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Frühneuzeit-Info 2017 | Themenschwerpunkt Neue Wege der Frühneuzeitgeschichte | Abstracts

Vor kurzem ist die diesjährige Ausgabe der Frühneuzeit-Info erschienen, ein Inhaltsverzeichnis ist auf unserer Homepage zu finden. An dieser Stelle folgen die Abstracts des Hefts.







Tracking early modernity – heterogeneous views of the founding and identity of a discipline

(in German language)

Using three dozen in depth interviews with senior historians in Germany, Britain and the United States this article depicts the multifarious ways in which historians understand the founding and development of the field of early modern history. Despite some chronological differences this process unfolded in rather similar terms in all three countries. Still, perceptions of this process vary widely as the interviews show. Amongst the most crucial disparities rates the understanding of early modern as simply a tool of periodization against its perception as a means of methodological innovation. While the former is commonplace among German historians, many American and British historians see early modern as a label for specific methods, mostly borrowed from the Annales School. In addition, comparing the interviews shows that the perception of the semantic problem of the early modern – its inevitable affiliation to modernity – is much more prevalent in the English speaking world. Lastly, while Germans take the existence of a discipline of early modern history for granted most Anglophone historians dispute this claim. Even so, the paper argues, the label early modern does generate an integration that in effect leads to a disciplinary culture even if unacknowledged by senior members of the field.



Der Planet atmet. Überlegungen zu einer Globalgeschichte der Frühen Neuzeit

(in German language)

Wolfgang Behringer’s essay “The Planet is Breathing. Reflections on a Global History of the Early Modern Period” is divided into three parts: Part 1 analyses the position of the early modern period in recent multivolume world histories, compares various attempts at periodizing early modernity and eventually argues for a “long early modern period” in global history. Part 2 emphasises the importance of climatological “teleconnections” in history: Simultaneous drought or cooling, famine and rebellion in India, China, Africa, and Europe can sometimes be explained by the global impact of ultra-Plinian volcanic explosions or El-Nino-Southern-Oscillation-events (EN-SO-events). Endogenic explanations should accommodate or exclude a possible exogenic causation. What will we make of recent attempts to politicise early modern history in the light of the Anthropocene theory? Part 3 asks whether in our moralizing academic universe the very subject of early modern history will be under the suspicion of being politically incorrect. Whereas in an ideal world all civilizations are equal, in the early modern period we have to explain major shifts in their importance. Starting from the observation that today all the major civilizations of 1500 have returned to importance, Behringer offers a package of 21 factors for the rise of Europe, and reconsiders the reasons not just for the dramatic fall, but also for the obvious resilience of traditional civilizations, and their ability to cope with the “great divergence”. The author concludes that the exploration of the multiple early modernities deserves increasing effort.



Historical Climate Research: Origins, Trends and Future Perspectives of an Interdisciplinary Field of Research

(in German language)

This article discusses recent trends and future challenges of historical climate research (also, though somewhat less precisely, known as “climate history” or “historical climatology). We focus on its two main branches: climate reconstruction from documentary evidence, and the study of human-climate interaction in history. It is important to look back into the origins of historical climate research to understand that its development depended on the idea that climate changed in historical periods, i.e. after the end of the last ice age and the onset of the interglacial period of the Holocene, which went through a number of highs and lows. Already born in the 18th century, when climate became historicised, it lost ground when the Pleistocene ice age(s) were discovered and recognised during the 19th century. Only in the 20th century, new methods and approaches in paleoclimatology inspired the return of the “climates of history” on the agenda of modern climatology. The most significant incentives for renewal came from glaciology (the study of glaciers). Now, historians, geographers and climatologists reconsidered the value of documentary evidence. However, historians were particularly reluctant to develop historical climate research beyond the narrow field of climate reconstruction. The spectre of climate determinism delayed reconsideration of the complex relationship between climate and history well into the 1970s. The 1990s brought new developments, as now climate impact research started focusing more on extremes and natural hazards. That, however, revealed a mismatch between the two branches of climate reconstruction and climate impact research, because efforts in reconstruction had initially focused on long-term climatic fluctuations, mostly with regard to temperature, precipitation and air pressure, while extremes and natural hazards had not been systematically researched. Today, historical climate research is a rapidly expanding field of study. While it used to have a strong spatial focus on Europe and China and a temporal focus on the early modern period, to which it became systematically linked through the debate on the “General Crisis” of the 17th Century, it is now globalising and expanding back into the Middle Ages.



Die Vielfalt des Räumlichen. Stand und Perspektiven der frühneuzeitlichen Raumforschung

(in German language)

Focussing on the early modern period, this article reflects on the development and progress in the field of spatial history. What has been labelled the spatial turn in the social sciences about 25 years ago has also been taken up by historians, although there has never been a uniform understanding of the term or, indeed, a unified methodology behind the approach. The present article thus tackles the latter by proposing a range of questions intended to systematize the analysis of the spatial dimensions of (past) societies. In particular, these target (i) spatial configurations, (ii) spatial dynamics, (iii) subjective constructions of spaces (perceptions, representations), as well as (iv) spatial practices/usages. While it is clear that, in reality, several spatial levels are often overlapping, subdivisions into micro-, meso- and macro-spaces are made for the sake of analytical clarity. The article closes with a discussion of selected historical studies with a spatial focus, applying the methodology previously introduced.



