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Political Thinking, Political Thought, Institutions, and Administrative History

This implies a further general theme of the study: the relationship between theories and practices of accountability (a formulation deliberately avoiding that of ‘ideal versus reality’). Given the focus on practices and institutions, it follows that many of the texts analysed are ‘lower’ rather than ‘higher’ in terms of their apparent intellectual standing: anonymous texts on estate management and Aquinas’s advice to the Duchess of Brabant both figure, but the former receive more attention than the latter. All points on that spectrum merit the same quality of attention. This approach is in line with three distinct historiographical trends, relating respectively to the history of philosophy, the history of political thinking, and what could be called ‘new’ administrative history.

In his Introduction to Medieval Philosophy, Kurt Flasch writes ‘in praise of mediocre authors’, specifically Macrobius, who provided the central prosecution evidence in Manegold of Lautenbach’s c. 1080 letter to Wolfhelm of Cologne attacking Philosophy’s challenge to Christianity, and the Emperor’s challenge to the Pope.[1] It is through Manegold’s use of this mediocre author (middling like the mediocres selected here) that, Flasch says, we can see the articulate tensions of this late eleventh-century world.[2] The perspective taken here is broadly similar. What light do these ‘middling’ texts and individuals offer about ideas of accountability in this period?

The study also addresses these ideas working in action through social institutions and practices. The second trend then derives from a distinction implicitly drawn by Janet Nelson between the history of ‘political thinking’ and that of ‘political thought’. Such a distinction seems useful because it indicates a difference in the sources focused on, the questions therefore asked, and the histories consequently written.[3] So, political thinking would denote the applied reasoning which can be inferred from institutional practices whether legal, administrative, or other. Judicial practice (as distinct from only formal law) is especially important here, given the ‘medieval tendency to assimilate politics to law’ such that medieval justice ‘structurally occupied a far more pivotal position within the total political system [than modern justice]’ and ‘was the ordinary name of power’.[4] Since so much medieval legal business was also administrative business one might go on to say that administration (writ large) should occupy a far more significant place in accounts of medieval political thinking. It is for instance unhelpful that the Provisions of Westminster of October 1259, a vital record of the principled conflict between Henry III and the barons, should be given modern rubrics apparently distinguishing between ‘legal resolutions’ and ‘administrative and political resolutions’.[5] Administration is politics by routine means, often legal ones.

Political thought, by contrast, generally denotes the reasoning expressed in more, rather than less, self-conscious texts synthesizing political issues—be these treatises such as Dante’s Monarchia or legal commentaries such as that of Johannes Teutonicus. (Both figure later in the book: there is equally no presumption that intellectual ideas remain ‘just’ ideas.)[6] Still, an important consequence of looking outside formal or ‘high’ ‘political’ writing for evidence of political thinking in action is that the resulting history is, it is hoped, different. There is much law in what follows and judicial practice ought to be a good bridge between political thought and political thinking, given its natural engagement with both theory and practice.[7] An exemplification comes from Alain Boureau’s account of monasteries’ impact on English legal practice. Boureau argues for a connection between liturgical thinking and Benedictine legal thinking in the late eleventh through to thirteenth centuries, focusing on an English version of what he calls [’abstraction judiciaire—the ability to resolve complex disputes into formal elements and standard procedures, itself produced by the practice of litigation, and relatively autonomous with respect to the Continental ius commune. By so doing Boureau wanted to offer

not a fragment of a history of juridical doctrines, nor a history of justice [but rather between these two] a sort of historical morphology of norms, attentive to the forms of the action and interaction, which would show in a context with a suberabundance of normative references (Roman law, canon law, common law, feudal laws, monastic discipline, customs, natural law, law of nations), how monastic actors constructed their own forms of intervention or defence by playing with institutional and ideological constraints.[8]

That approach tallies with the ‘legal realist’ approach that Michael Clanchy perceived in Barnwell Priory’s legal historian of the 1290s who compiled a register composed ‘by interweaving the texts of official records from the royal plea rolls with a commentary allegedly explaining what really happened’.[9] No analysis claims any more to explain wie es eigentlich gewesen ist. What this study does share with the Barnwell realist is a desire to look ‘at the system from the middle’. For the Barnwell realist, ‘above him is the mysterious and hazardous territory of the king’s justices and learned counsel and beneath him are the prior’s tenants and dependants’. Clanchy thought this view from the middle useful since ‘the vast records of the king’s courts have caused historians of medieval England to view the legal system too often from above: from the unique standpoint of the sovereign king, his justices and their clerks’.[10]

