IMC 2003: Sessions

Session 1207: The State, 500-1200 - A Useful Concept?, I: Kingship and Aristocracy

Wednesday 16 July 2003, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Projektgruppe 'Staat im Früh- und Hochmittelalter' / Mediävistenverband
Organiser:Walter Pohl, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Moderator/Chair:Jinty Nelson, Department of History, King's College London
Paper 1207-aCaesar, Tacitus and So-Called Germanic Kingship
(Language: English)
Stefanie Dick, Institut zur interdisziplinären Erforschung des Mittelalters und seines Nachwirkens, Universität Paderborn
Paper 1207-bKings, Counts and Bishops: The Perception of Episcopal Power in the Carolingian State
(Language: English)
Steffen Patzold, Historisches Seminar, Universität Hamburg
Paper 1207-cThe Aristocracy in the Service of the State in the Carolingian Period
(Language: English)
Stuart Airlie, Department of History, University of Glasgow

The two sessions about the early and high medieval state present some reflections and methodological examples from the work of an international project group set up a few years ago to bridge gaps between different national traditions in research about the medieval state. What concepts can be used to describe power and authority in early medieval kingdoms, and how do they translate into different languages? Recently, the use of the term state for the period has been debated, especially in German medieval studies. The two sessions offer a variety of approaches to test our concepts. The first paper challenges the notion of ‚Germanic kingship‘ and its often grandiose scholarly reconstructions which were based on a rather limited range of sources. The second paper seeks to understand how bishops and their concerns were part of the way in which secular authority made itself felt in the Carolingian period, which cannot be described adequately using clear delineations of Church and State. The third paper explores how the Carolingian aristocracy was involved in public office and functions, and what its interests in the ‚state‘ were.