Abstracts OH 20 (2019), No. 1

Vladimir Panov

Three Missions of Niclas Warkotsch to Moscow in 1589–1594 in the Light of Russian Diplomatic Ritual

Niclas Warkotsch was one of the most important characters in diplomatic relations of the Holy Roman Empire and Russia in the end of 16th century. While the factual side of his three missions to Moscow has been more or less covered by Czech, Austrian and especially Russian historians and primary sources, the aspects of symbolic communications between the two powers still remain unexplored. Warkotsch’s missions are especially helpful in shed light on Russo-Habsburg relationships and on Russian diplomatic ritual and practices that served them. His journeys, first of all, clearly show that by Russian government considered the Rudolph II’s court as one of its key international partners, using those ties as a tool of its international and domestic self-representation. The Russian ambassadorial ceremonial demonstrates precisely that, so that Moscow sometimes even retreated from its strict diplomatic rites. Secondly, it is evident that by the end of the 16th century the Empire mastered Russian diplomatic rituals (especially the elaborate culture of gifts and receptions) for practical use, but nevertheless saw the Russian tsar a somewhat politically and ceremonially inferior figure. And thirdly, Warkotsch’s missions show a hint of changes in an influential Herbersteinian discourse of barbaric and tyrannical Russia. As powerful as it was, this discourse nevertheless failed to prevent the two states of coming closer together on the grounds of common political interests and Christian values. 

KEY WORDS: Niclas Warkotsch; Europe and Russia; 16th century diplomacy; symbolic communications and self-representation 


Ere Nokkala

Justi’ s Essay on Universal Monarchy (1747): A Misunderstood Satire  

This article analyses Johann Heinrich Gottlob von Justi’s (1717–1771) early essay on Universal Monarchy (1747) in the context of the broader eighteenth-century discussion of political order and commerce. During the eighteenth century, theorists often envisaged a universal society of all nations, or a universal monarchy under the rule of a single monarch. Alternatively, many others argued that peace and tranquillity among states could be secured through the orchestration of a balance of power between states. Justi’s position in this debate is rendered somewhat puzzling because of his early essay on universal monarchy. Here, Justi argues that a monarch ruling the whole of Europe could secure peace and tranquillity in Europe. This would seem to make him one of the last serious defenders of a universal monarchy, as several previous scholars have asserted. This article argues, however, that Justi’s essay on universal monarchy was a satire in which he commented on the Holy Roman Empire. He ridiculed petty tyrants and advocated strengthening the power of the Holy Roman Emperor. Justi’s preference for larger commercial units, which was characteristic of his later work on political economy, was already present in draft form in this early essay.

KEY WORDS: Johann Heinrich Gottlob von Justi; eighteenth century; cameralism; universal monarchy; satire  


Marta Baranowska – Paweł Fiktus

Law of Nature as Justification for Reforms. Polish Political Thought in the Eighteenth Century

The subject of the article is the law of nature in the Polish political thought of the second half of the 18th century. This article discusses the views of Józef Wybicki, Hugo Kołłątaj, and Stanisław Staszic (leading Polish politicians of this period), who opposed feudalism by promoting a compromise between the nobility and bourgeoisie. Their views influenced the formation of the Constitution of 3 May, whose norms were not to violate natural law at any point. Analysis of their views will enable us to track the process of conceptualization and then positivization of the law of nature. In modern historiography, there are many works on the subject of political reform programs presented by Polish writers of that time. However, it is worth paying attention to the theoretical and philosophical background of these considerations, especially the idea of the law of nature, state of nature, social contract and the relationship between the law of nature and positive law. This article discusses the following questions: did thinking in terms of the law of nature have a decisive influence on the formation of political solutions, and did Polish thinkers creatively develop the ideas of Western philosophers?

KEY WORDS: The law of nature; Józef Wybicki; Hugo Kołłątaj; Stanisław Staszic; political thought in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 


Josef Hrdlička

The Anniversary of the Reformation in Czech Historiography  

This article gives an overview of Czech historical works that were published on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther´s appearance, and the beginning of the European Reformation in 2017. Although the anniversary was put less in the spotlight there than in Germany, several works were published in the Czech Republic that significantly enriched knowledge about the course of the Lutheran Reformation in Bohemia and Moravia between the beginning of the sixteenth century and the 1620s. The study focuses on the works written by historians, church historians and theologians who deal with the personality of Martin Luther, the course of the Lutheran Reformation in the Czech Lands, the attitude of the Bohemian and Moravian nobility towards the Lutheran Reformation the relations between the Reformation and the fine arts. Finally, it pays attention to newly published translations works and editions. Besides these publications and studies, it mentions conferences which took place in the Czech Republic or conventions in other countries, particularly in Germany, where contributions on Bohemian topics were presented. 

KEY WORDS: Martin Luther; Reformation; Czech Lands; Czech historiography; overview; edition 


Andrei Prokopiev

The Early Modern Age in the Russian Historiography: Yesterday and Today

The article considers the main stages in the study of history of the early modern period in Russian historiography from the era of Peter the Great to the present day. At the center of attention are influence of foreign historical schools and public concepts. The points of view of Russian historians are studied mainly with reference to the example of the historical schools of St. Petersburg and Moscow. 

KEYWORDS: Reformation; Counter-Reformation; Confessionalization; Early Modern Age; Russian historiography; Humanism. 


Markéta Skořepová

The Concept of Gender in the Czech Rural History and Historiography

The article summarizes the existing reflection of the concept of gender in the Czech agrarian historiography. Despite a general consensus about the necessity of the gender history, the factual implementation of gender as an analytical tool is still uncommon. The first studies dealing with rural women appeared in the 1990s. The amount of knowledge about rural women quickly surpassed that about rural men. The most progressive research area in the field of gender history is the history of the rural family, also dealing with the problems of life cycle and land tenure. 

KEYWORDS: gender history; rural history; historiography 


Rostislav Smíšek

The Correspondence between Emperor Leopold I. and Johann Adolf of Schwarzenberg 1662–1683. Theses of an Edition Project

The present study outlines the basic theses of an edition project. The main aim of the project is to publish about 150 handwritten letters that were sent between 1662 and 1683 by Emperor Leopold I. to Johann Adolf of Schwarzenberg, as a member of the Privy Council and later also as the President of the Imperial Privy Council. The letters reveal interesting new facts about the Emperor‘s intellectual world and his personality. Furthermore, the letters also discuss his advisory bodies (e. g. the Privy Council and Privy Conference). Many letters reflect the structure of the decision-making processes within these advisory bodies, opinions on appointments to particular offices, the central administrative authorities, and the relationship between the various administrative bodies and particular noblemen or individuals of low birth. 

KEY WORDS: 17th century; House of Habsburg; critical edition; correspondence; Leopold I; Johann Adolf of Schwarzenberg