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S’Villanorvm de Malmøghae. Landskap, urbanitet, aktörer och Malmö

Thomasson, Joakim LU (2008) In De første 200 årene. Nytt blikk på 27 skandinaviske middelalderbyer Universitetet i Bergen Arkeologiske Skrifter 5. p.277-302
Abstract
The title of the article: S’Villanorum de Malmøghae, refers to an inscription on a seal from a letter written in the year of 1350, sent by the council of Malmö to their colleagues in Rostock. The motif depicts a Romanesque church flanked by the moon and a star, and the inscription states that the letter was sent on behalf of the burghers of Malmö. The seal reveals a message that Malmö should be recognised as a peaceful place inhabited by trustworthy people. The seal also forms a point of departure discussing the motley road toward medieval towns in general and the town of Malmö in particular.



During the late Iron Age (500–1050 AD) non-agrarian resources were mainly scattered within three different environments.... (More)
The title of the article: S’Villanorum de Malmøghae, refers to an inscription on a seal from a letter written in the year of 1350, sent by the council of Malmö to their colleagues in Rostock. The motif depicts a Romanesque church flanked by the moon and a star, and the inscription states that the letter was sent on behalf of the burghers of Malmö. The seal reveals a message that Malmö should be recognised as a peaceful place inhabited by trustworthy people. The seal also forms a point of departure discussing the motley road toward medieval towns in general and the town of Malmö in particular.



During the late Iron Age (500–1050 AD) non-agrarian resources were mainly scattered within three different environments. Aristocratic estates were the principal concentrations of administrative, military and economic functions (both agrarian and non agrarian production). There were some ideological (i.e. cultic) ceremonies tied to the governing and lifestyle of a magnate. Access to the estates was restricted to the family and invited persons. Ceremonial places, such as grave fields and thing-places, were the main arenas and holders of ideological and legal functions of fixed political entities, as legal acts and cult were closely interwoven. Thirdly, along the coastlines there were concentrations of non-agrarian economic functions, such as market places, places of production of prestige artefacts, together with facilities, in order to extract marine resources. Most of these places hosted temporary or seasonal activities on topographically demarcated positions for a widely defined hinterland and anonymous visitors and merchants. There seems to have been a firm spatial divide towards the agrarian settlements, which were situated in the inland.



The first activities on the topographically well defined area that was to be the town of Malmö are diffuse and difficult to date and interpret. Most probably they refer to seasonal activities connected to extraction of marine resources, undertaken by locals, most probably living in the nearby agrarian settlement of Övre (eng: upper) Malmö, during the 11th and beginning of the 12th centuries. At the end of the 12th and the following 13th century a myriad of clay-dressed pits were constructed along the coastline, representing a practical way of handling fish catches, and symbolic demarcations of proper ways of dealing with the fish as trading goods. From the later part of the 13th century onwards, several of the well known features of a medieval town were constructed. A permanent settlement situated on successively added plots and blocks, paved streets, a new town church and maybe a castle, situated in a more defined spatial framework characterised the place. Those who lived in the town were artisans, landed nobility, and foreign merchants as well as representatives of the king and the church.



Simultaneously with the development of Malmö as a town, a large proportion of the great aristocratic estates were dispersed into smaller agrarian units held by emancipated leaseholders, organised in villages. The forces behind the development were tension between farmers and the nobility, and a huge population growth. In this new landscape towns became central institutions to the maintenance of the rural economy. They were not only centres for smaller commodity production, supplying both peasants and lords with everyday artefacts, but also markets functioning as centres for the distribution of agrarian surplus. For the agrarian population, towns also served as a solution to problems concerning shortage of available land and dependence upon feudal lords.

