Urban Life in Catalonia in the 14th Century w. Dr Jeff Fynn-Paul

The Principality of Catalonia encompassed Barcelona, and in the fourteenth century, was part of the Crown of Aragon. Dr Jeff Fynn-Paul, Leiden University, joins the show to talk about what urban life was like in this part of the Mediterranean Basin in the period.

Some topics explored

  • The Principality of Catalonia’s geographic demarcation
  • Catalonia’s governmental relationship to Barcelona and the Crown of Aragon
  • Barcelona maritime trade and its influence in the Mediterranean Basin
  • Its primary languages being Catalan and Occitan
  • Barcelona had approximately 40-50,000 people at its height in the century, prior to the Black Death; many other urban centres having around 10,000 inhabitants
  • What urban life was like in various urban centres in the principality
  • The Black Death and how it impacted Catalonia in the century
  • The plague returning two other times in the century (three waves in total)
  • Professions: Scribes, lawyers, notaries, apothecaries, craftsman
  • Manufacturing driving urban life
  • A feudal relationship not existing in urban life
  • Households and family life
  • The role of adult men and women in households
  • Education being available to boys and girls, and funded by municipalities
  • Economics and commerce
  • Inhabitants increasing the use of slavery in the century in response to the deaths from the Black Death, and large-scale emancipation in the following century (15th century), and it being very uncommon by the 16th century
  • The Black Death arriving in the principality in May, 1348. In urban centres, approximately 50% of people in the cities died; in rural approximately 30% of people died—when combining the two figures, approximately 40% of the population in Catalonia
  • Town governments ceased to function in some places for up to two years
  • Religion in this area including discussing Christians, Muslims and Jewish
  • Many being opposed in the century to the Christian church
  • Women and agency during the period
  • Government administration that supported urban life
  • Laws in the period that affected urban life

Listen to the episode

The episode can be streamed below and is also available on major podcast apps: Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Amazon Music.

Show Notes

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