South-Eastern European History

(Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Maner)

Warriors and War Symbolism in the Church Paintings of Orthodox Moldovan Monasteries (15th to 17th Centuries)

In northern Moldova, there is a number of Orthodox monasteries that are completely painted on the inside as well as on the outside. The paintings date mostly from the 16th century and represent scenes from the life and suffering of saints, martyrs and military saints. Scenes of violence and war are often depicted. Well known are, among others, the sieges of Constantinople in 626 and 1453, where the “Turkish representations” have so far met with the greatest interest. In this project, the analytical focus would be directed in a decidedly historical-contextualising approach to the representation of persons and groups, to Byzantines and their enemies and the underlying symbolism in the context of the period.


Icons, Relics and Flags of the South-Eastern Europeans in the Wars Against the Ottomans in the 15th Century

In their campaigns against Ottoman armies, the Christian rulers of south-eastern Europe carried relics and flags with them. On the one hand, the seal of George Castriot (Skanderbeg), can be cited here, showing the double-headed eagle. On the other hand, in Romanian historiography, the function of Prince Stefan the Great’s St George standard is still contested. Byzantine references can be clearly seen in both cases. The project will analyse, in a regional and temporal context, icons, relics and flags that were carried as a powerful escort in military campaigns against the emerging Ottoman Empire. In addition, transregional similarities and differences should be explored.