The history of medieval Germany is still rarely studied in the English-speaking world. This collection of essays by distinguished German historians examines one of most important themes of German medieval history, the development of the local principalities. These became the dominant governmental institutions of the late medieval Reich, whose nominal monarchs needed to work with the princes if they were to possess any effective authority. Previous scholarship in English has tended to look at medieval Germany primarily in terms of the struggles and eventual decline of monarchical authority during the Salian and Staufen eras – in other words, at the "failure" of a centralised monarchy. Today, the federalised nature of late medieval and early modern Germany seems a more natural and understandable phenomenon than it did during previous eras when state-building appeared to be the natural and inevitable process of historical development, and any deviation from the path towards a centralised state seemed to be an aberration. In addition, by looking at the origins and consolidation of the principalities, the book also brings an English audience into contact with the modern German tradition of regional history (Landesgeschichte). These path-breaking essays open a vista into the richness and complexity of German medieval history.
Table of Contents
Section A: Introductory Essays
1. A Political and Social Revolution: The Development of the Territorial Principalities in Germany
[Graham A. Loud]
2. The Growth of Princely Authority: Themes and Problems
Section B: Forms and Structures of Power
3. Princely Lordship in the Reign of Frederick Barbarossa: An Historiographical Analysis
4. Urban Lordships
5. The Imperial Town: The Example of Nuremberg
6. Forms and Structures of Power: Ecclesiastical Lordship
7. Foundations and Forms of Princely Lordship: The Archbishopric of Mainz
8. Eichstätt: Abbey, Diocese, Lordship
Section C: Strategies of Power
9. Marriage and Inheritance
10. The Propaganda of Power: Memoria, History, Patronage
11. Violence, Feud, and Peacemaking
Section D: The Geography of Power
12. Centres and Peripheries of Power
13. The Territorial Principalities in Lotharingia
[Michel Margue and Michel Pauly]
14. The Rise of the Wettins
15. Saxony After 1180
16. Pomerania, Mecklenburg and the "Baltic Frontier": Adaptation and Alliances
Section E: The Consolidation, Expansion and Disruption of
Graham A. Loud is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Leeds and was Head of the School of History at Leeds from 2012-15.
Jochen Schenk has been a post-doctoral research fellow at the German Historical Institute in London and a temporary lecturer at the University of Glasgow.
"It has not been possible to do justice to all the contributions in this volume within the word limit of this review."
- Johanna Dale, University College London