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Politics and Power in Early Medieval Europe
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Book description

How exactly did political power operate in early medieval Europe? Taking Alsace as his focus, Hans Hummer offers an intriguing new case study on localised and centralised power and the relationship between the two from c. 600–1000. Providing a panoramic survey of the sources from the region, which include charters, notarial formulas, royal instruments, and Old High German literature, he untangles the networks of monasteries and kin groups which made up the political landscape of Alsace, and shows the significance of monastic control in shaping that landscape. He also investigates this local structure in light of comparative evidence from other regions. He tracks the emergence of the distinctive local order during the seventh century to its eventual decline in the late tenth century in the face of radical monastic reform. Highly original and well balanced, this 2006 work is of interest to all students of medieval political structures.

Reviews

"...[W]ell written in clear, and often elegant, prose...This book makes an important contribution to the growing body of newer scholarship on the Carolingian Empire...It deserves to be considered in equal measure by historians interested in the connection between monastic reform movements and the transformation of territorial lordships and familial self-perception in the eleventh century."
-John Eldevik, Pomona College, Canadian Journal of History

"Hans Hummer's book is a noteworthy addition to the work of historians focusing on the regional history of the Medieval West, particularly during the Carolingian period."
-Boris Todorov, Comitatus

"Hummer's book is an important addition to our knowledge of east Francia."
-John B. Freed, Illinois State University, Journal of Medieval Studies

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