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About the Author

Chris Wickham is Chichele Professor of Medieval History at All Souls College, Oxford

Inclui os nomes: Kris Uikhem, Chris Wickham


Obras por Chris Wickham

Medieval Europe (2016) 401 exemplares
Social Memory (1992) 23 exemplares
The History of Mdma (2023) 14 exemplares
The Long Eighth Century (2000) — Editor — 9 exemplares
The prospect of global history (2016) — Editor — 8 exemplares

Associated Works

The New Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. 2: c. 700-c. 900 (1995) — Contribuidor — 101 exemplares
The Settlement of Disputes in Early Medieval Europe (1970) — Contribuidor — 26 exemplares
Tributary Empires in Global History (2011) — Contribuidor — 16 exemplares
Property and power in the early Middle Ages (1995) — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares
The Sixth Century: Production, Distribution, and Demand (1998) — Contribuidor — 8 exemplares
The Languages of Gift in the Early Middle Ages (2010) — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



Series of articles on Global History, published in 2016, but going back to a conference held in Oxford, UK, in 2012. This certainly was an improvement on A.G. Hopkins, Globalization in World History, and Kenneth R. Curtis. Architects of World History, both works I read about a month ago. Excellent introductory and concluding article, whilst the other contributions focus on specific items, each time cross-boundaries (a remarkable one is on the history of the trade and the use of incense). The editors accentuate the need of working with a comparative and connected focus, but in the contributions connectedness is rather neglected. Another weakness of this book is that the authors are almost all male, and European/American. More in my historical account on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2581107459… (mais)
bookomaniac | Nov 20, 2022 |
One of the things to say straight away about the book is the author uses the years 500-1500 CE for the medieval period consciously as arbitrary cut off points, rather than end it say the medieval period at the Renaissance, or Reformation. This is so as not to look at it in terms of well the medieval period was leading up to the Renaissance or Reformation. Or would have led up to industrial capitalism, had it not been for e.g. the Black Death /" the restrictive policies of medieval guilds" / the Hundred Years' War / the early fifteenth-century silver famine getting in the way. Those are other, counterfactual, arguments by historians. The authors view is that these approaches take away from the interest to be had from the internal characteristics and complexities of the medieval period itself. (With the example of industrial capitalism, the author says it wasn't really medieval trade or banking that was its basis, anyway. It was small towns and small- scale exchange slowly and splutteringly introducing low-cost products to a mass market.)

Another thing about the book is it covers all of the medieval European kingdoms, not just the biggest or best known. I found it interesting how kings borrowed organising hacks from other places. To take an example, Hungary:
"Hungary was another kingdom whose history was converging with those of its neighbours. It had settled down after its origins as a raiding nomadic power in the tenth century. Stephen I (997-1038) had adopted Christianity, and it was also he who began to borrow infrastructure from the Frankish world [i.e. from Gaul /Francia, ( France) ] - not just bishoprics, but counties - to turn his dynastic hegemony into something more organised. "(p. 146)

Bishops are an interesting subject. Bishops were an innovation of the Christian late Roman Empire. They'd been important then. But it wasnt until after the fall of the Roman Empire (in the west, in the east it continued as Byzantium), in the early middle ages, that they became big political players: "Cathedral churches became rich in land donated by the faithful, which made any bishop more powerful as soon as he took office. Bishops gained further spiritual authority from the cult of the relics of the saints, which developed in the fifth century and onwards, for they tended to be in charge of the churches which contained them."(p.31)

(Still on Hungary:)" Still more than in England, the king managed to establish himself as the overwhelmingly dominant landowner, which made his patronage crucial for all local powers. There was still the risk that counts would appropriate that land (and they did), but the king kept the strategic edge, despite frequent wars of succession. "

When the Roman Empire fell (again, in the west,), its breakup meant a break from an imperial political system based on tax collection, into smaller kingdoms with with miltarised land-owning aristocracies extracting rent from the peasant (farmer) population who were on it. Kings would parcel out land, in return for loyalty and oaths .
The system was honour-based. The author gives a striking example. In the summer of 1159, Henry II, King of England started rollin' towards Toulouse in France with a massive army to capture it. He'd sworn an oath to the French King, but he had a pretty good claim to it through his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. What the French king, Louis VII (1137-80) did in response was ride down to Toulouse fast with a skeleton crew and hole up there correctly gambling that Henry wouldn't attack with him present :"Henry was stuck. If he attacked his lord who he had sworn to defend, what value were his barons' own oaths to him? And what would he do with a captured king who was his lord? So he did not attack, and after a summer of ravaging simply retreated. Henry, one of the two most powerful monarchs in western Europe, could not risk being seen as an oath-breaker, and preferred to lose prestige - a lot of prestige - as a failed strategist instead. " (p. 9-10).

