Thomas, Elizabeth, ‘We have nothing more valuable in our treasury’ : royal marriage in England, 1154-1272, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. J. Hudson, University of St Andrews)
That kings throughout the entire Middle Ages used the marriages of themselves and their children to further their political agendas has never been in question. What this thesis examines is the significance these marriage alliances truly had to domestic and foreign politics in England from the accession of Henry II in 1154 until the death of his grandson Henry III in 1272. Chronicle and record sources shed valuable light upon the various aspects of royal marriage at this time: firstly, they show that the marriages of the royal family at this time were geographically diverse, ranging from Scotland and England to as far abroad as the Empire, Spain, and Sicily. Most of these marriages were based around one primary principle, that being control over Angevin land-holdings on the continent. Further examination of the ages at which children were married demonstrates a practicality to the policy, in that often at least the bride was young, certainly young enough to bear children and assimilate into whatever land she may travel to. Sons were also married to secure their future, either as heir to the throne or the husband of a wealthy heiress. Henry II and his sons were almost always closely involved in the negotiations for the marriages, and were often the initiators of marriage alliances, showing a strong interest in the promotion of marriage as a political tool. Dowries were often the centre of alliances, demonstrating how much the bride, or the alliance, was worth, in land, money, or a combination of the two. One of the most important aspects for consideration though, was the outcome of the alliances. Though a number were never confirmed, and most royal children had at least one broken proposal or betrothal before their marriage, many of the marriages made were indeed successful in terms of gaining from the alliance what had originally been desired.
[Source : http://hdl.handle.net/10023/2001]
Bowie, Colette Marie, The daughters of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine: a comparative study of twelfth-century royal women, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. M. Strickland, University of Glasgow)
This thesis compares and contrasts the experiences of the three daughters of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Matilda, Leonor and Joanna all undertook exogamous marriages which cemented dynastic alliances and furthered the political and diplomatic ambitions of their parents. Their later choices with regards religious patronage, as well as the way they and their immediate families were buried, seem to have been influenced by their natal family, suggesting a coherent sense of family consciousness. To discern why this might be the case, an examination of the childhoods of these women has been undertaken, to establish what emotional ties to their natal family may have been formed at this time. The political motivations for their marriages have been analysed, demonstrating the importance of these dynastic alliances, as well as highlighting cultural differences and similarities between the courts of Saxony, Castile, Sicily and the Angevin realm. Dowry and dower portions are important indicators of the power and strength of both their natal and marital families, and give an idea of their access to economic resources which could provide financial means for patronage. The thesis then examines the patronage and dynastic commemorations of Matilda, Leonor and Joanna, in order to discern patterns or parallels. Their possible involvement in the burgeoning cult of Thomas Becket, their patronage of Fontevrault Abbey, the names they gave to their children, and finally where and how they and their immediate families were buried, suggests that all three women were, to varying degrees, able to transplant Angevin family customs to their marital lands. The resulting study, the first of its kind to consider these women in an intergenerational context, advances the hypothesis that there may have been stronger emotional ties within the Angevin family than has previously been allowed for.
[Source : http://theses.gla.ac.uk/3177/]
Zori Davide Marco, From Viking chiefdoms to medieval state in Iceland: The evolution of social power structures in the Mosfell Valley, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. J. Byock, University of California, Los Angeles)
This dissertation presents the results of an interdisciplinary regional study of medieval Icelandic society, beginning with the 9th century settlement of the island and concluding when independent sociopolitical development halted in AD 1262. The nature of the power of medieval Icelandic chieftains has attracted scholarly attention from both historians and anthropologists, who have been drawn to the unusually rich corpus of information in the Icelandic sagas. These chieftains maintained power for several centuries without institutionalized taxation or the development of territorial polities. My research contributes to the understanding of this chiefly power by analyzing separate sources of social power and charting temporal change in the power structures with an interdisciplinary micro-regional study of the Mosfell Valley in southwest Iceland.
Methodologically, I employ multiple lines of evidence, including medieval texts, place names, oral traditions, and archaeological data from regional surveys and excavations. Previous scholarly investigation has relied on textual sources to investigate Icelandic social structure and chiefly power. This is therefore the first regional study of long-term change at the local scale that integrates archaeological and textual sources, providing a detailed and nuanced understanding of the micro-processes in a specific medieval community.
Structured in part by a network of kinship alliances, the settlement of the Mosfell Valley progressed rapidly, with at least three farms established in the first generation. By the early 11th century, the Mosfell chieftains reached their apex of power through the articulation of economic, ideological, military, and political sources of power. The chieftains employed diverse strategies to advance their positions, including mobilization of the subsistence economy for investment in the chiefly political economy, control of a local port and access to prestige goods, and the use of materialized pagan and Christian ideologies to centralize wealth and authority. Although the Mosfell chieftains shifted their strategies with the increasing stratification of Icelandic society, the region became marginalized as neighboring chieftains consolidated territorial power. Nevertheless, and in contrast power interpretations of 13th century conditions, the agency of local leaders caused power in the Mosfell region to remain tired to personal authority and less dominated by territoriality than in neighboring regions.
