Shifting Landmarks: Property, Proof, and Dispute in Catalonia around the Year 1000 by Jeffrey A. BowmanShifting Landmarks: Property, Proof, and Dispute in Catalonia around the Year 1000 by Jeffrey A. Bowman

Shifting Landmarks: Property, Proof, and Dispute in Catalonia around the Year 1000

byJeffrey A. Bowman

Hardcover | January 22, 2004

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In a major contribution to the debate among medievalists about the nature of social and political change in Europe around the turn of the millennium, Jeffrey A. Bowman explores how people contended over property during the tenth and eleventh centuries in the province of Narbonne. He examines the system of courts and judges that weighed property disputes and shows how disputants and judges gradually adapted, modified, and reshaped legal traditions. The region (which comprised Catalonia and parts of Mediterranean France) possessed a distinctive legal culture, characterized by the prominent role of professional judges, a high level of procedural sophistication, and an intense attachment to written law, particularly the Visigothic Code. At the same time, disputants relied on a range of strategies (including custom, curses, and judicial ordeals) to resolve conflicts. Chronic tensions stemmed from conflicting understandings of property rights rather than from pervasive violence; the changes Bowman tracks are less signs of a world convulsed in struggle than of a world coursing with vitality. In Shifting Landmarks, property disputes serve as a bridge between the author's inquiry into learned ideas about justice, land, and the law and his close examination of the rough-and-tumble practice of daily life. Throughout, Bowman finds intimate connections among ink and parchment, sweat and earth.
Title:Shifting Landmarks: Property, Proof, and Dispute in Catalonia around the Year 1000Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 3.69 inPublished:January 22, 2004Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801439906

ISBN - 13:9780801439902

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Editorial Reviews

"Prevailing thought suggests that a feudal revolution took place in Europe in the early eleventh century as public order fell to the private control of greedy local magnates. An impressive fund of knowledge, gained in a detailed examination of property disputes and the means of proof argued by litigants over contested holdings, has led Jeffrey Bowman to argue that the disputes arose not out of 'feudal anarchy,' but rather from competing legal traditions. Bowman's elegant new thesis promises to become the new paradigm for legal-political theorizing about the Middle Ages, and Shifting Landmarks will find itself on required reading lists for Medieval Literature of the Field courses taken by the graduate students of the future."—Penelope D. Johnson, New York University