1 Year/Année XIV, no. 2, Dec The European Journal/ Die Europäische Zeitschrift/ La Revue Européenne/ Revista Europea/ Rivista Europea A case for the Enlightenment, ten essays Preface Why would someone want to write about the Enlightenment again? My mundane reason was that I had to write a syllabus for a set of lectures meant for an audience of the Senior Academy in Groningen. Writing it I discovered that there are still a lot of clichés attached to the Enlightenment, which obscure the true nature of this eighteenth-century phenomenon. The clichés are my reason to try to set the record straight. Critics pro and contra the Enlightenment base their arguments mostly on a nineteenth-century interpretation of it. My ambition in the essays which follow is to return to the eighteenth-century scene and try to interpret the bearers of the Enlightenment in their own words and ideas. Obviously this has been done before and serious scholars usually are not the victims of the clichés, but the clichés are very persistent and need to be combated persistently. This becomes particularly true in our time, when critics of the Enlightenment accuse it of being responsible for the global crisis we are experiencing, while they mistake its true nature. Perhaps I can offer a very modest contribution to the debate on its true nature and make us ask what we still can learn from the Enlightenment. Many sympathetic readers have helped me to clear my thoughts. Two friends should be mentioned in particular. Roger Emerson of the University of Western Ontario and Bruce Kuklick of the University of Pennsylvania have corrected my English and peppered my texts with their remarks. Often when I sent them a text I got it back the next day. I wish to thank them both in the warmest terms; they have helped me enormously in accomplishing my task. Recently Vincent Hope went through the text again and corrected some typos and irregularities. I am also grateful to him. F.L. van H. What is the Enlightenment?1 Nature, Nature s Laws lay hid in Night. God said, let Newton be, and All was Light (Alexander Pope) 1. Introduction The Enlightenment: we accept the label without reflection. It suggests a closely knit organization of philosophers and literati who preached a consistent doctrine. And the amazing thing is that there is such a unity, perhaps not of doctrine but rather of purpose. The Enlightenment is not so much a movement but a network of writers who knew other writers personally or knew about them. Granted we should speak of Enlightenments rather than the Enlightenment. In the German speaking countries, in France, in Italy and Great Britain the accents were different, but there is enough unity of effort and purpose in the writings of certain eighteenth-century authors to allow us to speak of the Enlightenment. There are scholars, who argue that there was no Enlightenment in England, but surely Pope s Essay on Man is an Enlightenment tract. The Scottish Enlightenment is an accepted notion and so it should be for England as Roy Porter has made clear in his Enlightenment, Britain and the Creation of the Modern World. 2 Voltaire was the first to notice the English Enlightenment in his Lettres Philosophiques 3 and the message of his English exile was that the Enlightenment really started in England. Pope glorified Newton, because the man with his theory of gravity provided the capstone in the new cosmological theory which we call the scientific revolution and Pope himself introduced a new chapter to it: the study of man. That study became the major preoccupation of the Enlightenment philosophers. There are many clichés connected with the accepted image of the Enlightenment. One of them is that the writers of the Enlightenment were first of all rationalists. As always with clichés this interpretation of the Enlightenment message is not totally wrong, but it misses the point. In his Treatise of Human Nature Hume gave two definitions 1 INDEX F.L. van Holtoon What is the Enlightenment? p. 1 D. Fennell The Real History of Europe p. 6 R. Craig A Woman Pirate? p. 10 C. Steinhardt-Hirsch Alessandro Magnasco p. 11 M. Towsey Book in Review: An Enlightened Duke p. 15
2 Vincenzo Merolle Vincenzo Merolle Vincenzo Merolle of reason. 4 Reason is first of all the instinct of logical deduction. That gift is a useful tool, but in his famous saying Reason is and ought only to be the slave of the passions. 