Papers on Medieval Prosopography: Session #47 at KZOO 2015

Pieter Brueghel - Kermesse (The Feast of Saint George)

Three fantastic papers on Prosopography from #KZOO2015.

Environmental Crusading: The Teutonic Knight’s Impact After the Baltic Crusades

Malbork Zamek Krzyzacki. Wikicommons

Environmental archaeologist and Professor of Archeology at Reading, Dr. Aleks Pluskowski, examined Malbork and several other sites across Eastern and Northern Europe in his recent paper, The Ecology of Crusading: The Environmental Impact of Holy War, Colonisation, and Religious Conversion in the Medieval Baltic. Pluskowski is keenly interested in the impact the Teutonic Knights and Christian colonisation had on the region. His ambitious 4 year project on the ecological changes in this area recently came to a close at the end of 2014.

Of sagas and sheep: Toward a historical anthropology of social change and production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland

Medieval hunt - images of sheep

This dissertation deals with the formation of chiefdoms, communities, ecclesiastical institutions and state, and with production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland in the context of climatic change and ecological succession.

Urban Territories in Late Medieval Brussels. Imagined Frontiers and Responsible Institutions

Medieval Brussels Map

This chapter focuses on the spatial analysis of intra-urban territories which existed in late medieval and early modern Brussels (Belgium). By studying their morphological characteristics and origins, I seek to understand their functions within urban society.

Taxes, Loans, Credit and Debts in the 15th Century Towns of Moravia: A Case Study of Olomouc and Brno

Medieval Money Lenders

The paper explores urban public finance in the late medieval towns on the example of two largest cities in Moravia—Olomouc and Brno.

Real and imaginary journeys in the later Middle Ages

Marco Polo - medieval travel

For a proper understanding of the actions of men in the past it is necessary to have some idea of how they conceived the world and their place in it, yet for the medieval period there is a serious inbalance in the sources.

Pedlars and Alchemists in Friuli History of itinerant sellers in an alpine reality

Medieval shops

This short review discusses about itinerant sellers in Friuli, who are Cramaro called (XI-XIX centuries). Attention is focused, in particular, on the question if some of theme were alchemists.

Venetian Trading Networks in the Medieval Mediterranean


To understand the system of business relations within the commercial network of the Republic of Venice, this article adopts a network analysis that differs from a standard narrative based on a privileged subset of actors or relations. It allows us to examine the socially mixed group of entrepreneurs, brokers, and shippers at the heart of Venice’s economic system.

Did Purchasing Power Parity Hold in Medieval Europe?

1449 - Medieval Workshop - by Petrus Christus

This paper employs a unique, hand-collected dataset of exchange rates for five major currencies (the lira of Barcelona, the pound sterling of England, the pond groot of Flanders, the florin of Florence and the livre tournois of France) to consider whether the law of one price and purchasing power parity held in Europe during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.

England’s First Attempt to Break the Commercial Monopoly of the Hanseatic League, 1377-1380

Hanseatic Cities

During the second half of the fourteenth century English traders first seriously threatened the Hanseatic League’s commercial monopoly in the Baltic. The League, attempting to defendits monopoly, treated the English unjustly,where upon in 1377 the English Parliament rescinded the charter that granted the League important concessions and privileges in its English trade.

Boundaries in the making – Historiography and the isolation of late medieval Bohemia

Hussite War Wagon - Wagenburg

This paper deals with an episode of early 15th century Bohemian history. During the so-called Hussite wars, a coalition of Catholic powers tried to establish a far-reaching blockade on trade and commerce against the kingdom of Bohemia, which then was considered to be a hotbed of heresy, and to be rebellious against its legitimate ruler and the papal church.

Kingdom, emporium and town: the impact of Viking Dublin

Archaeology from Viking Dublin

In recent years the precise location and nature of Viking Dublin have been much debated. It is now generally accepted that there was a longphort phase from 841 to 902: a period of enforced exile from 902 to 917, and thereafter a dún phase.

