1st Edition

The Routledge History Handbook of Medieval Revolt

Edited By Justine Firnhaber-Baker, Dirk Schoenaers Copyright 2017
    384 Pages
    by Routledge

    398 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Routledge History Handbook of Medieval Revolt charts the history of medieval rebellion from Spain to Bohemia and from Italy to England, and includes chapters spanning the centuries between Imperial Rome and the Reformation. Drawing together an international group of leading scholars, chapters consider how uprisings worked, why they happened, whom they implicated, what they meant to contemporaries, and how we might understand them now.

    This collection builds upon new approaches to political history and communication, and provides new insights into revolt as integral to medieval political life. Drawing upon research from the social sciences and literary theory, the essays use revolts and their sources to explore questions of meaning and communication, identity and mobilization, the use of violence and the construction of power. The authors emphasize historical actors’ agency, but argue that access to these actors and their actions is mediated and often obscured by the texts that report them.

    Supported by an introduction and conclusion which survey the previous historiography of medieval revolt and envisage future directions in the field, The Routledge History Handbook of Medieval Revolt will be an essential reference for students and scholars of medieval political history.


    List of figures



    Notes on Contributors

    Introduction: medieval revolt in context

    Justine Firnhaber-Baker

    Part One ~ Conceptualizing Revolt: Then and Now

    1. Writing revolt in the early Roman empire

    Myles Lavan

    2. Takehan, cokerulle, and mutemaque: naming collective action in the later medieval Low Countries

    Jan Dumolyn and Jelle Haemers

    3. The eponymous Jacquerie: making revolt mean some things

    Justine Firnhaber-Baker

    4. ‘Great and horrible rumour’: shaping the English Revolt of 1381

    Andrew Prescott

    5. ‘United we stand?’ Representing revolt in the historiography of Brabant and Holland (14th–15th c.)

    Dirk Schoenaers

    6. An exemplary revolt of the central Middle Ages? Echoes of the first Lombard League across the Christian world around the year 1200

    Gianluca Raccagni


    Part Two ~ Socio-Political Contexts: Identity, Motivation, and Mobilization

    7. Looking forward: peasant revolts in Europe, 600–1200

    Chris Wickham

    8. Invoking and constructing legitimacy: rebels in the late medieval European and Islamic worlds

    Patrick Lantschner

    9. Rebellion and the law in fifteenth-century English towns

    Eliza Hartrich

    10. Women in revolt in medieval and early modern Europe

    Samuel Cohn, jr.

    11. Popular movements and elite leadership: exploring a late medieval conundrum in cities of the Low Countries and Germany

    Justine Smithuis


    12. Revolts and wars, corporations and leagues: remembering and communicating urban uprisings in the medieval Empire

    Gisela Naegle

    Part Three ~ Communication: Language, Performance, and Violence

    13. A dossier of peasant and seigneurial violence

    Paul Freedman

    14. Violence as a political language: the uses and misuses of violence in late medieval French and English popular rebellions

    Vincent Challet

    15. Developing strategies of protest in late medieval Sicily

    Fabrizio Titone

    16. Cultures of surveillance in late medieval English towns: the monitoring of speech and the fear of revolt

    Christian Liddy

    17. Interpreting large-scale revolts: some evidence from the War of the Communities of Castile

    Hipólito Rafael Oliva Herrer

    18. Prophetic rebellions: radical urban theopolitics in the era of the Reformations

    Phillip Haberkern



    John Watts







    Justine Firnhaber-Baker is a specialist in late medieval political history at the University of St Andrews. Her publications include Violence and the State in Languedoc, 1250–1400 (2014) and Difference and Identity in Francia and Medieval France (co-edited with art historian Meredith Cohen, 2010).

    Dirk Schoenaers has held post-doctoral positions at University College London and the University of St Andrews.

    "This handbook provides valuable new insights into popular revolt in late medieval Europe, providing a strong focus on the political context and how collective anger was increasing fomented by concerns about the credibility and legitimacy of ruling elites. The editors have drawn together an impressive group of scholars whose stimulating contributions will become essential reading for academics and students alike."
    James Davis, Queen’s University Belfast, UK