The Gothic Architect – an International, Professional Elite

In this interview, Jana Gajdosova talks about her research into the architects, their lives, their business practice, and their architecture during the late gothic period. The conversation focusses on the architects Peter Parler, who worked on Prague Cathedral, and Lorenz Lechler, both of whom may be described as members of an international, professional elite of the middle-ages.

Jana Gajdosova is a medieval art specialist at Sam Fogg, an international art dealership and gallery in London, GB.

Link to the video of the Lorenz Lechler drawing: https://vimeo.com/666276544

© Jana Gajdosova
© Emir Filipovic

Conflict, Collusion, and an Unholy Alliance – Diplomatic Relationships in 14th Century Balkans

In this interview, Emir Filipovic discusses his research into conflict, collusion, and diplomacy in 14th century Balkans.  This was a period and region of great change, with competing powers, shifting alliances, and much political and military complexity.  The Byzantium empire was in slow decline and emerging powers were competing for a slice of the Byzantine cake; there were shifting alliances; two Popes were both bidding for influence, and the phrase ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ had true meaning.  Amongst all of this, an alliance was formed between a Christian king and the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid, potentially to be confirmed by a marriage which, if it had taken place, would have placed a member of the Ottoman ruling family in a significant position in a European, Christian, royal dynasty.

Emir Filipovic is Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

This podcast is part of a series of interviews covering central Europe in the medieval period for MECERN and CEU Medieval Studies.

Aquincum, the Town and its Legacy

In this interview, Orsolya Lang talks about her work in the town of Aquincum on the Roman Limes, and its legacy on the early medieval period.  Orsolya discusses Aquincum, which at its height had a population of around 60,000, including a legionary fortress, administrative centre and civil town, and the settlement was an important part of the global Roman world.  Aquincum initially absorbed and ‘Romanised’ settlers from outside the empire, but with the gradual decline of the empire, semi-nomadic ‘barbarian’ tribes from regions north and east of the Limes slowly replaced the settled, urban, Roman population.  These people brought new cultures and new life styles, and with them the early middle-ages emerged. 

Orsolya Lang is archaeologist and the current Director of the Aquincum Museum in Budapest, Hungary.

This podcast is part of a series of interviews covering central Europe in the early and medieval period for MECERN and CEU Medieval Studies.

© Orsolya Lang
© Robert Antonín

Rituals and the Legitimisation of Rulership in the High Middle Ages in Bohemia

In this interview, Robert Antonín discusses his research into the importance of rulership rituals in the High Middle Ages, Bohemia.  He shows how the visualization of rulership through the public display of ritual built the legitimacy of the ruler, and how the public acceptance of this legitimacy enhanced social cohesion and stability.  While Robert’s research period is the high medieval, he suggests a similar process happens in today’s modern democracies.

Robert Antonín is Associate Professor of History at the University of Ostrava, Czech Republic.

This podcast is part of a series of interviews covering central Europe in the medieval period for MECERN and CEU Medieval Studies.

The Story of the Book - How the "Oxford Handbook of Medieval Central Europe 800 – 1600" was made

The ‘Oxford Handbook of Medieval Central Europe 800 – 1600’ was conceived in Budapest, Hungary in 2014, outlined in Olomouc, Czechia in 2016 and finally published by Oxford University Press in 2022.

In this interview, the joint editors of the book, Nada Zečević and Daniel Ziemann, discuss the process of creating a Handbook that consists of twenty-four chapters written by over fifty different scholars spread throughout the world.  They discuss how the book’s style and content was created, how the boundaries of chronology and geography were defined and agreed upon, and how they managed the many challenges of such an extensive subject and ambitious project. Nada and Daniel also reflect on the final chapter of the Handbook and consider the use, and potential abuse, of medieval history and the role that historians should play in presenting medieval history.

Nada Zečević teaches the history of the Balkans at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she also directs the Centre for the Study of the Balkans. Daniel Ziemann is Associate Professor at the Department of Medieval Studies at the Central European University in Vienna.

