Czechs and Poles in the Middle Ages: Rivalry, Cooperation and Alliances

Map of Europe, drawing of c. 1570

The article contains a description of the development of Czech-Polish relations in the Middle Ages.

Szczecin: Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes

View of the castle taken from the top of St. Jakub’s Basilica. (Photo by

My visit to Berlin included a quick stop across the border to Poland, to visit Szczecin and the Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes.

The Thirteenth Century International System and the Origins of the Angevin-Piast Alliance

18th century map of Europe - map of Europe first issued by Daniel de La Feuille in 1702.

The central question of this study is what inspired Charles I and Władysław Łokietek to establish a dynastic marriage in 1320 and in what context it happened.

The Remembrance of the Deceased in the Traditional Polish Culture of the Middle Ages

This skull illustrates the office of the dead, the officium defunctorum, in the Gualenghid’Este Hours by Taddeo Crivelli (d. ca. 1479).

In the Middle Ages, Polish Christian holidays remained consistent, except for minor temporary deviations. They included the basic structure of pre-Christian rituals. Yet, traces of the old Slavic ritual calendar can be clearly identified in the Polish and Czech sources from the fourteenth- and fifteenth-centuries.

Christianisation of the Piast Monarchy in the 10th and 11th Centuries


Which facts testify to the beginning of the Christianisation process of a given country and which ones indicate its conclusion?

The Sumptuous Use of Food at Castle Marienburg (Malbork) at the Start of the Fifteenth Century

Malbork reno

The prestige role of luxury food consumption was particularly visible during meetings of an international character: Teutonic-Lithuanian, Teutonic-Polish or Teutonic-Polish-Lithuanian, to which the grand master would come accompanied by the highest Order’s officials.

Ostsiedlung or Transition of German Law? Legal Perspective on Settlement According to German Law in Medieval Poland

Pawel Dziwinski

Paper given at Twenty-First Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians – 6th Berg Institute International Conference

Middle Age Couriers: How Medieval Polish Manuscripts Turned Up in Milwaukee, and How They Got Back Home to Poland

Neal Pease

Middle Age Couriers: How Medieval Polish Manuscripts Turned Up in Milwaukee, and How They Got Back Home to Poland Lecture by Neal Pease Given at the University of Kansas on April 14, 2014 “He said he had something – a collection of stuff – that he wasn’t actually sure what it was, but he wanted […]

Environmental Crusading: The Teutonic Knight’s Impact After the Baltic Crusades

Malbork Zamek Krzyzacki. Wikicommons

Environmental archaeologist and Professor of Archeology at Reading, Dr. Aleks Pluskowski, examined Malbork and several other sites across Eastern and Northern Europe in his recent paper, The Ecology of Crusading: The Environmental Impact of Holy War, Colonisation, and Religious Conversion in the Medieval Baltic. Pluskowski is keenly interested in the impact the Teutonic Knights and Christian colonisation had on the region. His ambitious 4 year project on the ecological changes in this area recently came to a close at the end of 2014.

Nourishment for the Soul – Nourishment for the Body: Animal Remains in Early Medieval Pomeranian Cemeteries

Medieval depiction of animals

Late medieval sources clearly refer to souls, which in traditional folk beliefs were periodically returning to feed and warm themselves by the fires made by the living. This kind of conception can be merged with Slavic eschatology. There is multiple evidence to confirm that belief some form of spirit or soul was spreading amongst the people, who in the early medieval period, bordered directly with Pomerania.

Disputing Identity, Territoriality, and Sovereignty: The Place of Pomerania in the Social Memory of the Kingdom of Poland and the Teutonic Ordensstaat

16th century Poland

This dissertation analyzes state-formation, the development of historical consciousness, and the construction of identities in medieval Europe.

Constructing memory: holy war in the Chronicle of the Poles by Bishop Vincentius of Cracow


The Chronicle of the Poles by Bishop Vincentius of Cracow is a twelfth-century history of Poland and a recognised masterpiece of medieval scholarship.

