“Rules and Rituals”

© Brill

Gerd Althoff's new book collects fifteen of his more recent contributions, most of them previously published in German, which elucidate the functioning of prestate societies. Examples from the Frankish and later German realm (800-1200) are used to clarify how rules and political rituals governed behavior in the power games between kings, churchmen and nobles. Such rules (Spielregeln) and rituals guided public and private behavior despite the fact that they existed only as unwritten customs. The long-overlooked significance of this way of establishing order has sparked a vivid and controversial international discussion in the last decades which continues today. (Brill/sca)

Reference: Althoff, Gerd: Rules and Rituals in Medieval Power Games. A German Perspective (Medieval Law and Its Practice, vol. 29), Leiden et al.: Brill 2020.