This last point relates to both the earlier one about mediocres and the ‘history of accountability’ itself. After all, the latter appears to be a largely unwritten chapter in the history of political thought. Or, rather, discussion of it has generally occurred from those ‘unique standpoints’ of sovereigns and pontiffs. The possibility of opposing, deposing, replacing, and holding to trial popes, kings, and emperors was obviously real—as, in different ways, Pope Gregory VII, Henry IV of Germany, John and Henry III in England, Frederick II in Germany, and Boniface VIII well knew. Histories have been written about them. To describe thus the history of accountability as unwritten then is partly to argue about the subjects and terms from which that history has been written. Yet the focus on the political accountability of those at the top of medieval hierarchies has largely not trickled down historiographically to a consideration of the mediocres beneath. The contrast sketched above between Latini’s framing of sindacatio and its hazardous reality is offered as a case in point of the value of reading together medieval ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ in relation to officials’ accountability.[11] The conjunction has precedents.70 Especially amongst early medievalists it has become the focus of more self-conscious study during the last twenty-five years or so, as the work of the ‘Bucknell Group’ demonstrates.71

Much of what such historians have focused on are social practices and social institutions, and this historiographical trend leads into, but is often surprisingly distinct from, the third historiographical trend: administrative history.72 The constitutional interests of nineteenth-century historiography entailed administrative histories that thrived well into the twentieth, and, in places, continue to do so.73 But in general more fashionable twentieth-century historiography (at least in Europe and North America) can crudely be characterized as a reaction against the implicit empiricist values and narrowly political perspectives of such legal/constitutional/administrative historiographies. A large reason for the fame and success of the Annales ‘School’ was that when Bloch and Febvre pollarded the dry trunk of their French tradition they were hacking away in time with other historians’ equivalent assaults.74 Many focused on constitutional/institutional history. One hatchet-job was that of Jaime Vicens Vives. He argued that legal history (and the connected ‘myth of the document’) had produced moving away from the constititional/administrative focus of earlier generations’ work. See e.g. Paolo Cammarosano, ‘L’Eloquence lai'que dans l’ltalie communale (fin du XII e—XIV e siecle)’, Bibliotheque de lEcoledes Chartes 158 (2000), 431^2; Enrico Artifoni, ‘Retorica e organizzazione del linguaggio politico nel Duecento italiano’, in Paolo Cammarasono (ed.), Le forme della propaganda politica nel Due e nel Trecento, Collection de l’Ecole fran^aise de Rome 201 (Rome, 1994), 157—82; Artifoni, ‘Sull’eloquenza politica nel Duecento italiano’, Quaderni medievali storici 35 (1993), 57—78; Artifoni, ‘I podesta profes- sionali e la fondazione retorica della politica comunale’, Quaderni storici 63 (1986), 687—719.

