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Middle Ages

What was the most important activity in a medieval town?

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March 04, 2012 4:49AM

The main difference between a medieval town and a medieval village was the focus of the economy. Trade and the practice of crafts were the focus of a medieval town. Towns typically had one or more permanent markets, usually with regular market days. Villages, on the other hand, focused on agriculture and had only a few craftsmen, such as a blacksmith and a carpenter. Towns were net importers of foodstuffs, an villages were net exporters of foodstuffs and other agricultural products.

Population size is not necessarily a good benchmark to differentiate town from village. Although a few towns grew to considerable size and became outright cities, the typical town in the middle ages was quite small. The smallest towns were smaller than the largest of the villages.