Renaissance Contacts Between Dubrovnik (Ragusa) and the Kingdom of Hungary

Coat of Arms of King Louis I of Hungary - a talisman of good luck.

During the rule of the Angevin dynasty (1308-82) in Hungary, towns and cities increasingly assumed greater political influence. The first treaty between the King of Hungary and Dubrovnik (in those days Ragusa) was signed in 1358, during the reign of Louis (Lajos) the Great.

What can fourteenth century Venice teach us about Ebola?

Venice 17th century

Venice’s response to the plague an “example of resilience management,’ say experts

Skirts and Politics: The Cistercian Monastery of Harvestehude and the Hamburg City Council

Medieval nun with skirt lifted

In 1482, Catharina Arndes lifted up her skirts in front of the archbishop’s chaplain. She was a respectable townswoman from Hamburg, and her action was carried out in defense of the Cistercian monastery of Harvestehude which was close to the city and where several of Catharina’s nieces lived as nuns.

CONFERENCES: Arnold Fitz Thedmar: an Early London chronicler

London (c. 1650)

Another fascinating paper given at the Institute for Historical Research in central London. For those of you interested in chronicles, urban history and London, this paper was definitely for you. Ian Stone discussed his dissertation about thirteenth century London through the eyes of wealthy Alderman, Arnold Fitz Thedmar.

The Grant Atour of Metz (1405): denouncing the past, shaping the future

Metz (Porte des Allemands) German's Gate, 13th c.

In the late middle ages, the Imperial free city of Metz is firmly in the hands of the patricians: they control its entire government through associations called paraiges – and as the wealth of the city has been relying heavily on their rural possessions since the decline of the commercial role of the city, their leadership is not seriously at risk.

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.

A First Escape from Poverty in Late Medieval Japan: Evidence from Real Wages in Kyoto (1360-1860)

Muromachi Samurai (1538)

This paper offers a first investigation of long-term trends in Japanese living standards from the mid-14th to the mid-19th century using urban daily wages and price data for a number of basic commodities.

Public Toilets in the Middle Ages

Public Toilets in the Middle Ages

Where should you go to find a public toilet in the medieval city?

Historian to develop online edition of the Augsburg Master Builders’ ledgers

Augsburg Master Builders' ledgers 1454, 1456/1, 1456/2 and 1463 ©: Augsburg City Archive

The German Research Foundation has awarded Professor Jörg Rogge of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz a grant of EUR 400,000 to create a digital edition of the Augsburg Master Builders’ ledgers.

Narratives of resistance: arguments against the mendicants in the works of Matthew Paris and William of Saint-Amour

The Confirmation of the Franciscan Rule (Cappella Sassetti, Santa Trinità, Florence) - 15th century

The rise of the new mendicant orders, foremost the Franciscans and Dominicans, is one of the great success stories of thirteenth-century Europe. Combining apostolic poverty with sophisticated organization and university learning, they brought much needed improvements to pastoral care in the growing cities.

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.

Conversion on the Scaffold: Italian Practices in European Context

Renaissance Hanging

11 January 1581 was a fine day in Rome. That morning, Michel de Montaigne, recently arrived in the city, had gone out on horseback when he encountered a procession accompanying a condemned man to execution. Montaigne stopped to watch the sight.

Living cheek by jowl: the pathoecology of medieval York

A panoramic view of York in the 15th century. A watercolour by E. Ridsdale Tate produced in 1914,

This paper aims to present the environmental context for disease combined with the human osteological record to reconstruct the pathoecology of medieval York.

The cultural identity of medieval Silesia: the case of art and architecture

Wrocław, Church of St Mary Magdalene

The cultural identity of architecture and visual arts of the Middle Ages in Silesia can be analyzed in the following frameworks: 1.) the distinct formal features of local artwork; 2.) the specific content expressed through it. Macro factors (the type of materials and their availability) are important in architecture, as are architectural patterns and styles.

Air Pollution and Fuel Crises in Preindustrial London, 1250-1650

John Norden's map of London 1593

I intend to show in this paper that the occurrence of air pollution in London before the Industrial Revolution was symptomatic of one of these basic environmental problems

Restaurants, Inns and Taverns That Never Were: Some Reflections on Public Consumption in Medieval Cairo

Citadel of Cairo from the 19th century

The article shows that, contrary to a commonly accepted assumption, no public consumption facilities such as restaurants, taverns or inns existed in medieval Cairo.

Urban Jousts in the Later Middle Ages: The White Bear of Bruges

joust from late 15th century

Jousting competitions between towns excited passions which, far from releasing citizens into some escapist unreality, could plunge them instead into violence.

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.

Images of the Medieval City

images medieval city

What did medieval cities look like? Here are 15 images of the urban world from the Middle Ages.

Florentine politics and the ruling class, 1382-1407


Although outwardly the regime respected the institutions of communal Florence and republican formalities, real power in the state supposedly resided in the hands of a narrow group of families.

The Medieval Plumbers of Exeter

Medieval Plumbers of Exeter - Andrea Vail (Flickr, used under a CC BY-SA 3.0)

Underneath the streets of the English city of Exeter their lies a network of medieval tunnels. For hundreds of years they were used to bring fresh drinking-water to the city. Now, a new book by Mark Stoyle is taking a look at the medieval plumbers who worked in these tunnels going back to the 14th century.

Estonian small towns in the Middle Ages: archaeology and the history of urban defense

Map of Livonia from the 16th century

The purpose of the current article is to summarize the material gathered from the excavations of the medieval town walls from the Estonian towns of Viljandi, Haapsalu, and Narva, to discuss when they were erected, and to analyze what their place was in Old Livonian and Baltic contexts.

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.

Origin and Creation: London Guilds of the Twelfth Century


London, as well as other towns and cities of the twelfth century, acted as the epicenter for guilds to create a regulated authority over members, monopolies, and outside merchants.

Catharism and Heresy in Milan

16th century map of Milan

Evidence suggests that heresy in Lombardy proliferated during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a period of upheaval in the structure and form of politics and society, especially in itscapital city. From 1117 Milan operated as a commune, securing independent jurisdiction at thePeace of Constance (1183).

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