The following year he moved to the University of Ghent, where he remained until his retirement inas professor of medieval and Belgian history. He was imprisoned by the Germans —18 for refusing to teach while they occupied Belgium. While in prison he composed from memory a history of Europe that was published after his death.
A medievalist of Walloon descent, he wrote a multivolume history of Belgium in French and became a national hero. He also became prominent in the nonviolent resistance to the Germans who occupied Belgium in World War I.
Pirenne argued that profound social, economic, cultural, and religious movements in the long term resulted from equally profound underlying causes, and this attitude influenced Marc Bloch and the outlook of the French Annales School of social history.
He became Professor of History at the University of Ghent ina post he held until the end of his teaching career in After the Great War he was the most prominent and influential historian in Belgium, receiving numerous honors and committee assignments. What is known is that Pirenne was questioned by German occupiers on 18 Marchand subsequently arrested.
The occupying army had ordered striking professors at the University of Ghent to continue teaching.
The German officer questioning Pirenne asked why he insisted on answering in French when it was known that Pirenne spoke excellent German and had done postgraduate studies at Leipzig and Berlin.
Pirenne was held in Crefeldthen in Holzmindenand finally in Jenawhere he was interned from 24 August until the end of the war. He was denied books, but he learned Russian from soldiers captured on the Eastern Front and subsequently read Russian-language histories made available to him by Russian prisoners.
At Jena, he began his history of medieval Europe, starting with the fall of Rome. He wrote completely from memory. Rather than a blow-by-blow chronology of wars, dynasties and incidents, A History of Europe presents a big-picture approach to social, political and mercantile trends.
It is remarkable not only for its historical insight, but also its objectivity, especially considering the conditions under which it was written. After the war, he reflected the widespread disillusionment in Belgium with German culture, while taking a nuanced position which allowed him to criticize German nationalism without excluding German works from the scholarly canon.
His earlier belief in the inevitable progress of humanity collapsed, so he began to accept chance or the fortuitous in history and came to acknowledge the significance of single great individuals at certain points in history.
At the conclusion of the war, Henry Pirenne stopped his work on A History of Europe in the middle of the 16th century.
He returned home and took up his life. He died at UccleBrussels in His son Jacques Pirenne, who had survived the war to become a historian in his own right, discovered the manuscript.
He edited the work by inserting dates for which his father was uncertain in parentheses. Jacques wrote a preface explaining its provenance and published it, with the English translation appearing in It stands as a monumental intellectual achievement.
Theses and works On the formation of European towns Henri Pirenne first expressed ideas on the formation of European towns in articles of ; he further developed the idea for the Pirenne Thesis while imprisoned in Germany during World War I.Henri Pirenne: Henri Pirenne, Belgian educator and scholar, one of the most eminent scholars of the Middle Ages and of Belgian national development.
The son of a prosperous industrialist, Pirenne studied for his doctorate () at the University of Liège under the medievalist Godefroid Kurth and the historian of. The author states that Pirenne's thesis, while attractive, is not effectively backed by the evidence.
I'll paraphrase the author's response: Pirenne summarizes Islam's effect by noting the disappearances from Western Europe of .
Pirenne'S Thesis in The Economic History of Europe Henri Pirenne's Thesis Concerning the Economic History of Europe in the Middle Ages References: Henri Pirenne, Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe Pirenne, Henri - MOHAMMED AND CHARLEMAGNE MOHAMMED AND CHARLEMAGNE By Henri Pirenne.
Translated . ecuu y y y y The Enduring Attraction of the Pirenne Thesis By Bonnie Effros Rereading Pirenne At the beginning of the twenty-first century, as Europeans and North Americans vigorously debate the place of Islam in the West, Henri Pirenne’s Mahomet et Charlemagne () and his explanation of the clash of civilizations that led to the end .
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