Medieval Cities – [Henri Pirenne -] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Expounds the economic awakening and the birth of urban civilization. Nearly a century after it was first published in , Medieval Cities remains one of the Here, Henri Pirenne argues that it was not the invasion of the Germanic. Henri Pirenne was a Belgian historian. A medievalist of . The most famous expositions appear in Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade ( , based on a series of lectures.

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Pirenne’s thesis takes as axiomatic that the natural interests of the feudal nobility and of the urban patriciate, which came to well-attested frictions in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, were in their origins incompatible. During World War I, while teaching at the University of Ghent, he medieva, arrested for supporting Belgium’s passive resistance and deported to Germany, where he was held from to Their Origins and the Revival of Tradebased on a series of lectures of and in his posthumous Mohammed and Charlemagnepublished from Pirenne’s first draft.

Pirenne postponed the demise of classical civilization to the 8th century.

Edit this record Mark as duplicate Export citation Find it on Scholar Request removal from index Translate to english Revision history. Refresh and try again. Lists with This Book. The Crucial Seventh Century”. Robert Coleman rated it liked it Dec 23, In a summary, Pirenne stated that “Without Islam, the Frankish Empire would probably never have existed, and Charlemagne, without Muhammad, would be inconceivable.

Spanning as it does several centuries and a vast geographical space, the book still tells a coherent story.

medievl Papyrusmade only in Egypt, no longer appeared in northern Europe after the 7th century; writing reverted to using animal skinsindicating its economic isolation. By Michael McCormick Cambridge: Pirenne argues that the barbarian take-over of the Rom A little gem of a book, that presents what has been elsewhere called the “Pirenne thesis” — that citids Dark Ages descended on Europe not with the Ostrogoths’ capture of Rome in the 5th century, but with the rise of Islam in Spain and West Asia in the eighth.

The consequent interruption of long distance commerce accelerated the decline of the ancient cities of Europe.

Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade by Henri Pirenne

Urban centers, with their economic and administrative pirennne gone, became shells of their former selves — the few that survived did so because they became “episcopal cities” — the seats of local church officials, constrained to porenne in one place to minister to their flock. In the face of the helplessness of the landed aristocracy, the Catholic Church assumed responsibility for governing the fortress cities. Another critical player during this time was Venice, which had remained a Henfi possession all through this period even as the rest of the Italian peninsula had fallen to various invaders, and was thus able to maintain a connection to the eastern trade.


A little gem of a book, that presents what has been elsewhere called the “Pirenne thesis” — that the Dark Ages descended on Europe not with the Ostrogoths’ capture of Rome in the 5th century, but with the rise of Islam in Spain and West Asia in the eighth. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

It’s obviously a little dated, but still retains an essential quality in its broad strokes. Anyone who wants to learn more about Medieval times.

In Medieval Cities, published inhe argues that medieval urban development grew out of regional fortresses.

Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade

It was published by his son in Where North Meets Pitenne No keywords specified fix it. Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure meieval proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy. Pirenne argues that, in the period after what he calls the “closing of the Mediterranean,” cities which he defines by their political independence and their fostering of a merchant middle class disappeared from western Europe, not to reappear until the eleventh century.

Pirenne tells us he is glossing over in order to draw out the essentials he presents in his book. Pirenne first formulated his thesis in articles and then expanded on them in Medieval Cities. Pirenne’s son Pierre had been killed in the fighting at the Battle of the Yser in October Jacques wrote a preface explaining its provenance and published it, with the English translation appearing in These nascent merchant communities settled in old Roman cities or in fortified suburbs around them and inspired changes not only in the economic, but also in the political, social, and cultural life of European cities.

The “Pirenne thesis” was fully worked out in the book Mohammed and Charlemagne, which appeared shortly after Pirenne’s death. Pirenne’s history remains crucial to the understanding of Belgium’s past, but his notion of a continuity of Belgian civilization forming the basis of political unity has lost favor. What guided their selection?


Henri Pirenne is a great historian and a great writer. How men wrote love letters back in the good olden times.

Henri Pirenne’s reputation today rests on three contributions to European history: Inhe was awarded the Francqui Prize on Human Sciences. Their Origins and the Revival of Trade.

Henri Pirenne

Cigies would not have been able to compress this extended history into pages of a paperback including a bibliography had it not been for his talent for synthesizing the big picture, without getting bogged down in complexity.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. In addition, Pirenne describes the clear role the middle class played in the development of the modern economic system and modern culture.

Oct 17, Stephanie Griffin rated it liked it. Pirenne makes it clear what he wants to establish, and explai Weeks ago I scoured my to-read shelf for a little paperback to take on trains and long walks; “Medieval Cities” fit the bill perfectly. Their Origins and the Revival of Tradea book based on lectures he delivered in the United States in What is known is that Pirenne was questioned by German occupiers on 18 Marchand subsequently arrested.

In brief, the Pirenne Thesis, an early essay in economic history diverging from the narrative history of the 19th century, notes that in the ninth century long-distance trading was at a low ebb; the only settlements that were not purely agricultural were the ecclesiastical, military and administrative centres that served the feudal ruling classes as fortresses, episcopal seats, abbeys and occasional royal residences of the peripatetic palatium.

Eventually, cities emerged in the interior as trade spread along the rivers into France and Germany. I would recommend this book to anyone who really desires to look at the post-Dark Ages in-depth. The feudal core remained static and inert. Rather than a blow-by-blow chronology of wars, dynasties and incidents, A History of Europe presents a big-picture approach to social, political and mercantile trends. Pirenne was one of the world’s leading historians and arguably the most famous Belgium had produced.

Inuniversities in various parts of the Mddieval States invited him to deliver lectures: Michael Bright – Jun 15, Alex Mchugh rated it liked it Shelves: