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Grant number: FEL-257109-18

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Lisa Wolverton
University of Oregon (Eugene, OR 97403-5219)

The Investiture Contest: A Transformative Clash between Church and State in Medieval Central Europe

Completion of a book-length study on the role of Central Europe in the Investiture Contest, the 11th- and 12th-century debate on the dual authorities of German rulers and Papal Rome.

Henry and Vratislav: Medieval Central Europe Transformed reframes one of the most divisive religious conflicts of the Middle Ages—the so-called “Investiture Contest”—around issues of politics and civil war by analyzing its causes and consequences on a wider Central European scale. Recentering the story around the alliance between the embattled King Henry IV of Germany and his powerful Czech neighbor Vratislav of Bohemia, it reaffirms Slavic agency vis-à-vis long-presumed German hegemony by focusing on the long Elbe River border across which Germans and Slavs engaged for centuries, while also reconstructing the complexity of civil war and its remembrance. Eschewing arid institutionalism for the analysis of human actions and motivations, it widens the lens beyond older historiographical concerns to offer a new vision of medieval political history in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

Project fields:
Medieval History; Medieval Studies; Political History


Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
3/1/2018 – 2/28/2019