contributor.author: David Nicholas

title.none: Luscombe and Riley-Smith, eds., Cambride Medieval History IV (David Nicholas)

identifier.other: baj9928.0610.015 06.10.15

identifier.issn: 1096-746X

description.statementofresponsibility: David Nicholas, Clemson University, Emeritus, dmnicholas@nctv.com

publisher.none: .

date.issued: 2006

identifier.citation: Luscombe, David, and Jonathan Riley-Smith, eds. The New Cambridge Medieval History Volume IV: c.1024 - c.1198: Parts I and Part II. Series: The New Cambridge Medieval History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Pp. xxi, 917, 43 plates. 5 maps;xix, 959, 19 maps, 8 genealogical tables, 14 lists of rulers. $180 per part (hb) 0-521-41410-5, 0-521-41411-3. ISBN: .

type.none: Review

relation.ispartof: The Medieval Review

The Medieval Review 06.10.15

Luscombe, David, and Jonathan Riley-Smith, eds. The New Cambridge Medieval History Volume IV: c.1024 - c.1198: Parts I and Part II. Series: The New Cambridge Medieval History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Pp. xxi, 917, 43 plates. 5 maps;xix, 959, 19 maps, 8 genealogical tables, 14 lists of rulers. $180 per part (hb) 0-521-41410-5, 0-521-41411-3. ISBN: .

Reviewed by:

David Nicholas
Clemson University, Emeritus
dmnicholas@nctv.com

These books are of almost equal text length. Part I is topical and analytical, while Part II is political and military. They contain nineteen and twenty-three papers respectively, including the editors' introductions, from forty-two authors, all of whom have extensive prior publications. Each part has a comprehensive "List of primary sources" and a "Bibliography of secondary works" arranged by chapter. Some secondary lists in Part I have topical bibliographies and one has a list of original sources in English translation. Editorial coordination between chapters minimized repetition. The secondary bibliographies of Part II are straightforward lists except for some separation of topics and regions in the chapters on composite areas.

Two of the papers in Part I (Robert Fossier, "The rural economy and demographic growth" and Derek Keene, "Towns and the Growth of Trade") are economic. Fossier skips between unrelated topics and seems more concerned with process than with conclusions. His best sections concern the house and the village, the topics of his best known work. Keene emphasizes commerce, providing a good discussion of trade between north and south before the establishment of the Champagne fairs, but does not neglect urban settlements. Like Fossier he is strong on the physical circumstances of life and seems a bit uncomfortable with the legal framework.

Susan Reynolds, "Government and community" and Peter Landau, "The development of law" are institutional and legal. Reynolds returns to her themes of collective action in governmental activity, but less confrontationally than in her previous work. After separate sections on urban and rural communities and kingdoms, she delineates changes in collective activity, making much of the word "commune." Her focus is less on a systematic exposition of the institutions of government than on how they affected the governed: "By 1204 rulers had conceded a great deal more formal autonomy to collective groups among their subjects than had been enjoyed in 1204. How far that implies a new strength of communitarian feeling is doubtful" (111). Landau's paper, one of the strongest of the collection, considers both religious and economic factors, particularly the growth of trade, as involved in the legal revolution after 1050. He discusses the revival of canon and Roman law in the eleventh-century schools, then the civilian and canonist traditions, the universities and law schools, the decretists, papal decretals, and the first monographs on procedural and criminal law. He has an informative discussion of the English common law. After a discussion of Lombard feudal law and the first Italian statutes, he concludes with a summary of "legislation and legal scholarship" (146).

Jean Flori, "Knightly society" and Robert Chazan, "The Jews in Europe and the Mediterranean basin" deal with groups not discussed in other chapters (an interesting anachronism in the light of contemporary scholarship is this part's lack of a chapter on women). Flori discusses the evolution of "warrior order" into knighthood, basic to which is the acquisition of territory by the warriors, generally within such larger units as counties. "Knightly society" was centered on the castle, its economic foundations, and its role in governance. He disputes "classic" ideas of feudalism between Loire and Rhine. He includes sections on the peace movements, which he considers ineffectual, the technology of warfare, and the use of cavalry, concluding with a section on "the knights and the chivalric ideology" (176). Unfortunately, he deals only with French knights. Chazan sees economic development in the west attracting Jews from the Near East. While the north European Jews were almost entirely in commerce, their economic activity in the Mediterranean was more diversified. The Jews' relations with secular authorities in Christian areas worsened in the twelfth century from "two elements in Christian society: the Roman Catholic church and the Christian burgher class" (634). In his concluding section Chazan discusses the flowering of Talmudic scholarship, philosophy, and poetry.

