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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks beyond the received ‘great men’ narrative of investiture contest and reform, to try to find better understanding of what actually changed, and why, across the high medieval reform period. The roots of a shared clerical culture lay in Carolingian reforms, but more clearly took off in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, when we find liturgical practices and modes of clerical dress achieving a large degree of uniformity across western Christendom. Such shared practices were as important to the emergence of a pan-European clerical culture as the shared knowledge of a clerical education. The creation of this ‘reformed’ and collective clerical culture was undoubtedly linked to power, but also to notions of ‘virtue’, which in turn fed into practices of government.

Keywords: Carolingians, Investiture Contest, Gregorian Reform, clothing, clergy

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