Imagined Communities: Constructing Collective Identities in Medieval Europe


Imagined Communities: Constructing Collective Identities in Medieval Europe offers a series of studies focusing on the problems of conceptualisation of social group identities, including national, royal, aristocratic, regional, urban, religious, and gendered communities. The geographical focus of the case studies presented in this volume range from Wales and Scotland, to Hungary and Ruthenia, while both narrative and other types of evidence, such as legal texts, are drawn upon. What emerges is how the characteristics and aspirations of communities are exemplified and legitimised through the presentation of the past and an imagined picture of present. By means of its multiple perspectives, this volume offers significant insight into the medieval dynamics of collective mentality and group consciousness.
Contributors are Dániel Bagi, Mariusz Bartnicki, Zbigniew Dalewski, Georg Jostkleigrewe, Bartosz Klusek, Paweł Kras, Wojciech Michalski, Martin Nodl, Andrzej Pleszczyński, Euryn Rhys Roberts, Stanisław Rosik, Joanna Sobiesiak, Karol Szejgiec, Michał Tomaszek, Tomasz Tarczyński, Przemysław Tyszka, Tatiana Vilkul, and Przemysław Wiszewski.

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Andrzej Pleszczyński, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland, is Professor of Medieval European History. He has published monographs and articles on Polish-Czech-German relations, including The Birth of a Stereotype. Polish Rulers and their Country in German Writings c. 1000 A.D. (Brill, 2011).
Joanna Sobiesiak, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland, is Professor of Medieval Studies, focusing on the history of Bohemia from the 10th to 12th centuries.
Michał Tomaszek, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland is a historian of the Middle Ages focusing on history-writing in the context of Benedictine abbeys.
Przemysław Tyszka, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland, is an early medieval historian. His publications include The Human Body in Barbarian Laws, c, 500 – c. 800. Corpus Hominis as a Cultural Category (Peter Lang, 2014).
"The volume’s greatest strength is that it shows a multitude of detailed views on the idea of community, providing a broad overview of medieval sources, created at different times and in different socio-cultural contexts". Tomasz Pełech, Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association, Vol. 16.

List of Figures and Map
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction

Part 1: Dynasty and Power

2 Genealogical Fictions and Chronicle Writing in Central East Europe in the 11th–13th Centuries
Dániel Bagi
3 Strategies of Creating Dynastic Identity in Central Europe in the 10th-12th Centuries
Zbigniew Dalewski
4 ‘Rex imperator in regno suo’ – An Ideology of Frenchness? Late Medieval France, Its Political Elite and Juridical Discourse
Georg Jostkleigrewe

Part 2: Spirituality

5 The King and the Saint against the Scots. The Shaping of English National Identity in the 12th Century Narrative of King Athelstan’s Victory over His Northern Neighbours
Tomasz Tarczyński
6 Objects, Places, and Space in the Process of Constructing Monastic Identities: A Few Examples from the 10th, 11th and 12th Centuries
Michał Tomaszek

Part 3: Social Condition and Gender

7 The Law as an Element Organizing and Identifying a Community in the Narratives of the Origins of the Kingdoms of Britain, (Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Brittaniae, John of Fordun, Chronica Gentis Scottorum)
Bartosz Klusek
8 Creating the Past and Shaping Identity – Angevin Dynastic Legend (‘Gesta consulum Andegavorum’)
Karol Szejgiec
9 Creating Knightly Identities? Scottish Lords and Their Leaders in the Narratives about Great Moments in Community History (between John Barbour’s The Bruce and Blind Hary’s Wallace)
Wojciech Michalski
10 People and Boyars in the Old Russian Chronicles of the 11th-13th Centuries: Narrative Modelling of Social Identities
Tatiana Vilkul
11 The Identity of Self-Governing Groups (Guilds and Communes) in the Middle Ages and Their Collective Identity
Andrzej Pleszczyński
12 The Conceptualisation of Men and Women by the Authors of Penitentials
Przemysław Tyszka

Part 4: Region

13 A Surfeit of Identity? Regional Solidarities, Welsh Identity and the Idea of Britain
Euryn Rhys Roberts
14 Region as a Fluid Social Construct in Medieval Central Europe (11th-15th C.)
Przemysław Wiszewski
15 The Shaping of Post-barbarian Identity: The Example of Pomerania in the 11th-12th Century
Stanisław Rosik

Part 5: We and the Others

16 Kievan and Galician-Volodimir Chronicles in the 12th and 13th Centuries: The Ruthenian Ethnos and Foreign People
Mariusz Bartnicki
17 Czechs and Germans; Nationals and Foreigners in the Work of Czech Chroniclers: From Cosmas of Prague (12th Century) to the Chronicle of the So-called Dalimil (14th century)
Joanna Sobiesiak
18 Corporative Interests Versus Nationalism. Prague University at the Turn of the 15th Century
Martin Nodl
19 The Imagined Communities of Heretics: Constructing the Identity of the Religious Enemy in the Late Middle Ages
Paweł Kras


All interested in the history of medieval mentality, community, and group formation and identity.
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