5 That is the proper definition of reason, because the passions motivate us to act and without an understanding of our passions reason cannot help us to use them in a useful way. Secondly we have the capacity to be reasonable and that involves an improper definition of reason, because being reasonable is the effect of a passion and has nothing to do with our logical instinct and everything with our sentiments. The Enlightenment is often presented as The Age of Reason. In my opinion The Age of Sentiment is a better label. Sentiment became an exciting term in the eighteenth century. Our feelings move us to act and so it is essential that we explore them and learn what causes them. Sentiments provide the motives, which make us act and learning about them brings us to the threshold of morality and moral judgments. How can we not see how important sentiment was to the writers of the Enlightenment when we read Rousseau s La Nouvelle Héloïse? The exploration of sentiment became such a major preoccupation that Laurence Sterne wrote a satire so at least I think on it in his Sentimental Journey. In what follows I shall develop four maxims: We can argue when the Enlightenment started, but not when it ended. Though the objectives of the Enlightenment are the same everywhere in Europe there is a great divide between Britain and the continent which is caused by the economic development of Britain. A sense of balance manifested itself in art, economics and politics, because writers aspired to a harmony of sentiments as the outcome of this balance. The writers of the Enlightenment accepted the regimes under which they lived. They wanted to reform the société des ordres, not to abolish it. When these reforms would be a success this would mean the end of history. A treatment of these maxims will provide my answer to the question: what is the Enlightenment? 2. The End of the Enlightenment When did it start? Hazard concluded that Locke s Essay and his two Treatises started the systematic inquiry into the possibilities of a secular morality and a new form of politics. 6 This is an attractive view. Rejecting innate ideas Locke provided the formula for morality on a secular basis and by participating in ecumenical protestant movement he infused that secular morality with Christian values. That was what the Enlightenment needed. Locke s Essay Concerning Human Understanding and his Reasonableness of Christianity had a funneling effect, because ideas since 1680 converged in his work and provided a platform for the Enlightenment. Recently this view was challenged by Jonathan Israel who has made Spinoza the messenger of a more radical Enlightenment with emphasis on personal freedom and democracy. There are two problems with this interpretation. How radical were Spinoza s ideas and how great was his influence on eighteenth-century writers? My answer to the first question is that Spinoza s ideas on democracy and freedom of expression were less radical than they appear to Israel. As to Spinoza s influence, the paradoxical conclusion is that his influence should have been substantial, but it was not, at least in France. Paul Verrière has shown that French writers, with few exceptions, did not read Spinoza, but all knew Bayle s lemma in his Dictionnaire. 7 It was Bayle who settled Spinoza s reputation of being an atheist and a pantheist. Hume who probably never read Spinoza, confirmed to this conventional and wrong interpretation of Spinoza s philosophy. 8 It was only in Germany that the Aufklärer recognized 2 John Locke The European Dictionary A C ABC ABC ABC the true message of Spinoza s Ethics that passion leads to reason and reason leads to God. Scholars such as Margaret Jacob and Robert Darnton who have studied the shady characters of Grub Street and their counterparts on the continent have added an interesting chapter to eighteenthcentury studies, but it is not a chapter that belongs to the history of the Enlightenment. 9 For that was a movement of the establishment and as I shall argue in a next section it is wrong to regard it as a radical movement that prepared the road to the French Revolution. When did the Enlightenment end? The French Revolution abolished not only the monarchy, but also the culture of the salons and the Encyclopédie. In France the years between 1750 and 1770 were the culmination of the Enlightenment when France was regarded as the centre of civilization. In the seventies the mood changed in France and elsewhere. In the expectation of the convocation of the États Généraux conversations became more political and new people joined in. In Germany and Britain it was the revolution itself that constituted the clean break with the past. Condorcet epitomized the nature of the break. During the fifties he was a man of the establishment. He embraced the revolution (as the only member of the Enlightenment) and his Esquisse introduced the idea of progress stating that mankind would progress to perfection. The idea that mankind will The European Dictionary A-C Vincenzo Merolle The 2013, 253 pages European The abcλογος Dictionary European ISBN The European Dictionary Dictionary Price: The European Dictionary A C A C A-C A-C It is a common observation, Vincenzo that the Merolle Vincenzo world Merolle has been changing, and, along with it, the way of studying languages. 