Jan Stejskal, born in Pardubice, Czech Republic, in 1970. Ph.D. from Palacky University, Olomouc. Associate Professor in Medieval Studies at Palacky University, Olomouc.
Visiting Grant Scholar (1 January 2011 – 31 March 2011)
Historical Memory – Travellers between Central and Southern Europe (c. 850 – 1450)
Looking at the case of Christian missionaries to Central Europe in the 10th and 11th centuries, I will prove the existence of a strong tradition of Byzantine (Exarchate) cultural influence. I will present evidence that the cultural exchange started a long time before this, and that the missionaries Constantine and Methodius were not the only representatives of eastern spirituality in Central Europe. The most important evidence is the Codex Forojuliensis, which contains inscriptions of hundreds of Slavic names and is preserved in a monastery near Ravenna. The Codex Forojuliensis was used during the period of Otto III by missions formed near Ravenna by St. Romuald and his followers, among whom were Benedict of Ravenna and Bruno of Querfurt. These missionaries headed to Poland, Elbe Slavs, the Baltic area, Bohemia, Hungary, Russia and so on. A revival of the Byzantine (Exarchate) cultural influence occurred in the 15th century – but in the opposite direction – from Central to Southern Europe, and was symbolic of its return to its origins.
Jan Stejskal, Podivuhodný příběh Jana Jeronýma (Astonishing story of John Jerome), Praha 2004.
Jan Stejskal, “Ostrov Pereon a středoevropská misie kolem roku 1000 (Island Pereon and Missions to the Central Europe after Year 1000”), Theatrum historiae, 1 (2006).
Jan Stejskal, Gli ussiti e l´Italia, in: ed. Giorgio Cadorini, Humanitas Latina in Bohemis. Convegno Internazionale, Treviso 2007.