Including 15 original chapters from an interdisciplinary team of contributors, this collection begins by posing the question: "What is East Central Europe?" with three specialists offering different interpretations and presenting new conclusions. The book is then grouped into five parts which examine political practice, religion, urban experience, and art and literature. The contributors question and explain the reasons for similarities and differences in governance and strategies for handling allies, enemies or subjects in particular ways. They point out themes and structures from town planning to religious orders that did not function according to political boundaries, and for which the inclusion of East Central European territories was systemic.
The volume offers a new interpretation of medieval East Central Europe, beyond its traditional limits in space and time and beyond the established conceptual schemes. It will be essential reading for students and scholars of medieval East Central Europe.
Gerhard Jaritz is Professor of Medieval Studies at the Central European University, Hungary. His previous publications include Angels, Devils: The Supernatural and its Visual Representation (2011) and Images, Ritual and Daily Life. The Medieval Perspective (2012).
Katalin Szende is Associate Professor of Medieval Studies at the Central European University, Hungary. Her previous publications include Generations in Towns: Succession and Success in Pre-Industrial Urban Societies (edited with F-E Eliassen, 2009) and Segregation – Integration – Assimilation. Religious and Ethnic Groups in the Medieval Towns of Central and Eastern Europe (edited with D Keene and B Nagy, 2009).
Medieval Networks in East Central Europeexplores the economic, cultural, and religious forms of contact between East Central Europe and the surrounding world in the eight to the fifteenth century. The sixteen chapters are grouped into four thematic parts: the first deals with the problem of the region as a zone between major power centers; the second provides case studies on the economic and cultural implications of religious ties; the third addresses the problem of trade during the state formation process in the region, and the final part looks at the inter- and intraregional trade in the Late Middle Ages.
Supported by an extensive range of images, tables, and maps, Medieval Networks in East Central Europe demonstrates and explores the huge significance and international influence that East Central Europe held during the medieval period and is essential reading for scholars and students wishing to understand the integral role that this region played within the processes of the Global Middle Ages.
Sedlar writes clearly and fluently, drawing upon publications in numerous languages to craft a masterful study that is accessible and valuable to the general reader and the expert alike. The book is organized thematically; within this framework Sedlar has sought to integrate nationalities and to draw comparisons. Topics covered include early migrations, state formation, monarchies, classes (nobles, landholders, peasants, herders, serfs, and slaves), towns, religion, war, governments, laws and justice, commerce and money, foreign affairs, ethnicity and nationalism, languages and literature, and education and literacy.
After the Middle Ages these nations were subsumed by the Ottoman, Habsburg, Russian, and Prussian-German empires. This loss of independence means that their history prior to foreign conquest has acquired exceptional importance in today�s national consciousness, and the medieval period remains a major point of reference and a source of national pride and ethnic identity. This book is a substantial and timely contribution to our knowledge of the history of East Central Europe.
Each chapter explores a different figure and together they present snapshots of life across a wide range of different social backgrounds. Among the figures are both imagined and historical characters, including the Byzantine Princess Anna Porphyrogenita, a Jewish traveller, a slave, the Mongol general Sübodei, a woman from Novgorod, and a Rus’ pilgrim. A range of different narrative styles are also used throughout the book, from omniscient third-person narrators to diary entries, letters, and travel accounts.
By using primary sources to construct the lives of, and give a voice to, the types of people who existed within medieval European history, Portraits of Medieval Eastern Europe provides a highly accessible introduction to the period. Accompanied by a new and interactive companion website, it is the perfect teaching aid to support and excite students of medieval Eastern Europe.