Die Wiederkehr der Wirtschaft? Neuere Trends und Perspektiven der deutschsprachigen Frühneuzeitforschung

(in German language)

Apparently, economy has made its comeback in early modern studies. While the major turns inspired by cultural studies have foregrounded other perspectives, economic issues seem to experience virtually a renaissance these days. This renaissance, however, follows its very own, specific path and might not always serve well to bridge the gap between economic and cultural history. At worst, it might even amplify it at times. By surveying a wide range of publications from the past ten years, the paper points first at important new perspectives, assessments, and findings in recent historiography from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, hence the indubitable progress that can be expected – and was actually reached – by the last decade’s inching towards each other of economic and cultural history. Second, however, it will also show that proponents of cultural history have often too unilaterally demanded the opening of economic history towards cultural perspectives, while only seldomly have shown the same openness towards the methodologies and research questions of economic historians. Consequently, the paper closes with an appeal for more bilateral cooperation.



Sexualitäten in der Frühen Neuzeit. Die Unsichtbarkeit der Vielfalt

(in German language)

Enlightenment and scientification were carried out essentially by means of linguistic differentiation and clarification. With respect to sexually based identities, this process has only intensified in recent decades. It is difficult to trace correspondences for this multitude of today’s sexually based identities in the past, because the people of the past have lacked the conceptuality.
Sexual orientations and identities are key scientific categories that are always to be examined in relation to categories such as class, ethnicity, religion and age. The biblical tradition of sex laws led in Christianity to a special way of persecuting and threatening the death of men, especially men who had same-sex sexual contacts. However, since a significant part of the population did not have legal access to sex, people who we call today homosexuals do not appear. It was only the withdrawal of heterosexual men from the same sex sexual acts, which were also common to them throughout the pre-modern period, during certain phases of life, which left those men who sexually sought men back and visible, while they were previously invisible in the mass of so-called “sodomites”. This also applies to other forms of deviant sexuality, for example, for the predisposition we now call zoophilia.



Frühneuzeitliche Sportgeschichte 2.0

(in German language)

This article deals with the historiography of early modern sports. As the pioneers of the field defined sports as a specifically modern as well as British phenomenon, research on the 16th to 18th centuries and the European continent lagged behind for a long time. In the last fifteen years the “modern sports paradigm” has been increasingly questioned by new findings and approaches that go beyond the dispute whether the early modern voluntary movement, physical games and exercise can be defined as sports. Focusing on space, economy and knowledge, this chapter shows how the historiography of sports has profited from new methods and concepts that gained importance in general history, as well as vice versa. Thus, the spatial approach does not only allow to view developments in the history of sports in a more differentiated and subtle way, but also to consider sports as a forerunner or preserver of traditions compared to developments in other fields or as an utopian and at the same time contested space of representation. Furthermore, new research shows sports as an important aspect of the early consumer society as well as of leisure and cultural industries well before the 18th century and beyond the British Isles. Finally, analysing early modern treatises on sports, physical exercise and body techniques tells us a lot about the cognitive preconditions and repercussions of representing the body and its movements, both linguistically and graphically.



Established as a Historical Discipline. The Ottoman Empire in Early Modern Historiography of the Past Two Decades

(in German language)

Ottoman history has been integrated into the general discourse on early modern history since the mid-1990ies to a much larger degree than before. The reasons for this development need to be assessed as a combination of glocal dynamics in contemporary academia and discursive rearrangements among Ottomanists. History-writing in an Anglo-Saxon mode has become the model to follow for many scholars. Taking the Cambridge Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire of 1994 as point of departure, the article discusses Karen Barkey’s and Baki Tezcan’s attempts to frame the Ottoman Empire in a new way. While both may be regarded as ultimately failed they have inspired discussion that have foregrounded the 17th and 18th century Ottoman Empire over that of earlier times. The cohesion of Ottoman polity and society appears as source of a fruitful debate; political households and law are given as examples for new perspectives assumed. The conclusion identifies some difficulties studies in early modern Ottoman history are likely to encounter in the future.





„Settling the Goths at the Gates of Rome“? Anglo-American Immigration to Spanish Lousiana, 1783–1803

(in English language)

This article examines Spaniards’ attitudes towards Anglo-American immigration to the Spanish colony of Louisiana from 1783 to 1803. In Spain’s strategic design, Louisiana was to function as a buffer to protect the kingdom of New Spain from foreign encroachment. With a vast territory, extensive frontiers, and few inhabitants, Spanish authorities believed Louisiana’s success as a barrier colony depended on its population increase. This article examines the high-wire act that Louisiana’s colonial government performed as a result of the gradual liberalization of immigration policies. Breaking with restrictive immigration laws, the imperial administration in 1788 allowed Anglo-Americans – including non-Catholics – to settle in the Mississippi Valley. This was a risky path to take. It opened Spanish territories to a group of subjects whose loyalty was far from secure, despite the oath of allegiance each was obliged to take. The question at stake was whether non-Spanish immigrants would help to secure Madrid’s rule in Louisiana – or ally themselves with foreign powers to end it. Instead of seeing the flow of migrants leaving the U.S. for Louisiana as just a problem for the Spanish government, I examine how this movement caused concern for both Louisiana and U.S. officials. My argument places U.S.-American expansion into the Mississippi Valley within the broader context of U.S.-Spanish relations, showing how Anglo-American immigrants were perceived as threat to Spanish possessions throughout North America.



