The constitutive elements of silvae rerum were length, variety of content and form of texts, along with the variety of issues touched upon ranging from the trivial to essential. The abundance of definitions of silva rerum results from the different methodological approaches of researchers from various disciplines, po- litical history or the history of literature.
Discussion resembles a dispute about the rules concerning the incorporation of such manuscripts into a library or archive. Archivists and librarians making inventories and catalogues very often classified silvae rerum as miscellaneous collections or varia, not knowing how to define them. It is worth mentioning that archivists and librarians were not the only ones who dealt with silvae rerum. Historians also selected fragments which they later put together at their own discretion and published as single homogenous sources. The publisher Julian Bartoszewicz chose only fragments of the silva rerum of the Zawisza family in and ordered them chronologically.
In such a way the silva rerum of the Zawisza family be- came a printed memoir of Krzysztof Zawisza. The development of such handwritten manuscripts commenced at the end of the 16th c. It was connected with the cultural formation of Sarmatism, generated an unprecedented quantity of formal ideas and a variety of content. The richness of form and content partially resulted from a lack of set rules on creating a family manuscript.
The nobility introduced everything that could be useful in their political activity speeches, mod- els of letters, fragments of Seym diet records, reports from sejmiks di- etines , household activities advice about breeding animals, illnesses, epidemics, weather observations and family life dates of births, wed- dings and deaths of family members, advice on upbringing. The book also provided some entertainment as some authors recorded anecdotes, their own poems as well as some written by famous poets e.
Kochanowski, Sarbiewski. The authors were aware of the variety of forms: title pages bear Latin terms such as miscellanea, nihil et omnia nothing and every- thing , penum a collection of recipes , varia various topics , vorago rerum an abyss of things , otia publica, otia domestica public and family enter- tainment.
Both the muses — Clio and Calliope — provided patronage for a noble writer who devoted his time to public matters in the Seym diet and sejmik dietine , along with family issues in his manor house. The Latin otium negotiosum hard worked for leisure meant time free from work; a landowners life full of intellectual activities.
Now we reach a key issue — namely, the different understanding of the term silva rerum by historians and the writers of such books. Research on old Polish writing tended to locate silvae rerum within a typology of the development of memoir studies. According to such a typology, silvae rerum were understood as an imperfect, early form of a memoir — a pro- to-memoir.
Alojzy Sajkowski when characterizing memoirs treats silvae rerum like vorago rerum an abyss of things , where practically no selec- tion criteria were applied to the material From the perspective of a contemporary researcher, a silva rerum may seem to be a voragum rerum — a form of chaos. Nevertheless, for its old Polish recipients it was a trans- parent text, part of the cultural convention of the epoch. An analysis of his book shows the application of a clear the- matic criterion. In the same way the author of a silva rerum could not content himself with just one record, account or commentary on a given subject matter.
When he found an appropriate citation, he recorded it in his silva rerum. The author of the only printed silva rerum of the midth c. Later on, he explained the way in which the reader may use his book, emphasising that it was the reader who chose from his work what he was interested in. Hence, here silvae rerum are understood as a kind of collection of ideas and fragments to be later extended, corrected and commented on by the reader. To make it easier to use scattered information, silvae rerum were provided with contents, lists of works copied.
On the margins nota bene or notandum were written to stress the importance of the information and also when the writer had noticed an error in a sequence of rewritten fragments. Fragments considered to be unsuccessful poetic attempts or arousing objections in its next owner i.
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So, the chaos was only seen through if both the writer of the text and its recipient were conversant with the communicative rules of the situation Why were silvae rerum written? Writers sometimes defined their aim and title pages sometimes bear two Latin phrases: ad subsidium memo- riae to help the memory and ad posteritatem for future generations. On the one hand, the book was to be useful to a nobleman in his daily ac- tivities; on the other, it was also to serve the family and its descendents. Such a book was supposed to be a collection of wise ideas transmitted from one generation to another.
