The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages: Guilds in England 1250-1550

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Setting the English evidence in a European context, this study is not an institutional history, but instead is concerned with the material and non-material aims of the brothers and sisters of the guilds. Gervase Rosser addresses the subject of medieval guilds in the context of contemporary debates surrounding the identity and fulfilment of the individual, and the problematic question of his or her relationship to a larger society. Unlike previous studies, The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Agesdoes not focus on the guilds as institutions but on the social and moral processes which were catalysed by participation.

These bodies founded schools, built bridges, managed almshouses, governed small towns, shaped religious ritual, and commemorated the dead, perceiving that association with afraternity would be a potential catalyst of personal change. Participants cultivated the formation of new friendships between individuals, predicated on the understanding that human fulfilment depended upon a mutually transformative engagement with others. The peasants, artisans, and professionalswho joined the guilds sought to change both their society and themselves. The study sheds light on the conception and construction of society in the Middle Ages, and suggests further that this evidence has implications for how we see ourselves.

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Best Selling in Nonfiction See all. Burn after Writing by Sharon Jones , Paperback 2. Save on Nonfiction Trending price is based on prices over last 90 days. In thirteenth-century England, circumstance and personality converged to produce an episcopate uncommonly dedicated not only to its pastoral mission but also to the defence of the kingdom and the In thirteenth-century England, circumstance and personality converged to produce an episcopate uncommonly dedicated not only to its pastoral mission but also to the defence of the kingdom and the oversight of royal government.

This cohort was bound by corporate solidarity and possessed an authority to reform the king—and so influence political events—unknown to the episcopates of other kingdoms. They acted as peacemakers, supporting royal power when it was threatened, for the sake of regnal peace, but also using their unique authority to reform the king when his illegal actions threatened to provoke his barons to rebellion.

In so doing it reveals how the Montfortian bishops were forced to construct a new philosophy of power in the crucible of political crisis. This book overturns many of the traditional assumptions about the nature and purpose of castle-building in the middle ages. It demolishes the traditional belief that castles were overwhelmingly It demolishes the traditional belief that castles were overwhelmingly military in their function, showing how this was simply one aspect of a more complicated whole, and sets out to recreate the medieval understanding of castles as symbolically fortified places of all kinds.

It places castles in the context of medieval culture and society, as ancient walled post-Roman towns and prestigious religious enclaves to transitory campaign forts. Going back to the original sources, the book proposes a new and subtler understanding of the function and symbolism of castles as well as insights into the lives of the people who inhabited them.

Fortresses were only occasionally caught up in war, but constantly were central to the ordinary life of all classes: of the nobility and gentry, of widows and heiresses, of prelates and clergy, of peasantry and townspeople alike. The book presents and explores this broad social panorama. This book is a guide to the complete range of medieval scholarship undertaken in twentieth-century Britain: history, archaeology, language and culture.

The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages: Guilds in England 1250-1550

Some of the twenty-nine chapters here focus on Some of the twenty-nine chapters here focus on changes in research method or on the achievements of individual scholars, others are the personal account of a lifetime's work in a discipline. Many outline the ways in which subjects may develop in the twenty-first century. The book sets British scholarship in its international context and contains useful bibliographies. London, like all premodern cities, was made up of immigrants. The newly arrived had to be taught the civic culture of the city so that the city could function peacefully.

Ritual and ceremony played a key role in the acculturation process. In a society in which hierarchical authority was most commonly determined by the inheritance of title and office or sanctified by ordination, elected civic officials relied on rituals to cement their authority, power, and dominance.

Since the term of office was a year, the election and inauguration of city officials had to be very public, and the robes of office had to distinguish the officers so that everyone would know who they were. Apprentices entering the city to take up a trade were educated in civic culture by their masters. Gilds also provided experience in leadership through gild governance. Again, rituals, oath swearing, and distinctive livery marked their belonging. Those who rebelled against authority and who broke the civic ordinances were made spectacles of through ritual humiliations so that others could learn from their example.

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At the parish level, and even at the level of the street, civic behavior was taught through example, proclamations, and ballads. This book is a biography of the underappreciated eleventh-century Scandinavian warlord-turned-Anglo-Saxon monarch who united the English and Danish crowns to forge a North Sea empire: Cnut.

Medieval Guilds - Ancient History Encyclopedia

The book The book offers a fascinating reappraisal of Cnut, one of the most misunderstood of the Anglo-Saxon kings: the powerful Danish warlord who conquered England and created a North Sea empire in the eleventh century. The book draws from a wealth of written and archaeological sources to provide the most detailed accounting to date of the life and accomplishments of a remarkable figure in European history, a forward-thinking warrior-turned-statesman who created a new Anglo-Danish regime through designed internationalism.

