The next MECERN Book Presentation evening will occur online on

December 7, Tuesday, at 6 p.m. (CET)

on ZOOM:


Cosmas of Prague
The Chronicle of the Czechs
Edited by János M. Bak and Pavlína Rychterová Budapest; New York: Central European University Press, 2019.Presented by Robert Antonín (University of Ostrava)

Wojciech Drelicharz

Unifying the Kingdom of Poland in Mediaeval Historiographic Thought Kraków: Societas Vistulana, 2020.
Presented by Anna Adamska (University of Utrecht)

Piotr Pranke, Miloš Žečević

Medieval Trade in Central Europe, Scandinavia, and the Balkans (10th-12th centuries) Leiden: Brill, 2020
Dariusz Adamczyk, Beata Możejko (eds.)
Monetisation and Commercialisation in the Baltic Sea, 1050-1450 Abingdon, New York, NY: Routledge, 2021.
Presented by Balázs Nagy (Eötvös Loránd University, Central European University)

Ernő Marosi

“Fénylik a mű nemesen”. Válogatott írások a középkori művészet történetéről. I-III.
[“The opus shines nobly” Selected writings on the history of medieval art]
Budapest: Martin Opitz Kiadó, 2020.
Presented by Béla Zsolt Szakács (Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Central European University)

Call for Papers: “Power in Numbers. The Role of the Rural Population in Christianisation and State Formation II.”

We are pleased to draw attention to the following Call For Papers:

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Invitation for Conference

Prague, 11-13. May 2022

Venue: Department of Archaeology, Charles University, Prague

Organiser: Department of Archaeology, Charles University, Prague, Mária Vargha Ph.D., doc. PhDr. Tomáš Klír Ph.D.

Application deadline: January 31, 2022.

The meeting introduces a Primus project, “Empowering the Voiceless. The Role of the Rural Population in State Building and Christianisation in East-Central Europe”, started in early 2021 at the Department of Archaeology at Charles University, Prague, and aspires to invite scholars working on similar issues to join the discussion with their papers in the framework of a conference. The proposed meeting is the second of a series that aims to bring together researchers from Europe, dealing with different, yet connected, affairs of the state and church, networks of archaeological and historical heritage and their archaeological, historical and digital investigations.

In the last decade, interest in research into Christianisation has been growing. Diverse approaches in history and archaeology were observable; researchers have investigated the process of Christianisation in the light of state formation, church law, hagiography, and continuing the most traditional theme of research; the development of the ecclesiastical network. The largest segment of the population, thus the widest audience of Christianisation, and the smallest, yet arguably the most influential element of the church network -local churches- were less in focus, as their appearance in written sources is almost nonexistent. Even though archaeology considered the significant impact that Christianisation had on transforming the rural landscape, targeted large- scale investigations are yet to be carried out. Our Primus project focuses on researching the archaeological remains of the earliest network of (rural) local churches and their relation to Christianisation in East-Central Europe, contextualising and analysing them at a regional level by a detailed geospatial and geostatistical analysis.

Accordingly, the conference aims to examine the beginnings of the local churches in the broader context of Europe. Particularly, how and why state politics have interfered in diverse religious affairs; such as the process of Christianisation and the development of the local church system in the early Middle Ages, the promotion and support of certain cults, religious orders, or particular places of pilgrimage, in a Longue-durée perspective.

The proceedings of the conference will be published in a peer-reviewed volume in 2022.

The conference welcomes papers focusing on the early and High Middle Ages, within the range of the following topics:

– early rural churches, churchyards and field cemeteries
– problem of transitional cemeteries and burial practices
– connection between early state power centres and the ecclesiastical network – monastic networks and Christianisation
– material culture connected to Christianisation
– digital analysis of large scale archaeological heritage

Applicants are asked to send a brief abstract (200-300 words) of their 20-minute project contribution to by January 31st, 2022. Limited travel bursaries will be available for those without institutional funding opportunities.
Please indicate the application for funding along with your abstract.

