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Ackerbürgerstadt

(833 words)

Author(s): Keller, Katrin
This term was devised by Max Weber to define an urban typology already discernible in the Middle Ages on the basis of certain economic and social characteristics. An Ackerbürgerstadt was a town in the legal-historical sense, thus a settlement possessing urban rights; but its inhabitants, besides pursuing crafts and trades or earning their livelihood as suppliers of services, were engaged in agriculture to a considerable extent. Critical for inclusion in this category of town is the extent of that agricultural involvement. …
Date: 2017-02-14

County seat

(642 words)

Author(s): Keller, Katrin
The urban typology of the county seat (German: Amtsstadt) is defined primarily by its central administrative functions. Such cities are characterized by their significance as the seat of an administrative office; such offices appeared in all central European territorial states at the lower and middle administrative levels from the 14th century on. Although non-urban seats of office (fortresses) are still encountered in areas with few cities in the early modern period, it was the rule in broad stretche…
Date: 2017-02-14

Elites

(1,421 words)

Author(s): Keller, Katrin
1. Concept and definitionThe use of the term “elite” was long controversial in German historical studies, and even today it is not free from political implications. During the 1970s and 1980s in particular, it had a negative connotation, and there were only a very few studies examining political, social, and economic elites. The concept of elite only began to undergo rehabilitation from the mid-1980s in studies on the modern bourgeoisie and later on the early modern nobility. This situation differe…
Date: 2018-02-14

Fortified town

(867 words)

Author(s): Keller, Katrin
In the Middle Ages, almost all the larger towns of Central Europe had a town wall, which documented civic self-awareness and the municipal need for security. In many cases, towns serving as oversize castles were also strategically important sites in the military thinking of  sovereigns (Territorial sovereignty [Holy Roman Empire]). They could serve as fortified refuges as well as secure bases for military forays. With the change in contemporary military technology and tactics that took place in …
Date: 2018-02-14

Civil unrest

(2,543 words)

Author(s): Keller, Katrin
1. Definition and history of scholarshipSince no definition of “unrest” in historical contexts is accepted and used throughout Europe, here we shall fall back on the the definition given by Peter Blickle, which is used most commonly by German-speaking scholars: “Acts of protest on the part of (usually all) the subjects of a sovereign power to assert and/or enforce their interests and values. These are primarily political in nature, in the sense that they challenge the legitimacy of measures taken by the authorities (and hence of the authorities themseves).” [3. 5]. Conflicts betwe…
Date: 2017-02-14

Episcopal town

(810 words)

Author(s): Keller, Katrin
In the high Middle Ages, when this type of town achieved its greatest importance, episcopal towns in the narrower sense were towns with an episcopal see in which all official powers derived from the bishop [2. 239] (Episcopate). They constituted the focus of their dioceses, to which they gave their name, even though in Western Europe (and large parts of Central Europe, roughly as far as the Elbe) the see was older than the town. Episcopal towns acquired their special significance precisely because in Western and Central Europe…
Date: 2018-02-14

Frauenzimmer

(778 words)

Author(s): Keller, Katrin
From the late Middle Ages on, the term  Frauenzimmer was used in three senses in German-speaking Europe. First, it denoted women in general (Gender), being used as a complementary parallel to  Männer or  Mannspersonen (“men, males”). Both terms referred to women and men of a particular class. While a bourgeois  Ehefrau (“wife”) or a noble lady (Dame) and her daughters could be addressed as  Frauenzimmer, this term was not used for their female domestics or women of the underclass; they would instead be referred to as  Menscher or  Weiber (“girls”). The term continued to be u…
Date: 2018-02-14
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