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Life in towns after Rome : investigating late antique and early medieval urbanism c.AD 300-1050

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:42 authored by Roger William. Kipling
Through extensive use of primary and secondary material, this study examines the development of the late classical and early medieval town across three regions of north-western Europe in order to map physical and functional urban change and to identify the key factors linking a spatially and temporally broad study area. The three diverse but complementary areas of investigation consist of Britain, a region with a relatively tenuous, discontinuous urbanism, Gaul, with its persistence of urban functions and populations throughout the period of study, and Scandinavia and Ireland, regions revealing a late urbanism.;In each core chapter the archaeological and documentary data for towns are reviewed followed by presentation of key case studies. Selected for their level/quality of investigation, these provide the essential platform for a wider discussion of urban roles between c. AD 300-1050.;The thesis establishes that urban form and developmental trajectories were highly intricate, with considerable temporal and spatial diversity and, as a result, towns demonstrate strongly individualistic histories, with a heavy dependency upon setting, role(s) and, above all, human presences. Despite this variety, the emergence of royal authority, the Christian Church and inter-regional market economies are recognised as fundamental and consistent factors in the establishment, and continued existence, of a stable urban network.


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Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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