Land and Lordship
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Land and Lordship
Structures of Governance in Medieval Austria

Otto Brunner. Translated and with an introduction by Howard Kaminsky and James Van Horn Melton

498 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 1992 | ISBN 9780812281835 | $75.00s | Outside the Americas £65.00
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A volume in the Middle Ages Series

Otto Brunner contends that prevailing notions of medieval social and constitutional history had been shaped by the nineteenth-century nation state and its "liberal" order. Whereas a sharp distinction between the public and the private might be appropriate to descriptions of contemporary society, such a dichotomy could not be projected back onto the Middle Ages. Focusing particularly on forms of lordship in late medieval Austria, Brunner found neither a "state" in the modern sense nor any distinction between the public and private spheres.

Behind the apparent disorder of late medieval political life, however, Brunner discovered a coherent legal and constitutional order rooted in the the rights and obligations of noble lordship. In carefully reconstructing this order, Brunner's study weaves together social, legal, constitutional, and intellectual history.

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