Practising Community in Urban and Rural Eurasia (1000–1600)

Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

This volume explores social practices of framing, building and enacting community in urban-rural relations across medieval Eurasia. Introducing fresh comparative perspectives on practices and visions of community, it offers a thorough source-based examination of medieval communal life in its sociocultural complexity and diversity in Central and Southeast Europe, South Arabia and Tibet. As multi-layered social phenomena, communities constantly formed, restructured and negotiated internal allegiances, while sharing a topographic living space and joint notions of belonging. The volume challenges disciplinary paradigms and proposes an interdisciplinary set of low-threshold categories and tools for cross-cultural comparison of urban and rural communities in the Global Middle Ages.

Contributors are Maaike van Berkel, Hubert Feiglstorfer, Andre Gingrich, Károly Goda, Elisabeth Gruber, Johann Heiss, Kateřina Horníčková, Eirik Hovden, Christian Jahoda, Christiane Kalantari, Odile Kommer, Fabian Kümmeler, Christina Lutter, Judit Majorossy, Ermanno Orlando, and Noha Sadek.

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Fabian Kümmeler, Ph.D. (2018), is APART-GSK Fellow at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Habsburg and Balkan Studies. His latest monograph is entitled Korčula: Ländliche Lebenswelten und Gemeinschaften im venezianischen Dalmatien, 1420–1499 (De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2021).
Judit Majorossy, Ph.D. (2006), is a lecturer of urban history at the University of Vienna. She has published widely on medieval Hungary, including sources editions and Piety in Practice: Urban Religious Life and Communities in Late Medieval Pressburg (CEU Press, 2021).
Eirik Hovden, Ph.D. (2012), is a scholar of Islamic law and Yemeni history at the University of Bergen, Norway. His latest monograph is entitled Waqf in Zaydī Yemen. Legal theory, Codification and Local Practice (Brill, 2019).
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

1 Practising Community in Urban and Rural Eurasia: Introduction and Practical Approaches
Elisabeth Gruber and Fabian Kümmeler

PART 1: Practising Community in Urban and Rural Spaces

2 Symbols, Signs and Acts of Social Cohesion in the Austrian Danube Region
Elisabeth Gruber

3 Legal, Spatial and Ritual Practices and Visions of Community in Late Medieval Venice: Comparative Perspectives
Ermanno Orlando

4 Balancing a Community’s Food and Water Supply: The Social Impact of Rural-Urban Interdependences in Korčula (Dalmatia) and Ṣaʿda (Yemen)
Fabian Kümmeler and Johann Heiss

5 Conceptualizing City-Hinterland Relations and Governance: Medieval Sanaa as a Case Study
Eirik Hovden, Johann Heiss and Odile Kommer

PART 2: Representing Community through Public Buildings and Performative Culture

6 Public Buildings and/as Symbolic Framing of Urban-cum-Rural Communal Practice in Western Tibet
Christian Jahoda

7 Material Culture in the Western Himalayas: Mandalic Settlement Patterns and Material Components of the Ritual Space
Hubert Feiglstorfer

8 Image Construction and Community Building in the Spiritual Career of the Buddha in Western Tibet from the Eleventh–Thirteenth Century
Christiane Kalantari

9 Visualising Communities: The Canonry of Třeboň (Southern Bohemia)
Kateřina Horníčková

10 The Monuments of Rasulid Taʿizz: The Physical Construction of Power and Piety
Noha Sadek

PART 3: Practising Community – Forms of Integration and Differentiation

11 Defining Rules of Rural-Urban Flows: Endowments, Authority and Law in Medieval Zaydi Yemen in a Comparative Perspective
Eirik Hovden

12 Constructing Communal Memory through Donations in Medieval East-Central Europe
Judit Majorossy

13 Notes on Foundations and Endowments in Historical Western Tibet (Late Tenth–Fifteenth Century)
Christian Jahoda

14 Binding the Bonds: Metropolitan Modes of Eucharistic Confraternal and Processional Life in Late Medieval East-Central Europe
Károly Goda

15 “To Extol Knowledge”: Celebrating the Completion of Books in Rasulid Yemen
Johann Heiss

16 Building Community with Processions and Endowments
Maaike van Berkel

PART 4: Conclusions

17 Urban Patterns of Belonging by Comparison: Assessing a Work in Progress
Christina Lutter

18 Nodal Conglomerates and Their Visions: Comparative Reflections on Urban-Rural Settings across Asia and Europe (1000–1600 CE)
Andre Gingrich

Index of Geographical Names
Index of Persons
Scholars, students and anyone interested in Medieval, Global, Cultural and Comparative History, Asian and Arabian Studies, Historical Anthropology, Sociology and Urban Studies, and academic libraries in these fields.
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