Publication – Warren C. Brown, « Beyond the Monastery Walls Lay Men and Women in Early Medieval Legal Formularies »

Our understanding of life in the early Middle Ages is dominated by Christian churches and monasteries. It is their records and libraries which have survived the centuries, to tell us how the clerics, monks, and nuns who lived and worked within their walls experienced the world around them. We thus see the lay inhabitants of that wider world mostly when they are interacting with the clergy. However, a few sources let us explore lay life in this period more broadly. Beyond the Monastery Walls exploits perhaps the richest of these: manuscript books containing formulas, or models, for documents that do not otherwise survive. Through these books, Warren C. Brown explores the concerns and behavior of lay men and women in this period on their own terms, and casts fresh light on a part of the medieval world that is usually hidden from view. In the process, he shows how early medievalists are winning fresh information from our sources by looking at them in new ways.

Warren C. Brown is Professor of History at the California Institute of Technology. His previous publications include Violence in Medieval Europe (2011) and, as co-editor, Documentary Culture and the Laity in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge, 2012).

Table des matières :

Part I. The Gate:
1. Introduction
2. The manuscript
3. Language, anachronism, and the laity
Part II. The Laity:
4. Laypeople and documents
5. Laypeople and property
6. Family
7. Conflict and justice
8. Power, personal relationships, and letters
9. Freedom and unfreedom
10. Conclusion.

Informations pratiques :

Warren C. Brown, Beyond the Monastery Walls Lay Men and Women in Early Medieval Legal Formularies, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2023 ; 1 vol., 407 p. ISBN : 978-1-10847-958-5. Prix : GBP 29,99.

Source : Cambridge University Press

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