Revolution, War, and Estates. Emperor Francis II’s Visit to the Austrian Netherlands in 1794

(in German language)

In 1794, the young Emperor Francis II visited the Austrian or Southern Netherlands. Although he was only the second ruler in one and a half centuries to do so, his stay in the westernmost part of the Habsburg Monarchy has almost completely passed unnoticed by historians. Francis’ visit took place in turbulent international and internal circumstances. Austria was waging war against France that had conquered the Netherlands a first time in 1792/93 and launched a new offensive in 1794. Internally, agitated public opinion in the wake of the Brabant Revolution alarmed the Brussels government, and the provincial estates only very reluctantly contributed financially to Austria’s war efforts. In the first place this article focuses on the debates about whether or not this imperial visit was appropriate. Secondly, it examines the ways in which the emperor tried to influence public opinion. Lastly, it analyses the circumstances that led to Francis’ speedy journey back home. His return preceded the definitive implosion of the Austrian regime in the Southern Netherlands by some weeks only. Taken together, this article demonstrates that Francis’ visit is revealing for Austria’s diplomatic and military challenges as well as for the factions and opinions influencing – and hampering – decision making concerning the Netherlands. It is also a plea to fully integrate the second Austrian restoration in the Netherlands (1793/94) in analyses of the Brabant Revolution and its aftermath.



Der Löw von Mitternacht, Ist kommen ins Teutschlandt. Die zeitgenössische Flugblatt-Propaganda rund um Gustav Adolf von Schweden in illustrierten Flugblättern (1630–1648/50)

(in German language)

From the moment on the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus (1594–1632) landed with his troops on the northern German island of Usedom on July 6th 1630 the pro-Swedish and Swedish publicists and propagandists started to intensify the publication of illustrated broadsheets. The Swedish king was above all depicted as a militarily strong general, an ancient and Old Testament hero figure, as the Lion of the North and even as a physician. These graphic accounts of Gustavus Adolphus were often combined with the publicistic stylistic device of the Miles Christianus.
Based on the broadsheet-collection of the National library of Sweden (Kungliga biblioteket; literally translated as The Royal Library) the change of the publicistic image of the Swedish king, between his landing at Usedom on July 6th 1630 and his death on November 16th 1632 at the battlefield of Lützen and later, will be discussed. Many modern historians who work with illustrated broadsheets maintain that Gustavus Adolphus was only present in protestant popular press until around 1634/35. Thereafter, protestant authors and propagandists didn’t refer to him in their broadsheets. However, in this paper it is posited that the Swedish king was indeed present in protestant propaganda for a longer period than has been heretofore assumed.


Frühneuzeit-Info 2016 | Themenschwerpunkt Fest – Theater – Musik | Vorschau 4/4

Fest – Theater – Musik
Frühneuzeit-Info 27 (2016)

Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2016
Bestellungen werden gerne entgegengenommen: Bestellschein

Der vierte und letzte Teil der Vorschau präsentiert jene Beiträge, die unabhängig vom Themenschwerpunkt in der offenen Sektion der Zeitschrift erschienen sind.

Robert Rebitsch
Eine Frage der Ehre. Die militärische Ehrenbezeugung als Anlassfall und Gegenstand der Friedensschlüsse in den Englisch-Niederländischen Seekriegen
(in German language)

The Anglo-Dutch wars were conflicts between England and the Netherlands mainly due to economic reasons. Therefore these wars are often described as “trading wars”. Although other reasons for these wars existed, England wanted to abandon Dutch world supremacy in trade. Within this context as well the social phenomenon of “honor” played a crucial part of the intensification in the beginning and for the regulation in the end of these conflicts. In this sense “honor” is not just seen as an ethical system, as part of a rigid structure of values and conduct for individuals, in this sense “honor” must also be seen as a collective perception of feelings against other nations. The disrespect and insult of the flag, an important national symbol, stirred up bad emotions of princes, authorities and the whole nation – or at least could be exploit for propaganda reasons. At the end of the wars the handling how to proceed with the flags in sovereign territories had to be established. This article shows that an alleged infringement of the “honor of the flag” was not just in two of three cases a classical incident for warfare, the “honor of the flag” was also relevant in the peace treaties of Westminster (1654/1674) and Breda (1667). In all three treaties between England and the Netherlands the striking or bringing down of the flag by the Dutch in British seas is a subject matter of these contracts. So the archaic phenomenon of “honor” was defined in international peace treaties as a legal category in a per se rational context of conflict.

Julia Gebke
Milk and heritage. Wet nurses and doctors in the royal household of the Spanish Habsburgs
(in German language)

For a long time, wet nurses, their lives and working conditions, embodied not more than a mere footnote to history and to historians. During the last decades, this perspective has changed notably but there is still a lot of work to do. This article aims at contributing to this task. It examines how both medical theory as well as practice shaped the daily life of early modern wet nurses in the royal household of the Spanish Habsburgs and how this knowledge was spread even among non-medical circles. Despite the spare documentation, we can trace enough hints, which provide insight in the constantly growing complexity of procedures to choose the perfect wet nurse for the precious Spanish Infantes as well as the efforts to expose the selected ones to permanent medical control in order to secure the health and well-being of the royal nurslings. This control was exerted mainly by the royal physicians (médicos de cámara), who played a significant role in this setting of wet nurses’ practice in the royal household of the Spanish Habsburgs. Finally, the article aims at catching a glimpse of how those wet nurses faced their challenging working conditions and perceived their own status in the upbringing of the royal Infante.

