The Routledge Handbook of Medieval Rural Life  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Medieval Rural Life

Edited By

Miriam Müller

ISBN 9781138849228
Published October 27, 2021 by Routledge
408 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of Medieval Rural Life brings together the latest research on peasantry in medieval Europe.

The aim is to place peasants – as small-scale agricultural producers – firmly at the centre of this volume, as people with agency, immense skill and resilience to shape their environments, cultures and societies. This volume examines the changes and evolutions within village societies across the medieval period, over a broad chronology and across a wide geography. Rural structures, families and hierarchies are examined alongside tool use and trade, as well as the impact of external factors such as famine and the Black Death. The contributions offer insights into multidisciplinary research, incorporating archaeological as well as landscape studies alongside traditional historical documentary approaches across widely differing local and regional contexts across medieval Europe.

This book will be an essential reference for scholars and students of medieval history, as well those interested in rural, cultural and social history.

Table of Contents


Miriam Müller

Part 1: Social Relationships, Communities and Hierarchies

1. Rural Elites in Medieval Valencia, Spain

Frederic Aparisi

2. Monastic Lordship and Rural Society in the Middle Pesa Valley (Tuscany) from the Late Twelfth to the Late Thirteenth Century

Tommaso Casini

3. Lordship and Peasant Status in Lusignan and Venetian Cyprus

Aysu Dincer

4. From vicinia to communitas. The evolution of village organization and government in the 11th-15th century Poland

Piotr Guzowski

5. Creative Writing: How to create a rural community by writing about it – in the German South-West

Mathias Moosbrugger

6. The rural parish in England

Robert Swanson

Part 2: Dealing with Conflicts and Adversity

7. The Monks and the Masses at Saint-Leu d’Esserent: Rural Politics in Northern France before the Jacquerie

Justine Firnhaber-Baker

8. Access versus Influence: Peasants in court in the late Medieval Low Countries

Maika de Keyzer

9. Famine in Medieval England

Phillipp R. Schofield

10. Climate, Pathogens and Mammals: England in the Age of Emerging Diseases, c. 1279-1362

Philip Slavin

Part 3: Work and Making a Living

11. Peasant Farmers and their Farmworkers in Later Medieval England

Jean Birrell

12. Rural households and the market for commodities in the later middle ages

Chris Briggs

13. Tenure and the Land Market in Northeastern England: A Comparative Perspective

Peter L. Larson

14. Aspects of Farm Labour in Medieval Iceland; Gender and Childhood c. 1100 -1400

Bernadette McCooey

15. Technological Capacity of Women in the High Middle Ages

Janken Myrdal and Ingvild Øye

16. The economic opportunities of rural women in late medieval Flanders

Lies Vervaet

Part 4: Environment, Landscapes and Material Culture

17. New Interdisciplinary Approaches to Life, Land, and Environment at Herstmonceux

Steven Bednarski, Andrew Moore and Timothy P. Newfield

18. Mediterranean Irrigation

Antoni Furió

19. The Pot, The Knife and the Ring; an Archaeology of later medieval material culture

Christopher Gerrard and Ronan O’Donnell

20. A landscape transformed: the English countryside during the long thirteenth century

Richard Jones

21. Work, knowledge and technology of medieval farmers in Sweden: understanding medieval and rural life from experimental field work

Catarina Karlsson

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Miriam Müller has worked as a lecturer in medieval history at the University of Birmingham, UK. She has published on a wide range of topics about medieval rural life, including peasant revolts and gender in the English village. Her current research interests include medieval coastal communities, peasant revolts in northern Germany and the representation of medieval peasants in modern and contemporary far-right movements.