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  • Cited by 2
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    Blaydes, Lisa and Paik, Christopher 2016. The Impact of Holy Land Crusades on State Formation: War Mobilization, Trade Integration, and Political Development in Medieval Europe. International Organization, Vol. 70, Issue. 03, p. 551.

    2012. Conseils et conseillers dans l’Europe de la Renaissance. p. 413.

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  • Volume 6: c.1300–c.1415
  • Edited by Michael Jones, University of Nottingham

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    The New Cambridge Medieval History
    • Online ISBN: 9781139055741
    • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900
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Book description

The sixth volume of The New Cambridge Medieval History covers the fourteenth century, a period dominated by plague, other natural disasters and war which brought to an end three centuries of economic growth and cultural expansion in Christian Europe, but one which also saw important developments in government, religious and intellectual life, and new cultural and artistic patterns. Part I sets the scene by discussion of general themes in the theory and practice of government, religion, social and economic history, and culture. Part II deals with the individual histories of the states of western Europe; Part III with that of the Church at the time of the Avignon papacy and the Great Schism; and Part IV with eastern and northern Europe, Byzantium and the early Ottomans, giving particular attention to the social and economic relations with westerners and those of other civilisations in the Mediterranean.

Reviews

‘What is the volume’s strength? It is in the meticulous work of mediation that it performs, between a vast literature in European languages to which most readers, and most historians, no longer have access … for those of us who teach European history … the service is enormous.’

Miri Rubin Source: The Times Higher Education Supplement

‘Michael Jones and his colleagues deserve congratulation on a triumphant conclusion to their long labours in making fourteenth-century Europe seem even more absorbing than it always and already was.’

Source: The Journal of Ecclesiastical History

'… the Press deserves congratulations for allowing such a profusion of references. In all, this is a most welcome book: hugely informative and thought-provoking, it captures many aspects of a remarkable century.'

