Post-classical history

Ideas and Solidarities of the Medieval Laity: England and Western Europe

Ideas and Solidarities of the Medieval Laity: England and Western Europe

This book contains essays written over the past 25 years about medieval urban communities and about the loyalties and beliefs of medieval lay people in general. Most writing about medieval religious, political, legal, and social ideas starts from treatises written by academics and assumes that ideas trickled down from the clergy to the laity. Susan Reynolds, whether writing about the struggles for liberty of small English towns, the national solidarities of the Anglo-Saxons, or the capacity of medieval peasants to formulate their own attitudes to religion, rejects this assumption. She suggests that the medieval laity had ideas of their own that deserve to be taken seriously.

Part I: General Ideas and Solidarities

Chapter 1. Social mentalities and the case of medieval scepticism

Chapter 2. Medieval origines gentium and the community of the realm

Chapter 3. What do we mean by “Anglo-Saxon” and “Anglo-Saxons”?

Chapter 4. Eadric Silvaticus and the English resistance

Chapter 5. Magna Carta 1297 and the legal use of literacy

Chapter 6. The history of the idea of incorporation or legal personality: a case of fallacious teleology

Part II: Urban Ideas and Solidarities

Chapter 7. English towns of the eleventh century in a European context

Chapter 8. Towns in Domesday Book

Chapter 9. The rulers of London in the twelfth century

Chapter 10. The farm and taxation of London, 1154-1216

Chapter 11. Decline and decay in late medieval towns: a look at some of the concepts and arguments

Chapter 12. The forged charters of Barnstaple

Chapter 13. 1483: Gloucester and town government in the middle ages

Chapter 14. Medieval urban history and the history of political thought

Chapter 15. The writing of medieval urban history in England

Chapter 16. Space and time in English medieval towns

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