July 27, 2020

Feudalism has 48 ratings and 9 reviews. Jan-Maat said: Best contrasted with Bloch’s Feudal Society which offer’s a broad definition of Feudalism, Ganshof. This translation of Quéstĉe que la fèodalité? includes revisions of the 3rd French ed. The word ‘feudalism’ (Germ. Lehnswesen or Feudalismus; Fr. féodalité) is one to which many different meanings have been attached. During the French.

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Short Notices is difficult to escape the feeling that the mix of the material is a real problem. The book interweaves serious and scholarly writing with the tight and personal, but even more strikingly, it juxtaposes material with a very short sheU-tife with articles that serve the more enduring requirements of academic fwudalism.

This mix creates a disjunction which is intensified by the editor’s decision feudlism use both English and German in the first part of the book.

M u c h of the material is thus presented twice, and each of the essays is introduced and summarised in the alternate language. One has to question the wisdom of this bilingual approach, especially as it has apparently not been considered necessary in the second part.

W h e n combined with variations in type for each of the languages, it is an irritating editorial feature. O n the positive side, the book is generously and interestingly Illustrated with prints, etchings and photographs from all kinds of sources, and in terms of scope and comprehensibitity it should be of value to students of Robin Hood.

The two seminal works which always appear on the reading-list for this topic are Marc Bloch’s Feudal Society and Francois Ganshof’s Feudalism. They are very different books. Bloch offers a marvellously feidalism and wide-ranging account of feudal institutions and the society feucalism which they were embedded, though his discursive and detailed approach must appear formidable to the n e w undergraduate!


Ganshof, in contrast, provides a masterpiece of compression, feudalim and succinctly set out, and incorporating extensive evidence with a remarkably light touch.

Feudalism by François-Louis Ganshof

H e is very careful Short Notices to delineate the exact scope of his book: His focus is on the two institutions in which this feudalism was embodied: This book has had a lengthy life. First appearing in French editions in andits translation into English in was greeted with feuda,ism by English and American reviewers.

The English version was subsequently revised for a second edition in and a thud in This n e w printing, in the series of reprints for teaching issued by the Medieval Academy of America, brings the third edition back into print after some years’ absence. The reprint is a photographic one and no attempt has been m a d e to amend the text or the select bibliography in thetightof the scholarship of the last thirty years.

It is evidence of the enduring quality and value of Ganshof’s book that it can still be used profitably by undergraduates in its original form, and that it is sttil the best short introduction to vassalage and the fief in the Middle Ages.


This reprint is therefore very welcome. Victoria Kahn’s Machiavellian Rhetoric offers an innovative approach to the reading and reception of the works of Machiavelli and is a valuable addition to the corpus of research produced by scholars such as Raab, Pocock, Skinner and Worden. The book argues that the Machiavelli of force and fraud, the ‘rhetorical Machiavel’, is not simply the result of a naive reading of his works, but m a y be understood as a ‘rhetorical dimension of his political theory’ p.


The primary objective of this investigation is to provide a revised history of Renaissance Machiavellism ‘that sees the Machiavel and the If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click ‘Authenticate’.

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Volume 15, Number 1, July pp.

François-Louis Ganshof

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