Friedrich Polleross
„Conterfet Kupfferstich“. Neue Erkenntnisse zu den ‚Porträtbüchern‘ des 17. Jahrhunderts
(in German language)

The more than 200 portrait engravings in the „Annales Ferdinandei“ of the imperial diplomat Franz Christoph Khevenhüller Graf von Frankenburg (1588-1650) offer one of the most important iconographic sources from the first half of the 17th century. They are only known through the reprints of the 18th century and remain to be analyzed. They still exist in many old collections, but have been cut out of their original books and thus their origin is not known today. Therefore it is necessary to reconstruct the artistic and historical context of these portraits. This paper delivers the first information about the unknown portraits of the „Annales Ferdinandei“ from 1640/41 and connects this series with four other Middle European ‚portraitbooks‘ of the second third of the 17th century. In contrast to the portrait engravings by Elias Wideman(n) the other series have not yet been analyzed, neither by art historians nor by historians. But the contrasting juxtaposition of the „Conterfet Kupfferstich“ with the portraits in the books of Galeazzo Gualdo Priorato and Johann Joseph von Weingarten offers new insights about artistic relations among them and raises questions about their meaning and role in the political struggles between the Habsburg Court and the Estates in Austria, Bohemia and Hungary.


Frühneuzeit-Info 2016 | Themenschwerpunkt Fest – Theater – Musik | Vorschau 3/4

Fest – Theater – Musik
Frühneuzeit-Info 27 (2016)

Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2016
Bestellungen werden gerne entgegengenommen: Bestellschein

Teil 3 der Vorschau stellt die Beiträge von Raffaele Mellace, Sandra Hertel und Susanne Winter vor.

Raffaele Mellace
Giovanni Claudio Pasquini (1695–1763) as Librettist of Operas and Feste Teatrali in Vienna and Dresden: Preliminary Thoughts
(in English language)

The article is a first attempt in assessing Giovanni Claudio Pasquini’s output in the fields of dramma per musica, favola pastorale, commedia per musica, serenata, festa teatrale and oratorio. After providing early essays of intermezzi and serenate in his hometown Siena, Pasquini moved to Vienna in 1725 as Italian teacher to archduchesses Maria Theresa und Maria Anna, eventually taking over Pariati’s position as court poet. After a brief appointment in Mannheim, he then moved to Dresden, providing successful texts for key dynastic celebrations. Pasquini was a learned, versatile and elegant poet who was able to apply brilliantly first Zeno’s and later Metastasio’s dramatic solutions to a wide range of genres through a quarter-century of activity (1726–1749) in two of the main North-of-the-Alps centers for Italian opera and culture, collaborating with several generations of composers such as Caldara, Hasse, Porsile, Ristori, Bonno, Ignazio Maria Conti, Georg Reutter jn., Hellmann, Breunich, and first-rate singers such as Faustina and Annibali. Through nearly 70 texts supplied to the imperial court, the playwright developed an impressive moral and ideological discourse, which turned influential to Metastasio himself. Renowned for his qualities as comic poet, Pasquini expressed his penchant towards comedy mainly in three commedie to Caldara’s music, remarkable adaptations from Cervantes and Molière.

Sandra Hertel
Maria Theresa as “King of Hungary” in the coronation ceremonies in Pressburg 1741
(in German language)

This paper analyses the coronation of Maria Theresa as ‘King’ of Hungary on 25 June 1741 as a dynastic and public celebration as well as a media event. The coronation was an important political and juridical act during her first year as Sovereign of the Austrian Hereditary Lands. As first female successor of the Habsbourg dynasty, she had to stabilize her rule quickly after the death of her father Charles VI in October 1740 by this public event, which was observed by the whole European court society and interested subjects. The well noticed ceremonial orders and rules of the coronation contributed to the efforts of the Viennese Court, to stress the legitimacy of Maria Theresa’s succession to the throne in front of the European public. Officially, Maria Theresa became the King of Hungary and so she appeared irrespective of her female sex as a male ruler during the coronation ritual. This fact was also stressed in the published descriptions of the coronation as well as in visual media like graphic prints and medals. The most popular picture topic of the coronation showed her riding on a horse with the St. Stephan’s sword in her hands as a symbol of her power and justice. By this pictorial and medial information policy, Maria Theresia achieved to represent herself as the legal successor and Sovereign in her Hereditary Lands.

Susanne Winter
Transfer and Variety: The Venetian Theater Landscape in the Eighteenth Century
(in German language)

In the seventeenth century, Venice was the unrivalled capital of theater. No other city in Europe had as many theater venues as Venice; and no other city saw as many performances by famous artists as La Serenissima. Whereas opera and commedia dell’arte performances were the most popular forms with seventeenth-century audiences, a change took place in the eighteenth century, in particular in the area of theater, spurred on primarily by authors and literary figures. With Carlo Goldoni’s theater reform project, which attempted to countervail the predominance of improvisation, an increasing number of fully scripted pieces was taken up in repertoires, in the case of Venice, most written by Goldoni and Pietro Chiari. After they left Venice, bringing about a decline in the production of new pieces, there was a dearth of suitable Italian compositions for theater, which was to be offset by the Francophilia of a fraction of important Venetian intellectuals translating pieces from the French. The transfer of theater compositions from French literature not only compensated for the gap left behind by Goldoni and Chiari, but also led to a diversification of the repertoire, which in turn met the demand for a change in the theater landscape. In addition, this transfer was combined with the pedagogical goal of broadening the cultural horizons of Venetian audiences toward France.



