Prophetic and Apocalyptic Thinking in Late Medieval Bohemia (1300-1500)

The project focuses on various types of prophetic texts that originated in late medieval Bohemia and on the development of apocalyptic thinking. Both played an important role in the self-understanding and self-description of the ruling strata of society as well as in the learned discourses within the Prague university environment. The planned monograph will contribute to a better knowledge of the European context of the transmitted texts which represent a very specific reception of the writings of Joachim of Fiore, and of Franciscan Spirituals such as Petrus Olivi or John Rupescissa. This 'prophetic' literature usually considered to be marginal in historical research appears as an important means to understand the ways in which contemporaries interpreted their world.

The Chosen people and the End of Time: the Hussite Theologian Jacobell of Mies and his Vernacular Commentary on Apocalypse

The project focuses on a detailed examination of the extensive text of the Exposition on Apocalypse written in Czech by the leading Hussite theologian Jacobell of Mies in the early 1420s. The work has almost compületely been ignored in historical research despite its enormous importance (it serves mainly as a reservoir of exemplificative quotations). In the centre of attention are all the sources and models the author used, the intellectual discourse in which he stood, the influence of the vernacular language on the theological argumentation and the reception of the work. Especially the examination of the relationship between Jacobell's Exposition and the Latin Exposition on Apocalypse written slightly later by the Taborite theologian Nicolaus of Pelhrimov can bring observations crucial for the understanding of the dynamic of radicalisation of the Hussite movement in the 1420s and 1430s.

The Pseudo-Aristotelian Secretum secretorum
in Eastern Central Europe

In the collaborative study (together with Gabor Farkas Kis) the textual tradition and literary and social context of the Secretum secretorum in late medieval Bohemia, Hungary and Poland will be explored. The transmitted manuscript copies witness a growing interest in the pseudo-Aristotelian admonitions to Alexander the Great from the first half of the 14th century onwards in this area. They were received at the courts, as part of the genre speculum principum, in monasteries and among the clergy. Manuscripts from the university environment show a special preoccupation with the physiognomical doctrines contained in the work. The vernacular translations of the work are also under scrutiny.