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This is a book about two well-known dynastic verse histories commissioned by Henry II, the Roman de Rou by Wace and the Chronique des ducs de Normandie by Benoît de Sainte-Maure.
The beginnings of Europe is not a very complicated historical subject. After the end of Roman domination in the fifth century CE, so-called ‘successor states’ grew up in the territories and around the margins of what had been the Western Roman Empire, and out of those states grew France, Spain, Italy and (with greater complications) England and Germany.
The War on Heresy is the most recent of R. I. Moore’s writings on medieval heresy and repression, which have been appearing since 1970.
The early 14th-century writer John Quidort of Paris once argued that legal norms should not be deduced from unique events that took place in specific circumstances.(1) Nevertheless, it might be suggested that anecdotes may occasionally prove instructive.
The study of nationality (a term used to designate historically and constitutively diverse nations) poses a number of acute methodological, historical, and philosophical problems.
Many years ago this reviewer attended a meeting of the Cambridge interdisciplinary medievalists’ group at which Terry Jones, who had recently published his debunking book on Chaucer’s knight, bravely crossed swords with Derek Brewer, then the foremost Chaucerian scholar, in front of an audience which included numbers of the university’s teachers of medieval English literature.
Confucius once remarked that rulers need three resources: weapons, food and trust. The ruler who cannot have all three should give up weapons first, then food, but should hold on to trust at all costs: 'without trust we cannot stand'.(1) Machiavelli disagreed.
Joseph Canning's preface acknowledges a debt to his research supervisor Walter Ullmann, whose Penguin History of Political Thought: the Middle Ages, published in 1965 (revised edition 1970) has remained a standard introduction for anglophone readers. A new short guide is timely, and the ex-student's will bid fair to replace the master's.