The late medieval “crisis of the nobility” reconsidered: the case of Flanders

Frederik Buylaert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Recent historiography on the economic position of the later medieval nobility has seen a marked shift where the post-war paradigm of a "crisis of the nobility" is replaced with a tendency to stress the endurance of noblemen vis-à-vis the economic, political and social transformations of the fourteenth and fifteenth century. Yet, the question of how noble elites adapted to the economic changes of the later Middle Ages remains a poignant one. Based on an analysis of the Flemish nobility, this article suggests that a study of patterns of social mobility may contribute to a better understanding of that process and that a successful re-evaluation of this issue requires more attention to the pre-Plague era.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social History
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Nobility
  • Late medieval crisis
  • Medieval Flanders
  • Lordship
  • Urbanisation
  • State formation

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