By James Ambrose Raftis
Report of the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Historical Association, Vol.44:1 (1965)
Introduction: The dual terms ‘freedom’ and ‘mobility’ in the title are not meant to indicate the scope of this paper – which would be very ambitious indeed! – but to represent the necessary point of departure in locating this area of research in mediaeval history.
For, to put the matter briefly, in the study of this as of so many other areas of mediaeval social and economic history, the question of freedom or liberty currently emerges as a problem of historiography, a paper curtain as it were, imposed by later centuries; whereas the notion of mobility may be taken as a measure of the growth of scientific methodology itself, of the tearing away of the paper curtain.