Mercenaries and Crusaders (1202-1480)
An Interdisciplinary Conference

 22–24 June 2022 Debrecen, Hungary

Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Mss.h.h.I.1 p. 181.

Conference report

The conference was organized by the research group “Hungary in Medieval Europe” of the Thematic Excellence Programme of the University of Debrecen, in collaboration with the Histoire et Cultures de l’Antiquité et du Moyen Âge – Université de Lorraine Nancy and the Centro de História da Sociedade e da Cultura, Coimbra. Valérie Tourielle (Cergy Paris), Sylvain Gouguenheim (École normale supérieure de Lyon), Michael Depreter (Oxford) participated in the organising committee and gave papers. It was supported by the Asociación Ibérica de Historia Militar, Cáceres, the Instituto de Estudos Medievais, the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and the Universidade de Extremadura. In 16 sessions, 52 researchers presented papers, 22 from Hungary. Distinguished researchers from Stanford, Kiel University, Vienna, Canada, Crete, Cyprus, Albania and Spain presented papers as well as a number of Serbian, Romanian, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Turkish, Portuguese scholars. 

The conference explored the subject of crusaders and mercenaries from a broad perspective. It covered the armies of the Hundred Years’ War, the Catalan companies, the condottieri in Florence and Genoa, mercenaries in the Balkans, the Levant, in the Polish-Lithuanian kingdom, as well as the Turcopoliers of the knightly orders. The Northern Crusades, the Baltic Crusades, the Iberian Reconquista, the crusades against the heretics in Bosnia and Hussites were examined. The role of the ideological and religious background, the Holy See, the papal legates; recruitment, tactics, strategy, supply, logistics, equipment, booty, were also investigated.

The organisers placed an emphasis on mentoring. PhD students also had an opportunity to present themselves in front of prestigious representatives of medieval studies.

We are planning further programmes, possibly in Coimbra. We are working on the publication of the proceedings in English and French.


Hungary in Medieval Europe Research Group (University of Debrecen)

Histoire et Cultures de l’Antiquité et du Moyen Âge (University of Lorraine)

Centre for the History of Society and Culture (University of Coimbra)

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University of Public Service, Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training, Budapest
“Project no. MEC-SZ-140616 has been implemented with the support provided by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Hungary from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, financed under the Mecenatúra 2021 funding scheme.”