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By Ben Snook

Extra charters live on from Anglo-Saxon England than texts of the other kind. In a society within which the possession of land used to be basic to prestige, wealth and gear, the charters which talented and warranted landholdings have been the most important not just as criminal files but additionally as tools of political energy. As accountability for his or her construction used to be more and more centralised on the royal courtroom within the 9th and 10th centuries, charters additionally turned cars for royal and spiritual propaganda, reflecting the dynamic and artistic tradition of tenth-century England.
Through an research of the terribly subtle Latin within which those records have been written, this publication demonstrates the literary pursuits in their draughtsmen (who could definitely be regarded as Anglo-Latin literary authors of their personal right), and likewise sheds gentle at the political ideologies of Anglo-Saxon England's strongest and enigmatic kings and churchmen. such a lot tantalising of all, possibly, is the truth that the language of royal charters, which could guard the various very phrases uttered via the king, offers an exceptional view of the mechanisms through which the constructing country of britain used to be ruled. not just does it point out the more and more refined forms of an administratively complicated nation, however it additionally unearths an environment of literary and cultural attainment, emanating at once from the king's court docket, as wealthy as any within the early medieval Insular global.

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Additional resources for The Anglo-Saxon Chancery: The History, Language and Production of Anglo-Saxon Charters from Alfred to Edgar

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32 Cf. Esche’s comment in ‘Chance et hasard’, p. 34 In the Anglo-Saxon context, the thoughts of Albert Bruckner, Sir Frank Stenton and Simon Keynes on the matter of identifying forgeries remain fine guiding principles,35 but there remains no foolproof method. Although some basic tests, such as close analysis of the witness list, a trawl for clearly anachronistic formulae and an awareness of any conspicuously suspicious palaeographical or codicological features can all help in establishing the veracity of a document, it remains a time-consuming and controversial area.

147–70; and, more generally, Patrick Geary, Phantoms of Remembrance: Memory and Oblivion at the End of the First Millennium (Princeton, 1994), ch. 4; and his ‘Land, Language and Memory in Europe 700–1100’, TRHS 6th Series, 9 (1999): 169–84. 40 See Foot, ‘Reading Anglo-Saxon Charters’, p. 40. org/terms The Anglo-Saxon Chancery if the mists of neglect, with the cloud-bringing obfuscations of forgetfulness, obscure the radiant sun of justice from the rightful law of possession, then it shall be unavoidable for all men that all their acquisitions or possessions must be confirmed with the forms of letters for the security of present or successive generations.

275–304. 62 Chaplais, ‘Who Introduced Charters into England? The Case for Augustine’, pp. 100–1. 63 On which: Nicholas Everett, ‘Scribes and Charters in Lombard Italy’, Studi Medievali 3rd series, 16 (2000): 39–83. 64 Even historians of later medieval English history have been guilty of misunderstanding Anglo-Saxon diplomatics: ‘if in Anglo-Saxon England there was no such tradition of a chancery inherited from the imperial past’, wrote the great R. 65 Drögereit, Chaplais, Reuter and Brown were all towering figures within their fields, whose contributions to the modern understanding of the Middle Ages were immense, and whose knowledge of medieval European history was almost incomprehensibly vast; that they, of all people, could commit such oversights stands as a potent warning of the dangers of taking an insufficiently sensitive approach to Anglo-Saxon charters.

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