The Ennobled Urbanites and the Urban Nobility: Fading Social Boundaries in Late Medieval Antwerp

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


Traditionally, scholars have analysed rural and urban elites as if it concerned two different worlds. Yet, recent scholarship has highlighted that the demarcation lines between the rural-oriented noblemen on the one hand and the urbanites on the other became increasingly blurred. For Flanders and Brabant, scholarly consensus holds that the urban elites were eager to obtain real estate in the countryside and some members even pursued a noble lifestyle, e.g. by obtaining seigniorial lordships. Inversely, the rural elites became increasingly involved in urban politics and depended on the urban consumption centres to display their elite status. In this session, this evolution is analysed in more detail by focussing on the encounters between urbanites and noblemen in the County of Flanders and the Duchy of Brabant as well as by comparing the Flemish and Brabantine experience with Upper Germany and other European regions (e.g. France, Holland, Italy…).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2017
EventInternational Medieval Congress 2017 - University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jul 20176 Jul 2017


ConferenceInternational Medieval Congress 2017
Abbreviated titleIMC 2017
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Nobility
  • Urban elites
  • Antwerp
  • Lordships
  • Knights

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