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Eastern and Western Europe in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period: historical and cultural commonalities, regional peculiarities and the dynamics of interaction

Priority areas of development: management
Department: Centre for Medieval Studies

The project was implemented within the framework of the HSE Basic research program.
1. Research object
The common research object of the project is the interaction of Western and Eastern European cultures in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, as well as its perception and interpretation in the following historical tradition.
Meanwhile each of the four subprojects has its particular research objects. The research objects of Subproject A are the matrimonial and naming strategies in the European ruling dynasties in the X-XIII centuries (Kievan Rus’, Scandinavia, Byzantium, the Caucasus, Western Europe). The research objects of Subproject B are the models of interaction between Christian and non-Christian cultures in the West and in the East of Europe in connection with the discourses of religious intolerance and tolerance. Subproject C focuses on the forms of symbolic communication, particularly within the framework of political contacts, as well as while transferring technologies and knowledge. The foci of Subproject D are the concepts of the European Middle Ages in the context of specific historical circumstances in which they were created.
2. Research purpose
The final goal of the project in general, including in the future, is to develop a basic concept of a unified European history in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period without dividing it into Western and Eastern European histories. The project also aims at developing and testing the methods of interregional and whole-European historical studies.
However each of the subprojects has its own goal. Subproject A intends to reveal the peculiarities of matrimonial and naming strategies of the Rurik dynasty compared with those of other ruling dynasties in Europe. The purpose of subproject B is to compare models of attitudes towards adherents of a different faith in Catholic Europe and in Orthodox Eastern Europe within the framework of the confessional specificity of the two branches of Christianity. Subproject C seeks to reveal the peculiarities of mutual perceptions (understanding and non-understanding) of the representatives of different cultural regions, as well as the ways and means of intellectual technologies and knowledge transfer. Finally, Subproject D aims at tracing the development of European Middle Ages concepts in the new-European historical thinking.
3. Empirical base of the research
The research was implemented based on a wide range of unpublished as well as published primary sources with the use of a vast collection of secondary sources.
Each subproject deals with the relevant collections of primary sources. Even within the subprojects the source base is diversified. Nevertheless the key sources for the first subproject are the annals and chronicles of the XI-XIII centuries. The second subproject relies mainly on official sources, historiographical, polemical and publicistic narratives, as well as theological, exegetic and evangelical texts of the XV-XVII centuries. The main sources used within the third subproject are as follows: on the one hand these are the so-called “stateynie spiski” (ambassadors' reports) on Russian ambassadorial missions, and also payment books of the Imperial court of the XVI century; on the other, Latin scholarly treatises of the XII-XIV centuries. The chief sources for the fourth project are official documents and ego-documents, as well as journalistic materials from the end of the XIX – beginning of the XX century.
4. Research results
The reconstruction of the matrimonial strategy of the princely Rurik dynasty up to the Mongol-Tartar invasion, as well as the reconstruction of the dynasty’s typical naming strategy were performed within Subproject A for the first time ever. And we discovered similarities and differences with the same strategies of other ruling dynasties of the time. As a result of comparing various primary sources it was suggested within the framework of Subproject B that the tolerance of the Russian secular and church authorities toward non-Orthodox religious traditions during the XV-XVII centuries was rooted deeply in the confessional specificity of the Orthodox faith. Subproject C had a twofold outcome. The first group of results consisted of the following novelties: several unpublished primary sources were presented to the public; the historiographical specificity of the official accounts of Muscovite ambassadors of the XVIth century was unravelled; also the peculiarities of their perception of court customs of the Holy Roman Empire were uncovered. The second part of the project resulted in showing the development in Latin Europe of the XII-XIV centuries of the attitude towards classical knowledge and the symbolic and intellectual practices connected with it on the example of the changing attitude towards Aristotle, the person described in legends, romances, poetry and even a block of writings attributed to him. A range of new archival materials on the history of medieval studies in Russia at the end of the XIX-beginning of the XX century were uncovered. Moreover it appeared that Russian medieval studies scholars took an active part in the social movement in Russia at the end of the XIX-beginning of the XX century, no matter what social and political views they adhered to.
5. Implementation of research results
The research results of the project are already in high demand among Russian and international scholars and in university teaching. This is confirmed by the large number of talks given by participants in the projects at Russian and international conferences, as well as a wide range of lectures, special courses, optional courses (held at the HSE), and media presentations. The participants in the project prepared almost 30 published works in Russian, English, French and German, partly published, and partly being prepared for publication.
6. Scope of application
The research is intended to be applied in Russian and international academic research devoted to the medieval past of European peoples and cultures. Its results may be used in  higher education, and partly secondary education, in museums, libraries and other cultural institutions, as well as in the media.


