Historisch adelsonderzoek over de late middeleeuwen en de vroegmoderne periode in België en Nederland: een momentopname
Historical Research into the Nobility during the Late Mediaeval and Early Modern Period in Belgium and the Netherlands: A Snapshot
This introduction to a special issue on the history of the nobility in the Netherlands and Belgium gives a ‘snap-shot’ of the subject in two different ways. On the one hand, the collected essays demonstrate the state-of-the-art in the research carried out in 2008 on the nobility, on the other, they focus on the mediaeval and early modern periods. The major themes and problems of this historiographical tradition are evoked, emerging from the study outlined in another special issue of a historical journal, the Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis of 1980, which looked at perspectives for future research. This introduction mainly examines the methods used by historians to confront inevitable questions such as: ‘What exactly is the nobility?’ and ‘How can this historical phenomenon be situated within processes and historical movements such as economic structures and conjunctures, social mobility and political centralization and decentralization?’
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