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The Politics of Land Inheritance as Represented in Raoul of Cambrai

The Politics of Land Inheritance as Represented in Raoul of Cambrai

Imrie, Laura

University of Guelph: 2010 Student Research Papers

Abstract

The twelfth century chanson de geste, Raoul of Cambrai, serves as a political commentary on land inheritance, depicting the lack of leadership and legal protection present at this time in France. This poem represented the many issues that surrounded the complex matter of land ownership including conflicting land inheritance methods, the ill-defined limits of royal power in regards to marriage and the nature of ecclesiastical land tenure. Drawing from primary source passages this paper will work to show that the author of Raoul of Cambrai was seeking to convey the issues pertaining to land inheritance and ownership that existed within his own society in the chanson de geste that he created.

There are many chansons de geste that originated in twelfth century France. These epic poems are representative of a variety of social and political themes that were present during this period of French history. The chansons de geste often relegated current customs into their versions of the past. New social and legal customs were given precedence by being given the appearance that they were long established traditions in French medieval culture. The twelfth century chanson de geste, Raoul of Cambrai, serves as a political commentary on land inheritance, depicting the lack of leadership and legal protection present at the time.

Click here to read this article from the University of Guelph

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