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [, accessed 17 Sept. 2014]. Chronica majora, 3.168; 5.91. On John see James McEvoy, “Basingstoke, John of,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biogra­ phy [, accessed 17 Sept. 2014].

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studied at Athens, where he discovered many Greek texts not previously available in Latin, including the “Testaments of the twelve patriarchs.” John also brought back a system of Greek numerals, including a sign for the number zero, duly copied into the Chronica. Last but not least, John had told Matthew about Constantia, the daughter of the (Greek orthodox) archbishop of Athens, who was so well versed in the trivium and quadrivium of the Liberal Arts that she could foretell natural disasters.138 The connection with Matthew Paris may have come about during the translation of the Testament, in which a St Albans monk supported Robert Grosseteste.139 Studies, scholars and universities, in short, were part of a nexus of exchange that spanned the whole of Christendom. They were agents in and beneficiaries of the process of Europeanization so characteristic of the thirteenth century. All of which raises intriguing questions about Matthew’s agency as an author, and his relationship with his sources and informants. Matthew recorded information on an extraordinary scale, but this was at least in part possible because of new and expanding networks of communication into which he was able to tap. Some of these links reflected the geographical location of his abbey, its wealth, and reputation as a literary centre. Other networks, however, seem to have been initiated by Matthew: among them probably his Parisian connections, and his mercantile contacts. Most importantly, though, Matthew showed considerable initiative when presented with a new and untapped source. The story of Egwin provides a case in point. Matthew, it seems, was initially provided only with an account of the sacristan’s Danish adventures. However, he quickly utilized the opportunity to write not only about the distant past of St Albans (the two King Offas), but about current affairs in Denmark as well. This does not, of course, mean that Otto, John and Nicholas were simply passive informants – they clearly chose to share the information they possessed. But then Matthew still had to be willing to accept their testimony, had to be willing to tap into it repeatedly, and about a whole range of matters that went well beyond the piece of news they had initially been willing to share with him. Such preparedness to trust merchant testimony furthermore indicated a shift in what constituted a reliable source, and in the range of patrons on which Matthew drew. He was not alone in making these changes.

138 139

Chronica majora, 5.284–287. Chronica majora, 4.233.

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The Writing of Universal History and the Europeanization of Europe

Matthew Paris was representative of wider shifts in the writing of history that emerged between c. 1180 and c. 1260. Most importantly perhaps, we can witness a revival of universal history, that is, of the known world, often – though not always – beginning with the Creation. However, modern historians have largely neglected both the genre and the period,140 partly perhaps because so few of Matthew’s contemporaries have their works available in anything approaching a reliable modern critical edition. Inevitably, what follows will thus need to be taken as preliminary. We are, furthermore, dealing not with radical innovation, but with gradual accumulations of change that proved to be transformative only in combination and over time. As a result, it is often difficult to pinpoint specific moments or particular works as driving or exemplifying change. After all, thirteenth-century chronicles clearly built on earlier models. However, in building on precedent, authors also transformed it. They moved elements around, refined some, and let others wither; they added news and types of news; and they tried to fashion ways of responding to different cultural norms and to the rapidly changing social context of their writing. The novelty of their reporting was thus not necessarily rooted in the form they gave their histories (the world chronicle), but in what they did within the customary constraints, and how, in the process, they transformed that form. 140

Rolf Sprandel, “World Historiography in the later Middle Ages,” in Deborah Mauskopf Deliyannis (ed.), Historiography in the Middle Ages (Leiden, 2003), pp. 157–180, the standard point of reference for work on world histories in the later Middle Ages, mentions none of the major universal chronicles produced in the thirteenth century. In fact, in 2006 Anna-Dorothea von den Brincken provided the only detailed engagement with the genre extending into Matthew’s lifetime: “Beobachtungen zum geographischen Berichtshorizont der lateinischen Weltchronistik,” in Martin Wallraff (ed.), Julius Africanus und die christliche Weltchronistik (Berlin, 2006), pp. 161–178. Unfortunately, Hans-Werner Goetz, one of the most thoughtful commentators on early and high medieval historical culture, did not extend his coverage beyond the mid-twelfth century: Hans-Werner Goetz, “On the Universality of Universal History,” in Jean-Philippe Genet (ed.), L’Historiographie médiévale en Europe: Actes du colloque organisé par la Fondation Européenne de la Science au Centre de Recherches Historiques et Juridiques de l’Université Paris I du 29 mars au 1er avril 1989 (Paris, 1991), pp. 247–261. Andrew Marsham, “Universal Histories in Christendom and the Islamic World, c. 700–c. 1400,” in Sarah Foot and Chase F. Robinson (eds.), The Oxford History of Historical Writing, volume 2: 400–1400 Oxford, 2012), pp. 411–456, is the rare exception to mention the thirteenth-century authors, but cannot treat them in detail.

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Most importantly, there seems to have been a desire to collect information on a scale that encompassed the whole of the known world.141 Let me use as examples the mendicant chronicler Albert of Stade, and the Cistercian Alberic of Troisfontaines. Albert of Stade (active c. 1256–65) was a Benedictine who joined a community of Friars in the north of Germany. In the 1250s, he produced a world chronicle that took events up to 1256.142 The text included a dialogue describing the pilgrimage routes to Rome and Jerusalem,143 but focused on the affairs of North Germany. It thus recorded the foundation of Stade in 1142;144 a vision experienced by Hildegard of Bingen;145 battles between Manuel Komnenos and Saladin;146 the death of Louis VIII, Valdemar of Denmark’s invasion of Holstein, and the Polish ducal succession in 1226;147 the Mongol invasions;148 the crusade of Louis IX;149 and the appearance of heretics in Schwäbisch Hall.150 Albert also reported on the council of Lyon in 1245 alongside the many thousands slaughtered by the Mongols in the Holy Land; on how, at midday, Satan made a red star appear in the sky; and on a letter from the sultan of Babylon to Innocent IV.151 Alberic, in turn, a member of the Cistercian monastery of Troisfontaines, was an avid collector of news, and of source extracts. In fact, much of his Chronicon consists of direct quotations marked as such, with Alberic’s own interpretation of events interwoven. His world chronicle was probably completed by 1251, and took events up to 1241.152 141

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144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152

As has been noted by Goetz, “Universality”; Brincken, “Beobachtungen”; Anna Dorothee von den Brincken, “Die bewohnte Welt in neuen Sichtweisen zu Anfang des 13. Jahrhunderts bei Gervasius von Tilbury und Jakob von Vitry,” in her Studien zur Universalkartogra­ phie des Mittelalters (Göttingen, 2008), pp. 565–585. Markus Wesche, Studien zu Albert von Stade (Frankfurt/Main and Bern, 1988); Gerda Maeck, “Vom Benediktinerabt zum Minderbruder: Studien zur Geschichtsschreibung Alberts von Stade,” Wissenschaft und Weisheit 63 (2000), 86–135. Annales Stadenses, MGH SS 16, 332–344. See also Heinz Krüger, “Das Stader Itinerar des Abtes Albert aus der Zeit um 1250,” Stader Jahrbuch 46 (1956), 71–124; 47 (1957), 87–136; 48 (1958), 39–76. Annales Stadenses, MGH SS 16, 324. Annales Stadenses, MGH SS 16, 330. Annales Stadenses, MGH SS 16, 349. Annales Stadenses, MGH SS 16, 350. Annales Stadenses, MGH SS 16, 367. Annales Stadenses, MGH SS 16, 372. Annales Stadenses, MGH SS 16, 371–372. Annales Stadenses, MGH SS 16, 369–370. Antoni Grabowski is currently preparing a much needed study of Alberic. In the meantime see Stefano Mula, “Looking for an Author: Alberic of Trois Fontaines and the ‘Chronicon Clarevallense’,” Citeaux 60 (2009), 5–25; Mireille Schmidt-Chazan, “Aubri de

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Alberic’s horizons of reporting easily matched Matthew’s. He included a geographical description of Wales;153 reported the settlement of a dispute between the dukes of Sicily and Sardinia by Abbot Maiolus of Cluny in the late tenth century;154 the discovery of the remains of King Arthur in 1193;155 a battle between Mongols and Armenians in 1208;156 and the Mongols’ imminent arrival in Europe as early as 1237.157 He also recounted how, in 1239, the queen of Hungary – after many prayers – finally gave birth to a son, who was named in honour of St Stephen,158 as well as the birth of heirs to Henry III of England and the king of Navarre;159 the Cedar of Lebanon prophecy that a few years before had been experienced by several Cistercian abbots, and how some time later a learned man, visiting Constantinople, forced demons to foretell the future, allowing him to interpret the prophecy as indicating the destruction of Islam by the Mongols;160 and how, during a tournament in Mainz, when the knights refused to take heed of the warnings of good men, over sixty knights were killed, with bystanders clearly hearing the joyful laughter of demons.161 Several features merit pondering: we should note the themes and the locations included in chroniclers’ reporting. Matters of high politics were, of course, recorded, but attention was also paid to manifestations of the otherworldly: joyous demons, visions, miraculous births, and so on. This, it is worth noting, puts these texts in striking contrast to many earlier universal chronicles (about which more below). Naturally, the kind of information conveyed reflected a writer’s geographical horizons and proximity to events – hence Albert’s interests in matters Danish – but there also were locations and news

153 154 155

156 157 158

159 160

161

Trois-Fontaines, un historien entre la France et l’Empire,” Annales d’Est 5th series 36 (1984), 163–192. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 862–863. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 771–772. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 871. On which see also: André Moisan, “Aubri de Trois-Fontaines et la matière de Bretagne,” Bibliographical Bulletin of the International Arthurian Society 35 (1983), 251–262. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 889. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 941. See also Judith Csákó, “Les éléments fabuleux de l’Histoire Hongroise dans une chronique Française du 13e siècle. Le témoignage d’Albéric de Troisfontaines,” Hungarian Studies 26 (2012), 3–17. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 947. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 949. This is the Cedar of Lebanon prophecy, on which see Robert E. Lerner, The Powers of Prophecy. The Cedar of Lebanon Vision from the Mongol Onslaught to the Dawn of the Enlightenment (Berkeley, 1983), pp. 13–14. I am grateful to Nathan ­Greasley for bringing Lerner’s study to my attention. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 950.

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that occurred in all these texts. Most prominently among them, and in a clear parallel with Matthew Paris, were the affairs of the Holy Land. The centrality of Outremer does, of course, reflect the importance of crusading in the intellectual and religious culture of the thirteenth century.162 It thus comes as no surprise. And yet there were numerous pieces of information about events and regions far from an author’s place of writing – such as Matthew Paris’ reporting on Denmark or Alberic’s on Hungary. There similarly seems to have been a general expectation and desire to seek out information about even the most distant regions – as in the Cedar of Lebanon prophecy, reported by both Alberic and Matthew Paris.163 The geographical scope and thematic range of their reporting set the thirteenth-century chroniclers apart from many of their predecessors. Sigebert of Gembloux, for instance, whose universal chronicle (c. 1110) remains among the most widely copied of the Central Middle Ages, may have mentioned the discovery of relics at Trier in 1071,164 but the chief focus of his reporting remained the dealings of popes and emperors, and the affairs of Lotharingia. There were few exceptions: he mentioned holy men in Sicily,165 the Hungarian royal succession (but only because the emperor intervened),166 and, of course, the First Crusade (with the Lotharingian contingent given prominence).167 But, by and large, he reported the deeds of emperors and pontiffs, viewed through distinctly Lotharingian lenses. Even so, Sigebert stands out for the broad coverage of his reporting when set alongside Hugh of Fleury (fl. 1109),168 Ralph Niger

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Amanda Power, Roger Bacon and the Defence of Christendom (Cambridge, 2013); Amanda Power, “The Cosmographical Imagination of Roger Bacon,” in Keith D. Lilley (ed.), Map­ ping Medieval Geographies: Geographical Encounters in the Latin West and Beyond, 300– 1600, 83–99; Christopher Barrett, “Roland and Crusade Imagery in an English Royal Chapel: Early Thirteenth-Century Wall Paintings in Claverley Church, Shropshire,” The Antiquaries Journal 92 (2012), 129–168; Björn Weiler, “The negotium terrae sanctae in the Political Discourse of Latin Christendom,” International History Review 25 (2003), 1–36; Christoph T. Maier, “Crisis, Liturgy and the Crusade in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 48 (1997), 628–657. MGH SS 23, 946. Sigeberti Chronica, MGH SS 6, 362. Sigeberti Chronica, MGH SS 6, 355. Sigeberti Chronica, MGH SS 6, 362. Sigeberti Chronica, MGH SS 6, 367. See also Nico Lettinck, “Pour une édition critique de l’Historia ecclesiastica de Hugues de Fleury,” Revue Bénédictine 91 (1981), 386–397.

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(fl. 1195–7)169 or Ralph de Diceto (fl. 1199).170 The geographical horizons of these writers remained distinctly local or – in the case of the insular chroniclers – centred on England, and they showed little interest in the sacred and the supernatural. By contrast, even the anonymous world chronicle of Laon (c. 1220), among the shortest of the thirteenth-century world-chronicles, recorded William the Conqueror’s reign in England;171 the relocation of the relics of the three kings to Cologne in 1165, and the canonization of Charlemagne the following year;172 recounted stories from Lombardy;173 an abortive invasion of Egypt by the king of Jerusalem in 1168;174 and a curious tale in which Manuel Komnenos demanded that Henry II of England marry one of his sons to a Byzantine princess, only to be thwarted by the count of Savoy, whose offer the king preferred, as it would make it easier to conquer the kingdom of Lombardy.175 Accusations of heresy aimed at members of the French royal court in 1203 were as much worth mentioning176 as floods in Frisia that killed over 8,000 people in 1218,177 or that in 1219 especially poor harvests were punishment for the sins of the people.178 Moreover, the thirteenth-century texts tended to focus more heavily on contemporary affairs: while over 60% of the Chronica Majora dealt with events during Matthew’s life-time, only just over 10% of Ralph Niger’s Chronica treated contemporary affairs. Similar proportions are in evidence in Sigebert of Gembloux or Hugh of Fleury. World chronicles contracted chronologically, but expanded in terms of the regions and themes they covered. Where the sources used can be traced, it seems that authors tapped into many of the channels of exchange also used by Matthew Paris. Alberic of Troisfontaines, for instance, was extraordinarily well-informed about British 169

170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178

Hanna Krause, Radulfus Niger – Chronica. Eine englische Weltchronik des 12. Jahrhunderts (Frankfurt/M, Bern and New York, 1985), 24*; Norbert Kersken, Geschichtsschreibung im Europa der nationes. Nationalgeschichtliche Gesamtdarstellungen im Mittelalter (Cologne, Weimar and Vienna, 1995), 131; Anne Duggan, “Niger, Ralph (b. c. 1140, d. in or before 1199?),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [, accessed 24 Sept. 2014]. John Mason, “Diceto, Ralph de (d. 1199/1200),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [, accessed 24 Sept. 2014]. Ex Chronico universali anonymi Laudunensis, MGH SS 26, 443. Ex Chronico universali anonymi Laudunensis, MGH SS 26, 445. Ex Chronico universali anonymi Laudunensis, MGH SS 26, 444. Ex Chronico universali anonymi Laudunensis, MGH SS 26, 446. Ex Chronico universali anonymi Laudunensis, MGH SS 26, 446–447. Ex Chronico universali anonymi Laudunensis, MGH SS 26, 454. Ex Chronico universali anonymi Laudunensis, MGH SS 26, 457. Ex Chronico universali anonymi Laudunensis, MGH SS 26, 457.

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matters. He thus included a description of Wales;179 reported the discovery of the remains of King Arthur in 1193;180 the translation of Thomas Becket in 1220;181 recounted how at least three churches claimed to possess the remains of St Teilo of Llandaff;182 and how in 1232 Henry III had forced the Jews of London to build a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in a space formerly occupied by their synagogue.183 The level of detail may surprise, were it not that Troisfontaines was the motherhouse of several English and Welsh Cistercian houses, including Margam Abbey, a centre of historiographical production in the Welsh marches.184 It seems not unlikely that this connection provided Alberic with much of the news he reported. In addition, Alberic seems to have shared sources with Matthew Paris. Both chroniclers thus copied a letter by Philip, the master of the Dominicans in the Holy Land, about the religious habits of the eastern Christians,185 and the aforementioned Cedar of Lebanon vision. Matthew and Alberic were, of course, especially careful in naming their sources. Many of their contemporaries were not. We should therefore be careful about generalizing too much based on just two authors. Still, the case studies that do exist seem to suggest that Alberic and Matthew were different in the extent of their networks, and how well they signposted them, but less so in the nature of these networks.186 179 180 181 182 183 184

185 186

Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 862–863. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 871. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 910. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 926. Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 930–931. Calendar of Patent Rolls for the Reign of Henry III, 1227–32, p. 111, containing a safe-conduct for monks from Troisfontaines visiting their English daughter-houses. I am grateful to Janet Burton for this reference. See also Janet Burton, “The Monastic World,” in Rowlands and Weiler (eds.), England and Europe, pp. 121–136; Robert B. Patterson, The Scriptorium of Margam Abbey and the Scribes of Early Angevin Glamorgan: Secretarial Administration in a Welsh Marcher Barony, c. 1150–c. 1225 (Woodbridge, 2001); Robert B. Patterson, “The Author of the Margam Annals: Early Thirteenth-Century Margam Abbey’s Compleat Scribe,” Anglo-Norman Studies 14 (1992), 197–210; Marvin L. Colker, “The ‘Margam Chronicle’ in a Dublin Manuscript,” Haskins Society Journal 4 (1992), 123–148 Chronicon, MGH SS 23, 940–941; Chronica majora, 3.397–399. See, for instance, the contributions by Giles Constable, Florent Cygier and Uwe Israel in Christina Andenna, Klaus Herbers and Gerd Melville (eds.), Die Ordnung der Kommunika­ tion und die Kommunikation der Ordnungen. 1: Netzwerke: Klöster und Orden im Europa des 12. und 13. Jahrhunderts (Stuttgart, 2012); Björn Weiler, “Henry III through Foreign Eyes – Communication and Historical Writing in Thirteenth-Century Europe,” in Rowlands and Weiler (eds.), Henry III and Europe, pp. 137–162; Edbury, “The De Montforts in the Latin

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Moreover, the increasing amount and different types of information circulating, as well as the changing social context within which history was produced, called for different ways of writing about the past. The traditional format of the pope and emperor chronicle proved unsatisfactory (though it was, of course, successfully revived in the late thirteenth century).187 Too many new actors appeared on the scene, and required not only to have their deeds, but also their contribution to the reconstruction of the past recorded. What was called for was thus a wider refashioning of knowledge. In fact, several writers complained of the mass of news they had to process and condense, and defined their efforts as selecting for their readers the most important items from among a deluge of information.188 It is therefore not wholly surprising to witness in the early thirteenth century an increasing production of encyclo­paedias,189 and also of collections of historical narratives,190 of saints’ lives and visions,191 or legal compendia.192 All these texts had in common the

187

188 189 190

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East”, 23–31. Despite different chronological focus, methodologically useful are Mia Münster-Swendsen, “An Intricate Web of Friends: Unravelling the Networks and Personal Connections of the two Lawrences of Durham,” in Lars Losgaard et al. (eds.), Monastic Culture: the Long Thirteenth Century. Essays in honour of Brian Patrick McGuire (Odense, 2014), pp. 33–56; Thomas Wetzstein, “New Masters of Space: the Creation of Communication Networks in the West (Eleventh-Twelfth Centuries),” in Meredith Cohen and Fanny Madeline (eds.), Space in the Medieval West: Places, Territories and Imagined Geographies (Farnham, 2014), pp. 115–132. See, though, Marie-Christine Duchenne, “Un historien et sa source: l’utilisation de la chronique de Sigebert de Gembloux par Vincent de Beauvais,” Spicae. Cahiers de l’Atelier Vincent de Beauvais 4 (1986), 31–79. Godfrey of Viterbo, “Memoria Seculorum”, MGH SS 22, 103; Robert of Auxerre, MGH SS 26, 674. See, for instance, Mary Franklin-Brown, Reading the World. Encyclopedic Writings in the Scholastic Age (Chicago, 2012). Gert Melville, “Spätmittelalterliche Geschichtskompendien – eine Aufgabenstellung,” Römische Historische Mitteilungen 22 (1980), 51–104. See also Mireille Chazan, “L’usage de la compilation dans les chroniques de Robert d’Auxerre, Aubri de Trois-Fontaines et Jean de Saint-Victor,” Journal des Savants (1999), 261–294. See, for instance, Peter of Cornwall’s Book of Revelations, ed. Robert Easting and Richard Sharpe (Toronto, 2013); Helen Birkett, “Visions of the Other World from the Cistercian Monastery of Melrose,” Mediaeval Studies 74 (2012), 101–142; Joseph van der Straeten, “Le Grand Légendier Autrichien dans les manuscrits de Zwettl,” Analecta Bollandiana 113 (1995), 321–348. I owe the last reference to Diarmuid O’Riain, who is preparing a more detailed study of the Legendarium. See, for instance, Paul Brand, “The Age of Bracton,” Proceedings of the British Academy 89 (1996), 65–89; Thomas Wetzstein, “Resecatis superfluis? Raymund von Peñafort und der liber extra,” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte (Kanonistische Abteilung)

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comprehensive nature of their undertaking, the desire to produce a record of available information far more detailed and rich than anything attempted before. Knowledge was ordered and recorded anew. Moreover, the abundant flow of information was not limited to the present. Matthew and his peers also refashioned and expanded the record of the remote and distant past. In Matthew’s case, new information thus became available not only about Egwin and King Offa, but also Biblical history (the whereabouts of Noah’s Ark, the texts translated at St Albans), and early Christianity (the legend of the wandering Jew). The early decades of the thirteenth century, it should be noted, were thus also a period in which regnal and communal histories were rewritten, often on a monumental scale – with Saxo Grammaticus, Rudolf of Ems, Snorri Sturlusson, and Rodriguo Jimenez de Rada perhaps the most famous examples. The desire to order and structure an unwieldy flow of data also led to innovations in manuscript design – Ralph of Diceto, for instance, developed a system (later copied by Matthew Paris) for visually ordering information on the page.193 The aim was not only to collect information, but also to present it in a manner that allowed for easy use and access. In short, whatever changes we can observe in the production of historical writing formed part of a series of broader cultural shifts. There was more to this process than simply an increasing amount of information that could more easily be accessed. After all, that more information was available does not explain why authors chose to record it. Matthew Paris was able to write about the affairs of Armenia, the university of Athens, or the destruction of Baghdad because a changing material context made it possible for his English informants to study at Athens, for Armenian pilgrims to spend several years visiting English shrines, and for English masters of military orders in the Holy Land to gather news about the ʿAbbasid caliphate. Still, none of this tell us why Matthew’s community supported him in his endeavours (it seems Matthew may even have had a scribe working for him),194 why the monks expected him to write on so grand a scale, why lay patrons fed him the kind of information they did, or why Matthew so willingly expanded the social and thematic horizons of reporting. What, then, may have driven these wider changes?

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92 (2006), 355–391; Bernd Kannowski, “Wieviel Gelehrtes Recht steckt im Sachsenspiegel und war Eike von Repgow ein Kanonist?,” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsge­ schichte (Kanonistische Abteilung) 130 (2013), 382–397. Antonia Gransden, Historical Writing in England c. 550 – c. 1307 (London, 1974), pp. 233– 235, 364; Vaughan, Matthew Paris, pp. 24, 104–105, 129. Alberic of Troisfontaines’ manuscript, in turn, used a similar system of coding to distinguish quoted passages from Alberic’s commentary. Vaughan, Matthew Paris, pp. 118–119, 215–216.

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I would like to suggest three distinct, yet closely related and mutually reinforcing factors: the rising importance of pastoral care, the different contexts within which history was used, and an expanding audience for writings about the past. These were not the only factors at play, of course, but they are the ones that seem most striking in the present context. As far as pastoral care is concerned, Michael Menzel has drawn attention to the importance of history (and of historical writing) as a source for the construction of sermons in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. From around 1180, Menzel argues, we can observe an increasing overlap between the kind of information recorded by chroniclers and that used, for instance, in miracle, exempla and sermon collections. This was, however, a two-way exchange: from the early decades of the thirteenth century, we can find increasing references to historical writing in sermon texts, while exempla collections began to record the kind of information more traditionally found in historical narratives.195 Let me use as an example the surviving sermons and the Dialogus Miracu­ lorum by the thirteenth-century Cistercian Caesarius of Heisterbach (d. 1240). The Dialogus contains numerous visions, miracles, and anecdotes about saints: St Bernard excommunicating the flies interrupting the consecration of the abbey of Foigny,196 beer served to an abbess miraculously turning into wine,197 or the devil seeking to dissuade the erstwhile mistress of a priest from committing adultery.198 Caesarius was also eager to locate events in time. He thus referenced Theodosius,199 the baptism of Clovis,200 and Charlemagne.201 The overwhelming majority of historical anecdotes, however, related to events within living memory. Caesarius thus reported on the deeds of Valdemar II of 195

Michael Menzel, Predigt und Geschichte: historische Exempel in der geistlichen Rhetorik des Mittelalters (Cologne, 1998), pp. 230–244. See for a useful case study, though focusing on the later thirteenth century, Horacio Botalla, “Sobre exempla Franciscanos en la Italia del siglo xiii,” Actas y comunicaciones del instituto de Historia antigua y medieval 9 (2013), 1–10 (, accessed 4 November 2014); and Mireille Chazan, “Jean de Mailly et la chronique de Robert d’Auxerre: hagiographie, histoire et ‘autorité’,” Archi­ vum Fratrum Praedicatorum 68 (1998), 117–133. 196 Die Wundergeschichten des Caesarius von Heisterbach, ed. Alfons Hilka (vols. 1 and 3 [2 not published]; Bonn, 1933 and 1937), 1.81. 197 Die Wundergeschichten, 1.104. 198 Die Wundergeschichten, 3.50, 51. On the motif see also Coree Newman, “The Quest for Redemption: Penitent Demons leading Christians to Salvation in Medieval Christian Exempla Literature,” Mediaevalia 33 (2012), 47–77. 199 Die Wundergeschichten, 1.80. 200 Die Wundergeschichten, 1.98. 201 Die Wundergeschichten, 1.178.

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Denmark,202 a conversation between Archbishop Christian of Mainz and Frederick Barbarossa,203 the eclipse that, Caesarius argued, presaged the death of Philip of Swabia in 1208,204 the dispute over the imperial succession between Frederick II and Otto IV,205 the excommunication of Archbishop Dietrich of Cologne in 1215,206 and the Polish ducal succession,207 but also the murder of King Conrad of Jerusalem in 1192 and of the count of Tripoli in 1213.208 These references did not simply report events. The murders in the Holy Land, for instance, served to illustrate the perfidious ways of those Muslims who refused to convert to Christianity, while Christian of Mainz gently chided the emperor by pointing out that he, unlike Frederick, knew the names of all his subjects. Others linked recent events to the intervention of the supernatural (Valdemar had disregarded warnings from the Virgin Mary, and as a result suffered defeat and imprisonment), illustrated the importance of signs and wonders (Philip of Swabia), or served to locate events in time (the excommunication of Arch­ bishop Dietrich). Caesarius did not write history, at least not in a way that either we or his contemporaries would easily recognise as such. Rather, the past served to impart more forcefully the lessons he wanted his audience to draw. Much of that poignancy rested on the immediacy and verisimilitude conveyed by resorting to well-known events and individuals. Manifestations of the sacred, for instance, were all the more powerful because they could be attached to a specific space, time and place: there was nothing abstract about the importance of signs if they could be related to something as momentous as the murder – still fresh in an audience’s memory – of a king. The same was true of moral norms: they were more easily understood, and the importance of abiding by them more easily recognized, if anchored in a concrete time and space. Even so, the similarities between Caesarius and the new kind of historical writing that emerged in the early thirteenth century are worth noting. Even Caesarius, while focusing his account on the area around Cologne (where the majority of the incidents he reported took place), knew about events in 202 203 204 205 206 207

Die Wundergeschichten, 1.159–160. Die Wundergeschichten, 1.126. Die Wundergeschichten, 1.165–166. Die Wundergeschichten, 1.169–170. Die Wundergeschichten, 1.127. Die Wundergeschichten, 3.84. See also, on Poland, 1.151, 3.64. On the latter see Edwald Walter, “Der namentlich nicht genannte Herzog von Polen im ersten Buche der Libri VIII Miraculorum des Caesarius von Heisterbach,” Archiv für Schlesische Kirchengeschichte 36 (1978), 1–31. 208 Die Wundergeschichten, 1.130.