Dmitriev P. M. La Russie orthodoxe face aux « hérésies latines» à l’époque de Louis XIII, in: Le lieu et le moment, Mélanges en l'honneur d'Alain Cabantous. Paris : Publications de la Sorbonne, 2014. С. 367-382. 
Дмитриев М. В. Московская Русь, ислам и мусульмане: особая модель религиозного плюрализма?, in: Религиозность: личность перед выборами бытия. Владимир , 2012. С. 27-37. 
Boytsov M. Alexander der Große als Wohltäter der Moskowiter, in: Geschichtsvorstellungen. Texte, Bilder und Begriffe aus dem Mittelalter. Festschrift für Hans-Werner Goetz zum 65. Geburtstag. Köln : Böhlau Verlag, 2012. С. 508-534. 
Boytsov M. Die Erlebnisse der Vertreter Ivans des Schrecklichen auf dem Reichstag zu Regensburg im Jahre 1576 und ihr Nachwirken, in: Bayern und Russland in vormoderner Zeit. Annäherungen bis in die Zeit Peters des Großen. Muenchen : Beck, 2012. С. 227-257. 
Бойцов М. А. Каким московские послы увидели двор Максимилиана I в 1517 г., да и увидели ли они его?, in: От текста к реальности: (не)возможности исторических реконструкций. Москва : Институт всеобщей истории РАН, 2012. С. 162-193. 
Дмитриев М. В. «Православная конфессионализация» в Восточной Европе во второй половине XVI века?, in: Дрогобицький краеєзнавчий збiрник. Дрогобич : Коло, 2012. С. 133-152. 
Бойцов М. А. Каким московские послы увидели двор Максимилиана I в 1517 г., да и увидели ли они его? // Электронный научно-образовательный журнал "История". 2013. № 6 (22). 
Voskoboynikov O. L'image d'Aristote et la construction des modèles intellectuels au XIIIe siècle // Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes. 2014. No. 27. P. 73-96. 
Бойцов М. А. Различные взгляды на посольство Ивана IV к императору Максимилиану II в 1576 г, in: Средневековая Европа: Восток и Запад. Москва : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2015. С. 327-364. 
Дмитриев М. В. «Bons et naturels Français». Католицизм и дискурсы французской идентичности в годы Парижской лиги, in: Французские религиозные войны 16 в.: новые источники, новые подходы. Материалы международной конференции, Петербург, 14-16 июня 2012 года. Санкт-Петербург , 2015. С. 263-290. 
Дмитриев М. В. «Новаторы» и «консерваторы» в украинско-белорусской и русской религиозной культуре первой половины XVII в. (Кирилл Транквиллион-Ставровецкий и его противники), in: Украина и Россия: взаимодействие в культурном пространстве Европы. Материалы второй конференции Российской ассоциации украинистов. Москва, декабрь 2011 года.: МГИМО-Университет, 2015. С. 21-34. 
Voskoboynikov O. Echt, gereinigt, gefälscht. Der Aristoteles des 13. Jahrhunderts zwischen römischer Kurie und staufischem Hof, in: Verleugnete Rezeption. Fälschungen antiker Texte. Freiburg : Rombach, 2017. С. 259-274.