Read Feudal Society by Marc Bloch Online


Feudal Society discusses the economic and social conditions in which feudalism developed providing a deep understanding of the processes at work in medieval Europe...

Title : Feudal Society
Author :
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ISBN : 9780226059808
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 200 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Feudal Society Reviews

  • Simon Mcleish
    2019-05-26 15:24

    This review was first published on my blog here.The foreword to this Routledge Classics edition, by Geoffrey Kozol, starts by asking, "Why read a work of history written over seventy years ago?" Clearly, after such a long time, a scholarly work of this kind no longer represents current knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, any more than earlier historical classics like Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire or Carlyle's history of The French Revolution do.Each of the books mentioned, including this one, has good reasons why you might want to read them. Three in particular are common to all of them: they have all been influential in one way or another; they are all quite general overviews of topics often treated on a smaller scale by specialists; and they are all of high literary quality.In Feudal Society Bloch attempts a study of several centuries of Western European social history, analysing the genesis, flowering and eventual modification into something else of the culture known as "feudal" - that is, based around vassal/overlord relationships, tied to land grants (fees, the origin of the word feudal). Given the fragmentary state of the documentary record, especially in the early years going beyond the major chronicles to understand the society is hard work, but in this book Bloch uses a huge array of small scale records (mainly legal documents) to produce as full a picture as possible.To research this way is now far more common, but the scale of the project in this case means that it is still an impressive synthesis - indeed, it would be fair to say that Bloch is phenomenally successful. Naive historical accounts, in any era, tend to paint a picture of society as though it remains the same over long periods of time, so that Roman customs and fashion appear to be constant from the late Republic to the end of the Empire, for instance, or (more relevantly) as though feudalism as an organising principle sprang into being in the tenth century and then was replaced during the fifteenth, and was the same in France, Germany, Italy and even England after the cataclysm of 1066. It is clear that these pictures are nonsensical, and Bloch of course gives a far more nuanced and subtle description of a culture which was never uniform, and which developed significantly over time. Bloch identifies the economic downturn of the late Carolingian era and the disruptions to social order and centralised power at the time of the Magyar and Viking raids as causes of the adoption of personal vassalage and serf labour in the manorial system, as a development of Germanic and Roman customs. The argument is convincing, but I would like to read a modern equivalent of this book to see how today's scholarship has modified this viewpoint. That is, of course, if there is a modern historian with such detailed and widespread knowledge and understanding.At the end of Feudal Society, Bloch suggests that one area which could the focus of further study is how European feudalism is related to other historical cultures which have been described using the word. He discusses in particular the Japan of the samurai, and describes a number of significant differences from medieval western Europe. Although I don't think it's all that clear from the text, I'm sure that Bloch was perfectly well aware that the use of the "feudal" label for Japan is based on superficial likenesses: the real interest is to look at how and why the similarities and differences on opposite sides of the globe.Overall, Feudal Society is an inspiring classic from "the father of scientific history", and, like Carlyle and Gibbon, deserves to be read and remembered.

  • Giovanna
    2019-06-20 12:34

    Il primo libro di storiografia medievale che io abbia letto. Avevo 16 anni e mi ha fatto scoprire la bellezza di una materia completamente affascinante.

  • Hugo Barbosa
    2019-06-11 19:22

    Obra concisa sobre a era denominada feudal, desde o século VIII até ao século XIV. Não é leitura casual. O livro foi escrito por um conceituado historiador francês, March Bloch, para pessoas seriamente interessadas em história e que, pela natureza concisa do livro, o irão obrigatoriamente usar como ponto de partida para os seus próprios estudos (que é o que pretendo fazer). O livro traça as origens do sistema feudal, desde o desmembramento do Império Romano do Ocidente, com todas as influências que isso teve na sociedade da época até aos fins, quando a sociedade começou a transitar para a Idade Moderna.Recomendo vivamente apenas a pessoas seriamente interessadas no estudo da história medieval.Concise work about the so-called feudal age, from the VIII century to the XIV century. Not a casual reading. This work was writen by a renowned french historian, March Block, whose target audience is those seriously interested in studying history who will use it, by its very concise nature, as a starting point to their own academic studies (which I intend to do). This work delves into the origins of the feudal society, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and how society evolved, up until the transition to the Early Modern Age.I highly recommend it but only to those seriously-minded in studying medieval history.

  • Nicolas Valin
    2019-06-12 13:20

    El autor analiza en esta obra, ya un clásico de la historiografía sobre el período medieval, el autor trata temas como el modelo feudal de sociedad y las diferentes características de las sociedades feudales de Europa occidental y central, desde la mitad del siglo VIII a finales del XIII. El autor, Marc Bloch, toca puntos clave como: el feudalismo como tipo social y su acción, ¿feudalismo o feudalismos?, características fundamentales del feudalismo europeo y la idea guerrera y la idea de contrato. La primera parte del trabajo se enfocará en describir las condiciones generales del medio social y a continuación, la constitución de estas relaciones de dependencia de hombre a hombre que han sido las que han dado a la estructura feudal su matiz característico. La segunda parte estará enfocada en el desarrollo de las clases y la organización de los gobiernos.

  • Gary Land
    2019-06-21 17:18

    I used excerpts from Bloch's magisterial work for several years in teaching the history of historical writing, but I had never read the whole book. Now that I have, I more fully recognize its significance in the development of historical methodology, as Bloch uses techniques from sociology and anthropology to more fully understand feudal society. But the resulting book is not an easy read. As a historian of the United States I have done little reading on the Medieval period of European history and thus have little background on the subject. Furthermore, Bloch's work is relentlessly analytical rather than narrative in nature. I learned much but there was even more that I didn't absorb. If I was teaching this period I would find this book essential, but I would need to study it rather than simply read it.

  • Ali
    2019-06-18 14:18

    Rich of insights about Europe's furfural society Historian Marc Bloch gives opinions about various aspects in Europe's feudal society. His analysis and observations are insightful, rich, and even entertaining.I was (particularly) attracted to feudal Europe's relations with Arabs and Muslims, due to my interests.

  • Philip Cook
    2019-06-01 15:25

    Feudalism as written by a Frenchman. Seriously deep. He writes of aspects of history that had never occurred to me. A book for the student of history. Nothing is left out. A member of the French resistance in the second world war this author died at the hands of the Nazis.

  • Karl Georg
    2019-06-12 12:40

    Die Entwicklunglinien und -phasen der Feudalgesellschaft im Mittelalter werden nachvollziehbar beschrieben und begründet. Zugleich gelingt es Bloch, die Lebensverhältnisse zu dieser Zeit erahnbar zu machen, ohne die Grenzen der Quellenlage zu verschweigen oder zu übertünchen.

  • Diogo Jesus
    2019-06-18 16:29

    Tries to give a complete view of those times around X-XI century Europe. Many details, easy to read and gives his insight to this era. Investigates and thinks about what he´s reading. When he doesn´t know he doesn´t hesitate to say it

  • ultraviolet raurublock
    2019-06-03 11:34


  • Misterc
    2019-06-23 12:34

    un testo fondamentale per capire il medioevo