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England, Poland, France, Italy and Denmark. Similarities are even more striking once we consider the style of reporting. This is not to argue that a need for pastoral care was the sole driving force in the wave of encyclopaedic and universal history. It may, however, have provided an additional impetus, perhaps even a model for structuring and ordering information. Alberic’s and Albert’s preference for morally instructive anecdotes (as with the cackling demons of Mainz) would suggest as much. Equally, Matthew Paris, while perhaps not known for his pithy anecdotes, nonetheless excelled at constructing episodes that lent themselves easily to a moral interpretation of the past.209 That particular narrative device itself was not, of course, new to the thirteenth century. It was, however, employed more frequently, more widely, and in relation to an expanding number of social groups. It may even be worth speculating to what extent a Franciscan like Albert of Stade or a Cistercian like Alberic of Troisfontaines may have felt affinity with this particular way of using history. In fact, with regard to Helinand of Froidmont (another Cistercian writing in the thirteenth century), Marinus Woesthuis has shown how Helinand assembled his materials in a manner that facilitated their use as exempla. Historia (the narration of facts) and exemplum (the moral lesson to be condensed for the benefit of one’s audience) were mutually reinforcing factors in Helinand’s construction of history.210 Exempla and sermon collections were among the most frequently produced texts of the thirteenth century. They do not, however, exhaust the genres where a more extensive use of history can be observed. Note should thus be taken of the importance attached to historical narratives in attempts around the year 1200 to revive the production of king’s mirrors, that is, of abstract treatises on the moral principles underpinning royal lordship. The genre had lain mostly dormant since the tenth century, but experienced a short revival in the eleventh, most famously with the Institutions ascribed to St Stephen of Hungary, and the Institutes of Polity by Wulfstan of York. Both proposed general rules: to listen to good advisors, respect bishops, remain pious, stay clear of taverns,

209 Björn Weiler, “Matthew Paris on the Writing of History,” Journal of Medieval History 35 (2009), 254–278, at 257–263. 210 Marinus M. Woesthuis, “Nunc ad historiam revertamur: History and Preaching in Helinand of Froidmont,” Sacris Erudiri 34 (1994), 313–333, at 329–331. See also Beverley M. Kienzle, “Hélinand de Froidmont et la prédication cistercienne dans le Midi (1145–1229),” Cahiers de Fanjeaux 32 (1997), 37–67; Meinders Geertsma, “Helinand’s De Bono Regimine Principis: A Mirror for Princes or an Exegesis of Deuteronomy 17, 14–20?,” Sacris Erudiri 52 (2013), 385–414.

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etc., and largely shunned specific examples.211 For most of the eleventh and twelfth century, though (with John of Salisbury a significant exception), the preferred medium for the instruction of princes remained historical writing. Texts like William of Malmesbury’s Gesta Regum Anglorum (c. 1126) or Otto of Freising’s Gesta Frederici (c. 1152–8) sought to provide both a historical framework – a narrative, that is, of how the affairs of the realm had unfolded in the past – and an illustration of what abstract principles meant in practice.212 Working around c. 1216, Gerald of Wales combined the two approaches. The first book of his De Principis Instructione Liber offered an outline of basic definitions of what made a good ruler, each illustrated with several historical examples. Though mostly drawing on Classical examples, such as Trajan,213 and Hannibal,214 and those from the distant past, such as Charlemagne,215 it also included anecdotes related by Prior Robert of St Frideswide in Oxford,216 news about Louis VII of France,217 and William the Lion of Scotland.218 The second and third book then used the history of Henry II and his sons to portray abstract principles at work. Gerald thus produced a text as remote from most twelfth-century chronicles as it was from the Carolingian tradition of 211

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214 215 216 217 218

Die ‘Institutes of Polity, Civil and Ecclesiastical’. Ein Werk Erzbischofs Wulfstans von York, ed. and trans. Karl Jost (Bern, 1959); Renée Trilling, “Sovereignty and Social Order: Archbishop Wulfstan and the Institutes of Polity”, in John S. Ott and Anna Trumbore Jones (eds.), The Bishop Reformed. Studies of Episcopal Power and Culture in the Central Middle Ages (Aldershot, 2007), pp. 58–85; Előd Nemerkényi, Latin Classics in Medieval Hungary: Eleventh Century (Budapest, 2004), pp. 31–72; Előd Nemerkényi, “The Religious Ruler in the Institu­ tions of St Stephen of Hungary,” in Aziz al-Azmeh and János Bak (eds.), Monotheistic King­ ship. The Medieval Variants (Budapest, 2004) pp. 231–248. See, generally, Wojciech Falkowski, “The Carolingian speculum principis – the Birth of a Genre,” Acta Poloniae His­ torica 98 (2008), 5–28. Sverre Bagge, Kings, Politics and the Right Order of the World in German Historiography (Leiden, 2002), pp. 364–388; Sverre Bagge, ‘Ethics, Politics, and Providence in William of Malmesbury’s Historia Novella,” Viator 41 (2010), 113–132; Björn Weiler, “William of Malmesbury, King Henry I, and the Gesta Regum Anglorum,” Anglo-Norman Studies 31 (2009), 157–176. Gerald of Wales, De principis instructione liber, ed. George F. Warner, Giraldi Cambrensis Opera VIII (London, 1891), pp. 16, 17, 81, 83. On the legend see also Gordon E. Whatley, “The Uses of Hagiography: the Legend of Pope Gregory and the Emperor Trajan in the Middle Ages,” Viator 15 (1984), 25–63. Gerald of Wales, De Principis, 41, 49. Gerald of Wales, De Principis, 7, 42, 72–74, 99–100, 125. Gerald of Wales, De Principis, 65–66. Gerald of Wales, De Principis, 131–138. Gerald of Wales, De Principis, 138–141.

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mirrors of princes that he (knowingly or not) revived.219 The relative novelty of his approach rested on the manner in which he mined the distant past – the Romans and Carolingians – to provide a model of kingship, which he then tested and illustrated further by distilling the past sixty years of Angevin and Capetian history. It was thus not the narration of history that instructed its readers, that allowed them to deduce moral norms from the unfolding of past events. Instead, history provided the raw materials, the examples with which to illustrate unchanging moral truths. The shift was subtle, but profoundly important.220 Gerald – who completed the final redaction of his De Principis just a few years before Caesarius penned the Dialogus – was very much a child of his times. His approach further reflected another phenomenon, increasingly common from the later twelfth century: records of the past composed by or for royal officials, or dealing with the role of the king’s advisors in the governance of the realm.221 Many of these texts occupied a curious position, happily straddling genre divides that have often confounded their modern readers.222 Perhaps the most famous English example for this kind of writing was Walter Map’s De Nugis Curialium (c. 1181), a meditation on the court that was also a collection of curious yet instructive anecdotes, of marvels, and much mocking of Cistercians. Book five of De Nugis dealt with events from the eleventh century through to Walter’s own time. Walter used a largely fictitious account of 219

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Though the similarities with the structure of Seneca’s De Clementia, widely popular in the twelfth century, are worth noting. See Seneca, De Clementia, edited with text, translation and commentary by Susanna Braund (Oxford, 2009), pp. 77–78. I am grateful to Lars Kjaer for making me read Seneca. See, for important parallel examples: Peter of Blois, Opera Omnia, ed. J.A. Giles (4 vols.; Oxford, 1846–7), 1.no. 67. On Henry the Young King’s education see Matthew Strickland, “On the Instruction of a Prince: the Upbringing of Henry, the Young King,” in Christopher Harper-Bill and Nicholas Vincent (eds.), Henry II. New Interpretations (Woodbridge, 2007), pp. 184–214; Godfrey of Viterbo and His Readers: Imperial Tradition and Universal History in Late Medieval Europe, ed. Thomas Foerster (Farnham, forthcoming). Björn Weiler, “Thinking about Power before Magna Carta: the Role of History,” in François Foronda and Jean-Philippe Genet (eds.), Des chartes aux constitutions. Autour de l’idée constitutionnelle en Europe (XII e–XVII e siècles) (forthcoming). See, for a very useful case study, Mia Münster-Swendsen, “‘Auf das Gesetz sei das Land gebaut.’ Zum Zusammenhang rechtlicher und historischer Diskurse im hochmittelalterlichen Dänemark,” in Norbert Kersken and Grischa Vercamer (eds.), Macht und Spiegel der Macht. Herrschaft in Europa im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert vor dem Hintergrund der Chronistik (Wiesbaden, 2013), pp. 85–102; Mia Münster-Swendsen, “The Making of the Danish Court Nobility: the ‘Lex castrensis sive curiae’ of Sven Aggesen Reconsidered,” in Sverre Bagge et al. (eds.), Statsutvikling i Skandinavia i Middelalderen (Oslo, 2012), pp. 257–279.

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Edmund Ironside, for instance, to illustrate the dangers of allowing courtiers of low status to assume positions of power (a particular bugbear of Walter’s) and established a carefully crafted contrast between the ideal governance of Henry I and the reality of the court under Henry II.223 In a slightly different vein, Richard FitzNigel’s Dialogue of the Exchequer offered, on the one hand, a guidebook on the workings of the English royal exchequer. On the other, it also provided a historical account of Richard’s family, the origins of the Exchequer and of several of its procedures, and of Henry I.224 The historical sections were not necessarily the central focus of these texts: other matters were more important (how the Exchequer worked, Cistercians and their lack of underwear, and much else). However, their authors also thought it useful, perhaps stylish, to make reference to the past, to use it as a means with which to understand the present. Such hearkening back should not be dismissed as simply seeking to coat the status quo in the patina of history. Precedent did, of course, help establish legitimacy, but a reading of historical works that reduces them to being little more than legitimizing tools would be absurdly simplistic. To begin, as both Gervase of Canterbury (c. 1200) in England and Theodoric the Monk (c. 1180) in Norway had pointed out, themselves following Isidore of Seville: knowledge of the past was what distinguished civilized polities from Barbarians.225 A familiarity with the history of one’s community (be it institutional, local, social or political) demonstrated membership in the rarefied circles of the literate. It was a mark of distinction, of education, status and refinement. Making reference to the past added depth

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Walter Map, De Nugis Curialium. Courtiers’ Trifles, ed. and trans. M.R. James, revised by C.N.L. Brooke and R.A.B. Mynors (Oxford, 1983), 5.4, pp. 430–1. See also A.G. Rigg, “Historical Fiction in Walter Map. The Construction of Godwin of Wessex,” in Dorothea Waltz (ed.), Scripturus vitam. Lateinische Biographie von der Antike bis in die Gegenwart. Festgabe für Walter Berschin zum 65. Geburtstag (Heidelberg, 2002), pp. 1001–1010; Alan Cooper, “Walter Map on Henry I: the Creation of Eminently Useful History,” The Medieval Chroni­ cle 6 (2011), 103–114; Björn Weiler, “Royal Virtue and Royal Justice in William of Malmesbury and Walter Map,” in István P. Bejczy and Richard G. Newhauser (eds.), Virtue and Ethics in the Twelfth Century Leiden, 2006), pp. 317–340. John G.H. Hudson, “Administration, Family and Perceptions of the Past in Late TwelfthCentury England. Richard Fitz Nigel and the Dialogue of the Exchequer,” in Paul Magdalino (ed.), Perceptions of the Past in the Twelfth Century (London, 1992), pp. 74–98. Gervase of Canterbury, Chronica, in The Historical Works of Gervase of Canterbury, ed. William Stubbs (2 vols.; London, 1879), 1.84–91. Theodorus Monachus, Historia De Antiquitate Regum Norwagiensium, in Monumenta Historica Norwegiae. Latinske Kildeskrifter til Norges Historie i Middlealderen, ed. Gustav Storm (Kristiana, 1880), p. 4.

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and substance to a narrative, displayed the learning of an author (his readers and patrons), and thereby enhanced the persuasive force of a text. An interest in the past did not, however, necessarily require that royal officials took quill to parchment themselves, or even that they commissioned others to do so. Alexander of Swereford, for instance, a clerk at the thirteenthcentury English exchequer, probably also compiled the “Red Book of the Exchequer,” a miscellaneous manuscript that brought together texts as diverse as poems, letters, a copy of the Dialogus, and accounts of the household of King Henry I.226 Perhaps even more intriguingly, while Alexander did not himself write history, he supported the endeavours of none other than Matthew Paris. When, in 1256, the abbot and monks of St Albans decided to commemorate the reputed founder of their abbey, King Offa of Mercia, Matthew Paris provided a short sketch of Offa’s reign, and listed the provinces Offa had united under his rule. In the Liber Additamentorum, Matthew credited Alexander as the source for this information.227 Alexander seems to have echoed a wider interest at court in the Anglo-Saxon past: when, in the spring of 1257, King Henry III visited St Albans, he recited to Matthew a list of English royal saints;228 and when, in November 1256, the king objected to the election of a new bishop of Ely, he pointed to the strategic significance of Ely, where many of the Danes had stayed when plundering England in the eleventh century. For this reason, choosing the right candidate was especially important.229 Finally, as we have seen, Matthew had received news of St Alban’s Danish exile from men who played a leading role in the fiscal administration of Henry’s kingdom. Matthew fed off and contributed to discourses about the past conducted at all levels of the king’s administration. Alexander of Swereford’s role casts light on an issue that has as yet not been explored in sufficient detail for the thirteenth century: the interaction between lay patrons and the writers of monastic history. There is no indication that Matthew wrote his Latin works for a lay audience.230 But then, as Nicholas Paul has shown with regard to aristocratic crusading memory in the twelfth century, lay patrons played an important role even when they did not commission texts. 226 227 228 229 230

The Red Book of the Exchequer, ed. Hubert Hall (3 vols.; London, 1896). Chronica majora, 6.519. Chronica majora, 5.617. Close Rolls for the Reign of Henry III, 1256–9, p. 109. The possible exception may be the Historia Anglorum, which Frederick Madden, its nineteenth-century editor, speculated, could have been written for a royal or at least courtly audience. Matthew Paris, Historia Anglorum, ed. F. Madden (3 vols.; London, 1866–9), 2.492, 3.100.

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The writing of history could, in fact, be a considerably more collaborative undertaking than all too strict a distinction between Latinate authors and non– or not fully – Latinate patrons would suggest.231 Monks could thus be invited to record especially noteworthy events. In 1247, for instance, King Henry III ordered Matthew Paris to note down in his chronicle the festivities surrounding the translation of the Holy Blood relic to Westminster Abbey.232 Lay patrons may also have provided monks with the kind of information they felt a monastic history should include, or which they thought a historian would find worthwhile recording. Alexander Swereford passing on to Matthew details of Offa’s conquests would be an example of this kind of exchange. Another would, of course, be Otto, John and Nicholas of St Albans sharing what they knew about Egwin’s adventures in Odense. Exactly because monasteries acted as keepers of a communal past, producing a record of recent events could provide information to be utilized at some point in the future. Lay patrons (and informants) may have supported monastic historians because they viewed them as quasi-professional keepers of the past, as men who recorded recent events for the benefit not only of their fellow monks, but of the wider community of the faithful. Members of the laity were not just passive recipients, but at times active participants in the process of recording the past. It seems that, in the generation or two after 1180, a new kind of audience for works of history emerged that extended beyond the traditional consumers of such narratives (monastic houses, aristocratic and royal patrons). We thus find administrators, and possibly merchants engaging in or supporting the writing of history. A widening audience may, in turn, have helped drive shifts in the kind of news recorded. The problem is, of course, that – beyond the odd passing reference – these patrons do not normally make much of an appearance in historical narratives. Consequently, we know little about their concerns and interests. Their hopes and expectations remain refracted through the prism of what chroniclers deemed worth acknowledging and attributing. Even so, Matthew Paris accorded increasing prominence to merchants and administrators, was willing to draw on their testimony, and happily reported news of particular interest to them. This may also reflect wider changes within the social context of St Albans’ patrons. A detailed analysis of the community’s benefactors during Matthew’s lifetime remains a desideratum, but we should note just how many of those appearing in Matthew’s writings were middle-ranking royal officials: apart from Nicholas of St Albans, who donated 231 232

Nicholas Linus Paul, To Follow in their Footsteps: the Crusades and Family Memory in the High Middle Ages (Ithaca, 2013). Chronica majora, 4.644.

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money and a ring once belonging to St Edmund, Matthew thus listed men like Lawrence of St Albans, a justice of the forest, who left a ring once belonging to Hubert de Burgh as well as other gifts, including documents;233 Richard Animal, who also gave a ring;234 or Philip Luvel, erstwhile the king’s treasurer, who granted important writs to St Albans.235 These men also constituted some of Matthew’s key informants: he was personally acquainted with John Mansel, one of Henry III’s key officials,236 as well as Simon Passelewe,237 and there were those, like John of Lexington or Robert Thurkelby, who passed through St Albans and shared news with Matthew.238 They did not, of course, outnumber more traditional informants: Matthew still gave preference to earls and monks, bishops and archdeacons. Even so, administrators and officials played a more significant role in the production of the Chronica than in the works of Matthew’s predecessors and models. It may even be worth pondering whether Matthew’s rewriting and refashioning of the history of St Albans may not also have partly reflected the interests of the abbey’s patrons. There could have been a shared desire to make the community’s past complete (as so much new information came to the fore) and adhere to the different needs and expectations of the contemporary world.239 We can, in short, trace both an ethos that demanded and a reality that increasingly brought about interaction with and concern for the laity. A renewed emphasis on pastoral care certainly played its part. It seems to have provided an added impetus for authors like Helinand of Froidmont, Caesarius of Heisterbach, and Alberic of Troisfontaines. There were Cistercian writers, who built on and contributed to a wave of texts, composed by members of their order, that codified knowledge and sought to order it for use in preaching. Pastoral care was not, however, the sole factor driving such concern for the non-religious. Chroniclers also built on an established notion of monastic communities as keepers of communal memory, but the uses they expected the world beyond the cloister to make of their writings had changed, as had the social composition of that community. Such shifting expectations and context, in turn, alongside the wealth of information that reached authors, may have 233 234 235 236 237 238 239

Chronica majora, 6.279, 389. Chronica majora, 6.385. Chronica majora, 6.252, 343. Hui Liu, “Matthew Paris and John Mansel,” Thirteenth-Century England 11 (2007), 159–173. Chronica majora, 5.656–658. Chronica majora, 5.211, 317, 384. Björn Weiler, “Uses of the Distant Past in the Age of Magna Carta: Matthew Paris’ Lives of the Two Offas,” in Peter Lambert and Björn Weiler (eds.), Uses of the Past: beyond the Inven­ tion of Tradition, Proceedings of the British Academy (forthcoming).

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required a refashioning of how history was written. Moreover, many of these factors resulted themselves from a process of Europeanization: the institutionalization and internationalization of the Church, the crusades, and of university education, expanding trade routes, and so on. Historical writing, in turn, both reflected and drove forward these wider processes. It reflected them, as we have seen, not only because of the kind of news reported, but also because of how they were reported. It drove them forwards because of the degree to which writers resorted to reporting a particular type of news, the common channels of communication on which they drew, and perhaps even the degree to which they expressed and pursued shared concerns and expectations about the purpose and efficacy of writing about the world and its past. Approached in this fashion, Matthew’s tale of Egwin reveals itself to be more than just a curious episode, as not just a piece of monastic folklore, but a window onto a rich and colourful world, most of which would otherwise remain largely hidden from view. In the process, we may learn little about the early history of St Albans, but are amply compensated by what we can gauge about the intellectual and cultural horizons of the St Albans chronicler and his contemporaries. We also learn something about the interaction between cultural and material change. Writing history was, after all, both a social and a cultural pursuit: it required a writer willing and capable to note down what he had learned, but it also needed patrons willing to support such efforts, informants willing to share what they knew, brethren supporting the endeavour, and so on. Once historical narratives are recognized as embedded in a complex network of social and cultural links, practices and expectations, they can be used to ask broader questions, not only about the text, but also about the society that facilitated and perhaps even encouraged (or at least tolerated) their production, and that preserved it. In this particular instance, we have seen what abstract historical processes could mean for the daily lives of those living through them. After all, abstract concepts have no agency of their own. They become reality only through the individuals who participated in, wrote and thought about them. Of course, neither Matthew Paris nor his informants were ordinary denizens of the thirteenth century. They were elite actors engaged in elite pursuits. Still, the degree to which the Europeanization of Europe touched on almost every aspect of their experiences remains worth noting. In many ways, Matthew and his contemporaries were more closely connected to and far more deeply rooted in the culture of western Europe than most of their modern readers. One of the resulting questions that historians of medieval England have perhaps not always heeded sufficiently is what this could have meant for

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the cultural and material horizons within which these writers acted.240 More importantly, within a broader European context, the example of Matthew and his contemporaries teaches us something about the diverse strategies with which medieval Europeans sought to make abstract processes work for them, how they ensured that Europeanization, just like Europe, was, to paraphrase a famous medievalist, both an idea and a reality.241

240 See, however, Robert Bartlett, The Hanged Man. A Story of Miracle, Memory, and Colonial­ ism in the Middle Ages (Princeton, 2004). 241 “Europe is both an idea and a region”; Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 1.

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Chapter 9

The Making and Unmaking of Rural Europe Esther Pascua Echegaray 1

A Book and a Scholar in 1993

In 1993, Robert Bartlett published The Making of Europe. Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950–1350; the book that is the catalyst for this Festschrift. That year he travelled back to Europe from Chicago, to his new post as Professor of Mediaeval History at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. The book followed two monographs by Bartlett: a biography dedicated to Gerald of Wales, the man who in many ways introduced the current stereotypes of the Celtic world, and a book on the peculiar medieval judicial practice of ordeal, trial by fire and water. I met Professor Bartlett when I arrived at the Department of Mediaeval History in 1998. Coming from Spain, I opted to attend some lectures given by some of my colleagues to learn how the system works in Scotland. I had read The Making of Europe in Spain, and I soon noticed that Rob and his book were twin souls. Every one of his lectures was a kind of manifesto for his conception of History: he drew on a huge range of sources, placed complex details within general contexts and combined economic, political, social and cultural domains in an attempt to offer provisional explanations. All this was intertwined with shrewd observations, witty comments, seductive speech and stories, and long walks around the lecture theatre.1 The book to which we pay tribute offers the reader a broad panorama of the antecedents and consequences of “Europe in the making,” in a programme that examines: the military, politics and the life of the upper classes; villages and their landscapes, towns and trade; frontiers and peripheries; and finally the Church and universities. At first glance, his classes and this publication might make you think that Bartlett is not interested in theory. And in a way you would be right. There are no presentations of historiographical disputes, nor discussions of different social theories, let alone reflections on metahistory. In Bartlett’s book we find no trace of the debates on the problem of continuity and mutation around the tenth century, nor on the processes 1 I still remember the day he was pretending to plough by walking up and down the aisles of the venue to illustrate the difficulties of handling a heavy plough in different shaped fields in Northern and Southern Europe.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_013

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of incastellamento or encellulement of the twelfth century, nor on Brenner’s debate about the causes of economic growth, or any others. However, he works according to strict methodological principles. First, hard work, no wasted time; second, irony as a method to disclose an implicit reality;2 third, trust classics more than modern authors; fourth, better to be an iconoclast than perpetuate images and stereotypes; fifth, always have strong and decisive views (make others work to refute you!); sixth, employ a clear, straightforward style, that has a structured and coherent argument; seventh, construct striking statements rather than bore the audience. By 1993, history writing had largely moved on from theoretical discussions. It was far from the French Annales (which – at least to Spanish eyes – did not have a profound impact on British historiography), and also from serial quantitative history, but had instead assimilated the general approach of “History from Above.” The historiography of the frontier had already come and passed, and theories on economic change were not at the centre of intellectual concerns. The 1990s triggered a major diversification of interpretations, none of them affiliated to a specific school, particularly in the United States, where Bartlett had spent six years. Social History, Historical Sociology, Historical Anthropology, Cultural Studies, and Postmodernism, were having an intellectual impact on the Humanities. Theories of Postcolonial studies were emerging in the Social Sciences. Epistemological pluralism, syncretism, a plethora of methodologies and interpretations co-existed with a return to narratives and the success of local and regional studies. The big macro-theories with their specific technical vocabulary were no longer digestible and in this sense Bartlett’s book was pioneering, as we will notice in so many other aspects. Bartlett does not work with theories, nor with hypotheses, but with axes of contradiction, with large-scale general trends, aiming to identify common features, continuities and discontinuities, moments of change and creativity. His work proves that History is to a great extent about the quality of individual historians or teams of researchers, rather than the application of more or less valid and tested theories or methods, as in the hard sciences. Apart from the tremendous empirical information, we can today learn three main lessons from the book. Bartlett starts from a well-known idea: that Europe was a socio-political formation in constant expansion for three centuries. To this, he adds that it was the expansion of a certain kind of society, the Frankish society, with its specific cultural and legal features.3 This created fierce ten2 Assessing lords’ interest on the output of their manor, he writes: “it is hard to establish the relation between right angles and productivity,” Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 149. 3 Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 23.

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sions between the core and the periphery, shackled in a process of expansion characterized by dynamics of conquest, colonization and frontier. Furthermore, he places this process at the centre of the European ethos, of European collective representations. The second reason the book is groundbreaking is its combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative approach allows Bartlett to describe the incorporation of lands into Christendom by, for example, counting the number of bishoprics per region4 or considering the number of crowned heads in 1350 who were descended from French lineages or Frenchspeaking areas.5 On the other hand, his acute qualitative method allows him to emphasize what seems to him relevant for later times, such as the importance today of the regions evangelized by either Germans or Greeks in the Eastern parts of Europe. This analytical combination permits him to work on speculative topics that rest on limited evidence, such as medieval migrations. Bartlett draws on a huge range of documents and works with a refined heuristic that brings in hundreds of examples from all over Europe, making comparison the third key contribution of his method. If it is true to say that he is a historian of England and an expert in the Loire-Rhine region, he always includes peripheral areas, particularly Ireland, the Levant, Eastern Europe and at some points Iberia; this provides an extremely powerful perspective for analyzing a decentralized medieval world. The book uses an emic approach to the description of past societies and therefore we find many terms in original Latin (rather than concepts): Latinitas,6 gens, equites, pedites,7 strenuitas,8 utilitas, melioratio,9 and so on, from a wide variety of sources. Finally, Bartlett employs a direct, highly structured and straightforward writing style that is complemented by strong imagery and thought-provoking remarks. The reader begins with a sentence that runs: “In the High Middle Ages, the population of Europe was not only growing, it was moving.” Simple – and you want to keep reading.

4 5 6 7 8 9

Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 6. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 42. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 19. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 25. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 85. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 118.

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Rural History in The Making of Europe

Rural history was changing in the 1990s. The big debates concerning the transitions from slavery to feudalism, from feudalism to capitalism, on economic growth in the central centuries of the Middle Ages, or on the nature of the peasant community, which characterized the decades from the 1950s to the late 1970s, had vanished from scholars’ agendas. The 1970s brought about a revolution in general paradigms of Social Sciences with Mendels’ (1972), Wallerstein’s (1974), Brenner’s (1976) and North and Thomas’ (1976) theses on long-term growth. Two key concepts, “protoindustrialization” and the “industrious revolution,” mark the start and culminating moment of the new approach.10 A further outcome was the erosion of the pessimistic RicardianMalthusian explanation of the cyclical character of growth in pre-industrial societies. For the Middle Ages, that meant a revision of Postan’s assumptions, and a change in the view of peasant communities deriving from studies of rural life in underdeveloped countries, particularly in Asia and Latin America. In these regions, the economy of peasants is diversified, oriented to the market, resilient to competition from large landowners, and does not disappear under pressure from big corporations or monopolies. Peasants do not live in closed communities, isolated from the larger context, condemned to perish in the long-run. Parallels may be suggested with pre-industrial communities. Research developments undermined the essentialist conception of the peasantry as a subordinated and passive class, working in an economy oriented towards subsistence, alien to the market, unable to produce technological innovation, living in a horizontally harmonious world of collective solidarities endlessly mobilized against lords. Demography was also experiencing a change in Medieval and Modern History, questioning the large structure of the pre-fifteenth-century peasant family, the early age of marriage, the high number of single homes and the varying rates of mortality, fertility and mobility. Studies of popular religious beliefs and the moral world of medieval peasantry were followed by works on topics such as the Reformation, charity and social collective control.11 Research

10

11

Frank F. Mendels, “Proto-industrialization. The First Phase of the Industrialization Process,” Economic History Review 32 (1972), 241–261; Jan de Vries, “The Industrial Revolution and the Industrious Revolution,” Journal of Economic History 54 (1994), 249–270. B. Kumin, The Shaping of a Community: The Rise and Reformation of the English Parish, c. 1400–1560 (Aldershot, 1996); Peter Blickle, From the Communal Reformation to the Revo­ lution of the Common Man (Leiden, 1998).

