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Modelling the Middle AgesThe History and Theory of England's Economic Development$
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John Hatcher and Mark Bailey

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199244119.001.0001

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The Importance of Time and Place

The Importance of Time and Place

(p.174) 5 The Importance of Time and Place
Modelling the Middle Ages

John Hatcher

Mark Bailey

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the generic weaknesses of the models that have been developed to describe and explain the history of the medieval economy. It explores these failings from three different perspectives. The first exposes the difficulties that emerge when the models are applied to the later Middle Ages as well as to the earlier. The second reviews a few of the wide range of alternative models that have been proposed, since every alternative model is in itself a statement of the inadequacies of the others. And the third perspective seeks to test the validity of the assumptions and methods of each of the major supermodels by applying them not to the history of the whole of medieval economy and society, but to a particular element within it, in this case serfdom in England.

Keywords:   model-building, medieval economy, Middle Ages, alternative models, serfdom, medieval society

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