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Counts and Kings Cheat Sheet by


Geo affected pol organi­sation and rulership
Poor roads + forests = limited contact to commun­ities
Family units→­pol­itical units


Great Euro fams invested in fam history, tradit­ions, records
c800-1000 New fams won power thru warfare
Warfare + marriage = đź—ť expansion and consol­idation of pwr
Geneal­ogical rolls v popular
Family legend for others' perception of fam
ie Song of Roland (Charle­magne's reign)
→abt Roland & other Frankish warriors at Battle of Roncevaux 778
Literary re-ima­gining incl. Muslims as enemy
Probably composed between c.1040­-1115

Royal admin

Personnel involved in running kingdom
Start of 12th century: small admin
Differed kingdom to kingdom:
→England: closely governed
→Less governed - admin issues charters & collect small tax
Even Eng had small perm admins in early 12th cent

Case study: County of Anjou

Count Fulk Rechin (end of 11th cent) recorded achvmnts of ancestor Fulk Nerra
Military expans continued in Anjou late 10th cent and first half of 11th
Process of encroa­chment:
1. secure foothold (marriage, warfare, purchase, force/­fraud)
2. good rship w/ church
3. establish castle
4. wait for opport­unity (victory in battle, enemy away, minority rule)

Counts (cont.)

Change by mid-11th cent.
territ­orial units of counties establshd
small pwr blocs abutting each other
dvlpmnt of law & stable pol rather than expans
Counts needed admin & staff to gvrn + exploit resources
By end of 11th cent. more docs requiring standing staff rather than ad hoc emplymnt
From early 12th cent, sec powers employed masters from great schools (like uni)
abut - (v.) to be adjacent; touch or join at the edge or border


Violen­ce→­comital authority
God→royal authority
Coronation rites degraded position of count (though counts were often more powerful than king of France)
Eccles­ias­tical rites by clergy:
Anointed with holy oil
Invested w/ ring and staff
Invested w/ sword and sceptre
10th century kings could style selves as Vicars of Christ
Derived right to rule from lineage - recounted memories of predec­essors for legitimacy
Model for German emps: Charle­magne
comital: of, belonging to, or befitting a count or earl

Key roles of kings

1. Defend the people
2. Keep the peace
3. Protect the Church
4. Enforce justice, punish criminals
5. Lead (and win) military campaigns
6. Display military prowess and valour

Means of political pursuit

Warfaređź—ťnoble identity
Pre10th cent warriors:$ thru plundering
Post10th century, other ways to get $
Warfare unreliable for pol policy
Marriageđź—ťmethod pol policy
Henry I married English princess
Strategic marriages good!

A king's power

Rested on
→ability to recruit & lead armies
→role as supreme judge
John of England failed
→lost most of Angevin and exploited his barons
Rulers bound by old law
→subjects could rebel and force king to obey law
→Right of resistance couldn't be repealed
→invoked against King John
Despite hallowed status of old law, new law was created
Announ­cement of new law codes:
→Roger II of Sicily
→Frederick II
Kings of Sicily - peak royal auth
English kings - control of court
German kings delegated auth to bishops - power to princes
French kings: justice in royal domain, not outside


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