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Order and Innovation in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honor of Joseph R. Strayer

Order and Innovation in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honor of Joseph R. Strayer

Bruce McNab
Teofilo F. Ruiz
Copyright Date: 1976
Pages: 594
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    Order and Innovation in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honor of Joseph R. Strayer
    Book Description:

    The Middle Ages were for many years generally viewed as a period when faith and order supported a rigid society. By painstaking archival research, historians such as Joseph R. Strayer and the contributors to this volume have gradually replaced this view with a regard for the period as a time of great intellectual diversity.

    These essays, divided into five groups, probe the themes of order and innovation as they appear in medieval government; finance; trade and urban life; social arrangements; and aspects of the personality and goals of the individual. The contributors focus on England, France, and the Mediterranean from about the eleventh to about the sixteenth century.

    Contributors: Frederic Kreisler, Charles Radding, Giles Constable, William Bowsky, John Freed, Phillippe Wolff, Thomas Bisson, Richard Kaeuper, John Benton, Archibald Lewis, William Jordan, Rhiman Rotz, Robert Baker, Robert Lopez, Teofilo Ruiz, Raphael DeSoignie, Bennett Hill, Frederic Cheyette, Jan Rogozinski, Bruce McNab, Lester Little, Robert Lerner, Elizabeth Brown, Charles Wood, and Gaines Post.

    Originally published in 1976.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6967-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    W.C.J., B.M. and T.F.R.

    The Middle Ages is a period which has been traditionally associated in the popular mind with static qualities. Faith and order, the twin pillars of Respublica Christiana, were once thought to have supported a rigid society which remained sterile and introspective during the long centuries between the end of classical civilization and the beginning of the Renaissance. This interpretation of history was largely discredited by the time Joseph R. Strayer began his scholarly career. But the replacement of it by a universal regard for the period as a time of great intellectual diversity and social vitality has been due in...

  4. Part I. Organization and Administration in Medieval Government

    • Chapter 1 Domesday Book and the Anglo-Norman Synthesis
      (pp. 3-16)
      Frederic F. Kreisler

      Domesday criticism has made remarkable advances since J. H. Round revolutionized the field with the publication of Feudal England in 1895. Among the most significant contributions were a series of discoveries demonstrating the extreme complexity of the administrative process employed in the making of Domesday Book. Consequently it has become clear that Round and his followers held a simplistic view of the nature of the "original returns" to the Domesday Inquest. He assumed the existence of a huge set of returns arranged in hundredal form, and he believed that these constituted the sole sources for "Domesday Book in which their...

    • Chapter 2 Cluniac Administration and Administrators in the Twelfth Century
      (pp. 17-30)
      Giles Constable

      The myth of the administrative centralization of the Cluniac order dies hard. Seventy years ago, Dom Besse in his pioneering articles on the government of the order of Cluny, said that the abbey and the order lived under a monarchical régime. "The abbot of Cluny was invested with a legislative, judicial, and administrative power over his monastery and over the entire order. The order was for him only an extension of the abbey."¹ This opinion has been uncritically echoed and generalized by countless later writers, until the view that the Cluniac order was highly centralized--"a great seigneurie developing toward a...

    • Chapter 3 The Friars and the Delineation of State Boundaries in the Thirteenth Century
      (pp. 31-40)
      John B. Freed

      During the course of the thirteenth century, as Professor Strayer has shown,¹ medieval lawyers advanced the theory that the authority of the dominant government in any territory extended without diminution to a definite frontier. The formulation of this theory of limited sovereignty within fixed boundaries was a crucial step in the evolution of the modern state. In the early middle ages a regnum had been composed of those peoples who recognized, wherever they happened to live, a specific dynasty as their royal family. The lawyers' theory helped to establish the political community in a distinct territorial space. While the new...

    • Chapter 4 The Administrators of the Aids in Normandy, 1360-1380
      (pp. 41-54)
      Charles M. Radding

      For a long time historians have known that the ransom of John II the Good marked a major turning-point in the history of French royal taxation.¹ The revenues from the sales taxes collected initially for the ransom were soon diverted to military and other uses, relieving the government of the constant need to discover new sources of income for the first time since the end of the thirteenth century. The position of the crown was further strengthened in 1363 when an assembly granted a hearth tax to pay the wages of the royal army. No term was fixed for this...