  • Of Anglophone scholarship the work of Jolliffe, Bisson, Clanchy, Dunbabin, Holt, and Reynolds is of lasting value: J. E. A Jolliffe, Angevin Kingship, 2nd edn. (London, 1963); T. N. Bisson, Fiscal Accounts of Catalonia; Bisson, Tormented Voices: Power, Crisis and Humanity in Rural Catalonia, 1140—1200 (Cambridge, Mass., 1998); and Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century; M. T. Clanchy, ‘Remembering the Past and the Good Old Law’, History 55 (1970), 165—76; Clanchy, ‘Law, Government, and Society in Medieval England’, History 59 (1974), 73—8; Clanchy, ‘Moderni in Education and Government in England’, Speculum 50 (1975), 671—88; Clanchy, ‘Medieval Realist’; Clanchy, ‘Law and Love in the Middle Ages’, in John Bossy (ed.), Disputes and Settlements: Law and Human Relations in the West (Cambridge 1983), 47—67; Jean Dunbabin, Aristotle in the Schools’, in Beryl Smalley (ed.), Trends in Medieval Political Thought (Oxford, 1965), 65—85; Dunbabin, ‘Government’, in J. H. Burns (ed.), The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought, c.350—c.l450 (Cambridge, 1988), 477—519; Dunbabin, ‘Guido Vernani of Rimini’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Politics’, Traditio 44 (1988), 373—88; Dunbabin, Charles I of Anjou: Power, Kingship and State-Making in Thirteenth-Century Europe (London, 1998); Dunbabin, ‘Charles I of Anjou and the Development of Medieval Political Ideas’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 45 (2001), 110—26; J. C. Holt, The Northerners: A Study in the Reign of King John, rev. edn. (Oxford, 1992); and Holt, Magna Carta, 2nd edn. (Cambridge, 1992); and Reynolds, Kingdoms and Communities.
  • 71 Wendy Davies and Paul Fouracre (eds.), The Settlement of Disputes in Early Medieval Europe, Property and Power in the Early Middle Ages, and The Languages of Gift in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1986, 1995, 2010). For a critique of the effect that concentrating on dispute settlement has had on recognizing modes of legal thought see Paul Dresch, ‘Legalism, Anthropology and History: A View from Part of Anthropology’, in Dresch and Skoda (eds.), Legalism,1—31, esp. 3—15.
  • 72 I give a complementary analysis of ‘institutional’ history in relation to the Sorbonne in Sabapathy, ‘Regulating Community and Society at the Sorbonne in the Late Thirteenth Century’, in Fernanda Pirie and Judith Scheele (eds.), Legalism: Community and Justice (Oxford, 2014).
  • 73 Two excellent, recent, relevant, British examples are J. R. Maddicott, The Origins of the English Parliament, 924—1327 (Oxford, 2010), and Sandra Raban, A Second Domesday? The Hundred Rolls of 1279-80 (Oxford, 2004).
  • 74 A nos lecteurs’, Annales d’histoire economique et sociale, 1 (1929), 1—2.

a cold and sterile history of institutions [. . .] Importance was bestowed upon the framework instead of the contents, upon the conduit of energy instead of the charge which the conduit [that is the institution] merely transfers passively. [. . .] [Medievalists have] forgotten that any institution, by the simple act of encasing a vital tension or of achieving a new equilibrium of forces, is stillborn or at least inert [. . .] Neither regulations, nor privileges, nor laws, nor constitutions bring us close to human reality. These are formulas that establish limits, but nothing more than limits. The expression of life is to be found in the application of the law, statute, decree, or regulation; in the way in which individuals distort the desire of a state, of a corporation, or of an oligarchy to impose a certain order. An institution should be considered not in and of itself, but in terms of the human fervor that stirs in its innermost recesses.[12]

Similar comments have been made of other European historiographies. Chris Wickham commented of Italian history about the twelfth century that it has seemed ‘curiously dead, curiously institutional’, each perhaps amounting to much the same thing.[13] Even a sympathetic critic such as John Gillingham can reasonably complain that ‘historians of administration tend to be impressed only by the evidence of administrative documents’.[14] Just so—up to a point—and a general effect has been to render such history relatively unfashionable, at least for medievalists, and at least, so to speak, beyond the large map and documents room of the National Archives or the seminar rooms of the Ecole des Chartes.[15] Le Goff’s ‘annaliste’ Saint Louis is a deeply ‘institutional’ history—but principally regarding social practices constitutive of Louis’s kingship and character, not in the organizational-constitutional sense. Without criticism Chiffoleau has asked whether the richness of exempla, narratives, and hagiographies around Louis IX has not been to the detriment of his ‘practical acta’.[16] Such a split has problematic consequences. With a reduced focus on institutions qua organizations and their reflexive relationship with institutions qua practices, an important perspective for explaining political domination becomes blinkered. Yet the importance of institutions in both senses is clear: ‘It is because there are institutions everywhere that there is domination everywhere’.[17] That formula may exaggerate, depending on one’s theory of human nature. Less arguable would be the claim that ‘there are no institutional facts without brute facts’.[18] Ceasing to attend to the one implies an increasing inability to explain the other. There is an irony that it was just as the social sciences engaged with institutions and administration that historians’ interest in them declined, but ‘institutions’ have also waned as an object of social scientific interest.[19]

The obvious drawbacks of such blinkering may be a sufficient explanation of more recent approaches to institutional history in the broadest sense and with the broadest sympathies. That begs a question about my deliberately imprecise use of the word ‘institutional’ so far.[20] Is one talking about ‘institutions’ as political-juridical phenomena (e.g. fiefs and homage a la Ganshof);[21] as rule-based organizations (e.g. a monastery); or as flexible social practices tout court (e.g. oaths in general)?[22] The intention here is to show how institutions (qua social practices) gave life to institutions (qua organizational forms), and also how the latter gave shape and form to the former (e.g. at the Curia, Merton College, the Exchequer). I use ‘institution’ throughout in either sense, clarifying particular senses as seems useful. I have avoided any sharp lexical differentiation simply because it seems to me that institutions are the sum of both their practices and their organizational forms.

