Culture of Memory
in East Central Europe
in the Late Middle Ages
and the Early Modern Period,
ed. Rafał Wójcik,
The starting point of this book was an international conference on the Culture of Memory in East Central Europe in the Late Middle Ages, organized in March 2008 by the University Library in Poznań, with kind co-operation of Lucie Doležalová (Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University, Prague) and Gábor Farkas Kiss (Department of Philology of Old Hungarian Literature, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest).
The essential objective of the conference was to provide an opportunity for analysis of various aspects and issues related to the culture of memory in East Central Europe in the Middle Ages and early modern times. The conference, intended to be interdisciplinary and providing a platform for the exchange of ideas and opinions presented by lecturers from different countries, lasted three days. The papers had been grouped into the following thematic categories: medieval art of memory, historical and private memory in the Middle Ages, and the notion of memory in art in the Middle Ages and early modern times from the point of view of literary scholars and art historians.
A structure of the book reflects the disposition of the conference. The opening texts deal with manuscript material connected to the art of memory, medieval pedagogical and encyclopedic systems (Seelbach) and the production, transmission and reception of texts in early modern Ottoman manuscripts (Norton). The following articles take a wide perspective of memory and mnemonics in such topics as the dependencies between the classical theory of the art of memory and the so-called versus differentiales (Cizek); three mnemotechnical poems, the Summarium Biblicum attributed to Alexander de Villa Dei, Margarita by Guido Vincentinus and the anonymous Capitula evangeliorum versifice scripta, dealing with their mnemotechnical aspect (Dinkova-Bruun); the significance of different kinds of expressive techniques at the disposal of the medieval preacher (Bracha); issues concerning not only versus differentiales, but also primarily versus memoriales (Mejor); and the interesting problem of mutual dependencies and similarities in two, seemingly totally different domains of medieval science and the humanities, namely the art of memory and magic (Lang). The next two articles focus strictly on the presence of the classical art memory in Bohemia and Hungary at the turn of the 15th and 16th century (Doležalová, Kiss). The problem of an alphabet, mnemonic verses and relationships with the Eastern tradition of the systematization of the letters was also presented (Wójcik/Wydra).
The second group of the presentations was devoted to problems and issues in the art of memory in historical and literary research. The following texts deal with memory of the dead in the Kronika by Master Vincentius (Wojtowicz) and the origins of Hungarian statehood and memory of these events in the Gesta Hungarorum and Polish chronicles (Grzesik). Quéret-Podesta in his Historical conscience in the Annales Posonienses and in the historical notes of the Pray Codex and their place in Hungarian medieval historiography focuses on the annals from Pressburg (Bratislava) and analyses the work within the approach of the vision of history presented by the main author of Annales Posonienses and the author of its minor continuation and shows the influence of the annals upon the later fourteenth-century Hungarian chronicles. Memories of the self: the "autobiography" of Charles IV in search of medieval memories (Nagy) discusses a particularly interesting contribution to medieval memoirs, the Latin autobiography of the fourteenth-century Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV of Bohemia.
The text The Dynastic memory and the role of historical books in the education of the Piasts from the 10th to the 14th centuries (Ratajczak), based on Polish medieval sources, discusses the role of the book and oral transmission in the dissemination and maintenance of memory of the past of the first Polish dynasty in the educational process employed by teachers of the members of the royal Piast family from the tenth century to the fourteenth century. The following text, Changes of the figure of Piast, the protoplasta of the first Polish dynasty, in the historical tradition from Gallus Anonymus to Marcin Bielski (Tapolcai), which discussed changes in the image of the legendary progenitor of Polish royal family in chronicles and annals – from the Chronicle of Gallus Anonymus to the Kronika polska of Marcin Bielski – analyses those relevant historical, social, cultural and religious processes that could have effected changes in the way that Piast was presented.
The article Recollecting the Runes. Memory Culture in the Viking Age (Schulte) focuses on the expressions included in early runic inscriptions that had been inscribed purposefully in older runes, i.e., using the so-called older furthark. It presented a much-debated and controversial thesis that a vast array of mnemotechnical measures and methods had preceded the "runic culture" and writing. Another side of using mnemonics is presented in Mnemotechnical Strategies at Play: Early Modern Polish Theatre and Its Manuscripts (Rzegocka). It discusses those dramatic elements and stage directions pertaining to the play text that had been crucial for the process of communication and memorization of plays. The next article Ich [...] habe diese Figur, als ich zu Konstantinopel gesehen, meinem lieben Bruder [...] zum freundlichen Gedächtnis malen lassen. Erinnerungen an die Reise in die Türkei in einigen der ältesten Stammbüchern aus dem deutschen Kulturraum (Borys) discusses the earliest albums completed during various journeys to Turkey that originated within the German-speaking cultural circles in the sixteenth century. The article presents sample albums as an endless source of information for those doing research in the art of memory in the period. Prinke, in his article Memory in the Lodge. A Late 18th c. Freemasonry Mnemonic Aid, discusses a late but interesting source of mnemonic aids – an eighteenth-century textbook that functioned as an excellent mnemotechnical device for candidates to be admitted to Freemasonry, aimed at facilitating memorization of words and gestures used in the rites and ceremonies of the initiation and the taking of Masonic oath.
