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From dangers of everyday living to different aspects of religious and social life, chapters use annotated primary documents and descriptions to lend authenticity to a coverage perfect for school research projects. He provides biographies of leading players in urbanization, case studies of cities and a range of primary documents on street life, citizenship, sanitary conditions, urban charters, and histories of specific English cities, as well as illustrations and an annotated bibliography.

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The Medieval City : Norman Pounds :

An introduction to the life of towns and cities in the medieval period, this book shows how medieval towns grew to become important centers of trade and liberty. Beginning with a look at the Roman Empire's urban legacy, the author delves into urban planning or lack thereof; the urban way of life; the church in the city; city government; urban crafts and urban trade, health, wealth, and welfare; and the city in history.

Annotated primary documents like Domesday Book, sketches of street life, and descriptions of fairs and markets bring the period to life, and extended biographical sketches of towns, regions, and city-dwellers provide readers with valuable detail.

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In addition, 26 maps and illustrations, an annotated bibliography, glossary, and index round out the work. After a long decline in urban life following the fall of the Roman Empire, towns became centers of trade and of liberty during the medieval period.

Here, the author describes how, as Europe stabilized after centuries of strife, commerce and the commercial class grew, and urban areas became an important source of revenue into royal coffers. Towns enjoyed various levels of autonomy, and always provided goods and services unavailable in rural areas.

Hazards abounded in towns, though.

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Disease, fire, crime and other hazards raised mortality rates in urban environs. Designed as an introduction to life of towns and cities in the medieval period, eminent historian Norman Pounds brings to life the many pleasures, rewards, and dangers city-dwellers sought and avoided.

The author takes a rather cynical approach to urban politics during the Middle Ages, pointing out that it was anything but egalitarian, involved a great deal of corruption because of the close ties between guild leaders and city councilmen [1], and the fact that efforts to overturn the elites of cities typically failed. Even so, the author points out that cities only thrived where they had something to offer the larger population, and that the rapacious behavior of many elites tended to harm their wealth, and that contemporary efforts at worldwide free trade spring from the efforts of merchants to have the freedom to trade in the next town.

Publisher Series: Greenwood guides to historic events of the medieval world

The author also provides a thoughtful discussion of last names that are attached to various urban trades as evidence of the continuing importance of the medieval bourgeoisie in contemporary society. Jason Aglietti rated it liked it May 26, Jennifer rated it really liked it Apr 18, Tim rated it really liked it Oct 14, MBeach rated it liked it Jun 14, Andrew rated it really liked it Dec 10, Heidi rated it really liked it Jun 23, Steven rated it really liked it Aug 28, Kproch rated it liked it Mar 15, Reyne rated it liked it Apr 17, Leah rated it really liked it Sep 16, Scott marked it as to-read Jan 04, Chuck marked it as to-read Nov 23, Michael added it Jun 19, Ceileidh added it Jan 20, Jacabaeus marked it as to-read Jun 01, Clara added it Sep 13, Michelle Hoogterp marked it as to-read Oct 17, Franco marked it as to-read Jul 04, Zivojin Misic marked it as to-read Oct 15, Gerardo Caprav marked it as to-read Aug 12, Chugiak High added it Oct 28, Angela Allinder marked it as to-read Feb 19, Amanda Dotterer is currently reading it Feb 20, Gavin marked it as to-read Mar 02, Heather marked it as to-read Nov 24, Josh Rowe marked it as to-read Dec 16, Roberto marked it as to-read Jan 20, Captain Vidal marked it as to-read Apr 06, Sebastian marked it as to-read Apr 15, Geoffrey marked it as to-read May 31, Camila Brochero marked it as to-read Mar 20, Dylan Olson marked it as to-read Jun 22, Delmak marked it as to-read Aug 01, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Books by Norman J.