Re: City Outline & Neighbourhoods - Sketch Map

From: jorganos <joe_at_...>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 08:17:58 -0000

> We have historians out there, don't we? Can someone
> remind us of the population of, say, medieval York? I
> seem to remember that by modern standards, 1500 people
> is quite a big city.

Medieval York was a large city, if I remember my sources correctly. Viking Yorvik probably had some 8000 to 15000 inhabitants within the city walls. Hedeby (a new foundation rather than a continued Roman city) had some 5000 inhabitants when it was sacked by Harald Hardrada. Hedeby also lacked most of a rural infrastructure, unlike York.

I have a list of European metropolises at home for the 12th century (admittedly a bit late for our comparison), which has a few mostly Roman cities in the high range (20,000-50,000), led by Brugge, followed by the usual suspects London, Paris, Cologne and including up and starting Hanseatic centres like Lubeck and Hamburg. There was a longer list of cities in the 10,000 range - typically seats of archbishoprics, riverine trade centres, etc.

I have numbers for Hanseatic foundations which range in the same size as Sartarite cities. Kiel for instance very quickly filled up to 3500 inhabitants and stayed there for centuries.

There are less known figures to compare for pre-Roman Celtic cities in continental Europe. The Gallic hilltop cities called Oppida which made Caesar's conquest so palatable for the Romans ranged from 3000 to almost 10,000, IIRC. A few places like Manching north of Munich might have surpassed the 10,000, but only barely.

Celtic mining towns in the Alps are estimated at 500 to 3000 inhabitants, but that's mostly Bronze Age data from Hallstadt and environs.

European history got mightily screwed up by the Roman interlude... ;)

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