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Rulers and Ruled in Frontier Catalonia, 880-1010

Rulers and Ruled in Frontier Catalonia, 880-1010: Pathways of Power

Jonathan Jarrett
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 220
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  • Book Info
    Rulers and Ruled in Frontier Catalonia, 880-1010
    Book Description:

    A frontier both between Christianity and Islam and between Francia and the Iberian Peninsula, the region that later became Catalonia was at the heart of the demographic and cultural expansion of the Carolingian empire between the ninth and twelfth centuries. Through the use of charters to generate new ways of looking at medieval history, the author traces previously hidden social networks in this complex and fragmented society; webs of association stretched from counts, the Church and even kings to the ambitious and the locally powerful, the pioneering and the humble, and the standing populations in areas newly brought under government. He builds up a picture of how power was mediated from ruler to subject, and shows how the governing elite mobilised associations and used intermediaries to establish pathways of power, to circumvent their opponents and to secure friendship and mutual cooperation. However, the focus is equally on the smaller histories of the men and women on the land, bringing many ordinary people to life. Dr Jonathan Jarrett is Departmental Lecturer in the University of Oxford and a Career Development Fellow at Queen's College.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-922-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. List of Maps
    (pp. vii-vii)
  5. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-vii)
  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-viii)
    Jonathan Jarrett
  7. Authorial Note
    (pp. ix-ix)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. x-xii)
  9. Introduction: Catalonia and the Question
    (pp. 1-22)

    The visitor to present-day Catalonia cannot go far before encountering the Catalan flag. As well as flying from poles, its red and yellow stripes start out at the observer from where they have been painted on walls, on roadside rocks, on empty hoardings and, in one impressive example that I saw in 2007, sixty feet high up the cliffside beneath a viaduct on the road between Hostalric and Arbúcies. It usually occurs with a strident legend, which visitors will see again and again: ‘Catalunya no es Espanya!’

    The official suppression of the Catalan language under Franco means that this slogan...

  10. 1 Vallfogona and the Vall de Sant Joan: a Community in the Grip of Change
    (pp. 23-72)

    An obvious point from which to start exploring both grand and individual histories in late-Carolingian Catalonia, because of its detail and the established context in which it can be placed, is the cloister of Sant Joan de Ripoll, known since the eleventh century as Sant Joan de les Abadesses.¹ Now a parish church, it is sited in the Ripoll valley, slightly further up the Ter than its sister foundation, Santa Maria. Unlike that house, Sant Joan has left a considerable part of its documentation.² From a sixteenth-century inventory of the archive, which is preserved in the first volume of the...

  11. 2 Three Neighbours of St Peter: Malla, l’Esquerda and Gurb
    (pp. 73-128)

    The Vall de Sant Joan and Vallfogona demonstrate the way in which a powerful interest could make its mark on a community. On the other hand, as the presence of Count Oliba and hismilesSanç at the edge signifies, the situation of the area in Sant Joan’s shadow was not usual. Especially on the frontier, historians have come to expect that most areas would have been organised according to the needs of military defence, around castles and towers; such organisation, in the form of the castle of Milany or the comital holdings to the north and west of the...

  12. 3 Power with a Name: the Rulers of the March
    (pp. 129-166)

    The Vicars Guifré and Ansulf are men who could be considered by some as holding a public authority, delegated from the count through the patronage that gave them theirbeneficiaor castles. The etymology of their titles implies such delegation: thevicarii, local substitutes for the count, and further up, viscounts, deputies for the count. Even the counts derived their title from a notional companionship with the distant king. These are ideas of power external to the March, imported with the Franks, if not, as in cases like the offices ofsaioor of judge, with the Visigoths.¹ They are...

  13. Conclusion
    (pp. 167-176)

    From Gurb in the 880s and Sant Joan de les Abadesses in the 900s, to the men who saw Borrell II’s will carried out in 993 and went on to attend the gatherings of his sons, a complex of paths has been taken through the evidence of Carolingian Catalonia’s frontier counties. We have read many of the promised micro-histories, heard the voices of scribes and the instigators of what they wrote as recorded in the documents that they made, and most of all seen the pervasiveness of the connections that this study set out to examine. Whether the connections are...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 177-196)
  15. Index
    (pp. 197-208)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 209-209)