The Czech Lands in Medieval Transformation

Ultimo aggiornamento: 25 maggio 2021

Klápšte J.

The Czech Lands in Medieval Transformation

BRILL, Leiden (The Netherlands) 2011

Collana: East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 450-1450, Vol. 17


This book offers a key to several important chapters of the history of Czech lands, firmly anchoring them in a broad European context. The Medieval transformation that impacted the Czech lands mostly in the 13th century is seen as a broad cultural change in which domestic preconditions encountered a system of innovations already evolved in West Central Europe. The main topics analysed are the onset of landed nobility, the transformation of the rural milieu, and the early history of towns. This analysis draws on every source category, including written testimony, archaeological findings, and architectural monuments. Inspired by microhistorical methodology, it does not indulge in general schemes but studies carefully chosen samples of the transformation and its natural differentiations.

Winner of the 2012 Book Prize of the Early Slavic Studies Association.

Table of contents

Introductory Note ... vii
Petr Sommer
Foreword ... ix
David A. Warner
Acknowledgements ... xxi
List of Figures ... xxiii
Map ... xl
Places Index ... xli

Chapter One The Middle Ages—Distant and Close ... 1
1. The Wedding Picture of Saint Hedwig ... 4
2. An Invitation to Wiprecht of Groitzsch ... 8

Chapter Two Transforming the Might of the Mighty ... 13
1. Great Moravian Beginnings ... 14
2. Epilogue of the ‘Warrior Graves’ ... 28
3. The Residences of Dukes and Bishops, as well as of the Other Elite ... 36
4. Quod autem mea ecclesia hodie habet, auferendi dux potestatem non habet ... 43
5. The First Evidence of the Property of the Nobles ... 46
6. Travels with Bishop Daniel ... 58
7. Kin-Group Beginnings in Prcice ... 64
8. Hroznata of Tepla and His Property Declaration ... 68
9. Leo de Klobuc or an Official’s Path to Property ... 76
10. Zbraslav, Pincerna Regis, and His Guests ... 80
11. Seeking the Right Address ... 89
12. The Residences of the Lords in the Environs of the Castle Centres ... 103
13. Twice at Kojata’s from the Hrabiše Family ... 111
14. Hageno de Zvethiz and the Others ... 119
15. The Spectacular Pride of the Aristocratic Castles ... 126
16. Fortified Manors or a Eulogy to Ingenuity ... 154

Chapter Three The Frail Certainties of the Rural Milieu ... 171
1. The Long Slow Course of Medieval Settlement ... 171
2. The Villages of the Early Middle Ages ... 185
3. This World and the Other World ... 197
4. The Improvement of Land as a System ... 210
5. The Henrykow Book and Its Report on the Colonisation Period ... 227
6. Transformations of the Central European Village in the Archaeological Evidence ... 236
7. Seeking the Legal Framework for the Transformation of the Village in the Czech Lands ... 242
8. Where the Place Name ‘Lhota’ Came From ... 271
9. The Multifarious Forms of the Medieval Village ... 274
10. The Interplay of Innovations ... 305

Chapter Four The Long Journey to the Town ... 325
1. The Beginnings of Production Specialisation ... 327
2. For a Theory of Service Organisation and Back Again ... 344
3. The Beginnings of Market Exchange ... 350
4. Centrality and Its Legacy ... 358
5. Litomerice or Žatec ... 367
6. Prague under Prague ... 379
7. Modest and Yet More Modest Centres ... 396
8. The Unobviousness of Locational Towns ... 403
9. The Beginnings of the Urban Establishment ... 406
10. The Kaleidoscope of Urban Beginnings ... 410
11. Life in One House and One Town ... 443
12. The Town and Its Region ... 448

Chapter Five Change in Change ... 459
1. Causes in the System ... 463
2. The Czech Lands, Central Europe, Europe ... 467

Bibliography ... 471
Index ..


A cura di Giulia Tarquini

Scheda a cura di: Klápšte J.