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The Rise of Medieval Towns and States in East Central Europe

Early Medieval Centres as Social and Economic Systems


Jiri Machacek

This book is a contribution to efforts to understand the transformation that took place across the European continent, and in particular East Central Europe, during the second half of the first millennium. Its goal is to draw conclusions primarily on the basis of the archaeological evidence from important early medieval centres. A special emphasis is given to Pohansko near Břeclav (Czech Republic), perhaps the best studied centre of its kind in the entire region. In terms of methodology the book marks a new attempt to interlink a number of proven methodological tools used in western archaeology from the 1970’s, to new questions related to a cognitive approach to archaeology and the positivist tradition of Central European archaeology.

Jürgen Kocka

East Central Europe 36 (2009) 12–19 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI 10.1163/187633009X411430 Comparative History: Methodology and Ethos Jürgen Kocka Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Berlin Abstract While it is necessary to distinguish between analytical


Simeon Dekker

4.1 Introduction This chapter is meant to present the theoretical and methodological prerequisites for our investigation. As was pointed out in chapter 1, the research for this study involves the use of a unique historical corpus. The major aim of this study is to shed


Maria Todorova

produced a large number of works, often of theoretical sophistication and methodological rigor, vastly surpassing the comparable produce on the East European field (broadly defined, in order of perceived importance, as studies on Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania


Tsvetelin Stepanov

This book is about Steppe Eurasia and China, Persia, Byzantium, as well as the 'Inside' and 'Outside' Other. This dual approach helps the reader to better understand the attitudes of the Steppe to both the southern sedentary empires (in this book, the 'Outside' Other) and to the women and shamans/magicians within the nomadic confederations (in this book, the 'Inside' Other), in the so-called 'Golden Age' of the Steppe Empire, e.g. between the sixth and ninth/tenth centuries.The result is a new and vivid picture of the Steppe's attitudes to 'otherness' and 'usness'. The book covers not only a long period of time, but also a vast territory, from Mongolia to the Black Sea and South-Eastern Europe. It studies many peoples and societies and their images of the 'Other', interpreted through different approaches and methodologies.

The Middle Ages between the Eastern Alps and the Northern Adriatic

Select Papers on Slovene Historiography and Medieval History


Peter Štih

The book deals with the Slovene historiography and history of the Slovene and neighbouring territories in the Middle Ages. It is the first work of its kind published in English. It thus makes the medieval history of this part of Europe and some of its fundamental problems accessible to the widest range of researchers. It contains 18 papers which comply with modern methodological approaches and current trends in historiography and it puts the validity and usefulness of these methods to the test in the case of “Slovene” material and examples. The first part of the book critically examines Slovene historiography, which largely viewed the Middle Ages from a national angle. The second part is dedicated to early medieval history, focussing on issues of Slavic ethnogeneses, society, and political structures. The third part addresses chapters from the history of the Church, the nobility, and the formation of Länder, and also discusses the famous enthronement of the Carinthian dukes.


Edited by Vladimir Tikhonov and Owen Miller

Children's Leisure Activities in Russia, 1920s-1940s
Building the Lenin Mausoleum in Snow Bricks: Organising Children's Games in Pre-War Soviet Russia

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries witnessed an upsurge of interest among Russian intellectuals in play as a psychological and pedagogical phenomenon. As the Italian psychologist Giovanni Amonio Colozza, whose treatise was translated into Russian in 1909, put it, play represented 'the free and central expression of those interior things that need to be outwardly expressed'. This view of play as central to childhood development was also influenced by the work of James Sully and G. Stanley Hall, and other members of the 'child study' or 'paidology' movement. The 'mother's diaries' and 'father's diaries' extensively published by Russians in the 1910s and early 1920s regularly noted children's games as part of their record of day-to-day development, and after the Revolution, much work on recording games was also done by the Experimental Stations of Narkompros.
This psychological or anthropological view of play was only one among various approaches, however, and after the Revolution, and particularly from 1925, it began to be vigorously challenged by an instrumental view of play as a central element in peer-group socialisation and, more particularly, in learning about future adult roles. Play was used, as methodological guides for nursery-school teachers indicate, in order to inculcate 'politically correct' attitudes. Baby dolls and fashion dolls were regarded with disapproval, because they reinforced traditional gender stereotypes and, in the second case, frivolity; dolls representing members of 'national' (i.e. ethnic) minority groups were given the stamp of approval, since they could be used to tutor children in internationalism. Children were taught new variants of familiar games, such as constructing the Lenin Mausoleum with snow bricks dyed red, rather than houses or igloos, or playing Co-operative Shop and Collective Farm Market using wooden models and building blocks. Even before the Revolution, efforts to provide children with 'rational leisure' had begun (an example was the children's summer playground run by volunteers on Petrograd Side, St Petersburg, in the 1910s); now, the Pioneer and Komsomol movement devoted huge energy to efforts to 'clean up' children's games in the streets and courtyards of cities, and also among village children. Pioneers themselves were used as a 'revolutionary avant-garde' to propagandise new kinds of game among 'unorganised children': building bird-boxes instead of robbing nests, playing 'Communists' against 'Fascists' instead of 'Cossacks and Robbers', engaging in healthy and beneficial 'active games' instead of taking part in games of chance such as 'heads or tails' or playing cards for money.
The movement for 'socialisation through play' and 'rational leisure' was documented in many hundreds of publications, both in periodicals (for example, Doshkol'noe obrazovanie [Pre-School Education], Prosveshchenie na transporte [Education in Railway Schools], Na puti k novoi shkole [On the Road to the New School], and Pedologiya), and in separate short books and brochures. The selection here, taken from materials held in the Russian State Library and in the Ushinsky Pedagogical Library in Moscow, gives a representative overview of the different trends. Our choice has been carefully considered to include books published in the provinces as well as in Moscow and Leningrad, to place heavily ideologised tracts alongside more liberal materials, and to offer a spread of material covering different age groups, from pre-schoolers to pre-teens. We have concentrated on books that contain material about the actual practices of play, as opposed to schematic recommendations, and on material that is particularly characteristic of the era. The selection runs chronologically to the late 1930s (the Second World War brought a break in attitudes to this subject, as in other areas of child care).
Many of the items included are now extremely rare - the condemnation by state decree of 'pedological perversions' in 1936 led to a purge of pedagogical literature from many libraries, and, as with other kinds of functional literature, the guides were also often used till they wore out. The material that we have gathered offers a unique insight into one of the most important and characteristic areas of socialising the young in early Soviet Russia, and a window into the mentality of the 'first Soviet generations' as well.

Professor Catriona Kelly (Oxford)


lead to misinterpretation and outright error. Some o f these difficulties in data usage and suggested methodologies are here presented, in hopes that it may lead to improved scholarship in the field o f Soviet nationality studies. Voluminous ethnic and linguistic data are presented in all o f the