Roland Viader

Common Lands and Neighbouring Communities. A Trial from 13th Century Gascony

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Medieval history, Rural history, Commons, Pastoralism, Customs, France, Gascony, Languedoc.

The conflict that broke out in 1295 between the inhabitants of Plaisance and the Templars of Laramet led to an unusually complex trial and offers an exceptional insight into the use of common lands in Gascony and Languedoc at the end of the 13th century. The theses of the lawyers and the statements of the witnesses show that the villagers could graze their animals on the common wasteland and on the common fields of their village after the harvest. But they also reveal that the inhabitants of a village could send their cattle to the fields, grasslands, moors and woods of neighbouring communities. By comparing witness statements and documentation from neighbouring villages, this article aims to show how these multiple uses were organised and controlled at a time when community organisation was still very unstable.

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