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Doctoral Defense of Povilas Dikavičius

Monday, September 19, 2022, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Honor among Nobles in the 16th century Grand Duchy of Lithuania

This thesis explores the concept of honor as an analytical category for understanding hierarchical societies, in this case – the 16th century Grand Duchy of Lithuania and its nobility. Honor is conceptualized as a measure of human worth, acting within the confounds of a particular political order. This polysemic phenomenon is divided into status, reputation, code of honorable conduct, and sense of honor. Thesis pursues the meaning of honor in contemporary political thought, asking who was authorized to claim it, on what grounds, and how these criteria changed over time. Then it moves to analysis of normative law, which shows the social importance of honor and exemplifies its uses in statecraft. Lastly, analysis of honor turns to judicial practice, examining the cases brought before the royal court on the charges of defamation. This part informs about the limits of honorable behavior, litigable offenses, the forms of restitution, the impact of gender, and interprets the widespread proclivity to physical violence.

Examination committee:

Katalin Szende - Chair (Department of Medieval Studies, CEU)

Matthias Riedl– Supervisor (Department of History, CEU)

Jan Hennings – CEU internal member (Department of History)

Tomasz Grusiecki – External Member (Boise State University, Department of Art, Design & Visual Studies)

Tomasz Gromelski – External Reader (University of Oxford, Faculty of History)

The doctoral defense will take place online.

The doctoral dissertation is available for inspection.

For further information, please contact Margaretha Boockmann (