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State and Society in the Early Middle Ages
The Middle Rhine Valley, 400–1000


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Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series

  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521027168

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • This book, first published in 2000, is a pioneering study of politics and society in the early Middle Ages. Whereas it is widely believed that the source materials for early medieval Europe are too sparse to allow sustained study of the workings of social and political relationships on the ground, this book focuses on a uniquely well-documented area to investigate the basis of power. Topics covered include the foundation of monasteries, their relationship with the laity, and their role as social centres; the significance of urbanism; the control of land, the development of property rights and the organization of states; community, kinship and lordship; justice and dispute settlement; the uses of the written word; violence and the feud; and the development of political structures from the Roman empire to the high Middle Ages.

    • A genuinely pioneering study of how a key area of Charlemagne's empire really 'worked' at grass-roots level
    • Wide-ranging, placing its findings in a comparative perspective which helps us understand the peculiarities of western European history
    • An original and brilliantly argued contribution to the literature on Charlemagne's empire and on the nature of the so-called 'Dark Ages'
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    • Winner of the Royal Historical Society's Gladstone Memorial Prize (2000)

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… what … makes his work outstanding is his grasp of the big picture, and his preparedness to address and resolve questions of structure and theory. Seldom can a young scholar's first book be greeted with superlatives. This is such a book.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

    'It is highly sophisticated … Specialists will applaud the treatments of land-holding, charter terminology and its implications, and the letters of Einhard.' Early Medieval Europe

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521027168
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.512kg
    • contains: 9 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of abbreviations
    1. Introduction
    2. Monasticism, spiritual patronage and social structure
    3. Land, kinship and status
    4. Local power: collective action, conflict and consensus
    5. Locality and centre: mechanisms of extraction
    6. Political power from the fifth to the eleventh century
    7. Conclusion: state and society in the early medieval west

  • Author

    Matthew Innes, Birkbeck College, University of London


    • Winner of the Royal Historical Society's Gladstone Memorial Prize (2000)

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