Frühneuzeit-Info 2016 | Themenschwerpunkt Fest – Theater – Musik | Vorschau 2/4

Fest – Theater – Musik
Frühneuzeit-Info 27 (2016)

Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2016
Bestellungen werden gerne entgegengenommen: Bestellschein

Teil 2 der Vorschau präsentiert die Aufsätze von Andrea Zedler, Stefan Seitschek und Irena Veselá, die mit zwei Beiträgen vertreten ist.

Andrea Zedler
Pietro Torris Serenata La Baviera für ein Fest am Münchner Hof
(in German language)

The present study focuses on a feast at the Munich court held for the return of the Electoral Prince Karl Albrecht (1697–1745) from his grand tour (1715/16). Before his homecoming to Munich on August 29, 1716 he had travelled nine months through Italy, visiting especially Venice, Rome, Florence and Naples. He had fostered political relations, had enjoyed Italian art and above all Italian music. The four travel diaries, written during the journey, are full of references to music performances. One of them contains an entry which mentions the performance of a “serenade” on the occasion of the Prince’s return, yet without any information about the composer’s name or the title of the composition. Only a more extensive analysis of diplomatic correspondence has brought to light, that chapel master Pietro Torri wrote the “serenade”. The purpose of this paper is two-fold: firstly, it assigns one of Torri’s compositions, the serenata La Baviera – which until now was dated in the year 1726 –, to this extraordinary court feast with the help of a textual analysis. Secondly, it explains why that composition was an ideal conclusion for the grand tour of Karl Albrecht.

Stefan Seitschek
Der Hof tanzt! Musik, Tanz und Fest am Kaiserhof Karls VI. in den Jahren 1720–1725
(in German language)

Irena Veselá
Costanza e Fortezza A.D. 2015 — “Republican Coronation Opera”.
Study on modern opera performance
(in German language)

The festive opera Costanza e Fortezza (Stability and Strength) written by Pietro Pariati and set to music by Johann Joseph Fux was first performed on 28th August 1723 in Prague on the occasion of 32nd birthday of Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, the Emperor Charles VI’s wife, and was rerun on 2nd September of the same year. In 2015 it was staged as a modern performance. Musica Florea, a Czech ensemble, performed it at the “9 Weeks of Baroque” Festival in Světce near Tachov and then in Prague. The opera mirrors the heroic Roman fight for the free Roman Republic against the militant Etruscan king Porsenna and his protégé Titus Tarquinius, the Roman Crown Prince, between 510 and 508 B.C. However, Pariati’s libretto also introduces symbolism of the current dynastic-political situation when Charles VI tried to keep the Czech lands in the Habsburg Monarchy. In the contemporary opera performance this symbolism is completely suppressed and the new adaptation prioritizes two dramatic love stories. Now there is only a single choir and the number of actors was also lowered. As recitatives were reduced, the reflexive part was omitted as well. The modern final licenza employs not only a choir celebrating the Empress and the capital Prague but also allegorical dancers honouring the Czechoslovak Republic proclaimed in 1918 after the Danubian Monarchy fell apart. It was the Monarchy which Charles VI craved to keep integrated in 1723. Due to this crucial change the contemporary performance no longer carries the original message and tends to be a little challenging.

Irena Veselá
Serenata La concordia de’ pianeti for the Empress Elisabeth Christine and its performance in Znojmo in 1723
(in German language)

Apart from the festive opera Costanza e Fortezza, the serenata La concordiade’ pianeti, whose libretto was written by Pietro Pariati and which was set to music by Antonio Caldara, also belongs to courtly music and dramatic pieces performed during the Emperor Charles VI’s stay in the Czech lands in 1723. The Imperial Court members witnessed the serenata on their way back from Prague to Vienna on 19th November 1723 in the evening at the Upper Square in Moravian Znojmo, in front of the salt office (Hof-Salzkammeramt), where the Imperial Couple spent the night. The serenata was scened on two large triumphal carriages with 144 musicians and singers, both the Court Band members and local musicians. It was composed on the occasion of the name day of Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Charles VI’s wife. It consists of a two-movement introductory sinfonia (Introduzzione), choral prologue, two series of solo da capo arias (each with seven arias) and final encomiastic part (licenza). It features seven planets, i.e. the Olympian Gods (Venus, Diana, Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, Mercury and Saturn) who cannot agree whether an unknown beautiful and virtuous mortal female should be honored as a goddess. Only after finding out that it is the Empress Elisabeth, do they concur and together with a group of demigods celebrate her and the child she was expecting, who might be the longed-for Crown Prince. Venus alone hesitates to celebrate her mortal competitress and changes her mind only in the final licenza. The author thus assumes that the librettist Pariati might have found inspiration in a mythological story of the Princess Psyche, which had been set to music and performed at the Imperial Court some time before. Musicwise, the serenata shows the Empress’ beauty and virtues and features highly embellished melodic lines.

