Covering areas in today’s Ukraine, Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Slovakia, this book studies the impact of both natural and human-inflicted disasters on pre-modern towns.
Various kinds of catastrophes, starting with major natural disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes, and epidemics caused high population mortality. Others, such as protracted war conflicts, were caused by human activity and could be just as, if not more, destructive for cities, their populations and the urban economy. Crises affected not only the population as a whole, but also townsmen and women in their individual lives. Case studies of renewal and resilience in the volume illustrate that, in many cases, successfully overcoming disaster brought positive changes for urban people. The collection presents analytical research anchored in the contemporary historiographical discourse on studying social and cultural relations in urban environments in the Middle Ages and early modern period, and it incorporates interdisciplinary approaches in the forms of geography, archaeology, and literary theory.
This volume is an engaging resource for students and researchers of pre-modern history, social history, and disaster studies.