Land and Lordship

9780812281835: Hardback
Release Date: 29th April 1992

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 498

Series The Middle Ages Series

University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

Land and Lordship

Structures of Governance in Medieval Austria

Written by
Otto Brunner
Edited and translated by
Howard Kaminsky
James Van Horn Melton

Originally published in 1939 and available here in English, Land and Lordship has been one of the most influential works of the twentieth-century medieval scholarship.

Hardback / £65.00

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.