This integrated view of institutional history is no novelty of the present study and can be illustrated specifically in the field of administrative accountability, responsibility, and office by numerous recent, important European collections.[23] A permissible generalization might be that these papers (many not by French historians) are interested in asserting the vitality and importance of administrative activity, and interested also in the often political ideas inherent in administrative practices and organizational forms. Important monographs might equally illustrate this.87 Lachaud’s LEthique du pouvoir is a fine example of a history of political thinking focusing on both normative treatises and governmental ordonnances, statutes, and records of counsel.88 A simple way to describe the distinctiveness of what might be called such ‘new’ administrative history is that it produces a history of political thinking using administrative records of various sorts. But it returns to the subject of institutional practices, organizations, and administration informed by ‘Annales’ work on mentalites, discourses, political anthropology, ritual, and communities, to describe ‘how institutions think’, work, and do not work.89 While these idioms have enabled historians to see administrative/ institutional history afresh, energy remains in older idioms. J. R. Maddicott’s Origins of the English Parliament comes from a different direction to (e.g.) Lachaud, but is a history of important political ideas deduced from the records and accounts of parliamentary assemblies. Maddicott is working in a long-established idiom of constitutional history, but his is a comparative one, and one well aware of, if unevangelical about, recent historiographical trends.90 One cannot step in the same stream twice however; it could not be mistaken for older work.

Work on fiscal accountability specifically has proved a fertile field, and accounting itself has now its own historiography and journals.91 Thomas Bisson’s important large-scale interpretation placing political accountability at the centre au Moyen Age’, Revue historique 313 (2011), 145—53. Jean-Philippe Genet, Christopher Fletcher, and John Watts (eds.), Governing in Later Medieval France and England: Office, Network, Idea. A Study in Comparative Political History (Cambridge, forthcoming) should add much of interest.

  • 87 Cristina Jular Perez-Alfaro, Los Adelantados y Merinos Mayores de Leon (siglos XIII—XV) (Leon, 1990); RomainTelliez, «Per potentiam officii»: Les Officiers devant la justice dans le royaume de France au XIVе siecle (Paris, 2005); Moritz Isenmann, Legalitdt und Herrschaftskontrolle (1200—1600): Eine vergleichende Studie zum Syndikatsprozess: Florenz, Kastilien und Valencia (Frankfurt, 2010); Julien Thery, ‘Justice et gouvernement dans la Chretiente latine: Recherches autour du modele ecclesial (v. 1150—v. 1330). «Exces» et «affaires d’enquete»: Les Proces criminels de la papaute contre les prelats, XIIIe-mi-XIVe siecle’, 2 vols. (Universite Paul-Valery—Montpellier III, Dossier pour l’habilitation a diriger des recherches en histoire medievale, 2010); Frederique Lachaud, L’Ethique du pouvoir au Moyen Age: L'Office dans la culture politique (Angleterre, vers 1150—vers 1330), Bibliotheque d’histoire medievale 3 (Paris, 2010); Serena Morelli, Per conservare la pace: I Giustizieri del regno di Sicilia da Carlo I a Carlo II dAngio (Naples, 2012); Sarah Rubin Blanshei, Politics and Justice in Late Medieval Bologna (Leiden, 2010); Caroline Burt, Edward I and the Governance of England, 1272—1307 (Cambridge, 2013).
  • 88 Lachaud, Ethique du pouvoir, 27—9, 630, and esp. 319—456, 539—88.
  • 89 To quote the title of Mary Douglas’s 1986 book. Various interesting perspectives are illustrated in the issue ‘Que faire des institutions?’, Traces. Revue de Sciences humaines 17 (2009).
  • Maddicott quotes Bishop Stubbs, Constitutional History, with justifiable approval: ‘The History of Institutions cannot be mastered—can scarcely be approached—without an effort.’ Maddicott, Origins of the English Parliament, ix. For Maddicott’s awareness of other idioms (e.g. medieval political anthropology) and his comparative lens see 93, 376^53.
  • 91 e.g. Accounting History Review (formerly Accounting, Business and Financial History)'; Financial History Review; Accounting History; Comptabilite(S) (, accessed January 2014); De Computis: Revista Espanola de Historia de la Contabilidad (, accessed January 2014). See also Jean Durliat, ‘De conlaboratu’: faux rendements et vraie comptabilite a l’epoque carolingienne’, Revue historique de droit frangais et etranger, 4th ser. 56 (1978), 445—57; Geoffrey de Ste. Croix, ‘Greek and Roman Accounting’ in A. C. Littleton and B. S. Yamey (eds.), Studies in the History of Accounting (London, 1956), 14—74; Glautier, ‘A Study in the Development of Accounting in Roman Times’, Revue internationak des droits de Pantiquite, 3rd ser. 19 (1972), 311—43.

