Kingship, Legislation and Power in Anglo-Saxon England

Kingship, Legislation and Power in Anglo-Saxon England

Edited by Gale R. Owen-Crocker, Brian W. Schneider


Boydell Press



The relationship between Anglo-Saxon kingship, law, and the functioning of power is explored via a number of different angles.
The essays collected here focus on how Anglo-Saxon royal authority was expressed and disseminated, through laws, delegation, relationships between monarch and Church, and between monarchs at times of multiple kingships and changing power ratios. Specific topics include the importance of kings in consolidating the English "nation"; the development of witnesses as agents of the king's authority; the posthumous power of monarchs; how ceremonial occasions were used for propaganda reinforcing heirarchic, but mutually beneficial, kingships; the implications of Ine's lawcode; and the language of legislation when English kings were ruling previously independent territories, and the delegation of local rule. The volume also includes a groundbreaking article by Simon Keynes on Anglo-Saxon charters, looking at the origins of written records, the issuing of royal diplomas and the process, circumstances, performance and function of production of records.

Gale R. Owen-Crocker is Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture at the University of Manchester.

Contributors: Ann Williams, Alexander R. Rumble, Carole Hough, Andrew Rabin, Barbara Yorke, Ryan Lavelle, Alaric Trousdale

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November 2013
10 black and white, 1 line illustrations
318 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Pubns Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies
ISBN: 9781843838777
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, HIS015000
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Ann Williams
Church Councils, Royal Assemblies, and Anglo-Saxon Royal Diplomas - Simon Keynes
Anglo-Saxon Royal Archives: their Nature, Extent, Survival and Loss - Alexander R. Rumble
Naming and Royal Authority in Anglo-Saxon Law - Carole Hough
Witnessing Kingship: Royal Power and the Legal Subject in the Old English Laws - Andrew Rabin
The Burial of Kings in Anglo-Saxon England - Barbara Yorke
Ine 70.1 and Royal Provision in Anglo-Saxon Wessex - Ryan Lavelle
Being Everywhere at Once: Delegation and Royal Authority in Late Anglo-Saxon England - Alaric Trousdale


This book has much to offer and is of great interest for the various ways in which Anglo-Saxon kings were able to articulate their power and authority throughout the Anglo-Saxon period and in different parts of the country. PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY

Overall, the value of this book lies in its desire to grapple with the practical workings of Anglo-Saxon kingship, together with its speculative imagination, which, guided by expert knowledge, presents exciting possibilities. HISTORY

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