CeSecom was founded in 2006 as "Center for the Study of Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages" on the initiative of a group of scholars specialized in the various regions extending from Central Europe via the Balkans and the Caucasus to Central Asia. From the beginning, our focus was on the early middle ages to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the discovery of the New World. The investigation of this historical period is essential to understand the roots of the problems and instabilities that still plague it. Since 2017, the scientific committee has decided to broaden its activity's geographical and historical horizons, cover the modern age until the 18th century, and develop a focus on the space comprised between the Elbe and the Volga rivers. We have called this geographical region "Middle Europe," and we have focused on its relations with Europe and Asia, particularly on the bonds of Central, Eastern, and Balkan Europe, both with Central Asia and the Middle East. We have considered this network of ties outside of a strict Eurocentric vision, stressing the broad historical picture in which this part of Europe played a fundamental role, far beyond an initial cultural mediation towards the Western world that was later forgotten.

For years, the researches of medievalists have generally ignored this area because it was considered at the margins or beyond the geographical and cultural European frontier; the specialists of a single region or country of the area have usually been oriented to the reconstruction of the different national cultures, developed in the following centuries. The general tendency of scientific investigation has been to consider its different cultures as regional and local realities, accessory and peripheral to the West in the complex process the common European identity formation.

On the wave of the most recent historical events, laudable initiatives have been undertaken to spread the different countries' knowledge in contemporary times, often linked to conflicts or ongoing social and political transformations. There is, however, a need to look back and investigate with rigor, especially the origins and early stages of development of different cultures still poorly understood outside a small group of specialists, leaving behind purely national perspectives.

CeSecom was created to meet scholars' needs and provide a tool for research, taking into account the most recent technological transformations that have made available to humanistic studies instruments that until a few years ago were difficult even to imagine. CeSecom wants to become a common space to share the results of academic studies and start innovative lines of research. The portal wants to be a resource open to those who, while retaining their particular specialization, wish to share their knowledge and deepen it.

CeSecom is organized into sections and sub-sections, each one dedicated to a different set of tools. In the "About Us" section, the user will find this presentation, an editorial, and a short biography of the members that make up the scientific committee. In the "Calendar" section, also present on the home page, it is possible to access the events dedicated to "Middle Europe," with the program and all useful information. All past events, since January 2007, are contained in the Archive section. In the "Lexicon" section, we collect the most significant headwords (toponyms, anthroponyms, events, etc...) concerning the areas and periods of our interest based on the best repertories.

In the section "Tools," the user will find a space dedicated to the bibliographical novelties: the "Shelf," in which, besides the most recent bibliographical issues, every book is reviewed. In "Studies," there are the writings, more or less recent, concerning the areas and periods of our interest. All published resources are available for download or have the link from which it is possible to download all or part of them. In the "Profiles" section, we present bio-bibliographical entries of important scholars who have dedicated their efforts to studies on our interest areas and periods.

In the "Multimedia" section, the user will find the "Web resources," a subsection which presents the most useful institutional portals (Centers and Associations), the Library resources with full-text resources and digitized sources, the online catalogs of libraries, as well as bibliographic preservation and research institutes. We have added a new section: "E-journals," which aims to access all those journals published in open access mode or have indexes and archives online. Furthermore, the section "Images" contains photographic materials and videos available on the net and photos and videos useful to share.

In the "Research" section, space is offered to the primary research projects in which the members of the scientific committee participate; in particular, reference is made to the international projects on "Nomadism" and on the "Republic of Letters".

Finally, the user will find a section "Publications" in which there are listed and linkable all the publications related to CeSecom at Firenze University Press. Critical is the new book series Europe in Between. Histories, Cultures and Languages from Central Europe to the Eurasian Steppes, born from the activity of CeSecom and closely linked to it. Europe in Between includes original monographs dedicated to this European space, the witness of a historical experience of men and ideas in which Europe and Asia have never been two distinct and isolated riverbeds, but two areas of contact and interaction between peoples, civilizations, and cultures.

Ultimo aggiornamento: 23 May 2021