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eBook The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government ePub

eBook The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government ePub

by Thomas N. Bisson

  • ISBN: 0691147957
  • Category: Politics and Government
  • Subcategory: Politics
  • Author: Thomas N. Bisson
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (August 8, 2010)
  • Pages: 720
  • ePub book: 1486 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1319 kb
  • Other: doc txt docx rtf
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Votes: 883

Description

As Thomas Bisson explains in his preface, the origins of this book lie in a course he began offering at Harvard in. .Bisson offers here a much darker and more violent vision of the period than many earlier scholars-especially supporters of a twelfth-century renaissance-have put forward.

As Thomas Bisson explains in his preface, the origins of this book lie in a course he began offering at Harvard in 1988. Nevertheless, this work is not a radical reinterpretation of the traditional narrative of the years 1050 to 1250.

Power fell into the hands of men who imposed coercive new lordships in quest of nobility. effort to combine the traditionally separate fields of political and cultural history in explaining the 'origins of government' is admirable. --John Hudson, BBC History Magazine

Power fell into the hands of men who imposed coercive new lordships in quest of nobility. Rethinking a familiar history. --John Hudson, BBC History Magazine. In an era when bold syntheses are still too rare, Bisson has taken on 12th-century government in the whole of western Europe, from Poland to Spain, to show with unusual clarity how the period was one of violence and exploitation and how 'government' was inseparable from the exercise of personal power.

Rethinking a familiar history, Thomas Bisson explores the circumstances that impelled knights, emperors, nobles, and churchmen to infuse lordship with social purpose. Bisson traces the origins of European government to a crisis of lordship and its resolution. King John of England was only the latest and most conspicuous in a gallery of bad lords who dominated the populace instead of ruling it. Yet, it was not so much the oppressed people as their tormentors who were in crisis

Rethinking a familiar history, Thomas Bisson explores the circumstances that impelled knights, emperors, nobles, and churchmen to infuse lordship with social purpose. Yet, it was not so much the oppressed people as their tormentors who were in crisis

A’ crisis ‘in the twelfth century!’ Is not this great epoch, with its flowerings and . revivals of the twelfth century.

A’ crisis ‘in the twelfth century!’ Is not this great epoch, with its flowerings and fulfillments in so many domains of human endeavour, with its Renaissance of learning and faith, a time of maturation and progress? Was this not very specially so of government? If in the famous book I. Heinrich Mitteis thought of the ‘feudal state’ as a progressive structure. R. W. Southern wrote of ‘the emergence of stable political institutions and the elaboration of a new system of la.

Электронная книга "The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government", Thomas N. Bisson. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government" для чтения в офлайн-режиме. Yet, it was not so much the oppressed people as their tormentors who were in crisis

Thomas N. Bisson is the Henry Charles Lea Professor of Medieval History Emeritus at Harvard University

Thomas N. Bisson is the Henry Charles Lea Professor of Medieval History Emeritus at Harvard University. Country of Publication. History & Military.

effort to combine the traditionally separate fields of political and cultural history in explaining the 'origins .

effort to combine the traditionally separate fields of political and cultural history in explaining the 'origins of government' is admirable. -John Hudson, BBC History Magazine.

Power fell into the hands of men who imposed coercive new lordships in. Rethinking a familiar history, Thomas Bisson explores the circumstances that impelled knights, emperors, nobles, and churchmen to infuse lordship with social purpose.

Medieval civilization came of age in thunderous events like the Norman Conquest and the First Crusade. Power fell into the hands of men who imposed coercive new lordships in quest of nobility. Rethinking a familiar history, Thomas Bisson explores the circumstances that impelled knights, emperors, nobles, and churchmen to infuse lordship with social purpose.

Bisson traces the origins of European government to a crisis of lordship and its resolution. King John of England was only the latest and most conspicuous in a gallery of bad lords who dominated the populace instead of ruling it. Yet, it was not so much the oppressed people as their tormentors who were in crisis. The Crisis of the Twelfth Century suggests what these violent people―and the outcries they provoked―contributed to the making of governments in kingdoms, principalities, and towns.

Comments

Awene Awene
This was a frustrating book to read because I spent most of the time trying to figure out what the author meant. The start of the book is particularly rough because the author does not explain why he wrote the book, what his thesis is, or what kind of evidence he will be examining. Also, and this in particularly annoying in this level of research, he writes in sentence fragments. He also starts sentences and paragraphs with `But', as well as other such errors. It's very annoying and makes it difficult to understand. If this was a best seller or genre book it would be tolerable, but his audience is mostly college educators and students.

There are some interesting ideas in the book. If I have it right this is Bisson's thesis. 1) There was an increase in violence related to `lordship' starting in the mid-eleventh century. This was due to an increase in population overall, but especially of `lords'. These extra high status individuals (younger sons mostly) in order to maintain their status needed to establish their own, new territory. In essence, a new layer of lords was created between the king, prince or duke and the peasants. 2) This led to a moral and cultural `crisis' manifested by complaints from the peasantry and reactions from the overlords. The modern approach is to see these changes as political in both the governing and faction sense. Bisson's thesis is that these events can be viewed from the moral and cultural angle as well, and that this is how the people alive then saw these events. One of the big changes that happened is the beginnings of an awareness that the debate over issues may be as important as the resulting ceremony recording the decree. Before this time the process of coming to an agreement was rarely recorded. This was seen as irrelevant, the important thing was that the agreement was sanctified by the lord. Bisson examines the Investiture Conflict, the Norman Conquest of England and various papal, HRE and Spanish events from this light.

