In all of the literature on Anglo-Saxon England, rarely has the question of social class been confronted head-on. This study draws upon recent research into topics such as religious practice, emotions, daily life, and intellectual culture to investigate how the aristocracy of Northumbria maintained social dominance over wider society. Moreover, this monograph suggests that the crisis that brought an end to Northumbria as an independent kingdom was the product of the social contradictions produced by the ruling class as social domination developed over time. The analysis is divided into three broad parts - production, circulation, and consumption - both as a nod to Marxist historiography and also to signal a commitment to a methodology that situates the subject within a global context.
From the deserts of Egypt to the emergence of the great monastic orders, the story of late antique and medieval monasticism in the West used to be straightforward. But today we see the story as far 'messier' - less linear, less unified, and more historicized. In the first part of this book, the reader is introduced to the astonishing variety of forms and experiences of the monastic life, their continuous transformation, and their embedding in physical, socio-economic, and even personal settings. The second part surveys and discusses the extensive international scholarship on which the first part is built. The third part, a research tool, rounds off the volume with a carefully representative bibliography of literature and primary sources.
This book explores the role of great hall complexes in kingdom formation through an expansive and ambitious study, incorporating new fieldwork, new quantitative methodologies and new theoretical models for the emergence of high-status settlements and the formation and consolidation of supra-regional socio-political units.
The study of Old Norse Religion is a truly multidisciplinary and international field of research. The rituals, myths and narratives of pre-Christian Scandinavia are investigated and interpreted by archaeologists, historians, art historians, historians of religion as well as scholars of literature, onomastics and Scandinavian studies. For obvious reasons, these studies belong to the main curricula in Scandinavia but are also carried out at many other universities in Europe, the United States and Australia a fact that is evident to any reader of this book. In order to bring this broad and varied field of research together, an international conference on Old Norse religion was held in Lund in June 2004. About two hundred delegates from more than fifteen countries took part. The intention was to gather researchers to encourage and improve scholarly exchange and dialogue, and Old Norse religion in long-term perspectives presents a selection of the proceedings from that conference. The 75 contributions elucidate topics such as worldview and cosmology, ritual and religious practice, myth and memory as well as the reception and present-day use of Old Norse religion. The main editors of this volume have directed the multidisciplinary research project Roads to Midgard since 2000. The project is based at Lund University and funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.
The conquest of Egypt by Islamic armies under the command of Amr ibn al-As in the seventh century transformed medieval Egyptian society. Seeking to uncover the broader cultural changes of the period by drawing on a wide array of literary and documentary sources, Maged Mikhail stresses the cultural and institutional developments that punctuated the histories of Christians and Muslims in the province under early Islamic rule. From Byzantine to Islamic Egypt traces how the largely agrarian Egyptian society responded to the influx of Arabic and Islam, the means by which the Coptic Church constructed its sectarian identity, the Islamisation of the administrative classes and how these factors converged to create a new medieval society. The result is a fascinating and essential study for scholars of Byzantine and early Islamic Egypt.
The varied character of Britain's countryside and towns provides communities with a strong sense of local identity. One of the most significant features of the southern British landscape is the way that its character differs from region to region, with compact villages in the Midlands contrasting with the sprawling hamlets of East Anglia and isolated farmsteads of Devon. Even more remarkable is the very 'English' feel of the landscape in southern Pembrokeshire, in the far south west of Wales. Hoskins described the English landscape as 'the richest historical record we possess', and in this book Stephen Rippon explores the origins of regional variations in landscape character, arguing that while some landscapes date back to the centuries either side of the Norman Conquest, other areas across southern Britain underwent a profound change around the 8th century AD.
This groundbreaking study of coinage in early medieval England is the first to take account of the very significant additions to the corpus of southern English coins discovered in recent years and to situate this evidence within the wider historical context of Anglo-Saxon England and its continental neighbours. Its nine chapters integrate historical and numismatic research to explore who made early medieval coinage, who used it and why. The currency emerges as a significant resource accessible across society and, through analysis of its production, circulation and use, the author shows that control over coinage could be a major asset. This control was guided as much by ideology as by economics and embraced several levels of power, from kings down to individual craftsmen. Thematic in approach, this innovative book offers an engaging, wide-ranging account of Anglo-Saxon coinage as a unique and revealing gauge for the interaction of society, economy and government.
It is 733 AD in Anglo-Saxon Britain - a time of warriors, war and religious extremes. Begiloc, a young freedman from Wimborne, is a man of action. But his world turns upside down when the young Briton and his best friend Meryn are ordered away to protect English missionaries in Germany. For a man accustomed to brutality, Begiloc has a soft spot for the purple-tinged mountains, waterfalls, lakes, animals, trees and flowers - beginning to muse whether they, rather than Man, do not better embody the essence of God. Mission follows mission across the continent, and Begiloc is driven ever further from his loved ones. His ultimate foe is the corrupt and cruel Bishop of Rems, Milo. Will Begiloc ever be free from his obligations to the Church, and reunited with those whom he has been so long separated? John Broughton's The Purple Thread is a historical thrill-ride across 8th century Europe, which also rings some very contemporary bells, and a tale of a man's psychological battle to sustain his faith and morality in the face of temptation and evil. This is the large print edition of The Purple Thread, with a larger font / typeface for easier reading.
An Open Access edition is available on the LUP and OAPEN websites. Across Europe, the early medieval period saw the advent of new ways of cereal farming which fed the growth of towns, markets and populations, but also fuelled wealth disparities and the rise of lordship. These developments have sometimes been referred to as marking an ‘agricultural revolution’, yet the nature and timing of these critical changes remain subject to intense debate, despite more than a century of research. The papers in this volume demonstrate how the combined application of cutting-edge scientific analyses, along with new theoretical models and challenges to conventional understandings, can reveal trajectories of agricultural development which, while complementary overall, do not indicate a single period of change involving the extension of arable, the introduction of the mouldboard plough, and regular crop rotation. Rather, these phenomena become evident at different times and in different places across England throughout the period, and rarely in an unambiguously ‘progressive’ fashion. Presenting innovative bioarchaeological research from the ground-breaking Feeding Anglo-Saxon England project, along with fresh insights into ploughing technology, brewing, the nature of agricultural revolutions, and farming practices in Roman Britain and Carolingian Europe, this volume is a critical new contribution to environmental archaeology and medieval studies in England and beyond. Contributors: Amy Bogaard; Hannah Caroe; Neil Faulkner; Emily Forster; Helena Hamerow; Matilda Holmes; Claus Kropp; Lisa Lodwick; Mark McKerracher; Nicolas Schroeder; Elizabeth Stroud; Tom Williamson.
This is a concise survey of the economy of the Byzantine Empire from the fourth century AD to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Organised chronologically, the book addresses key themes such as demography, agriculture, manufacturing and the urban economy, trade, monetary developments, and the role of the state and ideology. It provides a comprehensive overview of the economy with an emphasis on the economic actions of the state and the productive role of the city and non-economic actors, such as landlords, artisans and money-changers. The final chapter compares the Byzantine economy with the economies of western Europe and concludes that the Byzantine economy was one of the most successful examples of a mixed economy in the pre-industrial world. This is the only concise general history of the Byzantine economy and will be essential reading for students of economic history, Byzantine history and medieval history more generally.