Covering areas in today’s Ukraine, Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Slovakia, this book studies the impact of both natural and human-inflicted disasters on pre-modern towns.
Various kinds of catastrophes, starting with major natural disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes, and epidemics caused high population mortality. Others, such as protracted war conflicts, were caused by human activity and could be just as, if not more, destructive for cities, their populations and the urban economy. Crises affected not only the population as a whole, but also townsmen and women in their individual lives. Case studies of renewal and resilience in the volume illustrate that, in many cases, successfully overcoming disaster brought positive changes for urban people. The collection presents analytical research anchored in the contemporary historiographical discourse on studying social and cultural relations in urban environments in the Middle Ages and early modern period, and it incorporates interdisciplinary approaches in the forms of geography, archaeology, and literary theory.
This volume is an engaging resource for students and researchers of pre-modern history, social history, and disaster studies.
Michaela Antonín Malaníková, Beata Możejko, Martin Nodl
1. The destruction of the city in the interpretation of the 13th-century East Slavic letopises
2. On the beneficial effects of storms: Examples from Hanseatic towns
3. The Prague plague of 1380: Catastrophe and normality
4. The novel findings about the Hussite’s warfares in the Gdansk/Danzig surrounding in the late summer of 1433
5. Jakub Holub and his relatives: On the life and economic strategies of the burghers of the Brno urban region in the first half of the 15th century
6. The 1442 fire of the Crane in the Main Town of Gdańsk: Legal and financial issues connected with maintaining fortifications in the great Prussian city in the late Middle Ages
7. Did epidemics affect lives? The case of late medieval Gdańsk (Danzig)
8. Death, fire and debt: Impact on the society and economy of late medieval Warsaw
9. A time of catastrophes and humiliations: Lower Silesian Głogów at the end of the Middle Ages
10. Catastrophe as opportunity: Fire of Banská Bystrica (Neusohl) on 10 April 1500
11. Prague in flames: Fire and conflagrations in the Prague conurbation from the Middle Ages to the threshold of the Modern Era
12. Natural disasters and crises in Silesian medieval chronicles
13. The fire of Lviv in 1527: A great loss or a great Renaissance?
14. Bankruptcy as a family disaster? Business practices of Christian and Jewish merchants in Early Modern Prague