MA Students 2014-16

One-Year MA (Medieval Studies):

BABAYAN, Gayane | Armenia
Thesis topic: Gospel Books as a Means of the Reconstruction of the Armenian Artistic and Cultural Milieu in Fourteenth-Century Surkhat
Supervisors: Perczel, Istvan; Szakacs, Bela Zsolt

Background and research: Gayane has an MA degree in art history from Yerevan State University (UNESCO Chair of Armenian Art History and Theory). She has taken part in the archaeological excavations of the Bronze-Iron Age site in Karmir Blur, Armenia. She also worked as an assistant to the field archaeologist in an Armenian-American archaeological expedition, organized by the Institution of Archaeology and Ethnography NAS RA and Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, at the Neolithic site in Masis Blur, Armenia. Her CEU research concerned the artistic interactions of Armenians in Crimea in the fourteenth century. As a case study she examined gospels produced in the city of Surkhat (Surhat, Solghat) in this period, their illustrations in particular, and investigated the ways and agents of these artistic exchanges which were fostered by the  active social-cultural interactions and trade in the Black Sea region. The latter was an important spot where the interests of several powers were concentrated in the fourteenth century, such as the Republic of Genoa; the Golden Horde and less sensible but perpetuating influence of Byzantine culture in this area with the newly established principality of Theodoro.

Relevance: Gayane’s topic has currency because the concept of multiculturalism is crucial to a globalized world, and it is essential to have insight into the history of multicultural societies. Crimea is a striking and timely example. The study of artistic and cultural exchange in Armenia through trade and co-existence of different cultures in one area is beneficial for our better understanding of multicultural models.

Future plans: Gayane, who graduated in June, has applied for the position of art historian at Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (known as Matendaran) a repository of ancient manuscripts, research institute and museum in Yerevan, Armenia.

BANIC, Josip | Croatia
Thesis topic: Justice in Flux: The Introduction of Venetian Jurisdiction in the Former Margraviate of Istria (1420-1470)

Thesis abstract

Supervisors: Jaritz, Gerhard

Background and Research: Josip was born in Pula - Pola, in the region of Istria—present day Croatia, in 1989. After graduating from grammar school Mate Balota in Poreč - Parenzo (2008) he enrolled in undergraduate programs in English Language and Literature and History at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb University, where he got his BA (2011) and MA degrees (2014). Besides Istrian history, Josip’s main scientific interests lie in the social and urban history of Medieval Upper Adriatic, especially of the Istrian peninsula and Friuli.

Future plans: Josip has enrolled in CEU’s PhD program in Medieval Studies with the provisional dissertation title of: Introducing Venice: The Evolution of Venetian Centripetalism in Late Medieval Istria.

Thesis topic:
Waste Management in Medieval Krakow 1257-1500

Thesis abstract

Supervisors: Jaritz, Gerhard; Klaniczay, Gabor

Background and research: Leslie Carr-Riegel is interested in the interaction between objects and individuals in the past. Her previous MA thesis from the University of Durham was a comparative study of “The Politics of Poo” for the cities of Siena, London, and Gdansk. Her other work includes research on the patronage of Cosmatesque Art in Rome, Medieval urban paving, and Heian-era Japan.

Relevance: Leslie states: “Wherever and whenever humans have lived they have created waste and ways to deal with it. Yet, this intimate part of life has been rarely discussed in historical circles despite its ubiquity and importance.” Leslie trusts that her work brings to light the way in which the medieval community of Krakow managed its wastes further cracking the door on this odoriferous but fundamental piece of the past.

Future plans: Leslie will continue her studies as a Doctoral student at CEU in the Medieval Studies program this coming fall with work focusing on the social history and daily life of people in Medieval Krakow.

