María Asenjo-Gonzàlez (Complutense University of Madrid), Elisabeth Crouzet-Pavan (Université Paris IV-Sorbonne) and Andrea Zorzi (Università degli Studi di Siena)
Cities, Urban behaviour, Town and Country Relationship
The aim of the research requires us to undertake new challenges and to use new approaches to avoid artificial chronological breaks in an urban process that developed in a continuum from the end of the Middle Ages to the beginnings of the Modern world. That is, academic periods does not correspond to the events studied, and this barrier will be overcome through the coordinated efforts of an interdisciplinary team of medievalists, modernists, Americanism, anthropologists, legal historians, geographers and archaeologists. The collaboration of experts will help us to avoid local studies and provide new ways of comparative interpretation. Therefore, we intend to develop new historical methods to the study urbanization, hierarchization and urban networks between 1300 and 1600 as well as the societies of that period, their priorities and their policies, which marked the rhythms of urban action.
Regional frameworks of analysis will allow us to examine urban dynamics more broadly by including smaller villages and rural enclaves that made up a city’s hinterland. With this approach, it will be possible to assess the scope of urban potential and its dynamics of action. That is, no subject matter will be excluded from analysis. The regional approach will also allow us to assess how individual cities responded to different stimuli of change as well as the concurrence or collaborations between cities. Consequently, the session will use network analysis to examine adaptive and changing urban networks, according to themes and spatial amplitude. Such networks reached deeply into rural areas and stimulated urbanization processes.
Jerez de la Frontera and his Wine: a perfect Pairing since the Late Middle Ages
Silvia María Pérez (University Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla))
Urban economy, Wine, Medieval Ages
Jerez de la Frontera and its wines enjoy an unquestionable reputation. Such expansion of wine consumption and production was made possible by a previous development that began to intensify and lay its fundamental foundations at the end of the Middle Ages, a chronological period that frames the present work. Its objective is to carry out a joint investigation on the products of the vine, as well as its expansion and commercialization within an eminently urban economy. Also study the process of Atlantic expansion of a wine that, already in the period under study, had distinctive and identifying characteristics as well as specialized trades linked to viticulture and winemaking.
Urban Hierarchies and Urban Leagues in Late Medieval Castile: the Hermandades from the 13th to 15th century
María Ángeles Martín Romera (Complutense University of Madrid)
Urban Hierarchies, Urban Leagues, Castile
The paper offers a different approach to urban hierarchies by focusing on the cities' own perspective on the subject, targeting their political associations and their internal system of hierarchical recognition. With that purpose, it studies the phenomenon of Castilian hermandades (or urban leagues) from their birth in the 13th century to the 15th century. In particular, it analyses the urban networks that these leagues mirrored and their process of increasing internal hierarchical distinction, sanctioned by the multiplying regulations of these institutions. The main conclusion is that the Hermandades were at the same time symptom and cause of the developing urban hierarchies in the Hispanic area and, therefore, they are a privileged scope for the study of this phenomenon.
Urban Players with Rural Interests. The Craftsmen of Coimbra and the Study of their Property in the Late Middle Ages
Matia Helena da Cruz (University of Coimbra) and Maria Amélia Álvaro de Campos (University of Coimbra)
Portuguese Craftsmen, Portuguese Medieval City, Urban Relationship
In Portugal, craftsmen embodied a strong urban feeling and behaviour throughout the Middle Ages and the whole of the Ancien Régime. These men lived in the city and were usually organised according to their profession, so they occupied the urban space in view of their own needs, possibly following instructions given by the local authorities.
The workers in the manufacturing industries of leather, metal, textiles, and pottery occupied a large part of medieval Coimbra, developed business networks, and fostered important social and economic dynamics. Therefore, to better understand the Portuguese urban behaviour we must study these workers along with their family and social networks. With regards to Coimbra, however, this type of analysis is severely hindered by the lack of municipal records identifying these workers.
- Thus, this paper is based on a research in the archives of the ecclesiastical institutions of Coimbra and analyses documents such as sales agreements, concession and usufruct agreements over urban and rural property, donations, and wills. Craftsmen will be examined as holders of capital and both movable and immovable property, as well as usufructuaries of ecclesiastical property in Coimbra, both in the peri-urban ring and in the hinterland.
- Based on this research, we will ask the following questions: What property did they hold? Where was it located? How did they purchase or inherit it? How did they exploit it? How did they make it profitable? To whom did they transfer it?
- In answering these questions, we will find these men working as lenders of capital, middlemen in the renting of ecclesiastical property, and founders of suffrages for the salvation of their own souls and those of their families.
- The conclusions of this analysis will help us better describe the craftsmen of Coimbra, their occupation, and how they managed their time between their job and administering their property, as well as between the urban and rural worlds. Rather than draw definite conclusions about this professional group, the goal is to achieve a level of knowledge that allows a comparison between Coimbra and other cities in the Portuguese urban network, where craftsmen played an equally important role.
Rhythms of Urbanization during the Middle Ages: a Comparative Approach of Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia
Peter Stabel (University of Antwerp)
Middle Ages, Urbanization, Urban Systems
The paper explores the rhythms of urbanization in medieval Latin Europe, in the Byzantine World and in the Islamic Polities. It points at structural differences in how urban systems are organized, at diverging roles of cities, state intervention, feudal development and regional economies in these broad regions. It also points at some striking similar features that unite urbanization processes in as diverse regions as North Africa, Western Europe, the old Roman Mediterranean core or Iran and Central Asia. It stresses the importance of looking beyond usual geographical or temporal frameworks, in order to capture the essence of the urban phenomenon in the Medieval era
The Role of Religious Orders in the Organization of Seville at the End of the Middle Ages
José María Miura Andrades (Universidad Pablo de Olavide de Sevilla)
Religious Orders, Urban Space, Seville
In 1248 the Christian conquest of Seville meant the arrival of various religious orders. Monastic and convent buildings were to be located in the urban fabric based on various factors. In this work we want to show the circumstances that justify the different location of the conventual spaces in the urban configuration of Seville.
From the beginning of the thirteenth century the Castilian medieval society generated urban models that were accompanied by the presence of Mendicant Orders. For Andalusia, this statement is meaningless. In fact the Mendicant presence in Andalusia is not the result of a natural process but the imposition of an urban plan. It is an artificial process.
The analysis of the transformations of the urban enclosures from medieval Seville to the convent, which will take place between the 13th and 16th centuries, allows us to analyze the rhythms and patterns of growth and the densities of their occupation.
In the 13th century the planimetric location of the Sevillian convents shows an optimism in the repopulation process. In the fourteenth century the foundations are sporadic and anomalous. They obey more to personal impulses than to strategies of repopulation and consolidation of urban realities.
The second of the factors that condition the mendicant planimetry in Seville appeared in the final years of the 14th century and the initials of the 15th century: the reform processes. In the second half of the fifteenth century the third of the defining elements of the implementation of religious orders comes into play: its social roots.
After this long process, Seville is a model of a convent city. If we close its walls Seville would be a great convent and a true image of the Celestial Jerusalem: the City of God on earth.