H. Pirenne's thesis has for a long time determined the orientation of the studies on the textile industries in the medieval Southern Netherlands. Since around 1950 however, historians have accumulated much new knowledge. In this article, we recapitulate their five main points. 1° the diversity of wool used in the textile production; 2° the modified notion of the 'marchand-entrepreneur' who was said to have organized and dominated totally the urban cloth industry; 3° the confirmation of the omnipresent rural industry during the Middle Ages and of its corporative aspects; 4° the re-evaluation of the activities of the urban industry during the late Middle Ages; 5° the new conception of the town/countryside relationship in the cloth industry. All these new studies permit us to underline the complementary relations between urban and rural cloth industries. The new view-point seems to be a part of a more general recent tendency freeing of students of the economic history of the Middle Ages from Pirenne's dichotomous conception town/countryside.
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