It traces the emergence and disappearance of various ethnic and It traces the emergence and disappearance of various ethnic and political groups from Roman times till circa AD , and their shifting relationships. While following a broad chronological narrative over nine centuries, and dealing with political and large-scale developments, it also explores in some depth the culture of the societies and there were several of the time.

Important texts which have sometimes been read rather naively are here read in new ways, identifying the commitments of their authors, and seeking the literary influences which shaped them which means we must read and understand not only what early medieval writers wrote, but also what they were reading. This book argues that Duke William of Normandy's claim to succeed Edward the Confessor on the throne of England profoundly influenced not only the practice of royal succession, but also played a This book argues that Duke William of Normandy's claim to succeed Edward the Confessor on the throne of England profoundly influenced not only the practice of royal succession, but also played a large part in creating a novel structure of land tenure, dependent on the king.

In these two fundamental respects, the attempt made in the aftermath of the Conquest to demonstrate seamless continuity with Anglo-Saxon England severed almost all continuity.


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A notable result was a society in which instability in succession at the top exacerbated instability lower down. The first serious attempt to address these problems began when arrangements were made, in , for the succession to King Stephen. Henry II duly succeeded him, but claimed rather to have succeeded his grandfather, Henry I, Stephen's predecessor. Henry II's attempts to demonstrate continuity with his grandfather were modeled on William the Conqueror's treatment of Edward the Confessor.

Just as William's fabricated history had been the foundation for the tenurial settlement recorded in Domesday Book, so Henry II's, in a different way, underpinned the early common law procedures which began to undermine aspects of that settlement. The official history of the Conquest played a crucial role not only in creating a new society, but in the development of that society. We are born and die alone, and are often alone in between. But this is true of all human beings, in their millions. So in another sense we are not alone at all, quite the opposite.


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  7. To manage other To manage other shared problems our species has devised organisms specific to each. The organisms specific to our shared solitudes are religions. Because of the paradox in which they originate, religions have a double character: private and public. There is no clearer example than Christianity. It could never have come into existence without some degree of organization, with its half-dozen early members or, thanks to development of Roman and Jewish traditions, millions.


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    4. But the whole purpose of the organization was to cultivate, in each member, responses essentially private, known only to God. The public and private elements in Christianity are always in tension, usually a creative one; but sometimes not. Scholars of medieval power structures, feudal relations, monarchy, and ritual performance have long recognized that the early twelfth century was ground zero in the cultural, social, and political Scholars of medieval power structures, feudal relations, monarchy, and ritual performance have long recognized that the early twelfth century was ground zero in the cultural, social, and political transformation of France from a weak and fragmented kingdom to one centralized under the leadership of a purposeful ruler.

      This book considers the role played by the crusaders in the development of the French monarchy.

      The book finds that in a short span of time, members of the court fused the emerging crusade ideas with ancient notions of sacral kingship and nobility to fashion new, highly selective and flexible images of French history that exploited the unknown future of crusading to negotiate a space into which the self-fashioning of French kingship could insinuate itself.

      This book is a history of the city of Wells in the Middle Ages. The book makes full use of the archives of Wells to trace its growth from a rural manor into the prosperous borough it became by the The book makes full use of the archives of Wells to trace its growth from a rural manor into the prosperous borough it became by the late 12th century. It examines the variety of trades which flourished in Wells — including tanning, glove-making, and cloth-manufacture — and analyses the composition of the burgess community.

      It also explores the importance of the family, the extent of social mobility, the position of women, and the roles of conviviality on the one hand and religion on the other in shaping communal activity and communal spirit. In the parts of the country In the parts of the country that had been most densely colonized in the decades around , however, political and cultural ties with England remained strong.

      One such area was Louth, situated on the coast north of Dublin and adjacent to the earldom of Ulster. The settlers there maintained links with England in part because of the presence of the significant trading port of Drogheda. The residence among them of the archbishop of Armagh, primate of Ireland, also extended their international horizons. Their sense of English identity was strengthened rather than weakened by the challenges they faced.

      The Black Death of —9, and recurrent visitations of plague thereafter, reduced their numbers significantly, and encouraged the Irish lordships on their borders to challenge their local supremacy. How to counter this threat absorbed their energies and resources. It involved not only mounting armed campaigns and building small stone castles, but also intermarrying with their Irish enemies and entering into solemn, if short-lived, treaties with them. The frontier coloured every aspect of settler life, and local families jostled with each other, sometimes murderously, in this dangerous borderland of the English world.

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