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  Wednesday, January 14, 2009 9.30-12.15

Job Search: Senior Lecturer Position in Medieval and Early Modern East European History

Gellner Room, Monument Building


Nora Berend, Norbert Kersken, Mark Munzinger, Daniel Ziemann


9:30 – 10:00
Nora Berend
Defenders of Christendom: Hungary and Iberia in the Middle Ages

In the thirteenth century, the argument that the area was defending Christendom against attacks by enemies of the faith appeared in both Hungary and Iberia. My paper will analyse the birth and development of this ideology and draw out the parallels and differences between the two regions. Crusading and the rhetoric of crusade was present in both areas, but played a very different role. Royal rhetoric and the purpose of such an ideology focusing on defence, however, was very similar.

10:00 – 10:30
Norbert Kersken
Places of Remembrance in Pre-modern East Central Europe

The concept of places of remembrance, emerged in French historiography (M. Halbwachs 1939, P. Nora 1984), developed a considerable attractivity in recent historical discourses. The lecture firstly aims at presenting reflections applying this concept not to a national or regional level but to a historical transboundary region, East Central Europe and secondly asks for the specifications of this concept applied not to the memorial culture of the 19/20th centuries but to phenomena of pre-modern times.

10:30 – 10:45
Coffee Break

10:45 – 11:15
Mark Munzinger
Ius Teutonicum and the Ius commune in Late Medieval Poland: Legal Actors at the High Court of Magdeburg Law at the Castle of Kraków in the Fifteenth Century

An examination of the operation of the High Court of Magdeburg Law at the Castle of Kraków during the later Middle Ages provides the opportunity to investigate the phenomenon of legal reception, the adoption and adaptation of alien laws. In this particular case, a royal Polish court established to administer justice according to the substantive norms of "German law" also drew on the esoteric norms and procedures of the learned law (ius commune) developed at the universities and in the practice of ecclesiastical courts. The lecture will briefly discuss the spread of German customary law east of the Elbe River during the High Middle Ages, the fourteenth-century foundation of the above-mentioned court by Kazimierz (III) the Great, and the development of the learned law of the ius commune between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Discussion then focuses on the structure of the high court at Kraków and the roles played by its personnel and those who pled cases before it in order to illustrate something of the blending of various legal traditions within the German law jurisdiction of southern Poland (Ma³opolska). The presentation concludes with observations on the nuances and implications of legal reception as part of the general development of medieval Central Europe.

11:15 – 11:45
Daniel Ziemann
Plans and visions in the 14th century - The Descriptio Europae Orientalis

The Descriptio Europae Orientalis from the beginning of the 14th century is a highly interesting work that was most likely written for Charles of Valois in connection with his plans to reestablish the Latin Empire of Constantinople. It represents a geographical and political description of South-Eastern Europe and argues in favor of an alliance between Charles of Valois and Charles I. of Hungary. After the failure of these plans the Descriptio seems to have become useless. But a closer examination of the political circumstances at the beginning of the 14th century reveals a much more intensive impact of the failed plans on the political situation of Southeastern Europe. Finally, these observations require a revaluation of the Descriptio.

11:45 – 12:15
Discussion and questions

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