Textes et Études du Moyen Âge
Écrit et pouvoir dans les chancelleries médiévales : espace français, espace anglais
Actes du Colloque international de Montréal (7-9 septembre 1995)
Édités par K. Fianu et D.J. Guth
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1997, viii-342 p.; 49€
This volume contains papers presented at a conference held in Montreal in September 1995. Focusing specifically on the study of French and English societies in the late Middle Ages, these papers demonstrate the essential role of the written document in the growth of state power and the development of an effective bureaucracy at all levels of government, from kingdoms to principalities, towns and villages. Emphasis is given to analysis of the strategies by which medieval chanceries attempted to control the quality and authenticity of written documents.
A first theme of the conference was the production of written records, the conventions and rules governing their form and content, and authorities who defined and enforced these standards. The second theme was the importance of written documents in administration and justice, and the resulting need to devise means of certification, circulation and conservation. Finally, a third research objective concerned detection and repression of frauds.