History and Archeology Section

Pre-conference Workshop
3 September 2017, 14:00  – 17:00

How can History and Archaeology be Handmaidens in Defining a National or Regional (in this case European) Identity?

14:00–14:20 Csanád Bálint (Hungary): Nationalism and panhistorical perspective in Early Middle Age archaeology.
14:20–14:40 Rab Houston (United Kingdom): Material culture and social practice: archaeology and history in understanding Europe’s ‘Celtic fringe’.
14:40–15:00 Robert von Friedeburg (United Kingdom): The  idea of State in Latin Europe as preserving the rule of law.
15:00–15:20 Discussion
15:20–15:40 Coffee break
15:40–16:00 Olga Katsiardi-Hering (Greece): The role of the archaeology in forming the Greek National identity and its embodiment in the European identity.
16:00–16:20 Rosa María Martínez de Codes (Spain): Reasonable accommodations in a secularized Europe in the face of integration challenges: the debate about legal pluralism and multiculturalism.
16:20–16:40 Sverre Håkon Bagge (Norway): History and Archaeology in the perspective of Ian Morris’s works : how handmaidens may interact.
16:40–17:00 Discussion


Csanád Bálint (Hungary)
Nationalism is a most general and worldwide phenomenon, known at least since European antiquity. It is also present in archaeological research, more intensively indeed in Central and Eastern Europe than in its Western counterpart. It is mostly connected with national prehistory, and its basic questions concern « ancientness », « previousness » and a high(er) culture, which are always issues put forth in a comparison with others. Its emergence becomes more direct when manipulating constructed histories. Yet, a decrease of its overall  influence may be expected in the long run.

Panhistorism in archaeology partly stems from the overestimation of 19th and early 20th century archaeological finds and was the view generally adopted by Soviet-type Marxism. Its aim is to render history useful for political manipulation. Its followers and advocates, however, are generally ill-informed about the research methodological issues developed in the second half of 20th century. We may, therefore, be somewhat more optimistic as to its impending disappearance.

Csanád Bálint. Emeritus Professor, Institute of Archaeology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His publications include : Der Schatz von Nagyszentmiklós: archäologische Studien zur frühmittelalterlichen Metallgefäßkunst des Orients, Byzanz’ und Steppe. 667 pp., 302 Abbildung. VariaArchHung XXVIb. Budapest 2010 ;;« Ki volt „magyar” a honfoglaláskorban és Szent István korában? » In: Mi a magyar? Szerk.: Romsics Ignác – Szegedy-Maszák Mihály. Budapest 2005, 37–56 ; « Az ethnosz a kora középkorban. (A kutatás lehetőségei és korlátai) » Századok 140 (2006) 277-346 ; « Das Reichtum der Awaren. „Fürstengräber” – Prunkgräber – Schatzfunde ». In: C. von Carnap-Bornheim – D. Krausse – A. Wesse (Hg.): Herrschaft – Tod – Bestattung. Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie 139 (Bonn 2006) 147-159 ; « Quedlinburg: Der erste Schritt der Ungarn nach Europa und dessen Vorgeschichte (Sackgassen, Fallen, Wahlmöglichkeiten) ». In: Der Hoftag in Quedlinburg 973. Hg.: A. Ranft. Berlin, 2006, 29-35 ; « A Note on the Research on the Ewer with Enamel Plaques of St. Maurice d’Agaune ». Acta Arch. Hung. 57 (2006) 281-289.

Robert A. Houston (United Kingdom)

In recent years there has been a rapprochement between history and archaeology in Britain and Ireland. Two formerly quite distinct disciplines have learned to appreciate how documents and artefacts together can enrich our understanding of everyday life. Always important to understandings of classical, Dark Age, and medieval society, archaeology has opened up new horizons for appreciating domestic and industrial buildings, burial patterns, urban morphology, land use and environment, and the consumption of both food and objects in the early modern period too. My paper will look at some recent research that has enhanced our knowledge of local, regional, national, and transnational identities in a sometimes poorly understood ‘fringe’ area of Europe.

