The Czech Crown in the Early Modern Era: Real State or Imagined Entity?

Third session of the 2023–2024 CEFRES Francophone Interdisciplinary Seminar The map and the border.
In 2023, we would like to start by questioning the very act of bordering and representing (a territory, a period, a trajectory), in short, thanks to the interdisciplinarity of our respective disciplines, to question the map and the border.

Location: CEFRES Library, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1
Dates: Friday, December 8th, 10 am
Language: French

Speaker: Jan ZDICHYNEC, Faculty of Arts, Charles University
Discussant: Václav ŽŮREK, Centre for Medieval Studies at the Institute of philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague


The presentation, based on the author’s own research and on several recent discoveries of unprocessed archival sources, will first present the Crown of Bohemia as a whole and ask whether it can be considered a functional state or not. These reflections will be placed in the context of writing about the lands of the Crown from the Middle Ages to the premodern period.

How did early modern intellectuals perceive the Crown of Bohemia and one of its parts, the margraviate of Upper Lusatia? It is clear that the historians who adopted the point of view of the Kingdom of Bohemia tended to write in more Bohemian-centric manner. Melchior Goldast and Pavel Stránský offer a more complex view despite its gaps and ambiguities. The historiography of one of the countries of the Crown, the Upper Lusatia, focuses more on the margraviate itself and its towns, and its perspective is rather local. None of the studied authors questioned the Bohemian crown as a whole, nor the subordination of its various countries to the Bohemian king, however the principles of these questions as a whole were not reflected in depth.