Frühneuzeit-Info 2016 | Themenschwerpunkt Fest – Theater – Musik | Vorschau 1/4

Fest – Theater – Musik
Frühneuzeit-Info 27 (2016)

Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2016
Bestellungen werden gerne entgegengenommen: Bestellschein

Die diesjährige Ausgabe der Frühneuzeit-Info ist dem Thema Fest – Theater – Musik gewidmet und wird in wenigen Tagen erscheinen. In den nächsten Wochen wollen wir an dieser Stelle den interessierten Leserinnen und Lesern die Beiträge des aktuellen Heftes vorstellen. Den Anfang machen die Texte von Bärbel Rudin, Marko Deisinger und Martin Krummholz.

Bärbel Rudin
Read, bought up and sent to other places. Messages from the Dresden festival of the Electoral “Friends of Children” in 1655
(in German language)

In 1655, the Dresden Court of the Elector of Saxony, Johann Georg I., hosted a festival cycle on occasion of the gathering with the family branch of the eldest daughter, the Landgraviate House Hessen-Darmstadt – the festival spanning from the Elector’s birthday to the birthday of his son in law. Since the booklets accompanying the individual productions were quickly out of stock, a collective edition was published still in the same year, annotated by David Schirmer, the author of two ballet programmes. This publication has been buried in oblivion insofar as the culture-historical interest has focused strictly on the reprinted texts in Schirmer’s edition. The parts of the programme curated by Electoral Prince Johann Georg (II.) in the form of interculturally ambitious theatre performances with professional actors as well as the comprehensive concept of a dynastic self-celebration are investigated for the first time in this study.

Marko Deisinger
Profane Amusement, the Jesuits and a Spectacular Accident in the Theatre Hall. Andrea D’Orso’s Commedia dell’arte Troupe at the Imperial Court of Vienna in 1660
(in German language)

In the carnival period of 1660, an Italian Commedia dell’arte troupe stayed at the Viennese Court at Emperor Leopold I’s invitation. Led by Andrea D’Orso, the comedians performed at the theatre at Rosstummelplatz – a venue built especially for the occasion. The performances caused a stir in Vienna. While the comedians supplied great entertainment among the members of the imperial family and their courtiers, the Jesuits opposed the profane topics of the humorous stage plays vehemently. In their opposition to the comedians, an accident in the auditorium came in handy to the Jesuits; they interpreted it as a divine sign. Influenced by the Jesuits and concerned about maintaining moral standards, Emperor Leopold issued the order to refrain from indecent action, gestures and remarks; otherwise, the comedians had to expect harsh punishment. Nevertheless, a sexually suggestive gesture occurred on stage, at which the Emperor was incensed. At last the Jesuits succeeded in achieving their goals to a large extent. Leopold revoked his invitation to the comedians: their performance was the last guest appearance of an Italian Commedia dell’arte company at the Viennese Court until the beginning of the 1690s.

Martin Krummholz
Das Mäzenatentum des Grafen Johann Wenzel von Gallas und seine Festivitäten in Rom 1714–1719
(in German language)

Johann Wenzel Count of Gallas (1671–1719) belonged to the prominent Habsburg diplomats of the complicated period of the War of Spanish Succession (1700–1714). After six years (1705–1711) as envoy in London and the Netherlands the rich Bohemian nobleman occupied  the prestigious but expensive post of an imperial ambassador in Rome since 1714. The Eternal City became a main stage of Bourbon-Habsburg rivalry carefully observed by all of Europe. Fine arts as well as music served to the purposes of the political propaganda; the fame of imposing spectacles was provided by the published illustrated descriptions. The envoy´s activity started with the official public entry and the following arrival audience. The spectacular festivities took place in the lavishly decorated palaces as well as in the neighboring open spaces. In fall 1714 the opulent Gala-Tage (the empress’ birthday and emperor’s name day celebrations, ‘imported’ from Vienna) took place in front of Palazzo Odescalchi on the Piazza Santi Apostoli, in which  the roman architect Giovanni Battista Contini (1642–1723) participated with his son Giulio and the Gallas´ composer Giovanni Bononcini (1670–1747). At the beginning of October 1717  Gallas organized in front of Palazzo Cesarini on the Via Papale the celebrations of the conquest of Beograd. All festivities were subordinated to the complicated rules of the roman ceremonial and followed the established course: The official announcement, congratulations, festive mass in the national church (Santa Maria Dell´Anima), banquet with the musical accompaniment, evening illuminations, eventually ephemer architecture and firework. Relating Gallas´ festivities there are period descriptions as well as (partially unpublished) iconographical materials preserved. The imperial ambassador participated on the profane and religious celebrations of the Eternal City, including academies and disputations; there are many book and musical titles dedicated to him. Being a quite extraordinary lover of Italian opera Gallas rented four loges and some private rooms in the Teatro Capranica; to his permanent staff belonged – besides composer – 13 musicians and three singers.


25 Jahre Institut für die Erforschung der Frühen Neuzeit

von Karl Vocelka

Redaktionelle Vorbemerkung: Dieser Text ist auch in der Print-Ausgabe der Frühneuzeit-Info 25, 2014, S. 5–6 abgedruckt; wir eröffnen mit diesem Rückblick auf ein Vierteljahrhundert Institut für die Erforschung der Frühen Neuzeit zugleich ein neues Kapitel in der Publikationsgeschichte des IEFN, nämlich das Weblog Frühneuzeit-Info.

