The seal of burgher Simon Pötel, 1447
The seal of burgher Simon Pötel, 1447

The seal of burgher Simon Pötel – The inhabitants of Vienna 1447

One of the wealthiest burghers of Vienna in the late Middle Ages was Simon Pötel, a wholesale merchant who owned several houses in Vienna and a country estate near the city. Around the year 1450 the urban upper middle-class, to which he belonged and which consisted of merchants and craftsmen, accounted for around 8,000 of Vienna’s inhabitants.  The nobility, the clergy and members of the university together made up a group which was almost as large. A further 10,000 or so belonged to the lower social orders, including journeymen, working women, day labourers, servants, beggars and prostitutes.

 

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