The final topics of the book deal with the problem of memory in the history of art. We have here an article Remembering the Polish Renaissance Child – in memoria (Łabno) discussing Renaissance sculptures and grave inscriptions in Poland that present the symbolic meaning of the deceased child's life to the parent. The following text, Bishop Phillibert of Coutance's Catholic Restoration in Hussite Prague (Horníčková), explains specific anachronistic forms in reliquaries and images within the context of Charles IV's ideology and cultural policy. These forms, rather than being dependent simply on the aesthetic taste of the Emperor, can be read as a specific form of visual media communicating a message about its ancient and proper origin, of its content, of mediators through whom they were obtained, or of their donor and his saintly protectors. Thus, in fact, these visual media transmit specific information of historical memory to their audience. The article entitled Civic Ritual and Memoria in the Gelnhausen Codex (Hindin) discusses two fourteenth century visual "places of memory" of local German-speaking communities in medieval Bohemia. Finally, Filipova's text Paintings in Macedonian Churches as Document and Echo of the Heraldic Society presents frescoes and objects that had preserved for the future generations the memory of heraldic symbols of the ruling families, especially those of Serb origins.
The conference and the present proceedings are the result of a common project undertaken together with Lucie Doležalová and Farkas Gábor Kiss on the art of memory in East Central Europe in the late Middle Ages. It is necessary to mention here that the present book is closely linked to the three workshops which have been organized in Prague: Memories Medieval and Non-Medieval (2006), Medieval Memories: Case studies, Definitions, Contexts (2007) and The Potential and Limitation of a List (2007), which will result in two thematic volumes (edited by Lucie Doležalová), and the project will end with a common book, The Art of Memory in Late Medieval East Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland): An Anthology (by Doležalová, Kiss and Wójcik), containing three studies on the art of memory in Bohemia, Hungary and Poland and an anthology of the mnemonic treatises composed or linked to this area.
Preface (Rafał Wójcik)
Sabine Seelbach (Münster): Wissensorganisation contra Gebrauchsfunktion? Zum Erkenntniswert von Überlieferungsgeschichte am Beispiel der Memoria-Handschriften der Staatsbibliothek Olmütz
Claire Norton (Twickenham): Erasing Oral Residue and Correcting Scribal Error: Re-Interpreting the Presence of Mnemo-Technical Practices in Ottoman Manuscripts in the Early Modern Period
Alexandru N. Cizek (Münster): Antike Memoria-Lehre und mittellateinische versus differentiales
Greti Dinkova-Bruun (Toronto): Biblical Versification and Memory in the Later Middle Ages
Krzysztof Bracha (Kielce): Das Gedächtnis in der Praxis des mittelalterlichen Predigers
Mieczysław Mejor (Warszawa): Ars versificandi and ars memorativa. Geoffrey of Vinsauf on the Art of Memory (ars memoriae)
Benedek Láng (Budapest): Art of Memory and Magic (the ars memorativa and the ars notoria)
Lucie Doležalová (Prague): Matouš Beran and his Wordplays: A Case Study on the Art of Memory in Late Medieval Bohemia
Farkas Gábor Kiss (Budapest): Valentinus de Monteviridi (Grünberg) and the Art of Memory of Conrad Celtis
Rafał Wójcik/Wiesław Wydra (Poznań): Jakub Parkoszowic's Polish Mnemonic Verse about Polish Orthography from the 15th Century
Witold Wojtowicz (Szczecin): Memoria und Mnemotechnik in der Chronica Polonorum vom Bischof Vincentius (ca. 1150–1223)
Ryszard Grzesik (Poznań): Did Two Models of the Memory about the Domestic Origins Exist in the Hungarian Medieval Chronicles?
Adrien Quéret-Podesta (Clermont-Ferrand): The Historical Conscience in the Annales Posonienses and in the Historical Notes of the Pray Codex and Their Place in the Hungarian Medieval Historiography
Balázs Nagy (Budapest): Memories of the Self: The "Autobiography" of Charles IV in Search of Medieval Memories
Krzysztof Ratajczak (Poznań): The Dynastic Memory and the Role of Historical Books in the Education of the Piasts from the 10th to the 14th Centuries
László Tapolcai (Budapest): The Changes of the Figure of Piast, the Protoplast of the First Polish Royal Dynasty, in the Historical Tradition from Gallus Anonymus to Marcin Bielski
Michael Schulte (Volda): Recollecting the Runes. Memory Culture in the Viking Age
Jolanta Rzegocka (Kraków): Mnemotechnical Strategies at Play: Early Modern Polish Theatre and Its Manuscripts
Alicja Borys (Wrocław): Ich [...] habe diese Figur, als ich zu Konstantinopel gesehen, meinem lieben Bruder [...] zum freundlichen Gedächtnis malen lassen. Erinnerungen an die Reise in die Türkei in einigen der ältesten Stammbüchern aus dem deutschen Kulturraum
Rafał Prinke (Poznań): Memory in the Lodge. A Late 18th c. Freemasonry Mnemonic Aid
Jeannie J. Łabno (Sussex): Remembering the Polish Renaissance Child – in memoria
Kateřina Horníčková (Prague): Bishop Phillibert of Coutance's Catholic Restoration in Hussite Prague
S. Adam Hindin (Cambridge): Civic Ritual and memoria in the Gelnhausen Codex
Snezana Filipova (Skopje): Medieval Paintings in Macedonian Churches and Applied Arts as Echo of the Heraldic Society