Significance of the commune

The Monodies of Guibert
Commune system was first recorded in 11th and 12th centuries when the phenomenon was established in the new towns and communities. Commune system advocated for physical defense and traditional freedoms which meant that people had to unite to prosper in the new ways of live especially in the new introduced religions and the increasing desire for community stability. However, the idea of commune was viewed differently in the community specifically in Loan where different stakeholders had great influence in the way of life. The bishop, nobles and townspeople were the main groups in the community and they all associated commune system with individual freedom and strong relationship. The main differences in how these groups analyzed commune was on their differences in lacking the issues that mattered in day to day living.
a) Bishop
Bishops in Laon community also acted as strong community leaders, therefore it was essential for them to unite the communities to be able to provide proper governance. Commune system ensured people work together is assisting the entire community achieve its goals. At the time stable homes, good education and religion were important goals to be achieved by the community. The bishops also felt that embracing commune system was significant in their teaching to the people, the system meant that love, peace and unity were encouraged and that was similar to what the Christian teaching dictated.
b) Nobles
Nobles were actually the upper class which was also regarded as the wealthy and famous. According to Guibert’s book the nobles in the 11th century were the last to embrace the commune system. This is because the nobles owned most areas of trade that brought revenue to the communities and also they were the most learned. This meant that embracing the commune system would require them assisting the needy and associating with under educated members in the community. But their negative attitude towards the system did not take long before changing because they discovered especially after the trade lines were strengthened and religion stable that they needed the less fortunate to prosper financially. They also embraced the system because it assisted in advocating for peace and security in the community which was essential to them to.
c) Townspeople
The townspeople also referred to as the community provided the larger group in Laon. This group dictated the main activities and characteristics of the Laon community. This is because it determined how marriages reacted to disputes and crisis. How religions were viewed and embraced and besides the people desires and efforts towards education. These were the main sectors in the life of Laon people, they therefore wanted to ensure they were stable and available for all. Commune system provided an opportunity that people could assist each other financially, physically and emotionally when facing challenges in homes school and work places.
Guibert understands of the commune
Guibert is viewed as the shape of medieval Europe in the middle ages. This is because of his great literature work that provided a detailed understanding of the activities and growth of communities in the Loan community. He uses his life beginning from his young life to his education and further to his work to show how commune system assisted individuals in the middle age. Guibert argues that commune system is a medieval system that advocates for common interests and strong relationships among communities.
Guibert of Nugent’s description of the revolt provides an interesting viewpoint into the features of societies from the 12th century as well as their relations. Guibert’s recount of the First Crusade, and in particular the bloody uprising in Laon in 1112 provides a unique view of a world populated by nuns, witches, devils, heretics and royals. Further, Guibert’s description of the medieval society creates an impression that he was preoccupied with subjects such as the dark arts, sexuality, sin and the afterlife. In a way, Guibert’s fears, dreams as well as superstitions, provide important insights into the workings, relations and psychology of the medieval society.
The most striking feature within the monodies, which comes across repeatedly in Guibert’s description of the medieval society, is the state of perpetual and repeated conflict. These conflicts seemingly are precipitated both by monarchical and religious differences, perhaps suggesting that the crusades were not purely castigated and fanned by religious reasons as people have come to believe. Seemingly, in addition to religious and ideological differences, some of the conflicts witnessed were actually sparked off by quests for riches and land, with religious differences simply being used to cover for such selfish ends and quests.
Secondly, based on Guibert’s description of his own experiences, it comes ac4ross quite clearly that academics and education still took center stage even at such an early time, with religion playing a key role in the provision and preservation of knowledge and education. Guibert himself, as well as his work, is proof of the importance of monastic education during the medieval times, as his own education does serve him well and sees him emerge as one of the very revered minds and individuals from the 12th century. Tied to this is also perhaps the key role that religion played in the time, perhaps only second to royalty. The manner with which the church and the monarchy was linked and had partnered to great effect is evident throughout the monodies. Guibert’s relation of how one of her cousins was able to make it through to Laon disguised as a nurse during the communal riot, also further emphasizes the importance of the church, and the respect and high regard with which church workers and religious leaders were held.
Guibert’s description of his election is not only bizarre, but it serves to highlight the deep rootred levels of corruption and dishonesty that was common at the time. Guibert himself admits that he found it odd that he could be elected and yet he was a virtual unknown. The deep rooted corruption had seemingly even seeped into the church, to the extent that ecclesiastical promotions were doen questionably.
All in all, Guibert’s description of the medieval times, reveals not just the way of life of at the time and the central role of the church, but also the psychology of the medieval people. Clearly, there was widespread practice of the dark arts, remarkable levels of sin, with issues of sexuality even arising (homosexuality) within the church. In addition to these, corruption and nepotism seem to have taken root within the society, aptly highlighted by Guibert’s own ascension to high office on account of his own family’s standing within society, despite the fact that he was a virtual unknown. It is perhaps these types of injustices and widespread immoral behavior that created an environment of mistrust, leading to widespread conflict within the medieval society.

Guibert of Nogent’s Monodies, ed. Rubinstein, pp. 5-184

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