Medieval Cities: Places of Freedom and Sickness

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Medieval Cities: Places of Freedom and Sickness
Medieval Cities: Places of Freedom and Sickness

City he alth risk

A city's community offered shelter and ample opportunities to earn a living. But filth and foul water were everywhere.

In a good 30 years, more than two thirds of the world's population will be living in urban areas, according to a 2014 estimate by the United Nations. This is a problematic development, not least from a medical point of view. Because close cooperation not only promotes mental illnesses, but also promotes the spread of infectious diseases.

"City air makes you free" was a saying, because citizens not only enjoyed many rights - an escaped farmer who hid in a city for a year and a day could not be reclaimed by his landlord. Henceforth they were part of a system very different from the world of nobles and peasants. The city with its walls stood out visibly from the surrounding area. Mayors, city councilors and judges were elected and markets were held. In this narrow and interconnected world, rich merchants met craftsmen, market traders and day laborers. The community ensured peace and order. For example, in the 12th century, Strasbourg decreed that peace should prevail at all times for residents and visitors alike. At the beginning of the 20th century, the sociologist Max Weber stated: The city enables strangers to live together …

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