The Latin Charters of the Anglo-Saxon Period

By F. M. Stenton | Go to book overview

3
THE LAST CENTURY OF THE SOLEMN CHARTER

THE attempt to define the privileges of a chartered estate which is often found in the ninth century seems to have been abandoned in the following age. Apart from their local, and under Athelstan their political interest, the charters of the kings between Edward the Elder and Edward the Martyr form a monotonous series, and one which offers few passages for quotation to the legal historian. As illustrations of curial scholarship, these charters are disappointing, for the elaboration of Athelstan's great diplomas was not maintained under his successors. To judge from the numerous specimens that are still extant, these later charters were generally fine examples of stylized calligraphy. To the student of Anglo-Saxon topography they are of great interest, for in the tenth century a set of boundaries written in English becomes a regular part of every normal charter. In texts which may be contemporary, the appearance of the writing on the sheet is pleasantly diversified by the contrast between the monumental hands of the Latin portions of the charters and the smaller type of script used for the English boundaries.

-66-

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The Latin Charters of the Anglo-Saxon Period
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Abbreviations viii
  • 1 - Charters and Their Criticism 1
  • 2 - The Development of The Charter 31
  • 3 - The Last Century of The Solemn Charter 66
  • List of Charters Mentioned In This Book 92
  • Index 97
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