of ‘the origins of European government’ has its origins in his invaluable work on Catalonian fiscal accounts.92 A number of his students have also addressed the theme93 and there is lively work convened from Lille on accounting per se, using diplomatic approaches and Aix (the work coordinated by Pecout already cited also has its roots in work on Provenpal fiscal records).94 This (rightly) has not prevented accountability being firmly placed in political contexts, as in the ancient historiography on euthyna and associated practices,95 early medieval96 and Byzantine

I have been unable to consult a number of items by Jean Durliat: ‘La Comptabilite publique proto- medievale (notes de cours de l’annee 1978—1979, deposes a la bibliotheque de l’U.E.R. d’Histoire de l’Universite de Toulouse-le-Mirail)’; ‘Les Comptes multiples dans la comptabilite protomediev- ales’, Histoire, gestion et management (Toulouse, 1993), 25^6; and ‘Notes breves sur le comptabilite pre-capitaliste’, Comptabilite et nouvelles technologies (Toulouse, 1993).

  • 92 See Fiscal Accounts of Catalonia; Tormented Voices: Crisis of the Twelfth Century; ‘Les Comptes des domaines au temps du Philippe Auguste: essai comparatif’, Medieval France and her Pyrenean Neighbours: Studies in Early Institutional History (London, 1989), 265—83; and ‘Medieval Lordship’, Speculum, 70 (1995),743—59. A collection edited by Bisson as Cultures of Power: Lordship, Status and Process in Twelfth-century Europe (Philadelphia, 1995) includes wider reflections as does one edited for him: Robert F. Berkhofer III, Alan Cooper, and Adam J. Kosto (eds.), The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950—1350 (Aldershot, 2005). Questions of accountability were also themes in Bissons contributions to the P&P ‘Feudal Revolution’ debate: T. N. Bisson, ‘The “Feudal Revolution” ’, P&P 142 (1994), 6^2, and ‘The “Feudal Revolution”: Reply’, P&P 155 (1997), 208—25. The other P&P contributions: Dominique Barthelemy, 152 (1996) 196—205; Stephen D. White, 152 (1996), 205-23; Timothy Reuter, 155 (1997), 177-95; and Chris Wickham, 155 (1997), 196-208. Bisson’s Crisis of the Twelfth Century offers a forceful interpretation of accountability c.875-c.1225.
  • 93 Most explicitly Robert F. Berkhofer III, Day of Reckoning: Power and Accountability in Medieval France (Philadelphia, 2004).
  • 94 The Lille project is Enquetes historiques sur les comptabilites, XIVe—XIXe siecles (, accessed January 2014). Pecout is also part of the equipe led by Armand Jamme working on Genese medievale d’une methode administrative: Formes et pratiques des comptabilites princieres (Savoie Dauphine, Provence, Venaissin) entre XIIIe et XVI siecle, which will edit various records and registers from French departmental holdings.
  • 95 The term means literally ‘straightening’, see s.v. Euthyna, euthynai in The Oxford Classical Dictionary, ed. Simon Hornblower and Anthony Spawforth, 3rd edn. (Oxford, 1996). Edward M. Harris reviewing Frohlich (end of this note) in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review 18/7/2005 notes that in fifth-century вс Greek the term means ‘to punish’ or ‘to inflict a fine’, later acquiring the meaning ‘to exercise control over officials’ (, accessed January 2014). There are also references to euthyna in Herodotus’ Histories (§3.80, where Otanes praises Persian self-rule following the ‘Conspiracy of the Seven’); the Constitution of Athens at §§4.2, 27.1, 31.1, 39.6, 48.3-5, 54.2, 59.1— 6; and Plato’s Protagoras (325d), and Laws, 12 (945b-948b). For discussion of Greek and Athenian practice see Jennifer Tolbert Roberts, Accountability in Athenian Government (Madison, 1982), John Davies, ‘Accounts and Accountability in Classical Athens’ in Robin Osborne and Simon Hornblower (eds.), Ritual, Finance, Politics: Athenian Democratic Accounts Presented to David Lewis (Oxford, 1994), 201-12; Edwin M. Carawan, ‘ “Eisangelia” and “Euthyna”: The trials of Miltiades, Themistocles and Cimon’, Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 28 (1987), 167-208; Marcel Pierart, ‘Les Euthenoi atheniens’, LAntiquite classique 40 (1971), 526-73 and; P. J. Rhodes, Euthynai (Accounting): A Valedictory Lecture Delivered before the University of Durham (Durham, 2005). For accountability in archaic poetic texts, Deirdre Dionysia von Dornum, ‘The Straight and the Crooked: Legal Accountability in Ancient Greece’, Columbia Law Review 97 (1997), 1483-518. For accountability beyond Athens, Pierre Frohlich, Les Cites grecques et le controle des magistrats (IVe—Ier siecle avant J.-C.) (Geneva, 2004).
  • 96 For the Carolingian Empire see Mayke de Jong, The Penitential State: Authority and Atonement in the Age of Louis the Pious, 814—840 (Cambridge, 2009), esp. ch. 3; Abigail Firey, A Contrite Heart: Prosecution and Redemption in the Carolingian Empire (Leiden, 2009) Paul Fouracre, ‘Carolingian Justice: The Rhetoric of Improvement and Contexts of Abuse’, in La giustizia nelPalto medioevo (secoli v—viii), Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo 42 (Spoleto, 1995), 771-803; Rosamund McKitterick, Charlemagne: The Formation of a European Identity