The conference is supported by the European Regional Development Fund-Project “Creativity and Adaptability as Conditions of the Success of Europe in an Interrelated World” (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000734) and affiliated with the programme of Charles University Progress Q07 ‘Centre for the Study of the Middpage2image17904224

Call for Papers: Angevins in East Central and Southeastern Europe in the 14th Century



Call for Papers

Angevins in East Central and Southeastern Europe in the 14th Century

4-5 May 2022, Zadar

Dear colleagues,

It is a pleasure for us to invite you to take part at the conference Angevins in East Central and Southeastern Europe in the 14th Century which is a part of the project “Angevin Archiregnum in East Central and Southeastern Europe in the 14th Century: View from the Periphery” financed by the Croatian Science Foundation, that will be hosted by the Department of History at the University of Zadar.

The aim of the conference is to gather scholars form Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, and Italy and in such a way create a venue that will enable us to step out of the boundaries set by the contemporary national borders and corresponding historiographies and have a fresh and a more encompassing look at the complex political entity ruled by the Angevins in the 14th century. How was this political entity ruled, how the courts of Charles I and Louis I functioned and how these rulers projected their power on the provinces and more loosely dependent territories? In which ways the political centre tried to establish itself as the place from which the dominant system of symbols, values and beliefs that manage the society spread? What was the role of elites in these processes? What were the administrative structures through which the interactions of the political centre with the dependant peripheries were organized? How the local elites established their power, and how were local and regional noble communities shaped? How were the various networks – personal, regional, diplomatic, religious, economic, etc. – established and maintained across the huge territories ruled by the Angevins, but even further, especially encompassing Italy and the Holy Roman Empire. We hope to provide answers and insights for these and numerous other questions.

Deadline for submissions: 15 January 2022

Please submit the abstracts (max. 250 words for 15-20 minute papers) to, with an indication of your affiliation.

MECERN Book Corner

We are glad to invite you to our second MECERN Book Presentation evening, which will occur online.

When: November 2, Tuesday, 6 p.m. (CET)

Zoom link:


Three presentations will be given on a recently published encyclopedia on Central Europe, named Démystifier l’Europe centrale. Bohême, Hongrie et Pologne du VIIe au XVIe siècle. Paris: Passés composés / Humensis, 2021, edited by Marie-Madeleine de Cevins (Université de Rennes) in collaboration with Enikő Csukovits, Olivier Marin, Martin Nejedlý, and Przemysław Wiszewski

The Speakers are going to be:

Éloïse Adde (CEU, Vienna)
Dániel Bagi (ELTE, Budapest)
Julia Burkhardt (LMU, Munich)

There will also be a respond by the editor.

We would be pleased to welcome you that evening.

Public lecture series of CEU’s Department of Medieval Studies

The Department of Medieval Studies at the CEU invites you to their new edition of the public lecture series.

Suzana Miljan (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts) makes the start with her lecture A Unique Source for the History of the Kingdom? – The Analysis of the Court Records from Sixteenth-Century Turopolje.

When: October 13, Wednesday, 5:40 p.m. (CET)

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 967 2058 4787
Passcode: medpub

For more information, please see:

Call for Applications – János M. Bak Fellowship

The Board of the János M. Bak Fellowship on Medieval Central Europe invites applications for its 2022 Fellowship.  

The Fellowship will be awarded to an early- or mid-career researcher (upper limit 15 years from the award of the PhD, excluding periods of maternity/paternity leave) who has already shown significant contribution to the research of medieval Central Europe in any field of study in the period between 800 and 1600 CE. The fellowship is open to scholars of any nationality, irrespective of employment status. While hosted by the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University (Budapest and Vienna) it will be located at the CEU’s Budapest campus. Janos Bak Fellows will be accommodated in the Raoul Wallenberg Guesthouse. It is required to be resident in Budapest for the duration of the fellowship and to take an active part in the research culture of the Department of Medieval Studies. We particularly encourage projects that make an explicit use of academic, archival, library or museum resources in Budapest. When appropriate, the fellows will also have the possibility to associate themselves with one of the workgroups of the CEU Democracy Institute, and make a medievalist contribution to their themes (such as “the rule of law”, “media and digital technologies”, “inequalities” and, especially, “the history of ideas and practices of democracy”). Fellows will be asked to hold a public lecture at CEU and be available for consultation to CEU students.

