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How Medieval Europe was Ruled


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Reimagining Medieval Rulership in the Twenty-First Century. 2. Dying by the Sword: The Many Faces of Rulership in Christian Iberia a Thousand Years Ago 3. The Rise of Administrative Queenship in the Anglo-Norman Realm? 4. Khazaria: The Exception which Proves the Rule 5. Nobility, Loyalty and Dynasty in Medieval Bosnia 6. 'Self-government at the king's command:' Towns and their sovereign in medieval Hungary 7. The Governance of Medieval Poland 8. Governing the Byzantine Empire: Politics and Administration, ca. 850-1204 9. Governing the Latin East 10. How Popes Governed Christendom? 11. The governance of medieval Norway 12. Kievan Rus': A Complicated Kingdom 13. Aristocratic Dynasties and Royal Rule in Medieval Germany 14. How Early Medieval Italy was Ruled: Land and Power 15. Rulership and Governance of Medieval Bulgaria, Seventh-Fifteenth Century

About the Author

Christian Raffensperger is the Kenneth E. Wray Chair in the Humanities at Wittenberg University. The focus of his scholarly work has been on connecting eastern Europe with the rest of medieval Europe. This began with his first book, Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus' in the Medieval World (2012) and has continued through numerous other books and articles.


The volume How Medieval Europe was Ruled brings a much-needed shift in the scholarship's concept of what 'Medieval Europe' was, and how we should approach, study and understand that period of European history. In stead of being narrowly limited to the so-called Western Christendom, the chapters in this volume analyze and present the political mores and developments in Europe in its entirety, from Portugal to Norway, Kievan Rus' and Byzantium, as well as in Europe's medieval outskirts, like Khazaria, or outposts, like the Latin East. The ways in which Medieval Europe was ruled, diverse as they were, only point to the necessity of researching Medieval Europe through the lenses of the region's pronounced interconnectivity. Vlada Stankovic, University of BelgradeThe 15 essays in How Medieval Europe Was Ruled present a geographically expansive view of medieval Europe, ranging from the steppe Khaganate of Khazaria - mentioned in Chinese, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Persian, Slavonic, and Hebrew sources - to a Kingdom of Norway that included Iceland and Greenland to the Outremer Europe of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. This geographical breadth is matched by the intellectual depth of each scholar's close and careful analysis of a wide variety of primary sources. These deep dives into rulership in many different places in medieval Europe are brought into conversation with each other by exploring several interconnected topics, including "negotiated authority" between the rulers and the ruled and "shared authority" between men and women in ruling families. As fascinating as these similarities are, the differences are even more striking, in terms of both regional diversity and change over time within a particular area. How Medieval Europe Was Ruled is an excellent example of why collaborations like this exist, because no one person could have written a book like this, which explores in such detail the rich mosaic of rulership in medieval Europe. Paul Milliman, University of ArizonaThe fifteen contributions in How Medieval Europe Was Ruled provide fascinating overviews on the different, but still interconnected types of governance in certain parts within the whole of medieval Europe,- from Norway to Spain and from the British Isles to the Kievan Rus' and the Latin East,- from monarchies to urban communities,- from the roles of kings and the contribution of elites to the impact of women.The volume, thus, provides excellent opportunities to establish a better understanding of and basis for discussion connected to the formation and development of today's European cultures as well as the current political situation.Gerhard Jaritz, Central European University

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