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The Chivalric Turn. Conduct and Hegemony in Europe Before 1300

David Crouch

Crouch David, The Chivalric Turn. Conduct and Hegemony in Europe Before 1300, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2021.

ISBN : 9780198830344

The Chivalric Turn examines the medieval obsession with defining and practising superior conduct, and the social consequences that followed from it. Historians since the seventeenth century have tended to understand medieval conduct through the eyes of the writers of the Enlightenment, viewing superior conduct as ’knightly’ behaviour, and categorising it as chivalry.

Using, for the first time, the full range of the considerable twelfth- and thirteenth-century literature on conduct in the European vernaculars and in Latin, The Chivalric Turn describes and defines what superior lay conduct was in European society before chivalry, and maps how and why chivalry emerged and redefined superior conduct in the last generation of the twelfth century. The emergence of chivalry was only one part of a major social change, because it changed how people understood the concept of nobility, which had consequences for the medieval understanding of gender, social class, violence, and the limits of law.

Table of Content :
Part I : Introduction
1. Conduct, Habitus and Practice
2. The Field of Study
Part II : The Social Field
3. The Origins of Cortesia
4. The Preudomme
5. The Preudefemme
6. Villeins, Villains and Vilonie
7. The Courtly Habitus
Part III : Stress in Courtly Society
8. The Insurgent Woman
9. The Table
10. The Enemy
Part IV : Hegemony
11. The Conspiracy of Deference
12. The Disruptive Knight
13. The Noble Knight
14. The Chivalric Virus

Author information :

David Crouch is retired Professor of Medieval History at the University of Hull. His many books have focused on areas of research surrounding the social and political history of the period from 1000 to 1300, primarily in England and France. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 2014.