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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Manresa in the Later Middle Ages - Fynn-Paul

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

  • DATE PUBLISHED: November 2015

  • FORMAT: Hardback

In a major contribution to the series, the volume reveals how a combination of the Black Death, royal policy, and a new public debt system challenged, and finally undermined urban resilience in Catalonia. 

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. 

               Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Catalan urban institutions, the Catalan Bourgeoise and the late medieval crisisPart I. Politics:2. The creation of a regional capital: town government and Royal policy3. A portrait of the Manresan Partricate4. Plague, war and calamity: the makings of the fourteenth-century crisis at Manresa5. The practice of government at Manresa during the fourteenth-century crisisPart II. Economy:6. The Aragonese financial revolution: a nexus of state formation and personal investment7. Demography, wages and prices in the age of the Black Death8. Fruits of the urban system: equality, inequality and quality of life9. Conclusion: the rise and decline of Manresan civic vitality as a function of the city's 'Bourgeois system', 1250–1500Bibliography


Jeff Fynn-Paul is a Lecturer in History at the University of 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.

Additionally, in the field of Iberian studies, Fynn-Paul's work also suggests that:  

  • Catalan-Aragonese financial institutions were key to Aragonese imperial expansion in the western Mediterranean and southern Italy prior to the union with Castile.  ( Rise and Decline)  
  • The Crown of Aragon underwent the world’s first full-scale ‘Financial Revolution’ in the 14th century. ( Rise and Decline, Eur. Hist. Quarterly)  
  • Catalan urban regimes provided very well for their citizens during the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, even in comparison with cities in relatively wealthy and/or famous regions such as Tuscany.  ( Rise and Decline, Munro Festschrift)

(2012) Renaissance Slavery in the Mediterranean: The Contours of its Rise and Decline in Southern Europe, and its Relationship with Slavery in the Islamic World
Society, family, and gender: What status did slaves have in the different Mediterranean areas? How were slaves – female and male – socially and personally integrated in family, kinship and clan structures, and in everyday life in towns and countryside? What were the place and the function of male and female slaves within society? And what were their rights and their scope of action?
Cultural interconnectivities: Did the norms and practices of Christian slavery differ fundamentally from the Muslim ones, or are mutual influences or rather one-sided transfers ascertainable? Was the revival of slavery in Southern Europe a consequence of cultural contact and exchange with the Muslim world? Did norms and practices of enslavement and slave holding migrate and pass cultural frontiers? Or do we have to examine these ostensible cultural borders as fluid? What role did religion play in the evaluation of local and foreign forms of slavery, and to what extent did discourses on slavery help to construct cultural borders?


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