Dealing with the Heterogeneity of Interpersonal Relationships in the Middle Ages. A Multi-Layer Network Approach.

Nicolas RUFFINI-RONZANI, Sébastien de Valeriola, Etienne CUVELIER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Investigating the case of the Investiture Struggle in the diocese of Cambrai–Arras (c.1100), this article aims at exploring some crucial issues for historians using social network analysis in the studyof heterogeneous relationships. The study proceeds alongthree lines ofenquiry. First, by establishing a hierarchy in the different types of relationshipsmentioned in the sources, it determines which of them are the most important to model and understand the structure of the network. Second, it demonstrates it is unnecessary to consider co-witnessing relationships (i.e. to be witnesses of a same charter) in the modelling of networks. Indeed, co-witnessing relationships do not help to improve our understanding of the structure of the parties at stake in a conflict. Finally, thispaper deals with the importance of rank order in the witness lists. It demonstrates that, in the case of Cambrai, rank order does not have an influence on the global structure of the network. In other words, all individuals in the samewitnesslist playa similar role in the network in terms of party structuring.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalDigital Medievalist
Publication statusSubmitted - 10 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • social network analysis
  • methodological issues
  • political history
  • medieval charters
  • witness lists

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