historiography,97 or early modern historiography on officers and accounting.98 Since I am principally interested in accountability in its wider political aspects, however, this study does not view fiscal accounting as coterminous with accountability, and focuses on accountability often in non-fiscal terms.

One could designate these historiographies overall as a kind of new administrative history, in so far as they recognize the importance of the subject yet approach it from a variety of perspectives informed by changes in post-war European, British, and American historiography. This alone makes them quite distinct from their predecessors. A good example would be Olivier Matteoni’s 2007 article on French chambres des comptes—as sensitive to the ritual or dramatic as the fiscal aspects of accounting.99 Such work is quite distinct from the somewhat misleadingly named ‘new institutional history’, really a species of new economic history that seeks to apply a sort of rational choice theory to explain history, seemingly taking ‘institutions’ as synonymous with ‘economic practices and market frameworks’.100 The study contributes much less to that institutional history, but rather hopes to contribute to this new administrative history.

  • [1] Using the translation by Janine de Bourgknecht, Introduction a la philosophie medievale (Paris,1998), 71-4, 82—8; also John Marenbons lecture, ‘Ce que les historiens de la philosophie anglophonespourraient apprendre en lisant Kurt Flasch’ (2005), 10—11, and downloaded from , accessed January 2014. Imbach, Dante, is a parallel move.
  • [2] Flasch’s distinction is compatible with David d’Avray’s tripartite distinction about what may beincluded under the rubric of ‘the history of ideas and attitudes’, namely ‘original ideas, ideology andsocial development, and “ordinary” beliefs’. D. L. d’Avray, The Preaching of the Friars: Sermons Diffusedfrom Paris Before 1300 (Oxford, 1985), 258—9. The present study focuses mainly on the latter two.
  • [3] 61 This is my version of a distinction I infer from Nelson. Nelson’s sadly unpublished 1999Oxford Carlyle Lectures in the history of political thought, ‘Political Thinking in the Early MiddleAges’, would offer further substantive and methodological insights (her titles were: ‘Trends’, ‘Peers’,‘Patriarchs’, ‘Councils’, ‘Rites’, ‘End-times’). Her 2001^ Royal Historical Society PresidentialAddresses on ‘England and the Continent in the Ninth Century’ touch on some similar themes. Fordebate about what ‘count as “sources” ’ in this context see Nelson’s and Joe Canning’s 1997 exchangeconcerning the latter’s A History of Medieval Political Thought, 300—1450, 1st edn. (London, 1995) at, accessed January 2014. For an integrating view ofintellectuals (writ large) as rooted figures in their landscapes see Nelson’s ‘Organic Intellectuals in theDark Ages?’, History Workshop Journal 66 (2008), 1—17.
  • [4] 62 The first quote is Susan Reynolds’s, Kingdoms and Communities, 189 (talking aboutpodesta), thelatter Perry Anderson’s in Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism (London, 1974), 153.
  • [5] DBM ##11, 12. The rubric originated with Sir Maurice Powicke, according to Treharne andSanders.