2013, 253 pages We Europeans are rediscovering our abcλογος ISBN , common 253 pages past, and the reasons for our cultural abcλογος unity. Price: ISBN Price: This dictionary is intended to show what European togetherness is. Its basic principle is that words must be understood through their history. Itisbasedon a common historical observation, principles; that the hencethe world has relevanceof been changing, etymology, and, which along with isit the is it, history a common the wayof ofa observation, studying word and languages. of that its meaning, the worlddeparting has beenfrom changing, its and, oldest known alongorigin. with it, the way of studying languages. We Europeans are rediscovering our common past, and the reasons for So We Europeans are rediscovering our common past, and the reasons for ourfar cultural dictionaries unity. have been national and bilingual; from now onwards they ourmust cultural be European, unity. both for the history and for the future This dictionary is intended to show what European togetherness is. Its of European Thisand dictionary Westernis civilization. intended to show what European togetherness is. Its basic principle is that words must be understood through their history. basic principle is that words must be understood through their history. Itisbasedon historical principles; hencethe relevanceof etymology, Itisbasedon historical principles; hencethe relevanceof etymology, which is the history of a word and of its meaning, departing from its which is the history of a word and of its meaning, departing from its oldest known origin. oldest known origin. So far dictionaries have been national and bilingual; from now onwards they must be European, both for the history and for the future So far dictionaries have been national and bilingual; from now onwards they must be European, both for the history and for the future of European and Western civilization. of European and Western civilization. To purchase, please contact the bookselling trade or order online from Logos Verlag Berlin. 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3 progress turned the idea of progress into a theory Enlightenment, Enlightenments: Britain and the Continent Two key-concepts of the Enlightenment are modernization and secularization. a. Modernization in a contemporary context means a process of change driven by technological innovation, as applied to the eighteenth-century it concerns the well functioning of society, and the priority of this program of eighteenth century modernization was the development of agriculture. In this respect Britain was in advance of most European countries. The enclosures of medieval open field villages and the emergence of free tenants culminated in an agriculture in which landlords on their often vast estates cooperated with farmers who acted as manufacturers by investing capital in their agricultural production. 11 The landlords invested in the infrastructure of their estates and their tenants (the capitalist farmers) invested in equipment and new farming techniques. The so-called agricultural revolution was the basis of the growth of industrial activities and commercial expansion. Economists such as David Hume and Adam Smith preached economic liberty and were severe critics of monopolies. Economic actors should be left to pursue their own interests, but both authors added the important proviso that the state should interfere in the economic process, when its authority was in danger of being subverted. The ability of the Hanoverian regime to maintain order was as much part of the success of modernization in eighteenth-century Britain as economic expansion itself. On the continent modernization was seen as a task of the central government. Freeing the peasants from feudal burdens was the first priority. The Physiocrats in France looked with admiration at the British scene. They wanted to promote the existence of fermiers at the expense of the overburdened and unproductive peasants. With the reforms they proposed they had two objectives in mind, 1. Raising the agricultural productivity and 2. Reforming the tax system. The latter objective was of crucial importance, for the existing system was oppressive and worse, ineffectual. In a brief moment of glory Turgot as minister of finance seemed to be able to realize their reforms. His dismissal showed that the royal government was totally incapable of pursuing any policies. Observers have often wondered why the French Revolution could so easily blow away the cobwebs of feudalism, Pierre Bayle 3 but it may have been so that both tenants and landowners came to regard the seigneurial dues as oppressive, because the modernization of the rural economy was already taking place, surreptitiously, and largely unobserved. Reformers therefore supported the central governments in their efforts to free the peasants. Hence the popularity of enlightened despots such the Austrian emperors Joseph II and Leopold II, Frederick of Prussia and Catherine of Russia. Their policies were highhanded and timid at the same time and did not free the peasants. In Austria and Prussia the only significant, material product of the Enlightenment, was a new and much needed civil and penal code. In surveying the efforts at economic reform we should realize that the political and social status quo was never put in question. Reforms should take place within what was called the society of orders. That statement applies as well to Britain as countries on the continent. Modernization had older roots than secularization. Max Weber traced the start of the process to the beginning of Western civilization. His thesis that Calvinism promoted the emergence of capitalism - the so-called Weberthesis is an important chapter in this process. The discussion on how and if Calvinism promoted capitalism is endless.trevor Roper made a sensible remark in this respect: In other words we must look on the explanation of our problem [the Weber-thesis], not so much in Protestantism and the expelled entrepreneurs as in Catholicism and the expelling societies. 