Scholars have long believed that cities in the Western Roman Empire declined during the Early Middle Ages (A.D. 300-900). Their populations dwindled, their infrastructure decayed, and their importance decreased dramatically. Cities remained unimportant until the eleventh century, when a commercial revolution began which led to an economic recovery. But more recent research has shown that this view is overstated. In this work, I seek to examine the fate of Cologne during the Early Middle Ages, using literary, archeological, numismatic, and epigraphic sources. This evidence shows that Cologne, contrary to older views, was actually a thriving city during this period: Its population was stable and its economy prospered. Cologne's state during the Early Middle Ages suggests that we should not be so quick to assume that all early medieval cities had declined.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2011. Major: History. Advisor: Prof. Bernard S. Bachrach. 1 computer file (PDF); iii, 298 pages, appendices I-III.
Farmer, Thomas R..
The transformation of cologne: from a Late Roman to an Early Medieval City..
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