Mihai Dragnea

Mihai Dragnea

Associate researcher

USN School of Business
Department of Business, History and Social Sciences
Campus Vestfold (A1-2)
Mihai Dragnea is the president of the Balkan History Association and the editor of Hiperboreea, the journal affiliated to the association. His interests and collaboration include cultural, social and political relations between Germans, Scandinavians and Wends during the High Middle Ages, Viking Age, early Slavic ethnicity and state formation, and identity and conflict in the Balkans. E-mail: mihaidragnea2018@gmail.com


Publishing studies, attending international conferences and giving occasional lectures.


Mihai's areas of research include the medieval Baltic, focusing on conversion, missionary strategy, Christian identity, hagiography, canon law, crusading, Christian kingship, otherness, and the religious beliefs and ritual practices of the Wends.



2018: PhD in Medieval Studies (EQF level 8), School of Advanced Studies of the Romanian Academy (SCOSAAR), “Nicolae Iorga” Institute of History, Bucharest

2013: Interdisciplinary MA in Medieval studies (EQF level 7), Faculty of History; Faculty of Foreign Languages ​​and Literatures, University of Bucharest

2011: BA in History (EQF level 6), Faculty of History, University of Bucharest

Research experience:

July-August 2021: Short-term postdoctoral scholarship at the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen. The project “German-Danish Colonization on Rügen during the second half of the twelfth century” was implemented through a grant offered by the Lozovan Foundation in Copenhagen.

February – June 2021: Short-term postdoctoral scholarship at the Comenius University in Bratislava. The project “Hippomancy in the Baltic Region: Desacralization of the Pomeranian Sacred Horses in the Twelfth Century” was implemented through the National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic for the Support of Mobility of Students, PhD Students, University Teachers, Researchers and Artists, managed by SAIA and funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.

Oct. 2019, Feb. 2020, June-July 2021. Short-term postdoctoral scholarship at the Faculty of Catholic Theology of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. The scholarship was supported by the EU funded project “Research Infrastructure on Religious Studies – ReIReS” (Scholarships for Transnational Access), grant agreement ID: 730895. Titles of the projects: “Linguistic Interactions Between Germans and Wends in the Second Half of the Tenth Century”; “Crusade and Colonization in the Wendish Territory during the Twelfth Century”; “Constructions of Christian Identity in the Northern Periphery: The Sawley World Map in Twelfth-Century England”.

2018-2019: Short-term postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of History and Archeology (University of Tartu), funded by the Romanian Cultural Institute - 'Lucian Blaga' Fellowship, no.7177 / 29.05.2018. Title of the project: “How to Justify a Crusade. The Conquest of the Region East of the Elbe and New Crusade Rhetoric in the Twelfth Century”.

2015: Short-term research mobility for PhD at the Institute of Medieval Studies from the School of History, University of Leeds (UK)

2014-2015: Scholarship for Doctoral studies "MINERVA - Cooperare for elite career in doctoral and postdoctoral research", contract: POSDRU/159/1.5/S/ 137832, "Nicolae Iorga" Institute of History, Bucharest, Romanian Academy.

Membership in academic and professional bodies and other activities:

Series Editor for "South-East European History" (Peter Lang)

Series Editor for "Christianity and Conversion in Scandinavia and the Baltic Region, c. 800-1600" (Peter Lang)

Contributor to the International Medieval Bibliography and the International Bibliography of Humanism and the Renaissance, published by Brepols

Member of the Editorial Board of the following journals: Romanian Journal for Baltic and Nordic Studies (since 2020), published by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies; Journal of Ottoman Legacy Studies (since 2021), published by the International Symposium on Balkan History Studies Committee (UBTAK), Res novae (since 2022), published by the Catholic Institute in Ljubljana, Croatica Christiana Periodica (since 2022), published by the Institute of Church History, Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Zagreb, International Journal of Divination and Prognostication (since 2022), published by Brill in close cooperation with the Society for the Critical Study of Divination.

