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Reception of the Court Culture in the Czech Lands in the Early and Peak Middle Ages

Receiver of the project: the Historical Institute of the Czech Academy of Science, a public research institute
Researchers: PhDr. Dana Dvořáčková-Malá, PhDr. Jan Zelenka
Identification code of the project: KJB800150802
Duration of the project: 2008-2010

The grant-type project focuses on the study of manifestations of the court culture in the Czech Lands. The main portion of the research shall focus on monitoring the development of the royal court and the behaviour of the court community before the end of the Přemyslid era. The researched problem involves the study of the structure of the court including interaction between various offices and social groups or persons. The ruler and his family are understood to be the main figures at the court. Their private life and their household formed a part of a so called narrower as well as broader court during ordinary days as well as during holidays and court festivals. Therefore, the court was not considered only the centre of political power where the following components are generally distinguished - administrative, judicial and executive - but was simultaneously influenced by the needs of individuals or court interest groups. That is why we are also monitoring their mutual communication, subjective motivations and personal experience. All this was a part of the court culture which, along with all gestures, symbols and ritualized acts, formed the court ceremonial and in various modified versions penetrated among lower social classes. Court manners, chivalrous thoughts and patterns influenced the court community, determined its criteria and at the same time became the source of entertainment or inspiration for patronage and art.

The grant-type project also includes a discussion forum implemented through colloquia titled The Courts and Residences in the Middle Ages which was launched in 2005. A significant cross-field interest in courts inspired the intention to prepare a research plan focused on the reception of the court culture in the Czech Lands in the early and peak Middle Ages with a broader view of the development of the court culture and its prosperity in the Czech Lands in the 13th century. The research field within the medieval studies, as understood by the international colloquia, is not restricted in terms of time in order to provide the broadest space possible for exchange of opinions among individual researchers..