Book Series Studies in European Urban History (1100-1800), vol. 61

The Rise of Cities Revisited

Reflections on Adriaan Verhulst's Vision of Urban Genesis and Developments in the Medieval Low Countries

Bram Vannieuwenhuyze, Reinout Rutte (eds)

  • Pages: 275 p.
  • Size:178 x 254 mm
  • Illustrations:34 b/w, 16 col., 5 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2024

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60056-7
  • Hardback
  • Available

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60057-4
  • E-book
  • Forthcoming

The Rise of Cities Revisited takes a fresh look at the topic, critically assesses the scientific progress and outlines future directions for research.


Bram Vannieuwenhuyze is Professor by special appointment of Historical Cartography at the University of Amsterdam.

Reinout Rutte is Assistant Professor in the Chair History of Architecture and Urban Planning at Delft University of Technology.


Adriaan Verhulst's The Rise of Cities in North-West Europe (1999) is the last comprehensive work written by a single author on the urban genesis and spatial developments of cities in the medieval Low Countries. Since then, monographs, specialised studies and articles have been published on various cities and towns, while urban archaeologists have carried out numerous excavations. Much new knowledge has been gained, yet many gaps and the need for comparative overviews remain.
Twenty-five years after Verhulst’s synthesis, The Rise of Cities Revisited takes a fresh look at the origins and developments of cities and towns in the Low Countries between the tenth and the sixteenth centuries, critically assesses progress made in scholarship and outlines future directions for research. The chapters of the book are written by senior and junior specialists from various fields, including medieval history, historical geography, economic history, archaeology and building history. The Rise of Cities Revisited presents a state of the art and provides scholars with tools to study this complex subject in future.


Chapter 1 : Introduction – Reinout Rutte (Delft University of Technology) and Bram Vannieuwenhuyze (University of Amsterdam)
Chapter 2 : Adriaan Verhulst (1929-2002). Urban historian and his Rise of Cities contextualized – Marc Boone (Ghent University)
Chapter 3 : Markets and ports. Models for the origin and growth of medieval towns and cities in North-West Europe – Marcel IJsselstijn (Leiden University and RAAP)
Chapter 4 : A geographer’s view on The Rise of Cities – Hans Renes (Utrecht University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and Reinout Rutte (Delft University of Technology)
Chapter 5 : Orality, written record and political contract in the earliest borough charters for Flemish local communities (eleventh to twelfth centuries) – Els De Paermentier and Jan Dumolyn (Ghent University)
Chapter 6 : The rise of markets and centres of industry. Revisiting Adriaan Verhulst’s views on the economic development of cities in the Southern Low Countries – Bart Lambert and Adam Hall (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Chapter 7 : New insights through archaeology. The thirteenth-century ‘city-making model’ – Roos van Oosten (Leiden University), Arnold Carmiggelt (Boor), Ronald van Genabeek (Archeologische Dienst Den Bosch) en Ranjith Jayasena (BMA Amsterdam)
Chapter 8 : Urban space and urban community. Some remarks on social topography and the socio-spatial structuring of medieval cities in the Low Countries – Ward Leloup (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Mathijs Speecke (Ghent University)
Chapter 9 : The material rise of cities. Stone and brick houses in the Low Countries before c. 1350. A first step towards a building-archaeological overview – Gabri van Tussenbroek (University of Amsterdam)
Chapter 10 : Discussion – Keith Lilley (Queen’s University of Belfast)