Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

"Et hoc facimus propter necessitatem famis..." Possibilitats de les fonts documentals catalanes per a l'estudi de les crisis alimentàries dels segles X-XIII

Pere Benito i Monclús


European studies of famines before the thirteenth century have been based principally on chronicles and especially on information from monastic annals. These sources, which are especially numerous during the so-called Carolingian Cultural Renaissance, offer abundant evidence of a phenomenon scarcely mentioned in other types of sources, including archival sources: the frequency and gravity of crises of food supply in some regions of continental Europe during the central middle ages, an epoch which, being situated between the terrible famines of the carolingian period and the great panademics of the fourteenth century, has been considered a period "without famines."
The object of this article is to shed light on the limitations of medieval catalan chronicle sources for the reconstruction of food-supply crises which affected the catalan counties in the tenth through the thirteenth centuries and illustrate, in contrast, the multiple opportunities offered by sources from the lordly archives. A significant part of these archival sources are connected in a direct and indirect manner to the difficulties of the rural and urban populations during famines and therefore, in a broad sense, can be considered a consequence of these crises.

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