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Conceptualizing Labor in the Middle Ages

From the mid-fourteenth to the end o f the fifteenth century, work arguably shaped social identity to a much greater extent than in either earlier or later times.

The Global Side of Medieval at the Getty Centre: Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts

Los Angeles correspondent, Danielle Trynoski takes through the, ‘Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts’ exhibut at the Getty Museum.

Benchmarking medieval economic development: England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, circa 1290

Estimates are assembled for England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, and for Britain and Ireland as a whole, of the numbers of religious houses, regular clergy, parishes, towns of more than 2,000 inhabitants, and townspeople, and the value of dutiable exports and volume of currency at the watershed date of circa 1290

The ‘Buying and Selling of Money for Time’: Foreign Exchange and Interest Rates in Medieval Europe

The best evidence for medieval interest rates comes from government borrowing, and especially the long-term annuities sold by the Italian city-states.

Social Roles and Status of Women in a Norfolk small market Town Heacham 1276-1324

The objective of this paper is to measure the involvement of women in the Heacham local food and drink market and to assess the social differentiation among these working women mentioned in the 43 leet courts (1276-1324 ca.)

The Struggle is Real: Where are the Medieval Economists?!

Another fascinating paper from “Making the Medieval Relevant” was given by Daniel Curtis, a specialist in Social and Economic History, and a professor at the University of Utrecht.

Recycling in Britain after the Fall of Rome’s Metal Economy

In actual fact, the bulk of contemporary evidence — which happens to be material rather than textual — clearly argues that the people of fifth- and early sixth-century eastern Britain were much more involved in subsistence agriculture than warfare, and that most people during much of this period lived in highly circumscribed worlds in a ranked, rather than a steeply hierarchical, society

Rapid Invention, Slow Industrialization, and the Absent Entrepreneur in Medieval China

For some sixteen centuries, about eight times the length of the period since the onset of England’s Industrial Revolution, China was the source of an astonishing outpouring of inventions that included a vast variety of prospectively valuable novelties as diverse as printing, the blast furnace, the spinning wheel, the wheelbarrow, and playing cards, in addition to the more widely recognized gunpowder and compass.

Why did they stop building tower house castles in Ireland?

One of the most visible reminders of Ireland’s medieval history are the tower house castles that are scattered throughout the country. For centuries they were the homes and fortresses for the native Irish elites as well as the English and Scottish settlers. However, by the early seventeenth-century it seems that they were now being abandoned and left the fall into ruin. What happened?

Some Remarks on the Economic Development of the Komnenian Byzantium

The purpose of this article is to identify some of the factors which contributed to this economic revival and rectify the image of Byzantium in the 12th century

Plague, Settlement and Structural Change at the Dawn of the Middle Ages

The plague of Justinian definitely hit the coastal areas of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean as well as the inland areas connected with the sea

The Rise of a Tax State: Portugal, 1367-1401

This paper uses the case of fourteenth-century Portugal to question a common assumption of “fiscal history” literature, namely the linear relationship between war-related fiscal demands increase the level of taxation.

A monastic landscape: The Cistercians in medieval Leinster

This study endeavours to discuss the Cistercian monasteries of Leinster with regard to their physical location in the landscape, the agricultural contribution of the monks to the broader social and economic world and the interaction between the cloistered monks and the secular world.

Did Purchasing Power Parity Hold in Medieval Europe?

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.

Measuring the Value of Things in the Middle Ages

The difficulty of understanding the value of things in the Middle Ages is one of the obstacles to our understanding of economic life in that era. The issue is first of all associated with the ways medievalists quantify and use numbers. Value was first investigated when studying prices in the 19th century, as a prerequisite to any knowledge of the economy.

Living la vita apostolica: Life expectancy and mortality of nuns in late-medieval Holland

Living la vita apostolica: Life expectancy and mortality of nuns in late-medieval Holland Jaco Zuijderduijn (Utrecht University ) Centre for Global Economic History: Utrecht University, Working Paper No. 44, June (2013) Abstract Data on vital events of medieval women are extremely scarce. We use a dataset based on a necrology of nuns in late-medieval Holland […]

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