Objectives

The subject we are proposing is important since it seeks to provide insights into a less explored area of historical research in Romania. By shedding light on the driving mechanisms for the changes in the 16th-18th century urban world, we will gain a better understanding of political, economic, and social structures of the area in pre-modern times. The towns will also provide a basis in our attempt to explain why modernization took so long to manifest itself in the Romanian Principalities, with a tentative beginning in the 17th-18th centuries, and barely entering full swing in the 19th century. This project aims to: create an urban typology for the period into question, by identifying relevant criteria; explain the cause of the decline, or even the disappearance (in the 18th century) of certain towns with medieval origins; explain the conditions and the reasons that underlie the development of new towns and market towns, as well as the part played by the boyars, the Church, and the ruler in this process; provide an insight into urban society, social cohesion, collaboration and conflict, as well as into town demographics and migration; identify the pre-modern urban topography (princely residences, monasteries, markets, streets etc.) etc. All these will be set against the wider background of local society and Principality development, thereby seeking to provide an answer to many questions that still prevail. Since we will look into novel sources, along with the published ones, one of the aspects of this project also covers publishing some of these sources, especially where we will identify relevant cases that would interest other researchers. These will positively complement the studies published by all the team members, all throughout the project’s duration.