The Growth of the Medieval City
From Late Antiquity to the Early Fourteenth Century
Routledge – 1997 – 432 pages
The first part of David Nicholas's massive two-volume study of the medieval city, this book is a major achievement in its own right. (It is also fully self-sufficient, though many readers will want to use it with its equally impressive sequel which is being published simultaneously.) In it, Professor Nicholas traces the slow regeneration of urban life in the early medieval period, showing where and how an urban tradition had survived from late antiquity, and when and why new urban communities began to form where there was no such continuity. He charts the different types and functions of the medieval city, its interdependence with the surrounding countryside, and its often fraught relations with secular authority. The book ends with the critical changes of the late thirteenth century that established an urban network that was strong enough to survive the plagues, famines and wars of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
Part One: Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
1. The Urban Legacy of Antiquity.
2. Suburbanisation and Deurbanisation in Merovingian and Carolingian Gaul 500-830.
3.Challenge and Response: The Scandinavian and Muslim Attacks and the Revival of Urban Life in the Medieval West.
Part Two: The Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries
4. From Seigniorial to Economic Urbanisation: Landowning, Commerce and Industry in the Cities of the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries.
5. Urban Law and Government in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries.
Part Three: The Thirteenth Century and the Crisis of Medieval Urbanisation c. 1190-1270.
6.The Expansion of the Cities in the Thirteenth Century.
7. The North European Cities in the Thirteenth Century.
8. The Commercial Cities of Thirteenth Century Italy Under Popular Oligarchies. Part Four: A Half Century of Crisis
9. Merchant as Craftsman, Magnate as Guildsman. The Transformation of the Medieval City 1270-1325. Bibliography.