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Medieval Europe was a world of kings, but what did this mean to those who did not themselves wear a crown? How could they prevent corrupt and evil men from seizing the throne? How could they ensure that rulers would not turn into tyrants? Drawing on a rich array of remarkable sources, this engaging study explores how the fears and hopes of a ruler's subjects shaped both the idea and the practice of power. It traces the inherent uncertainty of royal rule from the creation of kingship and the recurring crises of royal successions, through the education of heirs and the intrigue of medieval elections, to the splendour of a king's coronation, and the pivotal early years of his reign. Monks, crusaders, knights, kings (and those who wanted to be kings) are among a rich cast of characters who sought to make sense of and benefit from an institution that was an object of both desire and fear.Read more
- Shifts attention from rulers to the ruled to explore how a ruler's subjects shaped the ideals and realities of power
- Avoids a 'kings and queens' narrative to show how the ruled sought to prevent tyrants and grifters from seizing the throne
- Takes a trans-European approach to shed light on both the commonalties and the differences between European monarchies.
Reviews & endorsements
‘From the different strategies for designating royal heirs, to the behind-the-scenes preparations for coronations, to the contested idea of sacral kingship, Weiler leaves no stone unturned in examining the process of becoming king during the central middle ages. This is an extraordinary transeuropean history on an impressive scale.’ Jonathan Lyon, University of ChicagoSee more reviews
‘Weiler gives us a strikingly innovative comparative history of medieval kingship. The work spans all of medieval (Latin) Europe, with meticulously uniform attention to the acquisition, contestation, and retention of royal office - in the context of political communities, and the nexus of norm and practice. An instantly indispensable, magnificent achievement.’ Piotr Górecki, University of California, Riverside
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- Date Published: December 2021
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781316518427
- length: 300 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 160 x 30 mm
- weight: 0.83kg
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Introduction. Part I. Foundations:
1. Politics and Power in High Medieval Europe, c. 1000–1200
2. Foundational Texts. Part II. Creating Kingship:
3. Becoming King
4. Conferring Kingship. Part III. Succession:
5. Duties, Norms and Process
6. Designating an Heir. Part IV. Election:
7. Unanimity and Probity
8. Choosing a King. Part V. Inauguration:
9. Enthroning the King
10. Beyond Enthronement
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