    • Chapter 5 Italian Diplomatic History: A Case for the Smaller Commune
      (pp. 55-74)
      William M. Bowsky

      In recent decades much historical research has been devoted to communal Italy in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. Most has concentrated upon socio-economic, socio-political, or demographic issues, with a few examinations of cultural history.² Except for the discussion of the crucial role of foreign relations in Hans Baron's extremely valuable thesis on the concept of civic humanism³ diplomacy and foreign policy have almost been relegated to the dustbin of Italian communal history. And were it not for the occasional incursions of Holy Roman Emperors into the Italian peninsula we might almost wonder whether foreign affairs has been left largely...

  5. Part II. Finance:: Money and Prices

    • Chapter 6 The Significance of the "Feudal Period" in the Monetary History of Europe
      (pp. 77-86)
      Philippe Wolff

      The so-called feudal period of monetary history does not enjoy a high reputation among French historians. To begin with, Charlemagne, it would seem, deserves the greatest praise for his actions. He restored the regalian monopoly over coinage (although, to be sure, he followed the example of Pippin the Short); he strictly limited the activities and profits of the moneyers; he made supervision easier by reducing the number of mints until, by his order, all coinage was to be struck at the Palace; and he issued "heavy" deniers (1 gr. 7) of pure silver, carefully designed, whose type and inscription conformed...

    • Chapter 7 Credit, Prices and Agrarian Production in Catalonia: a Templar Account (1180-1188)
      (pp. 87-102)
      Thomas N. Bisson

      On October 8, 1180 the Templars of Palau-solità,¹ in the Vallès north of Barcelona, lent Guillèm de Torre and his wife Estefania 120 morabetins, for what purpose we do not know. The debtors pledged revenues from their lands in the vicinity of Palau toward repayment, making allowance for a deduction in grain to compensate the Templars for their labor, and in associated acts of piety Guillèm willed his body, horse, and arms to Palau and donated his tithe on their local demesne to the brothers of that house.² The written evidence of these events would hardly call for comment were...

    • Chapter 8 Royal Finance and the Crisis of 1297
      (pp. 103-110)
      Richard W. Kaeuper

      In his sweeping analysis of English constitutional development, Bishop Stubbs accorded the crisis of 1297 a place of special honor and importance.¹ It was, in his view, a critical turning-point in the slow evolution of the characteristic English political order based on a limited monarchy watched over by a popular parliament. Edward I's work brought to completion the interaction between popular and royal forces which could be followed back in time to the efforts of Simon de Montfort, to the Magna Carta barons, to the solid achievements of Henry I and Henry II, and even to the necessarily harsh Norman...

    • Chapter 9 The Accounts of Cepperello da Prato for the Tax on Nouveaux Acquêts in the Bailliage of Troyes
      (pp. 111-136)
      John F. Benton

      In the opening novella of the Decameron Boccaccio tells in colorful detail of the hypocritical deathbed confession of Ser Cepperello da Prato, known in France as Ser Ciapelletto. According to the tale, an unscrupulous Italian notary--a trusted agent of the Florentine banker Musciatto Guidi--died in Burgundy after making a false confession which created an illusion of sanctity.² Research in the nineteenth century confirmed the existence of an Italian financial agent in France named Cepperello da Prato, though not the story itself. In 1885 the Florentine historian and archivist Cesare Paoli published four documents which show that Cepperello acted as royal...

  6. Part III. Medieval Trade and Urban Life

    • Chapter 10 Northern European Sea Power and the Straits of Gibraltar, 1031-1350 A.D.
      (pp. 139-164)
      Archibald R. Lewis

      One of the more important developments of the later Middle Ages took place between 1250 and 1350 when Genoese, Venetian, and Catalan galleys, joined some decades later by those of Florence, began to sail directly, on regular schedules, from the Mediterranean to northern European ports like Southampton and Bruges, thus linking Northern Atlantic waters with those of the Mediterranean. In doing so they not only helped to bring about the demise of the Fairs of Champagne but also played a part in increasing that widespread Italian domination of western European commerce and business which was such a feature of the...

    • Chapter 11 Supplying Aigues-Mortes for the Crusade of 1248: The Problem of Restructuring Trade
      (pp. 165-172)
      William C. Jordan

      All medieval villages and their lords made charges for the privilege of entering or selling goods in their marketplaces; often there were additional levies on transported goods, personnel, and capital. Whether these charges--hallowed by custom--are called tolls, sales taxes, or péages, they were an omnipresent condition of medieval commerce. When, in preparation for the crusade of 1248, Louis IX (Saint Louis) decided to promote the development of the Mediterranean port of Aigues-Mortes as an embarkation point for his army,¹ he was faced with an entrenched system of customary obligations and financial requirements which nearly frustrated his intention. To put it...