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on the pace of change and varying approaches in the formation of the manorial system and dependency-ties in each region marked a new direction. Most of these ingredients, present in Bartlett’s book, are an expression of his time, but they are arranged in a way that makes it a precedent for subsequent developments. In The Making of Europe, there are only two chapters specifically devoted to the rural world. Their titles, “The Free Village” and “The New Landscape,” demonstrate Bartlett’s interest in the relationship between people and spaces: people as collectivities and the land as a landscape. Bartlett’s main concerns are not the causes of Europe’s growth, but the phenomena that it unleashed, the specificities of a process of expansion that permeated images, representations and emotions. Two terms are ever present in these two chapters: population and settlement. Questions of demography (mainly population numbers, and migrations and returns) are difficult to resolve because there is no systematic evidence, but Bartlett speculates about them, employing place names and terminology.12 Different countries have developed their own debates, varying academic and historiographical cultures, topics and approaches to rural history, as in other fields. Very few scholars cross their own national boundaries. By ignoring these, Bartlett was able to move across territories with his own agenda and objectives in the quest for empirical evidence that allowed him to find meaning, by identifying general trends and common features among regions of agrarian Europe in the central centuries of the Middle Ages. Using the same comparative method throughout his book, he searches for similarities from Silesia to Toledo, and he finds significant examples from all across Europe. Structural analysis and political and social agency, in equal proportions, coincide with the French tradition of Duby, which places the emphasis on the role of the aristocracy in processes of conquest and that of peasants in colonization. In the expansionary cycle of the Frankish society that conquered Palestine, Greece, Andalusia, Ulster or Prussia elites and peasants were involved in equal parts. As treatises of estate management and book-keeping show, lords, abbeys and monasteries played a key role in the economic growth of these centuries (organization of mansi, assarting of marshes and woodland, changing the course of rivers).13 In Bartlett’s view, words such as utilitas or melioratio imply the pursuit of economic development, even though they were considered to be a means to achieve victory, glory or salvation rather than an end in themselves.14

12 13 14

Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 108–112, 143–146. Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 121–133. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 119.

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The peasant does not appear as a passive element, but as part of a dynamic and complex agrarian society, with rural communities embedded in wider economic, political and cultural frameworks. The peasant is able to build a political discourse, to have criteria of cultivation, to be more than a receptor of ideologies, instead having his own political references and collective memory. From short to long migrations, from villages to the foundation of new towns, all these are relevant topics that concern Bartlett when looking at the free village. Communities and immigrants faced similar problems and Frankish traditions made them adopt similar solutions. As a consequence, there are common traits in the social and institutional arrangements developed in, for example, Poland, Ireland and Iberia, to settle land by feodum, to allocate mansi, and to develop legal frameworks or fueros.15 With the same pressing need to find labour, lords made concessions on peasants’ duties, rent and status. These favourable economic and legal conditions permitted rural communities to develop middling peasants or intermediaries who could afford to trade with land. In these two chapters dedicated to the countryside, settlement evolves into man-made ecologies. Interestingly, Bartlett rails against the lack of excavations carried out in the 1980s, the fact that pottery typologies were still the final aim of many, and also against the scant dialogue between historians and archaeologists. However, he attributes a major role to fieldwork and archaeology in the study of village, town morphology, and rural settlement.16 Chapter Six finishes with a call for a “thorough and imaginative methodological pluralism” to understand the history of rural settlement:17 The history of rural settlement is a topic which demands the slow accumulation of laboriously recovered data – pottery fragments, charter references, field maps, etc. It is also an area in which new scientific methods, such as the chemical analysis of ceramics or the investigation of plant and animal remains, promise ever richer information of a quite novel kind. If collaborative and multidisciplinary scholarship is allowed to thrive, one eventual result will be a deeper, sharper and livelier picture of the new landscapes of the High Middle Ages.18

15 16 17 18

Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 117–118. Bartlett, Making of Europe, pp. 156–157. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 164. Bartlett, Making of Europe, p. 166.

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After The Making of Europe

Rural history might be considered the engine of twentieth-century medieval history, from the early works of Marc Bloch on rural France to, for example, Joan Thirsk’s agrarian history of England and Wales.19 Even if this statement is regarded as excessive, the history of the countryside has evolved immensely in a century. In general, historians of the medieval rural world have a subtler and more diversified picture of the rural habitat than twenty years ago. Part of the explanation is the improvement in online sources such as databases, open access to full collections and the publication of new critical editions and translations. In regions backward in the systematic publication of sources, such as Spain, Portugal, Italy or Ireland, the last decade has been significant in offering new documentation to the researcher, from municipal acts to the corpus of toponyms. Archaeology has advanced even faster in the study of the material culture, medieval fields, diets, tools and habitats, and has engaged in historical debates with increasing theoretical and interpretative autonomy. The subject has adopted an interdisciplinary perspective, including environmental sciences and laboratory analysis (e.g. zooarchaeology, palynology and anthracology) in the study of traditional and new subject matters. Archaeology has become, along with placenames, an ineluctable methodology for periods when written records are absent.20 It has emphasized a tendency towards the local and regional analysis of the countryside ongoing since the 1960s and accentuated in the 1990s. The diversity of case studies has included the geopolitical peripheries of Europe, which have even taken the lead in academic production. One good example is France, where pioneering research on the Midi and in the Pyrenees is taking place.21 19 20

21

Alain Guerreau, L’avenir d’un passé incertain: quelle historie du Moyen Âge au XXIe siècle? (Paris, 2001); Joan Thirsk, The English Rural Landscape (Oxford, 2000). Natalia Alonso, “Agriculture and Food from the Roman to the Islamic Period in the NorthEast of the Iberian Peninsula: archaeobotanical studies in the city of Lleida (Catalonia, Spain),” Vegetation History and Archeobotany 14 (2005), 341–361, at 348; J.P. Debroey, Écon­ omie rurale et société dans l’Europe franque, VIe–IXe siècles (Paris, 2003); A. Buko, “Unknown Revolution: Archaeology and the Beginnings of the Polish State,” in F. Curta (ed.), East Central and Eastern Europe in the Early Middle Ages (Ann Arbor, 2005), pp. 162– 178, at pp. 163–165. Benoît Cursente, “Tendencias recientes de la historia rural de la Francia medieval,” in Isabel Alfonso (ed.), La historia rural de las sociedades medievales europeas (Valencia, 2008), pp. 65–95; J.M. Martin (ed.,), Zones côtières littorale dans le monde méditerraneen au Moyen Âge: défense, peuplement, mise en valeur (Rome, 2001); Roland Viader, L’Andorre du

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Currently research is taking strides in twin directions: towards regional ultra-specialization and towards pluri-disciplinary international projects. This peculiar combination has several consequences. Peasant society is more than ever conceived to be a part of wider rural society, as a key level in interaction with nobles, ecclesiastics, kings, towns, merchants, moneylenders, artisans and markets. Equally, this twin-direction is throwing light onto and opening agendas regarding a hitherto little known range of topics, such as mountainous areas, woodlands and marshlands and livestock husbandry; transport, communication networks, credit, taxation and industry in the peasant household; customs, diets and daily life; women in rural life; language, collective memory, ceremonials and convivial practices.22 It also shows the importance of looking at the longue durée, even as long as a millennium, as an interesting point of observation. Finally, it demonstrates the relevance of comparison at a European scale. A major outcome of these current perspectives is the range of case studies, a plurality of regional situations that one author has called a “clashing biodiversity.”23 It is notable that this mosaic of realities has experienced different evolutions. There was not a “natural path,” a unidirectional route to be taken by every region of Europe, but different ones, moving at varying paces within the general framework of feudal and seigniorial relationships. In fact, we cannot be completely sure to what extent these distinctions depend on the historiographical traditions in each country, as they mark national debates, topics, analytical approaches and objectives. French and Italian historiographies used to concentrate more on the social side of the countryside; Spanish historiography on power relations and the importance of the Church; English historiography inclined towards geographical and spatial dimensions; and Germanic historiography traditionally placed the accent on the noble class, estates and institutions.

22

23

IXe siècle au XIVe siècle: Montagne, féodalité et communautés (Toulouse, 2003); Aline Durand, Les Paysages médiévaux du Languedoc (Toulouse, 1998). M.K. McIntosh, “Women, Credit, and Family Relationships in England, 1300–1620,” Journal of Family History 30 (2005), 143–163; C. Briggs, “Empowered or Marginalized? Rural Women and Credit in Later Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century England,” Continuity and Change 19 (2004), 13–43; Peter Blickle (ed.), Resistance, Representation and Community (Oxford, 1997); Hipólito Rafael Oliva Herrer, “El mundo rural en la corona de Castilla en la Baja Edad Media: dinámicas socioeconómicas y nuevas perspectivas de análisis,” Edad Media. Revista de Historia 8 (2007), 295–328. Iñaki Martín Viso, “Un mundo en transformación: los espacios rurales en la Hispania postromana (siglos V–VII),” Anejos del Archivo Español de Arqueología 61 (Mérida, 2012), pp. 31–63, at p. 31.

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Multiple cases show that divergence is profound, for example, between high medieval evolution in England – from eleventh-century manors with a small demesne and extensive leasing to tenants who paid rent in kind, to thirteenthcentury estates with large demesnes and peasants owing heavy labour duties and payments in kind – and in Northern France with its consistent evolution towards farming out and money rent; similarly, between the development of the feudal structures in Castile and León – where seigniorial power was the outcome of the accumulation of property either by local elites’ use of the divi­ sas of the behetrias villages or by the land transactions and donations of Benedictine monasteries – and Catalonia, where the Carolingian influence differentiated the local aristocracy from the rest of the population.24 Equally, we have the case of Poland, where the tenth-century peasants living under the powerful duke’s jurisdiction, ius ducale, and tied by a network of servile settlements, were replaced by rural tenements granted to German immigrants (hospites) who brought a new legal framework.25 Given this broad backdrop, three words summarize the key research advances on the agrarian world in the last decade: settlement (mainly pertaining to the Early Middle Ages); commercialization (overall in the Late Middle Ages); and environment (for the entire period). Let us begin with settlement. In the last decade archaeological research has advanced our knowledge of the early centuries, reasserting the idea that there was a big contrast in Western Europe between the Roman and the Post-Roman rural landscape. The settlement system of towns and villae that sustained the Roman social, economic, and cultural structures, disappeared by the end of the fifth century in the west.26 Despite all the necessary regional qualifications, the material evidence shows that the new reality was less monumental and more characterized by 24 25

26

José Ignacio Álvarez Borge (ed.), Comunidades locales y poderes feudales en la Edad Media (Logroño, 2001); Josep M. Salrach, Catalunya a la fi del primer millenni (Barcelona, 2004). Piotr Górecki, “Los campesinos medievales y su mundo en la historiografía polaca,” in Alfonso (ed.), La historia rural, pp. 247–283, at p. 251 and pp. 243–255; J.M. Piskorski, “The Medieval ‘Colonization of the East’ in Polish Historiography,” in J.M. Piskorski (ed.), Histo­ riographical Approaches to Medieval Colonization of East Central Europe: A Comparative Analysis against the Background of other European Interethnic Colonization Processes in the Middle Ages (Boulder, 2002), pp. 97–105. Chris Wickham, “Asentamientos rurales en el Mediterráneo occidental en la Alta Edad Media,” in Carmen Trillo (ed.), Asentamientos rurales y territorio en el Mediterráneo me­­ dieval (Granada, 2002), pp. 11–29, at p. 12; Julio Escalona Monje and Andrew Reynolds (eds.), Scale and Scale Change in the Early Middle Ages: Exploring Landscape, Local Society, and the World Beyond (Turnhout, 2011), p. 3; Alexandra Chavarría Arnau, El final de las ­villae en Hispania (siglos IV–VII dc) (Turnhout, 2007).

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humble productive spaces. Some of the villae became burial grounds, locations for “family churches,” for rural monasteries27 or for smaller villages.28 However, most of early medieval hamlets and villages were newly created; the poor materials and the simple ceramic techniques suggest that many of them were founded by peasant households. The population, including aristocracies, moved to ecologically marginal areas; pastoralism played an important part, as has been demonstrated in post-Roman Britain, Italy and Iberia.29 The power of towns upon their hinterland diminished and new centres of power appeared, castra and castella, in general elevated fortified buildings. Their existence has been related to the economic control of local areas and the decline in the urban network, rather than to the insecurity of the countryside. Land was farmed out, seeming to give greater autonomy to the peasantry and to reduce the resources of the local potentes; one expression of this is that places of cult became smaller.30 In Northern Italy, the dramatic shrinkage of the political system redefined the regional aristocracy, affecting their forms of negotiation, their position in local communities and their investments in military and prestige activities.31 In Iberia, landscape, territory and settlement are the main strands of early medieval historiography. The recent boom in the archaeology of peasant settlements and residential spaces is changing our view of the reorganization of spatial hierarchies and its social impact on the Iberian early medieval ­vil­-

27 28

29

30

31

Martín Viso, “Un mundo en transformación,” p. 32. L. Schneider, “Dynamiques spatiales et transformations de l’habitat en Languedoc méditerranéen durant le haut moyen âge, VI–IX siécles,” in G.P. Brogiolo, A. Chavarría Arnau and M. Valentí (eds.), Dopo la fine delle ville: le campagne dal VI al IX secolo (Mantua, 2005), pp. 287–312. Rosamond Faith, “Forces and Relations of Production in Early Medieval England,” Journal of Agrarian Change 9 (2009), 23–41; Iñaki Martín Viso, “Circuits of Power in a Fragmented Space: Gold Coinage in the Meseta del Duero (Sixth–Seventh Centuries),” in Escalona Monje and Reynolds (eds.), Scale and Scale Change, pp. 215–251; R. Francovich and E. Hodges, Villa to Villages: the Transformation of the Roman Countryside in Italy, c. 400– 1000 (London, 2003). Bryan Ward-Perkins, The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization (Oxford, 2005), pp. 148– 150; Peter Sarris, “Introduction: Aristocrats, Peasants and the Transformation of Rural Society, c. 400–800,” Journal of Agrarian Change 9 (2009), 3–22. Chris Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages. Europe and the Mediterranean 400–800 (Oxford, 2005); Alexandra Chavarría Arnau, “Changes in Scale in the Italian Countryside from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages,” in Escalona Monje and Reynolds (eds.), Scale and Scale Change, pp. 121–130.

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lages.32 Four processes summarize the present conclusions on Hispania, in line with what was happening in the rest of Western Europe: the disintegration of the Roman villae system and the shaping of new patterns of dispersed settlement around villages;33 the re-organization of productive spaces, with the abandonment of gold mining dominating entire regions and the intensification of livestock practices and mountainous areas;34 the increasing agency of peasants, who seem to be the founders of small, but permanent, hamlets of one or two households, potentially fenced, with rudimentary pottery, autarchic economies, and not related to centres of cult; and the connection between rural monasteries and local elites as axes of economic exploitation, as their locations appear to be frequently associated with grain storage, and the strong relationship between settlement and forms of taxation and exercise of justice.35 Enormous advances are taking place in the study of the productive spaces in al-Andalus from Valencia and the Balearic Islands to Granada and Seville. Alquerías or dispersed rural farms based on irrigated agriculture were predominant around the tenth century, along with the husun, castles, and madinas, towns. The brand-marks of this agriculture were the selection of valleys and alluvial plains, the remains of large areas of Mediterranean woodland, the variety of cultivation, high land productivity and collective systems of water management. The transformation of Andalusian agriculture after the Christian conquest is being studied through the perspective of cultivated ecosystems and colonial domination. This widely debated topic has most recently been understood as an example of outstanding discontinuity in the morphologies of the places, managerial practices, principles, objectives and aims.36 32

33

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Julio Escalona Monje and Francisco Reyes, “Scale Change on the Borders: The County of Castile in the Tenth Century,” in Escalona Monje and Reynolds (eds.), Scale and Scale Change, pp. 153–155; Martín Viso, “Circuits of Power”; Alfonso Vigil-Escalera Guirado and Juan Antonio Quirós Castillo, “Early Medieval Rural Societies in North-Western Spain: Archaeological Reflections of Fragmentation and Convergence,” in Escalona Monje and Reynolds (eds.), Scale and Scale Change, pp. 33–60. Iñaki Martín Viso, Poblamiento y estructuras sociales en el norte de la Península Ibérica (siglos VI–XIII) (Salamanca, 2000); Juan Antonio Quirós Castillo (ed.), The Archaeology of Early Medieval Villages in Europe (Bilbao, 2009); Juan Antonio Quirós Castillo, Vasconia en la Alta Edad Media, 450–1000. Poderes y comunidades rurales en el Norte Peninsular (Bilbao, 2011). Margarita Fernández Mier, “Changing Scales of Local Power in the Early Medieval Iberian North-West,” in Escalona Monje and Reynolds (eds.), Scale and Scale Change, pp. 87–118. Martín Viso, “Un mundo en transformación.” F. Glick, Paisajes de conquista. Cambio cultural y geográfico en la España medieval (Valencia, 2007); A. Furió, L’espai de l’aigua: xarxes i sistemes de’irrigació a la Ribera del Xúquer en la perspectiva històrica (Valencia, 2000); Enric Guinot Rodríguez, “Agrosistemas del

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In contrast with these studies of the early middle ages, the paradigm of continuity with the previous centuries seems to orient new research from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries. Clearly in Italy, as in Iberia, it is difficult to apply the concept of mutation féodale.37 In Italy, the formation of the rural curtes, large properties, and the history of communes have strongly marked historical writing. Until recently, research has largely been unconcerned with the problem of the rural estates, but then a remarkable convergence between economic, landscape and social history, and archaeology occurred to explain wider issues such as varieties of cultivation, land organization, the archaeology of rural churches and the new bases of a fragmented local power.38 For example, the concentration of settlements in Tuscany seems to have started earlier than the incastellamento.39 The foundations of estates and villages in central areas of Britain, such as the belt from Dorset to Northumberland, suggests that the cluster of open fields and the building of rural churches might have started in the ninth century, although displaying signs of growth in the eleventh.40 In France, there is wide variety, but in the coastal areas of the Midi the habitat was structured in villages clustered around early medieval castra.41

37 38

39 40 41

mundo andalusí: criterios de construcción de los paisajes irrigados,” in Cristiandad e Islam en la Edad Media Hispana, XVIII Semana de Estudios Medievales (Nájera, 2008), pp. 209–238; Josep Torró, “La conquista de Valencia. Un proceso de colonización medieval desde la arqueología del territorio,” in Jorge A. Eiroa Rodríguez (ed.), La conquista de ­Al-Andalus en el siglo XIII (Murcia, 2012), pp. 9–39; Helena Kirchner, “Arqueologia del paisaje y arqueología de los espacios de cultivo en las sociedades hispánicas medievales,” Imago temporis. Medium Aevum 5 (2011), 363–389; Michael Decker, “Plants and Progress: Rethinking the Islamic Agricultural Revolution,” Journal of World History 20 (2009), 187– 206. Wickham, Framing; G. Albertoni and Luigi Provero, Il feudalesimo in Italia (Rome, 2003); A. Cortonesi et al., Uomini e campagne nell’Italia medievale (Rome, 2002). Sandro Carocci, “Signori, castelli, feudi,” in Storia medievale (Rome, 1998), pp. 247–267; Luigi Provero, “Dinamica sociale e controllo signorile nel regno d’Italia (secoli IX–XII),” in Señores, siervos y vasallos en la Alta Edad media (Pamplona, 2002), pp. 439–457; L. Feller, Les Abruzzes médiévales: territoire, économie et société en Italie centrale du Ixe au XIIe siè­ cle (Rome, 1998). Luigi Provero, “Cuarenta años de historia rural del medioevo italiano,” in Alfonso (ed.), La historia rural, pp. 145–173, at p. 161. Christopher Dyer and Philipp Schofield, “Estudios recientes sobre la historia agraria y rural medieval británica,” in Alfonso (ed.), La historia rural, pp. 31–63, at pp. 34–35. Not in Provence, where castra were a late and weak phenomenon, particularly in mountainous regions. A. Debord, Aristocraties et pouvoirs: le rôle du château dans la France medieval (Paris, 2000); Benoit Cursente and Monique Mousnier, Les territoires du mé­­

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The second area of study that has significantly advanced since the mid-1990s is that of the commercialization of the economy and the social differentiation of peasants. Regarding the Early Middle Ages it is difficult to define whether the emerging elite’s forms of domination were antique or feudal, and what were the legal status, the diversity and the social mobility of the peasantry. For the central centuries of the Middle Ages we know a little more and interestingly enough what emerges is not a submissive and homogeneous peasantry, but communities with a rich variety of status, levels of rents, property, subjection and wealth inequality. The duality of defenceless serfs versus powerful lords, based on concepts such as Gemeinde and Bauer, so fruitful in the past, is no longer at the centre of interpretation. Connected to stratification within the rural communities is the issue of individual or family ties with lords, middlemen and better-off peasants, and the ability of peasants to develop political strategies of resistance or alliance. The existence of peasant oligarchies implies a fair degree of mobility (both upward and downward), internal hierarchies, and processes of consensus and solidarity across the social ladder by groups connected through a wide variety of bonds.42 In Italy, the picture of the village as a place crossed by trans-class lines of solidarity, networks of retainers and peasant elites, shows plural simultaneous processes at this level. In Iberia, studies of the prosopography of peasant families involved in transactions show the complex strategies employed by various branches of the same families when circulating their plots and inheritances in order to develop alliances with lay or ecclesiastic powers.43 In the northern meseta, better-off peasants acted as intermediaries in the leasing of rents and properties, were involved in credit circuits, and had privileged access to common land.44 In Poland, the locatores, working as seigniorial agents and responsible for collecting rent in kind and money, usually enjoyed significant tenancies and the right to preside over the seigniorial court.45 In Germany, some recent studies have explored the functioning of estates through manorial

42

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diéviste (Rennes, 2005), pp. 72–73; D. Pichon, Le village éclaté: habitat et société dans les campagnes de l’Ouest au Moyen Âge (Rennes, 2002). V. Challet, “Pro deffensione rei publice et deffensione patrie: les paysans ont-ils une conscience politique?” in V. Challet et al. (eds.), La société politique à la fin du XVe siécle dans les royaumes ibériques et en Europe occidentale: élites, peuples, sujets? (Valladolid and Paris, 2007), pp. 163–167; Paul Freedman, “La resistencia campesina y la historiografía de la Europa medieval,” Edad Media 3 (2000), 17–37. Reyna Pastor et al., Transacciones sin mercado: instituciones, propiedad y redes sociales en la Galicia monástica (Madrid, 1999). Oliva Herrer, “El mundo rural,” p. 312. Górecki, “Los campesinos medievales,” p. 273.

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accounts in order to estimate the impact of rents on production, and have found profound differences in peasants’ positions within manors.46 Hand in hand with the interest of social historians in peasant diversity is the question of the commercialization of the medieval economy, the role of technological change and new forms of organization and growth in pre-industrial societies. The study of land markets, diets, patterns of consumption, urban demand, innovations and rural manufactures has made more colourful the picture of the countryside.47 The problem of economic growth in medieval and modern Europe was based for a long time on the debates between Marxist and Ricardian/Malthusian theories. If they diverged on causality and ends, they agreed that in the absence of technological change, temporary extensive economic growth would be overwhelmed eventually by the increase in population. This trapped pre-industrial economies in recurrent cycles of agrarian crises. Post-industrial economic expansion appeared to be the only possible path to intensive growth; the approach denied the possibility of sustainable development in pre-industrial agrarian economies. The effects of these paradigms has been unblocked primarily by British and Flemish theories on institutional arrangements and transactions costs.48 The aim of reconstructing, analysing, and explaining economic growth and social change in pre-industrial northwestern Europe has placed the Middle Ages in the context of economic and environmental long-term transitions. Comparative analysis over time and across regions, particularly on the organization and functioning of land, lease and labour markets, which have combined extensive empirical analysis with explicit models and theories, has shown the connection of the rural world, particularly in the Late Middle Ages, with non-agricultural

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Joseph Morsel, “Le prélèvement seigneurial est-il soluble dans les Weistümer? Appréhensions franconiennes (1200–1400),” in M. Bourin and P. Martínez Sopena (eds.), Pour une anthropologie du prélèvement seigneurial dans les campagnes médiévales (Paris, 2004), pp. 155–210, at pp. 155–160; Julien Demade, “El mundo rural medieval en la historiografía en Alemania desde 1930,” in Alfonso (ed.), La historia rural, pp. 175–245, at pp. 225–230. Richard Britnell and Bruce Campbell (eds.), A Commercialising Economy: England, 1086– c. 1300 (Manchester, 1995); M. Carlin and J.T. Rosenthal (eds.), Food and Eating in Medieval Europe (London, 1998); Aline Durand, Des outils, des machines et des hommes (Marseille, 2012); C.M. Woolgar et al. (eds.), Food in Medieval England: Diet and Nutrition (Oxford, 2006). In the Low Countries there has occurred a peculiar combination of academic interest in land and labour markets, agricultural productivity, farming practices, forms of organization (specifically on guilds and contracts), commons and ecological sustainability.

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activities, and production for the market combined with subsistence farming, monetized economies and enormous regional diversity.49 The political economy of the 1980s and 1990s accompanied this epistemological change very well. Neoliberal economic ideologies, dominant until the 2008 crises, and their faith in the virtues of the free market, influenced scholarship: it is not a coincidence that medievalists’ interest in local and regional markets, prices, economic rationality, contracts, credit and debt, grew during this period.50 The picture of the medieval economy is nowadays that of a commercialized economy. The proportion of the population dedicated to agriculture, the influx of low-level credit into the rural world, the existence of semi-urban economies in the countryside, and the end of peasant surpluses are taken into account as key factors that modified socio-economic trends. Some concepts are experiencing interesting redefinitions, for example “productivity,” defined not only as the outcome of specific levels of input, but as costs per unit of production.51 According to this definition, costs can be influenced by many factors, such as new municipal regulations on the agrarian practices of the surrounding villages; agreements among various villages or towns; changes in the security and quality of transportation, in property rights and supervision, in the demography of the peasant household; innovations in time-management or at any other level of labour organization; distribution of types of cultivation, the proportion between livestock and agrarian husbandry.52 All these factors show the complexities of applying rigid economic analysis to pre-industrial economic change. Research into the land market, one of the most controversial subjects in terms of theoretical positions about what constitutes a “real market,” has

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Bas van Bavel, Manors and Markets. Economy and Society in the Low Countries, 500–1600 (Oxford, 2010); Jan Luiten van Zanden, The Long Road to the Industrial Revolution. The European Economy in a Global Perspective, 1000–1800 (Leiden, 2009); Erik Thoen, “Social Agrosystems as an Economic Concept to Explain Regional Differences. An essay taking the former county of Flanders as an example (Middle Ages-19th century),” in Bas van Bavel and Peter Hoppenbrouwers (eds.), Landholding and Land Transfer in the North Sea Area (late Middle Ages–19th century) (Turnhout, 2004), pp. 47–66; Tina de Moor, “The Silent Revolution: A New Perspective on the Emergence of Commons, Guilds, and Other Forms of Corporate Collective Action in Western Europe,” The International Review of Social History (special issue on guilds) 53 (suppl. 16) (2008), 175–208. Philipp Schofield, Peasant and Community in Medieval England (Basingstoke, 2003). Oliva Herrer, “El mundo rural,” p. 306. Oliva Herrer, “El mundo rural,” pp. 303–309.

