Portraits of Medieval Eastern Europe provides imagined biographies of twenty different figures from all walks of life living in Eastern Europe from 900 to 1400. Moving beyond the usual boundaries of speculative history, the book presents innovative and creative interpretations of the people, places, and events of medieval Eastern Europe and provides an insight into medieval life from Scandinavia to Byzantium.

Each chapter explores a different figure and together they present snapshots of life across a wide range of different social backgrounds. Among the figures are both imagined and historical characters, including the Byzantine Princess Anna Porphyrogenita, a Jewish traveller, a slave, the Mongol general Sübodei, a woman from Novgorod, and a Rus’ pilgrim. A range of different narrative styles are also used throughout the book, from omniscient third-person narrators to diary entries, letters, and travel accounts.

By using primary sources to construct the lives of, and give a voice to, the types of people who existed within medieval European history, Portraits of Medieval Eastern Europe provides a highly accessible introduction to the period. Accompanied by a new and interactive companion website, it is the perfect teaching aid to support and excite students of medieval Eastern Europe.

chapter |11 pages


ByDonald Ostrowski

part 1|46 pages

Rus’ and Northern Europe

chapter 1|8 pages

The Widow Princess of Minsk

ByInés García de la Puente

chapter 2|10 pages

Anna, a Woman of Novgorod

ByEve Levin

chapter 3|7 pages

Prince Vladimir of Pskov

ByAnti Selart

chapter 4|10 pages

Mother of a Tribal HÄme Warrior – Kuutamo HyvÄneuvo

ByMari Isoaho

chapter 5|9 pages

From Butcher to Saint

The improbable life and fate of Vaišvilkas/Vojšelk/Lavryš/Elisej of Lithuania and Black Rus’ (?–1267)
ByDavid M. Goldfrank

part 2|20 pages

Eurasian steppe

chapter 6|7 pages

The Rare and Excellent History of Konchak

A Polovtsian chieftain
ByDonald Ostrowski

chapter 7|11 pages

SÜbedei Ba’atar

Portrait of a Mongol general
ByTimothy May

part 3|42 pages

Byzantium and southeastern Europe

chapter 8|10 pages

Anna Komnene

Princess, historian, and conspirator?
ByLeonora Neville

chapter 9|9 pages

Angel on Earth and Heavenly Man

St. Sava of Serbia
ByFlorin Curta

chapter 10|9 pages

Paulus De Breberio Banus Croatorum Dominus Et Bosne

ByNeven Budak

chapter 11|12 pages

King Milutin and his Many Marriages

(*1254, †November 21, 1321, r. 1282–1321)
ByVlada Stanković

part 4|28 pages

Central Europe

chapter 12|6 pages

Henry ZdÍk, Bishop of Olomouc and Premonstratensian

ByLisa Wolverton

chapter 13|8 pages

King BÉla Iv of Hungary

A monarch in a period of crisis and recovery
ByBalázs Nagy

chapter 14|6 pages

Zalava, Slave in the Kingdom of Hungary

ByCameron Sutt

part 5|45 pages

Travelers to Strange Lands

chapter 16|8 pages

The Travels of Gorm in Eastern Europe

ByHeidi Sherman-Lelis, Arnold Lelis

chapter 17|7 pages

Anna Porphyrogenita, Byzantine Princess and Queen of the Rus’

BySusana Torres Prieto

chapter 19|7 pages

Agent of Change

Evpraksia Vsevolodovna between Emperor and Papacy
ByChristian Raffensperger

chapter 20|9 pages

Fotii, a Rus’ Pilgrim to Constantinople

ByMonica White

chapter |6 pages

Portraits of Eastern Europe

Conclusion – pulling back the curtain
ByChristian Raffensperger