Power and Property in Medieval Germany: Economic and Social Change, C.900-1300

Power and Property in Medieval Germany: Economic and Social Change, C.900-1300

Power and Property in Medieval Germany: Economic and Social Change, C.900-1300

Power and Property in Medieval Germany: Economic and Social Change, C.900-1300

Synopsis

In Power and Property in Medieval Germany Professor Arnold takes a fresh look at the problems posed by power and property in a medieval society, in this case the German kingdom. In a series of interrelated studies, Arnold explains the ongoing social and economic relationships between classes and institutions, peasants and lords, the royal court, towns and townsfolk, and the Church and aristocracy.

Excerpt

Many years ago I resolved to undertake the study of the history of the medieval German Empire under the capable direction of Professor Karl Leyser at Oxford University. At that time there was not very much to read in English on the subject, the field being dominated by Geoffrey Barraclough's two-volume work Mediaeval Germany 911–1250 published in 1938 and reissued in 1961, and his The Origins of Modern Germany which came out in 1946. the second volume of Mediaeval Germany consists of nine papers, articles, and chapters by German scholars translated by Barraclough, and it remains a useful compendium. Things have changed, and I am now able to teach a coherent undergraduate course entitled 'The German Imperial Age 900–1250' with a vigorous AngloAmerican bibliography helped out by several translations from German secondary literature and from the Latin sources.

Inquiry into problems posed by medieval Germany's historical record invited several choices. in the first place, the scope of the Latin sources already in print was enormous, so one had to be realistic about the chunks to be analysed and digested. This material was in print largely due to the work of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica committees in their several series, a labour still going on. However, diligent and expert editors in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were also producing many volumes of charters both in Latin and in the vernacular, to illuminate the history of specific towns, regions, and territorial principalities in medieval Germany. and there were anthologies such as the six-volume compendium edited by Philipp Jaffé as Bibliotheca Rerum Germanicarum which concentrated the materials by places such as Corvey and Bamberg, or by persons such as Pope Gregory vii.

A second challenge was that the state of scholarship from the German secondary sources was in turmoil because the famous names and theories of the past were being replaced by works of interpretation coming out from formidable schools and institutes of medieval history, notably at Freiburg im Breisgau, Gottingen, Munich, Munster, and Vienna.

Subtitled Essays by German Historians, vol. 1: Introduction, vol. 2: Essays (Oxford,
1938).

(Berlin, 1864–73).

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