The World of Orderic Vitalis

March 1996
3 line illustrations
264 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
ISBN: 9780851156217
Format: Paperback
Boydell Press

The World of Orderic Vitalis

Norman Monks and Norman Knights

Marjorie Chibnall

`A wise, learned, gracefully written account of the Anglo-Norman world and its most remarkable chronicler.' SPECULUM
Orderic Vitalis, born near Shrewsbury in 1075 and sent as a child oblate to the Norman abbey of Saint-Evroult, wrote one of the most vivid and important medieval chronicles. His world encompassed Shropshire in the aftermath of the Conquest, Normandy in civil war and at peace, and, briefly, the wider French perspective of the priory of Maule. Saint-Evroult was open to all the cross-currents of a changing society, and Orderic witnessed fundamental changes in church organisation, patterns of aristocratic inheritance, attitudes towards knighthood, and Christian militancy towards non-Christians.
This book is concerned with monastic life and culture and its interaction with the life of courts and Norman families. It also describes the life of Orderic himself, and an appendix gives a translation of his own moving account of his life, an epilogue to the Historia.MARJORIE CHIBNALL is a Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. She has written many booksand articles about the Anglo-Norman world, including an edition of Orderic's Ecclesiastical History.
Keywords: Medieval History


A study of both Orderic and the society that encompassed and shaped him — a wise, learned, gracefully written account of the Anglo-Norman world and its most remarkable chronicler... a distillation of many decades of meticulous and thoughtful scholarship. SPECULUM [C. Warren Hollister] Marjorie Chibnall reviews the themes that preoccupied Orderic and the great historical issues which are illuminated by his work... A masterpiece of calm and reliable judgement. [Can be read with pleasure and understanding by the interested amateur and with profit by the sixth-former and the undergraduate.] TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT An essential supplement to Orderic's Ecclesiastical History...bring[s] together information about such general themes as Orderic's life and loyalties, the state of monastic studies in his day, the fortunes of the great families of Normandy... An incentive and guide for new work on the culture of the Benedictine monasteries and the society of which they were the best products. JOURNAL OF THEOLOGICAL STUDIES [R.W. Southern]

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