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A Companion to the Anglo-Norman World

A Companion to the Anglo-Norman World

Christopher Harper-Bill
Elisabeth van Houts
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    A Companion to the Anglo-Norman World
    Book Description:

    With its wealth of information and skilful display, the book is a very useful companion for any traveller through this crowded territory. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW By the time of the Conquest, the Normans had been established in Normandy for over a hundred and fifty years. They had transformed themselves from pagan Northmen into Christian princes; their territories extended from England, southern Italy and Sicily to distant Antioch, and their influence had spread throughout western Europe and the Mediterranean. Duke William's victory at Hastings and the resulting Anglo-Norman union brought England into the mainstream of European history and culture, with far-reaching consequences for Western civilisation. These specially commissioned studies are concerned with the achievements of the cross-Channel realm. They make a major contribution to an understanding of the hundred years that witnessed great change and major developments in English and Norman government and society. There are surveys of the two constituent parts, of Normandy under the Angevin kings, of the place of kingdom and duchy in the politics and culture of the North Sea, and of the parallel Norman achievement in the Mediterranean. There are overviews both of secular administration and of the church, and a study of 'feudalism' and lordship. Within the broad field of cultural history, there are discussions of language, literature, the writing of history, and ecclesiastical architecture. Contributors LESLEY ABRAMS, MATTHEW BENNETT, MARJORIE CHIBNALL, CHRISTOPHER HARPER-BILL, ELISABETH VAN HOUTS, EMMA MASON, RICHARD PLANT, CASSANDRA POTTS, DANIEL POWER, IAN SHORT, ANN WILLIAMS.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-046-3
    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 Illustrations
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. viii-xi)
  5. Maps
    (pp. xii-xvi)
  6. Preface
    (pp. xvii-xix)
    C.H-B. and E.v.H
  7. 1 England in the Eleventh Century
    (pp. 1-18)

    Twelfth-century historians differed as to which of the Old English kings was most worthy of admiration. For William of Malmesbury, it was Edgar, ‘the honour and delight of Englishmen’, who experienced ‘no treachery from his own people and no destruction from foreigners’, and in the chronicles of whose reign ‘scarcely a year is passed over . . . without his doing his country some notable and necessary service and without his founding some new monastery’.¹ Eadmer of Canterbury agreed, describing Edgar as ‘that most glorious king . . . a devoted servant of God, [who] when foreign invaders surged in...

  8. 2 Normandy, 911–1144
    (pp. 19-42)

    In the early tenth century, a band of Vikings settled along the Seine River in northwestern France and laid the foundation for the duchy of Normandy. The term ‘Viking’ was rarely used in medieval Europe: instead, these unwelcome seafarers from Scandinavia were called by the Franks ‘Northmen’ (northmanni), a word which evoked fear and distrust in the minds of Europeans. Northmen were those who plundered churches, burned villages and captured Christians to be slaves. Consequently, when a sizable group of Northmen or, as they came to be called, Normans, decided to make their home down-river from Paris, they were viewed...

  9. 3 England, Normandy and Scandinavia
    (pp. 43-62)

    Normandy’s origins lie in the context of Frankish politics of the ninth century, when competing Carolingian kings and princes struggled for power, and Viking armies preyed on centres of wealth in uncoordinated, irregular, but disabling attacks, from northern Britain to the Mediterranean. Hoping to employ poachers as gamekeepers, if only temporarily, embattled native rulers granted land and some kind of authority to Viking leaders in Frisia, Francia, and the British Isles, but only Rollo’s early tenth-century settlement on the Seine survived; it was transformed by his descendants into the mighty political player which, from the second half of the eleventh...

  10. 4 Angevin Normandy
    (pp. 63-86)

    The years in which the ‘Plantagenet’ counts of Anjou ruled Normandy (1144–1204) are usually regarded as a period of Norman decline.¹ In 1144 the Angevin conquest of Normandy deprived the duchy of the dominant place which it had hitherto enjoyed within the Anglo-Normanregnum, and in 1204 the dukes of Normandy were ousted from the province completely. Thereafter the leaderless duchy became a supine dominion of the Capetian kings of France. The Normans retained a strong sense of provincial identity after 1204 and occasionally asserted their political weight, securing their famous charter of liberties, theChartes aux Normands, during...

