Reframing the Feudal Revolution: Political and Social Transformation Between Marne and Moselle, <EM>c</EM>.800?<EM>c</EM>.1100

Overview

The profound changes that took place between 800 and 1100 in the transition from Carolingian to post-Carolingian Europe have long been the subject of vigorous historical controversy. Looking beyond the notion of a 'Feudal Revolution', this book reveals that a radical shift in the patterns of social organisation did occur in this period, but as a continuation of processes unleashed by Carolingian reform, rather than Carolingian political failure. Focusing on the Frankish lands between the rivers Marne and Moselle,...
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Reframing the Feudal Revolution

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Overview

The profound changes that took place between 800 and 1100 in the transition from Carolingian to post-Carolingian Europe have long been the subject of vigorous historical controversy. Looking beyond the notion of a 'Feudal Revolution', this book reveals that a radical shift in the patterns of social organisation did occur in this period, but as a continuation of processes unleashed by Carolingian reform, rather than Carolingian political failure. Focusing on the Frankish lands between the rivers Marne and Moselle, Charles West explores the full range of available evidence, including letters, chronicles, estate documents, archaeological excavations and liturgical treatises, to track documentary and social change. He shows how Carolingian reforms worked to formalise interaction across the entire social spectrum, and that the new political and social formations apparent from the later eleventh century should be seen as long-term consequence of this process.
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Editorial Reviews

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"The case is made for specialists, but the depth and subtlety of its analysis give it much wider relevance. West's argument … is scrupulously conducted … it bears forcefully on many central issues, including the nature of feudalism and the dynamics of papal reform. Its reconciliation of the tension between continuity and change which is at the centre of this debate, as of so many others, shows how much has been lost in the hardening of a division between the early and the central Middle Ages. It evokes an even larger debate by implying that the European future was built not on the achievements of the Romans but on starting again at a level of society which they had failed to penetrate."
Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Charles West is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Sheffield.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Parameters of Carolingian Society: 1. Institutional integration; 2. Networks of inequality; 3. Carolingian co-ordinations; Part II. The Long Tenth Century, c.880–c.1030: 4. The ebbing of royal power; 5. New hierarchies; Part III. The Exercise of Authority through Property Rights, c.1030–1130: 6. The banality of power; 7. Fiefs, homage, and the 'investiture quarrel'; 8. Upper Lotharingia and Champagne around 1100: unity and diversity; Conclusion; Bibliography.
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