Universiteit Leiden

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Europe 1000-1800: Collective Identities and Transnational Networks

Medieval and early modern Europe was a world of constantly shifting borders, strong local political traditions, profitable transnational trade, and dense networks of international relations. In this world, ‘identity’ was never monolithic.

At the same time, a recognizably European culture prevailed, which played an essential role in the transfer of knowledge as well as religious and political ideas. The changing relationship between local identities and the centres of royal or imperial power was a key concern all over Europe, from relatively unitary states such as France and England to the composite monarchies ruled by the Habsburgs and the Jagiellons. The shifts in this relationship constitute an overarching theme in the research done by the medievalists and early modernists at Leiden University.

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