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Abstract

Archaeological research on the Hanseatic towns established in the Middle Ages in the Baltic region has been conducted on a large scale since the 1980’s. Discoveries made since then allow to formulate a thesis about the cultural unity among the inhabitants of towns situated on the South Baltic coast between the 13th and 15th centuries. Based on selected instances of the urban culture, widely discussed in archaeological sources, the paper is an attempt to prove that a number of similarities can be revealed in various spheres of life led by the inhabitants of towns located in the Baltic region, often situated far away from one another. The analysis covered the following aspects: architecture – quoting the example of tenements with entrance halls which in the 14th century became a common element of the cultural landscape in towns located in the Baltic region; pottery – quoting the example of popular in this part of Europe stoneware and red glazed jugs; and, last but not least, devotional objects – quoting the example of pilgrim badges that revealed evident preferences demonstrated by the pilgrims as to their pilgrimage destinations, paying special attention to supra-regional sanctuaries located in German-speaking area, particularly on the Rhine and the Moza rivers.
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Abstract

The eminent French historian Fernand Barudel pointed out in his works about the Med that one would need for understanding of activites of an individual a wide context created by the social space and environment in which the main hero tends to live in. For Braudel became Philippe 2nd only a pretence to analyse the whole civilisation of the Medin his times. This context can be employed on the man of letters, a loner, spending the most of his life in his astronomical observatory – Nicolaus Copernicus. Unquestionably, the social environment of Thorn exerted the biggest influence on the formation of the young Copernicus. The city was located on the lower Vistula, on the boarder of the state of Teutonic Knights and Poland, with strong relationships with Silesia, Cracow and Hansa and over Hansa with Northern Europe. This location created extraordinary circumstances for the formation of the one of the biggest intellects of his times. This cultural mosaic was the native environment of Nicolaus Copernicus, a German- speaking Pole, on the maternal side a descendant of immigrants from Westphalia, on the paternal side of Silesian Copernicus-family with Slavic roots, from his birth to his death the faithful subject of the Polish kings.
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