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Ceremony and CivilityCivic Culture in Late Medieval London$
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Barbara A. Hanawalt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190490393

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190490393.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Ceremony and Civility

Barbara A. Hanawalt

Oxford University Press

Civil society, a term was used in the Middle Ages, valued the peaceful possession of property, personal security, access to legal means of settling disputes, loyalty to the city, and obedience to officials. It also implied that denizens would share self-imposed codes of behavior and would work for the common good. London valued its self-government, but it was reliant on the king for its charter. Ceremonies, both the official ones that installed a new mayor and the public ceremonies of humiliation for those who broke the city rules were part of the education of inhabitants in the values of civil society. This chapter considers the historiography and theoretical approaches to civic ritual and ceremony, provides an overview of the sources used to study these practices in London and outlines the topics covered in the book.

Keywords:   civil society, codes of behavior, common good, self-government, charter, king, humiliation rituals, theories of ceremony, theories of ritual

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