Medieval Europe and Beyond

Conveners: Marian Coman (University of Bucharest); Ionuț Epurescu-Pascovici (University of Bucharest).

This research working group is intended as a venue for historians, social scientists, and philosophers interested in discussing recent developments in the study of medieval Europe. Comparisons between Latin Europe, Byzantium, and Islam, and between late antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the early modern period are encouraged. The research group is not limited to medievalists but open to colleagues in other fields.

Monthly meetings include roundtable discussions of recent scholarship, readings of primary sources, methodological seminars, and presentations of work in progress. Working languages are Romanian and English.

Each academic year is dedicated to a general theme. The theme for 2016/2017 is From Lordship to State.

It is increasingly clear that the earlier grand narrative of straightforward continuity between medieval institutional reforms and the birth of the modern state needs to be complicated in significant ways, but a nuanced understanding of the medieval institutions and practices remains essential for placing European political modernity in historical perspective. This year’s theme, From Lordship to State, charts both the diversity of medieval political forms and, more specifically, the trajectory of medieval polities from the seigneuries of the post-Carolingian era to the centralized kingdoms of the later Middle Ages.

The seminar meets on alternate Mondays from 17.00 at IRH-ICUB, 1 Dimitrie Brândză St.

First semester (Sept. 2016 – Jan. 2017)

An informal or ‘get-together’ meeting will take place on 10 October at 17.00.

17 October – Medieval history, modern theory (roundtable discussion)
Ph. Buc, Dangers of Ritual (2001): Introduction and chapters 3, 5, 6, and 7 (pp. 1-13,    88-123,159-263).

31 October – Beyond ‘feudalism’: the alternatives (roundtable discussion)
Brown, ‘The tyranny of a construct’, Am. Hist. Rev. 79 (1974);
Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals (1994), chapters 1-3, 6.5-6.12, and 7 (pp. 1-75, 199-323);
Cheyette, review of Fiefs and Vassals, Speculum 71;
Feudalism, ed. S. Bagge et al. (2011), the chapters by S. Reynolds and H. Debax (pp. 15-27 and 77-101).

14 November – Lords and fiefs: the documentary record (sources seminar)
Conventum between William V of Aquitaine and Hugh of Lusignan;
Galbert of Bruges, De multro, traditione et occisione, ed. J. Rider (1994), chapters 7-10, 31, 47, 51, 55-56;
Actes de la famille Porcelet d’Arles, ed. M. Aurell (2001), documents nos. 73, 89, 119, 155,172, 363, 611, 623.

28 November – Centre and periphery in medieval Europe (roundtable discussion)

12 December – Land and lordship in medieval Wallachia (15th-16th c.) (Marian Coman, work in progress talk)

16 January – Identifying the inhabitants of Morlacchia. About moving people and places beyond the border of Dalmatia ( 15th-16th c). (Dana Caciur, work in progress talk)

Second semester (Feb. – June 2017)

20 February – The twelfth century: birth of the modern state? (roundtable discussion)
• Th. Bisson, The Crisis of the Twelfth Century (2008);
• S. Reynolds, ‘Government and community, 1024-1204’, NCMH vol. 4 (2004).

6 March – A medieval lordship: Picquigny (I. Epurescu-Pascovici, working paper)

20 March – Accountability: medieval to modern (roundtable discussion)
• Murray, Reason and Society (1978);
• J. Sabapathy, Officers and Accountability (2014);
• J. Soll, The Reckoning (2014).

3 April – The late-medieval advances in government (roundtable discussion)
• J. Watts, The making of Polities (2009);
• Cl. Gauvard, De grace especial (1991).

19 June – Confesionalizare si stat in Moldova la inceputurile modernitatii (sec. XVII-XVIII) (Rafael Chelaru, work in progress talk)