A Companion to the Medieval World (Blackwell Companions to by Carol Lansing, Edward D. English

By Carol Lansing, Edward D. English

Drawing at the services of 26 unusual students, this crucial quantity covers the most important concerns within the learn of medieval Europe, highlighting the numerous impression the period of time had on cultural varieties and associations significant to ecu identification

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Bede, Ecclesiastical History, ed. and trans. B. Colgrave and R. Mynors (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969). , “The ‘Feudal Revolution’ ”, Past and Present, 142 (1994), pp. 6–42; with comments by Dominique Barthelemy, Timothy Reuter, Stephen D. White, and Chris Wickham in Past and Present, 152 (1996) and 155 (1997). ,” French History, 14 (2000). Bloch, Marc, Feudal Society, 2 vols. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961). economies and societies in early medieval western europe 33 Bonnassie, Pierre, From Slavery to Feudalism in South Western Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

Arguably, it was the second half of the first millennium that saw the emergence of the underlying grid of village settlement – agglomerations of farming households, increasingly focused on parish churches with attached cemeteries – that was to determine the basic shape of the pre-industrial West European countryside. Indeed, one focus for recurrent interest in the early medieval centuries has been a search for the origins of villages and parishes, usually underpinned by a strong sense of a timeless local identity and organic agrarian order out of which subsequent social complexity grew.

While early medieval trade networks catered for the demands of ruling elites and relied on royal protection, they were not so closely tied to the structures of the state as their predecessors. The chronology of their emergence differed, region by region. Around the North Sea, specialized emporia begin to develop in the later part of the seventh century and into the eighth. While some of these related to Roman sites – at London, for example, an “emporium of many nations”7 stood just outside the gate of the former Roman city on the Strand – more were new foundations on low-lying and easily navigable sites, such as Dorestad in the Rhine delta and Hamwic near modern Southampton on the south English coast, and, by 800, Hedeby in Denmark and Birka in Sweden.

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