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Christopher Schmidberger

Geschlechtergesellschaften (patrician societies) in the upper-rhine valley. Formation and bonding of groups from the 14th to the 16th century with a main focus on the cities of Freiburg and Colmar

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Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Thomas Zotz

Tutor: Prof. Dr. Ronald G. Asch

This graduation project researches patrician societies (Geschlechtergesell-schaften/Trinkstubengesellschaften) from the 14th to the 16th century. The analysis is guided by two general questions: On the one hand the question of the personal composition of the “Geschlechtergesellschaften” and on the other hand the question of their social function in the urban context.
The research on societies’ personal structure aims on the cognition of the cohesive forces, which bind the members to one another. For this purpose it is necessary to identify the various states of kinship within the groups, although this alone does not sufficiently explain the complex cross-links inside the patrician societies. Therefore, besides the prosopographic analysis, the aspect of friendship is to be considered in order to gain a more precise image of the different relationships and personal dependencies of the “Trinkstubengesellschaften”.
Another aim of the project is to illustrate the social function of the “Geschlechtergesellschaften” within urban society. Their ways of representation in the urban community, which are expressed by different rituals and their influence on the urban politics will be one focus of interest. Also the problematic and profitable relationship between the “Geschlechtergesellschaften” and the cities’ overlords (Stadtherren)will be examined.
The identification of the societies’ inner structure, in consideration of kinship and friendship, helps to clarify the horizontal ties between the members of the “Trinkstubengesellschaften”. At the same time the analysis of the social functions allows to define the profile of the “Geschlechtergesellschaften” in comparison to other urban group and to describe them as indi-vidual and recognizable institutions within the urban community with a vertical connection to a superior lordship.
The graduation project researches the “Trinkstubengesellschaften” of Freiburg and Colmar, because these groups have developed in completely different ways between the 14th to the 16th century. A comparison between the societies of Freiburg and Colmar can provide useful percep-tions in how far the groupings differed in their personal dependencies and social compositions. The expected varieties and similarities will be a useful contribution to explain the ways of for-mation and bonding of groups in the cities of the late middle-ages, especially in consideration of social constituents like kinship, friendship and patronage. The additional comparison to “Trinkstubengesellschaften” of other cities, like Straßburg, Konstanz, Schlettstadt and Basel will help to establish a general historical context.

  • Postadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    c/o Historisches Seminar
    Rempartstr. 15 - KG IV
    79085 Freiburg 
  • Besuchsadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    Erbprinzenstraße 13
    79098 Freiburg
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