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The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland, 1124-1290 - Oxford Studies In Medieval European History (Hardback)
  • The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland, 1124-1290 - Oxford Studies In Medieval European History (Hardback)
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The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland, 1124-1290 - Oxford Studies In Medieval European History (Hardback)

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£94.00
Hardback 560 Pages / Published: 03/03/2016
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This is the first full-length study of Scottish royal government in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries ever to have been written. It uses untapped legal evidence to set out a new narrative of governmental development. Between 1124 and 1290, the way in which kings of Scots ruled their kingdom transformed. By 1290 accountable officials, a system of royal courts, and complex common law procedures had all been introduced, none of which could have been envisaged in 1124. The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland, 1124-1290 argues that governmental development was a dynamic phenomenon, taking place over the long term. For the first half of the twelfth century, kings ruled primarily through personal relationships and patronage, only ruling through administrative and judicial officers in the south of their kingdom. In the second half of the twelfth century, these officers spread north but it was only in the late twelfth century that kings routinely ruled through institutions. Throughout this period of profound change, kings relied on aristocratic power as an increasingly formal part of royal government. In putting forward this narrative, Alice Taylor refines or overturns previous understandings in Scottish historiography of subjects as diverse as the development of the Scottish common law, feuding and compensation, Anglo-Norman 'feudalism', the importance of the reign of David I, recordkeeping, and the kingdom's military organisation. In addition, she argues that Scottish royal government was not a miniature version of English government; there were profound differences between the two polities arising from the different role and function aristocratic power played in each kingdom. The volume also has wider significance. The formalisation of aristocratic power within and alongside the institutions of royal government in Scotland forces us to question whether the rise of royal power necessarily means the consequent decline of aristocratic power in medieval polities. The book thus not only explains an important period in the history of Scotland, it places the experience of Scotland at the heart of the process of European state formation as a whole

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198749202
Number of pages: 560
Weight: 942 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 35 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Every generation or so a book is produced that is truly transformative of our understanding of the historical processes that led to evolutionary step changes in the development of a culture or polity. Such is the status of Alice Taylor's magisterial study of the formation of the medieval Scottish state. ... Through Alice Taylor's scholarship we have been presented with a new historiographical horizon; now we need to populate the new landscape with the detail of the new world beyond it. * Richard Oram, Renaissance Quarterly *
In this hugely significant and ambitious book, Alice Taylor offers a detailed survey of the developing form of royal government in Scotland during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries... Through rigorous and insightful analysis, Taylor has constructed a vital interpretive model for understanding the dynamics of royal power in Scotland during this period. * Victoria Hodgson, University of Stirling *
The Shape of the State in Medieval Scotland is a work of great scholarship and insight. Through its penetrating analysis of detailed evidence and complex sources, it builds a picture of the gradual development of the state in early Scotland, drawing upon fresh approaches and evidence to yield a textured and nuanced understanding of the growth of royal government in 12th and 13th-century Scotland ... Situating its analysis in a European perspective, it makes an important contribution to the study of medieval kingship, statecraft and the aristocracy. This is a ground-breaking book which will set the terms of debate for many years to come. * Judges' comments for the 2017 Whitfield Prize of the Royal Historical Society *
This volume represents a truly remarkable scholarly achievement. Without doubt, it is the single most significant work to be published on the Scottish legal system during the central Middle Ages in over 20 years. And yet is does more. Its revolutionary conclusions convincingly explain how the laws of the realm were transformed by shifting power structures in twelfth-century and thirteenth-century Scotland. Furthermore, it achieves this goal in such a way as to demonstrate that the Scottish experience is of great comparative significance. * Comparative Legal History *
As another referendum looms, this book comes at an opportune moment to act as a corrective to the co-opting of the medieval past. It is ambitious and thorough; it succeeds in its stated aims, and then some. * Toby Salisbury, Reviews in History *
The scope of the ground-breaking scholarship displayed by Taylor in this book is remarkable. Through meticulous and rigorous research into extremely difficult manuscript traditions - which were once described as an 'Augean Stable' of texts by their early-modern editor - she has recovered much evidence which was previously simply unavailable to Scottish historians. * Andrew RC Simpson, Comparative Legal History *
Alice Taylor is to be congratulated on an outstanding work. * Stephen Marritt, Sehepunkte *
excellent ... a historian with Taylor's rare accomplishments will be able to shed more light on the matter ... So much illumination has already been provided by this remarkable book that to ask for more would be unreasonable * J. D. Ford, Modern Law Review *
this impressive and timely monograph ... does indeed represent the most significant contribution in a generation to the study of the development of government and law (the 'state' in anachronistic terms) in the emerging medieval Scottish kingdom. Moreover, it must prompt careful reassessment of much of our understanding of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in that realm and beyond. It is a challenging but undeniably rewarding read on many levels, a model in structure, historiographical context and the layering in and critical evaluation of complex, often seemingly contradictory, records sources (many of them freshly translated and reconsidered by the author). * Michael Penman, Parliaments, Estates and Representation *

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