Much of the shape of modern Europe was determined by changes which took place in the time of Gregory VII, who as 'Hildebrand' was a powerful influence in the papacy from 1046 and was himself pope from 1073 to his death 1085.
Saga and penecontemporaneous 'historical sources' are a minefield for interpretation into which archaeologists step at their peril.
The reign of Edward IV, as Jonathan Hughes points out, is unique in English history; it was the first – and last – time a king of England lost his throne, went into exile, invaded his own kingdom and regained his crown, enabling him to destroy his rivals and to reign in relative peace and tranquillity for another thirteen years.
Thanks to the survival of four high quality narratives from the tenth and eleventh centuries, Widukind of Corvey's Rerum gestarum Saxonicarum, Thietmar of Merseberg's Chronicon, Lampert of Hersfeld's Annales, and Adam of Bremen's Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, we know today much more about the Saxon gens, the newcomer to the Frankish realm, than o
A few years ago, I pestered friendly Lollard scholars with a question which tended to flummox them slightly: how did English bishops know how to prosecute heretics? The broadest outlines of a reply had been sketched, in an article from 1936 by H. G. Richardson and another by Margaret Aston in 1993. In addition, Anne Hudson and J. A. F.
'Suggestive’, ‘methodical’ and ‘witty’ are words rarely applied to the same book, but Steffen Patzold’s study of Carolingian ideas about bishops demonstrates all three qualities. Granted, Patzold’s tome cannot hide its origins as a Habilitationsschrift: it is a 660-page brick of a book, of a size and weight that might see it confiscated at airports alongside liquids and sharp objects.
The late Middle Ages are a challenging period to survey and synthesise. Any attempt to summarise their complexity, chaos, and dynamism within a restricted publisher’s word limit and at the same time provide an effective textbook for undergraduates is fraught with issues of coverage, comprehensiveness, and accessibility.
Mary Stroll’s latest contribution to the history of the medieval papacy is a brave endeavour to illuminate the political factors the undergirded the successes and failures of the papal reform movement in the 11th century.
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.
In western Europe – thus runs one of the standard narratives of medieval history – it is only after c.1200 that we really find the beginnings of administrative bureaucracies, which allowed for the growth of centralised governments, and were fed by the rise of professional law, enabled by growing literacy at various levels of society, and were one of the key elements in what John Watts