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,

MECERN Book Presentations

We are inviting you to a new series of events. MECERN will organize every second month on the first Tuesdays a series of presentations of the recent books on Medieval Studies published in our region.

The first MECERN Book Presentation evening will occur on
October 5, at 6 p.m. (CET)



Trpimir Vedriš (University of Zagreb):

I vescovi della Dalmazia al Concilio di Hieria del 754. 
Appunti sulla geografia storica dell’Adriatico meridionale bizantino nell’VIII secolo
(Split, 2021)

Katalin Szende (CEU PU):

Dalmatia and the Exercise of Royal Authority in the Árpád-Era Kingdom of Hungary (Budapest: BTK TTI, 2021)

Antonin Kalous (Palacký University, Olomouc):

The Grand Tour of John of Capistrano in Central and Eastern Europe (1451-1456). 
Transfer of Ideas and Strategies of Communication in the Late Middle Ages
(Warsaw-Lublin: Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wydawnictwo KUL, 2018)

Letters related to the History of Poland and Silesia (1451-1456)
(Warsaw-Lublin: Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History, Polish Academy of Science, 2018) [Gábor Klaniczay, Letizia Pellegrini, Filippo Sedda, and Ludovic Viallet, eds., Corpus epistolarum Ioannis de Capistrano / Correspondence of John of Capistrano, vol. 1]

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.

Medieval and Neo-Latin Studies

New Ph.D. programme implemented in collaboration between the Institute of Greek and Latin Studies of the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University
and the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Application deadline is 30 April 2021, admission examinations take place on 14-16 June 2021.


Every student accepted for regular Ph.D program receives a fellowship of 13,000 CZK/month and may apply for further research and travel support and take part in paid research grants. This particular program offers also paid internships at the Academy of Sciences (see below).

Profile of the programme

The Ph.D. programme investigates the history of Latin literature and European culture that used Latin as its means of expression during the period between the fall of Rome, through transformation of the cultural legacy of antiquity during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the Baroque, and all the way into its rebirth into a subject of scientific investigation and part of cultural life of modern European nations. Latin texts are approached from the perspective of linguistics, palaeography, codicology, literary science, and cultural history, with special emphasis on developments in the Czech Lands. This programme is interdisciplinary and touches upon a number of other areas, including intellectual history, history of religion, and history of books. Doctoral students investigate the theoretical and practical aspects of publication of Latin texts written during the period this programme covers and familiarise themselves with the possibilities of digital humanities. This programme can be taken in Czech or in English. For further information, contact the program guarantor, Lucie Dolezalovâ

Conditions of admission into the programme

Admission process into this doctoral programme follows the internal regulations of the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University. Candidates must meet, among others, the following conditions:

  • •    Graduation from a master’s programme in Medieval (Latin) Studies or another area of humanities, whereby candidates must demonstrate their knowledge of Latin and of the history of Latin literature.
  • •    Candidates ought to demonstrate suitability for scientific work, professional focus, and good orientation in specialised literature relevant to subjects of this programme. Knowledge of two major modern languages is viewed as an advantage.
  • •    Each candidate must present a project of dissertation thesis, a structured CV, a list of specialised books, and an overview of previous academic activities in accordance with a list of demands defined by the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University (available at phd-programmes: application-and- admission).

Ph.D. internships at the Institute of Philosophy of the CAS

Persons interested in taking the Latin Medieval and Neo-Latin Studies under the supervision of researchers of the Institute of Philosophy may apply for a paid internship at the Institute of Philosophy of the CAS. These internships are granted always for one year with a possibility of extension. Interns actively participate in research activities of the department they select and in other activities of the Institute of Philosophy. It is assumed that candidates will choose a dissertation subject relevant to projects currently conducted at the Institute of Philosophy:

  • •    For the area of Medieval Latin studies (supervisors from the Centre for Medieval Studies): analysis of sources reflecting the religious, cultural, and intellectual diversity of Central Europe in Late Middle Ages, conflicts stemming from this diversity and attempts at their solution;

• For the area of neo-Latin studies (supervisors from the Department of Comenius Studies and Early Modern Intellectual History): analysis of various communication media and textual legacy of Early Modern ‘republic of scholars’, including correspondence and various genres of printed production, with emphasis on relations between Latin and vernacular production.

In case you are interested in a Ph.D. internship at the Institute of Philosophy, contact Pavel Soukup (, coordinator of applications for the joint doctoral programme on behalf of the Institute of Philosophy. It is essential that you do so sufficiently in advance of application deadline. Application for doctoral internship should be accompanied by a letter of motivation specifying your idea regarding your work at the Institute of Philosophy and explaining the link between your dissertation thesis and research undertaken at the relevant department or centre. Selected candidates will be, on the day of admission examination, invited for a brief interview at the Institute of Philosophy.

