East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500

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University of Washington Press, Mar 1, 2013 - History - 569 pages
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Although the Middle Ages saw brilliant achievements in the diverse nations of East Central Europe, this period has been almost totally neglected in Western historical scholarship. East Central Europe in the Middle Ages provides a much-needed overview of the history of the region from the time when the present nationalities established their state structures and adopted Christianity up to the Ottoman conquest. Jean Sedlar s excellent synthesis clarifies what was going on in Europe between the Elbe and the Ukraine during the Middle Ages, making available for the first time in a single volume information necessary to a fuller understanding of the early history of present-day Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and the former Yugoslavia.

Sedlar writes clearly and fluently, drawing upon publications in numerous languages to craft a masterful study that is accessible and valuable to the general reader and the expert alike. The book is organized thematically; within this framework Sedlar has sought to integrate nationalities and to draw comparisons. Topics covered include early migrations, state formation, monarchies, classes (nobles, landholders, peasants, herders, serfs, and slaves), towns, religion, war, governments, laws and justice, commerce and money, foreign affairs, ethnicity and nationalism, languages and literature, and education and literacy.

After the Middle Ages these nations were subsumed by the Ottoman, Habsburg, Russian, and Prussian-German empires. This loss of independence means that their history prior to foreign conquest has acquired exceptional importance in today s national consciousness, and the medieval period remains a major point of reference and a source of national pride and ethnic identity. This book is a substantial and timely contribution to our knowledge of the history of East Central Europe.

 

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Contents

1 Early Migrations
3
2 State Formation
14
3 Monarchies
28
4 Nobles and Landholders
58
5 Peasants Herders Serfs and Slaves
84
6 Towns and Townspeople
109
7 Religion and the Churches
140
8 The Art and Practice of War
197
12 Foreign Affairs
362
13 Ethnicity and Nationalism
401
14 Languages and Literatures
421
15 Education and Literacy
458
Appendix 1 Chronology
476
Appendix 2 List of Monarchs
487
Appendix 3 Place Name Equivalents for Towns and Cities
494
Bibliographic Essay
497

9 Governments
257
10 Laws and Justice
305
11 Commerce and Money
334

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