Characteristics of Medieval Artillery in the Light of Written Sources from Bohemia and Poland

Battle of Domažlice, 15th century Jena Codex

Artillery appears in Central Europe at the end of the 14th c. and it starts playing a more significant role only in the next century.

Slaves, Money Lenders, and Prisoner Guards: The Jews and the Trade in Slaves and Captives in the Crimean Khanate

Jewish Slave Trader being presented to Boleslav of Bohemia

Trade in slaves and captives was one of the most important (if not the most important) sources of income of the Crimean Khanate in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

The cultural identity of medieval Silesia: the case of art and architecture

Wrocław, Church of St Mary Magdalene

The cultural identity of architecture and visual arts of the Middle Ages in Silesia can be analyzed in the following frameworks: 1.) the distinct formal features of local artwork; 2.) the specific content expressed through it. Macro factors (the type of materials and their availability) are important in architecture, as are architectural patterns and styles.

A figurine from Stare Bielsko. Sexuality in Middle Ages

figurine from Stare Bielsko

ceramic figurine from late Middle Ages, found in Stare Bielsko, shows a couple that is having sex and can be a good example of not such sanctimonious way of thinking.

Casualties among children in the light of Polish medieval ‘Catalogues of miracles’

St Hedwig

‘Catalogues of miracles’ show the number of children which was injured or killed. Parents or relatives turned to the saints with pleas for curing or bringing their child back to life. I discuss the categories of the accidents, the age of injured, the types of pleas, parent’s feelings and vows.

The two swords: using the symbol of the battle of Grunwald (1410) in the 19th and 20th century Poland

Battle of Grunwald by Jan Matejko (1878)

It would be difficult to find an event in the Polish history which imprinted more influence on common social imagination or the actions of modern Polish social and political leaders that would be comparable to the battle of Grunwald.

‘Vampire’ skeleton discovered in Poland

Vampire Skeleton from Poland

Archaeologists working in northwestern Poland have unearthed the remains of man who was buried with a rock jammed into his jaw and a stake driven into his leg.

Fabrics in Medieval Dress in Pomerania

Medieval Gdansk

The use of colour effects – motives of stripes, colour ribbon and string additions as well as pieces of embroidery – is a testament to the decorative character of medieval clothes.

A Comparative Analysis Of Early Medieval North-West Slavonic And West Baltic Sacred Landscapes

Gross Raden, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Reconstruction of a 9th century Slavic temple

The major aim of our paper is to present a comparative analysis of early medieval north-west Slavonic and Prussian objects and places which are interpreted in a sacral context.

Church and burial mounds among medieval archaeological finds in Poland

Photo of an archaeological site in Poland. Photo by I. Miechowicz /  Science and Scholarship in Poland

The remains of a 13th-century church and burial mounds dating back to the ninth-century are among the archaeological finds announced this month by Polish researchers.

Over a thousand medieval manuscripts to be digitized in Poland

Shown here is "The Great Missal", from the Church of Mary Magdalene in Wroclaw, circa 1470, part of the Wroclaw University Library archives being digitized and made available online for the first time with IBM technology.  Photo courtesy of Wroclaw University Library, Poland

Wroclaw University Library in Poland is teaming up with IBM to digitize nearly 800,000 pages of European manuscripts, books, and maps dating back to the Middle Ages. This will include over 1100 medieval manuscripts.

Examples of Medieval Plague Treatises from Central Europe

"Doktor Schnabel von Rom" ("Doctor Beak from Rome") engraving, Rome 1656 Physician attire for protection from the Bubonic plague or Black death.

Studying the phenomenon of the plague in the Middle Ages one discovers that by far the most numerous source material directly connected to the epidemics is represented by the plague treatises

Infant Burials and Christianization: The View from East Central Europe

Dziekanowice-groby-odkryte (uncovered graves)

This was the second paper in the Early Medieval Europe I series given at KZOO and another fabulous archaeology paper. It contrasted infant grave sites in early converted medieval Poland and Anglo Saxon England.

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