School of Humanities

Feudal society culture

This course is part of the programme:
Bachelor's study programme Cultural history (1st level)

Objectives and competences

Informing students of history on society, politics and economical processes in Europe from early Middle Ages to 18th century. In this subject, students primarily develop the following key skills: to distinguish between elite and people’s culture, to understand connection of material and spiritual culture, to understand connection of economics and politics.


Vertically, studies refer to the subjects Cultural History of Slovene place and Political History of the (late) Habsburg Monarchy; horizontally it mainly refers to the subjects Economic History, Legal History, Agricultural History, Culture of Regions and Frontier Places.

Content (Syllabus outline)

Syllabus will be focused on the diversity and complementarity of European regions (West, Central, East, South-East Europe, Mediterranean) with the aim of transcending the predominantly West-European concept of European feudalism, and highlight the connection between Europe and other cultural-civilizational spheres. Large part of lectures and classes will be dedicated to an analysis of Slovenian space and neighbouring lands. Special attention will be paid to the scrutiny of the processes overarching hundreds of years and transcending frontiers of individual states (especially early feudalism). Focus will also be on the question of continuity with antiquity (following the case of Byzantine Empire and an entirely different situation in Western Europe), relationship between secular and Church or Papal authorities, which was specific in the European West, multi-centricity of European civilisation, as well as its relationship to others, especially Islamic civilizational circles, which is likewise considered an heir of Roman and antique tradition. It avoids giving one-sided emphasis on conflict (Crusades); along with it, the subject highlights the world of cooperation (especially economic). Much focus is given to the introduction of Feudalism and its three social ranks pertaining to different historical periods of the Middle Ages and Early Modern era.

Intended learning outcomes

Students become aware of key concepts and ideas of feudal society and its logic. They comprehend forms of public and privat life in Middle Ages and early modern period of European history. Students become aware of different concepts of economics, law, order, structures of life, and normality.


  • M. Keen, Srednjeveška Evropa. Cankarjeva založba, Ljubljana, 1993.
  • Zgodovina Slovencev. Cankarjeva založba, Ljubljana, 1979.
  • Svetovna zgodovina. Cankarjeva založba, Ljubljana, 1976.
  • P. Anderson, Rodovniki absolutistične države. Studia Humanitatis, Ljubljana, 1992.
  • F. Braudel, Strukture vsakdanjega življenja: mogoče in nemogoče. Materialna civilizacija, ekonomija in kapitalizem, XV. – XVIII. Stoletje. Studia Humanitatis, Ljubljana, 1988.
  • J. Le Goff, Za drugačen srednji vek. Studia Humanitatis, Ljubljana, 1985.
  • E. R. Wolf, Evropa in ljudstva brez zgodovine I–II. Studia Humanitatis, Ljubljana, 1998.
  • P. Štih, V. Simoniti. Slovenska zgodovina do razsvetljenstva, Mohorjeva družba, Ljubljana, 1995
  • I. Grdina, Proti nezgodovini, Inštitut za civilizacijo in kulturo – ICK, Ljubljana 2014.


Seminar paper (30%). Oral exam (70%). The seminar paper is conditional to be admitted to the exam.

Lecturer's references

Prof. ddr. Igor Grdina is Full Professor of Slovenian Literature and Full Professor of Cultural History.

He was a visiting professor at the University of Vienna (2 semesters) and a guest lecturer at the Universities of Tübingen, Graz, Klagenfurt, Maribor, and Koper. He attended about 20 scientific conferences (in Slovenia, Moscow, Kőszeg, Szeged, Rime in Prague) and organized a series of prominent scientific conferences in Slovenia, including »On the Peaks and in the Hollows of the Balkans: War in SouthEastern Europe from the Middle Ages to the Third Reich« (Kobarid,

2011) Participants: Hew Strachan, Lothar Höbelt, Pavlina Bobič, Sean McKnigt, Matthias Strohn, Peter Lieb, Renato Podbersič, Andrej Rahten, Andreja Valič, and »Eliminationism and Emancipation« (Maribor, 2012) Participants: Peter Zajac, Eva Kowalska, Kontantin Nikiforov, Kornelijus Platelis, Pavlina Bobič, Andrej Rozman, Petra Testen, Niko Jež, Neža Zajc.

Selected bibliography:

  • Grdina, I. Od Brižinskih spomenikov do razsvetljenstva. Obzorja, 1999.
  • Grdina, I.. Od rodoljuba z dežele do meščana, (Studia humanitatis, Apes, 13). Studia humanitatis, 1999.
  • Grdina, I. Ipavci : zgodovina slovenske meščanske dinastije. ZRC SAZU, 2001.
  • Grdina, I. Vladarji, lakaji, bohemi, (Studia humanitatis, Apes, 13 bis). Studia humanitatis, 2001.
  • Grdina, I. Poti v zgodovino. Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2003.
  • Grdina, I. Slovenci med tradicijo in perspektivo : politični mozaik 1860-1918. Študentska založba, 2003.
  • Grdina, I. Preroki, doktrinarji, epigoni : idejni boji na Slovenskem v prvi polovici 20. stoletja. ICK, 2005.
  • Grdina, I. Med dolžnostjo spomina in razkošjem pozabe : kulturnozgodovinske študije. ZRC SAZU, 2006.
  • Grdina, I., Erjavec, T., Bojadžiev, D., Ogrin, M. (ur.). Brižinski spomeniki = Monumenta Frisingensia. ZRC SAZU, 2007.
  • Grdina, I. Moč umetnosti in sila politike. ICK, 2007.
  • Grdina, I., Ura kirasirjev: tri študije o Stendhalovi umetnosti romana (Zbirka Zbiralnik, 19). Inštitut za civilizacijo in kulturo – ICK, 2013.
  • Grdina, I., Iz biedermeierskega albuma, (Zbirka Zbiralnik, 22). Inštitut za civilizacijo in kulturo – ICK, 2014.
  • Grdina, I., Muze in pepel: tri študije o vojnem ustvarjanju (Zbirka Zbiralnik, 23). ICK – Inštitut za civilizacijo in kulturo, 2014.

University course code: 1KZ023

Year of study: 2

Course principal:





  • Lectures: 60 hours
  • Seminar: 45 hours
  • Individual work: 135 hours

Course type: mandatory

Learning and teaching methods:
lectures. guided discussion (heuristic dialogue). presentation of a seminar paper and ensuing discussion.