A battlefield of different interests? Urban regulations from late medieval Southern Germany and Switzerland to maintain the water of the rivers clean

Rohr, Christian (6 July 2017). A battlefield of different interests? Urban regulations from late medieval Southern Germany and Switzerland to maintain the water of the rivers clean (Unpublished). In: International Medieval Congress 2017. Leeds. 03.07.2017-06.07.2017.

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Relatively clean water had been one of the most important things for health in the Middle Ages, and in urban areas in particular. However, regulations from the 14th and 15th centuries let us assume, that the use and the pollution of urban rivers had been a battlefield of different interest. Many crafts like tanners or butchers used the water daily and spoiled it, whereas launderers needed clear water. Mills were in many cases damaged by rubbish thrown into the river, such as bones from the butchers’ huts situated on the bridges close to the town gates. Health issues also played a role for regulating the pollution of urban rivers. Although drinking water was normally taken from wells and not from the river itself, dirty rivers had a relevant influence on the overall hygienic situation of a city. The paper will examine those different needs related to urban rivers by looking through regulations from cities in Southern Germany (including Alsace in present-day France) and Switzerland, such as Nuremberg, Strasbourg and Basel, which have been preserved from the late 13th century onwards.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Economic, Social and Environmental History

UniBE Contributor:

Rohr, Christian

Subjects:

900 History
900 History > 940 History of Europe

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christian Rohr

Date Deposited:

08 Nov 2017 13:35

Last Modified:

08 Nov 2017 13:35

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/101840

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