The changing activities in Malmö are interpreted as structured by both reflexive individual and collective actions and structural circumstances. The structural settings connected to the traditional rights of use in relation to the coastline, are seen as the principal starting point in dealing with non-agrarian economical functions. Gradually, when the marine resources became vital and desirable goods, some of the coast places became increasingly important for trading networks (the Hanseatic League), the nobility, and the king. It was, however, probably the change from seasonal activities to permanent settlement which challenged the symbolical ordering of the non-agrarian recourses. Settlements were connected to different sets of rules, not only tied together with trade and elaborated crafts production. Due to these circumstances the population could gain legal independence, since the places for non-agrarian activities still were enclaves in the landscape. At the same time, the king could exercise different kinds of dominion, both connected to him as the principal maintainer of law and order over a fixed population and according to the regal rights. But it is not only the symbolical meaning of the town seal that states that the inhabitants acted in order to be recognised as burghers and the place as a town. Even more important were the investments in the town’s appearance: i.e. well defined public and private spatial structures and architecture. The new huge gothic cathedral, erected in brick in the beginning of the 14th century, signalised that Malmö belonged to an exclusive group of Baltic coastal places. (Less)
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De første 200 årene. Nytt blikk på 27 skandinaviske middelalderbyer
editor
Hans, Andersson; Gitte, Hansen; Ingvild, Øye; ; and
volume
Universitetet i Bergen Arkeologiske Skrifter 5
pages
277 - 302
publisher
UBAS Nordisk
ISSN
0809-6058
ISBN
978-82-90273-85-4
language
Swedish
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yes
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702ae6ab-d28d-43dd-994c-1027d0c1b41d (old id 2341665)
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2012-02-13 08:14:18
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2016-04-16 00:29:31
@inbook{702ae6ab-d28d-43dd-994c-1027d0c1b41d,
  abstract     = {The title of the article: S’Villanorum de Malmøghae, refers to an inscription on a seal from a letter written in the year of 1350, sent by the council of Malmö to their colleagues in Rostock. The motif depicts a Romanesque church flanked by the moon and a star, and the inscription states that the letter was sent on behalf of the burghers of Malmö. The seal reveals a message that Malmö should be recognised as a peaceful place inhabited by trustworthy people. The seal also forms a point of departure discussing the motley road toward medieval towns in general and the town of Malmö in particular.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
During the late Iron Age (500–1050 AD) non-agrarian resources were mainly scattered within three different environments. Aristocratic estates were the principal concentrations of administrative, military and economic functions (both agrarian and non agrarian production). There were some ideological (i.e. cultic) ceremonies tied to the governing and lifestyle of a magnate. Access to the estates was restricted to the family and invited persons. Ceremonial places, such as grave fields and thing-places, were the main arenas and holders of ideological and legal functions of fixed political entities, as legal acts and cult were closely interwoven. Thirdly, along the coastlines there were concentrations of non-agrarian economic functions, such as market places, places of production of prestige artefacts, together with facilities, in order to extract marine resources. Most of these places hosted temporary or seasonal activities on topographically demarcated positions for a widely defined hinterland and anonymous visitors and merchants. There seems to have been a firm spatial divide towards the agrarian settlements, which were situated in the inland.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The first activities on the topographically well defined area that was to be the town of Malmö are diffuse and difficult to date and interpret. Most probably they refer to seasonal activities connected to extraction of marine resources, undertaken by locals, most probably living in the nearby agrarian settlement of Övre (eng: upper) Malmö, during the 11th and beginning of the 12th centuries. At the end of the 12th and the following 13th century a myriad of clay-dressed pits were constructed along the coastline, representing a practical way of handling fish catches, and symbolic demarcations of proper ways of dealing with the fish as trading goods. From the later part of the 13th century onwards, several of the well known features of a medieval town were constructed. A permanent settlement situated on successively added plots and blocks, paved streets, a new town church and maybe a castle, situated in a more defined spatial framework characterised the place. Those who lived in the town were artisans, landed nobility, and foreign merchants as well as representatives of the king and the church.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Simultaneously with the development of Malmö as a town, a large proportion of the great aristocratic estates were dispersed into smaller agrarian units held by emancipated leaseholders, organised in villages. The forces behind the development were tension between farmers and the nobility, and a huge population growth. In this new landscape towns became central institutions to the maintenance of the rural economy. They were not only centres for smaller commodity production, supplying both peasants and lords with everyday artefacts, but also markets functioning as centres for the distribution of agrarian surplus. For the agrarian population, towns also served as a solution to problems concerning shortage of available land and dependence upon feudal lords.<br/><br>
The changing activities in Malmö are interpreted as structured by both reflexive individual and collective actions and structural circumstances. The structural settings connected to the traditional rights of use in relation to the coastline, are seen as the principal starting point in dealing with non-agrarian economical functions. Gradually, when the marine resources became vital and desirable goods, some of the coast places became increasingly important for trading networks (the Hanseatic League), the nobility, and the king. It was, however, probably the change from seasonal activities to permanent settlement which challenged the symbolical ordering of the non-agrarian recourses. Settlements were connected to different sets of rules, not only tied together with trade and elaborated crafts production. Due to these circumstances the population could gain legal independence, since the places for non-agrarian activities still were enclaves in the landscape. At the same time, the king could exercise different kinds of dominion, both connected to him as the principal maintainer of law and order over a fixed population and according to the regal rights. But it is not only the symbolical meaning of the town seal that states that the inhabitants acted in order to be recognised as burghers and the place as a town. Even more important were the investments in the town’s appearance: i.e. well defined public and private spatial structures and architecture. The new huge gothic cathedral, erected in brick in the beginning of the 14th century, signalised that Malmö belonged to an exclusive group of Baltic coastal places.},
  author       = {Thomasson, Joakim},
  editor       = {Hans, Andersson and Gitte, Hansen and Ingvild, Øye},
  isbn         = {978-82-90273-85-4},
  issn         = {0809-6058},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {277--302},
  publisher    = {UBAS Nordisk},
  series       = {De første 200 årene. Nytt blikk på 27 skandinaviske middelalderbyer},
  title        = {S’Villanorvm de Malmøghae. Landskap, urbanitet, aktörer och Malmö},
  volume       = {Universitetet i Bergen Arkeologiske Skrifter 5},
  year         = {2008},
}