"[...] cet ouvrage collectif constitue donc un jalon indispensable dans l'émergence d'une histoire des villes hispaniques renouvelée.[...]
(Léonard Courbon, in Cahiers d'études Hispaniques médiévales, 34, 2011, p. 277-283.)
Historians have considered medieval oligarchic groups as part of
a hierarchical social structure in urban societies. Frequently the
interpretation of oligarchy as an isolated faction makes it
difficult to understand its capacity in processes of incorporation
and integration. F. Sabaté i Curull studies the social
consequences of the merchant oligarchy investments in the urban
surroundings that contributed to establishing a flow of capital
between the city and the region in Catalonia. The M.
Asenjo-González’s study of different cities in
Northern Castile - Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Toledo –
attempts to identify bonding processes and the relationships among
individuals or groups. Y. Guerrero-Navarrete studies the
connections between financial groups and the oligarchic policy of
the elite in the case of Burgos. In Granada, A.
Galan-Sánchez analyzes the Islamic elites´ behaviour,
considering on one side their economic and political interests,
related to the goodwill of the Christian conquerors, and, on the
other side, their functions as representatives of the second-class
citizens who were the moriscos. In the city of Cuenca, J.
A. Jara-Fuente stresses the importance of mechanisms for the
attribution of social spaces of projection (related to individuals,
lineages or collectivities), because it is through the analysis of
the social expectations and of the degree of satisfaction reached
in that process that other patterns of relationship come to light.
And finally E. Ramírez-Vaquero analyzes aspects of great
relevance such as the relationship that oligarchies had with other
systems linked to the noble and court spheres in the cities of
María Asenjo-González is Professor of Medieval
History at the Complutense University of Madrid. Her research
interests cover historical urban problems in Castilian cities from
1250 to 1520 and settlement in urban territories.