Many European towns have experienced loss of population, degradation of physical structure and profound economic change at least once since the height of the Roman Empire. This volume is an examination of the various causes of these changes, the results which flowed from them and the reasons why some urban centres survived, revived and eventually flourished again while others failed and died. The contributors bring to bear the techniques of history and archaeology, the perspectives of economics, agronomy, medicine, architecture and planning, geography and law, to the study. The result is a synthesis which connects the Decline of the Roman Empire to the effects of the Black Death and the economic transformation of Renaissance Florence.
'…significant and welcome.' Antiquaries Journal 'The essays in this collection represent a welcome contribution to the often sterile, if still hotly contested, debate on urban decline in the middle ages…. All of the essays have something new to offer…' History, Vol. 87 '… an enjoyable read… a splendid and stimulating corpus of papers.' Landscape History
Contents: Preface; What is urban decline: desolation, decay and destruction, or an opportunity? T. R. Slater and James P. P. Higgins; Late Roman and Early Medieval Decline: Change and decline in Romano-British towns, Neil Faulkner; Construction and deconstruction: reconstructing the late Roman townscape, Neil Christie; Urban failures in late Antique Gaul, S. T. Loseby; Wroxeter and the transformation of late Roman urbanism, Roger White; The decline of the Wic?, R. A. Hall; Urban development and decline on the central Danube, 100-1600, Peter Csendes; Late Medieval Urban Decline: Decolonisation and the dynamics of urban decline in Ireland, 1300-1550, Howard B. Clarke; The rise and fall of the medieval town in Wales, Kenneth Murphy; Archaeology and the late medieval urban decline, Grenville Astill; Decline or decay? Urban landscapes in late medieval England, Keith D. Lilley; ’Urban decline’ in England, 1377-1525, Alan Dyer; The political economy of urban decline in the Renaissance, Samuel K. Cohn; Index.