12 Indeed modernizing tendencies were fought tooth and nail while in protestant countries the authorities favoured or at least tolerated them. What made the case of the Enlightenment special was that secularization became the main impulse of modernization. b. Secularization meant finding the alternative to the prescription of Christian orthodoxy in regard to morality, politics, economics, and history. The secularization of morality came first. All the writers of the Enlightenment insisted that moral rules should be made on earth and were not to be decided in heaven. Hume phrased their claim as follows: It is only experience, which teaches us the nature and bounds of cause and effect, and enables us to infer the existence of one object from that of another. Such is the foundation of moral reasoning, which forms the greater part of human knowledge, and is the source of all human action and behaviour. 13 This claim earned writers the reputation of being atheists, but their situation was much more complicated than this reputation suggests. Obviously Hume s saying was deeply offensive to divines in Great Britain, because it undermined the authority of their priesthood. However, there were many protestant clergymen the latitudinarians in England and the moderates in Scotland who tacitly accepted it and though squabbles between them would suggest otherwise, they and their counterparts in other protestant countries were the foot soldiers of the Enlightenment. In France all philosophes were anticlericals and with good reason. The sometimes cruel and always ridiculous behaviour of the Catholic Church merited their hostility, but the philosophes were not necessarily atheists. Voltaire wrote that he was not a Christian but that he loved God as his friend. 14 Voltaire could be called a deist and in this respect he had many followers in France. The Encyclopédie which started to be published in 1751 is the best example how all-encompassing the effort at the secularization of knowledge was. D Alembert in his Discours Préliminaire divided knowledge in three compartments: Mémoire, Raison and Imagination. The second column of knowledge contained all the useful and scientific subjects. Biblical history, l histoire sacrée, was in the first column and to add to its insult of neglect its place in the first column indicated that it was a thing of the past. Recently Pocock has added a new chapter to the
4 study of the Enlightenment. In volume two of his series on Barbarism and Religion, he shows how Voltaire in his Essai sur les Moeurs created an alternative to biblical history which found its last and eloquent instalment in Bossuet s Histoire Universelle. 15 Voltaire eliminated providence as the key-concept of Bossuet s history and replaced it by the concept of moeurs. Including a discussion of Chinese and Indian civilization in universal history, he wanted to show how civilized manners reached its perfected form in his own time. The contrast between Britain and the continent (particularly France) meant that Britain enacted modernization and on the continent philosophers talked about it. As to secularization the conclusion must be that there is no divide between Britain and the continent. The age of the Enlightenment was not an anti-religious period, but compared to the century that followed many philosophers did not take religion very seriously and the theologians who did, could not stop the secularization of morality, even in their own ranks. Secularization, eighteenth-century style, scored the victory that the case for Revelation became a question of faith, not of evidence. Though many nineteenth-century writers took religion much more seriously than their eighteenth-century counterparts, they could not escape this conclusion. 4. A Harmony of Sentiments If I had to sum up the Enlightenment in one word it would be balance. Balance is a key word in Du Bos and Reynolds aesthetic theories, balance is at the centre of Montesquieu and Hume s political theories; balance is the input of eighteenth-century moralists who aspired to a balance of sentiments. Sentiment to the eighteenth-century observer is that psychical phenomenon which is provoked by our confrontation with the outside world. Sentiments are the material of our moral judgments and turn into passions when they have been processed in our soul. That processing is the reason why Hume defined passions as impressions of reflection. 