Review Of "The Transformation Of The Year One Thousand: The Village Of Lournand From Antiquity To Feudalism" By G. Bois

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Georges Duby has made the concept of a “feudal revolution” central to current discussion of medieval society. In this daring essay Bois attempts to give greater precision and depth to the term by concentrating on the richly documented village of Lournand in the Măconnais, the area of Duby's seminal regional study. The conclusions presented should force medievalists to rethink the watershed of the 11th century. Bois forcefully argues that early medieval Europe remained a slave society and experienced a substantial rise in population; a feudal rather than an agricultural revolution brought down the old order. The economic changes set in motion after 1000 freed productive resources through new controls over small-scale peasant production, the expansion of markets, and the growth of towns, each integral elements of feudal society. Bois's social analysis is particularly astute: small estate owners and free peasants--not great lords, serfs, and slaves--provided the most vibrant impulses for change. Lournand will become a landmark in European social history. Strongly recommended. Advanced undergraduate; graduate; faculty.


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