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Look Inside The Languages of Gift in the Early Middle Ages

The Languages of Gift in the Early Middle Ages

$47.99 (C)

Janet L. Nelson, David Ganz, Leslie Brubaker, Paul Fouracre, Ian N. Wood, Ann Christys, Rosemary Morris, Chris Wickham, Wendy Davies
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  • Date Published: January 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107698789

$ 47.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This pioneering volume illuminates the practice of giving, endowing and exchanging gifts in the early Middle Ages, from Anglo-Saxon England to the Islamic world. Focusing especially on the language associated with medieval gift giving, this important new work examines how people visualized and thought about gift giving and, importantly, how they distinguished between the giving of gifts and other social, economic, political and religious exchanges. The authors demonstrate that gift giving was already complex, distinctive and sometimes contentious before the twelfth century and operated within a broad international context. They draw from the sources a deeper understanding of the early Middle Ages by looking at real cases and real people: peasants, the elderly and women, as well as elites. The culture of medieval gift has often been treated as archaic and exotic; this book, by contrast, reveals people going about their lives as individuals in down-to-earth and sometimes familiar ways.

    • Contributions from acknowledged experts in the field, covering a range of countries with a wide range of source materials for an international overview of the culture of gift
    • Substantial glossary of all technical and medieval terms used, to assist those unfamiliar with the subject matter
    • Introductions and conclusions draw together the common themes within the book, providing an in-depth understanding of the fundamental aspects of early medieval culture
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...solid and wideranging." -Felice Lifshitz, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107698789
    • length: 322 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus. 5 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of contributors
    1. Introduction Janet L. Nelson
    2. Giving to God in the mass: the experience of the Offertory David Ganz
    3. Gifts and prayers: the visualization of gift-giving in Byzantium and the mosaics at Hagia Sophia Leslie Brubaker
    4. The use of the term 'beneficium' in Frankish sources: a society based on favours? Paul Fouracre
    5. The gifts of Wearmouth and Jarrow Ian N. Wood
    6. The settings of the gift in the reign of Charlemagne Janet L. Nelson
    7. The queen of the Franks offers gifts to the caliph al-Muktafi' Ann Christys
    8. Reciprocal gifts on Mount Athos in the tenth and eleventh centuries Rosemary Morris
    9. Compulsory gift-exchange in Lombard Italy, 650–1150 Chris Wickham
    10. When gift is sale: reciprocities and commodities in tenth-century Christian Iberia Wendy Davies
    11. Conclusion Chris Wickham

  • Editors

    Wendy Davies, University College London
    Wendy Davies is Professor of History Emerita at University College London, and an associate member of the History Faculty, University of Oxford. She has wide interests in early medieval social and economic history and her books include Wales in the Early Middle Ages (1982), Small Worlds: The Village Community in Early Medieval Brittany (1988), and Acts of Giving. Individual, Community and Church in Tenth-Century Christian Spain (2007).

    Paul Fouracre, University of Manchester
    Paul Fouracre is Professor of Medieval History and currently Head of History at the University of Manchester. With interests in the political and social history of the Franks, his publications include Late Merovingian France: History and Hagiography 640–720 (with R. Gerberding, 1996), The Age of Charles Martel (2000); and, as editor, The New Cambridge Medieval History, Volume 1 (Cambridge University Press, 2005).


    Janet L. Nelson, David Ganz, Leslie Brubaker, Paul Fouracre, Ian N. Wood, Ann Christys, Rosemary Morris, Chris Wickham, Wendy Davies

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