Территория как проблема: Inecclesiamento и/или incastellamento в современной французской медиевистике
Cross-disciplinary links between geography and history are stronger in France than in any other country, even if each generation of medievalists implements them in its own way. The present «spatial turn» in French medieval studies is evident in the attention devoted to the «process of territorialization» of the primary structures of the medieval society — the parish and the diocese. The Christian world in the 11th—13th centuries was covered by the dense network of parishes, and the parish became the base cell of the social and political system.
A settlement centred around the church and the cemetery remained unfamiliar to the ancient world. This structure has evolved over the centuries. Michel Lauwers has called the completion of this process by the term inecclesiamento, to some extent complementing, but at the same time challenging the concept of incastellamento, introduced by Pierre Toubert in the 1970s. While the structure of parish had obviously originated only in the Middle Ages, the diocese was for a long time considered by historians as the heir of Late Antiquity, as the offspring of its territorial organization. Studies carried out during recent years on the initiative of Florian Mazel seek to refute this belief. The early medieval society was characterized by a break with the ancient system of territorial organization and perception of space. In the Carolingian period notable efforts were undertaken for the ecclesiastical mastering of territories, but they did not lead to the formation of a new system. The efforts to give a stable appearance to the dioceses were crowned with success only after the Gregorian reform.
The change in the forms of the ecclesiastical and therefore social development of space seems to be so important that it can be used as the basis for a new periodization of the Middle Ages.