16 I quote Hume, because I know his work best, but the attention to sentiment was widespread among eighteenth-century writers. Passions had always been an important subject in metaphysics, but in the eighteenthcentury reaching the goal of a balance of sentiments became a major preoccupation of moralists. The goal was important for aesthetic and pragmatic reasons. Individuals aspired to this balance of sentiments and so they should, because as Hume argued this balance was the only way in which they could cooperate amicably and create a moral economy that would maximize their pleasures. One of the red herrings of the study of Adam Smith is the so-called Adam Smith problem. The German scholar Skarzynski maintained that there is an inconsistency in Smith s thought when we compare the altruistic tone of Smith s Theory of Moral Sentiments and the egoistic motivation which Smith took for granted in his Wealth of Nations. 17 However, there is no inconsistency. Smith said, in both works, that if people were left to their own devices they would cooperate for their mutual benefit. The promotion of happiness, being the outcome of this cooperation, was an idea fundamental to the program of the Enlightenment. Helvétius wrote in the preface of his De l Esprit D Alembert qu en lisants ces Discours, on s apercevra que j aime les hommes, que je désire leur bonheur, sans haïr ni mépriser aucun d eux en particulier. 18 Helvétius saw the clergy as the enemy of well-being, but he was not an atheist. That is rather surprising, because his formula for happiness is self-sufficient not needing God s intervention or command but there was a metaphysical residue which lifted the experience of happiness to a higher plane. The aesthetic lift was the second goal of striving for a balance of sentiments leading to a harmony of sentiments. The sense of happiness is first of all the consciousness that one s soul is in harmony. 19 For many writers of the Enlightenment there was the urge to attribute this feeling of harmony to a higher power, not to let this power interfere in their lives, but accept it as a metaphysical expression of this feeling of happiness The End of History Francis Fukuyama created quite a stir when he introduced the concept of The End of History. It meant that the future would hold no surprises as long as mankind would stick to certain simple (liberal) rules on how to cooperate. Later Fukuyama had to confess that he had underestimated the impact of the Industrial Revolution which is still causing a compound of unintended effects which makes the world highly unstable and volatile and is disrupting the liberal paradise. I use the term Enlightenment to indicate that the philosophers accepted the society of orders in which they lived as the final stage of civilization. It could be reformed, but it was impossible to change its structure. That is a surprising conclusion, because within that structure there literally was no place for many individuals, vagrants, beggars, but also workmen in Paris or London who lived there not being under control of the police and not being registered. And the treatment of the common man, who had a place in the society of orders, was often brutal and unjust. Hume called the press gang the sordid method of recruiting men for the British fleet peculiar. That is hardly the comment of a man much concerned with social justice. Voltaire s campaign for the rehabilitation of that unfortunate draper Jean Calas who was tortured to death protesting his innocence shocked everyone in France and abroad, but Voltaire never put in question the system of justice. 20 Beccaria was successful in his plea for the abolishment of torture as a technique of interrogating suspects. He was less successful with his idea of scrapping the death penalty. The reaction to his Dei Delitti e Delle Pene was part of that humanitarian impulse that was older and more universal than the movement of the Enlightenment, but except when focused on an unfortunate victim remained rather vague and unspecific. In a future essay I shall argue that a theory of progress was virtually absent in the eighteenth century. The philosophers believed in reforming persons, not in changing structures and institutions. The idea that human history will inevitably lead to progress in the future, was absent. That idea was launched in Condorcet s Esquisse, but that work is a product of the French Revolution. This is a controversial statement; do let me explain what I mean by it. David Spadafora has written a substantial book on The Idea of Progress in Eighteenth-Century Britain 21 and certainly there was an idea of progress, also elsewhere in Europe. It meant that
