Ben Pope (Durham) Scouloudi Fellow

Relations between townspeople and the rural nobility in late medieval Germany

Ben Pope is currently working towards his PhD at Durham University, studying the relationships between townspeople and the rural nobility in late medieval Germany (under the supervision of Len Scales). His dissertation project uses a case study of Nuremberg in the mid-fifteenth century to investigate the extent to which urban and rural elites functioned as separate social groups and/or distinct social identities. In the first place, it seeks to understand how townspeople and nobles understood (or misunderstood) each another in relation to their varied and often turbulent political and business relationships. A better understanding of these pragmatic interactions should help us to contextualise some of the contemporary polemical and literary portrayals of nobles and townspeople, and ultimately to address the question of whether the fifteenth century saw a significant shift in the relations between the 'aristocratic' and the 'commercial' elements in German society.

Before coming to Durham, Ben studied History and German at Oxford University, and completed his MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at University College London.


Publications

‘A Fourteenth-Century Register of Freizins Rents from Erfurt (British Library, Add. MS. 24637)’, Electronic British Library Journal (2013)