Taking recent events in Ukraine as central, the article examines Russian identity as a reaction against its own construction of Western identity. In the process the piece argues that Russia and the West have fundamentally different ideas of law. In the West, power is constrained by law, but in Russia power is superior to it.
Drawing on works of literature, especially ones written by Dostoyevsky and Böll, this essay discusses Orwell’s decision, at the height of the Cold War, to inform against suspected Leftist sympathisers.
Jonathan E.M. Clarke
This paper offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the current armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine as a way of understanding the dispute and the failure of the warring parties to broker a lasting peace. It examines the ideological background to the conflict by considering the most significant historical myths that inform both sides, especially the myths surrounding the medieval state of Kievan Rus’, and the religious, political and linguistic elements of those myths that contribute to mutual misunderstanding and heightened tensions. What is demonstrated is that the myths of each side are structurally very similar: one set is the mirror image of the other (with corresponding labels interchanged). This symmetry helps to intensify and maintain inflamed confrontation, so that there is a pressing need to move beyond these myths, if a lasting peace is to be achieved.
Srđan Mladenov Jovanović
Since the end of the wars of Yugoslav secession, and since Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the Balkans—Serbia included—have taken a back seat in academic research. Even though media freedoms have been severely stifled following the coming to power of Aleksandar Vučić in 2012, today’s Serbian media are still failing to become a topic for scholarly research. In this article, we scrutinize the daily Informer, the unofficial daily of Serbia’s strongman, president Vučić, via a discourse analysis of its headlines. As shall be shown, the Informer supports the reign of Aleksandar Vučić by framing him as a hero and martyr, fighting for the ‘people’, in a highly populist fashion, discursively painting the opposition in a highly negative light, as well as promoting warmongering and the idea that Serbia is surrounded by enemies. This is achieved via discursive deception, bases on assertive rhetoric, filled with exaggerations.
The Thun-Hohenstein album, long-known as the Thun’sche Skizzenbuch, is a bound collection of 112 drawings that visualize armoured figures at rest and in combat, as well as empty armours arrayed in pieces. The collection gathers drawings that span the period from the 1470s to around 1590. While most of the images were executed in Augsburg during the 1540s, the album’s three oldest drawings date to the late-fifteenth century. Two of these works, which form a codicological interlude between the first and second quires, find parallels in the illustrations of contemporaneous martial treatises. This article traces the pictorial lineages of these atextual images through comparative analyses of fight books produced in the German-speaking lands, and considers how the representational strategies deployed in martial treatises inflected the ways that book painters and their audiences visualized the armoured body. This exploration situates a manuscript from which one of the drawings derives, Peter Falkner’s Art of Knightly Defense, now in Vienna, within the Augsburg book painters’ workshops that would later give rise to the Thun album. Finally, this study considers how the transmission and representation of martial knowledge in late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Augsburg contributed to the later depictions of armoured bodies that populate the album.
The author presents a study of Bibliothèque National de France MS Latin 11269, a manuscript that he argues was associated with the court of Leonello d’Este and which represents an attempt to “fix” or “canonize” a vernacular work on a practical subject in erudite Latin poetry. The author reviews the life of Fiore dei Liberi and Leonello d’Este and discusses the author’s intentions in writing, how the manuscript shows clear signs of Estense associations, and examines the manuscript both in light of its codicological context and in light of humanist activity at the Estense court. He also presents the evidence for the book having been in the Estense library. Finally, he examines the place of the manuscript in the context of the later Italian tradition of fencing books. A complete concordance is presented in the appendix.
The cavalry horse, tactics and training in Western Europe – the Euro-pean provinces of the Roman Empire of the West and the Frankish Empire – du-ring the Early Middle Ages (c. 500-1000) are still subject to many myths in both popular media and academic literature. Source material is admittedly thin, yet it is specific enough to allow us to correct many of these misconceptions and outright errors.
The article initially summarises the current state of knowledge on the war horse of the period, by reference to the archaeological record. It then reviews the cavalry’s battlefield tactics, derives the skill level required to execute the manoeuvres described in the sources, and analyses where and how this training could have been provided.
The information gleaned provides an insight into the skills and expertise neces-sary to achieve the requisite sophisticated level of horsemanship. We shall argue that these imply a considerable investment in organisational infrastructure, per-sonnel and institutional memory, which has so far not received much academic attention, and has wider implications for our view of the era.
A growing body of research on fight books and historical European martial arts has appeared in academic circles over the last fifteen years. It has also broken through the doors of patrimonial institutions. From curiosities in exhibitions about knighthood, to dedicated temporary exhibitions about historical European martial arts, the fight books have received more and more attention from museum professionals. This article attempts to present an exhaustive list of fight books displayed in museum exhibitions over the last fifty years. It then proposes a critical view about how and why they were displayed from the perspective of the curators, based on a review of the exhibition catalogues.
Bartłomiej Walczak and Bartosz Starko
Additional witnesses containing fragments of Martin Hundsfeld and Andre Lignitzer’s dagger teachings were located. These teachings were part of other anonymous dagger texts. Five of Lignitzer’s plays and three Hundsfeld’s can be found in the works of Gregor Erhart (MS E.1939.65.354), Lienhart Sollinger (Cgm 3712) and Paulus Hector Mair (C.94, Codex 10825). A synoptic comparison of these witnesses with other representatives points to the existence of at least two other manuscripts – one that was base for Erhart and Sollinger, and the other being the base for Paulus Hector Mair’s works. Additionally, the analysis seems to suggest that the Proto-Erhart was based on the original proto-manuscript, not transmitted through other known sources. Interestingly, Erhart seems to be a faithful copy of its progenitor, even though it contains a very disorganized text, where dagger techniques are mixed with other weapons. The article contains transcriptions as well as updated stemmae codicum for these traditions.