CMS Centre for Medieval Studies

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110 00 Praha 1
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/ Beghards, Brethren, and the Witches' Sabbat: The Semantics of Denigration in Late Medieval Czech Lands

Project GA ČR 24-12819S

The project examines the development of anti-heretic stereotypes in texts reflecting the fate of radical groups in Hussitism, from the Adamites to the Unity of the Brethren. The fifteenth century marks a turning point in religious exclusion and persecution, as the negative type of heretic created during the last three centuries of the Middle Ages was used in accusations related to witchcraft. The project is based on the polemical output of Jan Vodňanský, primarily on his Locustarius, which reuses numerous older and contemporary anti-heretical texts. We interpret the sources with respect to the specific conditions of the Czech lands, especially confessional diversity and the absence of inquisition trials. The project aims to analyse antiheretical discourses and their sources and nuance the interpretive models of international research on heresies and witchcraft. The social implications of defamation strategies for identity formation and rivalry between newly established religious groups on both the Utraquist and the Catholic sides will also be examined.
Duration: 2023-2025
Investigator: Pavlína Cermanová
Team members: Pavel Soukup, Stanislav Hlaváč


/ Beyond Security: Role of Conflict in Resilience-Building (CoRe)

Project OP JAK (reg. č.: CZ.02.01.01/00/22_008/0004595)

The CMS Working Group is participating in the project within the framework of Research Project No. 4 entitled "Conflict in the long term: historical experience as a source of resilience". It focuses on discourses of crisis, decline and threat to society and the reflection of minorities and group identities in selected 14th-16th century sources ('anti heretical' treatises from Bohemia and the surrounding area, verse compositions).

Duration: 2023-2028
Principal Investigator Institution: FF UK
Team members (CMS): Pavlína Cermanová, Pavel Soukup, Vojtěch Bažant, Zdeněk Vostrý


/ The Controversy over Wyclif and his 45 Articles in a European Perspective

Project GA ČR (reg. č.: 23-06902S)

In this project, we will examine the controversy over John Wyclif and his 45 articles in a broad international context. In doing so, we will connect in a concrete way the research on Wyclif and Wycliffism, which is highly specialized and thematically fragmented. We will collect and study relevant manuscripts and literature. On this basis, we will publish a monograph that will deal with the genesis of the articles, the circumstances of their condemnation by the University of Prague in 1403, and the subsequent course of the related disputes up to the 1430s. We will also take into account the legal, political, social and ideological aspects of the controversy. We will use the methodological procedures of historical (political) analysis, intellectual history, manuscript studies, as well as textual criticism. We will critically publish five short pragmatic texts in the appendix of the monograph and we will also prepare two journal studies for print.

Duration: 2023-2025
Investigator:  Dušan Coufal


/ From Performativity to Institutionalization: Handling Conflict in the Late Middle Ages (Strategies, Agents, Communication)

Project EXPRO 19-28415X

This project aims to comprehensively research the conflicts in Central Europe during the long fifteenth century. In three thematic strands, it approaches (1) religious and ideological controversies, (2) conflicts surrounding members of the Luxembourg dynasty, and (3) social tensions and disputes. The peculiar situation in the Czech Lands after the Compactata treaty of 1436, which officially ended the Hussite wars, is understood as an ‘institutionalized conflict’. Despite the stabilized situation which allowed the evolution of an Estate system, neither party (Catholic nor Hussite) could accept the correctness of the other’s faith without jeopardizing their own legitimacy. Seen as intertwined issues, the strategies of conflict management employed by individual actors, the communicative and performative aspects of controversies, and the evolution of institutions in a divided society will render a more adequate and nuanced image of the Late Middle Ages in Central Europe as a contentious period.
Project web page:
Duration: 2019–2023
Investigator: Pavel Soukup
Co-investigator: Klára Hübner, Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences and Archive Studies, FF MU, Brno
Team members (CMS): Vojtěch Bažant, Pavlína Cermanová, Dušan Coufal, Jakub Jauernig, Martin Nodl, Robert Novotný, Adam Pálka, Martin Pjecha, Martin Šorm, Václav Žůrek
Team members (FF MU): Petr Elbel, Přemysl Bar, Stanislav Bárta, Ondřej Schmidt, Heinrich Speich


/ Magistri Iohannis Hus Opera omnia

The editorial care of the latin works of Jan Hus, formerly published but abandoned by "Academia. Nakladatelství Československé akademie věd", has been taken over by the Centre for Medieval Studies in cooperation with the Belgian publisher Brepols n.v. Since 2004 new volumes and revised editions have been integrated into the renown series Corpus Christianorum – Continuatio Mediaevalis, keeping the original numbering of the old Opera omnia as additional mark besides the appropriate place in the new series. The secretary of the editorial commission - dr. Gabriel Silagi - has been appointed by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and has his seat at the CMS. He is responsible for the last revision of all manuscripts to appear in the series. Further editions are in preparation in Prague and Brno and will be ready in due time.
Secretary: dr. Gabriel Silagi


Previous Projects:

/ Accessible historical sources. Making medieval written documents available in the form of a contextual database

Project TAČR TL03000365

The main goal of the project is to make the written sources of Czech medieval history accessible for a wide range of internet users: researchers, employees of memory institutions, teachers, students, as well as the broader public. The project will use digitised data from the "Czech Medieval Sources online" portal, which will be moved to the new system. This system will connect image data with a semi-automatically created text database that will allow for fulltext semantic searches of content and metadata, the creation of advanced annotations, and structured data extractions. The overall corpus size limits the first data batch to the diplomatic material from the Hussite period (1419–1436).
Duration: 2020–2023
Investigator: Robert Novotný
Co-investigators: Tereza Dufková, David Kozler, Jakub Jauernig
Cooperating institutions: Faculty of Informatics MU, Faculty of Arts MU, LEXICAL COMPUTING CZ, s.r.o.