  • [6] 64 For an argument that publicly expressed ideas constrain behaviour irrespective of whether theyare an agent’s actual motivation see Quentin Skinner, ‘The Principles and Practice of Opposition: TheCase of Bolingbroke versus Walpole’, in Neil McKendrick (ed.), Historical Perspectives: Studies in EnglishThought and Society in Honour of J. H. Plumb, (London, 1974), 93—128 at 128: ‘The agent’s principleswill also make a difference [not just if those principles can be shown to have provided a motive foraction] whenever he needs to be able to provide an explicit justification for them. This will make itnecessary for the agent to limit and direct his behaviour in such a way as to make his actions compatiblewith the claim that they were motivated by an acceptable principle and that they can thus be justified.This in turn means that such an agent’s professed principles invariably need to be treated as causalconditions of his actions, even if the agent professes those principles in a wholly disingenuous way.’There are important unstated terms in this formulation: (a) that some public exists with some sufficientsanction to make a lack of compatibility undesirable for the agent, so, (b), leading to self-constraint.Separately, (c), it is presumed that there is singular way to establish this compatibility. On the problemof detecting incompatibilities between verbal statements and non-verbal actions see Raymond Geuss,‘Moralism and Realpolitik’, in his Politics and the Imagination (Princeton, NJ, 2010), 31—42 at 35—7.
  • [7] Cf. Charles Donahue Jr., Why the History of Canon Law Is Not Written, SS Lecture (London,1986), on case law as a window into political thinking (15), law and political thinking (14), the constant if implicit relationship between practice and ‘theory’ (21—2), and the challenge of comparativework (9, 19).
  • [8] Alain Boureau, La Loi du royaume: Les Moines, le droit et la construction de la nation anglaise(Xle—XHIe siecles) (Paris, 2001), 14; method sketched at 12—20, partly appearing in English as ‘HowLaw Came to the Monks: The Use of Law in English Society at the Beginning of the ThirteenthCentury’, P&P 167 (2000), 29—74. Legal historians and anthropologists elsewhere have been givingattention to ‘legalism’ as a mode of thought: see the papers in Paul Dresch and Hannah Skoda (eds.),Legalism: Anthropology and History (Oxford, 2012) and Fernanda Pirie and Judith Scheele (eds.),Legalism: Community and Justice (Oxford, forthcoming). A compatible and similarly independentline of thought is D. L. d’Avray, Rationalities in History: A Weberian Essay in Comparison (Cambridge,2010).
  • [9] M. T. Clanchy, ‘A Medieval Realist: Interpreting the Rules at Barnwell Priory, Cambridge’, inElspeth Attwooll (ed.), Perspectives in Jurisprudence (Glasgow, 1977), 176—94 discussing BL HarleyMS 3601 (c.1295—6) and ed. John Willis Clark, intr. F. W Maitland, Liber memorandum ecclesie deBernewelle (Cambridge, 1907), trans. as John Willis The Observances in Use at the Augustinian Priory ofS. Giles and S. Andrew at Barnwell, Cambridgeshire, ed. John Willis Clark (Cambridge, 1897).
  • [10] 68 Clanchy, ‘Medieval Realist’, 186.
  • [11] Explored further in Sabapathy, ‘A Medieval Officer and a Modern Mentality’. More recent historiography has focused on podesta, sindacatio, and political thought often in terms of rhetoric—again
  • [12] Jaime Vicens Vives, Approaches to the History of Spain, trans. Joan Connelly Ullman, 2nd edn.(Berkeley, Calif., 1970), xvi—xvii (orig. pub. 1952).
  • [13] 76 Chris Wickham, Courts and Conflict in Twelfth-Century Tuscany (Oxford, 2003), 312. Cf.Timothy Reuter’s critique of institutionalized history in ‘Modern Mentalities and Medieval Polities’,Medieval Polities and Modern Mentalities, ed. Janet L. Nelson (Cambridge, 2006), 3—18 at 13—14.
  • [14] John Gillingham, Richard I (New Haven, Conn., 1999), 276 n. 29, also 275.
