The essays in this volume discuss feuding and peacemaking in France during a period extending from the mid-10th to the early 12th century. They treat various aspects of so-called dispute-processing - a term coined by legal anthropologists to refer to the political processes and discursive practices through which conflict is mediated politically, socially, legally, and culturally. Each of the essays can be read both as one element in a larger critique of the theory that a 'feudal revolution' in c.1000 initiated a century-long era of 'feudal anarchy' in France, and as a study on a particular topic in medieval European legal and political history. These include feuding, violence, the emotional dimensions of conflicts among élites, the role of norms and normative argument in disputes, the uses of unilateral ordeals and judicial duels in litigation, and alternative strategies for terminating disputes.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Part I Feuding: Feuding and peace-making in the Touraine around the year 1100; The 'feudal revolution': comment; Repenser la violence: de 2000 Ã 1000; The politics of anger. Part II Peace-making: 'Pactum...legem vincit et amor judicium': the settlement of disputes by compromise in 11th-century western France; Inheritances and legal arguments in western France, 1050-1150; Proposing the ordeal and avoiding it: strategy and power in western French litigation, 1050-1110; From peace to power: the study of disputes in medieval France; 10th-century courts at MÃ¢con and the perils of structuralist history: re-reading Burgundian judicial institutions. Index.
Stephen D. White is the Asa G. Candler Professor of Medieval History and Director of the Medieval Studies Program at Emory University, USA.