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The Rise and Decline of an Iberian Bourgeoisie
Manresa in the Later Middle Ages, 1250–1500


Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series

  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107464773

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About the Authors
  • The Rise and Decline of an Iberian Bourgeoisie is one of the first long-term studies in English of an Iberian town during the late medieval crisis. Focusing on the Catalonian city of Manresa, Jeff Fynn-Paul expertly integrates Iberian historiography with European narratives to place the city's social, political and economic development within the broader context of late medieval urban decline. Drawing from extensive archival research, including legal and administrative records, royal letters, and a cadastral survey of more than 640 households entitled the 1408 Liber Manifesti, the author surveys the economic strategies of both elites and non-elites to a level previously unknown for any medieval town outside of Tuscany and Ghent. In a major contribution to the series, The Rise and Decline of an Iberian Bourgeoisie reveals how a combination of the Black Death, royal policy, and a new public debt system challenged, and finally undermined urban resilience in Catalonia.

    • One of the first long-term studies of a late medieval Iberian town in English
    • Draws from the 1408 Liber Manifesti - the most detailed survey of urban household assets for any town outside of the 1427 Florentine Catasto
    • Explores how the combination of the Black Death, crown initiatives, and a new public debt system challenged and overcame urban resilience in Catalonia
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'I suspect that Fynn-Paul's book will become a model study that will shape future work on medieval urban history. His diligence in capitalising on this underutilised treasure trove of documentation will surely influence the ongoing scholarly conversation regarding the broad political and economic trends of the later Middle Ages.' Thomas W. Barton, Continuity and Change

    'Jeff Fynn-Paul provides a promising contribution to Spanish urban history in the later Middle Ages. Telling the story of the Catalan city of Manresa over the fourteenth century, he wisely combines three historiographical traditions (Iberian, English and European) in order to approach this region's position in the larger late medieval urban history.' David Gonza´lez Agudo, European History Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107464773
    • length: 369 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 3 maps 38 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Catalan urban institutions, the Catalan Bourgeoise and the late medieval crisis
    Part I. Politics:
    2. The creation of a regional capital: town government and Royal policy
    3. A portrait of the Manresan Partricate
    4. Plague, war and calamity: the makings of the fourteenth-century crisis at Manresa
    5. The practice of government at Manresa during the fourteenth-century crisis
    Part II. Economy:
    6. The Aragonese financial revolution: a nexus of state formation and personal investment
    7. Demography, wages and prices in the age of the Black Death
    8. Fruits of the urban system: equality, inequality and quality of life
    9. Conclusion: the rise and decline of Manresan civic vitality as a function of the city's 'Bourgeois system', 1250–1500

  • Author

    Jeff Fynn-Paul, Universiteit Leiden
    Jeff Fynn-Paul is a Lecturer in History at Universiteit Leiden. His research interests include the economic and social history of Europe and the Mediterranean from 1300 to the present, and urban institutions, state formation, public debt, class and slavery in relation to economic growth.

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