The great illusion: the genealogical Toruń school and what next?
This article presents the history of the genealogical Toruń school, its achievements, and its erroneous basic methodological assumptions (a thesis on the origin of heraldic communities known in the late Middle Ages from the progeny of the high nobility as seen in the sources from the 12th and 13th centuries). Because of the apriori assumptions applied, the majority of dissertations inspired by this “school” only provide an illusion of an increase in knowledge about the history of the Polish Middle Ages. A critical examination of the output of the Toruń School should remind us of the need to observe methodological rigour. Criticism, however, does not mean the abandonment of genealogical research. What is needed, however, is an awareness on the part of the researchers that they are analysing the messages containing a sort of „invented tradition” and hence the necessity of adapting methods to the requirements of critical source sciences.
Mediaevalia historica Bohemica, redakce, Historický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., Prosecká 76, 190 00 Praha 9, Czech Republic
Publication order reference