    • Chapter 12 Castilian Merchants in England, 1248-1350
      (pp. 173-186)
      Teofilo F. Ruiz

      The history of the commercial relations between Castile and England in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries has not received sufficient study. Although general works on the history of trade and economic histories of England and Castile point to these relations, they do not examine them in detail.¹ For example, L. F. Salzman's English Trade in the Middle Ages includes a substantial number of references which show Castilian merchants actively trading in England,² but his book fails to clarify how important this commercial activity was.

      In addition to the secondary works mentioned above, we must consider the wealth of information...

    • Chapter 13 Proxy in Medieval Trade
      (pp. 187-194)
      Robert S. Lopez

      "No one may contract an obligation through another free person unless that person is subject to his authority or is his bona-fide servant," says the Digest (XLV, 1). "Any one may do on behalf of another anything that he may do on his own behalf," says the Corpus Juris Canonici (VI, 5, 12). Between these diametrically opposite statements lies the evolution of one of the most important legal innovations of the Middle Ages: representation or agency, of which proxy (procuratio) was the foundation stone. Its uses have been so many--not only in the judicial process, but in every kind of...

    • Chapter 14 The Fairs of Nîmes: Evidence on Their Function, Importance, and Demise
      (pp. 195-206)
      Raphael R. DeSoignie

      The fairs of Nîmes in the early fourteenth century have not attracted scholarly attention since Ménard published some of the basic sources for them in his history of Nîmes.¹ This neglect is understandable, since the fairs were of brief duration, and since Nîmes never was a major commercial center. There is, however, useful information to be gained from a study of the legal process by which the consuls of Nîmes sought to revoke the grant of a fair to the town of Montagnac, which competed with that of Nîmes. It is the purpose of this paper to examine a document...

    • Chapter 15 The Government of Calais in 1363
      (pp. 207-214)
      Robert L. Baker

      The organizational development of the staple of wool remains one of the unsolved problems of English medieval history. The staple system for marketing England's prime export commodity can be traced back to the thirteenth century, but its formal sanction by an English king dated from 1313.¹ In a charter of that year Edward II empowered "the mayor and commonalty" of English merchants to select a port in the Low Countries to which all wool destined for Flanders, Brabant, or 2 Artois was to be shipped for sale.² Changes in the pattern of the staple took place during the fourteenth century....

    • Chapter 16 Investigating Urban Uprisings with Examples from Hanseatic Towns, 1374-1416
      (pp. 215-234)
      Rhiman A. Rotz

      The fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries in Western Europe are now generally viewed as a period of crisis.¹ A small but unavoidable and knotty problem in our understanding of the nature of that crisis is proper evaluation of the many uprisings in the towns of that period. The range of historical opinion on the subject, however, is at least as wide as positions on the crisis itself.² Are these uprisings expressions of mass discontent at a wholly repressive social structure?³ Efforts of the lesser bourgeoisie to "democratize" town government?⁴ Symptoms of a deep economic depression?⁵ Inevitable "growing pains" accompanying a...

  7. Part IV. The Social Order

    • Chapter 17 The Counts of Mortain and the Origins of the Norman Congregation of Savigny
      (pp. 237-254)
      Bennett D. Hill

      "Les généalogies ont ouvert une perspective d'histoire régionale nouvelle pour nous. Et nous avons acquis la conviction que la force la plus puissante et la plus stable du XIIeet du XIIIesiècle était la famille, plus puissante même que l'Église et la coutume." So wrote the distinguished scholar of early Capetian history, William Mendel Newman, in the Introduction to his recent study of the nobility of Picardy.² What was true of Picardy was also characteristic of Normandy, and the study of monastic history there reveals the strong and intimate connection between religious houses and the great baronial families. In...

    • Chapter 18 The Castles of the Trencavels: A Preliminary Aerial Survey
      (pp. 255-272)
      Fredric Cheyette

      August 1209. Carcassonne has fallen. The young Raimond Roger Trencavel, viscount of Beziers, is prisoner. The barons of the siege meet to elect a new ruler for the conquered land, just as--so they know from chronicles and songs--their predecessors over a century before had elected a king for the newly conquered Jerusalem. The count of Nevers is their first choice; the duke of Burgundy their second. But both refuse, for they have other plans: they and their followers "with a strong hand and an outstretched arm" have done their service, have won remission for their sins. Summer is over. It...

