Studying Medieval Rulers and Their Subjects: Central Europe and Beyond, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Studying Medieval Rulers and Their Subjects

Central Europe and Beyond, 1st Edition

By János M. Bak, edited by Balázs Nagy


324 pages

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Hardback: 9781409408291
pub: 2010-07-28
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This selection of articles, published for the 50th anniversary of the author's doctorate at Göttingen, opens with studies on his teacher, Percy Ernst Schramm, and his contribution to the study of the medieval state and continues with examples of state symbology from Central Europe. Questions of legitimization and representation of kings and queens through texts and Herrschaftszeichen as well as the development of 'coronation studies' are addressed in a comparative framework. The second part contains articles on social and political history mainly of the kingdom of Hungary in the fifteenth century, also attempting to place the issues into a wider context. Finally, two pieces present and discuss the 'use' or 'abuse' of the Middle Ages in the political discourse and display of our times.


'The uses of authority-symbols and inauguration rituals for forging national identity in a loose-knit and heterogeneous polity receive brilliant elucidation from these investigations of a scholar steeped in medieval western and Byzantine history alongside his native Hungary’s past and present. The editors deserve praise not just for setting scattered articles between hard covers but for creating a coherent whole.' English Historical Review

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part I The Study of Rulers and Ruled: Medieval symbology of the state: Percy E. Schramm's contribution; Percy Ernst Schramm (1895-1970) on P.E. Schramm; Coronation studies: past, present, and future - 30 years later; Serfs and serfdom: words and things; Probleme einer vergleichenden Betrachtung mittelalterlicher Eliten in Ostmitteleuropa. Part II Central European Rulers: Symbols and Functions: Holy lance, holy crown, holy dexter: sanctity of insignia in medieval East Central Europe; Sankt Stefans Armreliquie im Ornat König Wenzels von Ungarn; Legitimization of rulership in 3 narratives from 12th-century Central Europe; Lists in the service of legitimation in Central European sources; Queens as scapegoats in medieval Hungary. Part III Hungary in the Late Middle Ages: A kingdom of many languages: the case of medieval Hungary;Monarchie im Wellental: Materielle Grundlagen des ungarischen Königtums im fünfzehnten Jahrhundert; Sigismund and the Ottoman advance; Hungary and crusading in the 15th century; 'Good king Polish Ladislas …': history and memory of the short reign of Wladislaw Warnenczyk in Hungary; The Hungary of Matthias Corvinus: a state in 'Central Europe' on the threshold of modernity. Part IV History and Politics: The ideology of a 'millennial constitution' in Hungary (written with Anna Bak-Gara); Die Mediävisierung der Politik im Ungarn des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts; Publications of János M. Bak, 1999-2009; Index.

About the Authors

János M. Bak is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and at the Central European University, Hungary. Edited by Balázs Nagy and Gábor Klaniczay.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General