Anyone interested in the program should contact their potential supervisor.

Supervisors at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague

Iva Adámková

I lead dissertations focused on medieval Latin literature (e.g. textual analysis, contextualization, translation). I work on monastic texts, hagiography, texts connected to medieval art. Contact: iva.adamkova@

Lucie Doležalová

I will happily supervise dissertations on medieval literature and manuscripts. Usual dissertation is an edition an analysis of a so far unedited text, or textual transmission and reception of a particular text. I am interested in obscure texts, but also memory, mnemonic aids, library history, Bible reception, parody, proverbs and digital humanities. Contact:

Supervisor from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ostrava

Anna Pumprová

I focus on analysis of medieval Latin texts, especially from 12th-14th century Bohemia. I especially enjoy monastic writing – historiography, homiletics, biblical exegesis (commentary of the Song of Songs), or spiritual lyrics. I will happily supervise critical editions, literary-historical studies or translations of a text, e.g. from the Zbraslav monastery, a work of Jan of Jenstejn, ort he sermon collection of Robert of Olomouc. Contact:

Supervisors from the Institute of Philosophy, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic Centre for Classical Studies

Petr Kitzler

My main focus of interest is Late Classical and Early Christian literature written in Latin (including Czech translations), hagiographies, and intellectual currents in Early Church. Dissertations could therefore focus on any of the following subjects:

  1. 1)     Graeco-Roman cultural and intellectual context of Early Christian literature (e.g. the influence of Classical rhetoric or contemporary philosophical movements) and its literary and intellectual stylisation and reception;
  2. 2)     Latin apologists, especially Tertullian of Carthage;
  3. 3)     Hagiographic literature in Latin (vitae, acta, and passiones martyrum), its diversity in terms of genres, development, and gradual adaptation and reinterpretation in reaction to changing cultural and intellectual climate;
  4. 4)     Latin language in early Christian texts and changes in its semantics in reaction to new religious and cultural contexts;
  5. 5)     Translation of a Latin-written early Christian text with detailed commentary and an introductory study.

Barbora Kocánová

I would be happy to supervise theses in Middle Latin philology and educational/instructional literature on subjects such as:

  1. 1)     Various topics from Middle Latin lexicography and terminology. Theses could focus on e.g. analysis of some lexicographic text, including its edition, or characterisation and analysis of changes within some interesting terminological group;
  2. 2)     Subjects from educational medieval Latin literature. Such theses could deal with, for example, analysis and edition of some Bohemical source, the history of some natural science in the Middle Ages, or sources of academic provenance (e.g. texts based on Prague quodlibets);
  3. 3)     Topics related to the reception of Aristotle in the Middle Ages.

Pavel Nývlt (Centre for Classical Studies)

Dissertation theses I could supervise should focus on Latin Bohemical literature, especially historiography or dictionaries, eventual Latin vocabulary in the Middle Ages. The following are some suggestions of suitable subjects:

  1. 1)     Location of the work in time and space and construction of the person of narrator in select Bohemical chronicles;
  2. 2)     The importance of Velesin’s dictionary for textual criticism of Claretus’s Glossarius;
  3. 3)     Specific features of vocabulary of select Latin Bohemical texts with focus on, e.g., neologisms, occasionalisms, synonyms, or the use of particular works that lack a full semantic meaning.

Centre for Medieval Studies

Pavlína Cermanová

Supervision of dissertations in the area of intellectual history of the Middle Ages with focus on intellectual links and communication channels between centres of education in Central Europe. Theses could also deal with medieval apocalyptic thinking, its sources, spread, and impact on society. Possible subjects include the following:

  1. 1)     Medieval apocalyptic and prophetic literature, both in the vernacular and in Latin;
  2. 2)     Subjects related to the sources, manifestations, and identification strategies of medieval religious radicalism;
  3. 3)     Spread of writings on natural philosophy by manuscripts and their further reception; reconstruction of communication channels among scholars and other ways of sharing texts based on the above;
  4. 4)      Medieval alchemy, its records in writing, alchemistic constructs.

Dušan Coufal

I would be happy to take on doctoral projects on subjects from late medieval intellectual and ecclesiastical history, especially such that also touch upon contemporary political and social events. I feel especially close to work focused on the study of Latin manuscripts, eventually their publication in print. I offer supervision of theses on the following areas:

  1. 1)     Theological production of Central European universities, especially the Prague university (tractates, exegetical commentaries, testimonials);
  2. 2)     The history and written legacy of fifteenth-century councils, especially the Council of Basel;
  3. 3)     Biographies and social activities of university masters;
  4. 4)     Hussite and anti-Hussite thought;
  5. 5)     Controversies surrounding the reception of John Wyclef’s theological and political thought in Bohemia.