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helped greatly in showing the diversities of region and chronology.53 In some areas, the relationship between urban markets and rural economies has been solidly established (in eastern England, northern France, Belgium, Flanders, Valencia, lower Aragon and Burgos, southern France, northern Italy); 54 in others, proto-industrial production has been connected with markets in wool and iron.55 In northern Italy, urban laws became a central tool for the communes to attract the rural production of the contado, which eventually resulted in the concentration of landed property in the hands of town oligarchies.56 In France, the constitution of the villefranche, villenove in the second half of twelfth century, invariably had an impact on any new town in the surrounding countryside. In fifteenth-century Castile, the regulation of the rural world by towns at a time of economic growth meant a high concentration of products, rents and land in the hands of urban landowners.57 Concerns about economic growth have resurrected the topic of the late Middle Ages’ crises, largely forgotten during the 1990s. The concept of the late medieval crisis has been examined by French, Spanish and Italian historians around the idea of the “situation of the year 1300.” They object to current models as too rigid or as more applicable to the north-western regions. They compare and evaluate “forces of destruction” and “forces of transformation” acting upon the seigniorial system.58 From a different historiography but arriving at similar perspectives, in the words of Epstein, the fourteenth century experienced an “integration crisis,” an approach that equates to similar recent

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F. Menant, “Comment le marché de la terre est devenu un thème de la recherche pour les historians du Moyen Âge,” in L. Feller and C. Wickham (eds.), Le marché de la terre au Moyen Âge (Rome, 2005), pp. 195–216; W.R. Day, “The Land Market in Preindustrial Europe. Some Implications of Recent Research on the Rural Economy,” in Feller and Wickham (eds.), Le marché, pp. 48–61. See innumerable case studies in Feller and Wickham (eds.), Le marché , pp. 65ff.. Ph. Sénac, La frontière et les hommes (VIIIe–XIIe): le peuplement musulman au nord de l’Ebre et les débuts de la reconquéte aragonaise (Paris, 2000); Furió, L’espai de l’aigua. G. Pinto, “I rapporti economici tra città e campagna,” in R. Greci et al. (eds.), Economie urbane ed etica economica nell’Italia mediévale (Rome, 2005), pp. 5–73; G. Milani, I comuni italiani: secoli XII–XIV (Rome, 2005); R. Comba et al. (eds.), Borghi nuovi e borghi franchi nel processo di costruzione dei distretti comunali nell’Italia centro-settentrionale (secoli XIIXIV) (Cuneo, 2002). Oliva Herrer, “El mundo rural,” pp. 299–303. Monique Bourin et al., “Les campagnes de la Méditerranée occidentale autour de 1300. Tensions destructrices, tensions novatrices,” Annales. Histoire Sciences Sociales 66 (2011), 663–704.

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interpretations of seventeeth-century crises.59 Explanations of slow and intermittent growth in medieval times, and varying economic performances between regions, require the consideration of elements that not only contemplate the transition from growth to recession, or from overpopulated to deserted villages.60 It is interesting to remember that in areas of England, Catalonia, Germany or Italy, the demographic fluctuations of the fourteenth century were not related to the outcome of the crises, because in the second half of the thirteenth century the rate of depopulated villages was higher. The evidence points to more complex long-term processes of settlement and economic change toward concentration and even new hierarchies in the habitat and the power constitution.61 In the major third area of academic development, environment, a combination of environmental sciences and history and landscape archaeology is currently transforming our picture of the medieval countryside. From the actual physical environments to the collective symbolic representation of the space, many new objects of study have arisen. These have redefined the concept of nature and landscape as a cultural and social construct and have emphasized that the relationships between communities and environment (and the people who apprehend and use it) are dynamic, changing over time.62 British historiography here leads the studies on the Middle Ages because medieval archeology has developed spectacularly alongside traditional placename studies, demography, agrarian history, local history, cartography and geography.63 From England to central and eastern Europe, and from Scandinavia to Portugal we can document and date a material culture inaccessible only 30 59 60 61 62

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S.R. Epstein, Freedom and Growth: The Rise of States and Markets in Europe, 1300–1750 (London, 2000). Christopher Dyer, An Age of Transition. Economy and Society in the Later Middle Ages (Oxford, 2005). Demade, “El mundo rural medieval,” p. 213. David Arnold, La naturaleza como problema histórico. El medio, la cultura y la expansión de Europa (Mexico, 1996), pp. 126–127; Yves Luginbülh, “Las representaciones sociales del paisaje y sus evoluciones,” in Javier Maderuelo (ed.), Paisaje y territorio (Madrid, 2008), pp. 146–147; Julio Escalona Monje et al., “Arqueología e Historia de los paisajes medievales: apuntes para una agenda de investigación,” in Ramón Garrabou and José Manuel Naredo (eds.), El paisaje en perspectiva histórica: formación y transformación del paisaje en el mundo mediterráneo (Saragossa, 2008). T. Williamson, Shaping Medieval Landscapes: Settlement, Society, Environment (Macclesfield, 2003), and Environment, Society and Landscape in Early Medieval England: Time and Topography (Woodbridge, 2013).

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years ago. Then we had to be content with stating that woodland products were important for peasants’ sustenance or that there existed itinerant agriculture, that cereals comprised the greater part of diets or that some crops and plants were introduced from one region to another. Today we can be very specific. Environmental scientists, for example, can often determine if a product was already known in Roman times, introduced by Muslims or Slavs, the varieties of cereals cultivated, the most common crops in a region, the period when some cultivations gathered momentum, the kind of trees that had an orchard in Islamic Iberia or fruit species in Southern France.64 The systematic recovery of archaeobotanical data, animal bones, charcoal fragments and micro-organisms is becoming common practice on archaeological sites. Analysis of these remains tell us about climate, settlement, habitats, the range of crops cultivated, wild plants collected and their uses for fuel, fodder, cork, beams or fences; human diets, dyes, fibres, spices currently used, gardening (including medicinal plants, aromatic species and condiments), proportions and characteristics of arable, woodland and pastures, introduction of vegetable and animal species, practices of transhumance, and the age and sex of slaughtered animals.65

4 … And Beyond

Where are we at the moment in this field? It is difficult to be precise. Rural medieval Europe is being made and unmade decade after decade, as in Penelope’s story in the Odyssey. In fact, it could not be otherwise, because all societies scrutinize the past to understand their present. Nowadays, our picture is more fragmented than in the past, because we have a large number of 64

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Alonso, “Agriculture and Food”; Decker, “Plants and Progress”; Marie-Pierre Ruas, “Aspects of Early Medieval Farming from Sites in Mediterranean France,” Vegetation History and Archeobotany 14 (2005), 400–415. Alexandra Livarda, “Spicing up Life in Northwestern Europe: Exotic Food Plant Imports in Roman and Medieval Worlds,” Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 20 (2011), 143–164; M. Latalowa and W. Raczkowski, “New Data on Early Medieval Flax Cultivation; an archaeological record from northern Poland,” Environmental Archaeology 4 (1999), 33–40; Leonor Peña Chocarro, “La arqueobotánica como instrumento para reconstruir la explotación de los recursos agrícolas en época medieval,” in Alberto García Porras (ed.), Arqueología de la producción en época medieval (Salobreña, 2013), pp. 83–98; Christopher Dyer, “Gardens and Garden Produce in later Middle Ages,” in Dale Serjeantson et al. (eds.), Food in ­Me­­dieval England (Oxford, 2006), pp. 27–40; P. Dark, The Environment of Britain in the First Millennium AD (London, 2000).

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case studies available, with an enormous geographical and chronological variety, but we certainly work with fewer models and theories than three or four decades ago. Following Davies’ words, historiography has broken into “small worlds,” giving an even more piecemeal picture of the rural world.66 However, the level of discussion and debates and the multiplication of topics within the subject promise fruitful future developments. Between countries of Europe, the difference in extent of knowledge is less pronounced. Research has advanced greatly in southern and eastern Europe, despite language complicating the dissemination of results. Multidisciplinary methodologies have become imperative, particularly for the exploration of the early Middle Ages, and for the study notably of the environment, settlement and landscape, but also of economic change, rituals and ceremonials, and collective memory. Descriptions of processes have stopped being linear: there is no longer a history of growth, technological development, land clearances, increasing noble dominance, there is no “unique essential path” to traverse. Narratives and contributing factors have become more complex, and as a consequence have become more impressionistic, as scholars seek to establish a group of determinants, rather than causes. There is need for more microhistorical research, but also for theoretical development. The aim is not to produce rigid models, but to propose mechanisms of integration of explicative phenomena, showing the way they connect and specifying their hierarchy. The Making of Europe was an ambitious synthesis of the central centuries of the Middle Ages at a time that it was needed – and amongst its great qualities is that it takes brave risks. Twenty years later, after major advances in research on rural history, we are ready for new attempts at evaluation. To be worthy, new research must take on the spirit of The Making of Europe: it must include regional studies with a comparative element; review old topics in the light of recent studies and explore uncharted territory from popular political language and memory to the risk of weaker peasant households in markets, credits and debt. Furthermore, research needs to have an interpretative hypothesis that pursues understanding of the life of ordinary medieval people; and overall, it needs to be guided by willingness to generalize, hypothesize, theorize. As theoreticians of temporality, historians, medievalists included, must look for causal regularities; bring order to the puzzling social logics governing medieval cultures; sketch the outlines of a common language that would facilitate contrasts with modern and contemporary worlds; and converse with seemingly disparate disciplines. In this way, research will again 66

Wendy Davies, Small Worlds: The Village Community in Early Medieval Brittany (London, 1988).

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provide explanatory frameworks and further our understanding of European society, still in the making.67 67

William H. Sewell, Logics of History. Social Theory and Social Transformation (Chicago, 2005).

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Chapter 10

Landed Property and Government Finance in the Early ʿAbbasid Caliphate Hugh Kennedy This essay is not about “The Making of Europe” and it may seem strange to find it in a volume commemorating Rob Bartlett’s great work. In mitigation I can only say that some readers may find it interesting to compare attitudes to wealth and status in the Middle Eastern ʿAbbasid world1 to those described so interestingly and persuasively in Bartlett’s book. It also shares with Bartlett’s work both an aspiration to present a history that combines the social and the economic in one discourse, and some interpretive ideas like core and periphery. It raises many similar issues like the redistribution of land as a result of conquest and the relationship between a military kleptocracy and the ruler’s power and resources. Perhaps this study brings out some interesting contrasts as well, especially the continuing importance of state and state institutions in the Islamic Middle East as opposed to the dominance of the aristocracy described in The Making of Europe. In this paper I shall try to explore the resource base of the ʿAbbasid sulṭān and its relation to private landholding. By the eleventh century the Arabic word sulṭān is used as the title of individual rulers, a usage which survives to the present day in, for example, Oman. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna (998–1030) was probably the first major figure to be addressed in this way and the title became common from the Saljuq period in the eleventh and twelfth century onward. In the ninth and tenth centuries, however, it was used to denote “the administration” or, in a very real sense, “the state” in Arabic historical sources. It consisted of the personnel of government, and the administrative institutions and procedures that survived the changes or rulers and dynasties. The early Islamic sulṭān was in some important ways the last of the great ancient empires and the phrase Islamic Late Antiquity is, I believe, helpful in describing this polity. While there are obvious ways in which the new Islamic order represents a break with the Byzantine and Sasanian worlds, most 1 This paper is focused on the period between the ʿAbbasid Revolution of 747–50 and the effective collapse of ʿAbbasid rule in the years leading up to the Buyid take-over of power in 945. All dates are Common Era (Anno Domini) rather than the hjrī dating used by the Arabic sources.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_014

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obviously a new governing religion and a new elite language, when it comes to state structures and institutions there are more fundamental continuities than might be imagined at first glance. Briefly, these are, first, the maintenance of a system of public taxation, paid by the majority of the population, collected by a government fiscal organization and dispensed in cash money to the fonctionnaires of the state, both military or civil. The second institution is the appointment and recall of provincial governors for the various provinces of the caliphate, sent out from the capital and owing their offices to government appointment rather than to their position as representatives of local elites or hereditary succession. The third manifestation of this antique legacy is the very idea of a state, a sulṭān, a system of administrative and fiscal structures that survives and transcends the coming and goings of individuals and even of dynasties. Before embarking on the historical explanation, however, I would like to say something about the sources on which I base my argument. It is notoriously the case that the financial documents on which the administrative history of the ʿAbbasid administration might have been written have almost entirely disappeared. The traditional view is that much of this disappearance might be attributed to the damage caused by the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258 and “the river Tigris running with ink” as documents and libraries of learned texts were consigned to the turbid waters of the river by the ignorant and uncomprehending conquerors. The reality of the situation was probably very different. From time to time there were fires, started either deliberately or accidentally, which, we are told, destroyed the records of the dīwāns.2 More important was probably the casual attitude to the preservation of fiscal records and their destruction as soon as their immediate usefulness had passed. Illustrative of this in a number of ways is the story of the vizier Ḥāmid b. al-‘Abbās and his administrative records.3 When the financial year had ended and he had settled the accounts to his satisfaction, he had the records put into boxes. These boxes were then carried by his servants to the banks of the fast flowing Tigris where the contents were tipped into the water and swept away by the powerful current. This behaviour was not entirely the product of a desire to keep the office tidy. The story is preserved because, before the destruction, one of the files had been removed by one of the clerks and not returned. It was the content of this file which provided the evidence for his enemies to accuse him of dishonesty and secure his removal from office. 2 Dīwān originally refers to the lists of men entitled to receive payments but comes to refer also to the government offices where these lists were compiled and kept. 3 Abū ʿAlī Miskawayh, Tajārib al-umam, ed. H.F. Amedroz (Oxford, 1920–1), 1.99–100

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This anecdote tells us a good deal about the attitudes to the preservation and destruction of administrative materials. It is also worth noting that we would have no evidence for this, probably common, practice if the failure to pursue it thoroughly had not led to the vizier’s downfall. But it also points to another feature of the sources. The only administrative documents and letters we have are preserved in narrative chronicles. There is no reason to doubt that some of them at least are copies of actual correspondence but the number of these is very small. By contrast there are a large number of anecdotes in tenth-century narrative sources, almost all originating in a bureaucratic environment. The main sources on which we rely for reconstructing the politics and political events of the tenth century are a series of chronicles, preserved in whole or in part. For the first half of the century at least the main source is the history of Thābit b. Sinān al-Ṣābī (d. c. 974) as edited into the Tajārib al-umam of Abū ʿAlī Miskawayh (d. 1040). Both chroniclers came from bureaucratic backgrounds with a keen interest in administrative procedure and clear ideas on what was good, and what was bad, in administrative procedure. Miskawayh certainly uses other sources as well and it is not always clear what material he owes to Thābit and what to others. But the other sources are also largely of bureaucratic origin too. Only al-Ṣūlī, a nadīm4 of two caliphs, seems to come from a purely adab, court and literary background. Classical Arabic historians advance arguments by means of anecdote and direct speech. Rather than rehearsing different arguments as a modern historian might, they introduce characters who represent and express different points of view. It is easy for modern historians to dismiss this anecdotal material, on the grounds that it is almost certainly not a direct record of what was actually said: after all, no-one was taking shorthand notes or tape-recording. But this would be a mistake. Anecdotes lie at the heart of the argument and there is so much to be learned from them, both from the actual words attributed to the characters and from the way in which they are presented by the authors/editors who incorporate them into their narrative accounts. It is from these rich, complex and vivid narratives that we must try to reconstruct the fiscal system of the caliphate and the reasons for its decay. The collection of revenue in the caliphate was by no means a universal and consistent system and it varied greatly in different areas of the caliphate. In the first decades of the tenth century we can see a clear division between core and periphery in terms of the finances of the state. The core consisted of Greater Mesopotamia, that is all of modern Iraq except the steppe lands and 4 This term is usually translated as “boon-companion” but is more accurately the title given to a group of intellectuals and litterateurs who attended the caliphal court.

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mountains to the east and north of Mosul and Khuzistan, now in south west Iran but geographically very much an extension of Mesopotamia. In addition there were then narrow but agriculturally productive riverain plains which bordered the Euphrates between the modern Syria-Iraq border and the town of Balis on the great bend of the river where it flows closest to Aleppo and the Mediterranean. To this should be added the lands watered by the two northern tributaries of the Euphrates in the Syrian Jazira, the Balikh and the Khabur. These were all lands which were made fertile by the distribution of the water of the great rivers Tigris and Euphrates and the lesser streams which flowed into them, notably the Dujayl in Khuzistan, the Diyala in Central Iraq, the two Zabs in northern Iraq, and the Khabur and Balikh already mentioned. It was in these areas that the “classic” system of tax-collecting functioned most efficiently and it was in these areas in which the diyāʿ (estates or, if you like, royal demesne) of the sulṭān were to be found. There were other areas from which money reached Baghdad. The most important of these were Fars in south-western Iran, Egypt and parts of Syria, but the receipt of revenues from these areas was precarious, dependent on local political circumstances. As far as we can tell, there were no caliphal diyāʿ in these areas and the tax collectors were responsible to, and paid by, the local governor (or warlord) rather than the caliphal administration in Baghdad. By this time, revenues from outside this heartland had become increasingly uncertain and difficult to collect, being dependent on damān (essentially short-term ad hoc bargains with no legal status) agreements with local tribal leaders or warlords who would consent to pay in exchange for the political recognition and legitimization which only the Caliph could provide. Almost certainly the main source of income for the state was the kharāj, the land tax. In the heartlands of ʿAbbasid power in greater Mesopotamia in the year 900, this was still largely collected by paid tax collectors on lines laid down at least two centuries before. Agricultural land was measured and taxes collected according to a formula which was based on the area and the sort of crops it bore. This was clearly based on general principles inherited from antiquity even if the details had been refined to suit different circumstances. The second main source was the landed estates owned by the sulṭān, sometimes known as sawafi but by this time more commonly referred to as diyāʿ (sing. ḍayʿa). There seem to have been such government estates since the Umayyad period, if not before. Some sources suggest that the Prophet himself had kept estates out of which he defrayed some of the expenses of the nascent Muslim community. It is clear, however, that these government estates had greatly increased in size and value in the early ʿAbbasid period. We can see this from the numerous accounts in al-Balādhuri’s Futūḥ al-buldān (Conquests of

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the Countries), probably written in its present form in the 880s but based on much earlier material, in which the author shows how estates previously owned by members of the ruling family and its main supporters had, by the beginning of the ninth century, been incorporated into the fisc of the sulṭān. The rent paid by cultivators of these estates, usually described as mustaghallāt, became an important financial resource for this state. In the Umayyad period it seems as if these landed estates were held in the names of the caliphs personally, members of the Umayyad family and other old-established elite families, usually in a form of landholding known as a qaṭīʿa.5 The security of tenure provided by the qaṭīʿa tenure coupled with the regular demand for agricultural products in the new towns like Basra and Kufa encouraged investment in land reclamation and irrigation schemes. This pro­ cess seems to have continued in the early ʿAbbasid period, given added impetus by the foundation of Baghdad in 762 with its enormous demand for foodstuffs. The revolution that brought the new dynasty to power saw a massive redistribution of properties from the ownership of members of the Umayyads to members of the new dynasty. In southern Iraq, the great irrigated estate of alSibayn, which had been developed by Maslama b. ʿAbd al-Malik at the cost of some 3,000,000 dirham and given to him as a qaṭīʿa, was confiscated and given to Dāwud b. ʿAlī, the eldest of the first ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Saffāḥ’s great uncles, from whom it passed to his heirs.6 From the reign of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786– 809) on, however, the estates were part of the bundle of rights and privileges of the sulṭān. It is clear from numerous accounts in al-Balādhuri’s Futūḥ that al-Rashīd’s government adopted a systematic policy of buying up revenue-producing estates in the core areas of greater Mesopotamia. An interesting account of the way estates changed hands concerns the estate of ʿAyn al-Rumiya.7 It had belonged in Umayyad times to al-Walīd b. ʿUqba b. Abī’l-Muʿayt who had given it to Abū Zayd al-Ṭa’i. From him it passed, presumably by confiscation, to the caliph al-Saffāḥ who gave it as a qaṭīʿa to Maymūn b. Hamza, a mawlā8 of the ʿAbbasid family. Finally al-Rashīd bought

5 A qaṭīʿa was an area of land which was essentially a freehold, or in western European terminology, an allod. The justification in Islamic law for the holding of large and valuable estates by wealthy individuals was that these were “dead-lands,” essentially agri deserti, brought into cultivation by their owners. They were heritable, alienable (in the sense that they could be sold on the thriving land market) and defendable at law. 6 Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā al-Balādhri, Futūh al-buldān, ed. M.J. de Goeje (Leiden, 1866), p. 294. 7 An unidentified site north-north-east of Raqqa on the road to Saruj. 8 In this context, freedman.

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it from his heirs.9 The area known as Ghābāt Ibn Hubayra10 had been given as a qaṭīʿa to Ibn Hubayra, the last Umayyad governor of Iraq. Confiscated at the revolution, it was given, again as a qaṭīʿa, to Bishr b. Maymūn, an official of the ʿAbbasid court who was remembered as the developer of some of the arcades within the Round City of Baghdad. It was later bought by al-Rashīd.11 Another example of this trend can be seen in the history of the estates of the Bukhtishūʿ family, which is recounted by Miskawayh. The Bukhtishūʿs were a Christian family who were physicians to the early ʿAbbasid caliphs. As such they became very wealthy and chose, like most of the grandees of the early ʿAbbasid state, to invest their wealth in land. It seems that these estates were all purchased by the sulṭān for a very large sum, probably in the middle of the ninth century, though the exact date of this transaction is not clear.12 In these cases, the lands were bought by al-Rashīd from the legitimate owners. No coercion seems to have been used in the sales. A rather different pattern can be seen in the expansion of the ḍiyāʿ al-sulṭāniya in areas of the Jibal, the mountainous provinces of Western Iran. Typical of this process were the lands in a place known as al-Mafāza near Sisar. Despite its name, which means desert, there were a number of villages in the area. Even in the days of al-Mahdī (775–785) and al-Rashīd, this was lawless country where the sulṭān provided little security. The villagers had entrusted (alja’a) their lands (ḍiyāʿ) to a military officer working for the ʿAbbasid governor called Hammām b. Hānī al-ʿAbdī. In exchange for acquiring the land, he had agreed to pay the taxes due to the treasury (haqq bayt al-mal). When he died his sons were too weak to manage the arrangement and the disturbances after the death of al-Amīn (813) simply made things worse. When al-Ma’mūn was travelling from Khurasan to Baghdad in 819, the villagers approached him and offered to give their lands to him and become sharecroppers (muzāriʿīn) on condition that he protected and defended them against the brigands. He agreed to that. He ordered that they be protected and defended and their lands became part of the ḍiyāʿ al-khilāfa.13 Sisar itself suffered from the depredations of the bandits. In the reign of al-Rashīd, the caliph ordered that the town be fortified and a garrison of 1,000 troops from Soghdia were stationed there (al-Balādhurī says their descendants were still living there in his time). The kharāj was a fixed sum which was paid by the local āmil (financial administrator) who continued to pay the taxes 9 10 11 12 13

Al-Balādhurī, Futūḥ, p. 180. Unidentified but certainly in the Jazira in the area (arḍ) of Saruj. Al-Balādhurī, Futūḥ p. 180. Miskawayh, Tajārib, 1.200. Al-Balādhurī, Futūḥ, p. 311.

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through the civil war which followed al-Rashīd’s death in 809 but in al-Ma’mūn’s reign, the land was confiscated from his son and returned to being part of the ḍiyaʿ al-sulṭāniya.14 Similarly the inhabitants of Zanjan and its villages appealed to al-Qāsim, al-Rashīd’s son, who was governor of Tabaristan and Qazvīn, seeking protection (alja’a) from the violence of the brigands and the oppression of the tax-collectors (ẓulm al-ʿummāl) and offering to become tenant-farmers. In al-Balādhuri’s day their lands were part of the ḍiyāʿ. In nearby Qāqizān, which was tithe land15 because the inhabitants had surrendered peacefully to the Muslims and had revived the land after the coming of Islam, they offered to pay a second tithe to al-Qāsim in addition to the one that they already paid to the treasury and their lands became part of the ḍiyāʿ.16 In these cases, and no doubt others in the same area, the increase in the diyāʿ was the result of local people seeking the protection of members of the ʿAbbasid elite and, apparently, surrendering their ownership of the land in exchange. Thus the sulṭān depended for its financial viability on both the proceeds of taxation and the rents of lands owned by the state in the core areas. A picture of the general financial position of the caliphate at the beginning of the tenth century is revealed by a remarkable aide memoire compiled by an anonymous clerk in the service of the great vizier Abū’l-Ḥasan b. al-Furāt, in which he tried to work out where all the money had gone.17 The total income of the sulṭān from the revenues of the diyāʿ estates, the kharāj of the Sawad of Iraq and Ahwaz (i.e. Khuzistan), the east and the west (i.e. presumably, those areas in northern Mesopotamia and the Jibal which still contributed to the revenues of the sulṭān) at the time of al-Muqtadir’s accession to the caliphate in 908 amounted to some 64,830,000 dīnār (that is approximately 907,620,000 dirham).18 He makes the point that the caliphs al-Mu’taḍid (892–902) and al-Muktafī (902–908), the immediate predecessors of al-Muqtadir, had been able to save 1,000,000 dīnār per year after paying the stipends of all the troops 14 15

16 17 18

Al-Balādhurī, Futūḥ, pp. 310–311. Some lands where the inhabitants had made agreements with the conquering Muslim armies in the early seventh century only paid a tithe (ʿushr, literally tenth). It is interesting to note that such agreements were still respected two centuries after the original conquest. Al-Balādhurī, Futūḥ, p. 323. Miskawayh, Tajārib, 1.238–240. The account, as was usual practice at the time, uses two units of account, the gold dīnār, which was probably a unit of account, and the silver dirham, a real coin used for day-today transactions. Though the data from this period is not consistent, the rate of exchange used in this account seems to have been around 14 dirham to each dīnār.

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and members of the palace staff. Under al-Muqtadir, the revenues in fact increased because of the reassertion of government control over Fars (18,000,000 dirham per year), Kirman (5,000,000 dirham per year). In addition, the revenues of Egypt and Syria had been increased, following the re-imposition of ʿAbbasid control in 910, by 3,600,000 dīnārs per year (equivalent to 50,400,000 dirham per year). In addition to this regular (at least in theory) income, there were a number of windfall revenues, like the vast fines levied on Ibn al-Furāt at the end of his first vizierate in 912 (2,300,000 dīnār or 32,200,000 dirham). It is interesting to note that this one-off payment from the fortune of a single individual was significantly more than the annual income from the whole of Fars and Kirman. Even at the time of his second dismissal in 918, Ibn al-Furāt’s estate could still yield another 1,100,000 dīnār (15,400,000 dirham), and from his third dismissal and execution in 924, 900,000 dīnār (12,600,000 dirham). These were just the income from one-off fines. When the estates (diya’ al-milk i.e. private property) of Ibn al-Furāt were taken into state ownership after his execution, the annual revenues derived from them were 250,000 dīnār or 3,500,000 dirham. The figures make the point clearly, that the fines which could be extorted from a single individual could yield as much income as the annual kharāj and other revenues of a small province. Clearly, however, these extortions could not generally be repeated and were certainly not a ­regular and reliable income stream. The figures from annual revenues from landowning suggest that the annual income of the richest private citizen of the ʿAbbasid caliphate amounted to little more than 0.3% of the revenue that the sulṭān could be expected to derive from the proceeds of general taxation. The relative importance of kharāj taxation and the mustaghallāt (rents) derived from the state lands can be judged by a short sketch of the budget in the year 919 drawn up by ʿAlī b. ʿĪsā while negotiating a new tax-farming arrangement with the titular vizier Ḥāmid b. al-ʿAbbas. The sketch suggests that the proceeds of taxation amounted to some 33,000,000 dirham and that of the estates (ḍiyāʿ) were 8,800,000 dirham. The income derived from landed estates in the possession of the sulṭān was therefore around 25% of the receipts from taxation.19 Thus the position described up to the accession of al-Muqtadir is of a viable financial system which, if properly administered, was probably sustainable, even given the loss of income from economically significant areas like Khurasan and, at times, Egypt. Nonetheless, the system was highly leveraged in the sense that almost the entire income in any given year was spent on the needs of the sulṭān, above all on the military which was expected to defend it and enforce 19

Miskawayh, Tajārib, 1.70–1.