GANEA, Sabina | Romania
Thesis topic: The Psychological Impact of the Plague on Transylvanian Religious Communities (16th-18th centuries)

Thesis abstract

Supervisors: Sebok, Marcell; Jaritz, Gerhard

Background and research: Sabina received her BA degree at the West University of Timisoara in 2012 and her MA degree at the University of Bucharest in 2014. Her research interests are anchored in religious studies, death attitudes, Medieval medicine and the reception of Late Medieval plague epidemics in East-Central Europe. In Transylvania, as in other parts of Europe, the plague received a variety of discursive approaches. Physicians and laymen wrote volumes about the causes and the treatment of the plague with the discourse relying on the tradition of medical treatises and their religious affiliation. At the same time, preachers were writing sermons about the proper Christian way of confronting death and the plague. The religious and medical discourses have similar approaches as a result of an ideological collaboration between them, which was ultimately reflected to a certain degree in the administrative measures applied to plague-stricken Transylvanian towns. Sabina’s thesis presented an analysis of a selection of medical treatises and plague or funeral sermons collected from all the religious denominations officially recognized in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Transylvania – Lutheran, Calvin, and Orthodox. The goal is a comprehensive image of the reception of the plague in Transylvania and the main discourses elaborated when facing it. 

Relevance: Sabina's topic is relevant for both its interreligious connotations as well as for developing further knowledge of historical approaches to public health.

IVIC, Ines | Croatia
Thesis topic: The Cult of Saint Jerome in Dalmatia in the 15th and the 16th Centuries

Thesis abstract

Supervisors: Klaniczay, Gabor; Saghy, Marianne

In 2015 Ines earned her MA in Portuguese language and literature and Art History at the University of Zagreb. For the past few years she has been part of the voluntary student group whose goal was researching historic document relevant for the development of the art on the Croatian coast, focusing on the city of Dubrovnik and its monuments. Since 2011 she worked as a librarian at the International Research Centre for Late Antiquity and Middle Ages in Zagreb, and also participated in the archaeological excavations led by the centre. Ines did her internship at Lisbon’s city museum (2014) and Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb (2014-2015), where she was involved in educational projects intended for children, which included guided tours and creative workshops. She is an active member of Hagiotheca - Croatian Hagiography Society. Her current interest is in the interdisciplinary approach to the medieval and early modern history and art history of Dalmatia. In her thesis The cult of Saint Jerome in the fifteenth and sixteenth century Dalmatia she is exploring the process of implementation of the  saint’s cult in Late middle ages and its artistic manifestations. Ines continued her studies in the PhD program at our department, CEU.

Angelina KalashnikovaKALASHNIKOVA, Angelina | Russia
Thesis topic: Diplomatics of Russian Judicial Charters (c. 1400-1550)

Thesis abstract

Supervisors: Nagy, Balazs

Background and Research: Angelina Kalashnikova earned an MA in Russian History at the European University at St. Petersburg (Russia) in 2014. She has been researching the formation of Russian judiciary in the fifteenth century. A previous project concerned the form of Russian judicial charters and their transformation. Angelina’s current research interest is in the history of literacy and pragmatic literacy. She is considering the value of written documents in a land court, the role of human memory in it, and which traces of oral procedure survived in judicial charters.

Relevance: Angelina’s work can serve as a basis for broader comparative research regarding judiciary formation and legal documentation in Eastern and Western Europe.

KANDZHA, Iliana | Russia
Thesis topic: The Royal Penance: Narrative Strategies of Ritual Representation in Ottonian Historiography

Thesis abstract

Supervisors: Ziemann, Daniel; Jaritz, Gerhard

Background and research: Iliana earned her BA in History in 2015 at the Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow. During her studies, she was interested in political rituals and symbolic representation of power in the Ottonian realm and also worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Medieval Studies at HSE. In 2014 she spent one academic semester as an Erasmus-student at the Humboldt University, Berlin. Her research interests are in the narrative techniques that authors used to describe and interpret rituals of supplication (penance and submission) during the rule of the Ottonian dynasty (919–1024).

Relevance: Iliana states: “I approached these ceremonies not only as performative acts created by powerful authorities, but, first of all, as narratives remembered by contemporaries and imagined by historiographers, which brings us to a largely debated topic concerning discrepancies between performed and described rituals. I argue that political agenda, commemorative needs, and literary tradition instigated Ottonian authors to reflect upon the repentance of kings in their writings much more often than the desire to describe things as they had happened.” In the information age, it is more important than ever to be able to parse truth from opinion and political agendas, and delineate reality from the abounding narratives of commentators.

Future plans: Iliana will continue her studies at CEU in the Medieval Studies PhD program with the provisional doctoral dissertation title: The Cult of the Royal Couple: Henry II and Cunigunde in Hagiographic Tradition, Art and Liturgy.

