Life on a Mediaeval Barony (Illustrated): A Picture of a Typical Feudal Community in the Thirteenth Century by William Stearns Davis

Life on a Mediaeval Barony (Illustrated): A Picture of a Typical Feudal Community in the Thirteenth…

byWilliam Stearns Davis

Kobo ebook | March 25, 2016

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This book describes the life of the Feudal Ages in terms of the concrete. The discussions center around a certain seigneury of St. Aliquis. If no such barony is easily identifiable, at least there were several hundred second-grade fiefs scattered over western Christendom which were in essential particulars extremely like it, and its Baron Conon and his associates were typical of many similar individuals, a little worse or a little better, who abounded in the days of Philip Augustus.
No custom is described which does not seem fairly characteristic of the general period. To focus the picture a specific region, northern France, and a specific year, A.D. 1220, have been selected. Not many matters have been mentioned, however, which were not more or less common to contemporaneous England and Germany; nor have many usages been explained which would not frequently have been found as early as A.D. 1100 or as late as 1300.
Northern France was par excellence the homeland of Feudalism and hardly less so of Chivalry, while by general consent the years around 1220 mark one of the great turning epochs of the Middle Ages. We are at the time of the development of French kingship under Philip Augustus, of the climax and the beginning of the waning of the crusading spirit, of the highest development of Gothic architecture, of the full blossoming of the popular Romance literature, and of the beginning of the entirely dissimilar, but even more important, Friar movement.
To make the life of the Middle Ages live again in its pageantry and its squalor, its superstition and its triumph of Christian art and love, is the object of this study. Many times has the author been reminded of the intense contrasts between sublime good and extreme evil everywhere apparent in the Feudal Epoch. With every effort at impartiality, whether praising or condemning, it is dangerously easy to write in superlatives.
Although the preparation of this book was not undertaken without that knowledge and investigation of those mediæval authors, ecclesiastics, and laymen upon which every significant study of this kind must rest, every scholar will recognize the author's debt to many modern specialists. To Th. Wright, Lacroix, Luchaire, Justin H. Smith, Viollet-le-Duc, and Chéruel the acknowledgments are very specific. To Leon Gautier they must be more specific still. It is a great misfortune that his masterpiece, Le Chivalrie, is no longer current in a good English translation. The words in quotation, sprinkled through the text, are usually from pertinent mediæval writers, except where they purport to be direct snatches of conversation.
To my colleague in this university, Prof. August C. Krey, who has read and criticized the manuscript with friendly fidelity and professional alertness and acumen, there are due many hearty thanks.

Title:Life on a Mediaeval Barony (Illustrated): A Picture of a Typical Feudal Community in the Thirteenth…Format:Kobo ebookPublished:March 25, 2016Publisher:@AnnieRoseBooksLanguage:English

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