Robert Houston. Professor of Early modern history at St. Andrews University. His recent publications include : Punishing the dead? Suicide, lordship and community in Britain, 1500-1830 (Oxford University Press, 2010) ; Bride ales and penny weddings: recreations, reciprocity, and regions in Britain from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century (Oxford University Press, 2014) ; The coroners of northern Britain, c.1300-1700 (Palgrave, 2014) ; Peasant petitions: social relations and economic life on landed estates, 1600-1850 (Palgrave, 2014).

Robert von Friedeburg (United Kingdom)

The intervention will be an exploration based on my recent monograph (Luther’s Legacy: The Thirty Years War and the Modern Notion of ‘State’ in the Empire, c. 1530 to 1790s, Cambridge 2016) and a recent volume edited with John Morrill (Monarchy Transformed: Princes and their elites in Western Europe, Cambridge 2017). It will emphasize the specific role of the emergence of a money-market economy in the Latin speaking parts of Western, Middle and Middle Eastern Europe, and the need of large parts of the population to have laws and reasonable efficient courts of law to run such an economy. It will also argue that the notion of any kind of State (in the modern sense of the word) came parallel or even preceded the establishment of networks of courts administering justice is mistaken, but that the basic principles of organization remained courts of law on the one hand, and dynastic agglomerates on the other, with the notion of ‘states’ introduced much later. Thus, the specifics of Latin Europe rest on the primacy of markets and laws, not on the establishment of ‘States’ or government authority. 

Robert von Friedeburg. Reader in History, School of Humanities, Bishop Grosseteste University (Lincoln, UK), focusing on early modern and modern European social history and history of political thought. Among his 17 monographs and (co-) edited books are : Luther’s Legacy: The Thirty Years War and the modern notion of ‘State’ in the Empire, 1530s to 1790s (Cambridge, 2016) and (co-ed. with John Morrill) Monarchy Transformed: Princes and their elites in early modern Western Europe (Cambridge, 2017).

Olga Katsiardi-Hering (Greece)

The murder of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, for many the “founder of archaeology”, in 1768 in a Trieste inn did not mean the end for his work, which could be said to have been the key to understanding ancient Greece, which Europe was re-discovering at the time. In the late Enlightenment, Neoclassicism followed by Romanticism elevated classical, Hellenistic and Roman antiquity, and archaeological research, to the epicentre of academic quests, while the inclusion of archaeological sites in the era’s Grand Tours fed into a belief in the ‘Regeneration’/ ‘Wiedergeburt’ of Greece.

The Modern Greek Enlightenment flourished during this same period, the late 18th and early 19th centuries, with a concomitant classicizing turn. Ancient Greek texts were republished by Greek scholars, especially in the European centres of the Greek diaspora. An admiration for antiquity was intertwined into the Neohellenic national identity, and the first rulers of the free Greek State undertook to take care of the nation’s archaeological monuments. In 1837, under ‘Bavarian rule’, the first Greek University and the ‘Archaeological Society of Greece in Athens’ were set up. Archaeologists flocked to Greece and those parts of the ancient Greek world that were still part of the Ottoman Empire. The showcasing of classical monuments, at the expense of the Byzantine past, would remain the rule until the latter half of the 19th century. The Modern Greek national identity was primarily underpinned by admiration for antiquity, which was viewed as a source of modern Hellenism, and for ‘enlightened, savant, good-governed Europe’. Today, the ‘new archaeology’ is striving to call these foundations into question.

Olga Katsiardi-Hering. Professor of Modern Greek history (1453-1828) at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Her recent publications include : «L’area balcanica nei secoli XVI-XVIII sotto l’Impero Ottomano», in: Europa e il Mediterraneo , Vol. XII. Popoli, stati, equilibri del potere, a cura di Roberto Bizzocchi, Salerno Editrice, Roma 2013, 613-648 ; «Commerce and Merchants in Southeastern Europe, 17-18th Centuries: ‘Micro-districts’ and Regions”, Études Balkaniques, LI:1 (Sofia, 2015), 19-35 ; Victor N. Zakharov, Gelina Harlaftis, Olga Katsiardi-Hering (eds.), Merchant Colonies in the Early Modern Period, London, Vermont: Pickering & Chatto, 2012, pp. 245 ; Olga Katsiardi-Hering and Maria A. Stassinopoulou (eds.), Across the Danube: Southeastern Europeans and Their Travelling Identities (17th-19th C.). Leiden, Brill, 2017.

