Peasants in the Middle Ages

Peasants in the Middle Ages

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Setting out to redress the balance of history in favour of the peasants, this book argues that the lives of peasants - the vast majority of the population in medieval Europe - were just as complex and interesting as those of the nobility. Rosener first considers the social, economic and political foundations of peasant life, particularly how the occupational and land divisions determined the relative freedom of the rural population. He continues by illustrating how at the height of the Middle Ages, the peasant condition improved as tenant farming was introduced and progress in agricultural technology increased productivity. The study tells of the successful peasants who owned land and begun to form "peasant republics" independent of the nobility. As the peasant population swelled, economic and ecological concerns increased in importance for all such groups, living as communities deriving their living from the soil.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 152 x 229mm | 591g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 42 illustrations, bibliography, index
  • 074560529X
  • 9780745605296

Table of contents

The foundations of the medieval peasantry in the early Middle Ages; the transformations of the high Middle Ages; aspects of peasant life during the high and later Middle Ages (11th to 15th centuries); the peasants and the crisis in the later Middle Ages.
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