Over the last few decades, scholarship on early medieval conflict has been driven and shaped by the kinds of sources that scholars have used. The different source genres offer their own characteristic pictures of the ways that people processed disputes in the early Middle Ages. Narrative sources, for example, such as chronicles or saints' lives, tend in the process of achieving their narrative orhagiographic goals to highlight violence, extra-judicial settlement, and the ritual or symbolic expression of disputes and disputeresolution. Normative sources, such as law codes or royal legislation (for example, the capitularies issued by Carolingian kings), naturally emphasize institutional tools for handling conflict, such as formal judicial assemblies and judicial procedures, royal judicial officials, and laws. Archival sources from the period consist primarily of charters, that is, records of rights or privilege ranging from diplomas issued by kings and emperors to the property records of churches andmonasteries. These tend to blend the images produced by the first two source genres. Often they record the formal resolution of propertydisputes in judicial assemblies headed by kings, counts, or their representatives; often they refer to laws or imply that the cases theydeal with were covered by some generally recognized set of norms. Charters also, however, provide a great deal of evidence for extra-judicial negotiation and settlement, as well as for ritual and public symbolic communication as a part of dispute processing.