The Age of Robert the Pious: Kingship, Monasticism, and the "Feudal Mutation"

History 285B

Fall 2013
Day & Time: 
Tu 3-6P

Robert the Pious (996-1031) has always been a problematic king.  On the one hand, a contemporary life describes him as something of a holy fool.  On the other hand, he conquered Burgundy.  It has always been hard to fit the two together.  In addition, his reign saw the rapid diffusion of monastic reforms from Cluny and Marmoutier, the development of the Peace of God, and the first appearance of popular heresy in the Latin West.  It was also the age of castles and the "feudal mutation."  It says a great deal about the puzzles of Robert's reign that we do not even know if a "feudal mutation" actually took place.  This course will examine contemporary letters, chronicles, and especially Robert's charters to try to get at what was really happening in early eleventh-century  France.  Good French and at least rudimentary Latin are essential; good German is not essential but very helpful.