Henri Pirenne

Henri Pirenne (äNrē´ pērĕn´), 1862–1935, Belgian historian. He was for many years a professor of history at the Univ. of Ghent. A leader of Belgian passive resistance in World War I, he was held (1916–18) as a hostage by the Germans. In his History of Belgium (tr., 7 vol., 1899–1932), he showed how traditional and economic forces had drawn Flemings and Walloons together. In Mohammed and Charlemagne (tr. 1939) he attributed the collapse of late Roman–Christian civilization to the spread of Islam; this thesis raised much controversy among historians. Pirenne emphasized the historical role of the capitalist middle class, and in Medieval Cities (tr. 1925) he revolutionized accepted views by attributing the origins of medieval cities to the revival of trade. Other works include Belgian Democracy: Its Early History (tr. 1915) and Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe (tr. 1936).

See studies by A. F. Havighurst, ed. (rev. ed. 1969) and B. P. Lyon (1972).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Henri Pirenne: Selected full-text books and articles

Modern Historians and the Study of History: Essays and Papers By F. M. Powicke Odhams Press, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Henri Pirenne"
Architects and Craftsmen in History By J. C. B. Mohr Mohr, 1956
Librarian’s tip: "Henri Pirenne" by Charles Verlinden begins on p. 85
History, Historians, and the Dynamics of Change By William A. Green Praeger, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "The Commercial Model"
Mohammed and Charlemagne By Henri Pirenne W. W. Norton, 1939
FREE! Belgian Democracy: Its Early History By Henri Pirenne; J. V. Saunders University Press, 1915
The Coronation of Charlemagne: What Did It Signify? By Richard E. Sullivan D. C. Heath, 1959
Librarian’s tip: "The Coronation and the Moslems" by Henri Pirenne begins on p. 92
A History of Europe By Henri Pirenne Doubleday, vol.1, 1958
The New Monarchies and Representative Assemblies: Medieval Constitutionalism or Modern Absolutism? By Arthur J. Slavin D.C. Heath, 1964
Librarian’s tip: "The Burgundian State" by Henri Pirenne begins on p. 27
Methods in Social Science: A Case Book By Stuart A. Rice University of Chicago Press, 1931
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 24 "The Work of Henri Pirenne and Georg Von Below with Respect to the Origin of the Medieval Town"
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