Archives de catégorie : Pays baltes / The Baltic States

Boestad, Tobias


Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) 
Continuer la lecture de Boestad, Tobias

Theotokis, Georgios. The Norman Campaigns in the Balkans, 1081-1108, Reviewed in The Medieval Review by G. A. Loud (University of Leeds)

Theotokis, Georgios
The Norman Campaigns in the Balkans, 1081-1108. Warfare in History. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2014. Pp. xii, 262. £60.0/$99.00 (hardback). ISBN: 9781843839217 (hardback).

Reviewed by G. A. Loud, University of Leeds

Reviewed in The Medieval Review

At first sight the title of this book is something of a misnomer, in that only a third of the text is actually devoted to the campaigns waged in the Balkans against the Byzantine Empire by Robert Guiscard, the Norman Duke of Apulia, and his son Bohemond. This reflects the relative paucity of evidence concerning these undoubtedly dramatic events, by far the most detailed account of which comes in the Alexiad of Anna Komnena, written at least sixty years after the earlier expedition of Guiscard, and almost forty years after that of his son in 1107-8. To place these campaigns in context—or, the uncharitable might suggest, to pad out this study, and the thesis on which it is based, to book-length–the first two-thirds of the volume comprise a lengthy introduction to the military background, both in eleventh-century Normandy and southern Italy, and in Byzantium. These introductory chapters do indeed paint with a very broad brush. To what extent a summary discussion of castle-building in Anglo-Norman England, or a history of the Byzantine theme system going back to Heraclius, really enhances our understanding of the conflict between Guiscard and Alexios Komnenos is a moot point. At the same time, the concentration on warfare and tactics means that the political and social background to these campaigns in the Balkans is very hastily sketched. In other words, this book tends to fall between two stools, being neither a full study of warfare and military affairs in Norman Italy–still much needed–or in Byzantium–rather less so in the light of a number of excellent modern works–nor a fully-rounded discussion of the conflict between the Normans of Apulia and Byzantium.

Continuer la lecture de Theotokis, Georgios. The Norman Campaigns in the Balkans, 1081-1108, Reviewed in The Medieval Review by G. A. Loud (University of Leeds)

Représentations modernes et contemporaines des Nord médiévaux

Les résumés et les bibliographies des communications de la 1ère journée du séminaire « Représentations modernes et contemporaines des Nords médiévaux » sont en ligne sur le carnet en ligne « RIM-Nor » (

Barnwell Timothy, Missionaries and changing views of ‘the Other’ from the 9th to 12th centuries

Barnwell Timothy, Missionaries and changing views of ‘the Other’ from the 9th to 12th centuries, thèse soutenue en 2014, (dir. I. Wood, University of Leeds)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis explores the varying ways in which otherness was imagined and constructed in two clusters of medieval missionary texts: Rimbert’s Vita Anskarii and Adam of Bremen’s Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, from the archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen; and Bruno of Querfurt’s Passio Sancti Adalberti episcopi et martyris, Vita vel passio Benedicti et Iohannis sociorumque suorum and Epistola ad Heinricum Regem. Missionaries and the authors who described their work were uniquely concerned with those who lay beyond the geographical, political and spiritual boundaries of Christendom. Accordingly, they provide our principal sources for understanding how such groups were represented. In the first instance, this thesis is concerned with descriptions of groups physically located outside the Carolingian, Ottonian, and Salian Empires, particularly in the Scandinavian and Slavic worlds. But given the fluidity and interconnectedness of early medieval identities, it also encompasses representations of marginalised groups within Christendom such as slaves, women, heretics, Jews and political enemies. Following a brief introduction, the thesis begins by setting out the theoretical foundations of an understanding of otherness based on the expectation of variety. This forms a response to the totalising claims of many recent discussions of otherness. This is followed by a close analysis of each text, beginning with the Hamburg-Bremen material, before moving on to Bruno of Querfurt’s works. The aim is to reflect the peculiar dynamics of each work and, consequently, discussions of these authors’ literary and exegetical concerns form a substantial part of this study. Their presentation of groups within Christendom has also been emphasised; sometimes the other was closer to home. The thesis concludes by emphasising the conceptual variety revealed in each work. Key themes can be identified, but the presentation of otherness in all of these texts is far more diverse and conceptually fragmented than is usually appreciated in existing scholarship.

