The narratives of the later monastic reform in early medieval Lotharingia might look back on the activities of their predecessors as worthless and contemptible but, in the absence of a better alternative, the latter had continued to be esteemed. It is for such reasons that this book has looked beyond spiritual and religious roles to consider the wider ways in which monasteries and their landholdings were an inescapable part of aristocratic life, intimately enmeshed in a noble family's inheritance strategies, its prestige, and its very notion of being. To appreciate the vitality and importance of monasteries in the 9th and 10th centuries, it is necessary to focus on land transactions as well as religious roles. Monasteries depended on patrons, but it is also true that patrons depended on the monasteries for the preservation of their chosen heirs' power and inheritance in the face of the claims of rival kin. Here the monasteries were as much patrons as patronised.
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