IMC 2003: Sessions

Session 1307: The State, 500-1200 - A Useful Concept?, II: Perceptions and Concepts

Wednesday 16 July 2003, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Projektgruppe 'Staat im Früh- und Hochmittelalter' / Mediävistenverband
Organiser:Walter Pohl, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Moderator/Chair:Jörg Jarnut, Mittelalterliche Geschichte, Universität Paderborn
Respondent:Jörg Jarnut, Mittelalterliche Geschichte, Universität Paderborn
Paper 1307-aThe Perception of 'State' and 'Kingdom' in Early Medieval Sources
(Language: English)
Hans-Werner Goetz, Historisches Seminar, Universität Hamburg
Paper 1307-bWays to Think about Power
(Language: English)
Walter Pohl, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Abstract

This session will discuss both contemporary and modern concepts to describe early medieval power and authority. The first paper will focus on the meaning of regnum and similar terms in sources of the period and raise the question whether an awareness of an abstract character of the state existed, or whether the Frankish kingdom was just an aggregate of personal loyalties that helped to maintain some degree of royal authority (the subject of a recent controversy in Germany). The second paper will look at ways to describe how power worked in early medieval society. Theoretical models, from Foucault to Luhmann, may be useful, at least to detect the amount of theoretical assumptions at the basis of the seemingly empirical descriptions found in modern handbooks of early medieval history.