Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. James R. Palmitessa

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert F. Berkhofer

Third Advisor

Dr. James M. Murray

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Piotr S. Górecki


Public houses, inns, taverns and ale houses, violence, Cracow Poland, Jagiellonian Dynasty, sociability


Public houses—inns, taverns, and alehouses—during the Jagiellonian Dynasty (1385-1572) in the city of Cracow and its immediate surroundings functioned as important establishments in the everyday life of the city. While the city continued to grow and prosper as the preferred residence of the dynasty, inhabitants, travelers, and migrants increasingly relied on the public houses of the conurbation to meet their many needs and desires. Although scholars have studied these establishments throughout Europe during various epochs, they have neglected to analyze the public houses in Cracow during the Jagiellonian era.

This study provides a comprehensive examination of a multitude of sources, including records of court cases, municipal accounting, building inspections, royal decrees, tax accounts, university litigation, personal correspondence, and literary sources, to reconstruct qualitatively and quantitatively the public houses of the city. This reconstruction reveals public houses' role in the history of the city, their locations, edifices, related activities, and people, including publicans, clients, and others. The study places the establishments of Cracow at the center of a deeply debated topic about the extent and types of violence in public houses, which further addresses their many functions. Contrary to what has been suggested by some of the contemporary accounts and some current secondary literature, the establishments were fundamental to the everyday life of the city and they were not centers of nefarious acts.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access