The Danish Resources c. 1000-1550

Growth and Recession


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This pioneering work presents the first comprehensive economic history of medieval Denmark. It puts data produced by more than a century of historical research into a new context and includes a multitude of information based on primary research. The book abounds in knowledge of natural and human resources, rural life, urban industries, tax and commodity trade. Arguing that the development of the Danish resources from the eleventh to the middle of the fourteenth century cannot be viewed simply as a period of prosperity, and conversely that the Late Middle Ages were characterized as much by growth as by recession, the book places itself in an international historiographical controversy. The Danish Resources will become an indispensable standard work for students of Danish and north European medieval history.

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Nils Hybel, dr. phil. (1989) in History, University of Aarhus, is Professor at the University of Copenhagen. He has published extensively on many aspects of European medieval history and historiography.
Bjørn Poulsen, dr. phil. (1988) in History, University of Copenhagen, is Professor at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He has published extensively on many aspects of Medieval and Early Modern Danish History.
"...The authors make exhaustive use of published records and archival sources from the state archives at Copenhagen, the city archive of Flensburg, the Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein, and The National Archives in London, and survey an immense secondary literature. They use scientific evidence such as pollen analysis and archaeological data. The book is comparative, but less with Sweden and Norway than with the west, particularly England. It is not strongly statistical, although the authors make extrapolations for population figures and land use. They derive narratives from selected sources to illustrate broader points, and the result is an engaging, readable style. This is the best account of its topic in any language."
David Nicholas, Clemson University in Economic History Review cxxvi. 522 (Oct. 2011), pp. 1193-95
"Their approach to economic history is firmly grounded in primary sources rather than in the use of formal economic models. ... Hybel and Poulsen have provided a careful, critical survey of value to specialists, and for those with more general interests, a rich case study. Highly recommended".
D. Mitch, University of Maryland Baltimore County in Choice May 2008 Vol. 45 No. 09.
Abbreviations .. vii
List of Illustrations and Maps .. ix

Introduction .. xv

The Natural World . 1
Woods and Moors .. 3
Arable Land .. 25
Marine Resources . 45
Climate .. 59
Human Resources . 79
Knowledge and Literacy .. 81
Population . 111
Rural Life .. 141
Villages .. 143
Manors .. 165
Rural Resources .. 197
Urban Industries . 225
Towns and Markets .. 227
Crafts ... 259
Tax and Trade .. 297
Rural Levies and Royal Finances . 299
Money ... 323
Commodity Trade .. 353
Growth and Recession: A Synthesis . 381

Bibliography .. 403
Index of Persons and Places .. 431
Subject Index .. 441
Economic historians, and historians of medieval Denmark and Northern Europe.
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