New Medieval Books: From Anarchy to Archaeology

MARCH 26, 2017 BY

Five more books that go from early medieval Europe to the Renaissance…

 

The Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict

By Oliver H. Creighton and Duncan W. Wright

Liverpool University Press
ISBN: 9781781382424

The turbulent reign of Stephen, King of England (1135–54), has been styled since the late 19th century as ‘the Anarchy’, although the extent of political breakdown during the period has since been vigorously debated. Rebellion and bitter civil war characterised Stephen’s protracted struggle with rival claimant Empress Matilda and her Angevin supporters over ‘nineteen long winters’ when, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ‘Christ and his Saints slept’. Drawing on new research and fieldwork, this innovative volume offers the first ever overview and synthesis of the archaeological and material record for this controversial period. It presents and interrogates many different types of evidence at a variety of scales, ranging from nationwide mapping of historical events through to conflict landscapes of battlefields and sieges. The volume considers archaeological sites such as castles and other fortifications, churches, monasteries, bishops’ palaces and urban and rural settlements, alongside material culture including coins, pottery, seals and arms and armour. This approach not only augments but also challenges historical narratives, questioning the ‘real’ impact of Stephen’s troubled reign on society, settlement, church and the landscape, and opens up new perspectives on the conduct of Anglo-Norman warfare

Please visit the publisher’s website for more details

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Archaeologies of Waste: Encounters with the unwanted

Edited by Daniel Sosna and Lenka Brunclíková

Oxbow Books
ISBN: 9781785703270

Among the twelve articles in this book, which deals with waste and how it can be used in archaeological research, is “Cesspits and Finds: Study of Waste Management and its Social Significance in Medieval Tartu, Estonia,” by Arvi Haak

Please visit the publisher’s website for more details

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The Life Cycle of Structures in Experimental Archaeology: An object biography approach

Edited by Linda Hurcombe and Penny Cunningham

Sidestone Press
ISBN: 9789088903656

The focus of Archaeological Open-Air Museums (AOAMs) is to present both the tangible and intangible past to the public. The tangible parts of AOAMs are the archaeological remains and the reconstructions. The intangible and, in some respects the most interesting part of an AOAM, is the story of the people the museum represents. This volume explores the research and visitor agendas of structures and their life cycles as they are experienced by experimental archaeology projects and AOAMs. The papers presented include research undertaken by both academics and craft specialists and demonstrate the value of experiential and experimental research to enhance both the visitor experience and research agendas. Included among the articles is “Testing the indoor environment and personal health in an inhabited reconstructed Viking Age house during winter,” by Jannie Marie Christensen

You can download a free version of this book from the publisher’s website

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Debating Foreign Policy in the Renaissance: Speeches on War and Peace by Francesco Guicciardini

Edited by Marco Cesa

Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 9781474415040

This book brings together 11 pairs of opposing speeches on foreign policy written by Florentine statesman and historian Francesco Guicciardini (1483-1540), including “On Whether or Not the Florentines Should Accept the Peace Agreement That the Duke of Milan Is Offering”:

In my view, our city has beer had to make any decision to which she has been less induced by necessity than this. Since we have been at peace, albeit a tacit one, with the Duke of Milan for many years, there is no reason at all which now forces us to explicitly accept or refuse to sign a peace agreement with him. And yet, either some presentment that comes from my heart, or the knowledge I have, out of a long experience, of your ways of proceeding, makes me greatly fear that our aspirations will lead us to where neither ambition nor necessity guides us. For I know how much peace is appreciated in a city whose nourishments are based upon peace, how hateful is the fear of having to spend money to those who know that war must be financed more from their own purses than by public revenues, and how little is believed the man who suggests something that almost all dislike, and how much more that which one sees at present, rather than that which one ears in the future, naturally sets men in motion.

Please visit the publisher’s website for more details

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Men in the Middle: Local Priests in Early Medieval Europe

Edited by Steffen Patzold and Carine van van Rhijn

De Gruyter
ISBN 978-3-11-044448-3

Twelve articles that look at the role of priests in communities in Europe during the Early Middle Ages, including: “Practices of property and the salvation of one’s soul: Priests as men in the middle in the Wissembourg material,” by Miriam Czock, “Local priests in early medieval Alamannia: The Charter Evidence,” by Bernhard Zeller, “Presbyter in parochia sua: Local priests and their churches in early medieval Bavaria,” by Thomas Kohl, “Ideal and reality: Carolingian priests in northern Francia,” by Charles Mériaux, “Local priests in early medieval rural Tuscany,” by Marco Stoffella, “Local priests in northern Iberia,” by Wendy Davies, “Looking for local priests in Anglo-Saxon England,” by Francesca Tinti, “Priests and books in the Merovingian period,” by Yitzhak Hen, “Manuscripts for local priests and the Carolingian reforms,” by Carine van Rhijn, and “Pater noster: Priests and the religious instruction of the laity in the Carolingian populus christianus,” by Steffen Patzold.

Please visit the publisher’s website for more details

Click here to buy this book on Amazon.com

Click here to look at last week’s New Medieval Books

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