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By W. H. Walsh

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I ndividual cities (and nation states) are easier to visualize as encompassing a variety of communities within their borders, and if, as a matter of empirical fact, a given city (or nation-state) displays a high degree of cultural homogeneity, this itself becomes something to be modeled as the result of concrete histo rical processes. We have already seen that, depending on the mixture of cen- 37 I: LAVAS AND MAGMAS tra l ized a n d decentral ized decision m a ki n g be h i n d a city's b i rth a n d growt h , we ca n expect d i fferent d egrees o f u n ifo rm ity a n d d iversity i n its i n frast r u ct u ra l l ayout.

To m a i ntai n a n d i n crease t h e i r res e rvo i rs , town s attracted a flow o f crafts m e n , as we l l as a vari ety of p ro­ fe ssio n a l s , who b ro ught wit h t h e m s k i l l s a n d p roce d u res t h at co u l d n ow be ta ught to ot h e rs or im itated , a n d h e n ce added to t h e existing stoc k . As these c u lt u ra l m ateria l s acc u m u l ated , they m ixed in va rio u s ways, fo rm­ i ng nov e l m e s hworks and h i erarc h i es. On o n e hand, the ru l i n g e l ites of m a ny towns cre ate d , betwe e n the twe lft h and the fifteenth centu ries, t h e gu i l d syste m , t h ro u g h which t hey o rga n ized all craft activity wit h i n the city.

D For i n stan ce, by the t h i rteenth ce ntu ry Lo n d o n had al ready ge ne rated a spec ial ized b u re a u cracy for h a n d l i ng t h e flow of wate r i nto t h e city ; b u t m a n age m e nt o f the flow o f waste o u t o f t h e city d i d n o t co m e a bo u t u nt i l t h e n i n etee nth centu ry, even t h o u gh t h e Engl i s h cap ita l h a d h a d recu r­ rent sewage crises si nce t h e 1370s. It was not u nt i l t h e rive r T h a m e s 's capacity to tra n s po rt waste re ached its l i m its, ca u s i n g an odor t hat m a d e p a r l i a m enta ry sess i o n s i m p ossi b l e t o co nd uct , t h at t h e p r o b l e m w a s co n ­ fro nte d .

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