Member in the Editorial Advisory Board (History), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK, Editor at Trivent Publishing, Budapest, referee for history at Etnologică Publishing, Bucharest

Member of the Romanian Association of Slavic Studies (from 2016), Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East (from 2019), Institute for National and International Security (from 2021), Centre of Urban History, University of Hradec Králové (from 2021), Waldemar Ceran Research Centre for the History and Culture of the Mediterranean Area and South-East Europe, University of Łódź (from 2022).


Selected publications

Books (short and long form monographs)

Christian Identity Formation Across the Elbe in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries (New York: Peter Lang, 2021)

The Wendish Crusade, 1147: The Development of Crusading Ideology in the Twelfth Century (London: Routledge, 2019)

Mission and Crusade in the Wendish Territory, 12th Century (in Romanian) (Bucharest: Etnologică, 2019)

Studies in edited volumes

“Otto of Bamberg: Monastic Reform and Apostolic Mission” (in Romanian) in Time, Society and Cultural Identity. ‘Historical Miniatures’, eds. Ileana Căzan, Bogdan Mateescu (Cluj-Napoca: Academia Română-Centrul de Studii Transilvane, 2015), 25-48.

Edited volumes

The various faces of Islamic radicalization in the Balkans after the fall of Communism, eds. Mihai Dragnea, Adriana Cupcea, Darko Trifunovic, John Nomikos, Joseph Fitsanakis (New York: Peter Lang, 2023)

The Romance-Speaking Balkans Language and the Politics of Identity, eds. Annemarie Sorescu-Marinković, Mihai Dragnea, Thede Kahl, Blagovest Njagulov, Donald L. Dyer, and Angelo Costanzo (Leiden: Brill, 2021).

Scholarly journal articles

“Mobility, settlement and colonization on Rügen in the second half of the twelfth century”, Slovanský přehled (“Slavonic Review”), 108/2 (2022): 227-248.

“Entre obéissance et apostasie. La conversion des Poméraniens au christianisme (XIIe siècle)”, Cahiers de civilisation médiévale, 258 (2022): 113-130.

“The Christian Attitude to Hippomancy in Twelfth-Century Szczecin”, International Journal of Divination and Prognostication, 3/2 (2021): 204-233.

“Legitimate and Illegitimate Divination in Medieval Writings”, Croatica Christiana Periodica, 46/89 (2022): 41-57.

“Shaping Religious Identity on the Northern Edge of the Christianitas: Portraits of Pagans and Idolaters in the Twelfth Century Pomerania”, Edinost in dialog (“Unity and Dialogue”) 76/2 (2021): 241-271.

“Constructions of Christian Identity in the Northern Periphery: The Sawley World Map in Twelfth-Century England”, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 72/4 (2021): 726-750.

“Crusade and Colonization in the Wendish Territories in the Early Twelfth Century: An Analysis of the So-called Magdeburg Letter of 1108”, Mediaevalia 42 (2021): 41-61.

“The Cult of St. Olaf in the Latin and Greek Churches Between the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries”, Hiperboreea, 7/2 (2020): 145-167.

“Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Between Germans and Wends in the Second Half of the Tenth Century”, Journal of the Institute of Latvian History, 2/110 (2019): 5-33.

"The Saxon expeditions against the Wends and the foundation of Magdeburg during Otto I's reign", The Romanian Journal for Baltic and Nordic Studies, 11/2 (2019): 7-34.

"Divine Vengeance and Human Justice in the Wendish Crusade of 1147", Collegium Medievale, 29 (2016): 49-82.

Book reviews

Janos M. Bak and Pavlína Rychterová (eds.), Martyn Rady and Petra Mutlová (trans.), Cosmas Pragensis Chronica Bohemorum, Budapest; New York, Central European University Press, 2020 in Hiperboreea, 8/2 (2021), 271-274.

Laura E. Wangerin, Kingship and Justice in the Ottonian Empire (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2019) in Central European History, 54/1 (2021): 187-188.

The latest conferences

Conquest, Holy War, and Crusade in the so-called Magdeburg Letter of 1108 at the International Conference “Exegesis, Sermons, Liturgy: New Pathways in Crusade Studies”, organized by Heidelberg University in partnership with Swansea University and supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), 3-4 November 2022 (online, via Zoom).