The middling sort at court in early medieval Iberia

Portass, Robert (2017) The middling sort at court in early medieval Iberia. al-Masaq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean, 29 (2). pp. 99-113. ISSN 0950-3110

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Abstract

Analyses of judicial procedure in an Iberian context overwhelmingly focus on the role played by experts and elites in the construction of rather nebulous “networks of power”. This article asks questions of the involvement at court of the “middling sort”, upwardly-mobile lay individuals embedded in or close enough to the village world to engage in humdrum and quotidian deals with its inhabitants: that is, people who were not counts, legal experts or churchmen, but were nonetheless locally important landowners.1 Via a series of case-studies, this article shines a light on what these individuals did at court and why they went to court. It also ponders how disagreements were settled outside of the courtroom, and reflects upon what the diversity of dealings encoded in the apparent formality of legal proceedings, and the incidental reports of extra-judicial agreements, actually tells us about social practice.

Keywords:Medieval history, Justice, Village society, The peasantry, Charters, Dispute settlement
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V224 Iberian History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:27490
Deposited On:11 May 2017 08:25

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