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Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages$
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Jayne Carroll, Andrew Reynolds, and Barbara Yorke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266588

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.001.0001

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Power, Place and Territory in Early Medieval South-East Wales

Power, Place and Territory in Early Medieval South-East Wales

(p.325) 15 Power, Place and Territory in Early Medieval South-East Wales
Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages

Andy Seaman

British Academy

Wales provides a rare opportunity to explore the development of an early medieval socio-political landscape in a part of the Western Roman Empire that was not subject to Germanic incursion before the 11th century. South-East Wales is particularly important in this respect as it lies within the Romanised zone of lowland Britain. A lack of early evidence, however, has led scholars to construct anachronistic interpretations overly dependent upon evidence drawn from lawbooks of the 13th century. Archaeological evidence and documentary sources from South-East Wales do, however, afford an opportunity to explore the organisation and exploitation of the early medieval landscape independently of the lawbooks. This chapter examines territorial organisation, central places and long-term political continuity in early medieval South-East Wales. It concludes by considering some of the contrasts between patterns of power in South-East Wales and Anglo-Saxon England.

Keywords:   Western Roman Empire, South-East Wales, lawbooks, early medieval landscape, territorial organisation, political continuity, power

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