This study is an exploration of the collective values and activities of lay society in Western Europe between the tenth century and the thirteenth. Arguing that medieval attitudes and behaviour have too readily been defined in terms of hierarchical structures of government, clerical thought, or narrow notion of kinship, the author instead places new emphasis on the horizontal bonds of collective association which permeated society in medieval England, France and
Burgundy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy.
By refocusing on the social and political values that characterized lay collective activity, this book offers a stimulating new approach to the history of medieval Europe. The second edition of this important study incorporates a substantial new introduction, which amplifies the arguments of the original edition and takes account of recent research.
ON THE FIRST EDITION
`all students of the Middle Ages and of collective organization will be indebted to Reynolds for this rich and original book. It will be a starting-point for discussion and the reference point for information', Times Literary Supplement
Introduction to Second Edition ; The Historiography of Medieval Community ; Lay Ideas about Collectivity ; Theory and Practice ; List of Works Cited ; Introduction ; 1. Collective Activity in Traditional Law 900-1300 ; 2. Legal Change 1140-1300 ; 3. Fraternities and Guilds ; 4. The Community of the Parish ; 5. Villages and Rural Neighbourhoods ; 6. Urban Communities ; 7. Provinces and Lordships ; 8. The Community of the Realm ; 9. Lay Collective Activity 900-1300: A General View ; List of Works Cited ; Index