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Living Conditions In Frankish Cities: Overcrowding And Pollution

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Chapter Summary

Evidence for overcrowding in some Frankish cities can be found in other contemporary sources as well as in archaeological remains. The natural tendency for thriving urban settlements was to expand up to the walls and then beyond them. The most pronounced case was Acre, which expanded well beyond its old walls and then fortified its new suburb of Montmusard; and a similar development on a smaller scale could be found in Jaffa and Nablus. In the West, deterioration of the environment caused by the growth of the urban populations and the development of medieval industries was becoming a significant problem in the Middle Ages, although nowhere near on the scale caused later by the industrial revolution. Cities were beginning to suffer from atmospheric pollution as well, and the destruction of forests had in places already changed the face of the landscape.

Keywords: atmospheric pollution; Frankish cities; overcrowding



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