I'm trying to confirn if modern Limbourgh and Liechtenstein were associated with the Hanseatic League in medieval times

I’m trying to confirn if modern Limbourgh and Liechtenstein were associated with the Hanseatic League in medieval times. I could only find associations with the Low Countries but nothing specific to indicate if the territories now occupied by Limbourgh and Liechtenstein were directly assocuated with The Hansa.

I’d be very surprised if Liechtenstein had any connection to the Hansa; it’s a long way from the Baltic and the North Sea.

Limburg is closer, but note that Limburg is a region. The Hanseatic League was a league of cities. So I think the question is, was any city in Limburg a Hanseatic city?

I think the answer is “yes”, if you’re prepared to stretch a point. Roermond and Venlo were Hanseatic cities for at least a time in the fourteenth/fifteenth centuries. At the time they were part (I think) of the Duchy of Guelders, not the nearby Duchy of Limburg, but they’re in the modern Province of Limburg.

You sure you mean Limbourg, the city in present-day Belgium that gave its name to the region? There’s a city in Northern Germany called Lüneburg which was a member of the Hanseatic League, and various spelling variants of its name exist.

As for Liechtenstein: Very doubtful. It’s not a city, it’s a small country which, even today, does not have any settlement that you’d properly call a city. Plus, the area wasn’t even named Liechtenstein at the time - it got that name only in the 18th century when the already existing aristocratic dynasty Liechtenstein bought it and lent it its name.

Thank you USD1. I was confused on the spelling. Limbourg is the town and Limburg the country. Do the French spell the country’s name as Limbourg? Perhaps that’s why I mixed them up. Anyway, thanks for confirming my hunch. I wasn’t able to pinpoint Roermond and Venlo as Hanseatic cities.So thanks again.

Thanks Schnitte for that useful background to Lüneburg and Liechtenstein.

Would it be wrong to say that most of this ‘league of cities’ were city states. I’ve seen articles claiming this but also disputing it. saying that only a small fraction were actually city-states

I’m no expert but my understanding is, yes, they were city-states, with the proviso that in the medieval period the concept of “state” was a fairly undeveloped one. Being a city with a high degree of self-government state didn’t necessarily preclude being subject to the Emperor or some other overlord. Autonomy was a matter of degree, not a simple binary.

Thanks UDS1.

Depends of how you define “city-state”, but no.

To me, none of the ones in the Empire or Ordensstaat count as city-states, as they had an outside ultimate sovereign.

But even absent that, if you’re happy to call the Imperial&Free Cities “city states”, if you look at the table I shared in that other thread, most of the League cities proper were not free cities, but in duchies or bishoprics, so had an even more immediate sovereign.

Thanks MrDibble. Is it a scholarly debate as to how to strictly define a city-state or was it clear in medieval times.Is this a scholarly debate I’ve unwittingly waded into or is there are a consensus among scholars as to what a city/ state was and wasn’t ?

It is the Grand Duchy of Lübeck. Thanks for pointing that out. Unfortunately it is rarely referred to that way and popularly known as a Free Imperial City / city-state.

I’ve never heard of a grand duchy of Lübeck. There was a prince-bishopric of that name, but it did not include the city of the same name after that city achieved imperial status. So you’d have the free city of Lübeck and the prince-bishopric of Lübeck, which contained the city of Lübeck for ecclesiastical purposes but not for political purposes. This sounds confusing, but it wasn’t unique in the HRE (I myself grew up in a small town that served as the administrative seat of a prince-bishopric named after another city that was not part of that prince-bishopric for political purposes); it’s a bit analogous to the independent cities of Virginia that are not part of the surrounding county yet serve as the county seat.

There’s definitely scholarly debate, and even in the medieval period, there were clearly varying views - you can tell by how the Imperial and Free cities eventually merged as a concept, and by the status of those cities that were ambivalent about their immediate sovereigns but weren’t Imperial&Free.

This especially kicks off with the Reformation, as some cities went in the opposite direction from their sovereign lords on turning Catholic/Protestant, or even just Lutheran vs Calvinist, and so effectively freed themselves. But that’s mostly post-medieval.

There was never any clear definition of City-State, I don’t think. So it’s up to individuals to define what they mean by it (the way I’ve made clear that I don’t think cities that fall in an Empire can call themselves such).

The other thing that’s important to note is that while we tend to think of the Hansa as a league of cities, and it definitely was, in practice it was a league of merchant’s guilds, first and foremost. So the free or not status of the city itself isn’t the only consideration, it’s also how much power the guilds wielded in those cities. This is why you can have cities that aren’t part of the League proper, fully part of another polity, yet with a strong Hansa prescence.

Thanks MrDibble. That clarifies things very well.

Thanks for pointing that out Schnitte. I saw Grand Duchy of Lübeck but it’s probably a mistake.

Hochstift or Fürstbistum for Prince-Bishopric or both?

Those two refer to the same entity - the territory ruled, for secular purposes, by the bishop of Lübeck (which is not coextensive with the diocese of Lübeck for ecclesiastical purposes, and in particular does not include the city of Lübeck itself).