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its authority. Despite the apparently large sums of money involved, the surplus, in good years, of 1,000,000 dīnār in an overall budget of 65,000,000 dīnār was almost certainly insufficient to sustain the sulṭān in years when revenues were interrupted by warfare, insurrection or simply the vagaries of the weather. Another problem related to this apparently viable, even strong, fiscal position, was that the Islamic world at this time had developed no effective system of banking, at least not banking on a sufficiently large scale to allow private individuals to lend money to the government in sufficient quantities to tide it over temporary crises. This was partly because the sums of money involved in state finance were, as we have seen from the financial system of Ibn al-Furāt, far too large for even the wealthiest citizen or family to be able to offer effective support. Perhaps even more important was that if money was lent to the sulṭān there was no contract or legal instrument available for the lender to be able to oblige the sulṭān to repay this money. Without the bankers, so vital to the financial survival of polities like the late thirteenth-century monarchies of France and England, the sulṭān was obliged to resort to methods which were disruptive, violent and inevitably, in the medium term, counterproductive to secure extra cash which was required. Repeatedly, it had to fall back on the confiscation of the assets of viziers and others who were out of favour or who had been dismissed. Given that there was no legal way of taxing assets, these schemes were ad hoc and the sanctions which enabled the authorities to put pressure on men to yield up their assets were based on brute force. Physical torture, often euphemistically referred to as al-makrūḥ (the hated thing) was increasingly applied to even the most respected civil servants after their dismissal from office. Many of them resisted revealing the extent and location of their wealth with impressive determination. We can see a notable change in patterns of the accumulation and preservation of wealth in the early Islamic period. As I have argued above, in the Umayyad period and the first half-century of ʿAbbasid rule, the elite sought to protect their assets and pass them on to their descendants largely by investing in land. Security of tenure, at least in theory, encouraged the investment in canals, drainage and other sorts of agricultural improvements and the mis en valeur of areas of dead lands. In the early tenth century, the practices of fining and extortion meant that holding assets in land, let alone investing in the development of these lands, was increasingly precarious. Instead office holders and other oligarchs devised three main ways of preserving their assets. Keeping them in their own palaces or houses clearly made them vulnerable for it of course would be there that the agents of the sulṭān would look. One strategy was to deposit their fortunes, in

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coin, jewels or luxury textiles, with trusted supporters so that, when the hue and cry had died down, they could be recovered. Naturally, such a strategy carried major risks. Anyone suspected of keeping such deposits could be forced by torture or other means to give them up. Or they could simply keep them for themselves and refuse to hand them over at a later date when the danger had passed. This process is described by the sources, not in analytical narratives, but in numerous anecdotes. Before looking at these in any detail, it is worth noticing that we do not find similar anecdotes in the narratives of the Umayyad and early ʿAbbasid periods. Instead, we are told that men who made money from the service of the sulṭān, whether civil or military, invested their gains in landed property, in the reassuring knowledge that their ownership would be secured and that the mustaghallāt of their estates would bring in a reliable income into the foreseeable future. By the beginning of the tenth century, however, it seems to have become normal for prominent officials to leave much of their fortunes on deposit with friends and allies or with tradesmen and merchants. Something of how this was done can be seen in accounts of the financial affairs of Ibn al-Furāt. Ibn al-Furāt was vizier on three separate occasions in the early part of the reign of al-Muqtadir. He was vastly rich but each time he lost his job, his assets were squeezed and expropriated. In his first vizierate, he had put out large sums in deposit to various bureaucrats and merchants. Interestingly he did this through a trusted agent, one Ibn Farjawayh, and he himself did not know the identities of the deposit holders. Nonetheless, when he was restored to favour and high office, all these deposits were returned without any loss.20 Ibn al-Furāt seems to have attracted the loyalty of at least some of those who worked for him. Mūsā b. Khalaf, who looked after his palace, was ninety years old when his master was dismissed at the end of his second vizierate. Mūsā was then examined to try to force him to reveal what deposits he had received from the disgraced vizier. Despite severe beatings he refused to reveal anything. Finally he was beaten to death and dragged out of the examination chamber by the foot, his ear being torn off when it caught in the door, and his body was taken to his house. He did, in fact, have knowledge about some of his master’s deposits but was prepared to die rather than reveal them, conduct for which he was much admired.21 It was not always so easy to recover the deposits when the vizier was returned to favour. A certain Ibn Qarāba seems to have been employed by Ibn al-Furāt as his financial agent. He himself had been entrusted with 10,000 dīnār 20 21

Miskawayh, Tajārib, 1.44. Miskawayh, Tajārib, 1.64–65.

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but was not in a position to repay it. He explained that he had been ordered by the vizier to use this money to buy rich gifts, including ambergris and musk, as a present for the caliph. Now Ibn al-Furāt was vizier once more, Ibn Qarāba was exposed to his wrath but fortunately for him he had kept Ibn al-Furāt’s written orders to buy the perfume. These he now produced and earned an apology from the great man as well as a letter excusing him. The incident shows the systematic nature of these mechanisms and the importance of written documents in the transactions. 3,000 dīnār, a comparatively small sum, had been entrusted to Abū ʿUmar, son of a former qadi of Baghdad. When Ibn al-Furāt was restored, he suspected that Abū ʿUmar had handed over the sum to protect his own life. In the end, however, the money was returned to the vizier intact in the very jar in which it had originally been deposited.22 Numerous anecdotes show the perils and disadvantages of such schemes in rich and sometimes comic detail. When ʿAlī b. Būya, the first of the Buyid dynasty to establish his rule, took over Shiraz and the province of Fars from the military adventurer Yāqūt in 934 he was very short of money to cover the payment of his army and other pressing expenses. Nonetheless, he wanted new clothes to reflect his new status. He enquired for a skilful tailor; one who had been Yāqūt’s tailor was recommended so ʿAlī ordered him to be fetched. The man was profoundly deaf and got the idea that ʿAlī had been informed about a deposit which had been committed to his care by Yāqūt and that he had been summoned in connection with it. When ʿAlī addressed him about his new clothes, he completely misunderstood what his new master was asking and swore that all he had was a set of twelve chests, of whose contents he was ignorant. ʿAlī b. Būya was surprised by this answer and sent some people with him to fetch them. He found therein a vast amount of cash and wearing apparel.23 The other way of preserving fortunes was simply to hide them away, keeping them in some inaccessible part of one’s palace or burying them in a hole in the ground. The latter policy was favoured by one Bajkam, a military adventurer like Yāqūt, who ruled over Baghdad briefly before the establishment of Buyid rule. The story is a complicated one. When the caliph al-Muttaqī (940–944) was sure about Bajkam’s death, he found one of his servants, a man called Yakaq, and asked him where Bajkam had hidden his treasure in his palace. 22 23

Miskawayh, Tajārib, 1.67–68. Miskawayh, Tajārib, 1.299.

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Yakaq made a list and when asked how he knew all this, he explained that he knew that Bajkam was taking money from the treasury and secretly followed him. Then Yaqak, accompanied by one of the caliph’s eunuchs called Najā, went there and they uncovered a vast treasure in large jars, partly in gold and partly in silver. They offered the workmen the dross as payment but they refused, presumably because they reckoned it was not worth very much and instead accepted a cash payment of 2,000 dirham. The dross was then sieved and 36,000 dirham were extracted from it.24 The workmen figure in another story about Bajkam which is put into the mouth of the man himself. He was known to have been burying treasure in the countryside so that if his palace was taken over and the contents appropriated he could still have access to it. People got to hear about this about this and the story was spread that, after he had buried the treasure, he would kill all the workmen with him so that he alone would know where it was. When he was told that such stories were being recounted about him, he was indignant, not because he wanted to deny taking the treasure, but because of the allegations of killing his men. He then went on to explain what really happened: When I wanted to make an expedition for the purpose of burying treasure, I used to have mules laden with empty chests brought to my palace. In some of the chests I would place the treasure, after which I would lock them. In the rest I would put the men … I would then cover the chests, lock them and lead the mules, taking the rope which led the train myself and sending away the attendants of the mules and lead them to the place I had chosen. When I was by myself in the middle of the country, I would let the men out of the chests, they having no idea where they were; I would then have the treasure taken out and buried in my presence while I made some private marks. After this I would make the men get back into the chests, which I would then cover and lock. Then I would lead the mules to a place of my choosing and let them out. They neither knew where they had gone nor by what way they had returned, and so no murder was necessary. Apart from the intrinsic interest, even humour, of the narrative itself, it makes a number of more general points. It is clear that the burying of the treasure was considered a normal procedure among the military kleptocracy which was taking over the assets of the sulṭān; the only remarkable thing was the fact that Bajkam took these measures in order not to have his men killed. It is, in 24

Miskawayh, Tajārib, 2.11.

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fact, not a story about dishonesty and the stealing of state treasures, but about the ruler’s humanity and generosity to his servants. Clearly Bajkam felt that the telling of this story redounded to his credit. We are not told whether this treasure was ever recovered but given Bajkam’s early death it seems unlikely (unless the workers had been surreptitiously peeping out). The treasure had become, in effect, zombie capital. It was not used for maintaining the irrigation systems, as the vizier ʿAlī b. ʿĪsā had urged, or even paying a reliable army: it was just left in holes in the ground. If this was a common and widespread practice, it could have been a significant contributory factor in the continuing impoverishment of the sulṭān. By the middle of the tenth century, therefore, landownership had ceased to be a reliable or prudent way to invest the gains of military service or political pressure. Instead the key to prosperity lay in the take-over of the public taxation system. The elite changed from being a land-owning one to being a service aristocracy for whom appropriation of public taxation was the surest route to prosperity and elite status. This privatization of taxation led to the development of the iqṭāʿ system, often compared to western European feudalism and, more accurately, with the Byzantine pronoia; and the iqṭāʿ, not land-ownership, became the staple source of elite incomes from the mid-tenth century onwards.

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Chapter 11

Constructing Christendom John Tolan Kelts assembled from all parts, one after another, with arms and horses and all the other equipment for war. Full of enthusiasm and ardour they thronged every highway, and with these warriors came a host of civilians, outnumbering the sand of the seashore or the stars of heaven, carrying palms and bearing crosses on their shoulders. There were women and children, too, who had left their own countries. Like tributaries joining a river from all directions they streamed towards us in full force, mostly through Dacia. The arrival of this mighty host was preceded by locusts, which abstained from the wheat but made frightful inroads on the vines. The prophets of those days interpreted this as a sign that the Keltic army would refrain from interfering in the affairs of the Christians but bring dreadful affliction on the barbarian Ishmaelites.1 This is how the Byzantine princess Anna Komnena describes the irruption of the “Kelts” into the empire of the Romans during what historians would subsequently call the First Crusade. This massive movement of people is compared to a force of nature, like the streams surging together into a river, or like the plague of locusts that, according to Anna, preceded their arrival. She is aware of the diversity of these people who come from different regions of Europe: Normans, Provençaux, Italians, etc. Yet she groups them together as “Kelts,” in contradistinction to the “Ishmaelites” (Muslims) and the “Christians,” whom she elsewhere calls “Romans” (and whom historians rather bizarrely refer to as “Byzantines”). She is of course aware that the Kelts are Christian, yet she uses the term “Christian” to refer to Byzantines, as if somehow these other people were not quite bona fide Christians. She would probably be surprised to learn that at about the same time, these “Kelts” began to define their common culture as Christianitas, Christendom. In both cases, a “Christian” collective identity is defined over and against both a foreign Christian community seen as not quite as Christian and against Muslims (or Ishmaelites, Hagarenes or Saracens, to use the terms these authors employed). 1 Anna Comnena, The Alexiad (Harmondsworth, 1987), p. 309.

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Robert Bartlett’s Making of Europe shows how many of the key elements of modern European culture were forged in the Middle Ages and spread from a central zone between the Loire and the Elbe to a broad area from the straits of Gibraltar to the Vistula, and, for a time, to Constantinople and Palestine. Bartlett looked at the creation and spread of institutions and practices: bishoprics in the Roman obedience; religious orders (Cistercians, Franciscans, Dominicans); networks of lordship and patronage; techniques ranging from castle-building to banking and credit. The central argument is that Europe gradually became European through the diffusion and adoption of these constitutional elements of European culture, elements which gave them a certain unity in the face of political divisions and in spite of great cultural and linguistic diversity. Bartlett devotes a brief (five-page) section of The Making of Europe to the “Concept of Christendom,” showing the emergence of the collective terms of Christianitas (Christendom), populus christianus (Christian people) and nomen christianum (Christian name). Beginning in about the second half of the eleventh century, he says, “one sees the strengthening of something [not] easily defined or dated, namely an identity.” Robert Bartlett is of course not the only historian to explore this issue. L’Europe est-elle née au Moyen Age? asks Jacques Le Goff in his 2003 essay.2 In asking this question, and in answering largely in the affirmative, Le Goff situates himself in a venerable historical tradition. Lucien Febvre wrote in 1945 that it was in Medieval Europe, through the influence of Latin Christianity, that a common sense of European identity emerged. This idea was subsequently developed by Denys Hay (in 1952) and Federico Chabod (1959).3 All of these authors seek to comprehend the history of what Robert Bartlett in The Making of Europe calls “the Europeanization of Europe.” The notion of “European identity” is a topic of considerable interest in twentieth- and twentyfirst-century Europe, in the context of the construction of the European Union. One needs of course to be wary of attempts to search for the roots of our current real or imagined “identities” in the mists of history. Indeed, for Tony Judt “Identity is a dangerous word. It has no respectable contemporary uses.”4 2 Jacques Le Goff, L’Europe est-elle née au moyen âge: essai (Paris, 2003); English translation: Jacques Le Goff, The Birth of Europe (Oxford, 2005). 3 Denys Hay, Europe: the Emergence of an Idea (Edinburgh, 1952); Federico Chabod, Storia dell idea di Europa (Rome, 1959); Le Goff, L’Europe, p. 12; Timothy Reuter, “Medieval Ideas of Europe and Their Modern Historians,” History Workshop (1992), 176–180; Judith Herrin, The Formation of Christendom (Princeton, NJ, 1987); Bronisław Geremek, The Common Roots of Europe (Cambridge, 1996). For a recent overview of the ample historiography of the subject, see Ludovico Gatto, La formazione del concetto d’Europa nel Medio Evo (Rome, 2011). 4 Tony Judt, “The Edge People,” The New York Review of Books, 23 February 2010

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Judt, a historian of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe, is well placed to know the perils for the historian of succumbing to the sirens of identity, the futility of arguing whether Charlemagne was a German kaiser, a French king, a European unifier or (as The Economist quipped), “the last great Belgian.”5 Just as the nineteenth and twentieth centuries provide us with object lessons in the danger of essentializing national identities and projecting them back into the past, twenty-first-century ideologues have attempted to present human history as the story of the development and competition between “civilizations.”6 Yet, despite its linguistic and cultural diversity, many of Europe’s political and clerical elite developed, by the thirteenth century, a sense of common overarching identity, encouraged no doubt by some of the processes that Robert Bartlett describes: intermarriage of aristocratic families, formation of an international clerical elite in major university centres such as Bologna and Paris, expansion of the powers of the papacy and of the institutions of the Roman church (Papal legates, monastic orders, military orders, mendicant orders). This sense of belonging is made possible in large part through contact with those who are seen as outsiders: principally Muslims and Byzantines. 1

The Emergence of a Common Identity: Europa or Christianitas?

While Timothy Reuter argues that Europe as a political concept emerged in the Middle Ages he in fact admits that the sources are few and far between.7 What does “Europe” mean to writers of the early Middle Ages? Isidore of Seville, in his Etymologies, explains that Asia occupies half the surface of the earth and that Europe and Africa (which he also calls Libya) share the other half.8 Isidore is here reiterating a standard classification of classical Greek geography, which Latin geographers after him were to repeat. Yet nothing in Isidore’s description of the regions of Europe, from Scythia in the east to Spain in the west, suggests that there is any cultural or religious unity to the peoples who inhabit this 5 “Charlemagne: A Modern Ancient,” The Economist, 1 January 1998. On the use and abuse of the Charlemagne by nineteenth-century nationalists, see Patrick J. Geary, The Myth of Nations: the Medieval Origins of Europe (Princeton, NJ, 2002); Robert Morrissey, L’empereur à la barbe fleurie: Charlemagne dans la mythologie et l’histoire de France (Paris, 1997). 6 Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York, 1996). Among the numerous responses that Huntington’s book solicited, see in particular Richard W. Bulliet, The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization (New York, 2004). 7 Reuter, “Medieval Ideas of Europe.” 8 Isidore of Seville, The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, trans. Stephen A. Barney et al. (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 285–293.

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broad swathe of territory. “Europe,” to Isidore and other early medieval writers, was a specialized term of geography known to medieval writers but which did not identify an even slightly unified group of people. Some Carolingian authors did mention “Europe” as a theatre for Charle­ magne’s conquests and reign: for his biographer Nithard, Charlemagne at his death “left the whole of Europe flourishing” (omnem Europam omni bonitate repletam reliquit).9 And a contemporary Latin chronicle from Spain describes Charles Martel’s victory over Amir ʿAbd al-Rahmân at Poitiers in the following terms: “The northern peoples remained immobile like a wall, holding together like a glacier in the cold regions, and in the blink of an eye annihilated the Arabs with the sword.” Originally identifying them as simply the “people of Austrasia,” the chronicler then twice refers to these “northern people” as “the Europeans” (Europenses), inflating the battle’s significance: this, it seems, is a confrontation between Europe and the Arabs. This may explain why the author expresses unaccustomed anger at the Franks for sheathing their swords and stopping the battle at nightfall, thus permitting the “Ishmaelites” to escape back to Spain.10 As Bronisław Geremek has shown, various Carolingian writers use Europe to describe Charlemagne’s realm. The classical geographical term is largely anti-Byzantine in inspiration: over and against Constantinople’s claim to universal Christian Empire, the Roman Church and Frankish Emperor affirmed their sway over Europe. For Geremek, “Europe” was a political project, not a cultural identity, which explains that after the collapse of the Carolingian Empire, few authors invoke it in the same way.11 Indeed, in the following centuries, such use of “Europe” would virtually disappear.12 Another key term that emerged in the Carolingian era as a marker of collective identity, recognized at least by a clerical elite associated with the twin powers of empire and papacy, was “christianitas”: Christendom. While in use from the fourth century to designate the Christian religion or the faithful as a whole, in the Carolingian era it took on a more precise meaning, suggesting the territory over which the emperor ruled and in which the authority of the 9 10 11 12

Nithard, “Historiarum libri quatuor,” in Carolingian Chronicles: Royal Frankish Annals and Nithard’s Histories, trans. Bernard W. Scholz (Ann Arbor, MI, 1970), p. 129. Chronicle of 754 §80, trans. Kenneth B. Wolf, Conquerors and Chroniclers of Early Medieval Spain (Liverpool, 1990), pp. 143–144. Geremek, Common Roots, pp. 76–78. Gatto, La formazione, pp. 139–142; Przemysław Urbańczyk, “‘Europe’ around the Year 1000 as Seen from the Papal, Imperial, and Central-European Perspectives,” in Jörn Staecker (ed.), The European Frontier: Clashes and Compromises in the Middle Ages (Lund, 2004), pp. 35–39.

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Roman Church was recognized.13 The term remains polyvalent; it can mean “Christianity,” “Christendom” or both at the same time. Maria Lodovica Arduini has studied the evolution of the term: it is frequently employed in Church councils of the Carolingian era, primarily to designate the religion and the law of the Roman Church.14 It was perhaps as the Carolingian empire was crumbling that we see the notion of christianitas emerge as a territory and heritage to defend against external enemies (Vikings, Saracens, Magyars) and internal ones (lay usurpers of clerical prerogatives). In reaction to the pillaging of St Peter’s in Rome by Arab raiders in August 846, Emperor Lothar I called a council. He laments that “the Roman Church, which is the head of Christianitas, has been given over into the hands of infidels” (ipsa Romana ecclesia, quae caput est Christianitatis infidelium manibus traderetur). Rome is the head of Christendom, and is recognized as such precisely when it is attacked by infidels. The response that Lothair and the council propose is double: fortifying the defenses of Rome to protect against future infidel incursions, and a reform of the morals of Christians, monks, clergy and laymen, which are the root and cause of the chastisement represented by the attacks of “pagans.”15 The council of Metz (May–June 859), held under Lothair II, identifies the internal enemies as the “depopulators of Christendom”.16 When Charles the Bald issued the Edict of Pîtres (864) in response to the Viking attacks, he took a number of measures, including the banning of sales of arms to Vikings. He who sells or gives arms to them acts as “betrayer of the fatherland and exposer of christianitas to gentile perdition” (proditor patriae et expositor christianitatis ad perditionem gentilitati).17 Charles has always worked, he says at the end of the edict, for “the defense of christianitas” (christianitatis defensionem).18 The term christianitas occurs 23 times in the letters of Pope John VIII (872–882), often in the sense of Christian religion, but at times with a territorial dimension.19 John was confronted with the expansion of Muslim power 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Dominique Iogna-Prat and Jerôme Baschet, “Chrétienté,” in Régine Azria and Danièle Hervieu-Léger (eds.), Dictionnaire des faits religieux (Paris, 2010), pp. 132–139. Maria Lodovica Arduini, “Il problema christianitas in Guiberto di Nogent,” Aevum 78 (2004), 379–410, at 387–389. MGH Concilia 3.113. MGH Concilia 3.441. MGH Capitularia regum Francorum, 2.321. MGH Capitularia regum Francorum, 2.328. Fred E. Engreen, “Pope John the Eighth and the Arabs,” Speculum 20 (1945), 318–330; Arduini, “Il problema.”

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in Sicily and southern Italy and the alliance between Muslims and various rulers of southern Italian polities. John presented himself as the defender of Christendom threatened by pagan invaders, though this deliberately masked a complex web of alliances between Christians and Muslims in southern Italy. John’s self-promotion as the defender of Christendom was among other things an effort to extend papal power in parts of southern Italy. We see this, for example, in his dealings with Anastasius II, bishop and duke of Naples (878–98): originally an ally of the pope, Anastasius subsequently allied himself with Muslims, leading to excommunication by John, reiterated by Pope Stephen V in 886. Stephen enjoins Anastasius to break off his ties with the “filiis perditionis” (i.e., the Muslims), warning him that he will have nowhere to hide: “For we call against you Rome, Sardinia, Corsica and all christianitas, so that you shall in no way be able to recover” (Nam nos et Romam Sardiniam Corsicam et totam christianitatem contra te claudemus, ut nullo modo recuperare valeatis).20 Clearly here Stephen conceives of christianitas as a territory over which he has authority. John and Stephen defined christianitas in the face of external enemies; decades later Abbo, monk at Saint Germain, conceived christianitas as a fortress of the faithful assailed by enemies inside and out. Abbo was an eyewitness to the Viking attacks on Paris in the 880s, to which he subsequently devoted a long poem, the Bella parisiacae urbis.21 While in this poem he does not use the term christianitas, he does develop it in a sermon composed in the 920s, De fundamento et incremento christianitatis. As Piroska Nagy has shown, Abbo uses christianitas to refer to sacra religio, but also to the Church in the dual sense of the faithful and the institution. And he associates it with a territory, which is expanding (hence the incremento in the title) thanks to the founding of churches, monasteries, hermitages, thereby giving it a spatial dimension. Yet christianitas is also threatened by enemies: if the Vikings no longer pose a threat, it is now rapacious lords who pillage christianitas: “those who are now princes of this world, namely kings, counts, viscounts, consuls, proconsuls and their vicars, king’s vassals, their lackeys, and all evil judges.” (illi qui nunc sunt principes mundi; reges videlicet, comites, vicecomites, consules, procon­ sules, eorumque vicarii, vassi dominici, horum satellites, omnesque mali judices). It is against this internal enemy that Abbo erects and defends his notion of christianitas, which he presents in a series of metaphors as the seat, house, 20 21

MGH Epistolae Karolini aevi, 5.337 Abbo of St. Germain, Viking Attacks on Paris: the Bella Parisiacae urbis of Abbo of SaintGermain-des-Prés, ed. and trans. Nirmal Dass (Dudley MA, 2007).

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or temple of God, or as a fortified city which Christians must defend from its enemies.22 In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, in the context of reform movements in the Church and of the launching of the first crusades, various Latin writers evoked and developed the notion of christianitas threatened by external and internal enemies. On 13 April 1059, Pope Nicolas II issued the bull In nomine Domini, which established the election of the pope by the cardinals, more generally prohibited lay intervention in clerical elections, and prohibited various forms of simony. He anathematized anyone who opposed these measures as “Antichristus et invasor atque destructor totius christianitatis.”23 For Gregory VII, the sancta romana ecclesia is the mater christianitatis.24 Eugenius III (1145–53), in a letter to the archbishop of Salzburg, affirms that all of christiani­ tas recognizes sanctam matrem et apostolicam romanam ecclesiam.25 Gerhart Ladner has shown that this is part of an important shift between a Carolingian paradigm of Christian society, in which regnum and sacerdotium are both contained within the ecclesia, and new paradigm in which the ecclesia is an institution within and leader of christianitas or the societas christiana (though the older, Carolingian paradigm continues to exist alongside the new one).26 It is no coincidence that this notion of christianitas developed at the same time as the crusades. For Tomaž Mastnak, “the heyday of christianitas coincided with the rise of the papal monarchy, and the idea of Christendom finally ‘triumphed’ under the pontificate of Innocent III.”27 Closely associated with the construction of christianitas as a unified whole under papal rule was the theory and practice of holy war. Crusading chronicles were among the first texts to elaborate a notion of christianitas.28 Guibert of Nogent, for example, in

22 23 24

25 26 27 28

Piroska Nagy, “La notion de Christianitas et la spatialisation du sacré au Xe siècle: un ­sermon d’Abbon de Saint-Germain,” Médiévales 49 (2005), 121–140. MGH constitutions, 1.540 Gerhart B. Ladner, The Concepts of Ecclesia and Christianitas and their Relation to the Idea of Papal Plenitudo Potestatis from Gregory VII to Boniface VIII (Rome, 1954), pp. 18, 52; Arduini, “Il problema,” 395. Eugenius III, letter to Archbishop of Salzburg (PL 180, col. 1285); see Ladner, Concepts, p. 61. Ibid., p. 55. Tomaž Mastnak, Crusading Peace: Christendom, the Muslim World, and Western Political Order (Berkeley, 2002), p. 92. Arduini, “Il problema”; Yael Katzir, “The Second Crusade and the redefinition of Ecclesia, Christianitas and papal coercive power,” in Michael Gervers (ed.), The Second Crusade and the Cistercians (New York, 1992).

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his Gesta Dei per Francos, presents the Saracens as a threat to a christianitas which includes both western and eastern Christians.29 Christianitas appears 76 times in the chronicles concerning the first crusade, which as Jan van Laarhoven has shown contrasts with the mere 27 uses of the term in the 1360 pages of the MGH’s Libellus de lite (a collection of texts concerning the Investiture Controversy). For van Laarhoven, this shows that the unity of “Christendom” appears most clearly in the texts that narrate not its internal conflicts (the Investiture Controversy), but its conflicts with the external enemy (Islam, or “paganitas” as many of the Latin texts put it).30 One could object that many of these 76 occurrences of christianitas correspond more to the Christian religion (for example, when a Christian knight invites a “pagan” enemy to convert to christianitas), while many of the others are ambiguous (they could be conceivably be translated as either “Christianity” or “Christendom”). But this in fact is the point: there is a confusion – or perhaps an identification – between God’s religion, His Church, His territory, and His army: christianitas can refer to any or all of these. And just as Anna Komnena’s “Kelts” were Christians who were less than fully Christian, the crusader chronicler’s Christendom is Roman: for Robert the Monk, Rome is the “caput christianitatis.”31 For Fulbert of Chartres it is in the Roman Church that “principalitas correctionis universae christianitatis obtinetur.”32 For Baudry of Dol, at the capture of Jerusalem “there was indescribable joy in all christiani­ tas” (Factum est igitur gaudium inenarrabile in universa christianitate).33 Equally revealing is the study of the words which chroniclers employ to describe the crusader army. By far the most frequent terms are nos and nos­ tri, together occurring 1741 times in the five principal chronicles of the First Crusade.34 Then there is christiani: 431 times (this is the preferred term of Baudry of Dol, who uses it 243 times). There are 405 uses of Franci, and just 47 of peregrini. Hence the two principal terms, of roughly equal frequency, used to refer to “our” soldiers have curiously inversed trajectories: “Christian” has shrunk from a universal term to refer to all who profess Christ to a political/ ethnic identification of those who fight in the name of the Roman Church 29 30 31

32 33 34

Arduini, “Il problema.” Jan van Laarhoven, “Chrétienté et croisade: une tentative terminologique,” Cristianesimo nella storia: Ricerche storiche, esegetiche, teologiche 6 (1985), 27–43. “Roma est papali apice sublimata et caput et summa totius christianitatis,” Robertus monachus, Historia Iherosolomitana, in Recueil des historiens des croisades (Paris: Impri­ merie royale, 1844–1886), 3:750–751. See also van Laarhoven, “Chrétienté.” Recueil des historiens des croisades, 3:326. Ibid., 4:110. These and the following figures are from the table in van Laarhoven, “Chrétienté,” 32.