Wer hätte es im Herbst des Jahres 1989, als ein kleines Team engagierter Studentinnen und Studenten sowie einige wenige Universitätslehrer begonnen hatten, einen Verein zu gründen und die ersten Mitglieder anzuwerben, für möglich gehalten, dass ein Viertel­jahrhundert später dieses Institut für die Erforschung der Frühen Neuzeit noch immer bestehen würde und – was vielleicht noch überraschender ist – sich in der Forschungsszene der Frühen Neuzeit voll etabliert hat. Zu bescheiden waren die Anfänge für eine solche Vermutung. Wir waren kein von irgendwelchen staat­lichen oder sonstigen Organisationen großzügig unter­stütztes Projekt, sondern arbeiteten basierend auf der Selbstausbeutung und dem Enthusiasmus der Men­schen, die sich dafür engagierten. Meiner Meinung nach ist dieses wagemutige Unternehmen gerade des­halb etwas geworden, während viele hochsubventionierte Institutionen in der scientific community ohne Schwung blieben und ein bescheidenes Schattendasein führen. Eine der weiteren Überraschungen, die man 1989 nicht voraussagen konnte, war, dass diese Insti­tution über so lange Zeit immer wieder neue Mitar­beiterinnen und Mitarbeiter finden würde, die bereit waren, Zeit und Energie in die Zeitschrift Frühneu­zeit-Info und in die anderen Aktivitäten zu stecken, ohne dafür mit Geld oder Karrierechancen belohnt zu werden. Sicherlich haben sich nicht wenige, die im IEFN eine führende Rolle spielten, gute Positio­nen im wissenschaftlichen Bereich erarbeitet – und immer wieder höre ich in Gesprächen mit ihnen, dass sie durch ihre Tätigkeit im IEFN viele Qualifikationen gewonnen haben, doch Garantien dafür gab und gibt es keineswegs. Diejenigen, die in der Gründungsphase aktiv waren, dachten ja zunächst, dass sie das Institut ewig prägen werden, aber mit dem Älterwerden, der Berufstätigkeit und den anderen Aufgaben im Leben, machten sie einer neuen „Generation“ Platz, die sich in der Arbeit des IEFN – vor allem in der Betreuung und Herausgabe der Zeitschrift – hervortaten. Ihnen allen, die auf den ersten Seiten der jeweiligen Frühneu­zeit-Info verzeichnet sind, sei herzlich gedankt. Dass sich immer wieder eine neue Gruppe an Menschen fand, die bereit war, sich für diese Aufgaben zu begeis­tern, spricht dafür, dass diese Institution als wichtig und wert empfunden wurde und wird und bedeutet für mich eine Art „Gütesiegel“ des IEFN.

Dieser Enthusiasmus derjenigen, die das Institut tra­gen – alle zusammen in völlig basisdemokratischer und keineswegs hierarchischer Weise – gibt dem IEFN eine spezielle Atmosphäre, ohne die ich heute nicht mehr dabei wäre. Während andere Vereine und deren Vorstände verbissen, intrigant und hierarchisch orien­tiert sind, bildeten im IEFN über Jahrzehnte weg Hei­terkeit und Kooperation, Freundschaft und Akzeptanz der Mitglieder eine gute Grundlage für die gedeihliche und effiziente Zusammenarbeit.

Unsere Motivation vor 25 Jahren lag in der Wahrneh­mung einer Forschungslandschaft in Österreich, die altmodisch und unflexibel war und die wir verändern wollten. Politische Geschichte in der alten überkom­menen Form der Ereignis- und Kriegsgeschichte und biographische Zugänge („große Männer machen Ge­schichte“) waren, als wir begannen dagegen zu revol­tieren, an der Tagesordnung. Neue Methoden, Inter­nationalität und Interdisziplinarität bildeten unsere Schlagworte. Vieles davon ist in der heutigen Zeit zur Selbstverständlichkeit geworden.

Sicherlich sind wir nicht so vermessen zu behaupten, dass wir die Wissenschaftswelt der Geisteswissenschaften verändert haben, aber ich denke doch, dass wir einen Beitrag, der international mehr als im eigenen Lande – was ein klassisches österreichisches Schicksal ist – an­erkannt wird, dazu geleistet haben. Manches ist uns zu Hilfe gekommen. So haben wir zwar schon in den Vor­gesprächen zur Gründung des IEFN die Einbeziehung von Wissenschaftlern und Wissenschaftlerinnen aus den Nachbarländern, die damals noch Teil des „Ost­blockes“ waren, in unser Programm aufgenommen. Dass mit dem Fall des „Eisernen Vorhanges“ diese Absicht leichter zu verwirklichen war, ist dem histo­rischen Zufall zu verdanken. Wenn man aber wollte, konnte man auch vor 1989 wissenschaftliche Netzwer­ke aufbauen und dass wir von Anfang an darauf ausge­richtet waren, spricht für unsere richtige Orientierung.

