1st Edition

Unions and Divisions New Forms of Rule in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

    392 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    392 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Providing a comprehensive and engaging account of personal unions, composite monarchies and multiple rule in premodern Europe: Unions and Divisions. New Forms of Rule in Medieval and Renaissance Europe uses a comparative approach to examine the phenomena of the medieval and renaissance unions in a pan-European overview.

    In the later Middle Ages, genealogical coincidences led to caesuras in various dynastic successions. Solutions to these were found, above all, in new constellations which saw one political entity becoming co-managed by the ruler of another in the form of a personal union. In the premodern period, such solutions were characterised by two factors in particular: on the one hand, the entry of two countries into a union did not constitute a military annexation — even though claims to the throne were all too often imposed by force; on the other hand, the new unitarian constellation retained, at least de jure, the independence of its respective components. The twenty-four essays, ranging in scope from Scandinavia to Iberia, from England and France to Central and Eastern Europe, examine whether the respective unions were the result of careful planning and deliberations in the face of a long-foreseen succession crisis or whether they emerged from dynamic developments that were largely reactive and dependent upon various random factors and circumstances. Each union is assessed to provide an understanding, for students and researchers, of the political and social forces involved in the respective countries and investigates how the unions were reflected in contemporary literature (pamphlets, memoranda, chronicles, diaries etc.), propaganda and in legal and historical discourses.

    This volume is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the history of monarchy, political history and social and cultural histories in premodern Europe.  

    Preface PART I: CONCEPTUAL AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS 1. Introduction: Medieval and Renaissance Personal Unions – Main Debates, New Approaches 2. Unions as a Structural Element: Preconditions, Intentions, and Realisations 3. Dynasties and Dynastic Rule between Elite Reproduction and State Building in Europe, 1300–1600 PART II: BETWEEN COERCION AND POLITICAL REASON 4. Dynastic Unions and the Development of Solid and Widespread Christian Polities in Iberia, 1100–1300 5. Angevin Empire: Between Dynastic Construct and Imperial Government 6. On the Genesis of the Polish-Lithuanian Union 7. For the Rescue of the Eastern Policy? The Union of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the King-dom of Poland and Relations with their Eastern Neighbours 8. Bishop, Administrator, Guardian: Albert of Hoya († 1473) and His Reign in Minden, Osnabrück and Hoya PART III: BETWEEN ASPIRATION AND REALITY 9. The Title rex Galiciae between Ambitions and Reality 10. The Union between Hungary and Croatia: Facts and Legends 11. The Lusatias in Personal Union with Brandenburg and Bohemia 12. The Foreign Policy of the Last Přemyslids: A First Attempt at Unifying Central Europe? 13. How Did the Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order Interpret their Dependence on the Polish Crown (1466–1497)? 14. An Autonomous Dependency? The Unstable Relationship between the Elites in Royal Prussia and the Polish Crown 1466–1569 15. Feoffment as a Tool in the Safeguarding of Power? Dithmarschen between Holsatian and Archi-episcopal Power Claims (1500–1559) PART IV: BETWEEN COINCIDENCE AND INTENTION 16. Wenceslaus II Přemyslid and Louis I of Hungary: Two Personal Unions in the History of the Polish Kingdom in the Fourteenth Century 17. Mary and Maximilian I – Burgundy and Habsburg: Rise of an Empire 18. Albert II of Habsburg’s Composite Monarchy and its Significance for Central Europe 19. The Rulers of Poland-Lithuania and the Issue of Church Union from the Late Fourteenth to Early Sixteenth Centuries 20. The Unions between Sleswick, Holsatia and Denmark in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and their Nordic Precursors PART V: BETWEEN DYNASTIC EXTENSION AND OVERSTRETCHING 21. The Union Wars within the Nordic Kalmar Union, 1448–1523 22. The Policies for and from the Dynastic Union: The Crowns of Castile and Aragon in the Fifteenth Century 23. Corona regni Bohemiae: An Idea of the Luxemburgers and Their Successors for the Integration of Central Europe 24. Towards ‘the Danube Monarchy’? The Political Legacy of Emperor Sigismund and its Executors in the Fifteenth Century 25. Jagiellonian Attempts at Creating a Dynastic Great Power between the Baltic and the Black Seas and the Adriatic around 1500


    Paul Srodecki holds a Ph.D. from Gießen University, Germany, and has also been working as an Assistant Professor, Research Fellow and Lecturer in Medieval and Eastern European History at various other academic institutions, including the universities of Kiel, Germany, and Ostrava, Czechia. He has published several treatises on alterity and alienity discourses as well as historical deconstruction.

    Norbert Kersken was a teaching and research fellow at the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East-Central Europe in Marburg and at the University of Giessen, both in Germany, until 2021. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Münster, Germany, with a dissertation on medieval national historiography.

    Rimvydas Petrauskas is professor of medieval history and (since 2020) rector of Vilnius University, Lithuania. His main research interests include the political and social histories of the grand duchy of Lithuania from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries as well as the image of the Middle Ages in modern society.