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– although, like christianitas, it still of course retains its broader use and signification. “Frank,” on the other hand, has expanded from an ethnic label to one borne by all the participants (Normans, Italians, Provençaux, etc.) of the expedition. “Francus” is a decidedly polyvalent term in medieval Latin, which depending on the circumstances might variously be translated as “Frank,” “French,” “Franconian,” or “free” – or, in the case of these chroniclers, one could propose “crusader” or “European.” The titles of some these chronicles, such as Gesta Francorum and Gesta Dei per Francos, underline the emerging common identity as “Franks.” The increased use of christianitas and similar terms responded to an important ideological shift: while in the Carolingian period the pope and the emperor could be portrayed as twin heads of an ecclesia which embraced all of Christian society, now papal advocates affirmed the uniquely clerical nature of the eccle­ sia as an institution within the larger Christian society, christianitas.35 Innocent III confirms and consolidates this notion of a christianitas with the pope at its head. In 1213, he writes to John of Brienne, new Latin emperor of Constantinople and affirms that the sedem apostolicam is totius christianitatis caput.36 When the prelates assembled by Innocent at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 called for a new crusade, they ordered peace to be observed in toto orbe christiano.37 By the thirteenth century, then, the term Christianitas is in fairly widespread use among a clerical elite to identify the community of Christians that recognizes the authority of the pope, and the territory that corresponds to this community: in short, Robert Bartlett’s Europe. The term is well enough known that the anonymous poet of one of the branches of the Roman de Renart has the fox Renart call the lion king Noble “the best king and the wisest that there is in Christendom” (Le meillor roi et le plus saje | Qui soit en la crestiente).38 Christendom was always defined over and against what it was not, both against its internal enemies (heretics, laymen who usurped Church property and prerogatives) and external ones (Byzantines and other Christians who did not recognize papal authority, Muslims, pagans). Geographically, as Robert Bartlett’s Making of Europe makes clear, Christendom is marked by fuzzy borders: expansion in the best of times, retraction or threat from outside enemies 35 36 37

38

Katzir, “Second Crusade”; Ladner, Concepts. PL 216, col. 901; see Ladner, Concepts, p. 65. Lateran IV, c. 71; see Julien Théry, “Le gouvernement romain de la Chrétienté autour de 1206: Innocent III et les débuts de la théocratie pontificale,” Mémoire dominicaine 21 (2007), 33–37. Le roman de Renart (Strasbourg, Paris, 1882), vv. 1030–31.

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at other times. Hence at the first council of Lyon (1245), Innocent IV identified five “dolores” that weighed on the Church: “The first was the corruption of prelates and their officers, the second the insolence of the Saracens, the third the schism of the Greeks, the fourth the ferocity of the Tartars, the fifth the persecution of Emperor Frederick” (primus erat de deformitate prelatorum et subtitorum, secundus de insolentia Saracenorum, tertius de schismate Grecorum, quartus de sevitia Tartarorum, quintus de persecutione Frederici imperatoris).39 Two of the pope’s “dolores” involve internal problems of Christendom: clerical corruption and conflict with the Emperor Frederick II. The other three are threats from the east which menace the spiritual and territorial integrity of Christendom. These three represent what Christendom is not and what it has to defend itself against. Central European polities such as the kingdoms of Hungary and Poland defined themselves as bulwarks or shields of Christendom, both to affirm the legitimacy of their own rule over their subjects and to promote it in the eyes of other Europeans.40 2

Ifranj and Franci: Europe Seen from the Eastern Mediterranean, Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries

To what extent was any unity and identity of Latin Christendom perceived by those outside it? In particular, by those in Byzantium and the Muslim world? Clearly, neither Byzantines or Muslims would recognize the Latin west as “Christendom.” We have seen that for Anna Komnena that appellation would rightly go to the Christian Roman (i.e. Byzantine) empire. And medieval Muslim writers of course were familiar with Christians, as many of them lived in societies where Christians were still a numerical majority (or at least an important minority). If they associated Christianity with any civilization or polity, they too associated it with Byzantium: the same Arabic word, Rūm (Rome) is often used to refer to the city of Constantinople, to the Byzantine Empire, and to Christians more generally.41 To the extent that they use terms to refer to western Europeans, they tend to use ethnic labels, such as “Kelt” or

39 40

41

MGH Leges, Const. 2.501 Geremek, Common Roots; Paul Knoll, “Poland as Antemurale Christianitatis in the Late Middle Ages,” The Catholic Historical Review 60 (1974), 381–401; Nora Berend, At the Gate of Christendom: Jews, Muslims, and “Pagans” in Medieval Hungary, c. 1000–c. 1300 (Cambridge, 2001). Nadia El Cheikh, “Rūm,” The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition, 8 (1995), p. 601.

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“Latin.” The most common term, which is also adopted by western Europeans in the crusader kingdoms of the Latin east, is “Franks” (Φράγγοι, Ifranj, Franci). Let us first look at how Byzantine writers describe the peoples of northern and western Europe. As Alain Ducellier has noted, geography as a discipline was curiously neglected by the Byzantines: compared to their ancient Greek forbears and their Latin and Arabic contemporaries, Byzantines produced no great encyclopedic works of geography.42 This lack of interest in geography is perhaps part of a larger cultural Romano-centrism: little outside of the empire was of interest to Byzantine chroniclers, and the exploits of “barbarians,” be they Latins, Arabs or Slavs, only became of interest when they impinged on the empire. This impression is confirmed by the recent work of Anthony Kaldellis on the history of Byzantine ethnography.43 In order to understand how the Byzantines perceived the world around them, therefore, one must look to the writings of chroniclers, to imperial correspondence, and to treatises such as Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus’ De administrando imperio. We find the term of “Franks” (Φράγγοι) used by Byzantine authors beginning in the sixth century. Procopius of Caesarea (c. 500–c. 565) explains that the Germans are now called “Franks.”44 In the ninth and tenth centuries, Φραγγία seems to designate in particular the Carolingian Empire and its successors (Ottonian and Swabian), Φράγγοι the inhabitants. Yet Constantine VII Porphyro­genitus speaks of Attila’s pillaging of “all of the Frances,” no doubt referring to the various kingdoms of western Europe.45 The term “Celt” or “Kelt” (Κελτός) is also used to designate inhabitants of northwestern Europe. We find it, for example, in the chronicle of Michael Psellos (c. 1017–1078), who describes how Emperor Basil II enriched himself with “all the treasures amassed in Iberia and Arabia, all the riches found among the Celts or contained in the land of the Scyths – in brief, all the wealth of the

42

43

44 45

Alain Ducellier, “L’Europe occidentale dans les textes grecs médiévaux: tradition impériale et redécouverte,” Byzantinoslavica 56 (1995), 245–255; Ignasi Mirabell, “Universalitat i solidaritat a la christianitas medieval: sobre el sentit d’un esdevenir històric,” in Paloma Llorente et al. (eds.), Actes del Simposi Internacional de Filosofia de l’Edat Mitjana, VicGirona, 11–16 d’abril de 1993 (Vic, 1996),pp. 344–349. Anthony Kaldellis, Ethnography after Antiquity: Foreign Lands and Peoples in Byzantine Literature (Philadelphia, 2013); Anthony Kaldellis, Le discours ethnographique à Byzance: continuité et rupture (Paris, 2013). “ἐς Γερμανούς τε οἳ νῦν Φράγγοι καλούνται,” Procopius, Vandales 1.3.1, cited in Ducellier, “L’Europe,” 249. “ἐλθόντος καὶ πάσας τὰς Φραγγίας καταληϊσαμένου,” Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio, 26.5, p. 188, cited in Ducellier, “L’Europe,” 249.

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barbarians who surround our borders.”46 The empire is ringed by “barbarians” to whom one refers when possible with classical Greek names of ethnoi, the enumeration of which only reinforces the essential distinction between “us” (the Romans) and “them,” the barbarians. Anna Komnena, whose Alexiad provided the opening quotation of this article, was one of the Byzantine authors who most referred to the “Kelts.” Like those who came before and after her, she had little to say of where these people come from or what their societies or cultures might be like. What interested her is the role they played on the stage of the empire and in helping or hindering the policies and plans of her father, Alexios I Komnenos. Anna uses the noun Kelt (Κελτός) 176 times in the Alexiad, and the adjective κελτικός 20 times. She also uses other terms more or less as synonyms: Latin (Λατῖνος) occurs 97 times, with another four for the adjective λατινικός; Frank (Φράγγος) 20 times, with another fourteen for the adjective φραγγικός and four times for the noun Φραγγία.47 These various terms were used, often without clear distinction, by later chroniclers. Niketas Khoniates, writing in the aftermath of the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, explains that the besiegers were from “dispersed western nations, for the most part feeble and unknown.”48 The “cursed Latins … hate our people because they crave our possessions.”49 What terms do authors writing in Arabic use to describe Latin Christians? To what extent, if any, do they perceive unity in the peoples of Europe?50 The most common and widespread term by the thirteenth century is faranj or 46

47

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49 50

“ὅσα γὰρ ἐν Ἴβερσι τε καὶ, καὶ ὅσα ἀποτεθηαύριστο εἰς Κελτοὺς, ὁποσα τε ἡ Σκυθων εἲχε γη, καὶ, ἵνα συντόμως εἲπω, τὸ πέριξ βαβαρικὸν,” Mikhail Psellos, Chronographia, Basil XXXI, cited in Ducellier, “L’Europe,”, 246–7 ; translation: Chronographia, ed. E.R.A. Sewter (London, 1953). See volume 4 (indexes) of Anne Comnène, Alexiade (Paris, 1937–1976). As Kaldellis Dis­ cours éthnographique, pp. 131, 136–138, notes, Anna shows a much greater propensity for the vocabulary of classical Greek ethnographical terms than do many of her contemporaries. “Παρα γενων `εσπεριον σποραδικων, αφαθρων τα πλειστα”; Niketas Choniates, Historia, ed. Jan L. van Dieten (Berlin, 1975), p. 585; Angéliki Laiou, “L’Interprétation byzantine de l’ex­ pan­sion occidentale (XIe–XIIe siècles),” in Michel Balard and Alain Ducellier (eds.), Le partage du monde: échanges et colonisation dans la Méditerranée médiévale (Paris, 1998), pp. 163–179. Choniates, Historia, pp. 301–302; Laiou, “L’Interprétation byzantine,” pp. 178–179. For examples from other authors, see Ducellier “L’Europe.” I have explored these issues in John Tolan, Gilles Veinstein, and Henry Laurens, Europe and the Islamic World: a History (Princeton, NJ, 2013), pp. 13–20.

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ifranj, “Frank.” One of the best examples is the opening passage from Ibn al-Athīr’s Al-Kāmil fī al-tārīkh (The Complete History, written c. 1231): The power of the Franks and their increased importance were first manifested by their invasion of the lands of Islam and their conquest of part of them in the year 478 [1085–6], for [that was when] they took the city of Toledo and other cities of Spain, as we have already mentioned. Then in the year 484 [1091–2] they attacked and conquered the island of Sicily, as we have also mentioned. They descended on the coasts of Ifrīqiya and seized some part, which was then taken back from them. Later they took other parts, as you shall see.  When it was the year 490 [1096–7] they invaded Syria.51 For this chronicler from upper Mesopotamia, Castilians, Normans from Southern Italy and the troops of the First Crusade could all be lumped together as “Franks.” By the thirteenth century, indeed, this had become the standard term in Arabic to designate Latin Europeans. But this term, like its Greek and Latin counterparts, originally had a much narrower and more restricted meaning, as the name of one group of people among many in what we call Europe. André Miquel has described in detail the development of geography in the intellectual centres of the Muslim world, where scholars translated, adapted, and commented on Greek, Persian, and Hindu geographical works, and added to them new knowledge gleaned from travel narratives, dispatches, and government records. In the ninth and tenth centuries, that new science, called jūghrāfīa after the Greek, benefited from masterful encyclopedic works such as those of Mas‘ūdī, Ibn Hawqal, and al-Muqaddasī. Geographical knowledge became part of adab, the learned culture that every educated man had to possess. The Muslim world claimed for itself the choicest part of that geography. Baghdad, a political and cultural capital, was in some sense the centre of the world, though at times it shared that position with the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The world beyond the dār al-islām fascinated these geographers as well: particularly the vast, populated, rich regions of India and China. And they wrote much about what they call Rūm, literally “Rome”: the Byzantine Empire. Rūm was a great rival which inspired a mix of fascination, rivalry and fear. To them Rūm represented the Christian world, to such an extent that many

51

Alī b. Muḥammad Ibn al-Athīr,The Chronicle of Ibn Al-Athīr for the Crusading Period from Al-Kāmil Fīʼl-Taʼrīkh Part 1, Part 1, trans. D.Richards (Aldershot, 2006), p. 13.

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Muslim authors used the term Rūm as a synonym of Christian (instead of the more correct nasrani).52 Europe occupied a comparatively small place within this vision of the world. The Greek word Europa, which in Arabic became Arūfa, certainly existed among these geographers: it is found in the tenth century, for example, in Hamdāni and Ibn Khurdādhbih, for whom the term designates the northwest quadrant of the habitable world.53 But, as André Miquel points out, “except for these old recollections, the concept of Europe is nonexistent.”54 The notion of continent is little used by these Arab scholars, who instead divided the world into climates (iqlīm): horizontal bands, normally seven of them but sometimes three or five, generally distributed between the equator and the arctic.55 Each climate had its own characteristics (humidity, heat, and so forth) that determined the nature and behavior of its flora, fauna, and human inhabitants. Like the Greeks before them, the Arab geographers claimed that the climates most propitious for human habitation were those where they themselves lived. In these “central” climates, man could practice agriculture, build cities, and benefit from a physical and mental balance that allowed for intellectual reflection, erudition, and adherence to the true religion. The Ifranj and other peoples of the north were thought by various geographers to suffer from the ill-effects of the frigid climate. Consider, for example, what the great encyclopedist Mas‘ūdī (d. 956–957) says in his Book of Notifica­ tion and of Verification: The inhabitants of the northern quadrant are those for whom the sun is far from the zenith – increasingly far the farther north they go – such as the Slavs, the Franks, and other nearby nations. Since, because of its distance, the sun has only a weak power over these regions, cold and humidity prevail, and snow and ice rarely disappear from them. The humors have little ardor there; the men are tall in stature, fierce, with crude manners, dull intelligence, halting speech; their complexion is so white that it turns from white to bluish; their skin is thin, their flesh thick; their eyes are also blue, matching the tone of their complexion; their hair is flowing and rust-coloured, because of the water vapour. Their religious 52 53

54 55

Cheikh, “Rum.” André Miquel, La géographie humaine du monde musulman jusqu’au milieu du 11e siècle: Geographie arabe et représentation du monde: la terre et l’étranger (Paris, 1967), pp. 35, 60. cf. p. 311 for Mas‘ūdī. Miquel, La géographie, p. 258. Miquel, La géographie, pp. 56–60.

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beliefs are without solidity, because of the nature of the cold and for lack of heat. Those who live farthest to the north are the coarsest, the stupidest, and the most brutish. These characteristics grow more prominent as they move farther away, in a northerly direction, as can be seen among the Turkish tribes that move deep into the northernmost regions. Being very far from the trajectory described by the sun as it rises and sets, they have abundant snow; cold and humidity invade their homes. Their bodies become soft and thick; the vertebrae of their backs and the bones in their necks are so flexible that they can fire their arrows while twisting their torsos backward as they flee. They are so fleshy that dimples form at the joints; their eyes are small in round faces; the heat rises to their faces when the cold takes hold of their bodies. The cold humors, in fact, produce a great deal of blood and colour the complexion, because the cold gathers up the heat and makes it appear on the outside. The men who live sixty some miles above that latitude are the tribes of Gog and Magog. They belong to the sixth climate and are counted among the beasts.56 Lack of heat is the cause of northerners’ peculiar characteristics: blue eyes, red hair, stupidity, and coarseness, and even of the Turks’ ability to shoot arrows while turning backward in their saddles. This vision of climatic determinism is inherited from Greek geography, and for our purposes it is important to note that the Ifranj are lumped together with Slavs and Turks rather than with the other peoples of what we call “Latin Europe.” Yet as Nizar Hermes and Daniel König have shown, Mas‘ūdī subsequently describes Slavic and Frankish society and history in some detail. He devotes a section to the history of Frankish kings from Clovis I (481–511) to Louis IV (936–954), highlighting important events such as the baptism of Clovis.57 Mas‘ūdī also devotes space to a description of Italy, Spain and other regions of what we call Europe. He knows that there is a city in Italy also called Rūm, and that a “Melkite” ruler known as al-Bab resides there. Mas‘ūdī is aware of conflicts between Rome and Constantinople; he speaks of a rebellion in which the governor of Rome broke free from Constan­ tinople around 950. This is probably a somewhat garbled account of tensions between Constantinople and the Carolingian and Ottonian empires. He goes 56

57

Ali Ibn al-Husayn al-Mas`udi, Le livre de l’avertissement et de la revision (Frankfurt, 1986), p. 39; see Miquel, La géographie, p. 321. On the use and abuse of this passages by twentieth- and twenty-first-century essayists, see Nizar F. Hermes, The [European] Other in Medieval Arabic Literature and Culture: Ninth–Twelfth Century AD (New York, 2012), pp. 47–57. Hermes, The [European] Other.

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on to explain that Rome had long been capital of the Frankish realm, which shows his awareness of the connection between Rome and Charlemagne’s empire.58 Hence for Mas‘ūdī, the Franks are one of the various peoples of the north, but they are clearly present elsewhere, notably in Italy. Arab geographers writing before the crusades do not in general use either “Europe” or “Frank” as an overarching term for what we would call Europe. When on occasion they see European lands as part of a larger cultural and political entity, they tend to ascribe them to the outermost outpost of the empire of the Rūm, whereas for tenth-century geographers al-Istakhrī and Ibn Hawqal, the lands of the Franks and Galicians are part of the balad al-Rūm. 59 Shlomo Goitein has studied the use of the terms Rūm and Ifranj in the Arabic and Hebrew documents from the Cairo Geniza. Until the twelfth century, merchants from the Italian cities were most often referred to as Rūm, “Romans,” a term, as we have seen, used to refer to Byzantines or Melkite Christians. Yet gradually the term “Frank” (Faranj or Ifranj) appears and eventually replaces Rūm. A ninth-century Hebrew Geonic responsum describes Lucca as a town in Firanga, perhaps because it is a part of the Carolingian Empire. In the eleventh century, the term is used occasionally to describe the French kingdom. It is with the First Crusade that the term Ifranj is widely used to designate the crusaders, and only in the late twelfth century are the Ifranj systematically distinguished from the Rūm. Beginning in the thirteenth century, the term Ifransa is coined to specifically designate France, whereas Ifranj remains the more general term for western Europeans.60 It is indeed with the Arab chroniclers describing the Crusades and their aftermath, such as Usama Ibn Munqidh and Ibn al-Athīr, that we see the widespread use of Faranj or Ifranj, a term that had earlier principally designated the inhabitants of the realms of the Merovingians, Carolingians and Capetians. As Daniel König has suggested, it is in response to European expansion that Arabic writers redeploy a traditional ethnic term to designate a new political reality.61 One could add that these authors may have been influenced by the 58

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Daniel König, “Arabic-Islamic Historiographers on the Emergence of Latin-Christian Europe,” in Walter Pohl, Clemens Gantner, and Richard Payne (eds.), Visions of Commu­ nity in the post-Roman World: the West, Byzantium and the Islamic world, 300–1100 (Farnham, 2012), pp. 427–445. I thank Daniel König for letting me see before publication the manuscript of his important new book: Daniel König, The Emergence of Latin-Christian Europe: Arabic-Islamic Perspectives (Oxford, 2015). König, Emergence. Shelomo Goitein, A Mediterranean Society: the Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza (6 vols.; Berkeley, 1967–1993), 1:43–44. König, Emergence, pp. 438–439.

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“Franks” themselves: as we have seen, the chroniclers of the crusades frequently used “Franci” as a term to identify those from the west who participated in the crusades and who established new polities in the Holy Land. 3

From Christendom to Europe: Making the Periphery the Centre

Seen from the east, the “Franks” – crusaders, Italian and Catalan Merchants, pilgrims, Mendicant friars, etc. – despite their diversity, bore common traits in their political organization, military apparel, architectural techniques, religious rites, etc. The term “Franci,” favoured by the Latin chroniclers of the crusades (and perhaps by many of the participants) as a common term of identity, was significantly only used in the east: a knight from Warwickshire or Porto, or a merchant from Mallorca or Pisa, would never call himself a “Frank” at home, but he became one when he moved east and was recognized as such by Muslims, Byzantines and fellow “Franci.” Back in Europe, as we have seen, “Franci” kept a narrower meaning (which we could translate, depending on context, as “Frank,” “Franconian,” or “French”). While some Carolingian authors invoked “Europe” as the territory over which Charlemagne held sway, after the breakup of the Empire “Europe” was almost never invoked in a political or cultural sense, but only as a term or erudite geography. For Byzantines and Arabs, the “Franks” inhabited the far northwest of the Ecumene. Indeed, Latin geographers, like their Byzantine and Arab counterparts, had inherited the biases of classical Greek geography, which saw the Mediterranean as the centre of the world. Latin christianitas was at the periphery of the world, not the centre. And Jerusalem, which many Latin mapmakers placed at the centre of the world, was not part of “Christendom,” except for a brief period after the First Crusade. Yet medieval Latin writers devised means of turning the periphery they inhabited into a new centre, through the topoi of translatio imperii (the transfer of empire from east to west), translatio studii (the migration of erudition from east to west), and a similar transfer of knightly virtue and prowess. These themes have been well studied and it is not my intention to treat the topic in depth here.62 Let me simply present three prominent examples: a letter from Alcuin to Charlemagne (799), a passage from Hugh of St. Victor’s De archa Noe (1126–27), a few verses from Chrétien de Troyes’ Cligès (c. 1176). 62

For an introduction to the topic, see Heinz Thomas, “Translatio Imperii,” in Lexikon des Mittelalters (10 vols.; Munich, 1977–1999), 8.944–946; Jacques Verger, “Translatio Studii”, Lexikon des Mittelalters, 8.946–947.

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In March 799 Alcuin addressed a letter to Charlemagne, in which he praised the Emperor for his promotion of knowledge. But that you might transport me suddenly from the dusty soil of the countryside to the loftiest and most noble contemplation of the celestial heights, may you seek to renew in my breast the knowledge of the Pythagorian science. … Perhaps a new Athens will be established in Francia, indeed a much more excellent one. For the new Athens, ennobled by the teaching of Christ, surpasses all knowledge obtained from academic inquiry. The former Athens, learned in the Platonic disciplines, illuminated the seven arts. The new Athens, graced with the seven-form plenitude of the Holy Spirit, surpasses the dignity of all secular wisdom (Sed ut de pulverolentis campaniae glebis ad caelestis culminis nobilissi­ mam acutissimamque considerationem me subito transtuleris, denuo in arcane pectoris mei Pytagoricae disciplinae scientiam …. forsan Athenae nova perficeretur in Francia, immo multo excellentior. Quia haec Christi domini nobilitata magisterio omnem achademicae exercitationis superat sapientiam. Illa, tantummodo Platonicis erudita disciplinis, septenis in­formata claruit artibus; haec etiam insuper septiformi sancti Spiritus pleni­­tu­­dine ditata omnem saecularis sapientiae excellit dignitatem).63 This renaissance of learning, in the midst of the mud and dust of the countryside, had made the emperor’s court into a new Athens which indeed surpassed the original since the new Athens benefited from the magisterium Christi and the sancti Spiritus plenitudo. The ideas of translatio imperii and translatio stu­ dii, when coming from the pens of Carolingian writers, were invariably anti-Byzantine in intent: they affirmed the new western Empire’s independence from and superiority to the east.64 Notker the Stammerer, in his life of the emperor, affirms that Alcuin’s “teaching bore such fruit among his pupils that the modern Gauls or Franks came to equal the Romans and the Athenians.”65 Hugh of St. Victor, one of the foremost teachers and scholars of twelfthcentury Paris, in his De archa Noe, explains how this translatio fits into the divinely-ordained scheme of history: Divine Providence seems to have arranged everything so that what came to pass at the origin of time should occur in the East, as at the beginning 63 64 65

Alcuin, Epistola 170, in MGH Epistolae, 4: 279 Geremek, Common Roots, p. 78. Einhard and Notker, Two Lives of Charlemagne, trans. Lewis Thorpe (Harmondsworth, 1969), p. 95.

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of the world, and that then, as the course of time approached its end, all events should descend toward the West. We therefore recognize the approach of the end of days inasmuch as the course of things has already reached the ends of the world. The first man, created in the Garden of Eden, was thus placed in the East. … Similarly, after the Flood, the origin of empires and head of the world was located in the East, among the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, and the Medes. It then came to the Greeks. Finally, toward the end of time, supreme power passed to the West, to the Romans, living at the extremities of the world. The sequence of events thus follows a straight line descending from East to West.66 God is the supreme historian, the sublime geographer: he organizes space and time. For Hugh, history is not merely a disorderly and arbitrary succession of events. It is a drama orchestrated by its divine author/director, acted out on the stage he has created (the world), a drama full of meaning for any informed reader. History begins in the far east (with the Creation) and “descends” to the west (since the east is at the top of a medieval world map and the west at the bottom). For Hugh, the end of time had nearly arrived by the twelfth century, since the west was now at the centre of history. That was a way of marginalizing the east, now Muslim. Of course, in biblical times Palestine was the centre of the world, but now its true dramatic (if not geographical) centre was located in Europe. About 50 years later, we see this same theme elaborated upon by Chrétien de Troyes in the opening of his verse romance Cligès: This our books have taught us: that Greece had the first renown in chivalry and in learning. Then came chivalry to Rome, and the heyday of learning, which now is come into France. God grant that she be maintained there; and that her home there please her so much that never may depart from France the honour which has there taken up its abode. God had lent that glory to others; but no man talks any longer either more or less about Greeks and Romans; talk of them has ceased, and the bright glow is extinct. (Par les livres que nos avons les fez des ancïens savons et del siegle qui fu jadis. 66

Hugh of St Victor, De archa Noe, ed. Pierre Sicard (Turnhout, 2001), p. 112.

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Ce nos ont nostre livre apris qu’an Grece ot de chevalerie le premier los et de clergie. Puis vint chevalerie a Rome et de la clergie la some, qui or est en France venue. Dex doint qu’ele i soit mantenue et que li leus li abelisse tant que ja mes de France n’isse l’enors qui s’i est arestee Dex l’avoit as altres prestee, car des Grezois ne des Romains ne dit an mes ne plus ne mains : D’ax est la parole remese et estainte la vive brese.)67 Chrétien, through his readings of the “deeds of yore” has learned that the Greeks once were pre-eminent both in “chevalerie” (chivalry) and in “clergie” (literally “clergy” but here meaning learning). Then both passed to Rome and now they have come to France where he prays that they remain. No one speaks of Greece or Rome anymore, he affirms; the flame is extinguished. Thus France had become the new centre of both learning and chivalry. In a similar vein, at the end of the 14th century, Jean Froissart explains how “proèce” (prowess) migrated from Chaldea, to Judea, Persia, Greece, Rome, France, and finally England.68 “Europe” or “Christendom” defined itself over and against the east, both the past (classical and biblical) and the present (Byzantine and Muslim). The periphery of the world had become its new centre, whether that centre was called Francia/France (for Alcuin and Chrétien) or Occidens (for Hugh). This new centre would increasingly be referred to, in the fifteenth century, as “Europe.” As Bronisław Geremek has affirmed, it was first in the Carolingian confrontation with Constantinople that “Europe” was brandished in a political sense: since the Carolingian emperor lacked the universalist pretensions of a Byzantine Emperor (or for that matter of a Muslim caliph), he affirmed his sway over a geographic area. It was in the fifteenth century, in the context of the Ottoman conquests and the disappearance of Byzantium, that the term 67 68

Chrétien de Troyes, “Cligès,” ed. Laurence Harf-Lancner (Paris, 2006), vv. 27–44. See Laurence Harf-Lancner’s analysis of this passage in her introduction, pp. 12–14. Jean Froissart, “Chroniques,” ed. Peter Ainsworth (Paris, 2001), pp. 75–77. Thanks to Michelle Szkilnik for the references to Chrétien and Froissart.

