Spokesperson: Sebastian Grätz
The topic of ‘rulership’ is closely related to the central questions of our TLRA. On the one hand, the act of ruling faces the constant challenge of legitimizing itself and of developing as well as communicating programmatic content for this purpose. On the other hand, it is confronted with the practical-strategic task of attaining, securing and exercising its power against diverse challenges. Certain forms of rule have proven to be very resilient over a long time. At the same time, however, the establishment and safeguarding of rule by setting up a ruling apparatus or introducing bureaucratic standards or legal instruments of a regime can also be a reaction to various threats, such as that of a contested or rule-free space, i.e., it can function as a coping strategy.
The projects take both challenges faced by an individual and by communities and the specific relationship between individual and collective threats into account. The reaction to a perceived threat can lead to contingent or intentional changes of events, and non-linear dynamics.
The projects in TA 4 are oriented towards material and literary studies and examine the topic at turning points that were critical for the exercise and maintenance of rulership. Specifically, they focus on the oriental-occidental cultural area in the time span from prehistory and early history to the European Middle Ages. This diachronic and cross-cultural compilation of areas seems suitable for uncovering patterns of perception, conceptualization and coping strategies as well as for describing and analyzing them in a transdisciplinary discourse.
In the first funding phase conferences, publication projects and third-party funding applications were successfully realized (e.g., DFG network group “Kraftprobe Herrschaft. (Re-)Konstruktionen von vormodernen Herrscherfiguren zwischen Herausforderung und Behauptung”) or are in progress (e.g., DFG Zingg: “Liber historiae Francorum”). The next step is to further expand existing funding (e.g., an application for a DFG research group “Die Figur des vormodernen Herrschers zwischen Herausforderung und Behauptung”) as well as to deepen the transdisciplinary exchange with locally based research projects (e.g., RTG 2304 “Byzantium and the Euro-Mediterranean Martial Cultures”, Grieser/Pahlitzsch) and to bring together the results of the joint work in a suitable form.