fertility and was commissioned by her granddaughter, Matilda, who was also a granddaughter of Queen Margaret.
Duby alleges that the monks of Vasconviliers wrote the Vita when the
count of Boulogne felt he had a claim to the English throne.71 Whether
or not this is a realistic appreciation of contemporary political circumstances, it is significant that both Duby and Stafford acknowledge that
the portrayal of powerful women could be propagandist. Stafford’s contention that twelfth-century writers found a new language in which to
articulate queenly politicalpower72 is a
indicators of the personal, social and politicalpower of twelfth-century noblewomen. Several issues affect the
interpretation of charter evidence. The use of documentary records
became more routine, as did the formulas which were used to express
commonplace happenings, and phrases were developed to express what
may in fact not have occurred.14 Thus charters may have been statements of pretension rather than expressions of real power and authority, and therefore propaganda.15 Thus witness lists may have also been
pretensions to power rather than evidence
demonstrated by the display of the cross-carpet pages. It is not
difficult to detect an element of gift exchange from such display.
We need not think of such giving and receiving in purely earthbound terms; the custom could also be projected into the realm
of the supernatural, as wealth and treasure was bestowed on God,
Christ and the saints. In this manner, economic capital (i.e. gold,
silver, gems, silks) could be converted into symbolic capital (i.e.
divine approval). As Julia Smith puts it, ‘In the early Middle Ages,
material wealth and political
richly signifying work.
On the international level, the ecclesiastical reform movement
initiated by Pope Gregory VII did not die when Gregory did in 1085,
but intensified as the Catholic Church strove to increase its politicalpower, social influence and wealth, especially vis-à-vis the secular state.
To those ends it campaigned to purify the lives of its ministers. Homosexuality per se was not a major focus of the reform movement: simony
and clerical marriage were the main targets. Nonetheless, Boswell
suggests that from the mid-eleventh century, two orientations
upon to do in history – reconcile the warring parties. Marriage brings
about a peaceful countryside and happy lovers, although in actual
practice marriages were supposed to be arranged by parents and guardians, who saw marriage ‘as a way of augmenting and consolidating their
lands and rising in politicalpower and influence … [and ensuring]
heirs to whom the inheritance would pass and who would safeguard it
for future generations’.18 According to May McKisack, ‘failure of heirs
constituted by far the most serious threat to baronial stability … [and
Importantly, it is differences in attitude which underpin social difference, not wealth or the resources implied with the grave – which were expressions of the individual. This is especially true in archaeological data because the circumstances of death, burial and the disposal of the body vary from one individual to another. To use a well-known example, Richard III was buried without rich gravegoods, in a minor church in the middle of England (King et al., 2014 ). The circumstance of his death, the shift in politicalpower that resulted from it, and the redistribution