The Crisis of the Twelfth Century

Author: Thomas N. Bisson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400874319
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Medieval civilization came of age in thunderous events like the Norman Conquest and the First Crusade. Power fell into the hands of men who imposed coercive new lordships in quest of nobility. Rethinking a familiar history, Thomas Bisson explores the circumstances that impelled knights, emperors, nobles, and churchmen to infuse lordship with social purpose. Bisson traces the origins of European government to a crisis of lordship and its resolution. King John of England was only the latest and most conspicuous in a gallery of bad lords who dominated the populace instead of ruling it. Yet, it was not so much the oppressed people as their tormentors who were in crisis. The Crisis of the Twelfth Century suggests what these violent people—and the outcries they provoked—contributed to the making of governments in kingdoms, principalities, and towns.

Simon V of Montfort and Baronial Government 1195 1218

Author: G. E. M. Lippiatt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198805136
Format: PDF, Docs
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Dissenter from the Fourth Crusade, disseised earl of Leicester, leader of the Albigensian Crusade, prince of southern France: Simon of Montfort led a remarkable career of ascent from mid-level French baron to semi-independent count before his violent death before the walls of Toulouse in 1218. Through the vehicle of the crusade, Simon cultivated autonomous power in the liminal space between competing royal lordships in southern France in order to build his own principality. This first English biographical study of his life examines the ways in which Simon succeeded and failed in developing this independence in France, England, the Midi, and on campaign to Jerusalem. Simon's familial, social, and intellectual connexions shaped his conceptions of political order, which he then implemented in his conquests. By analysing contemporary narrative, scholastic, and documentary evidence-including a wealth of archival material-this volume argues that Simon's career demonstrates the vitality of baronial independence in the High Middle Ages, despite the emergence of centralised royal bureaucracies. More importantly, Simon's experience shows that barons themselves adopted methods of government that reflected a concern for accountability, public order, and contemporary reform ideals. This study therefore marks an important entry in the debate about baronial responsibility in medieval political development, as well as providing the most complete modern account of the life of this important but oft-overlooked crusader.

The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity

Author: John H. Arnold
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191015016
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity takes as its subject the beliefs, practices, and institutions of the Christian Church between 400 and 1500AD. It addresses topics ranging from early medieval monasticism to late medieval mysticism, from the material wealth of the Church to the spiritual exercises through which certain believers might attempt to improve their souls. Each chapter tells a story, but seeks also to ask how and why 'Christianity' took particular forms at particular moments in history, paying attention to both the spiritual and otherwordly aspects of religion, and the material and political contexts in which they were often embedded. This Handbook is a landmark academic collection that presents cutting-edge interpretive perspectives on medieval religion for a wide academic audience, drawing together thirty key scholars in the field from the United States, the UK, and Europe. Notably, the Handbook is arranged thematically, and focusses on an analytical, rather than narrative, approach, seeking to demonstrate the variety, change, and complexity of religion throughout this long period, and the numerous different ways in which modern scholarship can approach it. While providing a very wide-ranging view of the subject, it also offers an important agenda for further study in the field.

States of War

Author: David William Bates
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231528663
Format: PDF, Kindle
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We fear that the growing threat of violent attack, whether from terrorism or other sources, has upset the balance between existential concepts of political power, which emphasize security, and traditional notions of constitutional limits meant to protect civil liberties. We worry that constitutional states cannot, during a time of war, terror, and extreme crisis, maintain legality and preserve civil rights and freedoms. David W. Bates allays these concerns by revisiting the theoretical origins of the modern constitutional state, which, he argues, recognized and made room for tensions among law, war, and the social order. We traditionally associate the Enlightenment with the taming of absolutist sovereign power through the establishment of a legal state based on the rights of individuals. In his critical rereading, Bates shows instead that Enlightenment thinkers conceived of political autonomy in a systematic, theoretical way. Focusing on the nature of foundational violence, war, and existential crises, eighteenth-century thinkers understood law and constitutional order not as a constraint on political power but as the logical implication of that primordial force. Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development. Following an analysis of seminal works by seventeenth-century natural-law theorists, Bates reviews the major canonical thinkers of constitutional theory (Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau) from the perspective of existential security and sovereign power. Countering Carl Schmitt's influential notion of the autonomy of the political, Bates demonstrates that Enlightenment thinkers understood the autonomous political sphere as a space of law protecting individuals according to their political status, not as mere members of a historically contingent social order.

