Documentary Culture and the Laity in the Early Middle Ages

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-01-07
  • Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
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Many more documents survive from the early Middle Ages than from the Roman Empire. Although ecclesiastical archives may account for the dramatic increase in the number of surviving documents, this new investigation reveals the scale and spread of documentary culture beyond the Church. The contributors explore the nature of the surviving documentation without preconceptions to show that we cannot infer changing documentary practices from patterns of survival. Throughout Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages - from North Africa, Egypt, Italy, Francia and Spain to Anglo-Saxon England - people at all social levels, whether laity or clergy, landowners or tenants, farmers or royal functionaries, needed, used and kept documents. The story of documentary culture in the early medieval world emerges not as one of its capture by the Church, but rather of a response adopted by those who needed documents, as they reacted to a changing legal, social and institutional landscape.

Table of Contents

Lay archives in the Late Antique and Byzantine East: the implications of the documentary papyri
Public administration, private individuals and the written word in Late Antique North Africa, c.284-700
Lay documents and archives in early Medieval Spain and Italy, c.400-700
The gesta municipalia and the public validation of documents in Frankish Europe
Lay people and documents in the Frankish formula collections
Archives, documents and landowners in Carolingian Francia
The production and preservation of documents in Francia: the evidence of cartularies
The laity, the clergy, the scribes and their archives: the documentary record of eighth- and ninth-century Italy
Sicut mos esse solet: documentary practices in Christian Iberia, c.700-1000
On the material culture of legal documents: charters and their preservation in the Cluny archive, ninth to eleventh centuries
Documentary practices, archives and lay people in central Italy (mid-ninth to eleventh centuries)
Archives and lay documentary practice in the Anglo-Saxon world
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