(Hungary:)" Twelfth-century kings fought aggressive external wars, in Croatia and Russia, and that momentum, plus the wealth from silver mines, allowed Béla III (1172-96) to reorganise government, borrowing from German and probably Byzantine examples; a chance surviving document shows him with very considerable wealth by twelfth-century standards, probably greater than that of the Kings of England or France, from Land, silver, and tolls on exchange. "(p. 146)

The German example is described a couple of pages later: " the revived power of Frederick Barbarossa, who could intervene throughout Germany, including in 1180 bringing down his greatest aristocrat, Henry 'the Lion', duke of both Bavaria and Saxony. "(p. 149)

(Hungary :) "It is true that Andrew (1205-35) chose a different political path, ceding substantial lands to flavoured aristocrats; a failed crusade and revolts against his landed policies forced him to agree the Golden Bull of 1222, which protected (as in England, but still more so), the rights of different strata of the aristocracy from the king. " (p. 146)

England is a reference to Magna Carta (1215), which King John (1199-1216), “an able administrator but a terrible politician in almost all fields" had to agree to, after he screwed up the reconquering of his French lands, and half his aristocracy staged an uprising.

(Hungary:) "His son Béla IV (1235-70) tried to reverse this, but the Mongol invasion of 1241-42, which nearly destroyed the kingdom until the attackers withdrew, showed all Hungarians that defence in depth was crucial, and the resultant new system of castles was above all aristocrat controlled. " (p. 147)

One point to note at this point is that, as the author writes in the first chapter," Peasants do not appear on every page of this book, by any means ;but almost everything which does was paid for by the surplus which they handed over, more or less unwillingly, in rent..." (p. 16)
And "We have plenty of accounts of the often repellent things lords were capable of doing to recalcitrant peasants - destruction and expropriation of goods, beating, cutting off of limbs, torture - which in the case of torture was generally recounted in tones of disgust by our sources, but about which in the case of beating and mutilation the accounts are more matter-of-fact. (The sources were largely written by clerics, who did not like aristocratic bad behaviour; but they tended to like assertive peasants still less.)... Violence was... implicit throughout medieval agrarian society. Peasants did sometimes resist all the same, and sometimes even succeed in resisting ; but for the most part they were and remained subjected to lords. "(p. 14-15.)

The Church was concerned with heresy. Even a future saint came under suspicion: Catherine of Sienna, Christian mystic given to extreme asceticism, drinking pus and going without food or sleep. Died in 1380 at the age of thirty-three. Advisor to Pope Gregory XI, and formally attached to the Dominican order, she nevertheless was "tested by panels of ecclesiastics more than once." (p. 187)
The author gives an example of another mystic, Margery Kempe, (d.after 1439) of King's Lynn in Norfolk, whose practice was based on "public weeping and crying out, especially in religious contexts, on self-humiliation, and on intense visions of Christ, with whom she went through a visionary marriage when on pilgrimage in Rome." (p. 188) Against the background of worry about the heretical " Lollard" movement she was hauled in front of bishops several times.
Most famously, Joan of Arc, peasant girl whose access to saintly voices was used by Charles VII of France to inspire his troops, was burnt at the stake by the English in 1431, an earlier forerunner of mid - fifteenth-century witchcraft panic victims.
… (mais)
George_Stokoe | 7 outras críticas | Sep 14, 2022 |
Quite an interesting book. It presents an analysis of the entire medieval period, across all of Europe, with a strong focus on socio-economics. The intense focus on the fine details, region by region and historical period by historical period, did make the book a bit of an effort to wade through. I suspect that a reader who was better versed in the basic history of medieval Europe would have gotten a good deal more from it than I did. It struck me more as a scholarly text than as a "popular" account of the period. That said, many books that present a bit of difficulty as one reads them are nonetheless rewarding, and I am glad to have read this one. I suspect that it will be worth a re-read in a few years, when I have learned more about the subject.

I suppose the main lesson that I took from it is that one should be cautious about generalizations about the "dark ages." There was much more variation from one locality to the next, and over time, from the early to the mid to the late medieval period, than I had realized.
… (mais)
Ailurophile | 7 outras críticas | Aug 10, 2022 |
Table of Contents

List of illustrations and maps
1 A new look at the middle ages
2 Rome and its western successors, 500–750
3 Crisis and transformation in the east, 500–850/1000
4 The Carolingian experiment, 750–1000
5 The expansion of Christian Europe, 500–1100
6 Reshaping western Europe, 1000–1150
7 The long economic boom, 950–1300
8 The ambiguities of political reconstruction, 1150–1300
9 1204: the failure of alternatives
10 Defining society: gender and community in late medieval Europe
11 Money, war and death, 1350–1500
12 Rethinking politics, 1350–1500
13 Conclusion
… (mais)
kevn57 | 7 outras críticas | Dec 8, 2021 |



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