  • [15] 78 The fine collection by Werner Paravicini and Karl Ferdinand Werner (eds.), Histoire compareede l’administration (IVe—XVIIT siecles): Actes du XIVе Colloque historique franco-allemand, Tours, 27mars—1er avril 1977, Beihefte der Francia 9 (Munich, 1980), could be taken as a watershed of theolder European tradition. For American historians’ commitment to ‘institutions’, one could take thethree volumes on The English Government at Work, 1327—1336comprising, i. Central and PrerogativeAdministration, ed. James F. Willard and William A. Morris, ii. Fiscal Administration, ed. WilliamA. Morris and Joseph R. Strayer, iii. Local Administration and Justice, ed. James F. Willard, WilliamA. Morris, and William H. Dunham (Cambridge, Mass., 1940, 1947, 1950).
  • [16] 79 Jacques Chiffoleau, ‘Saint Louis, Frederic II et les constructions institutionelles du XIIIe siecle’,Medievales 34 (1998), 13-23 at 19.
  • [17] 8° Luc Boltanski’s characterization of ‘critical sociology’s’ approach to the subject: De la critique: Precisde sociologie de Emancipation (Paris, 2009), 86. He is alive to the various valencies of ‘institutional’.
  • [18] John R. Searle, The Construction of Social Reality (London, 1995), 34, also 55—6, 104—12, 113—19; Searle, ‘What Is an Institution?’, Journal of Institutional Economics 1 (2005), 1—22; Searle, Makingthe Social World The Structure of Human Civilization (Oxford, 2010), 141—4, 145—73.
  • [19] 82 For a sketch of sociological engagement with institutions, Boltanski, De la critique, 83—93.
  • [20] On historians’ failure to distinguish these two: Hannah Skoda, ‘A Historian’s Perspective on thePresent Volume’, in Legalism: Anthropology and History, ed. Dresch and Skoda, 39—54 at 44.
  • [21] 84 Fran^ois-Louis Ganshof’s characterization of feudalism in terms of fiefs and homage is commonly referred to as ‘institutional’ and commonly contrasted with a more ‘social’ approach. See e.g.Sverre Bagge, Michael H. Gelting, and Thomas Lindkvist (eds.), Feudalism: New Landscapes of Debate,The Medieval Countryside 5 (Turnhout, 2011), passim. The institutional/social distinction seems tohave been especially important in Spanish historiography: see in this volume Adam J. Kosto, ‘Whatabout Spain? Iberia in the Historiography of Medieval European Feudalism’, 135—58; also JularPerez-Alfaro, ‘King’s Face on the Territory’, 109.
  • [22] See Jacques Revel, ‘L’institution et le social’, Unparcours critique: Douze exercices d’histoire sociale(Paris, 2006), 85—110. Patrick Fridenson argued for a renewed history of institutions as organizationsin ‘Les organisations, un nouvel objet’, Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales 44 (1989), 1461—77.
  • [23] 86 Claude Gauvard (ed.), LEnquete au Moyen Age, Collection Ecole fran^aise de Rome 399 (Rome,2008); Thierry Pecout (ed.), Quand gouverner cest enqueter: Les Pratiques politiques de lenqueteprinciere (Occident, XIIIe—XIVe siecles): Actes du colloque international dAix-en-Provence et Marseille19—21 mars 2009 (Paris, 2010); Armand Jamme and Olivier Poncet (eds.), Offices, ecrit et papaute(XIIIe—XVIIe siecle), Collection Ecole fran^aise de Rome 386 (Rome, 2007), and Offices et papaute(XIVe-XVIIe siecle): charges, hommes, destins, Collection de l’Ecole fran^aise de Rome 334 (Rome,2005); Laurent Feller (ed.), Controler les agents du pouvoir. Actes du colloque organise par PEquiped’acceuil«Histoire Comparee des Pouvoirs» (EA 3350) a lUniversite deMarne-la-Vallee, 30, 31 mai et 1eTjuin 2002 (Limoges, 2004), incl. Xavier Helary, ‘Delegation du pouvoir et controle des officiers: LesLieutenants du roi sous Philippe III et sous Philippe IV (1270—1314)’, 169—90; Romain Telliez, ‘LeControle des officiers en France a la fin du Moyen Age: Une priorite pour le pouvoir’, 191—209;Berenger and Lachaud (eds.), Hierarchie des pouvoirs. On the first two see Elisabeth Lalou, ‘L’Enquete
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