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I am a teacher and I would like to do an exercise with my students concerning the urban life in the Middle Ages. I am looking for original, first-hand sources who describe urban life from the 11th century to the end of the 13th century, in central Europe (Flanders and France).

Does anyone know a source from an author who lived in the middle ages himself, describing what society in the cities was like back then?

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The broader definition of Middle Ages spans 10 centuries, answers about the 5th century will be very different from answers about the 15th. Could you please narrow this down a bit? Also, some geographical limits would be helpful. –  Yannis Rizos Oct 13 '13 at 15:04
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Barbara Wertheim Tuchman in her excellent book 'A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century' points out how hard it is to get a clear picture of ordinary life in that period. The available sources are contradictory. The period may be a little out but the lack of sources is lamentable. Life in the Stone Age is easier to reconstruct. Consider the difficulties in knowing details of life in England at the time of Shakespeare. –  ExpatEgghead Oct 13 '13 at 16:06
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We don't do reference requests, see the FAQ. Though I would suggest reading around in the sources at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… and the sources those sources cite. –  Samuel Russell Oct 13 '13 at 22:13
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I think there's a difference between asking for reference material and primary sources, @SamuelRussell. This is indeed a list-y question, but I don't think we risk ending up with a huge list of everyone's favourite book (which is what the guideline is trying to prevent). –  Yannis Rizos Oct 13 '13 at 23:19
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Have you read this WP page yet? Or just buy the Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle (two volumes), at 399 euros :) –  Eugene Seidel Oct 14 '13 at 1:32

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