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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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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Property and Governance: Making the Anglo-Saxon Agricultural Landscape

Property and Governance: Making the Anglo-Saxon Agricultural Landscape

Chapter:
(p.456) 21 Property and Governance: Making the Anglo-Saxon Agricultural Landscape
Source:
Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages
Author(s):

Susan Oosthuizen

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.003.0021

The chapter focuses on ancient traditions of collective governance over agricultural resources in the context of the growth of early medieval lordship. It begins by drawing attention to the incorporation in highly regular medieval open-field systems found across the English ‘Central Province’ of two contradictory forms of governance: the collective participation of all cultivators in their management and regulation, and highly directive managerialism on lordly demesnes. It investigates that contradiction by exploring the ancient origins of the collective governance of pasture and of irregularly organised open-field arable; and the more recent origins of highly regular open-field systems on middle Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastical estates. The chapter concludes that the emergence of distinctive highly organised large-scale open-field systems in the Central Province may represent the deliberate integration in the interests of agricultural efficiency of long traditions of collective peasant governance with the growing directiveness of early medieval lordly power.

Keywords:   collective governance, agricultural resources, medieval open-field systems, ‘Central Province’, directive managerialism, lordly demesnes, ecclesiastical estates, lordly power

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