Rulership in Medieval East Central Europe

Power, Ritual and Legitimacy in Bohemia, Hungary and Poland


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This book provides the first detailed overview of research on rulership in theory and practice, with a particular emphasis on the monarchies of Bohemia, Hungary and Poland in the High and Late Middle Ages. The contributions examine the legitimation of rule of the first local dynasties, the ritual practice of power, the ruling strategies and practices of power in the established monarchies, and the manifold influences on the rulership in East Central Europe from outside the region (such as from Byzantium, and the Holy Roman Empire). The collection shows that these ideas and practices enabled the new polities to become legitimate members of Latin Christendom.

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Grischa Vercamer, Ph.D. (2008, Freie Universität Berlin), habilitation (2016), is Professor at the Technical University of Chemnitz. He has published monographs, articles, and collective volumes on the High and Late Middle Ages, including Perception of Good and Bad Power/Rulers in England, Poland and the Holy Roman Empire in the 12th century in the Historiography (Harrassowitz, 2020).

Dušan Zupka, Ph.D. (2009, Comenius University in Bratislava) is Assistant Professor at that same University. He has published monographs and articles on power, rulership, and communication in medieval East Central Europe, including Ritual and Symbolic Communication in Medieval Hungary under the Árpád Dynasty, 1000–1301 (Brill, 2016).
'The recent decade has seen an increasing number of works dedicated to Medieval East Central Europe published in English. The volume under review is another example of this trend, providing a broader academic audience with regional contributions on the popular historiographical topic of rulership [...] It is my hope that this excellent contribution will further facilitate discussion about medieval rulership in East-Central Europe both in the region itself and in anglophone academic discourse.' Michal Machalski, in Historical Studies on Central Europe 2 (2022). See the full review here.
List of Figures and Maps
Notes on Contributors

PART 1: Introduction

1 Rulership in Medieval East Central Europe
Dušan Zupka

2 Rulership and Power in Western Medieval Europe (A Theoretical and Conceptual Introduction)
Grischa Vercamer

PART 2: Legitimacy and Rulership – Beginning and Development of the First Dynasties in the Early and High Middle Ages

3 After Avars: The Beginning of the Ruling Power on the Eastern Fringe of Carolingian Empire
Martin Wihoda

4 The Rulership of the Árpádian Dynasty in the 10th–13th Centuries
Márta Font

5 The Piast Rulership
Zbigniew Dalewski

PART 3: Ritual and Politics: Established Rulership in the High and Late Middle Ages

6 Political, Religious and Social Framework of Religious Warfare and Its Influences on Rulership in Medieval East Central Europe
Dušan Zupka

7 The Ritual Practice of Power in Bohemia during the 14th Century
Robert Antonín

8 Language of Power and Communication in the Piast Dynasty: Toward a Reappraisal of Polish Political Culture of the 12th–13th Century
Marcin R. Pauk

9 Assemblies in the Holy Roman Empire and the East Central European Kingdoms: A Comparative Essay on Political Participation and Representation
Julia Burkhardt

PART 4: Structures of Power in the Late Middle Ages

10 The Irruption of the Sacred into the History of Hungarian Kings in the Mirror of the Angevin “Illuminated Chronicle” (around 1358)
Vinni Lucherini

11 The Last Piasts: Legitimating Royal Rule in Fourteenth Century Poland
Paul W. Knoll

12 Royal Power and Military Administration in Angevin Hungary
Attila Bárány

13 Governance System in Poland during the 15th Century
Bożena Czwojdrak

PART 5: Influences on Rulership in East Central Europe from Outside

14 Byzantium and East Central Europe: A Brief Outline of Political and Cultural Relations
Panos Sophoulis

15 The Kingdom of Rus’: Towards a New Theoretical Model of Rulership in Medieval Europe
Christian Raffensperger

16 The “Mongol Experience” of East Central Europe in Image and Political Reality during the Later Middle Ages
Felicitas Schmieder

17 Holy Roman Empire and East Central Europe (High Middle Ages): Politics and Influences
Grischa Vercamer

18 The Holy Roman Empire and East Central Europe (Late Middle Ages): Politics and Influences
Stephan Flemmig

19 Authority without Power? Papal Rulership over East Central Europe in the Late Middle Ages
Monika Saczyńska-Vercamer

General Bibliography
Medievalists, historians, art historians and archaeologists with an interest in medieval East Central Europe, especially those interested in politics, ruling symbolism and monarchic ideology.
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