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.


A Manuscript from the Middle ages
DFG-project: small-scale credit and market participation

Explorating pre-modern credit markets through several case studies.

Text excerpt from a latin manuscript of the middle ages.
DFG-network: methods of economic history

For a new methodology of late medieval economic history.

A medieval depiction of a cobbler working in his market stall.
History of sustainability

Exploration of living and economic forms of sustainability.

Accounting book from the middle ages, that records food purchases for each day.
Female Economy

Women as actors on medieval financial markets.

Sigil of a monastery.
Medieval island monasteries

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

Horse riders on the right, a cleric with a cross and someone sitting on a throne to the right.

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

Headline: MWPPEH, benath it: Mannheim Working Papers in Premodern Economic History.
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.