Monastic Revival and Regional Identity in Early Normandy

October 1997
5 line illustrations
186 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in the History of Medieval Religion
ISBN: 9780851157023
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

Monastic Revival and Regional Identity in Early Normandy

Cassandra Potts

Normandy transformed from military power base of pagan Norse invaders to Christian political entity.
The rulers of Normany performed a complex juggling act: starting from a pagan Norse military power base round Rouen, they built an accepted political entity within the boundaries of the Christian state their ancestors had invaded. Successfully reconciling Viking, Frankish and Breton elements within their realm, the Norman rulers created "one people out of the various races", in the words of one eleventh-century writer. As part of that effort, they revived and reformed the monasteries in the region, enlisting the aid of prestigious abbots from reform centres beyond Normandy. By the early eleventh century, there was a consciousness within the region that a new people as well as a new principality had taken shape over the course of the past century. In this process of state-building and ethnogenesis, the revival and reform of monasticism played a crucial role. This book evaluates the relationship between Norman lords and monastic communities and demonstrates how that relationship contributed to the political and social evolution of the duchy. Through this regional focus, Monastic Revival and Regional Identity in Early Normandy adds to an understanding of the role monasticism played in tenth and eleventh-century European society, and, more broadly, in the formation of political and cultural entities in medieval Europe. The conclusions presented in this study are based on an analysis of published sources as well as over two hundred unpublished monastic charters located in Norman archives and libraries.

Dr CASSANDRA POTTS teaches at Middlebury College.

An e-book version of this title is available (9780585177632), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


An outstanding work of scholarship that adds substantially to our understanding of the process by which "Normandy" and the "Normans" came into being. ALBION

An abundance of new evidence...the fruits of painstaking archival research. A welcome addition to the historiography of Normandy before 1066, and also on the process and the progress of the ecclesiastical reform movement in western France. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

Un ajout prEcieux aux oeuvres modernes en anglais sur la Normandie ducale. CAHIERS DE CIVILISATION MEDIEVALE

Few synoptic works on the early Norman church exist. Potts's new look at the monasteres of Normandy in the formative period of the duchy therefore fills a significant lacuna. SPECULUM

Also in Series