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Medieval Frontier Societies$
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Robert Bartlett and Angus MacKay

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203612.001.0001

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Colonial Aristocracies of the High Middle Ages

Colonial Aristocracies of the High Middle Ages

(p.22) (p.23) 2 Colonial Aristocracies of the High Middle Ages
Medieval Frontier Societies

Robert Bartlett

Oxford University Press

Between the 11th and the 13th centuries, the political map of Europe and the Mediterranean was transformed by a series of conquests which established, more or less securely, new ruling classes in countries as distant and diverse as Ireland and Palestine, Andalusia and Prussia. In these places a new military and landed elite of foreign origin — a colonial aristocracy — intruded into and was imposed upon the indigenous society. Moreover, beyond this comparability of situation is the fact that the alien aristocracies all shared certain traditions of Latin and Frankish origin. Thus, when one analyses the changes brought about by the partial Anglo-Norman conquest of Ireland or the creation of the Mark of Brandenburg on formerly Slav terrain or the establishment of Outremer, the crusader colony in the Middle East, one is struck, simultaneously, by the contrasts between these different areas and by the common cultural and political baggage brought by the invaders.

Keywords:   Europe, Mediterranean, Palestine, Andalusia, Prussia, aristocracy, Anglo-Norman, Ireland, Mark of Brandenburg, Outremer

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