© Zoë Opačić

Royalty, Religion & Relics

In this interview, Zoë Opačić discusses her current research into how royalty, religion and relics impacted town planning and architecture, and thus changed the shape of major cities in central Europe.  The interview focusses on Prague, Krakow and Vienna in the fifteenth century, specifically during the reigns of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and Kasimir the Great.

Zoë Opačić is Senior Lecturer in the Department of the History of Art at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK.

This podcast is part of the series of podcasts for the CEU Department of Medieval Studies and MECERN.

Medieval and Macabre – Images of Death in Fifteenth Century Bohemia

In this interview, Daniela Rywikova talks about her book ‘Spectrum Mortis, The Image of Death in Late Medieval Bohemian Painting’.  She considers how the people of Bohemia in the medieval period thought about death, represented death, prepared for their own death, and how the worlds of the living dead and the dead were compressed together in ways which are quite different from our own, modern approach to death and dying.

Daniela Rywikova is Associate Professor at the University of Ostrava, Czech Republic.

This podcast is part of the series of podcasts for the CEU Department of Medieval Studies and MECERN.

© Daniela Rywikova
© Fabian Kümmeler

The Herders of Korčula: A study of a socio-professional community in Fifteenth Century Dalmatia.

In this interview, Fabian Kümmeler talks about his on-going research into the socio-professional community of herders on the island of Korčula in Venetian Dalmatia, in the fifteenth century. Based on largely neglected archival holdings from the Croatian State Archive in Zadar, which include business contracts, records of litigation and dispute resolution, Fabian describes how the herding business functioned, who was involved, the legal environment and how it was enforced. Together they offer a fascinating window into the daily life of the herders and their fellow islanders in 15th century.

Fabian Kümmeler is the APART-GSK Fellow at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Principal Investigator of a project on “Pastoral Communities in Southeast Europe, 1400–1600”.

This podcast is part of a series for the CEU Department of Medieval Studies and MECERN.

Love, Marriage and Litigation in Fifteenth Century Bohemia.

In this interview, Michaela Antonin Malaníková discusses the marital disputes which resulted in litigation before ecclesiastical and municipal courts in the Bohemian lands, 1300 – 1500. She considers the general approach to marriage in the period, the different roles taken by the courts, and how the two juridical systems worked in harmony; she also discusses individual cases of alleged bigamy, mis-understood flirtation, pre-nuptial agreements and dissolution of marriage.

Michaela Antonín Malaníková is Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Faculty of Arts at Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic.

© Vojtěch Duda
© Christian Raffensperger

Rulers and Rulership in the Arc of Medieval Europe, 1000-1200.

In this interview, Christian Raffensperger  discusses his current research and forthcoming book Rulers and Rulership in the Arc of Medieval Europe, 1000-1200. The ‘arc’ refers to a vast area from Iberia through Scandinavia, central Europe and Rus to Byzantium. In this work, he challenges the traditional construction of medieval Europe and its focus on England and France, while viewing other parts of Europe as ‘peripheral and other’. Christian also challenges the approach of medieval European research delineated by modern nation states, titles, and academic constructs.

Christian Raffensperger is Professor and Chair of the Department of History, Kenneth E. Wray Chair in the Humanities, Wittenberg University, USA.

A Military Analysis of the ‘Iron Gate’ Defence against the Ottoman Invasion of Hungary in the Fourteenth Century.

In this interview, Jason Snider talks about his research into the defence of the Kingdom of Hungary by the Teutonic Knights.  He considers the defensive strategy from a military perspective and poses the question of why it failed.

Jason Snider is a Ph.D. student at the Central Europe University.

This podcast is part of the ‘New Faces, New Ideas’ series in which Ph.D. students in the CEU Department of Medieval Studies talk about their current research and future ambitions. 

© Jason Snider
© Antonin Kalous

Pecchinoli and Capistrano

Antonin Kalous of Palacký University, Olomouc, is interviewed by Karen Culver. Antonin’s research mainly concerns late medieval religious processes and important figures from Central Europe.

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