This paper argues that systems of management of common fields represented a negotiated solution which integrated lordly innovation and peasant tradition and left its traces in the Anglo-Saxon landscape. Innovative managerial approaches to agricultural efficiency were developed on middle Anglo-Saxon royal estates that required ‘dominant and/or high status lordship, large manorial holdings, a high proportion of customary tenants, (and) a unified community’ (Bailey 2010: 167). Traditional forms of governance, with their roots in collective approaches to the ownership and organization of arable and pasture over the preceding three millennia or more, were preserved in the definition of grazing on fallows and stubbles as a common property resource.
Boundaries operate at both physical and anthropological levels: memory acts as main reference in the nature of disputes over their preservation throughout the centuries. Starting from the current landscape of the Latina Valley and the old Terra Sancti Benedicti (southern Lazio, Italy), specific medieval boundaries will be examined: they can be shown in documents from Montecassino and later maps that delineate them by particular landmarks e.g. churches, ditches, Roman roads, and other, now permanent part of the landscape. My aim is to prove the extraordinary longevity of those boundaries established in the Middle Ages, as fixed rules in the landscape affecting its physical development.
Historians have recently argued that attempts to identify conditions in Domesday England on the basis of key sections of Worcestershire Domesday are compromised by the bishopric of Worcester’s assertive claims to lordship. Heming’s Codicellus possessionum has generally been viewed within this context: The text was intended to provide the basis for the recovery of particular properties. This paper takes a different approach. By looking at Heming’s Codicellus as a whole in relation to Domesday (Inquest and Book), this paper investigates the rules of engagement between networks of royal agents, monks and the followers of successive bishops of Worcester.