Application process
Applicants to the fellowship have to submit:

  •  a CV, 
  • a list of publications 
  • a research proposal (c. 800 words) containing the following: 
  • outline of proposed research (in the context of existing scholarship),
  •  why this project will benefit from being conducted in Budapest 
  • how the applicant is going to contribute to the activities of Department of Medieval Studies at the CEU. 

As a part of the selection process the shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview (via video-conferencing), in which they will be expected to elaborate on their research plans during the fellowship and the engagement with the host department at the CEU.    

The duration of the fellowship in 2022 will be three months, from April to June 2022. Fellows will receive a monthly stipend in the value of EUR 2000 (with a possibility of reimbursement of visa costs, if applicable).

Application deadline: 30 November 2021.

Please send your application package to

Contact: Professor Emilia Jamroziak, the Chair of the Board of the Fellowship,

Networks – Cooperation – Rivalry Conference

The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network
Online organized by the University of Gdańsk

7–9 April 2021

The conference is open to registered participants. To get information about the registration and get access to the sessions, please send a message to The online conference will be held in Microsoft Teams. In case of any technical difficulty please write also to the above-mentioned email address.

MECERN mourns the passing of Professor M. János Bak (1929-2020)

MECERN mourns the passing of Professor János Bak (1929-2020), co-founder and intellectual inspirer of our Network. We commemorate him with Professor Gábor Klaniczay’s obituary published on the website of the Department of Medieval Studies at CEU.


János M. Bak



János M. Bak, founding member and Professor Emeritus of CEU Department of Medieval Studies has passed away on 18 June, at the age of 91. Until the last moment of his life, he was an engaged scholar, an authoritative and caring professor, an indefatigable worker for an international cooperation for the advancement of learning and the broadening of the ‘Republic of Letters’. When mourning and remembering him, let us recall a few things of his rich, adventurous, life – the Festschrift he received from us when he was 70, was entitled The Man of Many Devices, Who Wandered Full Many Ways The adventures started towards the end of World War II, when he had to survive as a teenager the Holocaust, with tricks and hiding in Arrow-Cross dominated Budapest. Subsequently, after a brief period of enthusiastic conversion to Marxism, he quickly got disillusioned from the unfolding Stalinist regime, and he became an active participant in the 1956 revolution. At its defeat he left Hungary and earned a medieval studies doctorate in Göttingen, as a pupil of Percy Ernst Schramm. As a postgraduate, he spent two years in Oxford, then worked at the University of Marburg, and published a much-cited monograph on ‘Kingdom and estates in late medieval Hungary’. In 1966 he moved to the US and subsequently to Canada, he became professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. As a member of the world-wide community of 1956 émigré intellectuals, he was very active in supporting Hungarian colleagues with books, invitations, scholarships, publication opportunities. At the same time, he became a major organizer in international medieval studies. After some years of investment into the history of ‘East-Central Europe’, and ‘peasant studies’, in the 1980s he organized Majestas, a scholarly association for the study of rulership, which functioned for two decades, organized many successful conferences and published a review with the same name.

