UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

Prof Martyn Rady

Prof Martyn Rady

Professor of Central European History



Joined UCL
1st Aug 1999

Research summary

I am interested in most aspects of Central European History, from the early Middle Ages to the twentieth century. I have written mostly on medieval and early modern Hungary, but I have also published quite extensively on Romania as well as on German, Croatian, Austrian and British history. My recent research has been on legal institutions in Hungary and Transylvania, which culminated in the book, Customary Law in Hungary: Courts, Texts and the Tripartitum (OUP, 2015) [https://global.oup.com/academic/product/customary-law-in-hungary-9780198743910?cc=gb&lang=en&]

My interests have over the last few years broadened to include the Habsburg Empire as a whole. A slender volume entitled The Habsburg Empire: A Very Short Introduction was published by OUP in 2017 [https://www.amazon.co.uk/Habsburg-Empire-Short-Introduction-Introductions/dp/0198792964]. I am currently working on a second book on Habsburg history, entitled The Habsburgs: Ruling the World, which is due to be published no later than 2020.

I have long been involved as an editor and translator. I worked as part of a team editing late medieval Hungarian legal texts, published in parallel English translation, and on some of the earliest Hungarian chronicles. My translation of the Gesta Hungarorum of Anonymus, written c. 1200, may be downloaded from http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/18975/1/18975.pdf . A translation of Cosmas of Prague's Chronicle of the Czechs is due to be published shortly. Recent edited works include volumes on medieval Croatian law and on medieval Moldavia, Transylvania and Wallachia.  

A side interest is the history of vampires. This has in a sense been forced upon me on account of the popular association of Hungary, Transylvania and Romania with the phenomenon of vampirism, which means that I am often asked to comment on the subject. I've written a short piece on this for the SSEES research blog. http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ssees/2013/09/04/getting-vampirism-wrong/#more-3261

Previous PhD students have completed under my supervision theses on interwar Austria, interwar Hungary, Greek foreign policy, the Hungarian peasantry in the eighteenth century, sixteenth-century Bohemian law, and preaching in fourteenth-century Prague. Since I am shortly to retire, it would be irresponsible for me to take on any further research students. 

This UCL site fails to capture all my publications and links. For a more comprehensive list, see http://ucl.academia.edu/MartynRady , which also provides access to full text resources.

Teaching summary

I teach the undergraduate courses on the Habsburg Monarchy, 'Crown, Church and Estates in Central Europe, 1500 -- 1700' and 'The Habsburg Empire, 1700 -- 1918'. I teach an MA course on medieval legal history.  


University of London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1982


I spent the first ten years of my career teaching History and Politics at Mill Hill School in North London. On April Fool's Day 1990, I took up a position as a lecturer in SSEES, where I had previously completed my PhD, and have remained at SSEES ever since. I was Head of the SSEES History Department from 2003 to 2008, and am now Head of Postgraduate Research at SSEES. I was appointed Professor of Central European History in 2004 and Masaryk Professor in 2014. I live in Ramsgate, but spend several months a year reading in Corfu.