I'm not sure I completely agree with the first part. To me it seems that the violence stopped being from outsiders (Vikings and Arabs) and became internally generated. This meant that it was able to be dealt with internally, by rulers controlling lesser lords. I agree about the excess gentry, these were the source of many of the fighters in the Crusades, the Norman invasion, the reconquest of Spain, etc. I also like the idea of looking at events from a different angle, it helps explain things that don't make sense otherwise. Human events are rarely pure, politics, economics, culture, and a host of other factors influence the outcome.

If you already know about the Investiture Conflict, the Norman Conquest, the various troubles of the HRE in controlling their underlings and a bit of papal history you are ready for this book and will find the ideas intriguing. I am mostly familiar with British, Papal and Mediterranean history, so some details were new to me.
LeXXXuS LeXXXuS
This man is clearly a genius, however, perhaps not the clearest writer. I would like to purchase him a copy of E.B. White's "Elements of Style." There are other books with the same density of information that don't contain massive, paragraph-length, run-on sentences.
KiddenDan KiddenDan
The book presents a fascinating look at the political chaos of the 11th-12th centuries, which makes one rethink the whole idea of a "12th Century Renaissance". Violence was endemic, political power was fragile (the author makes this point most poignantly by simply listing all the violent political crises and civil wars which every kingdom and major principality in western Europe experienced - oftentimes more than once - over several pages), and the 'little people' were constantly getting screwed by rapacious self-made "lords" and their "bad customs". The book has plenty of detail that left me thirsting for more, although several regions (Italy springs to mind, which is a shame, since the Norman invasion of southern Italy seems to prove the author's point as well - if not better - than any other happening in the book does) seemed to get short shrift. My chief complaint is that the prose is very tough to wrap your head around sometimes - run on sentences abound, and I found myself continually wondering who "he" referred to when there were three or four people referenced in the same sentence. I frequently had to re-read whole paragraphs to try and parse exactly what the author was trying to say. I would strongly recommend the book, though, to someone with a more than passing interest in medieval history and a lot of patience.
Wrathshaper Wrathshaper
It is rare that I read a book about a subject I know fairly well and still feel, at the end, that I am really not sure what the author wanted to say or prove. I feel confused and frustrated, like I wasted an awful lot of time slogging through a poorly written book. To be sure, it is written at the graduate level, assuming a very high level of knowledge, with innumerable references to events that are unexplained, personalities that are not described, and basic facts, such as the feverish building of that new technology, the strong castle. What the author is attempting to do is carve out a new interpretation, but it is never clear where exactly he intends to go with it - in 600 pages! In other words, he never states his purpose, never reviews what he has proven, and fails to put it all together in the conclusion.

I will offer here what I think he meant to say, though I could be wrong. At the beginning of the period, 11 C CE, the Dark Ages have ended, a vast economic expansion has begun (with the colonization of new farm land, new farming and a variety of other technoloiges), and new lordships are popping up everywhere, based on the strong castle as a defensive perimeter that is virtually unbreachable except at great effort. These new lords sought status, riches, and glory, and to get all that they cowed and then preyed up the peasantry and even local religious dignitaries, often able to ignore the admonishments of distant kings or religious authorities. There followed a period of chaos and rapine that reached catastrophic proportion, often resulting in the sack and burning of cities, monasteries, and entire regions.

Slowly, a network appeared that bound these new aristocrats into webs of obligation that moderated their behavior, first from fealty to kings as the feudal state blossomed with its oaths and contracts, then later with the extension of the spiritual reach of a reinvigorated church, in particular to advance that other colonial enterprise, the Crusades. The rediscovery of Roman law helped to set up a legal framework to support all of this. The end result was the establishment of an idea for civic society - with peace, some protection of law, and the gradual substitution of competence for fidelity in administrators of fiefs - that kings and their vassals should uphold in accordance with some Christian norms.

That is pretty much it for the ideas. What the book adds are many many stories to support this by way of scholarly proof (way too many in my opinion). I understood more clearly what the period was like for the downtrodden, which I had underestimated before, as well as the long struggle to establish a more peaceful order. Unfortunately, the author could have done this in about half the space, if not 1/3.

In my opinion, this book brings out the worst in turgid academic writing. Indeed, it reads more like notes from a graduate seminar than a finished book. I often failed to understand why the author was going into detail on certain subjects - I felt similarly when reading exegeses of Latin texts as an undergraduate, i.e. it was just plain obscure - and entire sub-chapters would abruptly end without establishing even an inkling of what he was getting at. Just when I was about to give up, however, he would go into something that interested me for a time, some detail I did understand and wanted to know, such as the view of troubadours in the new courts that popped up all over. But these nuggets were sparsely scattered throughout the book, which was long on incomprehensible, awkward prose and references to controversies that only his fellow professionals of knowledge would recognize as relevant. The writing style is so strange that it made me wonder if Bisson's native language was English.

I cannot recommend this book except to a small circle of specialists, Bisson's immediate peers. This brought me back to the struggles I faced as an undergraduate trying to take part in academic debates, i.e. being forced to adapt one's perspective to the norms created by a self-appointed, mutually supporting few. The trouble is, I now see it as extravagantly specialized and undeserving of the effort. If you are interested, there are far better and more beautifully written history books on the same period, some of them popular, some academic. This book is nothing but a chore with meagre rewards.