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. The 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 these 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
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.