Microhistory and historical anthropology:
This article seeks to define the relationship between historical anthropology and three different levels of the conception of microhistory: 1) microhistory, the heroes ofwhich are representatives ofthe lower strata of society, marginal or exceptional individuals; 2) microhistory of conflict; 3) “demographic” or „population11 microhistory. On the basis of comparison of the original methodological starting points of Italian micro-historians with the microhistorical works of the 1980s and 90s, it emphasises the experimental character of this microhistorical research, considering he issue in the context ofthe work ofhistorians who openly identified with micro-history, and looking in detail at the examples of Carlo Ginzburg a and Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie. On the other hand, with reference to study of the relations between microhistory and prosopography it shows that a whole range ofmicrohistorical approaches have deeper roots in the medievalist scholarship ofthe 1950s and 60s and that the novelty ofthe later decades consisted primarily in the posing of anthropological questions and emphasis on the sublateral strata of society, conceived not quantitatively by through exceptional individuals. The article takes a very critical view of the so-called “demographic” microhistory cultivated by the Gottingen School, and tries to show that it lacks and genetic kinship to the two other microhistorical approaches outlined and that here the only criterion of microhistoricity is the limitation ofresearch to a very small local community and its family structures.
Dějiny – Teorie – Kritika, redakce, Masarykův ústav a Archiv AV ČR, v.v.i., Gabčíkova 2362/10, 180 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic
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