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Reviewed by:
  • England and the Continent in the Tenth Century: Studies in Honour of Wilhelm Levison (1876-1947) ed. by David Rollason, Conrad Leyser, and Hannah Williams
  • Daniel Anlezark
Rollason, David, Conrad Leyser, and Hannah Williams, eds, England and the Continent in the Tenth Century: Studies in Honour of Wilhelm Levison (1876-1947) (Studies in the Early Middle Ages, 37), Turnhout, Brepols, 2010; hardback; pp. xxvi, 573; R.R.P. €135.00; ISBN 9782503532080.

Wilhelm Levison was already a towering figure of medieval scholarship when he escaped Germany to England in 1939. His forty years working at the Monumenta Germaniae Historica - the historical enterprise that had leant authority to German nationalism - might then have seemed darkly ironic. However, his knowledge of medieval history informed his Ford Lectures delivered at Oxford in 1943, at a dark moment of European history. Published as England and the Continent in the Eighth Century (1946), these lectures reoriented Monumentist scholarship towards an internationalist European vision. Levison's intellectual legacy reached beyond academia: the re-founding of Europe that began after the war, and the catastrophe that preceded it, demonstrate the implications of interpretations of the past for making the present.

The studies in this volume all include discussion of England and the Continent, though their emphasis varies. The first group of articles explores the ways contacts developed between England and the Continent. Stéphane Lebecq and Alban Gautier study trade routes and emporia that developed across [End Page 304] the tenth century, as seaways became safe after a period of disruption. John Isley's study of continental Germanic personal names in England suggests that many foreign churchmen and scholars found a home in England. Andreas Biber looks in the other direction, at Anglo-Saxons who moved to the Reich for various reasons, often as royal brides. Steven Vanderputten examines the close relationships and patronage system between the Archbishops of Canterbury and Flemish monasteries. Richard Gameson details the work of an English master illustrator working around the millennium in manuscripts associated with various continental monasteries. Michael Wood offers new insights into the career and connections of Israel the Grammarian, (probably) an Irish scholar based on the Continent, who spent time at King Æthelstan's court. Francesca Tinti digs into the relationships between England and the papacy at what was a low point of the Roman See. Marco Mostert's essay on Fleury and England - one of the most important relationships of the period - closes this section.

The second group explores aspects of the important theme of kingship and dynasties. All touch on the marriages of Æthelstan's half sisters into the emerging Ottonian imperial house. Veronica Ortenberg asks whether Æthelstan mattered in continental affairs - he did, and the stability of the House of Wessex helped. Sarah Foot's fascinating essay rescues Æthelstan's sisters Eadgyth and Ælfgifu (or Eadgifu) from the passive roles history implies for them, and charts their success in managing familial power in their German marriages. Simon Maclean examines the relationship between monastic reform and royal ideology in England and among the Franks, while David Warner looks at new ideologies of kingship in coronation ceremonies. Janet Nelson's essay compares the new styles of kingship in England and on the continent, as both underwent a phase of stability and consolidation. Closely related to ideas of kingship is the exercise of royal power through law, the subject of the next three essays. Thomas Zotz studies the evidence for Ottonian and West Saxon royal palaces as locations of court and rule. David Pratt's essay on English law in the tenth century notes a shift towards the king as the source of law and legal authority. Charles West examines similar developments in Lotharingia.

The essays in Part IV focus on the organization and culture of the Church. Wendy Davies studies pastoral care in Northern Spain, and notes some similarities and differences between the Spanish Church and the English system of minsters (a contested idea). Stefan Brink examines developments in early ecclesiastical organization in Sweden in the light of archaeological and documentary evidence. The next two essays focus more closely on the English Church and two aspects of its liturgical life. Sarah Hamilton delves into the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 304-306
Launched on MUSE
2013-02-14
Open Access
No
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