Pavel Soukup (Centre for Medieval Studies)

I would be happy to supervise doctoral theses on subjects from the intellectual and cultural history of Late Middle Ages with focus on Central Europe. I feel particularly attracted to the subject of heresies, especially Hussitism, as well as controversial theology and preaching. Given this focus, I would consider the following subjects of theses especially suitable:

  1. 1)     Analysis of handwritten collections of sermons with focus on their structure, the origin of particular pieces, and relations between the text and spoken rendition (for instance, the mystery of Hus’s sermones de primo anno, the so-called postil of Hus’s representatives from 1413, or collections of sermons from the period of formation of the Utraquist Church);
  2. 2)     Investigation of transmission and transformation of Latin texts in their intellectual and social context. Particular topics in this area include the vernacular reception of Wyclef’s Latin writings (comparison of Middle English and Old Czech adaptations); movements of people and texts between medieval universities using Prague and Leipzig as an example; the use and production of instructional texts for preachers in the Czech Lands (artes praedicandi, distinctiones, model sermons);
  3. 3)     An overview of treatment of particular questions in late medieval discussions, e.g. arguments against the freedom of speech in polemics with heresies; Czech ecclesiology during the period of legal coexistence of different Christian denominations; analysis and edition of a selected tractate from the area of anti-Hussite polemics.

Department of Comenius Studies and Early Modern Intellectual History

Marcela Slavíková

I would be happy to supervise dissertations focused on Bohemical literature in Early Modern Era, on subjects such as:

  1. 1)     Latin humanist poetry connected with activities of the Prague university prior to 1622, including poetry written in Classical Greek in the context of contemporary Latin production;
  2. 2)     Early Modern Bohemical editions of Classical and humanistic texts, e.g. school editions published for the needs of the university in Leipzig in late fifteenth and early sixteenth century;
  3. 3)     Latin correspondence of John Amos Comenius from editor’s perspective; preparation of a critical edition of a humanist Latin text based on work with manuscripts and old prints.

Lucie Storchova

Supervision of dissertations in the field of humanist literature in the Czech Lands and Central Europe in general, as well as intellectual history of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Theses could deal with, for instance, the following subjects:

  1. 1)     Literature as part of cultural exchange between Central Europe and other regions, including non-European ones;
  2. 2)     Humanistic literature as part of scholarly self-representation and communication of scholars in the sixteenth century (poetry, correspondence, etc.);
  3. 3)     Travel literature and representation of otherness during the period in question;
  4. 4)     Neo-Latin and vernacular historiography in the sixteenth century;
  5. 5)     Neo-Latin and vernacular literature through the prism of gender studies and queer studies.

Vladimír Urbánek (Department of Comenius Studies)

Supervision of dissertations in the area of intellectual history of Early Modern Era with focus on Bohemical subjects within a wider European context. Subjects may include:

  1. 1)     Research of networks of correspondence of Early Modern ‘republic of scholars’, e.g. subject analysis of correspondence of Comenius and his circle; popularity and changes of meaning of terms such as pansophia (using digital humanities); exile as a subject of scholarly correspondence;
  2. 2)     Prophesy as a literary genre and medium of communication in the seventeenth century: prophesies, visions, and revelations as a literary genre and their reception by readers; the relationship between vernacular and Latin versions of prophesies published by Comenius; textual transmission of prophesies from a vernacular manuscript, through a printed Latin version, and all the way to re-contextualisation in collections of prophesies.
  3. 3)     The influence of Early Modern neo-stoicism in Central European environment, e.g. a comparison of Lipsius’s De constantia and its contemporary translations (including Comenius’s Czech paraphrase in Truchlivy).

