We do research on the history of European societies in the Middle Ages out of an interest in diversity: How did pre-modern capital markets function without banks? What did the world look like before the triumph of the idea of the nation state in the 19th century? How did societies organise themselves at a time when there were no universally valid definitions of national borders, national unity and national identities? How did societies function without standardised norms in language, writing, culture, currency or methods of payment?
They functioned – that is beyond question. How did they function? We do research in concrete individual studies from different regions of Europe in economy, politics and society. Currently, we are mainly working on projects on pre-modern forms of organisation in economic life.


DFG-project: small-scale credit and market participation

Explorating pre-modern credit markets through several case studies.


DFG-network: methods of economic history

For a new methodology of late medieval economic history.

History of sustainability

Exploration of living and economic forms of sustainability.

Female Economy

Women as actors on medieval financial markets.

Medieval island monasteries

International research project on island monasteries at the edges of Europe.


Exploring the transgenerational transmission of ideas, concepts, values and knowledge.

Mannheim Working Papers in Premodern Economic History

Working paper series of the working group “small-scale credit and market participation in pre-modern times”.


A new approach to the economic and social history of the Middle Ages.