5 people had the feeling that their lives were much more civilized than those of their ancestors. As to the explanation on how they got there theories were not so clear and decisive. The four stages theory (explored by Ronald Meek 22 ) is an example of such a theory not well worked out. Decisive is that there was no expectation and hence no theory (until Condorcet) that mankind must progress, because that is mankind s destiny. Historians who have studied the Industrial Revolutions may find it easy, with the wisdom of hindsight, to ask how eighteenth-century philosophers could be so blind as not to notice the first signs of it and the vast potentiality of reform that it would offer. However they saw their world evolving out of age old structures which brought their restraints with them. The economic cycle which Quesnay introduced in his Tableau Économique was not primarily a recipe for economic growth, but was in the first place a demonstration for the better functioning of the rural economy. Its main concern was not the profitability of agriculture, but to create the conditions for tax reform. There was a sense of urgency in their plans for reform. The Physiocrats and their ally Turgot were fully aware that the Ancien Régime would collapse if the much needed reforms would not be implemented. As indeed it did introducing the French Revolution. It was not only that the eighteenthcentury philosophers did not see what could replace the society of orders; they also did not want to see it replaced. The maintenance of authority was an important goal in itself. Hume shared this belief in authority with the Physiocrats: In this sense [a system that admits of a participation of power within the rule of law], it must be owned, that liberty is the perfection of civil society; but still authority must be acknowledged essential to its very existence: and in those contests, which so often take place between the one and the other, the latter may, on that account, challenge the preference. 23 Order is in the nature of things according to Shakespeare: The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre, Observe degree, priority and place Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, Office, and custom, in all line of order. 24 All creatures have their fixed place in the Great Chain of Being; Man has it within society. Of course the Physiocrats and the British economists were aware that some things within society will change, but that the Industrial Revolution would change society out of recognition was something they could not see. Take Adam Smith s Wealth of Nations. He advocated not growth but a stable economy (of which growth could be a pleasant by-product). Take his definition of the classical factors of production. Labour fixed a man s position in the social order, and became a commodity of exchange. Resources meant in the first place agricultural produce that determined the wellbeing of society and was responsible for the power relations within society. Condorcet Agriculture became just one sector in an industrial economy and the landed society lost its political clout. Capital was defined by Adam Smith as hoarded labour, i.e. you must have it before you can invest it. Afterwards capital got the function of a credit facility and you did not necessarily have to save in order to invest. You could speculate on future yields. Sometimes someone set a door ajar, looked into a future where everything was in flux and quickly closed a door on a nightmare which could not possibly come true. Order was more than a method to keep the rabble at bay. It was a way of life. The Enlightenment was, as I see it, a movement within the established classes. Talleyrand remarked that those who had not witnessed the coming and goings of the Ancien Régime did not know how sweet life could be. That may have been true for the upper classes, but not for the common man. If only for that reason we cannot retrace our steps. However a harmony of sentiments 5 could be an important legacy to us amidst the predicament of credit crises. On the long run we are not in the position to want more, but we can always aspire to better things. That is how I see the message of the Enlightenment to us, if we decide to look for it. F.L. van Holthoon University of Groningen TABLE OF CONTENTS The series of papers will include the following subjects: Preface 1. What is the Enlightenment? 2. The Networking of the Enlightenment 3. Deism, Prospect or Threat? 4. The Nature of Buffon 5. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Outsider 6. Montesquieu and Hume on the Balance of Powers 7. Economics and the Science of Administration 8. De Sade, The Dark Side of the Mirror 9. The Idea of Progress and the End of History 10. Back to the Enlightenment? Endnotes 1 This is the first of the ten essays to appear in our journal. The next one, in the June 2014 issue, will be The networking of the Enlightenment. 2 See Bibliographical Notice. 3 Voltaire wrote his Lettres in England where he was banished after a quarrel with the chevalier de Rohan. Rohan ordered his valets to give Voltaire a beating. When Voltaire brought a lawsuit against Rohan he was put in the Bastille with the choice to leave for England or stay there. 4 Reason as logical faculty Hume defines as a wonderful and unintelligible instinct in our souls [Treatise of Human Nature (Oxford 1978: Clarendon Press), P.H. Nidditch ed., I, 3, xvi, 179; elsewhere [THN, II, 3, iii, 417] he writes that the calm passion of reasonableness is confounded with reason by all those, who judge of things from the first view and appearance. 5 THN, II, 3, iii, 415; notice the ought. 6 P. Hazard, La Crise de la Conscience Européenne (Paris 1961: Fayard). 7 P. Vernière, Spinoza et la Pensée Française avant la Révolution (Paris 1954: PUF) dl.2, 526 en 608.