Rosa María Martínez de Codes (Spain)

Public authorities in Europe are faced with increasing demands to accommodate religious diversity. This paper traces some key issues concerning the limits of the secular State in Europe to accept and accommodate those ethno-religious minorities that are perceived to be partially different entities and claim some jurisdiction, without thereby rejecting guarantees from the receiving legal system.

This multicultural challenge that minorities pose to institutionalized secularism is amongst the most complex political and long-term issues European States have to face. Such a challenge has not only to do with socio-economic disadvantage and discrimination in the labor markets but also with the constitutional status or corporate relationship with the State.

On the other hand, European anxieties question whether or not Muslims can be and are willing to be integrated into European society and its political values. In particular, values of freedom, tolerance, democracy, sexual equality and secularism. Across Europe, multiculturalism seems to be in retreat and “integration” is once again the watchword.

Rosa María Martínez de Codes.  Professor of American history at the Facultad de Geografía e Historia of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Her recent publications include : Trends of Secularism in a pluralistic World (co-editor) Ed. Iberoamericana/ Vervuert, 2013 ; Los bienes nacionales de origen religioso en México. Estudio histórico-jurídico. (1833-2004), 2007, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, Universidad Autónoma de México, México ; Rosa María Martínez de Codes y Jaime Contreras. “Hacia una historia Atlántica. Visiones religiosas compartidas”, Anuario de Estudios Americanos, Vol. 67, enero-junio, 2010, pp. 189-207 ;  “La Ley Islámica y otros derechos”. In: R. Loyola y T. Calvillo (Coordinadores), Diálogo entre civilizaciones. Miradas, 2010, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, pp. 111-122.

Sverre Håkon Bagge (Norway) 

Ian Morris, Why the West Rules for Now (2010) may perhaps not be the best example of the relationship between history and archaeology. Although Morris is an archaeologist by education, the book extends far beyond the field of archaeology. It is a brilliant book, dealing with Eurasian history from the first civilisations to the present. It takes an intermediate position in the famous debate about Europe and the rest of the world and the European dominance during the last centuries. The West (i.e. West Asia and the Mediterranean region) was ahead until around 550 AD. Then the East (above all China) took over until the late eighteenth century, when the industrial revolution initiated a period of unprecedented growth in Europe, which eventually came to include the east as well. With its present rate of growth, the East will overtake the West in the early twenty-first century.

Morris uses all kinds of sources. From this point of view, the book might as well have been written by a historian. However, his general approach is also staunchly materialistic: the motors of history are fear, sloth and greed. Cultural differences do exist, but can be explained by the former factors.  This is an attitude not confined to archaeologists, nor necessarily shared by all of them,  but may nevertheless have something to do with Morris’s background in this field. A further objection is that Morris may have underestimated the importance of institutional factors; he does not discuss the division of Europe into separate states, which has often been regarded as a central factor in “the Rise of the West”. This in turn raises the question of the “two hand-maidens” and their relationship to the EU. If political division is an essential feature of Europe, what will happen if this division disappears?

Sverre Håkon Bagge. Emeritus Professor of Medieval history at Bergen University. His recent publications include : « Warrior,King and Saint: The Medieval Histories about St. 61afr Haraldsson », Journal of English and Germanic Philology 109.3 (2010), pp. 281-321 ; From Viking Stronghold to Christian Kingdom. State Formation in Norway, c.900-1350 (København: Museum Tusculanum Forlag, 2010) ; « Ethics, Politics, and Providence in William of Malmesbury’s Historia Novella », Viator 41 (2010), pp.113-32 ; « The Model Emperor – Einhard’s Charlemagne in Widukind and Rahewin », Viator 43 (2012)