The church receives thematic treatment in five chapters. H. E. J. Cowdrey, "The structure of the church, 1024-1073," discusses diocesan organization and the parochial system, clerical work routines and the itineraries of bishops and archbishops, and church councils, concluding with a brief section on the popes and cardinals. I. S. Robinson's papers, "Reform and the church, 1073-1122" and "The institutions of the church, 1073-1216" concentrate for the earlier period on polemics rather than institutional change, admitting that the specific role of Gregory VII either as an intellectual or institutional innovator has been overdrawn. But he does describe the efforts of Gregory and his successors to centralize the church under the papacy and bring the bishops under papal control. Robinson deals with the institutional side quite effectively for the twelfth century, however, starting with a discussion of the idea of plenitude of papal power and the canonical notion of reservation of major cases to the holy see. He sees control over jurisdiction within the church, based on the notion that the pope's power was different in kind from those of other bishops, as the key development. The fundamental principle behind the expansion of the papal court, not only as appeal but also first instance for "greater causes," was that the pope was the fount of law and the judge of which laws were "legitimate." He discusses the popes' financial demands and the growing power of the college of cardinals.

Giles Constable, "Religious communities, 1024-1215," summarizes the new orders and changes in the older ones, noting degree of receptivity to women. Jean Richard, "The eastern churches," is organizational and includes relations with Latin church and with Byzantine emperors. Monasticism and internal organization of the eastern church figure largely, and a separate section discusses "the churches of Asia outside Byzantine obedience" (579). Bernard Hamilton, "Religion and the Laity," shows practice sometimes at odds with theology. "In the second half of the eleventh century there seems to have been an almost total absence of religious dissent in western Europe" (516), but this changed in the twelfth century, and he gives a traditional account of the spread of heresy starting with Tanchelm. He attributes the rapid growth and strength of the Cathars to their "good organization,"... "but chiefly because they were in harmony with the religious aspirations of the age," i.e. the "ideal of...the monastic holy man or woman of austere life" (529). The chapter concludes with Valdès and the Humiliati.

Three chapters deal with warfare. Ernst-Dieter Hehl, "War, Peace and the Christian order," is strong, with more balance than is often found in works on this topic. He notes moral justifications of war, including the peace and truce of God. A crucial section is "Wars of the church and wars for the church: the reforming papacy" (194 ff.), in which he discusses the idea that legitimate force could be used not simply to advance the faith, but also the political goals of the popes. Polemical and canonical writings are discussed. Not surprisingly, justifications of the crusades appear, but Hehl distinguishes those in and outside the Holy Land. He ends this section with "criticism of the crusade, the knightly orders and the chivalric ethic" (215) and concludes with warfare in canon law. Jonathan Riley-Smith, "The crusades, 1095-1198," is the first political chapter in Part I, summarizing the author's numerous earlier works. Hugh Kennedy, "Muslim Spain and Portugal: al-Andalus and its neighbours" is also political and military, concentrating on internal conflicts within the Muslim states, although he includes relations of Muslims and Christians in the border areas.

Part I has three chapters on intellectual developments. David Luscombe, "Thought and Learning," covers some of the same ground as other chapters but is original on schools and their curriculum, including change in seven liberal arts. Jan Ziolkowski, "Latin and vernacular literature," wisely organizes the material by genre rather than by language. He concentrates on lyric and narrative, including historical writing and drama, which crossed the language divide. Peter Kidson, "Architecture and the visual arts," is less descriptive than works on this topic often are. He begins with the material and institutional foundations of the artistic flowering, starting with "the economic substratum" and "demand for building" (698, 699). He has interesting discussions of the provenance of the raw materials of art and the rise of specialized craftsmen. A section on patronage leads him into styles and tastes, which is followed by sections on "symbolism and imagery" (711) and techniques and diffusion of Romanesque.

Part II is political and to a much lesser extent institutional. Seven regional studies covering the eleventh and early twelfth centuries are followed by four in which the two centuries are treated together. A set of eight chapters replicates the order of the first group for the twelfth century but with the insertion of a chapter on the non-English parts of the British Isles. The part concludes with three chapters on the east.

Uta-Renate Blumenthal, "The papacy, 1024-1122" and I. S. Robinson, "The papacy, 1122-1198" adopt different approaches. After delineating the basic papal ideology, Blumenthal gets into papal administration seriously, going by administrative department, moving to legates and councils, concluding with the college of cardinals. Robinson starts with the establishment in canon law of the pope as supreme within the church and over temporal powers. He discusses the reform program, the activity of councils, and the Scandinavian cultivation of closer links with Rome. The popes "eulogized" (361) the Capetian kings but found England difficult, not just because of Becket but because of the tradition of secular control of high church appointments there. While the popes were generally successful in dealing with foreign powers, they had a problem close to home with the Roman commune. Robinson concludes with their thorny relations with the emperors.

