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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Henri Pirenne first expressed ideas on the formation of European towns in articles of ; [2] he further developed the idea for the Pirenne Thesis while imprisoned in Germany during World War I.

Medievval such as Marseilles continued to function pretty much as they had during Roman times, as ports of entry for eastern merchandise as well as independent manufacturing and administrative centers.

Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade

The rise of the middle class was not without conflict because they were neither aristocrats, not clergy, nor serfs. Another critical player during this time was Venice, which had remained a Byzantine 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. The heroes of his story are the merchants, who, he strongly implies, are the forerunners of capitalism, democracy, and a more nebulously defined “liberty.

Marci Sortor – – Speculum 73 4: And I’d highly recommend buying the reprint of this book, with an introduction by Michael McCormick that discusses Pirenne’s legacy, and how recent scholarship has altered our views since he first wrote this book.

Henri Pirenne is best known for his provocative argument–known as the “Pirenne thesis” and familiar to all students of medieval Europe–that it was not the invasion of the Germanic tribes that destroyed the civilization of antiquity, but rather the closing of Mediterranean trade by Arab conquest in the seventh century.


After the war, he reflected the widespread disillusionment in Belgium with German culture, while taking a nuanced position which allowed him to criticize German nationalism without excluding German works from the scholarly canon. Where North Meets South: He also became prominent in the nonviolent resistance to the Germans who occupied Belgium in World War I.

Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade – Henri Pirenne – Google Books

The thesis is that the great event that pushed Europeans into the formation of their own civilization was not the collapse pirennr the Roman Empire in the fifth century but the Islamic conquest of much of the Mediterranean.

May 03, Timothy rated it really liked it. What is known is that Pirenne was questioned by German occupiers on 18 Marchand subsequently arrested.

In brief, the Pirenne Thesis, nenri 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.

His son Jacques Pirennewho had survived the war to become a historian in his own right, discovered the manuscript. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone.

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

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. During WW I, he was arrested and deported to Germany in because of his refusal to accede to the German orders that the work of the Benri of Ghent be continued under German supervision, and that it be turned into a Flemish university.

They were the ones who were not lords and kings, but still had enough henro to keep from falling into a peasant’s lifestyle. The feudal core remained static and inert. These communities created their own laws, allowing the development of individual freedoms. The leaders among the mercantile class formed a bourgeois patriciatein whose hands economic and political power came to be concentrated. In the Western empire the volume of trade decreased dramatically. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.


Henri Pirenne

Pirenne constructs his ideas at the beginning of fities chapter, and then provides explanations and evidence in a logical, sequential fashion. Finally the bourgeois developed their own literature which used cigies languages rather than latin.

Most famous of these is the “Pirenne Thesis”: D J rated it it was amazing Jul 30, Pirenne was also the author of Medieval Cities: With no trade, the economic importance of port cities on the Mediterranean went away, and the economic center of gravity shifted to the north, to the Carolingian empire and later the predominantly German Heenri Roman Empire.

He would not have been able to compress this extended history into pages of a A delightful little book. When trade revived and a merchant class appeared it was due to contact with Byzantium.

For protection, these “ports” were surrounded by rudimentary walls and defenses. Pirenne gave in the United States in What guided their selection? Refresh and try again. He died at Uccle mrdieval, Brussels in Pirenne that the emergence of the Islam dynasties following the Mohammed’s Hegira in a.

Michelle Lia rated it it was amazing May 10, Pirenne was one of the world’s leading historians and arguably the most famous Belgium had produced. I learned a bit, but I really struggled with the verbosity. The consequent interruption of long distance commerce accelerated the decline of the ancient cities of Europe.

I would have liked more detailed citations, but this is still a short book which ties together an interesting creation mythos about the West. Pirenne argues that the barbarian take-over of the Roman empire did not immediately result in a decline of civilization because the tribes adopted Roman ways and continued the Roman economic and political systems.

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