Daniel KnoxKNOX, Daniel | New Zealand
Thesis topic: Trading Letters: A Network Analysis of Ennodius of Pavia’s Letter Collection (A.D. 500-513)

Thesis abstract

Supervisors: Menze, Volker; Saghy, Marianne

Background and research: Dan completed an MA at the University of Auckland and undergraduate studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He is interested in Latin letter collections in post-Roman Gaul and Italy and the reconstruction of ancient social networks. His thesis analyzed the letter collection of Magnus Felix Ennodius, bishop of Pavia in the early sixth century, in order to examine how he facilitated communication between Northern Italy and Rome in the sixth century.

Relevance: Dan states: "My research examines the nuts and bolts of late-ancient society and communication; that is how individuals maintained effective social and political networks in a period of social and political upheaval. Despite the disruption caused by the breakdown of the western Roman Empire, I have shown that effective social networks were still maintained. This is an important test case for the application of network theory in the modern world."

Future plans: Dan will continue his studies at CEU in the Medieval Studies PhD program with the provisional dissertation title of Social Networks in Post-Roman Gaul and Italy. He eventually hopes to apply his skills either in academia or civil service.

Read about Dan's experience of studying at the Department of Medieval Studies

Marino KumirKUMIR, Marino | Croatia
Thesis topic: Memory and Authority in the Ninth-Century Dalmatian Duchy

Thesis abstract

Supervisors: Ziemann, Daniel

Background and research: Marino earned an MA in History and English Language and Literature at the University of Split in December 2014. His research interests include issues of ethnicity and rituals of power in Early Medieval Europe.

He conducted interdisciplinary research on western influences on the early-ninth century Duchy of Dalmatia and their manifestations in architecture, grave goods, and political organization. The eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea underwent a dramatic process of transformation in the later part of the eighth century. Evidence of this change was most apparent in the material culture. A surplus of luxurious items became available to the elites of the duchy, who then started depositing them in graves. But this change in the burial rite was as brief as it was dramatic. By the second quarter of the ninth century it was already disappearing from most sites. This rite was replaced by church building, which provided the elites with new symbolic access to memory and authority. They memorialized their status and position within the society by putting inscriptions on the stone altar fences inside their churches. Unlike burials, building churches enabled the elites to express their power and authority by permanent and visible interventions in the landscape. The elites could also gain access to the past by carefully choosing the location where their churches were to be built. The anonymous donor who was buried in the sarcophagus at Biskupija-Crkvina constructed his memorial basilica on top of a row-grave cemetery that was used by his ancestors for at least half a century. This act of re-appropriation of the past was a two-way process. It gave the donor access to his ancestral past and it also included the ancestors themselves into the new Christian context. 

SALIHOVIC, Davor | Croatia
Thesis topic: An Interesting Episode: Nicholas of Ilok's Kingship in Bosnia 1471-1477

Thesis abstract

Supervisors: Nagy, Balazs

Background and research: Davor previously studied at Juraj Dobrila University of Pula and received his BA and MA degrees in History in 2013 and 2015, respectively. He was the editor of the student journal and a member of various department boards and councils. While studying in Pula, he received several stipends and awards for his scholarly work, as well as curricular and extracurricular achievements. His previous scholarly interest focused on the issues of identity, identity-related semiotics, and social history of the Medieval Istrian communes. His research at CEU focused on the history of nobility, the Újlaki family (specifically, on Nicholas of Ilok and his kingship) in Bosnia. Since 2013, Davor has participated in various scholarly conferences and workshops and has published several research papers, overview papers, and reviews.

Relevance: Davor’s description of his thesis and its conclusions: “Nicholas of Ilok's kingship in Bosnia, which existed between 1471 and 1477, was one of the unsolved problems of the Hungarian, Croatian and Bosnian medieval political history. Even though historians have mostly marginally written about it since the establishment of the professional historiography, the kingship was, largely due to the lack of sources and different interests of the local national historiographies, neglected as a historical reality, and was generically interpreted as an ephemeral occurrence. By contextualizing and reexamining the known sources, as well as by introducing new sources unknown to previous scholars, my thesis analyses the kingship for the first time in detail. Therefore, it explains the motivation for and the causes of Nicholas’s enthronement, analyses his royal policy, his royal political identity, and his authority. Conclusively, by focusing on the medieval political reality and avoiding the contemporary historiographical constructs it shows that Nicholas was a true last king of medieval Bosnia. The thesis also offered several questions for future research, such as the issues of adaption of royal rituals, royal representation, rituals of peacemaking, issues of the Hungarian medieval frontier, adaptability of the personality assessment theory and other.”