Legalism

Author: Fernanda Pirie
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191025933
Format: PDF, Kindle
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'Community' and 'justice' recur in anthropological, historical, and legal scholarship, yet as concepts they are notoriously slippery. Historians and lawyers look to anthropologists as 'community specialists', but anthropologists often avoid the concept through circumlocution: although much used (and abused) by historians, legal thinkers, and political philosophers, the term remains strikingly indeterminate and often morally overdetermined. 'Justice', meanwhile, is elusive, alternately invoked as the goal of contemporary political theorizing, and wrapped in obscure philosophical controversy. A conceptual knot emerges in much legal and political thought between law, justice, and community, but theories abound, without any agreement over concepts. The contributors to this volume use empirical case studies to unpick threads of this knot. Local codes from Anglo-Saxon England, north Africa, and medieval Armenia indicate disjunctions between community boundaries and the subjects of local rules and categories; processes of justice from early modern Europe to eastern Tibet suggest new ways of conceptualizing the relationship between law and justice; and practices of exile that recur throughout the world illustrate contingent formulations of community. In the first book in the series, Legalism: Anthropology and History, law was addressed through a focus on local legal categories as conceptual tools. Here this approach is extended to the ideas and ideals of justice and community. Rigorous cross-cultural comparison allows the contributors to avoid normative assumptions, while opening new avenues of inquiry for lawyers, anthropologists, and historians alike.

Lost Colony

Author: Tonio Andrade
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140083953X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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During the seventeenth century, Holland created the world's most dynamic colonial empire, outcompeting the British and capturing Spanish and Portuguese colonies. Yet, in the Sino-Dutch War--Europe's first war with China--the Dutch met their match in a colorful Chinese warlord named Koxinga. Part samurai, part pirate, he led his generals to victory over the Dutch and captured one of their largest and richest colonies--Taiwan. How did he do it? Examining the strengths and weaknesses of European and Chinese military techniques during the period, Lost Colony provides a balanced new perspective on long-held assumptions about Western power, Chinese might, and the nature of war. It has traditionally been asserted that Europeans of the era possessed more advanced science, technology, and political structures than their Eastern counterparts, but historians have recently contested this view, arguing that many parts of Asia developed on pace with Europe until 1800. While Lost Colony shows that the Dutch did indeed possess a technological edge thanks to the Renaissance fort and the broadside sailing ship, that edge was neutralized by the formidable Chinese military leadership. Thanks to a rich heritage of ancient war wisdom, Koxinga and his generals outfoxed the Dutch at every turn. Exploring a period when the military balance between Europe and China was closer than at any other point in modern history, Lost Colony reassesses an important chapter in world history and offers valuable and surprising lessons for contemporary times.

The Medieval Way of War

Author: Gregory I. Halfond
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 147241960X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Few historians have argued so forcefully or persuasively as Bernard S. Bachrach for the study of warfare as not only worthy of scholarly attention, but demanding of it. In his many publications Bachrach has established unequivocally the relevance of military institutions and activity for an understanding of medieval European societies, polities, and mentalities. In so doing, as much as any scholar of his generation, he has helped to define the status quaestionis for the field of medieval military history. The Medieval Way of War: Studies in Medieval Military History in Honor of Bernard S. Bachrach pays tribute to its honoree by gathering in a single volume seventeen original studies from an international roster of leading experts in the military history of medieval Europe. Ranging chronologically from Late Antiquity through the Later Middle Ages (ca. AD 300-1500), and with a broad geographical scope stretching from the British Isles to the Middle East, these diverse studies address an array of critical themes and debates relevant to the conduct of war in medieval Europe. These themes include the formation and implementation of military grand strategies; the fiscal, material, and administrative resources that underpinned the conduct of war in medieval Europe; and religious, legal, and artistic responses to military violence. Collectively, these seventeen studies embrace the interdisciplinarity and topical diversity intrinsic to Bachrach’s research. Additionally, they strongly echo his conviction that the study of armed conflict is indispensable for an accurate and comprehensive understanding of medieval European history.