Review Essay—Regna et Regnum: Studies of Regions within the Carolingian Empire

Review Essay—Regna et Regnum: Studies of Regions within the Carolingian Empire

Chandler, Cullen J.

The Heroic Age, Issue 12 (May 2009)


This article discusses and reviews the following books:

•Brown, W. 2001. Unjust Seizure: Conflict, Interest, and Authority in Early Medieval Society. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
•Hummer, H. J. 2005. Politics and Power in Early Medieval Europe: Alsace and the Frankish Realm, 600-1000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
•Innes, M. 2000. State and Society in the Early Middle Ages: The Middle Rhine Valley, 400-1100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
•Pearson, K. L. R. 1999. Conflicting Loyalties in Early Medieval Bavaria: A View of Socio-Political Interaction, c. 680-900. Aldershot: Ashgate.

A full decade has passed since the appearance of New Cambridge History, volume 2, which concerns the Carolingian world and its neighboring civilizations (McKitterick 1995). That collection served as a synthesis of the state of the question in different aspects of the field and as a point of departure for more recent studies. It gave digests of the developments in different regions of the Carolingian Empire—the West, the Middle and East, and the Fines Imperii—as well as on different aspects of the life, thought, religion, and culture of the era (Fouracre 1995, 85–109; Nelson 1995, 110–141; Fried 1995, 142–168; Smith 1995, 169–189). The volume also includes sections on kingship and the aristocracy, which help to deepen our understanding of how power and politics worked in the Carolingian period (Nelson 1995, 383–430; Airlie 1995, 431–450; MacLean 2003). Even while the contributors to that volume did their work, new investigations into the regional histories of the Carolingian world were underway. It is time to see where this new body of scholarship has taken the field.


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