Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe

Front Cover
Harcourt, Brace, 1937 - Business & Economics - 239 pages
4 Reviews
"In this book, Henri Pirenne, the great Belgian economic historian, traces the character and general movement of the economic and social evolution of Western Europe from the end of the Roman Empire to the middle of the fifteenth century. From the breakup of the economic equilibrium of the ancient world to the revival of commerce, the redevelopment of credit, the trade of commodities, the origins of urban industry, and the rebirth of new forms of protectionism, mercantilism, and capitalism, Pirenne presents as complete a picture of the medieval world as is possible in one volume." -- Back cover.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: An Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe

User Review  - Roger - Goodreads

Ah, those great French intellectuals of the 20th Century, so clear, so concise, so to the point... what?? I hear you say - no, I'm not here to discuss the Sartres, Foucaults, Derridas and Kristevas of ... Read full review

Review: An Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe

User Review  - David Robertus - Goodreads

Right up there with his class on the Medieval city, but still Pirenne falls a little short. He becomes a little too vehement against other authors about mid way through, and this makes the read a ... Read full review

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1937)

Belgian-born historian Henry Pirenne spent most of his professional life as professor of history at the University of Ghent. During World War I, he was a leader of Belgian passive resistance and spent several years as a hostage of the Germans. As a historian Pirenne centered his attention on the urban development of the Low Countries during the medieval period. In Medieval Cities, published in 1925, he argues that medieval urban development grew out of regional fortresses. With the economic revival beginning in the tenth century, city and town life expanded. These communities created their own laws, allowing the development of individual freedoms. Pirenne is best remembered, however, for the "Pirenne thesis" about the foundations of European civilization, which he put forth in his 1937 work Mohammed and Charlemagne. The thesis is that the great event that pushed Europeans into the formation of their own civilization was not the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century but the Islamic conquest of much of the Mediterranean.

Bibliographic information