Feudal Society in Medieval France: Documents from the County of Champagne

Feudal Society in Medieval France: Documents from the County of Champagne

Feudal Society in Medieval France: Documents from the County of Champagne

Feudal Society in Medieval France: Documents from the County of Champagne

Synopsis

Theodore Evergates has assembled, translated, and annotated some two hundred documents from the country of Champagne into a sourcebook that focuses on the political, economic, and legal workings of a feudal society, uncovering the details of private life and social history that are embedded in the official records.

Excerpt

Anthologies of medieval texts, ranging widely in time and place, accord scant attention to the practices of feudal society in the High Middle Ages. Beyond the frequently reprinted descriptions of fealty by Fulcher of Chartres (ca. 1020) and of homage by Galbert of Bruges (1127) -- both highly simplistic representations -- few nonliterary texts are available to the English reader. This collection attempts to redress that omission. in drawing from the abundant sources available within a single French province, it seeks to present a coherent picture of a complex and evolving society at the very time when fundamental social, economic, and administrative institutions were being formed.

In the translations, I have tried to facilitate comprehension by modern general readers. Several texts already available in translation have been modified slightly to that end; the rest are translated here for the first time. a few technical terms are retained in parentheses, while explanatory, comments are given in brackets. All dates are converted to modern style (in Champagne the new year was reckoned from Easter). Personal names are rendered in English except where the French forms seem familiar (for example, Henry the Liberal, but Jean of Joinville).

I thank R. C. Famiglietti for a critical reading and many suggestions that materially improved this collection.

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