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(1,017 words)

Author(s): Kießling, Rolf
The Bannmeile was an area surrounding a town or city in which trade or commerce was forbidden or regulated through local laws. As opposed to the Europe-wide concept of the staple, the Bannmeile in the German lands (and the equivalent  banlieue in France) was primarily designed to secure local supply. The institution of the  Bannmeile reached its zenith between the 15th and 17th centuries, before waning in importance as territorial mercantilism took hold. From the Late Middle Ages, Bannmeilen increasingly regulated exercise of the market right, permission to conduct…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,146 words)

Author(s): Kießling, Rolf
Fustian (from medieval Lat.  fustaneus/Lat. fustis, “stick,” “wood,” or Arabic  fustan, “garment”) is a blended fabric composed of linen (warp) and cotton (weft) that was produced in various patterns and grades and was generally considered a subset of woven linen. Some of the special grades of fustian in the Empire included  “Sarrock,” “Sartuch” (Cologne), and “Schürlitz” (Basel). It is difficult to distinguish fustian from bombazine, which was produced as a separate type of fabric from the 16th through t…
Date: 2019-10-14

Town and country, relations between

(3,393 words)

Author(s): Kießling, Rolf
1. Problem areasIn the first centuries of the early modern period, four observations characterize the twin poles of town and country, whose reciprocal influence entailed several phenomena: (1) the town as a relatively large settlement (the boundary is often drawn at a population of 5,000) built up more densely than smaller rural settlements (Village); (2) demarcation of distinctive legal sectors (municipal law versus territorial law); (3) the town as a site of supra-local functions for certain rur…
Date: 2022-11-07

Fiber plants

(1,104 words)

Author(s): Kießling, Rolf
1. General While flax and hemp were widely used for apparel from antiquity on, cotton came into use in central Europe in the High Middle Ages --initially, in the 16th century, as a component of a mixed fabric; then, from the 17th century, as pure cotton, it took its place alongside linen woven from flax. Sisal fiber derived from the Mexican agave was first imported from Yucatán in the first half of the 19th century and used in the manufacture of sacks and sails.Rolf Kießling 2. Flax Flax (Lat . linum usitatissimum) flourishes primarily in temperate climates with abundant rain. …
Date: 2019-10-14

Rural industry

(2,309 words)

Author(s): Kießling, Rolf
1. Definition and typology Long neglected by scholars, rural industry has become increasingly important as an indicator of economic and social change in the early modern period. Emphasizing the rural location, like  industrial trades and crafts, the term broadly includes all non-agricultural activities but in the context of rural society, that is, either full time or part time work in conjunction with small-scale agriculture. Recent studies have pointed out the great diversity of rural industry, which falls into five broad categories [13. 64–75]; [11. 23–26, 97–116]:1) The …
Date: 2021-08-02