The life and works of Orderic Vitalis (1075-c.1142) are widely regarded as providing some of the most important evidence for our understanding of the history of the Anglo-Norman world. Orderic is known principally for his extensive thirteen-book Historia ecclesiastica (completed 1141); a text which has long been recognised as a treasure trove of factual information and contemporary opinion. The work has been explored at length by some of the most influential Anglo-Norman and French scholars of the last three centuries, and today no survey of contemporary church, political or social history is complete without consultation of Orderic's narrative. However, while many have used Orderic as a source for enquiry, the Historia's sheer size and scope have ensured that many of its major themes remain largely untouched.
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