New Book: Cities and Solidarities Urban Communities in Pre-Modern Europe

1. About the Book

Cities and Solidaritiescharts the ways in which the study of individuals and places can revitalise our understanding of urban communities as dynamic interconnections of solidarities in medieval and early modern Europe.

This volume sheds new light on the socio-economic conditions, the formal and informal institutions, and the strategies of individual town dwellers that explain the similarities and differences in the organisation and functioning of urban communities in pre-modern Europe. It considers how communities within cities and towns are constructed and reconstructed, how interactions amongst members of differing groups created social and economic institutions, and how urban communities reflected a sense of social cohesion. In answering these questions, the contributions combine theoretical frameworks with new digital methodologies in order to provoke further discussion into the fundamental nature of urban society in this key period of change.

The essays in this collection demonstrate the complexities of urban societies in pre-modern Europe, and will make fascinating reading for students and scholars of medieval and early modern urban history.


List of figures and tables


List of contributors

  • Cities and Solidarities. Urban Communities in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Justin Colson and Arie van Steensel

  • Making the citizen, building the citizenry. Family and citizenship in fifteenth-century Barcelona

Carolina Obradors-Suazo

  • Gladman’s procession and communal identity in Norwich, 1425-1452

Derek M. Crosby

  • Mapping urban communities. A comparative topography of neighbourhoods in Bologna and Strasbourg in the late Middle Ages

Colin Arnaud

  • Conflict, community, and the law. Guarantors and social networks in dispute resolution in early modern Saxony

John Jordan

  • The poor of medieval Zagreb between solidarity, marginalisation and integration

Suzana Miljan and Bruno Škreblin

  • Poor boxes, guild ethic and urban community building in Brabant, c. 1250-1600

Hadewijch Masure

  • Who’s who in late medieval Brussels?

Bram Vannieuwenhuyze

  • A cursus for craftsmen? Career-cycles of the Worsted Weavers of late-medieval Norwich

Dana Durkee

  • Wage labour, wealth, and the power of a database. Unlocking communities of work outside urban guilds in Newcastle upon Tyne

Andy Burn

  • Urban communities and their burghers in the Kingdom of Hungary (1750-1850). The possibilities databases offer for historical analysis

Árpád Tóth, Gábor Czoch and István Németh

  • Speech and sociability. The regulation of language in the livery companies of early modern London

Jennifer Bishop

  • The physician’s marzipan. Communities at their intersections in Basel around 1600

Sarah-Maria Schober

  • ‘Scientific’ instruments and networks of craft and commerce in early modern London

Alexi Baker


2. Subject Categories

  • Humanities
    • History
      • Early Modern History 1500-1750
        • Early Modern Europe
        • Reformation
        • Renaissance
      • Medieval History 400-1500
        • Medieval Europe
      • Social & Cultural History
      • Urban History

3. About the Editors

Justin Colson is Lecturer in the Department of History, University of Essex.

Arie van Steensel is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Groningen.

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