By David Levine
At the sunrise of Modernity highlights either "top-down" and "bottom-up" alterations that characterised the social adventure of early modernization. within the former type are the Gregorian Reformation, the imposition of feudalism, and the advance of centralizing country formations. Of equivalent significance to Levine's portrait of the rising social order are the bottom-up demographic relatives that based daily life, as the making of the fashionable international, in his view, additionally begun within the judgements made via numerous women and men concerning their households and conditions. Levine ends his tale with the cataclysm unleashed through the Black demise in 1348, which introduced 3 centuries of progress to a grim end.
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Additional info for At the Dawn of Modernity: Biology, Culture, and Material Life in Europe after the Year 1000
Warfare was constant in an almost capricious struggle for mastery in which bravery and brawn, charisma and cunning, all counted for more than either right or legitimacy. Out of these confrontations, members of the knightly class gained both jurisdictional and administrative immunities (also called liberties), thereby limiting the lord’s control over them and their benefices. The knight’s relationship to his lord came to be based not on overt command but rather on a contractual basis within a larger system of mutual obligations.
Elliott’s concern is with the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but his ideas are relevant in considering the activities of the German kings of an earlier period. See also D. J. A. Matthew, “Reflections on the Medieval Roman Empire,” History 77 (1992): 363–90, esp. 373 ff. 56. Barraclough, The Origins of Modern Germany, 139. 57. Arnold, Princes and Territories in Medieval Germany, 169–70. Levine_001_188 38 10/11/00 / 1:13 PM Page 38 Lineages of Early Modernization samenesses—was to emerge with the bailliages and sénéchaussées, and in an admittedly more limited area, prévôtés had made their appearance a good deal earlier.
19. For this reason, the societies of the tenth-century Franks and thirteenthcentury England were both “feudal” in that both insisted on the primacy of personal bonds of loyalty to a uniquely constituted sovereign whose power was created in ties of obedience and protection. , Levine_001_188 24 10/11/00 / 1:12 PM Page 24 Lineages of Early Modernization Might was usually right. This was not a recipe for stability so much as the rule of the strongest. Feudalism was “a social order or, if one prefers, an closer to the ideal type) for the tenth-century Frank than for the thirteenthcentury Englishman because in the intervening centuries their form had mutated and the ideal had fossilized.