[Source :]

Vers l’Orient et vers l’Occident Regards croisés sur les dynamiques et les transferts culturels des Vikings à la Rous ancienne

P. Bauduin et A. Musin (dir.), Vers l’Orient et vers l’Occident : regards croisés sur les dynamiques et les transferts culturels des Vikings à la Rous ancienne, Presses universitaires de Caen, Publications du CRAHAM, 2014, 504 p., ISBN : 978-2-84133-499-5, 45 € (Eastwards and Westwards : Multiple Perspectives on the Dynamics and Cultural Transfers from the Vikings to the Early Rus’/ На Запад и на Восток : сравнительное исследование динамики культурного обмена. От викингов к Древней Руси)


Contact et information

Issu d’un projet de recherche franco-russe (CNRS-Académie des Sciences de Russie), ce volume présente les avancées de la recherche récentes sur les Vikings dans une perspective pluridisciplinaire et comparatiste largement ouverte à l’Europe orientale. Il confronte les vues de chercheurs de plusieurs disciplines travaillant sur différentes sources et qui se rattachent à des méthodologies ou à des traditions historiographiques diverses plus ou moins marquées idéologiquement.

L’ouvrage propose de réfléchir sur les dynamiques des échanges culturels analysées comme un processus d’interactions qui franchissent les groupes ethniques ou sociaux, les pays, les croyances et les pratiques religieuses, les générations, les genres. Il s’agit de s’interroger sur les particularités de ces processus et sur les transformations mutuelles des fondations scandinaves ainsi que des sociétés locales (franque, anglo-saxonne, slave, finnoise). Une large part est accordée aux acteurs de ces changements (élites, marchands, hommes d’Église, artisans, femmes, scaldes, historiographes….), ainsi qu’aux lieux ou aux espaces où celles-ci interviennent. La signification de la mémoire historique relative à la présence scandinave dans le passé régional ou national en Europe et l’impact mémoriel sur la formation des représentations de l’autre, des identités et des historiographies médiévales ou modernes sont également abordés. Le volume participe ainsi à une réflexion plus large sur les notions débattues d’acculturation, de transferts culturels, de middle ground dont l’intérêt heuristique dépasse largement le phénomène de l’expansion scandinave à l’époque viking.

The result of a Franco-Russian Research project (CNRS – Russian Academy of Sciences), this publication presents the latest advances of recent research on the Vikings in a multidisciplinary and comparative perspective across Eastern Europe. It confronts the views of researchers from several disciplines working on different sources which reflect diverse methodological or historiographical traditions that have been, to some extent, marked ideologically.

The volume proposes a reflection on the dynamics of cultural exchanges analysed as a process of interactions that have traversed ethnic or social groups, countries, religious beliefs and practices, generations, genders. Questions concerning the specificities of these processes and the reciprocal transformations of Scandinavian settlements and local societies (Frankish, Anglo-Saxon, Slavic, Finnish) are posed. A large part of the volume is devoted to the actors involved in these changes (elites, merchants, ecclesiastics, artisans, women, skalds, historiographers….), and the places or areas where they took place. The significance of historical memory in the European regional or national past concerning the Scandinavian presence and the impact of this memory on the creation of representations of the other, identities and medieval or modern historiography are equally discussed. This publication thus participates to the broader reflection on the notions discussed concerning acculturation, cultural transfers and the “middle ground” whose heuristic interest goes far beyond the phenomenon of Scandinavian expansion during the Viking era.