Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France 900-1300

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France 900-1300

Article excerpt

David Crouch, The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France 900-1300 (Harlow: Pearson Longman, 2005). xiii + 361 pp. ISBN 0-58236981-9. £19.99.

David Crouch in his foreword says that explaining medieval aristocracy to his students has taken him back to 'basic ideas' and to survey the 'historiographical wilderness' out of which those ideas have emerged. He will offer the reader 'a travelogue in history'. It is an accurate image in terms of the number of issues and personalities that come into view, but it gives a false impression of the energy and pace of this survey. It is organized in four sections, dealing with 'noble conduct', 'noble descent', 'noble class', and 'noble lordship'. It offers under each heading a review of the historiography, an analysis of the current literature, and 'perspectives de recherches'. Under 'class', there is consideration of 'the transformation of the year iooo', an idea particularly associated with Georges Duby, and still actively debated, though Crouch prefers to emphasize the growth of the seigneurie rather than the descent of the ban (defined here as powers of 'justice and military command'). Hence his starting point of 900. If we are left anywhere with a significant date it is rather 1200. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.