Man könnte – etwas überheblich gegenüber der Erfor­schung anderer Epochen der Geschichte – behaupten, dass die Forschung in der Frühen Neuzeit in den letz­ten Jahrzehnten methodisch am aktivsten und pro­gressivsten war, was natürlich auch mit der Rezeption der Annales-Schule, die ja sehr stark auf die histoire moderne ausgerichtet ist, zusammenhängt. Vieles von dem spiegelt sich in den 25 Jahrgängen der Frühneu­zeit-Info wider, wobei diese Entwicklung in einem dialektischen Prozess erfolgte. Wir wurden von der „Frühneuzeit-Szene“ beeinflusst, haben aber unserer­seits diese wieder mit Impulsen versehen. Viele derer, die in Vorstand und Redaktion der Zeitschrift dem IEFN verbunden waren und sind, haben durch ihre Arbeiten und Veröffentlichungen zu den Fortschritten in ihren Fächern beigetragen.

Auch das Schlagwort der Interdisziplinarität oder Multidisziplinarität hat sich in den letzten 25 Jahren als erfolgreich erwiesen. Zwar haben die traditionellen Organisationen – wie etwa die Universität – noch die alten Fachbereiche wie Geschichte, Kunstgeschich­te, Musikwissenschaft, Theaterwissenschaft, Germa­nistik, Romanistik, Anglistik etc. aufrechterhalten, doch wirft man einen Blick auf die Publikationen der Menschen, die in diesen Instituten arbeiten, zeigt sich schnell, dass die traditionelle thematische Abgrenzung längst gefallen ist. Während früher klar war, das ist ein Aufsatz eines Historikers etc. und jener der einer Germanistin etc., muss man heute schon sehr genau hinsehen, um das unterscheiden zu können. Auch zu dieser Entwicklung hat das IEFN durch Kongresse und die Publikation der Zeitschrift beigetragen, denn im inneren Kreis der Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbei­ter sind ja ebenso unterschiedliche Fächer vertreten.

Das IEFN hat in diesen 25 Jahren seiner Existenz viele Forscherinnen und Forscher im Rahmen des monat­lichen Jour fixe und in den vom IEFN veranstalteten Kongressen nach Wien gebracht und zu Wort kom­men lassen. Projekte des IEFN haben in der „guten alten Zeit“, als Forschungsgelder noch ohne einen wahnsinnigen bürokratischen Aufwand zu bekommen waren, ebenfalls zur Profilierung des Instituts beige­tragen. Eines der schönsten Projekte in meiner Erin­nerung, das kein unmittelbares IEFN-Unternehmen war, ist der zweite Band der Geschichte der Stadt Wien über die Frühe Neuzeit, für den ich die Verantwortung hatte. Fast ausschließlich mit dem engeren Kreis des IEFN und einigen uns wohlgesonnenen Menschen aus den Netzwerken des „harten Kerns“ ist ein sehr positiv aufgenommener und innovativer Band, der als Stan­dardwerk gelten kann, entstanden.1 Auch in dieser Kooperation war die gelungene Zusammenarbeit, die „menschliche Chemie“, die stimmte, Grundlage für das gute Gelingen.

Das IEFN, das anfangs sehr stark durch Mitglieder aus dem persönlichen Umkreis der Proponenten gefördert wurde, hat sich im Laufe der langen Zeit seines Beste­hens zunehmend professionalisiert, was man deutlich an der Mitgliederstruktur erkennen kann. Waren es in den ersten Jahren vorwiegend Bekannte und Freunde, die durch ihre Mitgliedsbeiträge die Arbeit des Instituts ermöglichten, so sind es heute mehrheitlich Wissen­schaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler oder Fachbiblio­theken, die dem IEFN als Mitglieder oder Abonnenten der Frühneuzeit-Info angehören.

Auch an den Aufgaben hat sich in den 25 Jahren einiges verändert. War eines der wesentlichen Standbeine der Zeitschrift die Bibliographie der Neuerscheinungen zur Frühen Neuzeit in allen Sparten und Fragestellun­gen, die für viele ein Argument war, die Frühneuzeit- Info zu bestellen, so hat sich das im Zeitalter der neuen Medien als nicht mehr notwendig erwiesen und wurde aufgegeben. Heute findet man diese Titel sicher viel schneller im Internet, als sie in einer gedruckten Zeit­schrift oder auch in CD-Form anzuschauen.

So können wir mit einer gewissen Genugtuung auf das vergangene Vierteljahrhundert zurückblicken, wir haben durchaus gute Arbeit geleistet mit dem IEFN und – für mich ein wesentliches Argument – eine relativ krisenfreie, langjährige freundschaftliche Zu­sammenarbeit zustande gebracht, die imstande war, immer wieder junge Forscherinnen und Forscher an­zuziehen und von der man nur hoffen kann, dass sie auch die Zukunft des IEFN garantiert. Allen die an der Verwirklichung dieses Projektes beteiligt waren und durch ihr Engagement halfen, es zum Erfolg zu führen, möchte ich in dieser Rückbesinnung auf die Geschichte des Vereins innig danken. Ich hoffe, dass meine Nachfolgerin/mein Nachfolger zum 50-jähri­gen Jubiläum des IEFN ähnlich positive Gefühle ausdrücken kann, wie ich es diesmal getan habe.

  1. Karl Vocelka/Anita Traninger (Hg.): Die frühneu­zeitliche Residenz (16. bis 18. Jahrhundert) (= Wien. Geschichte einer Stadt 2, hrsg. von Peter Csendes/ Ferdinand Opll), Wien/Köln/Weimar: Böhlau 2003. []