Book Series Studies in European Urban History (1100-1800), vol. 30

The Power of Space in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

The cities of Italy, Northern France and the Low Countries

Marc Boone, Martha Howell (eds)

  • Pages: 215 p.
  • Size:178 x 254 mm
  • Illustrations:23 b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2013

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54784-8
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54822-7
  • E-book
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"Insgesamt gesehen bietet das Buch ein buntes Panorama spätmittelalterlicher und frühneuzeitlicher Städte in mehreren europäischen Regionen, das zum Vergleich einlädt." (Gisela Naegle, in: Francia-Recensio, 2014/1)

"L’ensemble, dense et cohérent, atteint parfaitement son but, mettant en perspective trois espaces spécifiques dont les similitudes et les disparités apparaissent désormais clairement." (Jonathan Dumont, dans: Le Moyen Âge, CXX, 2014, p. 514-515)


This volume examines the politics of space in the most densely urbanized areas of Europe during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. It ranges from Italy to the Parisian region and then to the greater Low Countries, home of Europe’s most powerful commercial cities of the period. Hardly inert sites on which political action took place, the spaces these authors investigate conferred power on those who possessed them. At the same time they were themselves transformed by the struggles, thus acquiring new powers that invited future contest. Thus implicitly responding to Georges Lefebvre’s claim that space is “produced”, the authors ask how space was perceived and used in everyday life, giving specific spaces cultural, social, and political coherence (“le perçu”); how it was represented or theorized, thus encoded in symbols, maps and laws (“le conçu”); and how it was lived, in effect the result of the dialectical relation between the perceived and the represented (“le vécu”).

Marc Boone is full professor of medieval social and political history of the (late) Middle Ages at Ghent University. He has been president of the European Association of Urban History and has published mainly in the field of urban history.

Martha C. Howell is Miriam Champion professor of History at Columbia University (New York). She has published on late medieval and early-modern European gender history and social history.