Future plans: Davor is currently considering several employment and PhD options.

UREMOVIC, Judita | Croatia
Thesis topic: Backstage at the Memory Theatre
Szonyi, Gyorgy E.; Sebok, Marcell

Background and research: Judita is interested in the development of philosophical and scientific thought during the Early Modern period when abstract thinking sought to find practical application. She is also interested in paleography, manuscripts, alphabets (e.g. the Glagolitic alphabet) and languages (e.g. Hebrew language). Her previous works include manuscript transcriptions of Croatian humanist writers. She obtained a Master of Education degree in Classical Philology from University of Zagreb. She also taught introductory and intermediate Greek, Latin and Classical literature at the Classical Gymnasium in Zagreb, and worked as a proofreader and translator (Greek and Latin languages) at the Croatian publisher Eneagram. Her MA thesis focused on the Theatre of Giulio Camillo Delminio. A goal of her research on Giulio Camillo was to attempt to reconstruct the Theatre in a form as close as possible to Camillo’s original idea.

Relevance: As a school teacher she took part in preparing short theatrical plays, hence making this project all the more enticing for her, providing an opportunity to utilize the stage and auditorium as a way of communicating her research.

Two-Year MA (Comparative History: Interdisciplinary Medieval Studies)

AHUNANYA, Kelechi | Nigeria
Thesis topic: Transfer of Authority: The Traditio Legis motif on  Late Antique Christian Sarcophagi from Rome
Supervisors: Menze, Volker; Saghy, Marianne

Thesis abstract

Kelechi received his BA in Art History and Studio Art from McDaniel College, Westminster, MD. A practicing fine artist, illustrator and graphic artist, who also has a diploma in Data Processing, Programming, Desktop Publishing and Philosophy. He has worked as a journalist and a teacher and has also done a couple of art exhibitions. Currently, Kelechi’s research focuses on material culture and interpretation of early Christian motifs, icons and iconography especially in the funerary context and objects.

KONOVA, Mariia | Ukraine
Thesis topic: The Notion of Suffering in Meister Eckhart's Teaching
Supervisor: Gereby, Gyorgy

Mariia recieved her Bachelor's Degree in Law from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine). Her specializations were the history of law in the Middle Ages and human rights. Her thesis was about the establishment of the Great Inquisition. Apart from her studies in the CEU, Mariia is currently finishing a second part-time BA program at the National Technical University of Ukraine “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” in English linguistics. Mariia also participates in the Specialization in Religious Studies at the CEU. Her interests include medieval philosophy, mysticism, and the history of emotions.

Petar ParvanovPARVANOV, Petar | Bulgaria
Thesis topic: Medieval Deviant Burials from Bulgaria (7th-14th c.)
Supervisor: Laszlovszky, Jozsef

Thesis abstract

Petar obtained his BA in Archaeology from the University of Sheffield (UK) from where he graduated in 2013. Before coming to Budapest, he worked on archaeological projects in Bulgaria, England, Greece and Italy, as well as having a brief spell on board of M/V Aegean Odyssey. Recently, he also took advanced training in physical anthropology at Kazan Federal University, Russia. His research interests include funerary and battlefield archaeology with particular focus on Southeastern Europe and the Black Sea region. His master thesis is devoted to the study of medieval deviant burial rites from Bulgaria. He participated in conferences in Sofia, Oxford, Sheffield, Hamburg, Nicosia, and Bolgar.

Ester PetrosyanPETROSYAN, Ester | Armenia
Thesis topic: MS Cairo Syriac 11: A Tri-lingual Garshuni manuscript
Supervisor: Perczel, Istvan

Thesis abstract

Ester received her Bachelor’s Degree in Arabic Studies granted by Yerevan State University. She was among the selected students who mastered their command of Arabic language in Damascus (Syria) at the Arabic Training Institute for non-Arabic Speakers. Her academic interests include Arabic and Syriac studies, Semitic languages and Linguistics. Her proposed MA thesis would treat a trilingual – Syriac-Arabic-Armenian – Garshuni manuscript, MS Syriac 11 from the collection of the Franciscan Order in Cairo (17th c.). Ester studies the manuscript both from linguistic and historical perspectives. She presented her research topic during the conferences at UCLA and Cairo University.

