Trade, Urbanisation and the Family: Studies in the History of Medieval Flanders, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Trade, Urbanisation and the Family

Studies in the History of Medieval Flanders, 1st Edition

By David Nicholas


352 pages

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Hardback: 9780860785859
pub: 1996-08-22
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Flanders, best known for its large cities and export-grade woollen cloth, is the setting for these articles. Professor Nicholas here emphasises the region's broader importance in the economy of medieval Europe as a focus of demand for grain and industrial raw materials. Imports to supply the bloated internal markets were more important in establishing the Flemish cities and creating the capital base of their elites than were cloth exports, which by the 14th century were being undercut by competitors from England and Brabant. The second part of the book looks at the turbulent domestic politics of the Flemish cities, conditioned by a network of nuclear and extended families whose personal antagonisms and heightened consciousness of honour led to decimating vendettas of a severity once associated mainly with Italy. It also examines the mix of urban and rural interests that characterised the elite, showing for instance that the famous van Arteveldes were as noteworthy in the swamps of northeastern Flanders as in the streets of Ghent.


'Nicholas’s collected essays present the economic…history of Flanders in a thought-provoking and innovative form.' Journal of Urban History, vol. 26 no. 3

Table of Contents

Contents: Economic reorientation and social change in 14th-century Flanders; The English trade at Bruges in the last years of Edward III; The Scheldt trade and the Ghent War of 1379-1385; Settlement patterns, urban functions, and capital formation in medieval Flanders; Of poverty and primacy: demand, liquidity, and the Flemish economic miracle, 1050-1200; Crime and punishment in 14th-century Ghent; Weert: a Scheldt polder village in the 14th century; The marriage and the meat hall: Ghent/Eeklo, 1373-75; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General