Chapter

Hostages in the Early Middle Ages: Communication, Conversion, and Structures of Alliance

Adam J. Kosto

in Hostages in the Middle Ages

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199651702
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741999 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199651702.003.0003
Hostages in the Early Middle Ages: Communication, Conversion, and Structures of Alliance

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter surveys hostageship in the early Middle Ages. It shows how, in the context of the break-up of Carolingian hegemony, the symbolic and communicative aspects of hostageship were as if not more important than its guaranteeing function, and how the political significance of hostages extended well beyond the interests of the grantor and the receiver. A close study of the Indiculus obsidum, a list of Saxon hostages from the early ninth century, reveals the role of hostages in the politics of religious conversion. The chapter also examines the links between hostageship and the related institutions of oblation, fosterage, adoption, and commendation, all of which contributed to the structures of family alliance that formed the basis of political society.

Keywords: Carolingians; conversion; political communication; papacy; Lombards; submission; safe conduct; Indiculus obsidum; Saxons

Chapter.  14084 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.