Editor David Herlihy gives examples of the principal types of documents that historians use in their investigations of feudal society. These include not only laws and legal commentaries, private charters and administrative records, but also selections from chronicles, saints' lives, sermons, liturgical works, and imaginative literature. Together these diverse sources illustrate in concrete and human terms the relationships between men and women, governments and their people, which were at the heart of the feudal system. Most of the documents have been newly translated.
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