Early Medieval Studies in Memory of Patrick Wormald: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Early Medieval Studies in Memory of Patrick Wormald

1st Edition

Edited by Stephen Baxter, Catherine Karkov, Janet L. Nelson, David Pelteret


602 pages

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Patrick Wormald was a brilliant interpreter of the Early Middle Ages, whose teaching, writings and generous friendship inspired a generation of historians and students of politics, law, language, literature and religion to focus their attention upon the world of the Anglo-Saxons and the Franks. Leading British, American and continental scholars - his colleagues, friends and pupils - here bear witness to his seminal influence by presenting a collection of studies devoted to the key themes that dominated his work: kingship; law and society; ethnic, religious, national and linguistic identities; the power of images, pictorial or poetic, in shaping political and religious institutions. Closely mirroring the interests of their honorand, the collection not only underlines Patrick Wormald's enormous contribution to the field of Anglo-Saxon studies, but graphically demonstrates his belief that early medieval England and Anglo-Saxon law could only be understood against a background of research into contemporary developments in the nearby Welsh, Scottish, Irish and Frankish kingdoms. He would have been well pleased, therefore, that this volume should make such significant advances in our understanding of the world of Bede, of the dynasty of King Alfred, and also of the workings of English law between the seventh and the twelfth century. Moreover he would have been particularly delighted at the rich comparisons and contrasts with Celtic societies offered here and with the series of fundamental reassessments of aspects of Carolingian Francia. Above all these studies present fundamental reinterpretations, not only of published written sources and their underlying manuscript evidence, but also of the development of some of the dominant ideas of that era. In both their scope and the quality of the scholarship, the collection stands as a fitting tribute to the work and life of Patrick Wormald and his lasting contribution to early medieval studies.


’This rich collection of thirty-three essays is a fitting tribute for the early medieval historian Patrick Wormald … [it] demonstrates the creativity, originality, and importance of the early medieval world, while opening up many questions for further debate and study.’ The Medieval Review 'This is a remarkable tribute to a remarkable scholar, and anyone who is interested in early medieval law and scholarship, Anglo-Saxon society or the early medieval church simply must read it.' Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; Preface; Patrick Wormald: The writings of Patrick Wormald, Sarah Foot; Patrick Wormald as historian, Sarah Foot; Patrick Wormald: the teacher, Stuart Airlie; Living with Patrick, Jenny Wormald. Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Foundations: Archipelagic thoughts: comparing early medieval polities in Britain and Ireland, James Campbell; Celtic kings: 'priestly vegetables'?, T.M. Charles-Edwards; The Bretwaldas and the origins of overlordship in Anglo-Saxon England, Barbara Yorke; Royal and Ecclesiastical law in 7th-century Kent, Lisi Oliver. Gregory and Bede: Divine justice in Gregory the Great's Dialogues, David F. Johnson; Bede, the Britons and the book of Samuel, Alan Thacker; Bede and Benedict of Nursia, Scott DeGregorio; After Bede: continuing the Ecclesiastical History, Joanna Story; Chosen arrows, first hidden then revealed: the visitation-archer sequence as a key to the unity of the Ruthwell cross, Éamonn Ó Carragáin. Carolingian Authority and Learning: Alcuin, Charlemagne and the problem of sanctions, Henry Mayr-Harting; 'For it is written in the law': Ansegis and the writing of Carolingian royal authority, Stuart Airlie; Kings, clergy and dogma: the settlement of doctrinal disputes in the Carolingian world, Thomas F.X. Noble; Carolingian missi and their books, Rosamond McKitterick; Charlemagne's daughters, Anton Scharer; Hrabanus Maurus in Anglo-Saxon England: in honorem sanctae crusis, William Schipper. English Politics and Law (9th-12th centuries): The Fonthill letter: Ealdorman Ordlaf and Anglo-Saxon law in practice, Nicholas P. Brooks; An anonymous historian of Edward the Elder's reign, David A.E. Pelteret; Reform and retribution: the 'anti-monastic reaction' in the reign of Edward the Martyr, Sashi Jayakumar; Ðonne se cirlisca man ordales weddiged: the Anglo-Saxon lay ordeal, Sarah Larratt Keefer; Trial by ordeal in Anglo-Saxon England: what's the problem with barley?, John D. Niles; Lordship and justice in late Anglo-Saxon England: the judicial functions of soke and commendation revisited, Stephen Baxter; The Making of English Law and the varieties of legal history, John Hudson; Liturgy or law: misconceived alternatives?, Janet L. Nelson. Church, Cult and Memory in England: King Æthelred's charter for Eynsham Abbey (1005), Simon Keynes; Si litterali memorie commendaretur: memory and cartularies in 11th-century Worcester, Francesca Tinti; Emma's Greek scrine, Lynn Jones; Emma: image and ideology, Catherine E. Karkov; The bishop's book: Leofric's homiliary and 11th-century Exeter, Elaine Treharne; The dangerous dead in early medieval England, John Blair; Indexes.

About the Editors

Dr Stephen Baxter, Professor Dame Janet Nelson and Dr David Pelteret are all based at King's College London, UK, Dr Catherine Karkov is based at Miami University, Ohio, USA.

About the Series

Studies in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland

Studies in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland
Studies in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland illuminates the history of Britain and Ireland from the start of the fifth century to the establishment of French-speaking aristocracies in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, for historians, archaeologists, philologists, literary, visual and cultural scholars. It explores the origins of British society, of communities, and political, administrative and ecclesiastical institutions. It was in the early middle ages that the English, Welsh, Scots and Irish defined and distinguished themselves in language, customs and territory and the successive conquests and settlements lent distinctive Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and Norman elements to the British ethnic mix. Royal dynasties were established and the landscape took a form that can still be recognised today; it was then too that Christian churches were established with lasting results for our cultural, moral, legal and intellectual horizons. Studies in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland reveals these roots and makes them accessible to a wide readership of scholars, students and lay people.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General