School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications

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    Contextualising the marriage of Bona Sforza to Sigismund I of Poland: Maximilian I’s diplomacy in Italy and Central Europe
    von Guttner, D (The Pontifical University of John Paul II in Cracow, 2021-01-01)
    This article will focus on the circumstances which contributed to the 1517 dynastic marriage of Bona Sforza of Milan to Sigismund I the Elder of Poland. It will examine the decline of Sforza and Neapolitan Aragon influence on the Apennine Peninsula in the face of Valois and Habsburg claims to supremacy. This article aims to place Habsburg diplomatic manoeuvring to secure the installation of Maximillian I’s niece as Queen of Poland in the context of Habsburg-Valois rivalry in Italy and Habsburg ambitions for dominance in Central Europe where they challenged the Jagiellon dynasts of Bohemia and Hungary, and of Poland and Lithuania. This article will demonstrate that the contracting of the Sforza-Jagiellon marriage was initiated by Maximillian I as an extension of a deliberate and assertive Habsburg policy. Habsburg policy objectives included removal of the prime claimant to the throne of Milan and the placing of a queen acquiescent to Habsburg strategy at the Jagiellon court in Poland. This article will conclude that the marriage was used by the Habsburgs as a dynastic and political tool to limit the Jagiellon dynasty’s power and authority in Central Europe.
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    The 'Chronica Polonorum' by Bishop Vincentius of Cracow. Preliminary remarks about its historical context, violence and its use
    von Guttner, D (Institute of History, University of Warsaw, 2021-01-01)
    A masterpiece of medieval scholarship, the Chronica Polonorum written by Bishop Vincentius of Cracow (c.1150–1223) traced the history of the Poles from time immemorial to the lifetime of its author. It is the second oldest Polish narrative source and as such it established an authoritative dynastically sponsored history of the Piast realm. Its author, a learned, yet unassuming, cleric achieved the goal which he proclaims in the Prologue to this work - his construct of the Polish history influenced the way history of the Poles was written ever since. In his exposition of the history of the Poles, Vincentius places a specific emphasis on violence: its use, its purpose and its justification. This article presents the historical context to the commissioning of the Chronicle and aims to explore various use of violence ultimately serving to construct Casimir the Just’s claim to the throne.
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    Communicating god’s war. Accounts of holy war in Polish medieval narrative sources
    von Güttner-Sporzyński, D (Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika/Nicolaus Copernicus University, 2021-01-01)
    The authors of Polish medieval narrative accounts from and about Poland communicated episodes of Christian holy war and proto-crusades in a distinct and consistent way from the early twelfth century. In this article I will argue that the anonymous author of the Gesta principum Polonorum presented the Polish conquest of Pomerania as a holy war, and that a hundred years later, the learned Vincentius Bishop of Cracow in his Chronica Polonorum depicted three military campaigns against the Prussian pagans and apostates as crusading expeditions. I will also argue that the first Polish historian Jan Długosz, deliberately celebrated and highlighted these earlier accounts to his contemporary fifteenth century readership, using these histories to position Poland’s rulers as having a longstanding and consistent commitment to crusading, at a time when participation in crusades was a central concern of Poland’s ruling elites. This article will conclude that each of these written works was a commissioned text and part of a deliberate strategy by the rulers of Poland to communicate their engagement in Christian holy wars at the periphery of Christian Europe.
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    The Periphery of Europe and the Idea of Crusade: Adaptation and Evolution of Crusader Ideology in Poland under the Piast Dynasty (1100–47) Darius von Güttner-Sporzyński
    von Guttner, D ; Srodecki, P ; Kersken, N (Brepols, 2021)
    The Western Slavic population inhabiting lands united under Piast rule which eventually were to develop into Poland was converted to Christianity in the late tenth century. From the early days of the adoption of the Christian religion and its language, customs and institutions, established Poland as a frontier of Christendom. For those looking from the West towards the East, the realm of the Poles was a more or less fluid extension of Latin Christianity; a periphery where the defence and expansion of Christendom was taking place. In fact, the struggle to contain the incursions of pagans and (after the great schism of 1054) schismatic Eastern Christians would be constant features of Polish medieval history. The nascent Christian dynasty of the Piasts led the conversion of the Western Slavic tribes around the Warta river, and proactively pursued policies which adopted the norms of Christendom, including, by forcibly keeping at bay their pagan neighbours to the north and north east.
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    French Revolution: The Basics
    von Guttner, D (Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), 2021)
    French Revolution is an accessible and concise introduction to the history of the revolution in France. Combining a traditional narrative of with documents of the era and references to contemporary imagery of the revolution, the book traces the long and short term causes of the French Revolution as well as its consequences up to the dissolution of the Convention and the ascendancy of Napoleon. The book is written with an explicit aim for its reader to acquire understanding of the past whilst imparting knowledge using the underlying the historical concepts such as evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, significance, empathy, perspectives, and contestability. Key topics discussed within the book include: The structure of French society before 1789. The long- and short-term factors that contributed to the French Revolution. How ordinary French people, including women and slaves participated in the revolution. What brought about the end of the ancien regime. The major reforms of the National Assembly, 1789-1791 and how they lead to the division and radicalisation of the revolution. How did the alternative visions of the new society divide the revolution and what were the internal and external pressures on the revolution that contributed to its radicalisation. The forms of terror which enabled reality triumph over the idealism. The rise of Napoleon Bonaparte as military leader and Emperor. This book is an ideal introduction for anyone wishing to learn more about this influential revolution in the shaping of modern Europe and the world.
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    How Ideas challenged the Old World
    von Guttner, D ( 2021-02-26)
    This presentation will focus on Early Modern Europe and the growth of ideas that challenged the ‘divine order of things’. Focusing on scientific discoveries and enlightened thinkers, this presentation will examine the notions of ‘truth’ and ‘progress’ that brought about the Enlightenment. Information in this session is relevant to both the current Global Empires and new Empires Study Designs.