Source: Medium Aevum

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Page 1 of 2


  • 1 - Introduction
    pp 1-16
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.002
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This introductory chapter provides overview of the subsequent chapters. The subsequent chapters devotes to the Jews, medieval estates, peasant life, the early Renaissance and medieval mysticism, discussion was set in a broader context, often covering the whole period from 1100 to 1500, with a consequent diminution of specific information on the characteristics of the fourteenth century itself. Whilst the book more concerns eastern and northern Europe, with chapters on the Hansa, the Teutonic Order, Bohemia and Russia, the vast bulk of the narrative concerns the heart of medieval Catholic Europe: Italy, France, Germany and the British Isles, with other Europe regions. The native historians of late medieval Italy have been joined by armies of foreign scholars ransacking the rich archives of cities like Florence, Venice, Genoa and Siena as well as those drawn to Rome and the papacy.
  • 2 - The Theory and Practice of Government in Western Europe in the Fourteenth Century
    pp 17-41
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.003
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Beyond the diversities, in Western Europe during fourteenth century there was also unity; the medieval west was deeply rooted in a common religion and a common culture. Whether it was rejected or adapted, learned law dominated the whole of political thought in the fourteenth century. Much of the fourteenth century jurists, either Roman or canon lawyers, made a substantial contribution by means of their thought to the enrichment of both political theory and government practice. With the collapse of the empire after the death of Frederick II, then the Great Interregnum, the thirteenth century marked the end of the imperial dominium mundi. The complexity of the administrative structures of states of the west in the fourteenth century is explained, principally, by the incomparable rise of government bureaucracy throughout the previous centuries. Its development was the direct consequence of the increase in central administrative departments.
  • 3 - Currents of Religious Thought and Expression
    pp 42-65
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.004
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The main determinant of religious thought in the fourteenth century, which would eventually affect every aspect of public worship and private prayer, was the concentrated effort to marshal, state logically and resolve questions according to an agreed theological language, establishing thereby a coherent method of religious education. Less dramatic but of equal import for the religion of the laity was the slow advance of theological education among the European clergy. Innumerable sermons survive from the fourteenth century: their form, originally an academic exposition of a biblical text, was constantly modified to conform to unlearned ears, and their content popularised with anecdotes with simple morals. In the republic of academic theology, the solutions of Scotus were modified and developed by numerous independent thinkers; 'Scotism' never achieved more than a modest degree of coherence as a body of doctrine. The idea of a journey of the soul towards God had been elaborated by Richard of St Victor.
  • 4 - The Universities
    pp 66-81
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.005
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The major centres of the university network remained the oldest universities, which had been founded at the beginning of the thirteenth century at Bologna, Paris and Oxford. In southern France, the University of Avignon emerged as a result of the combined efforts of the count of Provence and the pope. All the universities were founded in areas where Roman law prevailed, and they were chiefly concerned with the study of law. In Italy, the universities of Rome, Perugia, Pisa, Florence and Pavia were established by papal bull confirming initiatives taken by municipal authorities or by the duke of Milan. The university was a stable institution in the fourteenth century, fully recognised by the different actors on the political and social stage and accepted as an integral part of the mechanisms of law and government. University education offered real opportunities for social advancement. Fourteenth-century academics were perfectly aware of the social dignity and gave visible expression.
  • 5 - Rural Society
    pp 82-101
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.006
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Viewed from the safe distance of 650 years, the Black Death is usually presented in agrarian history as a demographic-economic event: a sudden radical diminution of population that produced a series of dislocations in the structure of medieval society. The dichotomy between individualism and communal bonds is by no means clear for rural European societies. The first part of the fourteenth century witnessed a number of man-made as well as natural disasters that adversely affected the rural economy. The peasant rebellions of the late Middle Ages centred on arbitrary power, including servitude, but also such things as use of the forest or seigneurial encroachments on common lands, rights and customs that affected free as well as unfree tenants. The death of perhaps as much as 40 per cent of the population of Europe between 1348 and 1350 had immediate effects on the structure of agrarian society.
  • 6 - Urban Life
    pp 102-123
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.007
  • View abstract
    Summary
    European towns at the beginning of the fourteenth century were the result of many centuries of expansion; they were denser in the southern, Mediterranean regions and in certain areas of northern and north-western Europe. Urban networks were established in most areas. The rise in urban population was more the result of immigration from the rural hinterland than of natural growth. The urban landscape had been modelled for generations to come in the preceding centuries, above all in the thirteenth. At an early date whole regions and complete towns experienced difficulties with food supplies: Castile from 1301, Languedoc the following year, Paris in 1305. Civic life was disrupted or even paralysed for several years, and the consequences can be measured in terms of economic activity, social unrest and insecurity. The picture of misery habitually presented by contemporary chronicles and by seigneurial and municipal archives should not blind us to the changes which were taking place in towns in the fourteenth century.
