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Abstracts 4(2005), Nr. 3

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Walter Demel: Die Spezifika des europäischen Adels. Erste Überlegungen zu einem globalhistorischen Thema, in: zeitenblicke 4 (2005), Nr. 3.

This paper tries to find out the particularities of the European aristocracy by comparing it with the élite nobility in Russia, Ottoman Empire, India, China and Japan. The following characteristics seem to be specific for the European aristocracy: they were obliged to lead a particular way of life ("as befitting their station"), enjoyed statutorily constituted privileges and exercised hereditary sovereignty. Moreover, they were also organised in closed corporatist groups ("classes") and within these "class" corporations they insisted on political participation. At the same time it seems that it is precisely this wide, "constitutionally" secured political co-determination which until 1900 in a global comparison characterised the European aristocracy as unique.


Heike Düselder / Olga Sommerfeld: Adel an der Peripherie? Kultur und Herrschaft des niederen Adels in Nordwestdeutschland. Bericht über ein Forschungs- und Ausstellungsprojekt der Universität Osnabrück und des Niedersächsischen Freilichtmuseums Museumsdorf Cloppenburg, in: zeitenblicke 4 (2005), Nr. 3.

The following text outlines the contents and perspectives of a research and exhibition project on the culture and dominance of the lower nobility in North West Germany. The paper first outlines the three aristocracies of Osnabrück, Münster and Ostfriesland (East Frisia) in their very heterogeneous structures and the history of the origins of the nobility, and briefly discusses the significance of nobility as a ruling class and a cultural driving force. The investigation fields of the current, second two-year project phase, which has been running since June 2005, are also presented. These also include Olga Sommerfeld's doctoral thesis which will be completed within the entire project. Subsequently an insight is given into the new permanent exhibition "Landed Gentry" at the Open-Air Museum in Cloppenburg with a brief explanation of selected exhibits. A conference report on a workshop recently held at the Univesity of Osnabrück - "Aristocratic research in the early modern history of Lower Saxony" - rounds off the paper.


Jeroen Duindam: Vienna and Versailles. Materials For Further Comparison and Some Conclusions, in: zeitenblicke 4 (2005), Nr. 3.

Der folgende Beitrag liefert über den Hof in Wien und Paris/Versailles Material, das als Grundlage für einen weiteren Vergleich herangezogen werden kann. Die Ergebnisse wurden früher in der Publikation 'Vienna and Versailles. The Courts of Europe's Dynastic Rivals', Cambridge 2003 veröffentlicht, zumeist ohne die Diagramme, Überblicke und Tabellen mit Finanzdaten. Kurze Aussagen bieten einen Hintergrund zu den vorgestellten Materialien und binden diese in eine allgemeiner gehaltene Erörterung der Adligen am Hofe an.


Ewald Frie: Adel um 1800. Oben bleiben?, in: zeitenblicke 4 (2005), Nr. 3.

This essay addresses the problems modern history has with the definition of nobility to view the problem of change around 1800. Following Luhmann, this is described as an "evolutionary 'catastrophe' (or better perhaps an 'anastrophe')". This resulted in a relatively candid historical situation as regards the level of noble families, noble domains and states. The years 1790-1830 can be described as a "pre-modern laboratory".
From this background there followed a critical discussion on the key question, which Rudolf Braun had already posed 15 years before, as regards the history of nobility: "What are the spheres, means and strategies of getting to the top and staying there?" In the 19th century more and more "tops" were emerging in more and more functional systems, and success in all of these was associated with the unreasonable demands made by the system. Apart from their "prominence" from the early modern era, the success of many aristocrats was based on their ability to adjust to the requirements of a functional system, which required them to go beyond the notions of nobility handed down through the generations. At the same time the exceptional legal status of the nobility began to pale. Family alliances, nobility affiliations, stories and myths can be understood as a counter movement to the integration into the differentiated society; these were to gain even more importance especially in the second half of the 19th century. "Nobility" was gradually becoming not only both a self-description and external description, but also a metaphor.


Katrin Keller: Frauen in der höfischen Gesellschaft des 17. Jahrhunderts: Amtsinhabe und Netzwerke am Wiener Hof, in: zeitenblicke 4 (2005), Nr. 3.

What social scope of activity did aristocratic women have in the corporatist class society? This issue is pursued, taking the Viennese Court as an example. A special form of this scope was at the disposal of the women who were official members of the Empress's royal household and court. The position of lady-in-waiting had an outstanding status among these. The motive for presence at court and an aspiration for higher offices was not so much financial gain, but the accession of honour and the possibility of being included in the court marriage market. Access to the Emperor or the Empress also opened up other possibilities; what was particularly important was networking, as can be seen in the example of Empress Eleonora Gonzaga the Elder. Social networks, which were of most interest for the often foreign Empress unfamiliar with the country, made it possible for her to award offices selectively and purposefully and sponsor her own family. The ultimate objective of these networks was securing the status of her own House and promoting and stabilising the careers of her husband and children. One cannot really talk of a patronage of the ladies-in-waiting, since this notion always implies hierarchical relations, which in the context of court hierarchies could hardly be realised for women. Therefore, it is more appropriate to speak of network structures because this term can also include more flexible relations.


