Book Series International Medieval Research, vol. 19

Problems and Possibilities of Early Medieval Charters

Jonathan Jarrett, Allan Scott McKinley (eds)

  • Pages: x + 301 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:5 b/w, 4 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2013

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54830-2
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54892-0
  • E-book
  • Available

A path-breaking reassessment of the potential of charter evidence in early medieval history, by thirteen scholars full of new insights.


"Jonathan Jarrett betont eingangs zu Recht, dass der methodensichere Umgang mit Urkunden nicht mehr Allgemeingut der Mediävisten ist. Uneingeschränkt zu begrüssen sind daher alle Initiativen, die urkundliches Material mit neuen Fragestellungen konfrontieren." (Theo Kölzer, in: Francio-Recensio, 2014/3)

"(...) the collection overall is a useful demonstration of diverse areas of the charter landscape and the different uses for the evidence charters provide." (Marcus K. Harmes in: Parergon, 31.2, 2014, p. 180-181)

" (...) l’ensemble reste stimulant même pour le lecteur qui ne s’intéresse pas spécifiquement aux cas traités." (Thomas Brunner, dans: Le Moyen Âge, CXXI, 2015, p. 229-231)

"Conclourem repetint el que dèiem al començament sobre el gran interès i l’ampli ventall de possibilitats que ofereix aquesta publicació (...)" (Pere J. Quetglas Nicolau, in: Anuario de Estudios Medievales, 46/2, julio-diciembre 2016, p. 1047-1050)


Although historical work on the early Middle Ages relies to an enormous extent on the evidence provided by charters and other such documents, the paradigms within which such documents are interpreted have changed relatively slowly and unevenly. The critical turn, the increasing availability of digital tools and corpora for study, and the acceptance among charter specialists that their discipline can inform a wider field all encourage rethinking. From 2006 to 2011 a series of sessions at the Leeds International Medieval Congress addressed this by applying new critiques and technologies to early medieval diplomatic material from all over Europe. This volume collects some of the best of these papers by new and young scholars and adds related work from another session. The subjects range from reinterpretations of Carolingian or Anglo-Saxon political history, through the production and use of charters by all ranks of society and their subsequent preservation from Spain to Germany and England to Italy, to explorations of new media leading to new kinds of results from such evidence. The result is an array of new perspectives which makes an important contribution to recent reconsiderations of charter studies. It will inform a wide audience from all walks of medieval historical studies.


Introduction: Problems and Possibilities of Early Medieval Charters - Jonathan Jarrett

‘Charters in Plenty, If Only they Were Good for Anything’: The Problem of Bookland and Folkland in Pre-Viking England - Martin J. Ryan

Strategies of Alienating Land to the Church in Eighth-Century Alsace - Allan Scott McKinley

Cistercian Charters and the Import of a Political Culture into Medieval Sweden - Erik Niblaeus

Meaning and Context: Moringus the Lay Scribe and Charter Formulation in Late Carolingian Burgundy - Charles West

Comparing the Earliest Documentary Culture in Carolingian Catalonia - Jonathan Jarrett

When Is a Charter Not a Charter? Documents in Non-Conventional Contexts in Early Medieval Europe - Arkady Hodge

Destroying Documents in the Early Middle Ages - Antonio Sennis

Looking for Charters that Aren’t There: Lost Anglo-Saxon Charters and Archival Footprints - Charles Insley

Representations of Monarchical ‘Highness’ in Carolingian Royal Charters - Shigeto Kikuchi

Titles and Troubles: Conceptions of Mercian Royal Authority in Eighth- and Ninth-Century Charters - Morn Capper

Lothar I in Italy, 834–40: Charters and Authority - Elina Screen

The Charter Evidence for the Reign of King Edmund (939–46) - Alaric Trousdale

Changes in Patronage at Fulda: A Re‑Evaluation - Julie A. Hofmann