  • 7 - Plague and Family Life
    pp 124-154
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.008
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The description of the evolution of the population development, in the various countries of Europe, and the assessment of the extent of its decline, from before the Black Death in relation to the recurrent outbreaks of the epidemic, has continued to sustain the interest of recent works. It was perhaps in Italy that the heavy losses in the heart of the urban and rural populations are most dramatically attested. Bocaccio was largely responsible for the fact that the Black Death was called 'the plague of Florence'. The second half of the fourteenth century opened on a universal cataclysm and, in the course of further outbreaks of the plague, saw its hopes of demographic recovery crumble away. The characteristics of Tuscan nuptiality remained relatively stable despite their many ups and downs. Cultural choices and inheritances also exerted a strong influence on family structures and, through them, on demography.
  • 8 - Trade in Fourteenth-Century Europe
    pp 155-208
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.009
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter concerns long-distance trade, which was primarily consumption rather than production led, in fourteenth-century Europe by treating the century in two halves. Most of the first half of the century had much in common with the thirteenth century, and in many ways trading patterns in these years are the fruition and culmination of the so-called 'commercial revolution' of the long thirteenth century. The grain trade may have been the dominant trade both in local and in longdistance trade in the fourteenth century. The early fourteenth century witnessed the heyday of the giant Tuscan trading companies with numerous employees scattered about branches in many different cities, but their organisation went back to mid-thirteenthcentury companies like the Bonsignori in Siena, Riccardi in Lucca and Cerchi in Florence. Although there were numerous other trading ports in the Mediterranean the only one remotely in the same league as Genoa and Venice was Barcelona, the principal city of Catalonia.
  • 9 - Chivalry and the Aristocracy
    pp 209-221
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.010
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The key note of this aristocratic value system was honour. In the long run, the strength of the kingdoms that at the end of the Middle Ages came to dominate the European political stage was built on the successful marriage of the interests of princes and their aristocracies, assuring authority to the one side, dignity, privilege and honour to the other. Jean Froissart, the great chronicler of chivalry, whose apprenticeship in letters had been as a poet, living on the fringe of the great courts, and the formative influence on him as an historian had been his reading in Arthurian romance, which inspired his epic Meliador. Significantly, those to whom his admiration went out most instinctively were those who were also the most skilled at posturing in the chivalrous mode, Edward III, the Black Prince in his prime, Gaston Febus of Foix.
  • 10 - Court Patronage and International Gothic
    pp 222-233
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.011
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Avignon symbolises the emergence of unexpected centres of patronage which benefited from the movement of artists and ideas. Naples was the true heir to Roman clerical and Tuscan commercial patronage. Fourteenth-century Italian secular civic patronage refreshed the theme of allegorical depiction; and the persuasive techniques, the rhetoric, of monumental religious painting were now turned to more frankly political ends. If the thirteenth century had seen the emergence of Court Styles in France and England, the fourteenth century saw those styles diversify yet further under the mounting influence of Italian art, which might be described as the one great common factor of the time. The thirteenth century, with the birth of the Gothic Style in the figurative arts, had seen the emergence of a new 'naturalistic' pictorial rhetoric, the product of the universalising of earlier devotional practices and a renewed but essentially metaphysical attention to the surface appearance of the represented world.
  • 11 - Architecture
    pp 234-256
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.012
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The fourteenth century saw the triumphant expansion of Gothic architecture from a largely French into a wholly European phenomenon. Gothic emerged as an international language of extraordinary formal diversity. The fourteenth century saw the heyday of European municipalities. Independent, wealthy and ambitious, towns mounted an equally creative challenge to the ecclesiastical monopoly of Gothic. Within the walls, communal governments found themselves responsible for new types of urban architecture. For the later Middle Ages, the holy resided as much in innumerable small heavens as in the architecture of the cosmos. Medieval churches were experienced as a spiritually graded progression of discrete spaces, approached through real and symbolic thresholds, and demarcated by arches or niches. In church architecture the most adventurous developments of the Rayonnant system took place in Germany, where they mingled with a stimulating infusion of local traditions and short-lived but decisive influences from England.
  • 12 - Literature in Italian, French and English: Uses and Muses of the Vernacular
    pp 257-270
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.013
