There is a widespread concern today with the role and experiences of ethnic and religious minorities, and their potential for conflict and harmony with 'host communities' and with each other, especially in towns. Interest in historical aspects of these phenomena is growing rapidly, not least in studies of the long and complex history of the towns of Central and Eastern Europe. Most such studies focus on particular places or on particular groups, but this volume offers a broader view covering the period from the tenth to the sixteenth century and regions from Germany to Dalmatia and from Epirus to Livonia, with an emphasis on the territory of medieval Hungary. The focus is on the changing nature of identity, perception and legal status of groups, on relations within and between them, and on the ways in which these elements were affected by the external political regimes and ideologies to which the towns were subjected. Many of the places examined were notable for the complexity of their ethnic and religious composition, and for their exposure to a wide range of external influences, including long-distance trade and tensions between settled and semi-nomadic ways of life. Overall the volume illustrates the variety of ways in which minorities found a place in towns - as citizens, outsiders, or in some other role - and how that could vary according to local circumstances and over time. Dealing with the formative period for modern European towns, this volume not only reveals much about medieval society and urban history, but poses questions still relevant today.
Contents: Preface; Introduction: segregation, zoning and assimilation in medieval towns, Derek Keene; Various ethnic and religious groups in medieval German towns? Some evidence and reflections, Felicitas Schmieder; Russians in Livonian towns in the 13th and 14th centuries, Anti Selart; '… propter disparitatem linguae et religionis pares ipsis non esse': 'minority' communities in medieval and early modern Lviv, Olha Kozubska-Andrusiv; Foreign ethnic groups in the towns of Southern Hungary in the Middle Ages, Istvan Petrovics; Buda: the multi-ethnic capital of medieval Hungary, Andras Vegh; Late medieval ethnic structures in the inland towns of present-day Slovenia, Boris Golec; Gradation of differences: ethnic and religious minorities in medieval Dubrovnik, Zdenka Janekovic-Romer; Minorities and foreigners in Bulgarian medieval towns in the 12th to 14th centuries: literary and archaeological fragments, Kazimir Popkonstantinov and Rossina Kostova; Nobiles, cives et popolari: 4 towns under the rule of Carlo I Tocco (c.1375-1429), Nada Zecevic; The towns of medieval Hungary in the reports of contemporary travellers, Balazs Nagy; Crown, gown and town: zones of royal, ecclesiastical and civic interaction in medieval Buda and Visegrad, Jozsef Laszlovszky; Integration through language. The multilingual character of late medieval Hungarian towns, Katalin Szende; The visual image of the 'other' in medieval urban space: patterns and constructions, Gerhard Jaritz; Index.