Department for the Study of Ancient and Medieval Thought

Pavel Blažek

I would be happy to supervise doctoral theses on subjects from late medieval philosophy and theology and, more generally, topics from the intellectual history of Late Medieval Era. Theses could focus on for instance the following subjects:

  1. 1)     Medieval Aristotelianism and late medieval reception of Aristotle. Particular topics include the use of Aristotle in medieval sacramental theology; reception and adaptation of Aristotle’s theories on the genesis of community, on virtues, and on friendship in medieval commentaries on the Politics and/or Nicomachean Ethics; Aristotelianism in medieval political discourses (e.g. in De regimine principum by Aegidius Romanus); transmission and adaptation of various medieval pseudo-Aristotelian writings;
  2. 2)     Family, marriage, and family relations in medieval philosophical, theological, and legal literature. Particular subjects include: relations between men and women or children and parents in medieval commentaries on the Politics, Nicomachean Ethics, and pseudo­Aristotelian Ethics; the concept of childhood and youth in medieval commentaries on the Rhetoric; ideals of Christian upbringing in medieval instructive texts on the upbringing of children (Vincent of Beauvais, Jean Gerson, etc.); on arranging marriage, inseparability of marriage, marital sexuality, and marriage of Mary and Joseph in medieval commentaries on the Sentences by Peter of Lombardy;
  3. 3)     Critical editions of previously unpublished medieval philosophical and theological writings.

International conference: The Mongol Invasion of Hungary and Its Eurasian Context

The Mongol Invasion of Hungary and Its Eurasian Context project cordially invites you to the international workshop

The Mongols in Central Europe: The Profile and Impact of their Thirteenth-Century Invasions

the conference will be broadcast on Zoom
26 November…
Meeting ID: 898 2170 0042
Passcode: 18KY1P
27 November: Meeting ID: 896 9867 7998 Passcode: gR1m9B

26 November 2020

12:30–12:45 Balázs Nagy: Welcome

12:45–13:50 Moderator: István Vásáry
Greetings of Batbayar Zeneemyadar, Ambassador of Mongolia to Hungary
Balázs Nagy: The Mongol Invasion of Hungary and its Central European Context
Attila Bárány: The Response of the West to the Mongol Invasion: 1241-1270

13:50–14:00 Coffee break

14:00–15:15 Moderator: Christopher P. Atwood
Stephen Pow: The Historicity of Ivo of Narbonne’s Account of a Mongol Attack on “Neustat”
Konstantin Golev: Crime and Punishment: The Mongol Invasion, the Cuman-Qïpchaq Refugees and the Second Bulgarian Empire
Dorottya Uhrin: Beheading Among Nomads

13:50–14:00 Coffee break

15:30–16:45 Moderator: Konstantin Golev
Adam Lubocki: Mongol Invasion of Hungary
in the Light of Polish Medieval Sources
Tomaš Somer: Sources on the Mongol Invasion of the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1241
Matthew Coulter: Patterns of Communication during the 1241 Mongol Invasion: Insights from the Ottobeuren Letter Collection

16:45–17:00 Coffee break

17:00–18:00 Moderator: István Vásáry

Keynote lecture: Christopher P. Atwood: Mongolian Sources on the Great Western Expedition: Some Analytical Comments

27 November 2020

12:30–13:45 Moderator: Alexander Nikolov
Mirko Sardelić: “Quasi per aerem volans”:
The Mongols on the Adriatic Coast (AD 1242)
Aleksandar Uzelac: The Kingdom of Hungary and Ulus of Nogai: The Contest for Regional Supremacy at the End of the Thirteenth Century
Ágnes Birtalan: Hungarian Oral Narratives (Hung. népmonda) about the Mongolian Campaign

13:45–14:00 Coffee break

14:00–15:15 Moderator: Beatrix Romhányi
Zsuzsanna Papp Reed: Inscribing the Mongol Invasion into History: The Chronica Majora and Beyond
Alexander Nikolov: From the Pontic Steppes to Anatolia: The Cuman Refugees from the “Mongol Storm” between 1237 and 1242Ning Ya: Should the Papal Envoys Bring Gifts for the Mongols? The Role of Polish and Russian Intelligence Information in the Mission of John of Plano Carpini Compared to that of Ascelin of Lombardy

15:15–15:30 Coffee break

15:30–16:45 Moderator: Mirko Sardelić
Zsolt Pinke: Long-Term Eco-historical Studies for the Wetlands of the Great Hungarian Plain in the Context of the Mongol Invasion
József Laszlovszky: New Archaeological Finds and their Interpretation in the Context of the Mongol Invasion of Hungary
Michal Holeščák: Mongol Invasion of 1241-1242 North of the Danube: Orda Khan´s Trail to Esztergom

16:45–17:00 Coffee break

17:00–18:10 Moderator: József Laszlovszky
Beatrix Romhányi: Traces of the Mongol Invasion in the Settlement Network of the Kingdom of Hungary: Questions, Answers and Doubts
Béla Zsolt Szakács: The Mongol Invasion and the Early Church Architecture in the Szepes/Spiš/Zips Region
Jack Wilson: The Mongols and the Internet: Online Outreach on the Chinggisid Empire, 2018-2020

18:10–18:25 Conclusions and farewell

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)