Rural History 2015

Panel 46

Organizers: Kaska, Johannes (1); Frank, Thomas (3); Heinzle, Birgit (1); Soens, Tim (2); Ertl, Thomas (1)

Affiliation: 1: University of Vienna, Austria; 2: University of Antwerp, Belgium; 3: University of Pavia, Italy

Title: Rural Land Markets in Late Medieval and Early Modern Times: Central, Southern and North-Western Europe Compared

Whereas in England, the Netherlands, France and Spain the role of late medieval factor markets has been a major topic of economic and social history for several years, German-language research so far has not dealt systematically with the importance of these markets for the economic growth in the later Middle Ages. This panel will present the first results of a new study focusing on transfers of peasant land both in Austria and in Northern Italy from 1400 to 1550 and will compare these results with case-studies in North-Western Europe. A wide range of regionally different sources, from property transfer registers to account books, allow to reconstruct the kind and quantity of land which peasants acquired or sold, transferred to their descendants and to their neighbours, or which they lost to wealthier buyers or to their lords because of crises of subsistence and growing debts. Furthermore the institutions regulating possession of land and their functions in the income strategies of peasants will be addressed. By comparing the results of the close reading of a considerable amount of unedited sources we try to answer questions about the character of these ‘land markets’ and how their institutional framework interacted with the social relations within and beyond peasant communities as well as the reactions to periods of crisis (e.g. war and peasant rebellions, famine, floods).It will also be addressed how divergences in the institutional organisation of the land market affected accumulation, inheritance and social polarization in peasant communities.



Chair: Thomas Ertl, University of Vienna, Austria

Paper 1: The Tenants of Santa Maria dei Battuti: Land Transfers in the Estate of a Late Medieval Hospital in Treviso (Veneto), c. 1400–c. 1550 [+]

Thomas Frank, University of Pavia, Italy

Paper 2: Late Medieval and Early Modern land transactions in the Estate of the Lambach Monastery (Upper Austria) [+]

Johannes Kaska, University of Vienna, Austria

Paper 3: Land Transfers and Inheritance in the Austrian Estate of the St. Lambrecht Monastery, c. 1400–1550. [+]

Birgit Heinzle, University of Vienna, Austria

Paper 4: Between fragmentation and engrossment. Transfers of peasant land in times of flood disaster in the late medieval Low Countries [+]

Tim Soens, University of Antwerp, Belgium


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015