Slavs in the Middle Ages between Idea and Reality


The book presents a new history of the Slavs during the Middle Ages. Based on in-depth source analysis, it describes on the one hand the ‘factual’ historical structures that can be discerned behind the phenomenon of ‘the Slavs’ – from the ‘early Slavic’ population groups and their first formations of power in the 7th to 9th centuries, through the Slavic-speaking realms and nationes of the 10th to 12th centuries, to the late medieval societies of the 13th to 15th centuries. On the other hand, it analyzes external Byzantine, Latin and Arabic perceptions, as well as ‘Slavic’ self-imagery, with which the Slavs have been conceptualized or imagined as a cultural construct since the 6th century. Mühle further demonstrates that these images were already being instrumentalized for historical-political purposes in various contexts and for different purposes in the Middle Ages.

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Eduard Mühle, Ph.D., (1990), Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, is Professor of East Central and Eastern European History at the University of Münster. He has published widely on medieval and modern History.

1 Prologue: The Making of Slavs in Modern Times
 1 The Western Discovery of the Slavs between Baroque and Romanticism
 2 Ideas of Slavic Community and Modern “Nation-Building”
 3 Slavic Unity and German Anti-Slavism
 4 The Slavic Idea in Eastern Europe between Stalinism and the European Union

2 Questions and Methodology

3 The Discovery of the Slavs in the Early Middle Ages
 1 Slavic Warriors and Settlers in Byzantium
 2 Slavic gentes in the Eyes of Latin Europe
 3 Slavs in the Distant Oriental View

4 Early Slavic Realities
 1 Archaeology and Early Slavic Culture
 2 Open Settlements
 3 Living Houses
 4 Subsistence Economy
 5 Practices of Cult and Religion
 6 Local Communities
 7 Leaders and War-Bands
 8 Strongholds and Trading Places

5 Early Slavic Power Structures (regna)
 1 The Khanate of the Proto-Bulgars
 2 Small Principalities in the Western Balkans
 3 Carinthia
 4 Old Moravia

6 The Slavs in the Process of Medieval ‘State-Formation’ and ‘Nation-Building’
 1 Bulgaria
 2 Bohemia
 3 Croatia
 4 Kievan Rus’
 5 Poland
 6 Serbia

7 Incomplete Processes of “State-Formation” and “Nation-Building”
 1 Polabian Slavs
 2 Pomerania
 3 Slavs in the Balkans

8 Slavs Perceived by Non-Slavs through the Middle Ages
 1 The Byzantine Perception
 2 The Oriental Perception
 3 The Latin-European Perception

9 Ideas of Slavic Unity in the Late Middle Ages
 1 Bohemia
 2 Poland
 3 Pomerania and Mecklenburg
 4 South-Eastern Europe
 5 Kievan Rus’ and Muscovy

10 Epilogue: The Making of the Slavs in the Middle Ages
University and Research Institutes as well as individual scholars of History, Archaeology, Medieval Studies, Slavic Studies, Byzantine Studies, Linguistics; University Libraries; Public Libraries; students.
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