Life in a Medieval City

Life in a Medieval City

by Frances Gies

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Overview

Medieval history comes alive in Frances and Joseph Gies’s Life in a Medieval City, used as a research resource by George R. R. Martin in creating the world of A Game of Thrones.

Reissued for the first time in decades, Life in a Medieval City is the classic account of the year 1250 in the city of Troyes, in modern-day France. Acclaimed historians Frances and Joseph Gies focus on a high point of medieval civilization—before war and the Black Death ravaged Europe—providing a fascinating window into the sophistication of a period we too often dismiss as backward.

Urban life in the Middle Ages revolved around the home, often a mixed-use dwelling for burghers with a store or workshop on the ground floor and living quarters upstairs. A developed economy, focusing on textiles, farming, and financial services, could be found in the town center, where craftsmen competed for business while adhering to the guilds’ codes of conduct. There were schools for the children, though only boys could attend and the lessons were taught in Latin by a priest. The church was a hub of both religious and civic life; services were lively and filled with song, and baptisms and other special occasions brought neighbors together to celebrate. The weddings of wealthier townsfolk were lavish affairs full of song and dance and drinking that could sometimes last for weeks.

“An excellently written account of what is known of the life of medieval burghers.”—Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060908805
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/30/1981
Series: Harper Perennial , #1
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Frances (1915–2013) and Joseph (1916–2006) Gies were the world’s bestselling historians of medieval Europe. Together and separately, they wrote more than twenty books, which col-lectively have sold more than a million copies. They lived in Michigan.

Frances (1915–2013) and Joseph (1916–2006) Gies were the world’s bestselling historians of medieval Europe. Together and separately, they wrote more than twenty books, which col-lectively have sold more than a million copies. They lived in Michigan.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1(22)
Troyes: 1250
23(11)
A Burgher's Home
34(12)
A Medieval Housewife
46(12)
Childbirth and Children
58(10)
Weddings and Funerals
68(8)
Small Business
76(22)
Big Business
98(11)
The Doctor
109(11)
The Church
120(15)
The Cathedral
135(19)
School and Scholars
154(12)
Books and Authors
166(17)
The New Theater
183(7)
Disasters
190(9)
Town Government
199(12)
The Champagne Fair
211(13)
After 1250 224(6)
Genealogy of the Counts of Champagne 230(2)
Notes 232(14)
Bibliography 246(17)
Index 263

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Life in a Medieval City 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Life In A Medeival City was a very interesting and informative read. However, the authors seemed to spend too much time and too much detail on certain small and insignificant things. When they weren't doing this, though, the book gave a very in-depth look at the day-to-day life of Troyes, and the way they described it made me want to keep reading. It was filed with vivid descriptions of many different aspects. It wasn't a boring book, and I enjoyed it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pretty good read- also easy to read. I am fortunate to own several of Giles works. All are excellent. Too many times when we think of 'medieval times' we think of knights in shining armor or beautiful ladies. Giles's book talks about the workers and common people. The jobs, the city, the law system. The local church. The sanitation. The trading fairs. Certainly a well done piece of work.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I enjoyed this book.
CKmtl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As with Life In A Medieval Castle, the authors have collected a great deal of information and created an entertaining and informative read.I found the sections on Small and Big Business, as well as the description of the evolution of modern credit and banking, to be very interesting.
ncarman31 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Life in a Medieval City takes the reader on a systematic exploration of different aspects of life in a town called Troyes in 13th century France.One was struck by how deeply uncomfortable life was for even the most wealthy of 13th century city dwellers; they lived in drafty cold houses that were infested with fleas and bedbugs.This was counterbalanced by the book¿s discussion of the energetic religious, commercial, and legal activities that were developing at this time. It is possible to imagine a Europe that was gearing up for the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution.This book is written in a lively and engaging manner that catches the idiosyncrasies of this time and place, and is possessed of a sly sense of humour.
heidilove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
wonderful survey level fare.
EvilJohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a good medieval history book; concise, well written and entertaining.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where shepherds herd their sheep to graze in the grass.