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The Roles of Medieval Chanceries
Negotiating Rules of Political Communication

C. Antenhofer, M. Mersiowsky (eds.)
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IX+198 p., 22 b/w ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2021
ISBN: 978-2-503-58964-0
Languages: English
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Explores processes of negotiating rules in medieval political communication through case studies which include the German, French, Italian, Tyrolian, and Gorizian chanceries, as well as diets.

Medieval (political) communication followed rules that were defined, negotiated, and altered in processes of exchange. Conflicts resulting from different communication practices, as well as forms of innovation, revolve around rules that are not self-evident. Political actors such as princes and cities, chanceries, secretaries, ambassadors, and councillors formed rules of political participation, which became visible in written documentation. These rules were both formed and negotiated via processes of communication (a practice-oriented understanding of political participation). Medieval chanceries can thus be understood as a vast field of experimentation where different solutions were tested, passed on, or discarded.

This book explores communication practices in German, French, Italian, Tyrolian, and Gorizian chanceries, as well as at diets from the tenth to the sixteenth century. Its chapters examine royal, monastic, princely, and communal chanceries. For the early and high Middle Ages, a close analysis of documents will reconstruct negotiation and communication from within the documents themselves. For the later Middle Ages, focus will turn to the chancery, with the appearance of chancery orders and chancery annotations that provide explicit insight in communication between the chancellors, secretaries, and political authorities (princes or cities). The growing amount and variety of documents issued in the late Middle Ages allows us to retrace conflicts resulting from differing chancery practices as well as attempts to reorganise the chancery into a political instrument for the prince.

The processes of political communication will be followed in three parts. Part I focuses on the rules within documents. Part II looks at administrative processes within specific chanceries, while Part III explores forms of exchange between the chancery and other political actors.

Table of Contents


I. Rules Within the Documents: Chanceries and Charters

The Sanctiones of the Cluniac Charters of the 10th-11th Centuries
Nulli... Si Quis and Their Copycats: Penal Forms in Later Medieval Charters

II. Chancery Rules and Organisation: The Chancery as Platform of Administration

Internal Rules of Late Medieval German Chanceries and Their Heuristic Value — ELLEN WIDDER

Chancery Notations and Their Role as Means of Communication in Medieval Chanceries: The Case of the Bavarian and Tyrolean Chanceries — JULIA HÖRMANN-THURN UND TAXIS

Late Medieval Urban Chanceries: Town Clerks and Town Books — KLAUS BRANDSTÄTTER †

III. Platforms and Exchanges: The Chanceries as Platforms of Political Communication

Power Beyond the Rules: Formalism and Experimentation in the Italian Chancelleries, c. 1380–1500 — ISABELLA LAZZARINI

Antiquated Meets Modern: Conflicting Rules in Late Medieval Chancellery Practices: The Example of the Gorizian Chancellery  — CHRISTINA ANTENHOFER 

'Vermerkt die gewalt so in die cantzley geantwortet sind auf dem lanndtag... ': The Chancery and the Negotiations at the Tyrolean Diet, 15th Century — MICHAELA MARINI

Index of Names
List of Contirbutors 


« On apprend beaucoup, à la lecture de cet ouvrage. » (Benoît-Michel Tock, dans Francia-Recensio, 4, 2021)

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
Comparative & cultural studies through literature
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : main subdisciplines
Political & institutional history

This publication is also distributed by: Proquest e-books, ISD, Marston
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