Unjust Seizure: Conflict,Interest,and Authority in an Early Medieval Society

Overview

Most scholarship in English on the political and social order of early medieval Europe concentrates on the Western Frankish regions. Warren Brown shifts the focus to the East, concentrating on conflicts and their resolutions to learn how a central authority could affect local societies in the Middle Ages.Brown delves into the rich archival materials of eighth- and ninth-century Bavaria, exploring how Bavarians handled conflicts both before and after the absorption of their duchy into the empire of Charlemagne. ...
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Overview

Most scholarship in English on the political and social order of early medieval Europe concentrates on the Western Frankish regions. Warren Brown shifts the focus to the East, concentrating on conflicts and their resolutions to learn how a central authority could affect local societies in the Middle Ages.Brown delves into the rich archival materials of eighth- and ninth-century Bavaria, exploring how Bavarians handled conflicts both before and after the absorption of their duchy into the empire of Charlemagne. The ability to follow specific cases in remarkable detail allows Brown to depict the ways the conquered population reacted to the imposition of a new central authority; how that authority and its institutions were able to function in this far-flung outpost of Charlemagne's realm; and how the relationship between royal authority and local processes developed as the Frankish empire unraveled under Charlemagne's heirs.By drawing on the recent work of anthropologists and political scientists on topics such as dispute resolution and the dynamics of conquest and colonization, Brown considers issues larger than the procedures for handling conflict in the early Middle Ages: How could a ruler exercise power without the coercive resources available to the modern state? In what ways can a people respond to military conquest?
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brown has made a helpful comparative contribution to this literature."—Choice, October 2001, Vol. 39, No. 2

"Brown's book contributes to the history of the Carolingian period. In addition, his insistence on looking beyond the official records of dispute settlement to uncover deeper realities provides insight for historians of legal history and regional subculture in medieval societies."—Demetrius Glover, Purdue University. History, Vol. 30, No. 2

"Brown applies the insights of recent studies on disputing to his Bavarian material with intelligence and finesse. . . . In enriching our knowledge of disputing in the early Middle Ages, Brown has also added to our understanding of the Carolingian's power in action and of the regional societies that constituted their empire."—Julia M. H. Smith, University of St. Andrews, Speculum, July 2003

"The author does a good job of linking his findings with those who have written about dispute settlement in the early Middle Ages."—Chris Radding, Michigan State University, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, XXXIII:3, Winter 2003

"Brown's book constitutes an important addition to the distinguished tradition of studies of the dynamics of early medieval societies; it is fitting that it should appear as one of the first volumes in an exciting and well-produced new Cornell series Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past under the editorship of Barbara Rosenwein, one of the founders of the charter-based approach."—Matthew Innes, Birbeck College, English Historical Review, September 2002

"This is all a first book ought to be. It engages in a running scholarly debate, contributes material from a time and area previously under-represented there, and subjects the results to precise scrutiny and imaginative analysis. . . . Unjust Seizure is an exemplary first book of the kind that promises its author a scholarly career full of importance and interest."—Paul R. Hyams, Medieval Review, September 2002

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Warren Brown
Warren Brown
Warren Brown has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, and a J.D. and master’s degree from The George Washington University. After establishing a career in health education and law, he realized his calling was in the kitchen and starting baking. In 2002 he opened his bakery, CakeLove, and LoveCafe followed in 2003. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Table of Contents

Maps
Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Conflict in Agilolfing Bavaria 30
Interlude: The Transition to Carolingian Bavaria 68
Ch. 2 Disputing under the Carolingians, 791-811 73
Ch. 3 The Nature of Authority in Carolingian Bavaria: The Example of Arn of Salzburg 102
Ch. 4 A Subculture of Compromise 124
Ch. 5 Disputing under the Carolingians, 812-835 140
Ch. 6 Disputing under the Carolingians, 836-854: The Art of the Deal 166
Conclusion 186
Bibliography 211
Index 221
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