The empire is covered by Hanna Vollrath, "The western empire under the Salians" and Benjamin Arnold, "The western empire, 1125-1197." Vollrath is largely political, but Arnold is more analytical. He starts with "electoral procedures in the twelfth century" (384), then "the meaning of empire and the purpose of imperial rule" (390). He discusses the embryonic legal, judicial, and administrative institutions of the empire, then the eastward expansion and the virtual independence of Saxony, concluding with politics by reign from Lothar III through Henry VI.

Giovanni Tabacco writes separate chapters on northern and central Italy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, with G. A. Loud discussing "Southern Italy in the eleventh century" and "Norman Sicily in the twelfth century." Tabacco's chapters are thorough but almost exclusively political, apart from a discussion of the emperors' resources and allies in Italy. Laud concentrates on the Norman conquest in the eleventh century but combines this for the twelfth with informative discussions of social relations, the economy, and the structure of government.

Spain is covered for the eleventh century by Simon Barton, for the twelfth by Peter Linehan. Both are largely political and military, with some attention given to crusade ideology and colonization. Constance Brittain Bouchard, "The kingdom of the Franks to 1108" yields for "The kingdom of the Franks from Louis VI to Philip II" to two authors, John W. Baldwin for "Crown and government" and Michel Bur for "The seigneuries." Bouchard discusses Henry I and Philip I briefly, then moves to royal government, starting with the household, royal power, bishops, and monasteries. She deals separately with royal relations with eight major territorial principalities. She discusses the economy in five paragraphs, then concludes with castles and castellans, the peace of God, fief-holding, monastic reform, and scholarship. Bouchard does a good job integrating politics and administration with other topics. Baldwin's chapter is in three sections, breaking at 1147 and 1190, discussing the relations of crown to the princes, and the developing institutions of royal government. Bur starts with the ecclesiastical lordships, discussing them mainly on the examples of Noyon and Rheims, then the secular principalities from an internal perspective and concludes with a brief conclusion on "cultural and political life: the world of the princely imagination" (547).

Marjorie Chibnall, "England and Normandy, 1042-1137," is succeeded by Thomas K. Keefe, "England and the Angevin dominions, 1137-1204." Chibnall's chapter is largely political-military-administrative (including consideration of Domesday Book), and Keefe's is entirely so, even lacking a discussion of Henry II's legal reforms, granted that Landau's remarks on this are useful. Geoffrey Barrow, "Scotland, Wales and Ireland in the twelfth century" notes that the Norman conquest of England had an impact on the other British territories, which he describes by country, giving surveys of language, economy, and culture as well as kings and princes.

Michael Angold and Paul Magdalino divide "The Byzantine empire" between 1025 and 1204 at 1118. Angold's discussion is mainly ecclesio-political and military, though with introductory material on the financial and institutional problems of the imperial power. Magdalino opens with a reign-by-reign discussion through 1204, then has a section on Byzantium and the West, concentrating on the events leading to 1204. Administration is handled under "Constantinople and the Provinces" in which his theme is that the shrinking of territory actually controlled and the "pull of Constantinople" meant that "the Byzantine state was one of the most centralized in the medieval world" (634).

The peripheries of Europe are handled in four chapters. Martin Dimnik, "Kievan Rus', the Bulgars and the southern Slavs, c. 1020-1200"; Jerzy Wyrozumski, "Poland in the eleventh and twelfth centuries"; Peter Sawyer, "Scandinavia in the eleventh and twelfth centuries"; and Nora Berend, "Hungary in the eleventh and twelfth centuries" are brief and mainly dynastic and political, although Sawyer gives some attention to laws and assemblies. Outside Europe, Hans Eberhard Mayer, "The Latin east, 1098-1205"; Michael Brett "'Abbasids, Fatimids and Seljuqs"; and Stephen Humphreys, "Zengids, Ayyubids and Seljuqs" are mainly to entirely political, although Mayer gives some information on the importance of towns and the nobility.

Coverage in collected works that try to be comprehensive is necessarily uneven. So is the competence of a single reviewer, who must necessarily concentrate on the areas that he/she knows best. With that disclaimer, I must note that I was extremely unhappy with the omission of the Low Countries and their politics and culture except for the discussion of Flanders as a French crown fief. In fact, only southwestern Flanders was held of the French; East Flanders, Brabant, Holland, Hainault, Zeeland, the prince-bishoprics of Liege and Utrecht, Guelders, and the rest of the region were in the Empire. Not a word is said about them.