RICHMOND, Paige | United States of America
Thesis topic: Self-Perception and Identity Creation at Quedlinburg and Gandersheim in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries
Supervisor: Jaritz, Gerhard; Saghy, Marianne

Thesis abstract

Before beginning at CEU, Paige obtained her Bachelor's degree in History from San Jose State University (USA). Her main research interests include medieval gender, early medieval monasticism, especially female institutions, and the relationship between royalty and religious institution in the Early and High Middle Ages. Her current thesis concerns identity creation and self-perception at Quedlinburg and Gandersheim in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries.

Robert SharpSHARP, Robert | United Kingdom
Thesis topic: Deviant Christianities in Fourth to Seventh-century Britain
Supervisors: Menze, Volker; Laszlovszky, Jozsef

Thesis abstract

Hailing from the historically rich county of Essex, Rob completed his B.A in History at the University of Kent, Canterbury. During his undergraduate studies Rob completed two dissertations. The first was a historical analysis of a high status Anglo-Saxon burial discovered near modern day Southend-on-sea, The Prittlewell Burial and the second was An Investigation into the possible existence of the Arian heresy in early Anglo-Saxon England. Rob is interested in the so-called 'Barbarian' kingdoms of post-Roman early Medieval Europe and in particular the political reasons that lay behind the acceptance of 'Deviant' Christianities for many of these successors to Rome.

SHPAKAU, Miraslau | Belarus
Thesis topic: The Roman Myth: Constructing Community in Sixteenth-Century Lithuania
Supervisors: Jaritz, Gerhard

Thesis abstract

Miraslau earned his BA in history from the American University in Bulgaria. He is interested in the medieval and early modern historical discourse in East-Central Europe. His current research is about the identity-creating aspect of the legend of the Roman descent of the Lithuanians in the Chronicle of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Samogitia. 

TUNCA, Ece| Turkey
Thesis topic: Depiction of the Enemy Through the Eyes of an Ottoman Bureaucrat-Soldier: Asafi's Secaatname (the Book of Valor) in the Context of Ottoman-Safavid Rivalry
Supervisor: Krstic, Tijana

Before beginning the two-year MA program at the Central European University Medieval Studies Department, Ece studied Art History at Koç University, Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Her master’s thesis was based on a comparative study of early Ottoman and late Byzantine hospitals.
She did an internship at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin in summer 2013. In summer 2015, she attended the Harvard-Koç Universities Intensive Ottoman Summer School in Cunda. Her field of study covers the art and cultural history of the early modern Ottoman Empire. She is currently working on her thesis with the topic “Depiction of the Enemy Through the Eyes of an Ottoman Bureaucrat-soldier: Kızılbaş in Âsafî’s Şecâ‘atnâme (Book of Valor),” under the supervision of Tijana Krstić.

VUJNOVIC, Milica | Serbia
Thesis topic: Dreaming about Animals: Animal Symbolism in Ancient and Medieval Greek Dreambooks
Supervisor: Jaritz, Gerhard

Milica obtained her BA at the Department of Classical Languages at Belgrade University. She graduated in 2009 with the thesis Zoolatry Among the Ancient Egyptians According to Ancient Greek Authors. Before coming to CEU she taught Latin language in high schools in Belgrade. Milica's current thesis concerns the symbolic meaning of animals in Byzantium. Her particular focus is on the usage and functions of animal symbols in the Byzantine dreambooks from the second to the 15th century AD.


Fall term:

  • BOZGAN, Elif | Istanbul Sehir University
  • CONSTANTINO, Vincenza | University of Naples Frederico II
  • DE ANGELIS, Francesca | University of Naples Frederico II
  • GOLAB, Dawid | Academy of Pedagogy, Cracow
  • HELD, Samuel | Ludwig-Maximillian-University of Munich
  • KULPA, Kacper | Academy of Pedagogy, Cracow
  • SCHMIDT, Daniel | University of Heidelberg
  • TUI, Altar | Tallin University

Winter term:

  • BEAL, Anais | University of Lyons II, Lyon, France
  • HAHSLINGER, Katharina | Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany
  • TESSIER, Fanny | University of Lyons II, Lyon, France
  • TURANSKÁ, Jana | Palacky University in Olomouc, Olomouc, Czech Republic