The "Ruler" of "Hungary" in Medieval Sources

ELTE Department of Medieval History invites to the public lecture by Professor Christian Raffensperger (Wittenberg University Ohio) titled Embracing Complexity: The "Ruler" of "Hungary" in Medieval Sources.

It is all too common for medieval historians to pay attention to only some of the titles which appear in our sources, rather than all of them. Both Charlemagne and Offa of Mercia use the title imperator but only one appears as an “emperor” in secondary sources. Some titles are explained away by modern historians, such as the rulers of Rus who appear as rex in primary sources, but whom translators call “only princes.” 

This talk will investigate the titles of the ruler of Hungary, as well as what that ruler was in charge of. Was he in charge of people – the Hungarians? Or was he in charge of land – Hungary? Is there consistency or is there complexity? The end result of the investigation is that despite what may appear in our translations of medieval sources, the sources themselves embrace a complexity that we as moderns are not yet willing to consider.

Time: 16 April 2024, 16.00
Venue: ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Szekfű Gyula Library (Main building, 1st floor 115.)

Christian Raffensperger is the Kenneth E. Wray Chair in the Humanities at Wittenberg University as well as professor and chair of the History Department. His work has largely focused on integrating medieval eastern Europe, and the kingdom of Rus in particular, with the larger medieval European world. His books include Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus’ in the Medieval World (Harvard UP, 2012), Conflict, Bargaining, and Kinship Networks in Medieval Eastern Europe (Lexington Books, 2018), and most recently, Rulers and Rulership in the Arc of Medieval Europe, 1000-1200 (Routledge, 2024).