The paper aims to investigate castle-related conceptual spheres as emerging from the texts of the Polish Middle Ages. The examination uses data taken from the Corpus of Polish Medieval Latin (e‑Fontes) which encompasses texts-sources of various genres being in major part written in 15th century. The definition of phraseology adopted in the study permits to take into consideration multi‑words lexical units of various degree of stability and not only those being idiomatic. The emphasis is placed upon the ‘concept of castle’ as possible to identify in the texts reflecting the language of everyday communication whereas certain castle related phrases are inserted to some extent incidentally. Phraseological units containing nouns arx, castellum, castrum are mainly discussed.
In 2017 and 2018 a noninvasive and archaeological excavations were conducted on several sites: Teutonic Knights castles and medieval city in Chelmno Land (Kulmerland) Poland, a historical region to the east of the Lower Vistula Valley. In this region, missionary action targeting the neighbouring pagan Prussian tribes was begun by the Polish prince Konrad of Mazovia in the 1220s, and was initially carried out by Christian of Oliva, who had been appointed Bishop of Prussia. Retaliatory raids by the Prussian tribes led to the knights of the Teutonic Order being invited to this borderland in 1226. The Mazovian prince granted them a lease on the Chełmno Land in 1228. Until only recently it had been assumed that the beginning of the Teutonic Order’s presence was a privilege decreed in a 1226 ‘Golden bull’ by the emperor Frederick II, who confirmed the bequest of Chełmno Land to them by Konrad Mazowiecki. Today it is thought that this document was issued in 1235 . The military successes of the Teutonic Knights were undoubtedly influenced by, among others, their crusader ideology. Until the 1280s, they were engaged in leading crusading campaigns against the Prussian tribes and gradually occupying their lands. In two sites a previously unknown strongholds were discovered. Interdisciplinary studies revealed in Starogrod and Unislaw a timber-and-earth fortress that had been erected on an older Slavic settlement (Unislaw) or on near the Slavic fortresses (Starogrod). The present study concludes that the previously assumed course of the development of the Teutonic Order’s architecture needs to be amended.
The Baltic Crusades (12th–13th centuries) brought about vast and fundamental political and cultural changes in the frontiers of Latin Christendom. Medieval Livonia was no exception. The land, conquered by German crusaders, was organised into new political and ecclesiastical structures, and the indigenous population subjected to new religious practices and legal obligations. Whereas the aforementioned factors manifested in the cultural and legal sphere, the visible symbols of the new power – castles, cathedrals, churches, monasteries, towns – unrecognizably transformed the physical landscape.
This paper examines the interconnection between geographical location and legal sphere, specifically the interrelation of local power centres (main castles and cathedrals) and the materialisation of law within/across their respective sphere of legal and administrative power. Drawing from legal sources and manuscript evidence from the15th century, the paper demonstrates how contemporary legal-spatial consciousness shaped and transformed both the understanding and application of law. The emphasis is on the (in)voluntary reception, rejection and transplantation of legal norms between the main power centres of medieval Livonia and their respective effect on general legal customs and practices of the time.