Begging Pardon and Favor: Ritual and Political Order in Early Medieval France
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.
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PART ONE BEGGING FAVOR
The Act of Supplication
The Court of the Heavenly King
PART TWO CONSTRUCTING A POLITICAL COMMUNITY
Toward an Iconic Kingship
PART THREE BEGGING PARDON
The Ideal of Discretionary Justice
abbot Adalbero Amienois Amiens archbishop archbishop of Reims Arnulf authority beseeched bishop of Noyon bishops Blois Cambrai canons Capetians Carolingian Cartulaire Cartulary castellans ceremonial chap charters Chartes church clamor Cluny Coll comital Corbie count of Flanders count of Vermandois counts of Blois diplomas disputes divine donation Dudo duke early ecclesiastical eleventh century entreaty example Fauroux Fichtenau Fleury Flodoard Fossier France Frankish Fulbert of Chartres Fulk Fulk Nerra Gesta gestures God's grace Guillot Hariulf Helgald Histoire Homblieres honor Hugh Hugues Capet humble humility Ibid justice king king's knights language Laon liturgical lords lordship Lothar Louis magnates medieval mercy monastery monks Normandy nostram Paris Peace penance petition petitioner Philippe political order prayer princes prostration province of Reims quod Raoul Raoul Glaber relics Richer rites ritual Robert royal rule rulers Saint Saint-Riquier St-Pere supplication symbols tenth century tion vassals Vermandois viscounts William