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Review of periodical articles

By M. Jenner, G. Rosser and B. Luckin


One of the attractions of medieval urban history is the fact that major conceptual problems in the field continue to be debated. In a stimulating review article by J.H. Mundy, ’Philip Jones and the medieval Italian city-state‘, J. of European Economic History, 28 (1999), 185–200, one distinguished scholar is taxed for holding views now dismissed by some, but of which he is by no means a unique surviving representative. One of these views assumes a clear distinction between the antique city, supposedly a bureaucratic centre with limited economic functions, and the medieval city, as the home of industrious artisans and nascent capitalism. The image of the non-profit-making ancient town may be overly indebted to the nature of the literary sources and to the prevalent interests of classicists; but, although many would now agree that both the elements in the above equation need qualifying, a more focused comparison is presently lacking, and a fine book is still waiting to be written on the transition from the ancient world to the middle ages in urban history

Year: 2000
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S0963926800000171
OAI identifier:

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