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Comparative Perspectives on History and Historians

Essays in Memory of Bryce Lyon (1920-2007)

edited by David Nicholas, Bernard S. Bachrach, and James M. Murray

Publication Year: 2012

The book features a section of appreciations of Bryce Lyon followed by three sections on the major areas on which Lyon's research concentrated: the legacy of Henri Pirenne, constitutional and legal history of England and the Continent, and the economic history of the Low Countries. Original essays by Bernard S. Bachrach, David S. Bachrach, Jan Dumolyn, Caroline Dunn, Jelle Haemers, John H. A. Munro, James M. Murray, Anthony Musson, David Nicholas, W. Mark Ormrod, Walter Prevenier, Jeff Rider, Don C. Skemer, and Marci Sortor deepen our understanding of Lyon's career and siginificance and further our knowledge of the areas in which he worked.

Published by: Medieval Institute Publications

Title Page, Copyright

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Bryce Lyon: In Memoriam

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pp. 1-4

Bryce Lyon died in Hanover, New Hampshire, on May 24, 2007. Born on April 22, 1920 in Bellevue, Ohio, he graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1942. After two years of service with the United States Air Force as a cryptographic security officer, he matriculated at Cornell University, where...

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Bryce Lyon: A Personal Memoir

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pp. 5-12

Bryce Lyon was a true medievalist. He had a great feeling for and a profound knowledge of the dramas and achievements of Europe’s past, which in many ways was also that of his own fatherland. Bryce was an érudit, familiar with the published and unpublished sources and equipped with the techniques and the...

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Bryce Lyon and the Royal Historical Commission of Belgium

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pp. 13-18

My task for this commemoration of Professor Bryce D. Lyon is to report, as a former general secretary, on the role of this American scholar in the Royal Historical Commission of Belgium (Koninklijke Commissie voor Geschiedenis, Commission royale d’histoire), of which he was...

Books and Articles of Bryce Lyon

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pp. 19-23

Part 1. The Legacy of Henri Pirenne

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Continuity in Late Antique Gaul: A Demographic and Economic Perspective

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pp. 27-50

An important part of Bryce Lyon’s impressive career always will be associated with the work of Henri Pirenne and particularly with his argument that the so-called barbarian invasions did not destroy the later Roman economy in the West. As Lyon emphasized, Pirenne and his contemporary...

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Henri Pirenne at Work: Editing Galbert of Bruges

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pp. 51-74

Henri Pirenne’s edition of Galbert of Bruges’s De multro, traditione, et occisione gloriosi Karoli comitis Flandriarum, published in 1891, is not his greatest or most influential work, but it nonetheless played an important role in his career and was his most important work at the time it was published...

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The Urban Typologies of Henri Pirenne and Max Weber: Was There a “Medieval” City?

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pp. 75-96

Henri Pirenne and Max Weber were almost exact contemporaries: Pirenne was two years older and outlived Weber by fifteen years. They evidently never met, although they were both at the University of Berlin in 1884–85, but Weber thought Pirenne uninformed about economic history, while...

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A Victorious State and Defeated Rebels? Historians’ Views of Violence and Urban Revolts in Medieval Flanders

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pp. 97-118

Although Henri Pirenne (1862–1935) showed sympathy for the Ghent rebels who took up arms in 1449 against their prince, the Burgundian duke Philip the Good, his final verdict is clear. The inhabitants of Ghent took arms to defend their corporate liberties against a future which they...

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Henri Pirenne and Particularism in Late Medieval Flemish Cities: An Intellectual Genealogy

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pp. 119-145

This article tries to lay bare the intellectual genealogy of a marginalized element in the work of one of the founding fathers of the history of Belgium and of modern medieval history in general: the concept of particularism in the work of the great Belgian medievalist Henri Pirenne, who was, of...

Part 2. Constitutional and Legal History: England and the Continent

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Ending English Exceptionalism: Bryce Lyon’s Legacy for Constitutional and Legal Historians

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pp. 149-168

This article’s subtitle deliberately echoes Bryce Lyon’s outstanding Constitutional and Legal History of Medieval England, but the direction that my research has taken, and the direction presented here, is more inspired by Lyon’s prolific encouragement of scholars of English institutions to look beyond...

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The Good Parliament of 1376: Commons, Communes, and “Common Profit” in Fourteenth-Century English Politics

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pp. 169-188

The parliament that opened at Westminster in April 1376 has long been recognized as a defining moment in English constitutional history. The session broke old records and set new precedents. It was one of the longest-lived parliaments to date; it delivered more common petitions than any previous...

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Constitutional Discourse in Illuminated English Law Books

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pp. 189-214

Constitutional history is normally studied with regard to texts: the documents that preserve and safeguard rights, privileges, gains, and concessions and cumulatively form a legal and constitutional “canon.” Moving away from the traditional text-based approach, this essay provides a fresh...

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“No more but hang and drawe”: Politics and Magic in the Execution of Sir Robert Tresilian, 1388

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pp. 215-242

The charges of high treason that the Lords Appellant brought in 1387 against Sir Robert Tresilian, lord chief justice of King’s Bench, and other royal officials and councilors, followed by their trial and conviction by the Merciless Parliament in 1388, were significant events in the troubled reign of...

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Military Industrial Production in Thirteenth-Century England: The Case of the Crossbow Bolt

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pp. 243-256

The focus of this study is on the production and acquisition by the English government of ammunition for the many thousands of crossbows used by royal troops from the reign of Richard I (1189–99) to that of Edward I (1272– 1307). Over this long century, the English government devoted...

Part 3. The Low Countries and Economic History

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The Notions of Honor and Adultery in the Fifteenth-Century Burgundian Netherlands

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pp. 259-278

The anthropologist Julian Pitt-Rivers described “honor” in 1965 as a universal concept, common to diverse individuals, societies, and civilizations. Honor may well be a universal concept: it is fundamentally colored by typical cultures, periods, social, and gender groups. David Gilmore discovered...

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The Case of the Disappearing Mintmaster

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pp. 279-288

An idler or sturdy beggar on the St. Veerle square of Ghent might have seen an unusual sight on a late July day in 1357. No, it was not a procession issuing from the count’s church there, or a beheading, for St. Veerle’s was the city’s place of execution as well. Rather, it was the alderman...

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Work, Business, and Investments: Economic Networks in a Fifteenth-Century City

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pp. 289-313

In the past two decades the economic history of the Middle Ages has taken important strides, and in a direction rather different from that taken a generation or so ago by Raymond de Roover, Roberto Lopez, and Armando Sapori. Examples of this new direction include Edwin Hunt’s study...

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Coinage Debasements in Burgundian Flanders, 1384–1482: Monetary or Fiscal Policies?

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pp. 314-360

Coinage debasements were one of the most prominent and most harmful features of the later medieval and early modern European economies, though they can also be found in the ancient and earlier medieval worlds. In the later medieval era, the first monarch to undertake...


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pp. 361-366


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pp. 367-376

E-ISBN-13: 9781580441889
E-ISBN-10: 1580441882
Print-ISBN-13: 9781580441681
Print-ISBN-10: 1580441688

Page Count: 384
Illustrations: 5 halftones, 1 line drawing
Publication Year: 2012

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Middle Ages -- Historiography.
  • Civilization, Medieval.
  • Economic history -- Medieval, 500-1500.
  • Constitutional history, Medieval.
  • Law, Medieval.
  • Pirenne, Henri, 1862-1935.
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