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter concerns an acute awareness of the uses of the vernacular, the identity of the author and the status of poetry. All of the three 'crowns of Florence' include Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio wrote in both Latin and the vernacular. The book collections in the fourteenth century period reflect the increasing interest in vernacular literature along with the continuing prominence of Latin. A survey of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century libraries concludes that 'princely collections revealed a strong leaning towards the vernaculars of which French and Tuscan were the most favoured'. The biblical narrative and versions of the Bible had been available well before the English Wyclifite Bible of the 1380s. By the end of the century in England, France and Italy it could be said that the conditions for literacy to become 'something more positive for non-churchmen' had indeed begun to be met, for by then 'writing recorded a substantial part of their own heritage in vernacular languages'.
  • (a) - England: Edward II and Edward III
    pp 271-296
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.014
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The deposition of Edward II and the assumption of power by Queen Isabella in 1327 brought a distinct, though temporary, change in English policy towards Scotland. In 1307 Edward II succeeded not only to the kingdom of England and the lordship of Ireland but also to the duchy of Aquitaine and the county of Ponthieu. The English experience of war in the fourteenth century varied considerably across time and space. The reigns of Edward II and Edward III were marked by a distinct broadening of the political community, best illustrated by the development of parliament. The first three-quarters of the fourteenth century witnessed some of the most radical changes ever wrought in the political and administrative structures of the English state. Edward II and Edward III developed higher expectations of public service and greater confidence in the crown's ability to defend their rights and interests. Out of this attitude sprang both the hope, and the disillusionment, of late-medieval English politics.
  • (b) - The Reign of Richard II
    pp 297-333
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.015
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The reign of Richard II coincided in England with a period of opportunity, competition and experiment. Richard of Bordeaux was not born to be king: he was third in the line of succession. The continual councils had been discontinued in 1380 and from then on Richard was in nominal charge of the government. His attention to business appears to have been fitful. The difficulty for Richard was that political crises are not always susceptible of legal solutions. On 3 May 1389 Richard summoned a great council of his lords to Westminster and there formally announced his intention, now that he had reached his majority of shouldering the burden of ruling his kingdom himself. The reign of Richard II witnessed some remarkable changes, many of them nurtured by a declining population and rising prosperity; new attitudes to religious practice and belief; widespread use of written English by all classes of society.
  • (c) - Wales
    pp 334-344
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.016
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Under the Statute of Wales of March 1284 counties and sheriffs were grafted on to the existing Welsh administrative structures and new courts were established. English criminal law and procedure were introduced, although Welsh law remained in civil and personal actions; in the south-west and in parts of the March it survived until the sixteenth century. Edward of Caernarfon, prince of Wales, became king as Edward II in 1307, during his reign Wales played its most significant part in medieval English politics. Like most fourteenth-century economies, that of Wales was predominantly agricultural. In many parts of Wales an Englishman was a rare sight, but some regions, like south Pembrokeshire, were almost completely Anglicised as a result of immigration. In 1403 Henry Percy or Hotspur, the justice of North Wales rose in revolt against Henry IV; the rebels were defeated and Hotspur killed in the battle of Shrewsbury but this had no effect on Owain's fortunes.
  • (d) - Fourteenth-Century Scotland
    pp 345-374
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.017
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Scotland's 'fourteenth century' begins early, with the extinction of the direct royal line in 1290. Edward I of England exploited the ensuing succession dispute, and in 1296 the kingdom was plunged into a bitter war for national survival, complicated after 1306 by an equally bitter civil war. Scotland suffered open war in two-thirds of the fifty years between 1296 and 1346, which the most protracted period of warfare in British history. In the fourteenth century Scotland's political history is dominated by the war with England. When the succession crisis of the early 1290s brought Scotland to the brink of civil war, the guardians asked Edward I to adjudicate between the rival claimants, John Balliol and Robert Bruce. Fourteenth-century Scotland had its domestic politics, though they are hard to disentangle from the war. The Isle of Man, annexed after 1266, was lost permanently to England in 1333.
  • (e) - Ireland
    pp 375-387
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.018
  • View abstract
    Summary
    When in 1394 Richard II led an army to Ireland, he was the first ruler of England to visit the lordship since John in 1210. In the early fourteenth century power in Ireland was shared between Gaelic lords, resident magnates of Anglo-French descent, communities of lesser landholders in the counties and of burgesses in the towns, and English lords who, like the king, exercised their authority and took their profit from a distance. Rather like Gaelic overlords, justiciars backed candidates for rule in the Irish districts, exacted hostages, and imposed cattle tributes. Government in Ireland was in some contexts English and bureaucratic; in others it amounted to force and diplomacy along Irish lines. Ulster and Connacht contained lordships of varying size, in the hands of Irish and hibernicized English dynasties. The revenue collected by the Dublin government declined dramatically between the time of Edward I.
  • (a) - The Last Capetians and Early Valois Kings, 1314–1364
    pp 388-421
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.019
