Begging Pardon and Favor: Ritual and Political Order in Early Medieval France

Front Cover
Cornell University Press, 1992 - History - 459 pages
0 Reviews
In reconstructing and interpreting rituals of supplication, Geoffrey Koziol here uncovers the dense meanings of these most commonplace of all early medieval rituals. The author casts a wide net, comparing these rituals in several regions of northern and western France to illuminate the complex changes in social relations and political power in the tenth and eleventh centuries.
In medieval cultures, "supplication" was simply the act of prayer, an act that required a distinctive language of entreaty accompanied by gestures of humility, such as kneeling and prostration. Koziol shows that in tenth- and eleventh-century France, prayer was an act of political honor as well as religious devotion, since the language and gestures of prayer were used to address not only God but also earthly lords who claimed to rule "by the grace of God." Making subtle use of ethnological studies and using a remarkable range of sources, Koziol demonstrates that supplication accurately reflected the complexities and paradoxes in contemporary attitudes toward friendship, enmity, and political authority. And in documenting their regional variations he shows that the rituals of supplication, far from being routinized gestures insensitive to context, remained culturally meaningful by adapting to the realities of different political and social communities.
Begging Pardon and Favor is a major contribution to our understanding of medieval political and religious culture. Original and richly interdisciplinary, Koziol's theory of ritual seems certain to stimulate the most fruitful kind of scholarly debate.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

PART ONE BEGGING FAVOR
21
The Act of Supplication
59
The Court of the Heavenly King
77
PART TWO CONSTRUCTING A POLITICAL COMMUNITY
105
Toward an Iconic Kingship
138
PART THREE BEGGING PARDON
175
The Ideal of Discretionary Justice
214
PART FOUR RITUAL AND REALITY
235
How Does a Ritual Mean?
289
Disputes involving churches and laity
325
Notes
339
Selected Bibliography
423
Index
449
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1992)

Geoffrey Koziol is Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley.

Bibliographic information