Christian Spain and Portugal in the Early Middle Ages: Texts and Societies, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Christian Spain and Portugal in the Early Middle Ages

Texts and Societies, 1st Edition

By Wendy Davies


392 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780367345754
pub: 2019-12-20
SAVE ~$31.00
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 20th December 2019

FREE Standard Shipping!


A collection of papers in English by one of the foremost historians of the social and economic structure of ​medieval rural communities, who here examines local societies in rural northern Spain and Portugal in the early middle ages. Principal themes are scribal practice and the analysis of charter texts; gift, sale and wealth; justice and judicial procedures. Always with a concern for personal relationships and interactions, for mobility, for decision-making ​and for practice, a sense of land and landscape runs throughout. Spanish and Portuguese experience has seemed irrelevant to the great debates of early medieval European history that occupy historians. But Spain and Portugal shared the late Roman heritage which influenced much of western Europe in the early middle ages and by the tenth century records and practice in Christian Iberia still shared features with the Carolingian world. This book offers a substantial corpus of Iberian evidence to set beside Frankish, Italian, English and Scandinavian material and thereby makes it possible for Northern Iberia to play a part in the​se great debates of medieval European history.

Table of Contents

1. The early middle ages and Spanish identity

I Charter Writing

2. Local priests and the writing of charters in northern Iberia in the tenth century

3. Local priests in northern Iberia

4. Creating records of judicial disputes in northern Iberia before the year 1000

5. Exchange charters in the kingdom of Asturias-León, 700-1000

II Production and Exchange

6. Sale, price and valuation in Galicia and Castile-León in the tenth century

7. When gift is sale: reciprocities and commodities in tenth-century Christian Iberia

8. Countergift in tenth-century northern Iberia

9. Notions of wealth in the charters of ninth- and tenth-century Christian Iberia

10. Water mills and cattle standards; probing the economic comparison between Ireland and Spain in the early middle ages

11. Free peasants and large landowners in the West

12. With David Peterson, The management of land-use in Old Castile: the early strands of the Becerro Galicano of San Millán de la Cogolla

13. Gardens and gardening in early medieval Spain and Portugal

III Judicial Practice

14. Settling disputes in early medieval Spain and Portugal: a contrast with Wales and Brittany?

15. Judges and judging. Truth and justice in northern Iberia on the eve of the millennium

16. Boni homines in northern Iberia. A particularity that raises some general questions

17. On suretyship in tenth-century northern Iberia

About the Author

Wendy Davies taught medieval European history and was also successively Head of the History Department, Deans of Arts and of Social and Historical Sciences, and Pro-Provost (Europe)? at UCL until she retired in 2007. She remains active in research: while her personal research initially centred on Wales and then Brittany, in the last twenty years northern Iberia in the early middle ages has been the focus. She is an Associate Member of the History Faculty, University of Oxford.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General