This is a collection of influential and challenging essays by British medievalist Timothy Reuter, a perceptive and original thinker with extraordinary range who was equally at home in the Anglophone or German scholarly worlds. The book addresses three interconnected themes in the study of the history of the early and high Middle Ages. Firstly, historiography, the development of the modern study of the medieval past. How do our contemporary and inherited preconceptions and pre-occupations determine our view of history? Secondly, the importance of symbolic action and communication in the politics and polities of the Middle Ages. Finally, the need to avoid anachronism in our consideration of medieval politics. Throwing light both on modern mentalities and on the values and conduct of medieval people themselves, and containing articles, at time of publication, never previously been available in English, this book is essential reading for any serious scholar of medieval Europe.