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“Europe” would become prominent in European discourse and largely replace “Christendom.” Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, Pope Pius II, in 1458 penned Europe, a geographical and historical survey of the continent, focused primarily on recent history.69 He set out to record “the most memorable deeds accomplished among the Europeans and the islanders who are counted as Christian during the reign of Emperor Frederick III [1440–93].”70 To be European, one must be Christian, for the Pope. Aeneas organized his tract geographically: significantly, he began with eastern Europe: Hungary, Transylvania, Walachia, Thrace, Romania, Constantinople. He related the rise of the Ottomans and their conquests. He then related the recent history of each of the other areas of Europe, finishing with his native Italy, which gets the most detailed treatment. But the focus of the opening passages on those kingdoms menaced by the Ottomans shows how, for Aeneas, Europe was defined by its eastern border. In his chapter devoted to Ferrara, he related how polymath Ugo da Siena once bested a group of Greek scholars in a debate. His conclusion: “it became clear that the Latins, who had long ago surpassed Greece in the arts of war and military glory, were in our time also outstripping them in literature and every branch of learning.”71 Aeneas preferred to refer to “Europe” rather than “Christendom,” no doubt in part because of his penchant for classical terminology. Europe is again defined by its confrontation with the east: no longer with the Byzantine Empire, which has disappeared, but with the Ottomans. “Europe” tends to replace “Christendom” but in many ways to preserve its essential features, for Aeneas and for other fifteenth century authors, such as Jakub of Paradyż, in his De malis huius saeculi per omnes aetates, written in the 1440s.72 Jakub, writing from Krakow, sees himself at the eastern edge of Europe, a Europe defined by its adherence to the Roman Church. While Krakow is solidly Catholic, in Lwow, only 60 miles east, Catholics live side by side with Orthodox, and the further east one goes, the rarer the “real Christians” become. To the northeast are pagan Tartars, and to the southeast Hungary is threatened by the Ottoman armies. Thus for Jakub, Europe is defined, as was Christendom for Innocent IV two centuries earlier, by insolentia Saracenorum, schisma Graecorum and sevitia Tartarorum. Europe is defined by what it is not, by what lies beyond it to the east: Greeks, Tartars, and Muslims.

69 70 71 72

Pope Pius II, Europe (c. 1400–1458) (Washington, 2013). Pope Pius II, Europe, p. 51. Pope Pius II, Europe, p. 236. Geremek, Common Roots, pp. 150–161.

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In 1984, Milan Kundera also defined Europe by what it was not, and that was Russia: the central European people’s struggles against the Soviet Union marked them off as European over and against the Russian other.73 Kundera’s essay provoked criticism, but the point is that in 1984, as in 799, 1245, 1458 or 2014, Europe was defined by what it was not, and what it was not lay east of it. Is Russia European? Ukraine? Turkey? The arguments for and against each of these questions are passionate and erudite, and of course can never be resolved by a simple yes or no. But I would argue that the very process and nature of this argumentation is an essential part of what it is to be European, and has been ever since the emergence of the notions of Europe and Christendom as distinct cultural identities. The process began with the popes, as early as the sixth century, affirming their difference and independence from Constantinople. With the Carolingian alliance in the eighth century, a new Frankish-Roman alliance defined what its apologists now self-consciously called both “Europe” and “Christendom.” Between the mid-eleventh and the thirteenth centuries, in conflicts with Constantinople, in Crusades against Muslims, and in struggles against internal enemies of the Church and its allies, papal apologists and propagandists developed the notion of christianitas as defined principally by a litmus test of fidelity to the Roman papacy. At the same time, the dilatatio christianitatis which Robert Bartlett describes as the “Europeanization of Europe” was creating common institutions, ritual practices and mentalities in spite of continuing linguistic and cultural diversity. To those in the midst of it, this gradual process was perhaps not clearly visible: significantly, it was only those Europeans who voyaged east who coined a common named for themselves, “Franci,” a term subsequently adopted by Greek and Arabic writers to designate them. In the fifteenth century, the Ottoman conquests and the revival of classical geographical vocabulary combined to make “Europe” the term of reference for intellectuals who increasingly saw themselves as European. In the following centuries, the breakup of European religious unity and the creation and expansion of European empires abroad would quicken this process.74

73 74

Francesco Cataluccio, introduction to Geremek, Common Roots, pp. 1–16. Special thanks to Daniel König and Nicolas Drocourt for their comments and corrections.

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Bibliography of Books and Scholarly Articles by Robert Bartlett Compiled by Nora Bartlett 1981 “The Impact of Royal Government in the French Ardennes: The Evidence of the 1247 Enquête,” Journal of Medieval History 7, 83–96. 1982 Gerald of Wales, 1146–1223. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ——— Extracts from pp. 123–153, and bibliography, pp. 226–236, reprinted in Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism 60 (2003), 134–159. ——— Republished as Gerald of Wales: A Voice of the Middle Ages, with supplementary bibliography. Stroud: Tempus. 1983 “Rewriting Saints’ Lives: The Case of Gerald of Wales,” Speculum 58, 598–613. 1984 War and Lordship: The Military Component of Political Power, 900–1300 (Fourth Annual Phi Alpha Theta Lecture on History, State University of New York at Albany), 14 pp. 1985 “The Conversion of a Pagan Society in the Middle Ages,” History 70, 185–201. 1986 Trial by Fire and Water: The Medieval Judicial Ordeal. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ——— Paperback ed. 1988. ——— Special edition for Sandpiper Books, 1999. ——— Translated into Japanese (Shogakusha, 1993) and Chinese (2007). “Technique militaire et pouvoir politique, 900–1300,” Annales E.S.C. 41, 1135–1159. 1987 “The Cobbler’s Art”: review of R.W. Southern, Robert Grosseteste: The Growth of an English Mind in Medieval Europe (Oxford, 1986), in Journal of British Studies 26, 258–261. Review of Erik Fügedi, Castle and Society in Medieval Hungary (Budapest, 1986), in Annales E.S.C. 42, 728–729.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2016 | doi 10.1163/97890044311367_016

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Review of Marjorie Chibnall, The World of Orderic Vitalis (Oxford, 1984), in Journal of Religion 67, 549–550. 1988 Review of John McDonald and Graeme E. Snooks, Domesday Economy: A New Approach to Anglo-Norman History (Oxford, 1986), in Journal of Interdisciplinary History 19, 111–112. Review of Horst Fuhrmann, Germany in the High Middle Ages c. 1050–1200 (Cambridge, 1986), in German History 6, 184–185. Review of Charles Higounet, Die deutsche Ostsiedlung im Mittelalter (Berlin, 1986), in German History 6, 308–309. Review of R.R. Davies, Conquest, Coexistence and Change in Wales 1063–1415 (Oxford, 1987), in Journal of Ecclesiastical History 39, 582–585. Review of Christopher N.L. Brooke, The Church and the Welsh Border in the Central Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 1986), in Journal of Theological Studies 39, 283–284. Review of J.A. Burrow, The Ages of Man: A Study in Medieval Thought and Writing (Oxford, 1986), in History of European Ideas 9, 503–504. 1989 ed., with Angus MacKay, Medieval Frontier Societies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ——— Paperback ed. 1992. “Colonial Aristocracies of the High Middle Ages,” in Bartlett and MacKay, Medieval Frontier Societies, pp. 23–47. Review of Alfred Haverkamp, Medieval Germany 1056–1273 (Eng. tr., Oxford, 1988), in German History 7, 377–378. 1991 Review article: “Lordship and Law in Medieval England”: Scott Waugh, The Lordship of England: Royal Wardships and Marriages in English Society and Politics, 1217–1327 (Princeton, 1988); J.M.W. Bean, From Lord to Patron: Lordship in Late Medieval England (Philadelphia, 1989); J.G. Bellamy, Bastard Feudalism and the Law (Portland OR, 1989); Edward Powell, Kingship, Law and Society: Criminal Justice in the Reign of Henry V (Oxford, 1989); Margaret Bonney, Lordship and the Urban Community: Durham and Its Overlords, 1250–1450 (Cambridge, 1990), in Journal of British Studies 30, 449–454. “Witch Hunting”: review of Carlo Ginzburg, Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath (New York, 1991), in New York Review of Books 38/11 (13/6/91), 37–38. 1992 Obituary, “Sir Richard Southern (b. 1912),” Medieval History 2, 130–133.

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“The Cantorbury Tales”: review of Norman Cantor, Inventing the Middle Ages: The Lives, Works and Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth Century (New York, 1991), in New York Review of Books 39/9 (14/5/92), 12–15. Review of Marie-Therese Flanagan, Irish Society, Anglo-Norman Settlers, Angevin Kingship: Interactions in Ireland in the Late Twelfth Century (Oxford, 1989), in Historische Zeitschrift 255, 454–455. Review of Timothy Reuter, Germany in the Early Middle Ages, 800–1056 (London, 1991), Benjamin Arnold, Princes and Territories in Medieval Germany (Cambridge, 1991) and Benjamin Arnold, Count and Bishop in Medieval Germany: A Study of Regional Power, 1100–1350 (Philadelphia, 1991), in German History 10, 421–424. 1993 The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change 950–1350. London: Allen Lane, and Princeton: Princeton University Press. ——— Paperback ed. 1994 ——— Translated into German (Droemer 1996, paperback Knaur 1998), Estonian (Kunst, 2001), Polish (Poznanskie Towarzystwo Przyjaciol Nauk, 2003), Japanese (Hosei University Press, 2003), Spanish (University of Valencia Press, 2003), Russian (Rosspen, 2007). Review of Peter Coss, Knighthood and Locality: A Study in English Society c. 1180–c. 1280 (Cambridge, 1991), in Journal of Interdisciplinary History 23, 769–771. Review of Johannes Fried, Die Formierung Europas 840–1046 (Munich, 1991), in German History 11, 96. 1994 “Symbolic Meanings of Hair in the Middle Ages,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th series 4, 43–60. Review of Egon Boshof, Königtum und Königsherrschaft im 10. und 11. Jahrhundert (Munich, 1993), in German History 12, 408–409. “The Old Divide”: review of Jean W. Sedlar, East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000– 1500 (Seattle, 1994), in Times Literary Supplement 4786 (23/12/94), 24. 1995 “The Hagiography of Angevin England,” in Thirteenth-Century England 5, 37–52. Review of Arno Borst, The Ordering of Time: From the Ancient Computus to the Modern Computer (Cambridge, 1993), in History 80, 273–274. Review of Clare Stancliffe and Eric Cambridge (eds.), Oswald: Northumbrian King to European Saint (Stamford, 1995), in Durham Archaeological Journal 11, 101.

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1996 “Patterns of Unity and Diversity in Medieval Europe,” in Brian Patrick McGuire (ed.), The Birth of Identities: Denmark and Europe in the Middle Ages. Copenhagen: C.A. Reitzel, pp. 29–45 “The Miracles of Saint Modwenna of Burton,” Staffordshire Studies 8, 24–35. Contributions to Angus Mackay and David Ditchburn (eds.), Atlas of Medieval Europe. London: Routledge: “The Influx of Relics into Saxony,” “Royal Itineraries: Eleventhcentury France and Germany,” “Anglo-Norman Penetration of Wales and Ireland,” “The Ostsiedlung,” “Provisioning War in the Twelfth Century,” “Families of Town Law,” pp. 50, 53–55, 77–79, 97–98, 125–127, 133–135. 1997 Review of Guy Philippart (ed.), Hagiographies: Histoire internationale de la littérature hagiographique latine et vernaculaire en Occident des origines à 1550 (Turnhout, 1994), in English Historical Review 112, 457–458. Review of Barbara Abou-El-Haj, The Medieval Cult of Saints. Formations and Trans­ formations (Cambridge, 1994), in English Historical Review 112, 700–702. “Civilising Savages”: review of Richard Fletcher, The Conversion of Europe (London, 1997), in Literary Review (September), 20–21. 1999 “Mortal Enmities”: The Legal Aspect of Hostility in the Middle Ages (T. Jones Pierce Lecture, University of Wales, Aberystwyth), 18 pp. ——— reprinted in Belle S. Tuten and Tracey L. Billado (eds.), Feud, Violence and Practice: Essays in Medieval Studies in Honor of Stephen D. White. Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010, pp. 197–212. “Cults of Irish, Scottish and Welsh Saints in Twelfth-Century England,” in Brendan Smith (ed.), Britain and Ireland, 900–1300. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 67–86. “The Celtic Lands of the British Isles,” in David Abulafia (ed.), The New Cambridge Medieval History 5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 825–843. “Reflections on Paganism and Christianity in Medieval Europe” (Raleigh Lecture on History, 1998), Proceedings of the British Academy 101, 55–76. “The Way It Was”: review of John Man, Atlas of the Year 1000 (London, 1999), in Times Literary Supplement 5048 (31/12/99), 31. 2000 England under the Norman and Angevin Kings 1075–1225. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ——— Paperback ed. 2002.

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2001 ed., Medieval Panorama. London: Thames and Hudson, and Los Angeles: The Getty. ——— Also published in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Hungarian, Russian and Japanese. ——— Reissued in paperback as The Medieval World Complete, 2010. “Medieval and Modern Concepts of Race and Ethnicity,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 31, 37–54. “Henry I’s Nightmares 1130,” BBC History Magazine 2 (11) (November), 52–53. Review of The Medieval State: Essays presented to James Campbell, ed. J.R. Maddicott and D.M. Palliser (London, 2000), in Journal of Ecclesiastical History 52, 352–353. Review of Joseph Pérez and Santiago Aguade Nieto (eds.), Les origines de la féodalité. Hommage à Claudio Sánchez Albornoz (Madrid, 2000), in English Historical Review 116, 924–925. Review of Karen Jankulak, The Medieval Cult of St Petroc (Woodbridge, 2000) and Katherine Lewis, The Cult of St Katherine in Late Medieval England (Woodbridge, 2000), in English Historical Review 116, 1216–1217. 2002 ed. and trans., Geoffrey of Burton, Life and Miracles of St Modwenna. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Review of David Levine, At the Dawn of Modernity: Biology, Culture and Material Life in Europe after the Year 1000 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2001), in American Historical Review 107, 264–265. Review of H.R. Loyn, The English Church, 940–1154 (Harlow, 2000), in Speculum 77, 588–589. Review of Alan V. Murray (ed.), Crusade and Conversion on the Baltic Frontier 1150–1500 (Aldershot and Burlington, VT, 2001), in The Slavonic and East European Review 80, 541–543. “The Power and the Gory”: review of Sergio Bertelli, The King’s Body: Sacred Rituals of Power in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, tr. R. Burr Lichfield (University Park, PA, 2001) and Nicholas Vincent, The Holy Blood: King Henry III and the Westminster Blood Relic (Cambridge, 2001), in Times Literary Supplement 5184 (9/8/2002), 23. Review of R.I. Moore, The First European Revolution c. 970–1215 (Oxford, 2000), in Journal of World History 13, 495–497. 2003 ed. and trans., The Miracles of St Æbbe of Coldingham and St Margaret of Scotland. Oxford: Oxford University Press. “Political Prophecy in Gerald of Wales,” in Martin Aurell (ed.), Culture politique des Plantagenêt. Poitiers: Université de Poitiers, pp. 303–311.

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Review of Guy Philippart (ed.), Hagiographies: Histoire internationale de la littérature hagiographique latine et vernaculaire en Occident des origines à 1550, 3 (Turnhout, 2001), in Journal of Ecclesiastical History 54, 321–322. Review of Stefanie Jansen, Wo ist Thomas Becket? Der ermordete Heilige zwischen Erinnerung und Erzählung (Husum, 2002), in English Historical Review 118, 748–750. Review of H.E.J. Cowdrey, Lanfranc: Scholar, Monk, and Archbishop (Oxford, 2003), in Times Literary Supplement 5234 (25/7/2003), 24. Review of Patrick J. Geary, The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe (Princeton, 2002), in Journal of Modern History 75, 919–920. 2004 The Hanged Man: A Story of Miracle, Memory and Colonialism in the Middle Ages. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ——— Paperback ed. 2006. ——— Translated into Swedish (Stockholm: Dialogos Förlag, 2004), Finnish (Helsinki: Oy Yliopistokustannus University Press, 2006). ed., History and Historians: Selected Papers of R.W. Southern. Malden, MA, and Oxford: Blackwell. “The Hanged Man,” History Today 54 (4) (April), 53. “The Testimony of the Hanged Man,” BBC History Magazine 5 (5) (May), 31–33. Articles in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004) on “Bega” (vol. 4, p. 834), “Furness, Jocelin of” (vol. 21, pp. 190–191), “Gerald of Wales” (vol. 21, pp. 925– 928), “Moninne/Modwenna” (vol. 38, p. 625) and “Turgot” (vol. 55, pp. 577–578). 2005 “Off to a Good Start”: review of Jacques Le Goff, The Birth of Europe (Malden, MA, and Oxford, 2005), in New York Review of Books 52/10 (9/6/05), 43–45. Review of Goscelin of Saint-Bertin, The Hagiography of the Female Saints of Ely, ed. and trans. Rosalind C. Love (Oxford, 2004), in English Historical Review 120, 496–497. Review of John Aberth, A Knight at the Movies: Medieval History on Film (New York and London, 2003), in Medievalia et Humanistica 31, 119–121. Review of Julia S. Barrow and N.P. Brooks (eds.), St Wulfstan and his World (Aldershot, 2005), in English Historical Review 120, 1356–1358. Review of Lois L. Huneycutt, Matilda of Scotland: A Study in Medieval Queenship (Woodbridge, 2003), in Scottish Historical Review 84, 270–271. 2006 Review of Simon Yarrow, Saints and their Communities: Miracle Stories in Twelfth-century England (Oxford, 2006), in Reviews in History (online): URL: (review no. 539).

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2007 “From Paganism to Christianity in Medieval Europe,” in Nora Berend (ed.), Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus’ c. 900–1200. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 47–72. “Heartland and Border: The Mental and Physical Geography of Medieval Europe,” in Huw Pryce and John Watts (eds.), Power and Identity in the Middle Ages: Essays in Memory of Rees Davies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 23–36. Review of Hartmut Jericke, Begraben und vergessen? Tod und Grablege der deutschen Kaiser und Könige von den Anfängen bis zum Ende der Stauferzeit (Leinfelden, 2005), in Mediaevistik 20, 368–370. Review of Lynn A. Ramey and Tison Pugh (eds.), Race, Class and Gender in ‘Medieval’ Cinema (Basingstoke, 2007), in Reviews in History (online): URL: (review no. 615). 2008 The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; simultaneous paperback. ——— Translated into Swedish (Stockholm: Dialogos Förlag, 2009). 2009 “Europa a přemyslovský stat,” in Petr Sommer, Dušan Třeštík and Josef Žemlička (eds.), Přemyslovici: Budováni českého státu. Prague: Nakladatelství Lidové noviny, pp. 15–31. “Illustrating Ethnicity in the Middle Ages,” in Miriam Eliav-Feldon, Benjamin Isaac and Joseph Ziegler (eds.), The Origins of Racism in the West. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 132–156. “Enter the dragon slayer, stage left”: review of Jonathan Good, The Cult of St George in Medieval England (Woodbridge, 2009), in Times Higher Education 1921 (5–11/11/09), 50. 2010 “Comment on Jean-Claude Schmitt’s Neale Lecture,” in Sophie Page (ed.), The Unorthodox Imagination in Late Medieval Britain. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 39–44. “Lords of ‘Pride and Plunder’”: review of Thomas Bisson, The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government (Princeton, 2009), in New York Review of Books 57/11 (24/6/10), 47–50. Review of Christa Bertelsmeier-Kierst (ed.), Elizabeth von Thüringen und die neue Frömmigkeit in Europa (Frankfurt-am-Main, 2008), in Journal of Ecclesiastical History 61, 377–378.

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Review of Michael E. Goodich, Miracles and Wonders: The Development of the Concept of Miracle, 1150–1350 (Aldershot and Burlington, VT, 2007), in Church History 79, 892–894. 2011 “English National Identity in the Middle Ages,” The East Asian Journal of British History 1 (2011), 1–12. 2013 Why Can the Dead Do Such Great Things? Saints and Worshippers from the Martyrs to the Reformation. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Gerald of Wales and the Ethnographic Imagination (Kathleen Hughes Memorial Lectures 12; Cambridge). “England’s Ultimate Family Drama,” BBC History Magazine (December), 30–34. 2014 “Ancient Iran in the Imagination of the Medieval West,” in Ali Ansari (ed.), Perceptions of Iran: History, Myths and Nationalism from Medieval Persia to the Islamic Republic. London: I.B. Tauris, pp. 37–46. 2015 “The Viking Hiatus in the Cult of the Saints as Seen in the Twelfth Century,” in Martin Brett and David A. Woodman (eds.), The Long Twelfth-Century View of the AngloSaxon Past. Farnham and Burlington, VT, pp. 13–25. “The Death of William Rufus,” “The Captivity of Richard the Lionheart,” “The Founding of the University of Oxford,” and “The Treaty of York,” in Greyson Beights (ed.), Medieval LEGO. San Francisco: No Starch Press, pp. 14–17, 28–30, 34–36, 54–57.

307

Index ofIndex Namesof names

Index of Names ʿAbbasid caliphate 232, 264–276 Abbo, monk at Saint Germain 282 Abgar, King of Edessa 213 Abū ʿAlī Miskawayh 266, 268, 269, 271n19, 273n, 274n, 275n Abū’l-Ḥasan ibn al-Furāt 270, 271, 272, 273, 274 Abū ʿUmar 274 Abū Zayd al-Ṭa’i 268 Adalbert, Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen 61 Adalbert of Magdeburg 14, 16, 23n, 28 Adalbold of Utrecht 16 Adam of Bremen 34n13, 55, 61, 82 Ælfgar, Earl of East Anglia and Mercia 165, 168–169, 170 Ælfric, Archbishop of Canterbury 42 Æthelwig, Abbot of Evesham 175 Afonso, King of Portugal 199 Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā al-Balādhuri 267, 268, 269, 270 Al-Amīn 269 Alan Beccles, Archdeacon of Norwich 223 Alban, St 205–209, 215, 220 239 Alberic of Troisfontaines 127n9, 226–227, 229–230, 232n193, 235, 241 Albert of Stade 226, 235 Alcuin 293, 294, 296 Alexander of Swereford 239, 240 Alexander IV, Pope 218 Alexios I Komnenos, Emperor of Byzantium 288 Alfonso VI, King of León and Castile 123 Alfonso VIII, King of Castile 123, 125, 126n6, 128 Alfonso IX, King of León 123, 140n31 Alfonso X, King of León and Castile 128, 130, 131, 132, 136, 138, 140 Alfred, King of Wessex 44n64, 165 ʿAlī b. ʿĪsā 271, 276 Alice of Abervenny 79–80 Al-Istakhrī 292 Al-Mahdī 269 Al-Ma’mūn 269 Almanzor (al-Mansur) 126

Al-Muqaddasī 289 Al-Muqtadir 270–271, 273 Al-Muttaqī 274 Al-Nasir, Caliph 123 Al-Qāsim 270 Al-Saffāḥ, Caliph 268 Althoff, Gerd 155 Al-Walīd b. ʿUqba b. Abī’l-Muʿayt 268 Amir ʿAbd al-Rahmân 280 Anastasius II, Pope 282 Anders Sunesen, Archbishop of Lund 7, 72, 83 Anna Komnena 81, 277, 284, 286, 288 Ansgar, St 57, 82 Arduini, Maria Lodovica 281 Arias Pérez, knight 137–138, 139n Ari Þorgilsson 87, 90 Arthur, King 200–201, 227, 230 Ascelin Goel 162 Asgerd 78 Avoco 82 ʿAyn al-Rumiya 268 Baldwin of Meules 162 Bartlett, Robert passim Basil II, Emperor of Byzantium 287 Bates, David 156 Baudry of Dol 284 Bernard of Clairvaux, St 233 Bishr b. Maymūn 269 Bloch, Marc 250 Boethius of Dacia 72 Bogisław II, Duke of Pomerania 110 Bolesław the Brave, Duke of Poland 66 Bolesław the Chaste, Duke of Poland 116, 117 Bolesław the Tall, Duke of Silesia 96–97, 98, 99, 100, 105, 116, 118 Brancaleone, senator of Rome 217 Brenner, Robert 245, 247 Brooks, Peter 186–187, 194 Bruno, Archbishop of Cologne 22 Bukhtishūʿ, family 269 Caesarius of Heisterbach 233–234, 237, 241 Campbell, James 37, 39n38, 40, 49, 50, Caradog ap Gruffydd 43, 175

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308 Casimir, Duke of Pomerania 110 Casimir the Great, King of Poland 121 Casimir the Just, Duke of Little Poland 111 Celestine IV, Pope 217 Chabod, Federico 278 Charlemagne, Emperor 11, 12, 13, 14–15, 17–18, 20, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 37, 70, 184–185, 186–187, 190, 191, 192, 193, 196, 200, 201, 202, 203, 229, 233, 236, 279, 280, 292, 293 Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor 20 Charles Martel 280 Charles of Anjou 68 Charles the Bald, Emperor 17, 281 Charles the Fat, Emperor 11 Charles the Simple, King of West Francia and Lotharingia 11, 14, 18, 22, 25, 27, 29 Chrétien de Troyes 293, 295–296 Christian I, King of Denmark 71 Christian, Archbishop of Mainz 234 Clement, St 70 Clovis I, King of the Franks 233, 291 Cnut I, King of Denmark, England, Norway 47, 51, 58, 59, 82, 84, 169, 206n5 Cnut IV, King of Denmark 171 Conrad II, Emperor 24–25 Conrad IV, King of Germany (II of Jerusalem) 234 Conrad, Duke of Masovia 106 Conrad of Hochstaden, Archbishop of Cologne 222n127 Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, Emperor of Byzantium 287 Cowling, Maurice 1 Cubitt, Geoffrey 25 Cunigunde 16 Davies, Wendy 262 Dāwud b. ʿAlī 268 Dicuil, Irish monk 87–88 Diego Garcia 137, 138 Diego López of Haro 139 Dietrich, Archbishop of Cologne 234 Domingo Pérez of Toro 136n24 Douglas, David 156, 180n170 Duby, Georges 11, 248 Eadmer 46

Index Of Names Eadric “the Wild” 119 Eberhard, Archbishop of Salzburg 283 Edgar Ætheling 171–172 Edgar, King of England 44 Edmund Ironside, King of England 238 Edmund Rich, Archbishop of Canterbury 208, 222, Edmund, St 241 Edward the Confessor, King of England 34, 36n22, 43, 46, 164, 167, 169, 171, Egwin, sacristan of St Albans 205–206, 207–208, 209, 210, 211, 213, 220, 224, 232, 240, 242 Einhard 15 Eirik the Red 90 Enguerrand, Count of Ponthieu 157, 159 Erik Klipping 64 Étienne Tempier, Bishop of Paris 72 Eudes, Archbishop of Rouen 214 Eugenius III, Pope 283 Eustace, Count of Boulogne 146, 164, 166, 171, 172 Eustace the Monk 172 Febvre, Lucien 278, Ferdinand III, King of Castile 123, 125–130, 131, 132, 135n22, 136, 140 Flodoard of Rheims 16, 19 Folcuin of Lobbes 17, 21 Frederick I Barbarossa, Emperor 13, 20, 27, 29, 234 Frederick II, Emperor 209, 213, 216, 217, 221, 234, 286 Frederick III, Emperor 297 Frederick I, King of Prussia 66 Fulbert of Chartres 284 Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou 53, 152, 179 Gallus Anonymus 73 Ganelon 184–185, 186, 190, 192, 198, 203 García Pérez de Ambía 136, Gaydon 184–186, 187, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 196 Geary, Patrick 19 Geoffrey “Granon” 179 Geoffrey Martel, Count of Anjou 156n52, 157, 181, 184

