Morality and Masculinity in the Carolingian Empire

Overview

What did it mean to be a Frankish nobleman in an age of reform? How could Carolingian lay nobles maintain their masculinity and their social position, while adhering to new and stricter moral demands by reformers concerning behaviour in war, sexual conduct and the correct use of power? This book explores the complex interaction between Christian moral ideals and social realities, and between religious reformers and the lay political elite they addressed. It uses the numerous texts addressed to a lay audience ...

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Overview

What did it mean to be a Frankish nobleman in an age of reform? How could Carolingian lay nobles maintain their masculinity and their social position, while adhering to new and stricter moral demands by reformers concerning behaviour in war, sexual conduct and the correct use of power? This book explores the complex interaction between Christian moral ideals and social realities, and between religious reformers and the lay political elite they addressed. It uses the numerous texts addressed to a lay audience (including lay mirrors, secular poetry, political polemic, historical writings and legislation) to examine how Biblical and patristic moral ideas were reshaped to become compatible with the realities of noble life in the Carolingian empire. This innovative analysis of Carolingian moral norms demonstrates how gender interacted with political and religious thought to create a distinctive Frankish elite culture, presenting a new picture of early medieval masculinity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'It is a welcome addition to a field of scholarship that rarely discusses the Frankish Empire, preferring instead either to end studies in late antiquity or to begin with the Gregorian reforms. Stone's monograph is particularly impressive in its ability to reconstruct a general sense of prevailing cultural attitudes from diverse sources without falling into the trap of simplifying and harmonizing them. Moreover, she successfully integrates her investigation into both moral attitudes and questions of masculinity in such a manner that the two potentially divergent topics enrich one another, rather than cause a lack of focus. Stone's conclusions are as insightful as they are reasonable ... Scholars working on a variety of subjects will find the work a useful read, while specialists will appreciate the reappraisal of existing theories and the development of original points of interest.' Erin Thomas Dailey, German History
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Rachel Stone is Departmental Library Cataloguer in the Department of Coins and Medals at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Moral texts and lay audiences; 3. Warfare; 4. Imagining power; 5. Central power; 6. Personal power; 7. Power and wealth; 8. Marriage; 9. Sex; 10. Men and morality; Bibliography.

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