gemeente (municipality), east-central Netherlands, on the IJssel River at the west end of the Overijssel Canal. Deventer developed in the 8th century around a chapel established by St. Lebuinus. During the Middle Ages it prospered as a member of the Hanseatic League, had a monopoly of the dried-cod trade, and was noted for its five annual fairs. It became a famous medieval intellectual centre, where the saintly scholar Thomas a Kempis, the great humanist Erasmus, and Pope Adrian VI studied. In the 14th century, Gerhard Groote founded his religious movement, the Brethren of the Common Life, in Deventer. The town was the most important Dutch printing centre about 1500.
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