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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.