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Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict$
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Oliver Creighton and Duncan Wright

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382424

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382424.001.0001

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date: 21 April 2018

The Twelfth-Century Civil War in Context: Assessment and Reassessment

The Twelfth-Century Civil War in Context: Assessment and Reassessment

Chapter:
(p.279) Chapter 10 The Twelfth-Century Civil War in Context: Assessment and Reassessment
Source:
Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict
Author(s):

Oliver H. Creighton

Duncan W. Wright

Michael Fradley

Steven Trick

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781382424.003.0010

This final chapter presents a self-contained overview of what the material evidence tells us about the twelfth-century civil war and its consequences. Issues with dating archaeological evidence to the period in question mean that conclusions must be cautious, but it seems clear that the Anarchy is not obviously identifiable in the material record as a distinct ‘event horizon’. Archaeology has much more to offer us in terms of illuminating the conduct and psychology of Anglo-Norman warfare and in showing how lordly identity was being transformed through the period, and how it was expressed through castle-building and ecclesiastical patronage. Consideration of these research themes and others can help extricate studies of the twelfth-civil war from the ‘anarchy or not?’ debate. In conclusion: the mid-twelfth century is best regarded not as an age of anarchy but as an age of transition.

Keywords:   anarchy, church, civil war, conflict, dating, devastation, landscape, material culture, Norman Conquest, Normanisation

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