[Source : www.viking.ucla.edu/zori/davide_zori_dissertation_2010.pdf]
Smith, Nicholas J.C., Servicium debitum and scutage in twelfth-century England, with comparisons to the Regno of southern Italy, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (University of Durham)
The purpose of this study is to re-assess the system of military obligation in England at the earliest time sufficient documents survive to provide an in-depth explanation. It is both an examination of the twelfth-century feudal structure and lordship arrangements as described by these documents, and how they came to be in their twelfth-century forms. This is supplemented by a similar, but briefer, evaluation of the Regno of southern Italy and of the occasional relevant documents from Normandy. An examination of the place of military obligation in the kingdom of England covers three major areas: the assessment of this obligation, the cost of service both to the king and the individual knight, and how the men actually served. These three areas offer insight into how the Normans established the servicium debitum, how knights exempted themselves from their obligation or were compensated for extra service, and various aspects of what their service entailed, such as castle guard.
A study of the returns made by tenants-in-chief in 1166 suggests that these have been misinterpreted in the past; their inspiration lay in the desire of the barons to protect themselves from excessive royal demands, rather than in the crown’s desire to update the servicium debitum. The survey conducted in the Regno earlier is unlikely to have served as a prototype for the 1166 inquiry; it was different in purpose and in form. Scutages are examined, to show the complex patterns of payment, and to suggest that under Henry II a significant number of tenants-in-chief performed their service, rather than commuted it. The Pipe Rolls are used to analyse military expenditure at a local level in two counties, Kent and Shropshire; in particular pay rates are reconstructed. A series of appendices provide details of this expenditure, along with evidence of scutages.
[Source : http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/454/]
Nordic Medieval Laws (NML)
Responsable du projet/Project leader : Stefan Brink (email@example.com)
Établissement principal/Main institution : Centre for Scandinavian Studies, University of Aberdeen
Projet en cours/Project in progress
Aim of the project
The aim of the project is to analyse, edit, translate and comment upon all the Nordic provincial laws from the Middle Ages, for the first time. The output will be a series of 15 volumes with a translation of, and commentary upon, each law in English, and an online database consisting of facsimiles of the previously-published laws in Old Danish, Old Norwegian and Old Swedish.
Continuer la lecture de Nordic Medieval Laws (NML)
Goeres Erin Michelle, The King is dead, long live the King : commemoration in skaldic verse of the Viking Age, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. H. O’Donoghue, Université d’Oxford)
This thesis examines the function of commemorative skaldic verse at the Viking-age court. The first chapter demonstrates that the commemoration of past kings could provide a prestigious genealogical record that was used to legitimize both pagan and early Christian rulers. In the ninth and early tenth centuries, poets crafted competing genealogies to assert the primacy of their patrons and of their patrons’ religions. The second chapter looks at the work of tenth-century poets who depict their rulers’ entrances into the afterlife. Such poets interrogate the role public speech and poetic discourse play in the commemoration of the king, especially during the political turmoil that follows his death. A discussion follows of the relationship between poets and their patrons in the tenth and eleventh centuries: although this relationship is often praised as one of mutual trust and reliance, the financial aspects of the relationship were often juxtaposed uneasily with expressions of emotional attachment. The death of the patron caused a crisis in these seemingly contradictory bonds between poet and patron. The final chapter demonstrates the dramatic development in the eleventh century of deeply emotional commemorative verse as poets become adopted into their patrons’ families through such Christian ceremonies as baptism and marriage. In these verses poets express their grief after the death of the king and record the performances of public mourning on the part of the kings’ followers. As the petty warlords of the Viking age adapted to medieval models of Christian kingship, the role of the skald changed too. Formerly serving as a propagandist and retainer in the king’s service, a skald documenting the lives of kings at the end of the Viking age could occupy an almost infinite number of roles, from kinsman and friend to advisor and hagiographer.
[Source : http://www.ucl.ac.uk/selcs/people/scandinavian-studies-staff/erin-goeres]
Harlitz Erika, Urbana system och riksbildning i Skandinavien. En studie av Lödöses uppgång och fall ca 1050 – 1646 [Urban Systems and State Formation in Scandinavia: A Study of the Rise and Fall of the Town of Lödöse, c. 1050– 1646], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (Université de Göteborg)
The investigation and analysis of Lödöse’s political functions over a period of six hundred years has made it possible to follow and contextualize a town’s life cycle and development. Lödöse has been used as a case study which illuminates how and why a town emerged, developed and disappeared in medieval and early modern Scandinavia, in relation to the processes of state formation and urbanization. The theory applied is the Dynamic Urban Systems Theory. The position of a town within this theory is determined by the functions of the town, as well as the exclusivity of these functions. The influences of the Scandinavian state formation process on the town and the subsequent emergence of the river Göta Älv as the border of the realm have been ubiquitous during the evolution of Lödöse’s functions. The results of the dissertation have been reached by abandoning the interpretational framework offered by the borders of the Scandinavian national states and instead using the Glomma-Risveden region as a focal point. This way, it has been demonstrated that Lödöse was founded in the 11th century during the urbanization of the medieval eastern Norwegian region of Viken, and not as a power manifestation by the Swedish kings, as has been previously assumed. Due to the evolution of the border between the Norwegian and Swedish kingdoms, Lödöse in time became a part of the developing Swedish urban system. This system evolved and was shaped in such a way by the Swedish state that, by the early 17th century, Lödöse was rendered obsolete; therefore, the town ultimately lost its system position and was subsequently abandoned.
[Source : http://gup.ub.gu.se/publication/120754-urbana-system-och-riksbildning-i-skandinavien-en-studie-av-lodoses-uppgang-och-fall-ca-1050-1646]