It must be stressed that the manuscripts re- mained unnoticed for many years. Librarians in- cluded it in the catalogue under the heading miscellaneous texts and poems. It should also be noted that historians frequently discover family books of the silva rerum type recorded in an archival inventory or library catalogue as varia or miscellanea.
He placed their names and dates of birth on the title page. Warakomski did not have sons, so he decided to pass on the silva rerum to his grandsons. It is probable that the death of two of his five grandsons in and inspired the starost to dedicate the special book of wisdom to those remaining. The writer opens with an invocation and explanation of the motives for which he had written the book — for the benefit of readers and for the benefit of the Catholic soul.
He was to decide for himself what to use for his own purposes, and what to omit. The collection em- braced a historical-geographical description of Poland and Lithuania from A.
Table of contents
He started with a history of Poland for, as he emphasized, he wrote as a Polish national for Poles being an inhabitant of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. However, it was not a typical list of rulers and events from the history of Poland. The poems contained a large quantity of autobiographical information which Warakomski re- ferred to from his stay in Grodno, meetings with friends and family re- unions.
The last chapter is a collection of guidelines and examples of Christian conduct. The writer himself completed the memoir by systematically adding extra texts and poetic fragments in available spaces. I once suggested that silvae rerum be called archives of Sarmatian memory In fact, they were collections which were not only gathered and made available, but also constructed the subjective world of Sarma- tian values itself.
Serien Charts Komplett: Die Rankings der Serien
The culture can be seen through the archive understood in this way. Such archives, provided with new texts throughout the whole period of the existence of Sarmatism, remained valid and useful for their owners and their families. They made available materials, sets of political examples and patterns, literary entertainment and moral guidelines. They were copied and borrowed, thanks to which they reached not only the closest family circle, but also circulated in the wide spectrum of the cul- ture of the szlachta.
It was not until the 19th c. They became only a memory of the past used for literary or genealogical purposes. It was then that the ba- roque concept of vorago rerum started to mean an abyss or chaos. The 19th c. The new proposal to read a silva rerum manuscript as an archive of memory may be useful for other types of sources.
Writers of memoirs, diaries and private letters constructed a kind of archive ad subsidium memoriae. Their record of the past was subjective and selective. Questions about the manner and scope of the selection, along with questions about the features of such a subjective record, open up a new perspective of research on ego-documents. It seems that the experiences of various countries like ex- periences of various disciplines allow us to look optimistically to the fu- ture. James Amelang, an expert on the autobiography of burghers in Europe in the early modern age, stresses the possibility and necessity of interdisciplinary research: what ground could be more ideal than autobiography for an ecumenical meet- ing among disciplines?
As above we can also ask a rhetorical question — is there a better field for research on European culture than sources in which people described themselves? Ethnologische Erkenntnisweisen als Heraus- forderung an die Sozialgeschichte, in: Alltagsgeschichte. Zur Rekonstruktion historischer Erfahrungen und Lebensweisen, hg. Dressel, Historische Anthropologie.
Mitterauer, , S. Daniel, Quo vadis, Sozialgeschichte. Mehr noch, im Erst in den 70er Jahren des 20 Jh. In der Geschichtsschreibung verursachte diese Erkenntnis eine Wendung zur Kultur und revidierte die erkenntnistheoretischen Grund- lagen der Disziplin3. Schulze, , S. Oexle, , S. Iggers, Geschichtswissenschaft im Jahrhundert, ; A. Schmolinsky, Sich schreiben in der Welt des Mittelalters. Das Interesse der Geschichtsforschung an Ego-Dokumenten ist eher mit der historiographischen Tradition belastet, die den Menschen aus der sozialen wie soziologischen Perspektive erfasste.
Beispiele, Methoden und Konzepte, hg. Klein, R. Ries, , S. Ulbrich, H.
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Medick, A. Schaser, Selbstzeugnis und Person. Heiligensetzer, S. Leutert, G. Piller, Texte zwischen Erfahrung und Diskurs. Probleme der Selbstzeugnisforschung, in: Von der dargestellten Ich.