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The Pirenne thesis; analysis, criticism, and revision
Pirenne thesis definition in writing
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The Middle Ages goes global: Henri Pirenne, his thesis, and medieval globalities past and present
From to , Pirenne was a professor at the University of Ghent, where he served as rector from to The focal point of his scholarly research was the socioeconomic history of the Middle Ages in Western Europe. In working out the problem of the rise and development of the medieval city and its institutions, Pirenne developed the theory that the cities had originated as merchant settlements Medieval Cities, ; in Russian translation, Srednevekovye goroda i voz-rozhdenie torgovli,
A medievalist of Walloon descent, he wrote a multivolume history of Belgium in French and became a prominent public intellectual. Pirenne made lasting contribution to the study of cities that was a controversial interpretation of the end of Roman civilization and the rebirth of medieval urban culture. Henri Pirenne's reputation today rests on three contributions to European history : for what has become known as the Pirenne Thesis , concerning origins of the Middle Ages in reactive state formation and shifts in trade; for a distinctive view of Belgium's medieval history ; and for his model of the development of the medieval city. Pirenne argued that profound social, economic, cultural, and religious movements in the long term resulted from equally profound underlying causes, and this attitude influenced Marc Bloch and the outlook of the French Annales School of social history. Though Pirenne had his opponents, notably Alfons Dopsch  who disagreed on essential points, several recent historians of the Middle Ages have taken Pirenne's main theses, however much they are modified, as starting points.