Last Friday, two of our students were presented with prestigious awards. The András Kubinyi Awards are named after a famous medievalist, and are given to promising young scholars. An internationally respected urban historian, András Kubinyi (1929 – 2007) was put special emphasis on teaching his subject as a historical discipline: introducing his students to the study of a wide range of sources. His expertise extended to several fields, including but not limited to the history of institutions and political life in fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Hungary; the royal court and courtly culture; the history of everyday life from the peasantry to the high nobility; to demography and economic history. However, his strongest contribution was undoubtedly to urban history, where he explored questions of ecclesiastical life, economic development and the social structure of medieval Hungarian towns. His greatest achievement was to apply a complex set of criteria based on central place theory to establish a hierarchy within the settlement network of late medieval Hungary. Besides several other official awards, he was honoured with the Pro Civitate Austriae prize in 1992 and was elected member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2001.
Csete Katona won the main award for his book, Vikings of the Steppe: Scandinavians, Rus', and the Turkic World (c. 750–1050). His laudator, József Laszlovszky, likened the importance of Csete’s book to Richard Hodges’ seminal work: Dark Age Economics. Professor Laszlovszky especially praised Csete’s ability to work with a vast variety of sources. These range geographically from Iceland to Byzantium, the steppe and beyond.
Bernat Racz won the youth award. His laudator was Gergely Buzás, director of the Museum of Matthias Rex, Visegrád, who called Bernat’s MA thesis one of the best and most important writings of the last decade on the art of medieval Hungary.
The award was given by Ilona Valter, an archeologist known for her work on high medieval architecture in Hungary and Austria.
Congratulations to Csete and Bernat!