/ Trade – Money – Usury. Prague Burghers in the Economic Space of Europe
(the 13th – the 15th Centuries)

Junior Project GA ČR 20-10897Y

In the Middle Ages, the conurbation of Prague was the centre of the land, the seat of the ruling dynasty and the capital city of trade of the Bohemian Kingdom. In this project we shall scrutinize, analyse and evaluate the social and economic role and position of the burghers of Prague within the economic space of Central European in the 13th to 15th century. When researching this topic one has to take into consideration that the burghers of Prague were involved in silver mining and in the export of Prague groschen, they had many economic contacts at home and abroad and often cooperated with the financially powerful Prague Jews.The research will focus mainly on the analysis of written sources held in Czech and foreign archives. Using these sources we will try to address also the questions that do not directly arise from the preserved sources. Primarily, we shall focus on the economic power of the burghers of Prague, on their “merchant mentality” and on this group’s social networks, both in-town and abroad. Results will be published individually as well as through of two monographs.
Duration: 2020–2022
Main investigator: Martin Musílek
Co-investigators: Veronika Večeřová, Kajetán Holeček


/ Transmission of Knowledge. The Fortune of Four Bestsellers in Late Medieval Czech Lands

GAČR Project (GA ČR 17-19808S)

Project aims to rethink the history of late medieval literacy in the Czech lands. Four texts were chosen as examples illustrating the spread and changes of literate circles. All of them assemble knowledge of the world in the form of of historical, philosophical, medicinal, moralising or catechetical summaries. All of them circulated in a large number of manuscripts extant to this day. Secretum secretorum, Liber de hominum et officiis nobilium sive super ludum scaccorum, Elucidarium and Chronicon pontificum et imperatorum are distinctive for totality of material and at the same time differ significantly from extensive 13th-century summas. These texts were copied, adapted and even translated into the vernacular during the entire 14th and 15th centuries. Since they were gradually spreading, initially to elite centres of learning, but later also to a larger scope of groups of recipients (parishes, citizens, nobility), we consider them to be an applicable material for the aforementioned objective of the project. The aforementioned texts were communicated more intensively in the Czech lands from the beginning of the 14th century. The initial manifestations of humanism in the Czech lands and the introduction of printing in the second half of the 15th century significantly changed the paradigm of the reception of this type of works. In this chronological framework, we would like to grasp the phenomenon of enlarging circles of readers including all individuals who read, owned, transcribed, or received the selected text. The research team will examine the transfer of various types of knowledge, summarized in our four texts, into various social, cultural and confessional milieus which determined the way in which the texts were read and interpreted.
Team members: Vojtěch Bažant, Jaroslav Svátek, Václav Žůrek
Investigator: Pavlína Cermanová
Duration: 2017–2019


/ Birth of the Bohemian Town and Mendicant Orders

GAČR Project (GA16-06083S)

Investigator: Prof. PhDr. Petr Sommer, CSc., DSc., Centre for Medieval Studies, Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Coordinator: Jan Kremer
Duration: 2016–2018


/ Cultural Codes and their Transformation in the Hussite Period

Project for the Support of Excellence in the Basic Research (GAČR P405/12/G148)

Investigator: Prof. PhDr. František Šmahel, DrSc., Centre for Medieval Studies, Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Co-investigator: PhDr. Alena Černá, Ph.D., Institute of the Czech Language of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Second co-investigator: Prof. PhDr. Jiří Kuthan, DrSc., Catholic Theological Faculty
Coordinators: Mgr. Robert Novotný, Ph.D., Mgr. Pavel Soukup, Ph.D.
Duration: 2012–2018


/ Culture and Art of the Benedictine Order in the Central Europe 800-1300

NAKI Grant of the Ministry of Culture (DF11P01OVV007)

Duration: 2011-2015
Investigator (CMS): Prof. Petr Sommer
Coordinator (CMS): Pavlína Mašková
Co-investigator: Prof. Vít Vlnas, National Gallery in Prague
Second co-investigator: Prof. PhDr. Jiří Kuthan, DrSc., Catholic Theological Faculty
Web pages:


/ Origins of the Vernacular Mode. Regional Identities And European Networks in Late Medieval Europe

ERC-Starting Grant 263672

Investigator: dr. Pavlína Rychterová
Coordinator (CMS): doc. Lucie Doležalová
Web pages:


/ Coexistence of the Christian and Jewish Population in Medieval Bohemia

Grant of the Czech Science Foundation (ID number P405/11/1982)

Trvání: 2011-2014
Řešitel za HIÚ: PhDr. Eva Doležalová, Ph.D.
Spoluřešitel za CMS: PhDr. Martin Musílek, CMS FLÚ AV ČR

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