Adriaan Verhulst

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Adriaan Verhulst (born November 9, 1929 in Ghent , † November 17, 2002 in Antwerp ) was a Belgian historian .


Verhulst attended the Athenaeum in Ghent and then studied law at the University of Ghent , but then switched to history under his teachers François Louis Ganshof and Hans Van Werveke . In 1952 he received his degree in history with honors. In 1953 he became chairman of the Flemish History Circle (Vlaamse Geschiedkundige Kring). In 1956 he received his doctorate at Ganshof on the Saint Bavo Abbey in Ghent and its property from the 7th to 14th centuries. The dissertation of over 700 pages was also a study of medieval agricultural society, which already showed his interdisciplinary approach to historical research (in which he later included archeology, climate research, research on marine transgression, soil science, among other things). His dissertation also developed his thesis, which deviated from the traditional point of view, about the origin of large domains in the Carolingian era, which he presented at the Early Medieval Congress in Spoleto in 1965. According to Verhulst, the domains (large estates managed by slaves) did not develop until the 7th to 8th centuries in northern France and from then on spread slowly and in a different form in Western Europe.

After completing his doctorate, he became Van Werveke's assistant and soon afterwards a lecturer. 1955 followed by postgraduate studies in medieval source studies with G. Lieftinck. Later he was co-editor of documents from the Counts of Flanders Dietrich von Alsace and his son Philip I (12th century, with Thérèse de Hemptinne) at the Royal Historical Commission of Belgium. In 1965 he became a professor in Ghent. In 1995 he retired. From 1983 he was also a part-time lecturer in economic history of the Middle Ages at the Free University of Brussels.

He carried out fundamental studies, among other things, on the agricultural history of the Carolingian era, the historical geography of Flanders and the medieval history of the city, particularly of Bruges. From 1974 to 1984 he was first Vice-President and then President of the Royal Historical Commission in Belgium.

He was active in the Flemish movement on the free-thinking (liberal) side. From 1965 to 1984 he was chairman of the Willemsfonds. He was active on the Flemish side in the adoption of the Culture Pact (Cultuurpact) in 1971 for cultural autonomy rights in Belgium and was active against the Egmont Pact of 1977, which failed to materialize, which should bring Belgium onto the path of a federal state of ethnic groups.

From 1969 to 1988 he was chairman of the board of directors of the state broadcaster BRT (later VRT ). He was a corresponding member of the Royal Belgian Academy of Sciences. Erik Thoen and Frans Verhaeghe were among his students .


  • The Carolingian Economy, Cambridge University Press 2002
  • Trade in the Merovingian Empire, overall presentation based on written sources, Studia historica Gandensia, 125, 1970
  • Het landschap in Vlaanderen in historically perspectief, Antwerp 1965
    • Revised new edition: Landschap en landbouw in middeleeuws Vlaanderen, Brussels 1995
    • French edition: Histoire du paysage rural en Flandre de l'epoque romaine au xviiie siècle, Brussels 1966
  • Manorial aspects in the emergence of the cities of Flanders, in Economie rurale et Economie urbaine au Moyen Âge , 1994, pp. 157–164
  • Economic Organization, in The New Cambridge Medieval History, Volume 2, 1995, pp. 481-509
  • Les origines et l'histoire ancienne de la ville de Bruges (IXe-XIIe siècle), Le Moyen Age, Volume 66, 1960, pp. 37-63
  • Précis d'histoire rurale de la Belgique, Edition Université Bruxelles 1990
  • with Bryce Lyon: Medieval finance. A comparison of financial institutions in Northwestern Europe, Bruges 1967, Providence / Rhode Island 1968
  • The rise of cities in north-west Europe, Cambridge University Press 1999
  • Rural and urban aspects of early medieval northwest Europe, Aldershot 1992
  • Editor: Beginnings of urban development on the Schelde, Meuse and Rhine up to the year 1000, Städtforschung A 40, Cologne 1996


  • Walter Prevenier, Erik Thoen The scholarly career of professor Adriaan Verhulst. In: Jean-Marie Duvosquel, Erik Thoen (eds.), Peasants & Townsmen in Medieval Europe , Studia in honorem Adriaan Verhulst, Gent, 1995, pp. 15–30 (list of publications pp. 31–48)
  • Marc Ryckaert In memoriam Adriaan Verhulst (1929-2002). In: Handelingen van het Genootschap voor Geschiedenis te Brugge , Volume 139, 2002, pp. 319–322.
  • Erik Thoen Adriaan Verhulst (1929–2002) en de Gentse historical school. Een subjectieve visie op een groot historicus , in: Handelingen der Maatschappij voor Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde te Gent , Neue Reihe, Volume 60, 2006, pp. 31–47
  • Dietrich Lohrmann : In memoriam Adriaan Verhulst (1929–2002). In: Francia 30/1, 2003, pp. 247-248 ( online ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ De Sint-Baafsabdij te Gent en Haar grondbezit (7e - 14e eeuw) Bijdrage tot de kennis van de structuur en de uitbating van het grootgrondbezit in Vlaanderen tijdens de middeleeuwen , Verhandelingen van de Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten, Volume 30, Brussels 1958
  2. La genèse du régime domanial classique en France au haut moyen age , Spoleto, Settimane di Studio XIII, pp. 135–160
  3. ^ Jan Dhondt The Early Middle Ages , Fischer Weltgeschichte, 1968, p. 324.