"This ERC Starter Grant project will fund an interdisciplinary, transnational and groundbreaking study of the Jagiellonian dynasty (c.1386-1596) and its role, and legacy, in the development of identity in what we now call Central Europe. One of the most spectacularly successful of early modern dynasties, comparable only to the Habsburgs, in 1500 the Jagiellonians ruled a third of continental Europe, an area comprising no fewer than 14 present-day states. Uniquely among European dynasties in this period, the Jagiellonians created a dynastic regional hegemony, a geographical ‘bloc’ of neighbouring monarchies. Our knowledge of the Jagiellonians is, however, limited and highly fragmented along both national and disciplinary lines. The project will provide the first treatment of this leading Renaissance-era dynasty as a supra-national entity; it will offer a major new investigation of Renaissance dynasty itself as a political and cultural institution; explore the part played by the Jagiellonians in the evolution of pre-modern local or 'national' and regional identities, and investigate the ways in which divergent memories of their rule have, from 1596 onwards, shaped modern national identities in Central Europe. The project will transcend scholarly divisions – between disciplines (e.g. art history, anthropology, political history), between period specialisations (late medieval, early modern, modern) and between individual national historiographies (Polish, German, Czech etc.), to offer a metahistory of the meanings attributed to this landmark European dynasty, from the founder Jogaila (d.1434) to Radek Sikorski, Poland’s current foreign minister. The research will be undertaken by a multi-lingual team of 5 post-doctoral researchers, led by the PI, drawing on a range of written and visual sources produced by and about the Jagiellonians over six centuries."
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