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The premature death of Philip IV on 29 November 1314 proved to be a major turning-point in the fortunes of Capetian France. It coincided with clear signs of an economic crisis, European in scale, which provides a backdrop to the political events. Like Philip IV, the Valois kings could display cruelty and impulsiveness in dealing with their subjects. In his day Philip IV was dominant in international affairs, thanks to victory over Pope Boniface VIII, the Flemings and the English. As a result of the titanic struggle between Philip IV and Boniface VIII, royal control over the Church in France tightened. France was entering an 'age of principalities' in which the power of the crown, so apparently dominant around 1300, was to be seriously challenged by provincial rivals, none strong enough on their own to defeat the king, but capable of exploiting the crown's difficulties for their own advantage during the Anglo-French war.
  • (b) - France Under Charles V and Charles VI
    pp 422-441
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.020
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter discusses the distinctive features of the regency and reign of Charles V and Charles VI during the years 1356 to 1422 in France. Charles V surrounded himself with a circle of intellectuals. The famous of these was the Norman clerk Nicolas d'Oresme, universal scholar of his time. In the reigns of Charles V and Charles VI, there was the rise of the modern state, with its accompanying bureaucracy, taxation, and sovereign power of the crown and the imperious and overriding primacy accorded to the public good, and there was the traditional structure of kingship: feudal, personal, respectful of privilege, established custom and personal ties, an ideal model for the basis of reform. One aspect of the system of government established in the 1360s demands particular scrutiny, and that is the decentralising tendency reflected in the creation of three apanages for the sons of John II: Louis, duke of Anjou; John, duke of Berry; then Philip, duke of Burgundy.
  • (a) - The Italian North
    pp 442-468
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.021
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter describes the history of northern Italy during the fourteenth century, and begins with a discussion on the expeditions of Henry VII and his interventions in Italy. Then, it focuses on the history of many Italian states, namely, Trent, Aquileia, Piedmont, the republics of Venice and Genoa, the signorial regime of Verona, and Visconti and Giangaleazzo. The fall of Pavia marked an important stage in the growth of Visconti power, and it serves to introduce a major reason for the instability of northern Italian history: the urge to expand. One characteristic of northern Italy revealed by Henry VII's expedition is the number of regimes in place, and their variety in terms not only of size and wealth but also of forms of government. The Angevins, counts of Provence and kings of Naples, ruled a county based on Cuneo. The authority of the Angevins gradually decreased until by the end of the period they had lost their lordships in Piedmont.
  • (b) - Florence and the Republican Tradition
    pp 469-487
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.022
  • View abstract
    Summary
    By the first decade of the fourteenth century, Florence had become a great trading city, had evolved a political system which allowed its leading merchant families to enjoy power without provoking the destructive feuds that had marred its earlier history and was on the threshold of an outburst of creative vitality in literature and art that produced the great works of Dante, Giotto and their contemporaries. The years of war and those of the brief truce between 1317 and 1320 had not only stimulated a fear of tyranny and made of the struggle against despots in Tuscany in Lombardy the focus of Florentine foreign policy. The Florentines had moved against Lucca in 1329 when the Genoese Ghibelline, Gherardo Spinola, had bought it from the German knights. Through the changes, a society based on an alliance between merchants and artisans, had given way to one exalting the ideal of a cultivated elite, inspired by a classical conception of republican liberty.
  • (c) - The Italian South
    pp 488-514
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.023
  • View abstract
    Summary
    In the fourteenth century kingdoms of Sicily vied for influence in Italian affairs that based on the mainland, also sought again and again to reabsorb its island rival. During first decade of fourteenth century the residence of the popes became fixed not in Italy but at Avignon in the Angevin county of Provence. Robert of Anjou's initiation into Italian politics was marked by another papal conflict: the crusade launched against Venice in 1309. The arrival in Italy in 1330 of King John of Bohemia opened the way to unexpected co-operation between Guelfs and Ghibellines, and the Angevins too, against eccentric papal policies. Many of the great buildings of the Angevins in Naples are heavily influenced by French Gothic architecture: the church of Santa Chiara, for instance, where Robert and other Angevins are buried in lavish marble tombs which recall French and Provencal styles. Louis of Anjou did achieve some remarkable successes in his south Italian campaign.
  • (a) - From Adolf of Nassau to Lewis of Bavaria, 1292–1347
    pp 515-550
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521362900.024
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The legal and ideological foundations of the German kingdom were insufficient for a successful dynastic policy; the ruler also required a strong territorial basis. Albert I, to establish the legality of his rule beyond all doubt, after the death of Adolf of Nassau he had his election repeated at Frankfurt; a month later, he was crowned in Aachen by Archbishop Wikbold. The English alliance had strengthened the emperor's position in Germany and the uncompromising nature of the pope had influenced public opinion further in favour of Lewis who availed himself of the English parliament to support his policy against France. The king Lewis attempted to end the division of the old Wittelsbach territories in Bavaria and the Palatinate on the Italian campaign of 1329 by means of the Treaty of Pavia, which granted Upper Bavaria to Lewis and his heirs, and the Palatinate to Rudolf.

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