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Title: The Anglo-Saxon and Irish ideal of the Ciuitas, c. 500-1050
Authors: Maddox, Melanie C.
Supervisors: Bartlett, Robert
Keywords: Civitas
Issue Date: 24-Jun-2010
Abstract: This thesis examines the ideal of the Anglo-Saxon and Irish ciuitas, c. 500-1050, by considering what Anglo-Saxon and Irish ecclesiastics understood a ciuitas to be, how they used the term in their own writings and what terms were its vernacular equivalent. When looking at early Insular history, there can be no doubt that the locations that were called ciuitates by Anglo-Saxon and Irish ecclesiastics are some of the most important sites in forming a better understanding of the time period. Ciuitates like Armagh, Canterbury, Clonmacnoise, Iona, Kildare, London and Winchester were settlements that attracted large numbers of people, as well as being centres of both secular and religious power. These ecclesiastical centres had a diversity of individuals within their boundaries, from the ecclesiastics of the sacred centre to monastic tenants and various types of visitors. The importance of Anglo-Saxon and Irish ciuitates cannot only be seen in the frequency of the term's use in primary sources, but also in the great extent to which these sites are mentioned in secondary sources on the time period. Although these communities are often used by scholars to prove or disprove different points of history, the term ciuitas has not been examined in a study devoted to the subject. This thesis has been divided into three chapters. Chapter one considers biblical inspiration in the ideal of the ciuitas, chapter two analyzes the Anglo-Saxon ciuitas and word usage, while chapter three reviews the Irish ciuitas and word use. By the end of this study it will become clear what Anglo-Saxon and Irish ecclesiastics thought a ciuitas to be, as well as the different definitions they understood to apply to these sites.
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Type: Thesis
Publisher: University of St Andrews
Appears in Collections:Mediaeval History Theses

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