309

Index of Names Gerald of Wales 1, 2, 3, 34, 76, 77, 197, 236, 237, 244 See also Bartlett, Robert Gerbert de Montreuil 201 Gerbrand, Bishop in Zealand 82 Géré of Échauffour 151 Geremek, Bronisław 280, 296 Gervase of Canterbury 238 Gilbert, Count of Brionne 155, 157n55, 162, 163 Goitein, Shlomo 292 Gonzalo Nuñez of Lara 139, 140n Goscelin the Fleming 37, 50 Gratian 46 Gregory VII, Pope 12, 63, 283 Guinevere 200–201 Guitmund of Moulins-la-Marche 159 Gustaf III, King of Sweden 64 Guy de Lusignan 135 Guy of Burgundy 155, 160, 178 Gruffydd ap Llewelyn, King of Wales 168, 169 Håkon, Earl of Lade 55, 56 Håkon Håkonarson, King of Norway 85 Hamdāni 290 Ḥāmid b. al-‘Abbās 265, 271 Hammām b. Hānī al-ʿAbdī 269 Harald Bluetooth, King of Denmark and Norway 57–58, 64 Harald Finehair, reputed King of Norway 56, 57, 89, 90 Harald Hardrada, King of Norway 56, 61, 82, 168, 169 Hardacnut, King of Denmark and England 51 Harf-Lancner, Laurence 197, 296n68 Harold Godwineson, Earl of Wessex and King of England 43, 165n97, 167, 168, 170, 171n120 Harold Harefoot, King of England 51 Hartwig, Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen 60 Hārūn al-Rashīd 268 Hay, Denys 278 Helias of Saint-Saens 161 Helinand of Froidmont 235, 241

Henry I, King of England 163, 172, 183, 238, 239 Henry I, King of France 152, 154, 157, 159, 181 Henry I, King (Ottonian) 16, 23n53, Henry II, Duke of Brabant 222 Henry II, Emperor 16, 20, 24 Henry II, King of England 196, 229, 236, 237n220, 238 Henry III, King of England 135, 208, 215, 216, 220, 227, 230, 239, 240, 241 Henry IV, Emperor 28, 29 Henry IV (the Righteous), Duke of Silesia 118–119 Henry, Bishop of Orkney 82 Henry the Bearded, Duke of Silesia 106–108, 110, 111, 112 Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria 75 Heribert, Archbishop of Cologne 24 Herman, Duke of Swabia 24, Hermes, Nizar 291 Hildegard of Bingen 226 Holt, Sir James 2, 36 Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim 16 Hubert de Burgh 241 Hubert, vicomte of Le Mans 181–182 Hugh, Bishop of Bayeux 153–154, 161, 162n80 Hugh de Montfort 171 Hugh of Chateauneuf 180 Hugh of Fleury 228, 229 Hugh of St Victor 293, 294–295, 296 Humbert, Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen 60 Ibn al-Athīr 289, 292 Ibn Farjawayh 273 Ibn Hawqal 289, 292 Ibn Hubayra 269 Ibn Khurdādhbih 290 Ibn Qarāba 273, 274 Ingolf 78 Innocent III, Pope 66, 283, 285 Innocent IV, Pope 216, 217, 219, 226, 286, 297 Isidore of Seville 127, 129, 130, 238, 279–280 Jaeger, Stephen 196 Jakub of Paradyż 297 James I, King of Aragon 128

310 Jean de Joinville 134–135 Jean Froissart 296 Johan I, King of Sweden 71 John, King of England 47 John III, Latin Emperor of Byzantium 214 John VIII, Pope 281–282 John Blund, Archbishop of Canterbury 223 John, Count of Luxembourg and King of Bohemia 68 John Mansel 241 John of Basingstoke 223–224 John of Brienne 285 John of Garland 222 John of Lexington 241 John of St Albans, goldsmith 208, 209, 224, 240 John of Salisbury 189, 197, 198, 236 John of Soria 126, 128 John of Toledo, Cardinal 216 John, Prior of Newburgh 214–215 John the Baptist, St 70, 212 Juan Arias, Archbishop of Santiago 135, 139 Juan López, knight 138 Judt, Tony 278–279 Kaldellis, Anthony 287, 288n47 König, Daniel 291 Koziol, Geoffrey 155 Kundera, Milan 298 Ladner, Gerhart 283 Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury 46, 145, 174, 178, Lawrence, St 70 Lawrence of St Albans 241 Lawrence, Bishop of Wrocław 111 Le Goff, Jacques 278 Leszek the Black, Duke of Poland 116, 117 Leszek the White, Duke of Poland 113, 114, 121 Liudprand of Cremona 16, 19 Lothar I, Emperor 281 Lothar II, King of France 18, 21 Lothar II, King of Lotharingia 281 Louis, St See Louis IX Louis the Child, King of East Francia 16, 17 Louis the Pious, Emperor 18, 20 Louis IV, King of the Franks 22, 291

Index Of Names Louis VII, King of France 155, 236 Louis VIII, King of France 226 Louis IX, King of France (St Louis) 134, 213–214, 217–218, 222, 226 Luc of Tuy 126, 129 Magnus Eriksson, King of Sweden and Norway 67 Magnus the Good, King of Norway and Denmark 70 Mahmud, Sultan of Ghazna 254 Maiolus, Abbot of Cluny 227 Maitland, F.W. 3, 36, 41n48, 47 Malcolm III, King of Scots 171 Malger, Archbishop of Rouen 158n61 Manuel I Komnenos, Emperor of Byzantium 226, 229 Mary, St 70, 212, 230, 234 Maslama b. ʿAbd al-Malik 268 Mastnak, Tomaž 283 Mas‘ūdī 289 Matthew Paris 127n9, 135, 206, 208, 209–210, 212–214, 216–225, 228, 229–230, 232, 235, 239–241, 242 Maymūn b. Hamza 268 Michael Psellos 287 Miesco, Duke of Poland 66 Miquel, André 289, 290 Montfortians 157 Morcar, Earl of Northumbria 169, 170 Muirchetach O’Brien, Irish King 172 Müller-Mertens, Eckhard 21 Mūsā b. Khalaf 273 Nagy, Piroska 282 Naymon, Duke in Gaydon 187, 192, 202 Nicholas, St 70 Nicholas of Farnham, Bishop of Durham 223 Nicholas of St Albans 208, 209, 223, 224, 240 Nicholas the Greek 214 Niketas Khoniates 288 Nithard 280 North, Douglass C. 247 Notker the Stammerer 294 Ode, King of Poitou 203 Odo, Bishop of Bayeux 172, 176n147

Index of Names Odo, Count of Champagne 25 Odo, Count of Paris 11 Offa, King of Mercia 209, 224, 232, 239, 240 Offa, King of the Angles 224 Ogier the Dane 192 Olav, St See Olav Haraldsson Olav Håkonsson, King of Denmark and Norway 67 Olav Haraldsson, King of Norway 57, 70, 73 Olav Tryggvason, King of Norway 55–57, 58–59 Orderic Vitalis 145n2, 146, 147n8, 156, 157, 158n58, 161, 162, 163, 175, 179, 180, 181 Osgod Clapa 167 Otto I, the Great, Emperor 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 58, 66 Otto II, Emperor 14, 18, 20, 21, 23, 58 Otto III, Emperor 20, 23, 24, 25, 29 Otto IV, Emperor 234 Otto of Freising 236 Otto of St Albans 208–209, 224, 240 Pelayo Fernández of Rodeiro, knight 138, 139 Pepin, King in Garin de Loherain 200, 201 Peter, Abbot of Faversham 135 Peter of Blois 197, 237n220 Philip I, King of France 162, 171, 180 Philip II Augustus, King of France 172 Philip, Count of Flanders 200 Philip Luvel 241 Philip of Swabia, King of Germany 234 Pius II, Pope 297 Ponç de Torrella, Bishop of Tortosa 214 Porter, Roy 1 Postan, Sir Michael 247 Procopius of Caesarea 287 Przemysł II, Duke of Poland 117–119, 121 Ralph Niger 228, 229 Ralph of Bernay, sheriff of Hereford 174n136 Ralph of Conches 161 Ralph of Diceto 229, 232 Ralph of Gacé 154 Ralph of Gael, Earl of Norfolk and Suffolk 145, 146n5, 150, 173, 175, 176, 177, 179, 180, 183 Ralph of Maidstone 223

311 Ralph of Mantes, Earl of Hereford 164, 165n97, 168 Reginald of Argentan 212 Reginar III, Count of Hainaut 21 Regino of Prüm 14, 17–18, 19 Reuter, Timothy 14, 279 Ricardus Anglicus 47 Richard I, Duke of Normandy 152, 154, 157n55 Richard II, Duke of Normandy 152, 153, 157, 179 Richard III, Duke of Normandy 153, 155 Richard Animal 241 Richard de Clare 176 Richard, Earl of Cornwall 214, 221 Richard FitzNigel 238 Richard of Argentan 212, 213 Richard Strongbow (de Clare) 83 Richer of Rheims 16 Robert, Archbishop of Rouen 153 Robert, Count of Meulan 162–163 Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy 160, 177, 180 Robert I, Duke of Normandy 153, 155, 161, 162–163, 172, 181, 183 Robert, Duke of Burgundy 181 Robert Grosseteste 224 Robert Guiscard, Duke of Calabria and Apulia 83 Robert of Bellême 161, 172 Robert of Torigni 152, 156 Robert, Prior of St Frideswide, Oxford 236 Robert Sumercote 217 Robert the Castellan 162–163 Robert the Monk 284 Robert Thurkelby 241 Rodrigo Gómez of Galicia 136 Rodrigo Jimenez of Rada, Archbishop of Toledo 126, 128, 129, 232 Rodulf, Count of Ivry 152, 153, 154 Roger, Earl of Hereford 145–146, 162, 173, 174–175, 178 Roger of Beaumont 161, 162, 163 Roger of Howden 199–200 Roger of Mortemer 160n69 Roger of Wendover 221n112, 222n126 Roland 184 Romanus, Cardinal 217

312 Rudolf of Ems 232 Ruotger of Cologne 22 Saladin 226 Sawyer, Peter 50 Saxo Grammaticus 72, 232 Seneca 237n219 Sigebert of Gembloux 228, 229 Sigurd, King of Norway 94 Simon of Tournai 221, 223 Simon Passelewe 241 Snorri Sturluson 55, 57, 58, 85n19, 232 Southern, Sir Richard 1, 2, 4, 53, 54, 72 Steinunn the Old 78 Stephen, St See Stephen I, King of Hungary Stephen, King of England 149, 156–157, 163 Stephen I, King of Hungary 66, 227, 235 Stephen V, Pope 282 Stephen of Lexington 218, 221 Svein Godwineson 164 Sven Estridsen, King of Denmark 59, 82, 150, 171, 175 Sven Forkbeard, King of Denmark, England and Norway 58 Tancred 47 Tannenbaum, Robert 1 Teilo of Llandaff, St 230 Terricus de Colonia 211 Thābit b. Sinān al-Ṣābī 266 Thangbrand 82 Theobald II, King of Navarre 227 Theodoric the Monk 238 Theodosius, Roman Emperor 233 Thibaut d’Aspremont 185, 186, 187n13, 191, 192, 203 Thietmar of Merseburg 15, 22, 24, 25, 55 Thirsk, Joan 250 Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury 220, 230 Thomas of Acre, St 215 Thomas of Savoy 221 Thomas of Sherborne 214 Thomas, Robert Paul 247 Thurstan Goz 154 Tosny family 151 Tostig, Earl of Northumbria 165, 168, 169

Index Of Names Turold, Abbot of Peterborough 174 Uffi, Prince 209 Ugo da Siena 297 Unn the Deep-Minded 78 Urban II, Pope 81, 86 Urse d’Abetot, Sheriff of Worcester 175 Usama Ibn Munqidh 292 Valdemar I, King of Denmark 70, 83–84, 226 Valdemar II, King of Denmark 70, 233 Valdemar IV, King of Denmark 67, 70 Van Laarhoven, Jan 284 Velasco Fernández de Ambía 136 Victor Amadeus II, King of Sardinia 66 Violante of Aragon 128 Vladimir II, Prince of Kiev 70 Wallerstein, Immanuel 247 Walcher, bishop of Durham 178n158 Waleran, Bishop of Beirut 212, 214, 218 Walter de Fontaines 200 Walter de Lacy 174n136, 175 Walter Map 189, 197, 199, 200, 237–238 Walter of St Martin 218 Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria 145, 146, 173–174, 178 Wartislaw VII, Duke of Pomerania 71 William I (the Conqueror), Duke of Normandy and King of England 46, 93, 145, 146, 150n19, 151, 152, 154–162, 166, 170–183, 229 William II (Rufus), King of England 156, 160n68, 161, 162, 172, 176n142, 183 William III, Abbot of Cluny 214 William, Count of Eu 153, 157 William, Count of Evreux 161 William de Warenne 160n67 William Busac 157 William Clito 181 William, Count of Talou 157, 158, 159, 160 William fitz Osbern, Earl of Hereford 146, 150n19, 174 William Marsh 172 William of Abingdon 219 William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris 222 William of Breteuil 161, 162, 179n163 William of Durham 223

313

Index of Names William of Holland 214 William of Jumièges 151, 152, 155, 157, 179n162 William of Malmesbury 81, 236 William of Poitiers 42n53, 145n2, 147n8, 150n19, 152, 156, 158, 159, 160n67, 171n120 William of Sabina, papal legate 83, 84–85, 89 William of Saint-Amour 221 William of Savoy 217 William the Lion, King of Scots 236

Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz 24 Wipo 24 Władysław Odonic, Duke of Poland 106 Widukind of Corvey 15 Wolfred 82 Wormald, Patrick 4, 49 Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester 175 Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester and Arch­ bishop of York 235 Yver, Jean 152

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Index Of Places

Index of Places Cross-references may be to the Index of Names Aachen 18, 20–21, 22–26, 28, 83 Abingdon, Abbey of 134 Africa 9, 279 Al-Andalus See Andalusia Alcántara 123 Aldreth 174 Alençon 163, 181 Aleppo 267 Aljarafe 130 Allariz 136 Al-Mafāza 269 Amarlos 131 America, North 75, 87 United States of 93 Andalusia 123,124, 125, 132, 133, 135, 136, 137, 139, 140, 141, 248, 254 Angers 221 Anjou 53, 152 See also Charles; Fulk Nerra; Geoffrey Martel Aragon 92, 128, 130, 131, 259 See also James I; Violante Arkona, Temple of 83 Armenia 212, 213, 232 Arques 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 172n124, 182 Artois 172 Asia 9, 247, 279 Asti 221, Athens 224, 232, 294 University of 232 Avignon 220 Babylon, Sultan of 226 Baghdad 232, 265, 267, 268, 269, 274 Balearic Islands 254 Balikh 267 Balis 267 Baltic Sea 59, 60, 63 region 53, 57, 83, 91n34, 110, 147 Barcelona 6, 47, 53, Basra 268 Battle Abbey 220

Bavaria 66, 68 See also Henry the Lion Belgium 207, 259 Bergen 69, 82 Bochnia 109, 110, 113, 116, 117, 118, 120 Bohemia 55, 60, 66, 68, 70, 72 See also John Bologna 47, 72, 223, 279 Brandenburg 66 Bremen 82 See also Adam of Bremen; HamburgBremen Breteuil, laws of 46 See also William Brionne 155–157, 160, 161, 162–163, 165, 178, 182 See also Gilbert Brittany 179, 180n170 Buildewas, Abbot of 218 Burgos 126, 259 Burgundy 66 See also Guy; Robert Bury St Edmunds 215 Byzantium 81, 286, 297 See also Alexios I Komnenos; Basil II; Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus; Constantinople; John III; Manuel I Komnenos Calatrava 123 Cambridge 1, 173, 177 Cambridgeshire 173n128, 176 Canterbury 46, 208 Christ Church 38, 207 See also Ælfric; Edmund Rich; Gervase; John Blund; Lanfranc; Thomas Becket Castile 123, 126, 130, 131, 133, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 252, 259 See also Alfonso VI; Alfonso VIII; Alfonso X; Ferdinand III Cerekwica 107 Cerraja 136 Champagne 134 See also Odo Chateau-Gontier 151

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315

Index of Places Châteauneuf 180 Chepstow 174 Chester 168 Chicago 2, 6, 244 China 65, 75, 92, 289 Citeaux 218 Clifford 174 Cluny, Abbey 38 See also Maiolus; William III Cologne 23, 211, 229, 234 See also Bruno; Conrad of Hochstaden; Dietrich; Heribert; Ruotger Compostela 136, 137, 138 Constantinople 227, 278, 280, 285, 286, 288, 291, 296, 297, 298 See also Byzantium Corán 136 Cordoba 125–129, 136, 137 Cotentin 159, 163, 183 Craon 151 Cyprus 134 Czerwińsk 106

East Anglia 40, 173, 175, 176, 178 See also Ralph of Gael Egypt 6, 135, 229, 267, 271 Ely 174, 215, 239 England 2, 20, 33–52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61, 62, 68, 70, 73, 81, 83, 84, 85, 92, 93, 135, 145–150, 160, 163–179, 182, 183 See also Cnut I; Edgar; Edmund Ironside; Edward the Confessor; Harald Harefoot; Hardacnut; Harold Godwineson; Henry I; Henry II; Henry III; John; Stephen; Sven Forkbeard; William I; William II Estonia 83 Eu 157 See also William Euphrates 267 Evesham 157, 175 Evreux 153 See also William Exeter 156, 166, Exmes, castle 153

Dalarna 69 Deerhurst 214 Denmark 55, 57, 58, 59–63, 65, 67–70, 72, 75, 82, 170, 177, 183, 206, 207, 208, 209, 224, 226, 228, 234, 235 See also Christian I; Cnut I; Cnut IV; Harald Bluetooth; Hardacnut; Magnus the Good; Olav Håkonsson; Scandinavia; Sven Estridsen; Sven Forkbeard; Valdemar I; Valdemar II; Valdemar IV Devon 167 Dinan 179, 180n170 Diyala 267 Domfront 156n52, 158, 181 Dover 146, 164, 171 castle 170, 171 Dublin 42n51, 172 Dujayl 267 Dunwich 50 Durham 166, 216 castle 173n131 monks of 215 See also Nicholas of Farnham; Walcher; William

Falaise 153, 154, 155, 158n57 Faroes 87, 88 Fars 267, 271, 274 Fenlands 211 Flanders 166, 167, 178, 214, 258, 259 See also Philip Foigny, Abbey of 233 France 35, 38, 40, 42, 44, 47, 49, 50, 54, 66, 72, 73, 135, 147, 151, 154, 157, 171, 180, 184, 207, 210, 214, 219, 222, 235, 250, 252, 255, 259, 261, 272, 287, 292, 295, 296 See also Henry I; Lothar II; Louis VII; Louis VIII; Louis IX; Philip I; Philip II Francia 11–29, 35, 36, 41, 42, 45, 47, 49, 95, 148, 182, 245, 248, 292 See also Charlemagne; Charles the Bald; Charles the Fat; Charles the Simple; Lothar I; Louis the Child; Louis the Pious Frisia 85, 229 Galway 81 Gascony 220 Gerberoi 180–181

316

Index Of Places

Germany 6, 10, 40, 50, 57, 58, 60, 61, 66, 70, 73, 75, 96, 147, 155, 207, 210, 215, 226, 256, 260 See also Conrad II; Conrad IV; Frederick Barbarossa; Frederick II; Frederick III; Henry II; Henry IV; Otto I; Otto II; Otto III; Otto IV; Philip of Swabia; Glamorgan 175 Gloucestershire 166 Granada 254 Great Yarmouth 220 Greenland 90, 94 Guadalquivir, valley of 129

Isle of Wight 167–168 Irish Sea 168, 172 Italy 6, 47, 73, 147, 210, 215, 235, 250, 253, 255, 256, 259, 260, 282, 289, 291–292, 297 Ivry, castle 152–154, 159, 161–164 See also Rodulf

Hamburg 6, 82 Hamburg-Bremen, Church of 28n73, 60 See also Adalbert; Hartwig; Humbert Hartburn, Church 216 Hastings 167n106 Battle of 43, 44, 93, 166, 171n121 Hereford 165, 168, 170, 215 castle 164, 165n97, 174 See also Ralph of Bernay; Ralph of Maidstone; Ralph of Mantes; Roger; William fitzOsbern Herefordshire 43, 164n93, 173 Hièmois 153 Holstein 226 Holy Land 6, 59, 134, 140, 141, 210, 212–214, 218–219, 222, 226, 228, 230, 232, 234, 293 Holy Roman Empire 66 Hungary 55, 60, 67, 72, 222, 228, 286, 297 See also Stephen I Huntingdon 145n2, 173, 177 Hurley 215

Kenilworth, castle 157 Khabur 267 Khurasan 259 Khuzistan 267, 270 Kirkstead 214 Kirman 271 Kołobrzeg 111, 114 Krakow 297 Kufa 268

Iberian peninsula 80, 86, 91, 123–141, 210, 246, 249, 253, 255, 256, 261, 287 See also Andalusia; Aragon; Barcelona; Castile; Granada; León; Navarre; Niebla; Portugal; Spain; Valencia India 289 Iran 267, 269, 289, 296 Iraq 266–270 Ireland 7n14, 34, 42n51, 44n62, 47, 53, 76–81, 86, 89, 91, 93, 95, 166, 168, 170, 216, 246, 249, 250 See also Muirchetach O’Brien

Jaen 129 Jerez 132 Jerusalem 80, 81, 94, 212, 226, 284, 293 See also Conrad Jibal 269, 270 Judea 83, 296

Laon 22, 229 Las Navas, Battle of 123, 125, 141 Latvia 87 Laval 151 Le Mans 181 León 123, 126, 127n8, 132, 133, 136, 137, 139, 140n31, 252 See also Alfonso VI; Alfonso IX; Alfonso X Liebana 137 Lincoln 173, 211 Livonia 6, 83, 87 Lombardy 85, 229 London 1, 6, 40, 154, 166, 167, 176, 208, 211, 219, 220, 230, Lorenzana, monastery of 140n31 Lotharingia 6, 21–25, 228 See also Charles the Simple; Lothar II Low Countries 54, 257n48 Lubiaz 97, 111, 116 Lucca 292 Lundy Island 172 Lwow 297 Lyon 212, 217, 226

317

Index of Places Maine 151, 177, 181 Mainz 24, 207, 227, 235 See also Christian; Willigis Marseille 134 Mayenne 151 Mayo, County 81 Mecca 215, 289 Medina 289 Mediterranean 42n53, 53, 254, 267, 286, 293 Melón, monastery of 136 Mercia Earls of 166, 168, 172, 175 See also Ælfgar; Offa Mesnada 136 Mesopotamia 266, 267, 268, 270, 289 Metz 134 Council of 281 Miechów 109, 111 Monmouth 174 Montreuil 171, 172 See also Gerbert Mosul 267 Mouliherne, castle 156 Naples 211 Duke of 282 Navarre 66 See also Theobald II Nidarholm, Abbey of 208, 215 Niebla, Kingdom of 132, 136 Northampton 145n2, 174 Northamptonshire 165 North Sea 58, 59 Norway 55–75, 82, 84, 85, 89, 90, 91, 94, 207, 208, 214; 220, 238 See also Cnut I; Håkon Håkonarson; Harald Bluetooth; Harald Finehair; Harald Hardrada; Magnus Eriksson; Magnus the Good; Olav Håkonsson; Olav Haraldsson; Olav Tryggvason; Scandinavia; Sigurd; Sven Forkbeard Norwich 150, 176, 177n154, 179 castle 149, 170, 175, 176n142, 177, 178 See also Alan Beccles; Ralph Nottingham 173 Novgorod 6 Odense 205–208, 240

Orense 136, 137, 139 Oseira, monastery of 137–140 Otero de las Dueñas, monastery of Oxford 1, 212, 221, 223, 236

137

Palestine 86, 248, 278, 295 Paris 47, 83, 179n163, 212, 218, 221, 223, 224, 279, 282, 294 University of 72, 221, 222, 223, 279 See also Étienne Tempier; Odo; William of Auvergne Pays de Caux 158, 183 Pembroke, castle 172 Persia See Iran Peterborough Abbey 174 Chronicle 206 Pevensey 172, 173, 177, 183 Portugal 66, 123, 131, 138, 140, 250, 260 See also Afonso Pforta 96, 121 Pisa 6, 293 Poland 55, 60, 72, 96–122, 234n207, 235, 249, 252, 256, 286 See also Bolesław the Brave; Bolesław the Chaste; Casimir the Great; Casimir the Just; Leszek the Black; Leszek the White; Miesco; Przemysł II; Władysław Odonic Pomerania 68, 110, 111 See also Bogisław II; Casimir; Wartislaw VII Portland 167 Portskewett 43 Princeton 1–3 Prussia 84, 248 See also Frederick I Qāqizān 270 Qazvīn 270 Quedlinburg 17 Rémalard 180 Rennes 179, 180n170 Rheims 11 See also Flodoard; Richer Rhineland 40, 81n7 Risle, river 156

318 Rochester 156, 177, 183 Rome 70, 73, 94, 215, 217, 223, 226, 281, 282, 284, 286, 289, 291–292, 295, 296 St Peter’s 281 See also Brancaleone Rouen 152, 156, 164, 181 See also Eudes; Malger; Robert Rügen, island of 58, 59, 83 Russia 70, 75, 298 St Albans 205–43 See also Egwin; John; Lawrence; Matthew Paris; Nicholas; Otto; Roger of Wendover St Andrews 3, 244 St Aubin-sur-Scie 159 St Ceneri, castle 163 St Denis, Abbot of 185, 214 Sainte-Suzanne, Siege of 181–182 Sandwich 167n104, 168 Santiago 123, 136, 138, 140, 141 See also Juan Arias Santo Toribio, monastery of 137 Sardinia 227, 282 Duke of 227 Saruj 268n7 Savoy 66, 229 See also Thomas; William Saxony 15, 27, 66 Scandinavia 6, 40, 51, 52n94, 53–75 See also Denmark; Iceland; Norway; Sweden Scotland 34, 35, 38, 46, 61, 70, 77, 78, 89 See also Malcolm III; William the Lion Scythia 279 Seville 123–141, 254 See also Isidore Shetland Islands 89, 91 Shiraz 274 Sicily 6, 66, 81, 216, 227, 228, 282, 289 Silesia 98n14, 99, 110, 111, 248 See also Bolesław the Tall; Henry IV (the Righteous); Henry the Bearded Sisar 269 Skała 117 Soghdia 269 Somerset 167 Sorel 180

Index Of Places Southwark 167 Spain 6, 73, 81, 93, 184, 192, 250, 279, 280, 289, 291 See also Iberian peninsula Stade 226 Stamford 39 Stiklestad 73 Stockholm 69 Sulejow 97 Sweden 55, 57, 59–65, 67, 69, 71, 72, 75, 82 See also Gustaf III; Johan I; Magnus Eriksson; Scandinavia Switzerland 207 Syria 267, 271 Tabaristan 270 Tabulata 137–139 Talou 157 Thetford 39, 40 Tierra de Campos 138–140 Tigris, river 265 Tinchebray, battle of 42 Tonbridge 177 Traba, Counts of 136 Trier 18, 228 Tripoli, Count of 234 Trondheim 208 Trzebnica 106, 107, 110, 112 Trzemeszno 117 Turin 221 Tuscany 255 Tynemouth 223 Tyniec 109 Ulster 248 Valencia 211, 254, 259 Val-ès-Dunes 152, 155, 178 Vernon 155 Verona 23 Vexin 164, 182 Vinland 94 Vitré 151 Wąchock 117, 120 Wales 34, 43, 52, 61, 79, 87, 164, 168, 213, 227, 230, 250 See also Gerald; Gruffydd ap Llewelyn

319

Index of Places Warwick 173 Waterford 172 Western Isles 89 Westminster 164 Whaddon 176, 177 Wieliczka 110, 113, 116–119, 121 Wigmore 174 Wisbech 174 Wissant 172 Worcester 39, 168, 175,

Worms 23, 81n7 Wrocław 107 York 39, 42, 49, 165, 166, 173, 178 Yorkshire 169 Zab 267 Zamora 127 Zanjan 270