IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 821: Cannibals, Heretics, and a Drunken King: Imaging Bohemia, 900-1450

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences & Archive Studies, Masaryk University, Brno
Organiser:Klara Hübner, Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences & Archive Studies, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Moderator/Chair:Felicitas Schmieder, Historisches Institut, FernUniversität Hagen
Paper 821-aFriends of Cannibals?: Imaging and Self-Perception of the Bohemians between the 9th and 14th Centuries
(Language: English)
David Kalhous, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Index terms: Anthropology, Historiography - Medieval, Local History, Mentalities
Paper 821-bThe Crowned Drunkard: Getting Rid of a Roman King at the Edge of the 14th Century - The Case of Wenceslas IV
(Language: English)
Klara Hübner, Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences & Archive Studies, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Index terms: Law, Mentalities, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 821-cWhat the Italians Thought of Hussite Bohemia: Some Evidence from Mantua
(Language: English)
Ondřej Schmidt, Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences & Archive Studies, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Index terms: Anthropology, Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities, Politics and Diplomacy
Abstract

Throughout the Middle Ages, the perception of the Bohemian lands was marked by a vivid fascination for the unknown. Most of these narrative topics are created by western authors, who underline the ‘otherness’ of its Slavic population with the creation of rather negative stereotypes. They recur throughout the centuries, often as follow-ups of political events and evolutions which had an impact on European politics such as the Hungarian incursions, the rise and fall of the last Přemyslids and the Luxembourg dynasty or the fear of the Hussites. Most of them are commonly known and depict rather the author’s or purchasers personal intention, than an immediate knowledge of Bohemia. In general, they hover over behavioural norms or customs of rulers or population, which are considered as deviant. The session is dedicated to a comparative view on Bohemia through the shifting impact of general literary stereotypes such as trickiness or cowardice and more substantial allegations like cannibalism or heresy in a long term perception. David Kalhous will show where these stereotypes came from and how they shaped an early ‘Bohemian’ identity, Klara Hübner points at their misuse as means of political propaganda against members of the Luxemburg Dynasty, mostly Wenceslas IV, and Ondřej Schmidt will demonstrate the ambivalent attitude towards the Hussites among the rulers of 15th century Mantua and other Italian communes.