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Political and Social Bonds in Early Medieval Europe


  • Date Published: June 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521770545

£ 72.00

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About the Authors
  • Political life in the middle ages was influenced heavily by the bonds people had to one another. Among these, the bonds of kinship, friendship and lordship were by far the most important. Ritual was also often used to create and strengthen these bonds, and conduct and behaviour within social groups was shaped by unwritten rules. People bound in these ways had a right to expect help and support from one another. Such bonds were both a fact and a necessity of life in the middle ages. Over time, however, these bonds and relationships changed, as did the rules and norms which governed them. The aim of this book is to document and describe the history of these crucial bonds, and the ways in which they shaped political life in Europe in the early and high middle ages.

    • The work of an internationally well-known and highly-rated German medievalist, now available in English for the first time
    • Analyses the complex network of bonds, group identity, conflict and ritual which underpinned early medieval aristocratic society
    • Introduces early medieval political history in terms of groups and rituals in an accessible way for students
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… learned and thoughtful'. English Historical Review

    'The more recent book offers a particularly mature, forceful and well-supported statement of his credo.' Early Medieval Europe

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2004
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521770545
    • length: 208 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Kin-groups
    3. Co-operative groups
    4. Lords and their men
    5. Rituals

  • Author

    Gerd Althoff, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany
    GERD ALTHOFF is Professor of Medieval History, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany.


    Christopher Carroll

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