Book Chapter

Introduction: Absentee Authority across Medieval Europe


Penman MA & Lachaud F (2017) Introduction: Absentee Authority across Medieval Europe. In: Lachaud F & Penman M (eds.) Absentee Authority Across Medieval Europe. Woodbridge, England: Boydell and Brewer, pp. 1-20.

In the medieval world, what happened when a figure of recognised authority was absent? What terminology, principles and solutions of proxy authority were developed and adopted? Did these solutions differ and change over time depending on whether the absence was short or long and caused by issues of incapacity, minority, disputed succession, geography or elective absenteeism? Did the models of proxy authority adopted by ruling dynasties and large institutions influence the proxy choices of lesser authority? The circumstances and consequences of absentee authority, a major aspect of the systems of medieval power, are the focus of this volume. Ranging across the realms of medieval Europe (but with a focus upon the British Isles and France), its essays embrace a wide variety of experience - royal, parliamentary, conciliar, magnatial, military, ecclesiastical (papal to parochial), burghal, household, minor or major, male or female, exiled, captive or infirm - and explore not merely political developments, but the dynastic, diplomatic, financial, ideological, religious and cultural ramifications of such episodes.

Absentee; Authority; Power; Medieval; Europe; England; France; Scotland; Burgundy; Iceland; royal; monarchy; noble; papal; episcopal; bishop; Parma; minority; regency; lieutenancy

Publication date30/11/2017
PublisherBoydell and Brewer
Publisher URL…l-europe-hb.html
Place of publicationWoodbridge, England