When he retired as Professor Emeritus from Vancouver in 1993, it was not for having a rest, but for joining a new, ever-more demanding academic adventure: building a Department of Medieval Studies at the recently founded CEU in Budapest. He brought home his world-wide network and made the largest contribution in turning our department a thriving new center in this field. And this was not only thanks to his high-class German and American experience, but above all thanks to his passionate engagement with the wonderful, passionate, enthusiastic international group of our graduate students. Like probably all other departments in CEU, our seminars became fascinating scholarly workshops combining hidden treasures of local knowledge with high standards of cutting-edge international scholarship. And, in all this, János was a lively, critical, once funny and cheerful, other times nervous and grumpy participant, sometimes scaring students to death with angry explosions, but then giving them due respect, fatherly protection and friendly encouragement – multiple generations of students are weeping now over this departure. The efficient and warmly human impact on the formation of future scholars was paired by his tireless organizational drive: after Majestas he initiated research projects on the comparative history of medieval nobility, on the ‘uses and abuses’ of the Middle Ages, on source-repertory handbooks.  He started a bilingual source edition series entitled Central European Medieval Texts (11 volumes at CEU Press), he published in 5 volumes the ‘Laws of Medieval Hungary’. He retired form CEU as Professor Emeritus in 2007, but he kept being active: he played a key role in the foundation of MECERN, Medieval Central European Network in 2013 – he corrected the proofs of his chapter in a new OUP Handbook on Medieval Central Europe last week, a few days before his death. He had several injuries during the past years, he walked with a stick, but he took the effort, until this winter, to come to CEU for listening to the MA or PhD defenses of his students, or to hear the public lectures of his younger colleagues or his friends, colleagues from the world-wide company. We were exceptionally fortunate to have him as a friend and a colleague for three decades, his departure is a great loss for us, for CEU and for medievalist scholarship around the world.

To conclude this obituary let me quote the words of our rector, Michael Ignatieff: “I knew Janos for 40 years, as a scholar, friend, bon vivant, intellectual provocateur. He embodied the spirit of CEU at its best: morally serious, intellectually irreverent, and fiercely loyal to ideals. We will all miss him.”

And another word by Patrick Geary: “May his memory be a blessing for us all”


Gábor Klaniczay


Between Three Seas: Borders, Migrations, Connections

The Third Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network (MECERN) on the theme Between Three Seas: Borders, Migrations, Connections took place at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb (Croatia), between 12 and 14 April 2018. Already an established scholarly forum, founded at a conference at CEU in 2014, MECERN’s third major international event attracted almost 100 participants from 15 countries in Europe and North America. The main organizers were Luka Spoljarić (MA ‘08, PhD ‘13), Trpimir Vedriš (MA ‘04, PhD ‘15) and Borislav Grgin (MA ‘94), all faculty members at the University of Zagreb.

The choice of the main theme was triggered by the fact that in the summer of 2015 the countries of Central and South-eastern Europe were faced with a massive wave of refugees caused by the collapse of the established political order in the Near East. In the longue durée, however, this was not a new phenomenon. Throughout the Middle Ages the region of Central Europe, closed off by the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas [MECERN logo], was on numerous times exposed to the large-scale movements of people. Yet during this entire period migrations were also taking place on a micro level, through the movement of individuals, objects, and ideas.

The conference focused on the impact of both mass and individual movements on the region, the permeability of borders, and the manifold connections that reached beyond purely local contexts. In other words, the conference explored medieval Central Europe in flux through papers on political, social, cultural, economic, ecclesiastical, intellectual, legal and urban history, as well as the history of art and literature. Two thought-provoking keynote lectures were given by Neven Budak, Professor at the University of Zagreb and recurrent visiting professor at CEU, and Paul W. Knoll, Professor Emeritus of the University of Southern California, a renowned expert of Late Medieval Poland and Central Europe. The abstracts of the conference are accessible from this link.

The closing reception was held in the Golden Hall of the Croatian Institute of History, hosted by the Institute’s vice director, Gordan Ravančić (MA ‘97). The participants visited the cathedral treasury and got an insider’s view of the history and topography of medieval Zagreb through a valuable tour guided by Zrinka Nikolić Jakus (MA ‘97, PhD ‘04) and Neven Budak. The next international conference of MECERN will take place at the University of Gdańsk in 2020.

Photos: Judit Majorossy (MA ’97, PhD ’06)