  11. 5 The Normans in the Mediterranean
    (pp. 87-102)

    At Christmas 1099, Bohemond, Prince of Antioch, completed the pilgrimage upon which he had set out four years earlier by praying in the church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. The city had been captured by the First Crusaders nine months earlier while Bohemond was still securing control over his new territories in northern Syria. Up to the time of the capture of Antioch he had been one of the main leaders of the crusade. He was by descent a Norman, his grandfather Tancred of Hauteville having a quiver-full of sons who sought their fortunes outside the duchy. Bohemond’s father,...

  12. 6 Historical Writing
    (pp. 103-122)

    Normandy and England in the central Middle Ages are exceptionally well provided with chronicles, even though their composition, as we shall see, tended to occur in clusters, leaving gaps for periods of great upheaval and trauma.¹ For example, there are few contemporary indigenous reports on the settlement of the vikings in Normandy c. 900 or on the conquest of England in 1066 or on the ‘loss of Normandy’ in 1204. Conquests are usually reported by the conquerors and not by the victims, while defeats are usually digested over a long time and the victims’ views do not emerge until the...

  13. 7 Feudalism and Lordship
    (pp. 123-134)

    The recent trend in Anglo-Norman studies to avoid using 1066 as a sharp dividing line has made possible a much broader and more historical treatment of eleventh-century social change.¹ This has involved a refreshing new look at feudal institutions. A long tradition dating from at least the work of Spelman in the seventeenth century to that of J. H. Round in the nineteenth has led to the dominance, first of the legal, then of the military aspect, of ‘feudalism’. This view still held the field when both Pocock and Douglas, in discussing Spelman’s definitions of ‘feudal custom’ and ‘feudal law’...

  14. 8 Administration and Government
    (pp. 135-164)

    John Le Patourel, in a classic survey of the governance and administration of the Anglo-Normanregnum, published in 1979, argued that, between 1066 and 1154, Norman practices were introduced into England to a considerable extent, but that this gradually tailed off, more especially after 1154. The ‘Norman Empire’, which collapsed in the 1140s, and its Angevin successor, were two distinct political constructions. The Angevin territorial complex, besides being much the larger, was ruled by a different dynasty, and its distinctive government was based on different principles. In the time of the ‘Norman Empire’, England and Normandy were usually governed jointly...

  15. 9 The Anglo-Norman Church
    (pp. 165-190)

    The history of the church in England in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries was deeply influenced by the aftermath of two revolutionary events. The Norman Conquest was no less dramatic in its impact on ecclesiastical life than in the changes which it wrought in secular society.¹ The church, like the land, was under new management, and the new French élite introduced important organisational changes based on continental models. Even more significant than the Norman take-over of the Old English church, however, was the rise to power at Rome of a radical group who shattered age-old concepts of the...

  16. 10 Language and Literature
    (pp. 191-214)

    As Haskins in his now classic study of the Renaissance of the twelfth century reminds us, too close a focus on Latin obscures the fact that, over and above the revival of learning with which it is synonymous, the twelfth century was also ‘an age of new creation in literature and art beyond the mere imitation of ancient models’.¹ Notwithstanding his own almost exclusive preoccupation with the achievements of the monastic and ecclesiastic intelligentsia, Haskins was well aware of how profoundly the secular world was also affected by the general broadening of horizons and the renewed intellectual vitality which characterised...

  17. 11 Ecclesiastical Architecture, c. 1050 to c. 1200
    (pp. 215-254)

    The one hundred and fifty years, from about 1050 to 1200, which will be briefly reviewed here was a period of intense architectural activity and change, from the pre-romanesque of Anglo-Saxon England, to the developed gothic styles of c. 1200. While the architecture of Normandy followed a relatively stable course through this period, that of Englandwas convulsed in 1066, one of the clearest signs we have of the profound cultural change brought about by the Conquest. While the conquering Normans imported a style developed in the duchy, they also brought England into the wider orbit of European architecture, and the...

  18. Further Reading
    (pp. 255-265)
  19. Genealogies
    (pp. 266-271)
  20. Time Lines
    (pp. 272-274)
  21. Index
    (pp. 275-298)
  22. Back Matter
    (pp. 299-299)