- Series: Records of Western Civilization Series
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Columbia University Press (June 22, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0231136714
- ISBN-13: 978-0231136716
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Murder of Charles the Good (Records of Western Civilization Series)
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This new edition offers an account of the murder of the Charles the Good in 1127 and its profound effects on medieval Flemish society and the balance of power in Europe. Galbert of Bruges presents a vivid portrait of the political and social unrest that engulfed Flemish society in the aftermath of Charles the Good's death. Historians have long recognized The Murder of Charles the Good as a remarkable point of entry for understanding the most important political, legal, and social issues that confronted medieval Europe.
About the Author
James Bruce Ross was professor of history at Vassar College and the coeditor of The Portable Medieval Reader and The Portable Renaissance Reader.
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The translator's introduction and notations are immensely revealing and insightful. She (James Bruce in this case is a woman's name) explains the rise of the commercial agglomerations of burghers and their vital need for peace in order to prosper in trade. This lead to the Church's peace and eventually the count's circumvention the Church and proclamation of a Count's peace since he also reaped the benefits of the growing trade in the form of tolls and taxes. The rebellion and murder that ensued is a result of the dislike by the traditional powers, the barons and others and powerful peasant families of the Count's use of 'new-men' in his circle of advisors.
She also elaborates extensively on the key medieval concept of the importance of the oath that helped to maintain the social order. The burgher's assertion of semi-independence introduces a new participant in the exchange of oaths. The burghers gain such power that they draft charters and elect their own counts and, defy the king of France who wanted a share of the ex-count's wealth as well.
This rise of Communes is not just a feature of Flemish society but also occurs in northern France as recorded by the equally interesting and revealing account of Guibert of Nogent (published under the Title - Self and Society in Medieval France). But, Guibert's account of the Rise of the Commune of Laon is nowhere as precise and historical as Galbert's. Not much is known about the author except that he was a notary in Bruges. His bias is very minimally apparent since he does sympathize with and call himself a member of the Burghers of Bruges.
The translation is impeccable, the introduction is immense and revealing, and the footnotes are extremely extensive (sometimes over the top). Galbert of Bruges', The Murder of Charles the Good, is a riveting first-hand account that is fun to read and of great historical importance.