The History of Medieval Europe

By Lynn Thorndike; James T. Shotwell | Go to book overview
Save to active project


OF the towns beyond the Alps those of southern France were on the whole older than the others, more closely connected with the Roman past and with Mediterranean trade, and also most like the Italian cities in their government. Like them they included both nobles and common people and were at first governed by consuls, of whom we begin to hear about 1120. These magistrates, usually twelve in number, were chosen annually, but seldom by the votes of all the townsmen. Sometimes they practically nominated their successors, and sometimes the bishop or feudal lord had retained a share in the town government and had a voice in their selection. Associated with these annual magistrates was a fairly large advisory council, drawn also chiefly from the patriciate of knights and wealthy burghers who had taken the lead in establishing the municipality. Sometimes, however, a larger assembly of citizens was called together. The southern towns did a deal of legislation and recorded their statutes at length, but this did not prevent them from tinkering with them at frequent intervals. The Italian influence in southern France was further shown by the fact that early in the thirteenth century the office of podestà spread from Italy to several cities of Provence.

Consular towns of southern France

The Provençals and the Catalans of ports like Montpellier and Barcelona in the Kingdom of Aragon were close seconds to the Italians in Mediterranean trade. There was a "port of the Provençals" on the southern coast of Asia Minor and they had a street in each of the Syrian ports. Marseilles traded much with northern Africa and its sailors were the first to venture straight across the Mediterranean instead of skirting the coast of Italy. Narbonne profited by the trade route be

Trade of the southern French Towns


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The History of Medieval Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 686

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?