Time, space and power in later medieval Bristol

Medieval Bristol - Robert_Ricart's_map_of_Bristol

With a population of almost 10,000, Bristol was later medieval England’s second or third biggest urban place, and the realm’s second port after London. While not particularly large or wealthy in comparison with the great cities of northern Italy, Flanders or the Rhineland, it was a metropolis in the context of the British Isles.

Wax or wane? Insect perspectives on human environmental interactions

Rhyncolus ater - insects

The sites discussed in this paper include a range of sites investigated on national road schemes and other development projects across Ireland, covering a long time-span from the Neolithic period through to the medieval period.

The Economy of Early Medieval Ireland

Medieval agriculture

The Old Irish law tracts have been the subject of many serious studies. In the early twentieth century the forensic philology of the great European Celticists, such as Rudolf Thurneysen or Kuno Meyer, prepared the ground for later philologists, such as Daniel Binchy and Liam Breatnach.

BOOKS: The Feuding Families of Medieval and Renaissance Italy

The House of Medici - Its Rise and Fall

Put down the Godfather, turn off the Sorpanos, and check out the real Italian families of Medieval and Renaissance Italy!

Notarial Convention in the Facilitation of Trade and Economics in Mid-Thirteenth Century Marseille

Medieval banking

This paper examines Marseillaise notarial documents of 1248 from the cartulary of Girauld Amalric. Amalric’s cartulary demonstrates how notarial techniques and related legal conventions facilitated Marseille’s long- and short-distance trade.

Land and Sea Communications, Fourth–Fifteenth Centuries


The principle that the active and coordinated collaboration of nature and man is an essential requirement for the creation of a network of communications is of fundamen- tal importance.

‘Selling stories and many other things in and through the city’: Peddling Print in Renaissance Florence and Venice

‘Selling stories and many other things in and through the city’: Peddling Print in Renaissance Florence and Venice Rosa M. Salzberg (University of Warwick) Sixteenth Century Journal: XLII/3 (2011) Abstract Mobile and marginal, street sellers tend to disappear from the historical record, yet they played a very important part in the dissemination of cheap print […]

Renaissance attachment to things: material culture in last wills and testaments

Andrea Mantegna -The Court of Mantua

Renaissance attachment to things: material culture in last wills and testaments Samuel Cohn, Jr. Economic History Review: University of Glasgow, 19 October (2012) Abstract  Over the past decade ‘material culture’ has become a sub-discipline of Italian Renaissance studies. This literature, however, has focused on the rich and their objects preserved in museums or reflected in […]

Shops and Shopping in Britain: from market stalls to chain stores

The Shambles in York - Photo by Steve Daniels

The first retail shops, as opposed to those of craftsmen and artisans selling goods they made themselves, were drapers, mercers, haberdashers and grocers.

Finland, Tallinn and the Hanseatic League: Foreign Trade and the Orientation of Roads in Medieval Finland

Arms of the Hanseatic League

What was the role of Finland in the trade of the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages? Thisquestion has been widely discussed in Finnish history since 1882, when J.W. Ruuth publishedhis study on the relationship between Finland and the Hanse before 1435.

The Brewer, the Baker, and the Monopoly Maker

Depiction of 16th century brewers

This paper seeks to examine how productive entrepreneurial activities, such as innovation, influence unproductive entrepreneurial activities, such as regulatory rent seeking.

Two dozen and more Silkwomen of Fifteenth-Century London

Late Medieval Women

This article attempts to record systematically all the silkwomen of London who were daughters or wives of London mercers between 1400 and 1499.

Into the frontier: medieval land reclamation and the creation of new societies. Comparing Holland and the Po Valley, 800-1500

Medieval peasants - agriculture

In the paper it is shown that medieval land reclamation led to the emergence of two very divergent societies, characterised by a number of different configurations; (a) power and property structure, (b) modes of exploitation, (c) economic portfolios, and (d) commodity markets.

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