Claudia Kollbach: Karoline Luise von Baden-Durlach als Mutter ihrer kranken Kinder:
Medizinische Praktiken als Teil der Prinzenerziehung in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts, in: zeitenblicke 4 (2005), Nr. 3.

The essay pursues the practice of “physical” education at the court of Baden-Durlach in the second half of the 18th century. In opposition to contemporary court criticism, this is characterised by the dedication of the Marchioness as the mother of her sick children. In doing so, the Princess complied with the new "bourgeois" demands made on women in their role as a mother. On the other hand, her medical commitment was also significantly due to her interest in retaining the dynasty, sometimes even in an aspiration for distinction within her class or princely representation. The realisation of alleged "bourgeois" demands by the princely class is also placed in the larger context of medicalisation. Apart from the disciplination of the woman as a mother, this development was characterised by the subjugation of the life of children to medical regulation. Both procedures were ultimately to lead to the formation of the "child" as an object to be educated. At the same time they were also the expression of a new emerging elite concept outside the idea of class, which applied to both members of the aristocracy and some members of the bourgeoisie.


Ute Küppers-Braun: Anmerkungen zum Selbstverständnis des hohen Adels - Katholische Hochadelsstifte als genossenschaftliche Kontrollinstanzen für Ebenbürtigkeit und Missheirat, in: zeitenblicke 4 (2005), Nr. 3.

Until the mid-18th century the upper nobility was primarily defined by descent and not - as contemporaries suggested to the jurisprudence – by membership in the estates of the Empire. For the determination of this the term 'suitability for a convent' plays an important part. Not until the inclusion of secular (Catholic) ladies’ "convents" for the upper nobility, which until then had been completely ignored by aristocracy research, was it shown that there were different types of suitability for a convent. Institutions in Essen, Elten, Cologne (St. Ursula), Vreden and Thorn/NL were reserved only for the upper nobility (i.e. old houses of the Empire) as in Cologne and Strassbourg. These Imperial convents required a completely different nobility status than the convents of the lower nobility and formed a kind of cooperative control authority for equality and connubium. The self-conception of these, which was also supported by the protestant side, was not repressed until the late 18th century and, under pressure from the Imperial central authorities, adapted to conform with the norms of Roman law. It took approximately 100 years for elevated families to gain recognition and access to these.


Wolfgang Neugebauer: Konfessionelle Klientelpolitik im 17. Jahrhundert. Das Beispiel der Reichsgrafen von Sayn-Wittgenstein, in: zeitenblicke 4 (2005), Nr. 3.

This paper takes the approach in accordance with patronage structures and clientship systems in early modern history and examines whether, and to what extent, the religious denomination had an influence on constituting and stabilising a patron-client relationship over larger geographical distances and throughout the generations. The example taken is the House of Sayn-Wittgenstein, which in the district of Wetterau county tended towards Calvinism and therefore disavowed a onetime empire-oriented position. During the crisis of the Thirty Years' War there was initially an annexation to the Swedes, however, Count Johann VIII. effected a new orientation by offering his services to the likewise Calvinist Prince Elector of Brandenburg. The new protection relationship, which was corroborated by sponsorships, bestowed the Prince Elector with a reliable liege and stabilised the political position of Count von Sayn-Wittgenstein. Always under cover of the religious denomination argument, other members of the Sayn-Wittgenstein House also went on to excellent careers in the military or at the Hohenzollern Court. It was not until the downfall of Count Wartenberg at the beginning of the 18th century, who also let a Count von Sayn-Wittgenstein fall from favour, that there was a renunciation of the Calvinist Hohenzollerns. The relation to Emperor and Empire having constituted an important corrective of the clientship system to Brandenburg in the 17th century, the counts then turned more towards the imperial court. In the 18th century the subjects revived these geographical relationships in conflicts with the Counts.


Michael Sikora: Ungleiche Verbindlichkeiten. Gestaltungsspielräume standesverschiedener Partnerschaften im deutschen Hochadel der Frühen Neuzeit, in: zeitenblicke 4 (2005), Nr. 3.

With the major significance of marriage for the transfer of property, rank and status throughout the generations, the choice of partner among the aristocracy was subject to elevated strategic requirements. The option of avoiding the consideration of social ranking by engaging in ex-marital relationships with mistresses of lower standing was widely spread. However, this always occurred under the odium of moral abjection, and meant insecurity and dependency on the part of the mistresses. A view to alternative solutions of this dilemma reveals a wide range of possibilities with rather blurred transitions. In these the conflict of norms is, on the one hand, first realised and articulated, and on the other hand, they unveil a large scope, of which the members of the German upper nobility took the liberty of availing themselves, to satisfy their desires. The most radical of these even entered marriage with partners of lower standing. As far as ecclesiastical law was concerned, these were actually on a par with recognised aristocratic alliances. It was more the fact that there was no social staging as befitting for the status that branded the decisive status deficit as insurmountable.

Erstellt von: RedaktionZB
Zuletzt verändert: 2005-12-05 07:39 AM