    • Chapter 19 Ennoblement by the Crown and Social Stratification in France 1285-1322: A Prosopographical Survey
      (pp. 273-292)
      Jan Rogozinski

      Philip the Fair, in granting the first charter or patent of nobility between 1285 and 1290,¹ introduced a practice that in later centuries provided many thousands with entry into the ranks of the second estate.² In this as in so many ways, his reign and the subsequent half-century witnessed the creation of social and governmental forms that characterized the French nation until the Revolution and after. The fecundity of the later Middle Ages in governmental institutions is immediately apparent, and the most recent guide to French institutional history can confidently ascribe the creation of virtually all organs of the state...

    • Chapter 20 Obligations of the Church in English Society: Military Arrays of the Clergy, 1369-1418
      (pp. 293-314)
      Bruce McNab

      It has been said concerning the division of labor in the Middle Ages that knights fought, clergy prayed, and peasants worked. Like other such generalizations, this one is not altogether accurate. Certainly both knights and peasants could and did pray, and at least some clerks labored in the fields. But it was against the laws of the church and the traditions of society that a churchman, particularly one in major orders, should fight. A cleric was strictly forbidden under canon law to bear arms or to shed blood, although one who incurred canonical penalties by defending himself against an assault...

  8. Part V. Personality and Ethics:: The Spirit of Man in the Middle Ages

    • Chapter 21 The Personal Development of Peter Damian
      (pp. 317-342)
      Lester K. Little

      Peter Damian (c. 1007-1072) holds one of the pivotal positions in the spiritual history of the Latin West. That he was a major figure in the Gregorian reform needs no repeating, but attention should be given to his long-range influence, because his basic views on the preaching and penitential ministry of the priesthood, as well as on the relationship of material poverty to preaching, bore fruit a century and a half after his death in the reform program of the Fourth Lateran Council and in the actual accomplishments of the Franciscan and Dominican friars. Seen in the still wider perspective...

    • Chapter 22 An "Angel of Philadelphia" in the Reign of Philip the Fair: The Case of Guiard of Cressonessart
      (pp. 343-364)
      Robert E. Lerner

      Which of the following great nineteenth-century historians would have developed an interest in a medieval religious zealot who called himself "the Angel of Philadelphia": Henry Charles Lea, Charles-Victor Langlois, or Heinrich Seuse Denifle? The correct answer is none of the above, for as disparate as the proclivities of these three great scholars were, they all had in common an indifference to, if not an outright impatience with, the seemingly more bizarre varieties of religious experience. Lea and Langlois agreed that anyone who called himself an Angel of Philadelphia must have been mad, and Denifle ignored the case even though he...

    • Chapter 23 Royal Salvation and Needs of State in Late Capetian France
      (pp. 365-384)
      Elizabeth A. R. Brown

      The more secular impulses of the last Capetians have sometimes received more attention than those acts which are reminiscent of less sophisticated, more primitive attitudes and practices generally associated with earlier times.¹ Clear it is that Philip the Fair and his sons could be shrewd, calculating, and opportunistic, particularly in financial matters. It is equally evident that they invoked interest of state and fatherland to justify policies whose moral defensibility was open to question.² Still, impatience to see modernity emerge can lead historians to lay excessive emphasis on this aspect of royal activities.

      The last Capetians may have been realistic...

    • Chapter 24 Queens, Queans, and Kingship: An Inquiry into Theories of Royal Legitimacy in Late Medieval England and France
      (pp. 385-400)
      Charles T. Wood

      In the spring of 1314 scandal threatened to envelop the court of France. It was alleged that two of Philip the Fair's daughters-in-law, Marguerite of Navarre and Blanche of Burgundy, had for three years been involved in an adulterous relationship with two knights, Philip and Gautier d'Aunay. The royal reaction was immediate: Marguerite and Blanche were imprisoned in Chateau Gaillard while their unfortunate lovers were subjected to a public execution which (depending on which chronicler we care to believe) may or may not have included such popular delights as emasculation, flaying, drawing, hanging, beheading, and quartering--all followed by long and...

    • Chapter 25 Philosophy and Citizenship in the Thirteenth Century--Laicisation, the Two Laws and Aristotle
      (pp. 401-408)
      Gaines Post

      Always, of course, there has been some ideal of good citizenship, of active participation in the life of a community for the common good. In antiquity the city-state demanded it, and the philosophers responded with statements of the theory--Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, not to mention others, in their separate ways. Much of the Stoic doctrine is to be found in the Roman jurisconsults. But Christianity was marked by a reaction against this secularism in favor of the Heavenly City. Nevertheless the Christian church was an organization on earth, and the administrators had to live in the world in order to...

  9. Footnotes
    (pp. 409-570)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 571-582)