A Real Game of Thrones: Eastern Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present

Come find out about the nations of Eastern Europe and their tumultuous history. Historian and lecturer Patrick M. Leehey will draw on traditional stories and medieval chronicles to show how the modern nations of Eastern Europe (the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Balkans) came into being and how a single family—the Polish-Lithuanian Jagiellonians—at one time ruled nearly all of them. We will explore how the Medieval Polish Kingdom gradually evolved into a “Republic of Nobles” whose institutions foreshadowed many later political developments, including the Solidarity movement in the 1980s. He will discuss how the rise of nationalism in the nineteenth century led to the re-establishing of many Eastern European nation-states on a different basis from their medieval forerunners. Find out how the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 1914, ushered in World War I, led to the overthrow of four ruling families (the Habsburgs in Austria, the Hohenzollerns in Germany, the Romanovs in Russia, and the Ottomans in Turkey), and helped define the modern world.

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