ORB: On-line Reference Book for Medieval Studies

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Introduction to the history of medieval boroughs


PROBLEMS OF DEFINITION |  Continuity or creation? |  Wiks, burhs, and ports
Planned/planted towns |  Growth of self-government |  Urban economy |  Urban society
further reading

Origins: problems of definition

This 15th-century depiction of a scene from a continental city (probably in Flanders) reflects the diverse characteristics of towns: as a focus for habitation and social life; as an economic centre (note the retail stalls in the foreground, while within the tower a craftsman works to produce goods for sale); as a place of security and government (symbolized by the fortifications and the building-interior scene at rear).

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Created: April 5, 1999. Last update: March 21, 2000 © Stephen Alsford, 1999-2003

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The contents of ORB are copyright © 2003 Kathryn M. Talarico except as otherwise indicated herein.