Publication – Sandro Carocci, « Lordships of Southern Italy Rural Societies. Aristocratic Powers and Monarchy in the 12th and 13th Centuries « , translated by Lucinda Byatt

What was the real nature of medieval lordship in southern Italy? What can this region and its history bring to the great European debates on feudalism and aristocratic powers, their structures and evolution, and their social and economic impact? What contribution can the Kingdom of Sicily make to studies of the relationships between sovereigns, nobilities and peasant societies? And can the study of seigneurial powers and rural societies reshape the old arguments regarding the economic backwardness of the Mezzogiorno (the South of Italy) and the central role of its monarchy?

This book offers the first systematic analysis of lordship in southern Italy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, under the Norman, Staufen and early Angevin kings. It offers new interpretations of the powers of the nobility, and of rural societies and royal policy. It reveals the complexity of interactions between the king, nobles and peasants, and how they occurred and were expressed through laws and violence, feudal relations and economic investments, debates on freedom and serfdom, and the exploitation of people and natural resources. In these interactions a leading role is played by peasant societies – with previously unsuspected levels of dynamism – to set against that of the kings, who were determined to curb aristocratic powers, and of the nobles who were obliged to adapt their lordship in response to powerful rural societies and crown policies. What emerges is a hitherto unseen Mezzogiorno, vital and complex, whose study allows a deeper understanding not only of the affairs of the South but of many other regions of Europe.

Sandro Carocci is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. He has published, among other works, Baroni di Roma. Dominazioni signorili e lignaggi aristocratici nel Duecento e nel primo Trecento (ISIME, 1993), Il nepotismo nel medioevo. Papi, cardinali e famiglie nobili (Viella, 1996). With Isabella Lazzarini he has co-edited Social Mobility in Medieval Italy (1100-1500) (Viella, 2018).

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Table des matières :

Foreword to the English Edition
1. Introduction
1. The paradox of the southern Italian lordship
2. The myth of the monarchy
3. Negative imagery: baronage and villeinage
4. The obsession with backwardness
5. Dualism
6. Studies of southern Italy: feudalism and aristocracies
7. Studies of southern Italy: monasteries, villeins, recent developments
8. Problems of method and chronology
9. Framing the problem

2. Before the Normans
1. Political geography
2. Lombard uncertainties

3. Montecassino, S. Vincenzo al Volturno and incastellamento studies
4. Towards a more complex geography
3. The Normans: Change and Continuity
1. The age of Robert Guiscard
2. Plunder and lordship
3. Dominatores castri
4. Uncertain evidence
5. The fears of subordinates
6. Rights of conquest and the costs of protection
7. Continuity and change
8. Continuity through change
9. Regional and chronological differences: Sicily
10. Regional and chronological differences: the mainland regions
11. Settlement questions
12. The marginality of the ecclesiastical lordship
13. The extent of change

4. Monarchy and Feudalism
1. The royal administration
2. The monarchical revolution
3. Feudal and non-feudal relations
4. Feudal revisions
5. Was Roger II a feudal king?
6. A few clarifications
7. The Catalogus baronum
8. A feudal project
9. Selection and registration
10. Regalia and demesne
Appendix. Patrimonia and villani

5. King and Lords
1. Seigneurial pacts and languages of legitimation
2. Mores, usus and consuetudines
3. Royal controls during the Norman era: aristocratic marriages
4. Royal controls in the Norman era: successions
5. Hereditary practices
6. Royal controls under the Normans: alienations, confiscations, assignments
7. Lordship under control: legislation
8. Lordship under control: a multiplicity of interventions
9. Seigneurial justice and royal courts
10. Collapse and recovery of royal power
11. Staufen power
12. From the Staufens to the Angevins
13. Angevin continuities
14. Angevin innovations
15. Comparisons
16. Invocatio nominis imperatoris
17. Lordship and monarchy
Appendix. Demesne geography

6. Nobility and Pre-eminence
1. The militarization of pre-eminence and ethnic distinctions
2. Corrections
3. The vocabulary of pre-eminence during the Norman period (royal and notarial documentation)
4. A brief look at twelfth-century chronicles
5. Counts, barons and knights in the Norman period
6. The material bases for knightly pre-eminence in the twelfth century
7. Knights and nobles in the thirteenth century
Appendix. Feudal mathematics: the feudum militis

7. Clientele and Submission
1. Pontecorvo
2. Montecalvo
3. Milites and lords
4. Domini of Sorrento
5. The lordships of local notables
6. Ecclesiarum homines
7. The ius affidandi in Apulia
8. Foreigners and recommendati
9. The obligations of affidati and recommendati
10. Kings and clienteles
11. Questions of detail
12. For whom the bell tolls
13. In search of the origins of dependence
14. Other causes
15. How exceptional and representative was the Mezzogiorno?

8. Villeins and Serfs
1. The topic
2. Problems of approach
3. Slaves?
4. Servile burdens
5. Hereditary dependencies
6. Liberty as a (partial) exemption: liberi and franci
7. Terms and classifications
8. The revocati
9. Legislating on dependence
10. The angararii
11. Evolving forms of dependence

9. Seigneurial Justices
1. Lords who lose
2. The justiciars
3. A plurality of courts: churches and monasteries
4. A plurality of courts: milites, iudices, notables
5. The localism of curie and judges
6. Justice by assembly
7. Local societies, seigneurial justice, royal power
8. Before the monarchy
9. Staufen and Angevin developments

10. Worlds of Exaction
1. Parameters
2. An unknown reality
3. Common land (demani) in the early modern period
4. Ius laborandi, colendi et seminandi
5. Medieval clues
6. Establishing the origins of common lands
7. Aspects of an agrarian system
8. Sicilian casali
9. Uniformity and differentiation: privileged groups and others
10. The multiple facets of exaction
11. Angevin inquests
12. Jurisdictional incomes
13. Other jurisdictional revenues: pasture and banal rights
14. Adiutoria and terraticum
15. Conclusions

11. Economy, Lordship, the Rural World
1. Labour service and symbolic representations
2. The number of corvées
3. The geography and chronology of forced labour
4. An evaluation of forced labour
5. Regional differences
6. Land exactions, personal exactions
7. Was exaction territorial?
8. Types of lordship and forms of exaction
9. Lordship and production
10. Forms of management
11. Lordships with limited pervasiveness
12. Resources for the local elite

12. Rural Societies and Aristocratic Lordship
1. The context
2. Seigneurial classifications and the peasant world
3. Factors of social stratification
4. Notables and local societies
5. Knights and notables
6. Rural autonomy and patronage
7. Polarizations and contrasts
8. Eboli 1128
9. Political action and community in the pre-monarchical age
10. Institutional weakness
11. Political action, rural communities and royal power in the Norman–Staufen period
12. Political action, rural communities and royal power in the Angevin period
13. Eboli as an example

13. Conclusions
1. Otherness and representativeness
2. Seigneurial peculiarities
3. King and lords
4. Barons and notables
5. L’Aquila
6. Cities and the countryside
7. The lordships of the Mezzogiorno: becoming “normal”

Bibliography
Index

Informations pratiques :

Sandro Carocci, Lordships of Southern Italy Rural Societies. Aristocratic Powers and Monarchy in the 12th and 13th Centuries, translated by Lucinda Byatt, Viella, 2018. pp. 622, 15,5×23 cm, hardback. ISBN: 9788867287734. Prix : 95 euros.

Source : Viella

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