Webs of Credit and Uses of Civil Justice. The Case of 15th-Century Basel
Abstract This article discusses the contribution that quantitative methods such as network analysis and spatial analysis can make to the study of late medieval credit relations. Using the example of a civil court in Basel, the so-called Schultheissengericht, questions of access to justice as well as its use, network structures and the influence of various attributes are presented. The study is based on two samples of court records in the middle and at the end of the fifteenth century. On a further level, reflections will be made on the possibilities of presenting the results of quantitative and spatial analyses. The article describes asymmetries in the access to court and in the ways defaulted credit is negotiated in court, and discusses the topographies of debt within the city of Basel and in its hinterland.
Keywords credit, network analysis, civil justice, use of justice, Basel