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This is a most welcome volume for a number of reasons. For a start, it is the most nuanced and comprehensive study of the practice of intercession in the earlier Middle Ages, focusing on the ninth and tenth centuries. More to the point, perhaps, it constitutes the first (and to date only) sustained engagement with the diplomas of the Ottonian and Salian rulers available in English.
Historians can only feel ambivalent about bureaucracy. ‘Admin’ tends to get in the way of those two core activities that define a university, research and teaching. Some of it might be necessary and benign: seminars require registers, after all.
Six years after the publication of the first volume of the Handbook of Nineteenth-Century European Constitutional History (1), the long-awaited second has appeared. While the first ranged from around 1770 to 1815 over 1224 pages, its successor covers the time between the Congress of Vienna (1814/1815) and the Revolutions of 1848 using 1504 pages.
This dense, lengthy and – by the author’s own admission – ‘very difficult’ book (p. xi) tackles complex questions of power in one of the most contested and formative periods of Frankish history, between the death of Louis the Pious and the formal accession of the Capetians as kings of West Francia.
This book examines the emergence and nature of the medieval kingdom of Norway. Professor Sverre Bagge’s study commences in the late 9th century when the earliest poetic sources first tell of one ruler, King Harald Fairhair, who extended his authority over coastal Norway at the expense of other regional rulers.
St Francis Borja – in Spanish, S. Francisco de Borja – IV Duke of Gandia and III General of the Society of Jesus (1510–1566) was one of the most interesting and influential men of the Spanish 16th century.
“Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies?” – Augustine, City of God, IV.4.
Bradbury’s text is a delightful read. His text discusses the Capetian dynasty of kings, from the events that brought the family to power in the tenth century up to the death of Charles IV in 1328. Charles died without male heirs, and so the kingship passed to a collateral line, the Valois.
This is a book of exceptional originality and importance. Dr Martínez Hernández has written a biography of Don Gómez Dávila y Toledo (1541–1616), II Marquis of Velada, but such is the breadth of his research that his book reshapes our understanding of the courtly politics and of the policymaking processes at the Spanish court in the critically important period from the 1560s to the 1620s.
This book is the result of a bold and innovative research project funded between 1999 and 2002 by the then Arts and Humanities Research Board, with further funds provided subsequently by a number of scholarly institutions. The preface further acknowledges the support of a glittering array of scholars, not least Geoffrey Parker who read through the entire draft.