6 8 F.L. van Holthoon, Spinoza and Hume, Two Different Trajectories, The European Journal, 2011, XII(1). 9 M.C. Jacob, The Radical Enlightenment. Pantheists, Freemasons and Republicans, (London 1981: Allen & Unwin); R. Darnton, The Literary Underground of the Old Regime (Cambridge Mass. 1982: Harvard UP). Many of the French revolutionaries were respectable men with respectable careers before the revolutionaries, but they had no entry to the salons of the establishment and resented this fact. 10 Condorcet, Esquisse d un Tableau Historique des Progrès de l Esprit Humain (1795). 11 See D. Ricardo, The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (London 1965: Everyman s Library). Ricardo considered it the normal of business that farmers would invest capital, see ch. VI On Profits. 12 H.R. Trevor Roper, Religion, the Reformation and Social Change, (London 1977: Macmillan), D. Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (Oxford 2000: Clarendon Press), T. L. Beauchamp ed., P. Pomeau, La Religion de Voltaire, (Paris 1969: Nizet). 15 J. G. A. Pocock, Barbarism and Religion, vol. 2, Narratives of Civil Government (Cambridge 1999: Cambridge University Press). 16 D. Hume, THN, II, 1, I, W. von Skarzynski, Adam Smith als Moralphilosoph und Schöpfer der Nationaloekonomie, (Berlin 1878), discussed in D.D. Raphael & A.L Macfie, Introduction, Adam Smith, The Theory of MoralSentiments, (Oxford 1976: Clarendon Press), 20ff. 18 Helvétius, De l Esprit (Paris 1959: Editions Sociales), G. Besse ed., The search for happiness is La recherche des équilibres between the forces of nature, society and reason, R. Mauzi writes in L Idée du Bonheur dans la Littérature et la Pensée Française au XVIIIIIème Siècle (Paris 1960: Colin), In his Lettre sur la Tolérance (1763) Voltaire described the judicial murder of Calas, but a large part dealt with the persecution of the Huguenots and Voltaire s focus was on intolerance not on justice. Calas was a Huguenot and the rumour went that his son wanted to convert to Catholicism and that his father wanted to prevent this by murdering his son. The rumour was untrue and Calas was manifestly innocent. 21 (New Haven 1990: Yale University Press). 22 R. Meek, Social Science and the Ignoble Savage (Cambridge 1976: Cambridge University Press). 23 D. Hume, Of the Origin of Government, Essays, Moral, Political and Literary (Indianapolis 1987: LibertyClassics), E.F. Miller ed., W. Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, The Complete Works (London 1923: Collins), 758. The Real History of Europe My first book, 54 years ago, was a travel book that began its itinerary in Vienna. In those days it was rare for Irish people to travel on the Continent let alone write about any but its southern, Catholic parts. In the Preface, reflecting on the relationship between the Irish and modern Europe, I wrote: We Irish are regarded as an ancient people, but we are also very young and new. The modern world has made itself without our asking. One of the respects in which Europe has done this is in the work of giving European history a shape. Between the seventeenth century and the early twentieth, a standard narrative was established which has remained essentially unchanged. Irish historians, involved defensively in domestic history, played no part in that work. So if now, at this late stage, an Irishman who is an ardent lover of Europe and its history challenges Europe s standard manner of narrating that history, and wants it somewhat differently done, it should not be surprising. I believe that Europe, like the civilisations that preceded it which left behind sufficient historical records like Rome, Greece, Babylon, Egypt, China deserves to have its story told straightforwardly and as truthfully as possible before it, in turn, passes into history. In this respect we have not been served well by those contemporary historians who entitle their books History of Europe. If we are not presented under that title with an account of the land and climate between the Atlantic and the Urals, and a story of what happened in all of that from prehistory to the twentieth century that can happen, it happened a few years ago in a big book published in London we certainly have the following experience regularly. We open the book to an account of something called in every European language The Middle Age (in English, eccentrically, Middle Ages, but no matter). 6 Formally this is the start of the story but its self-description says it is the middle of it. Is the story to be told perhaps in the manner of a modernistic novel with the middle of the narrative coming (clever!) before its first part? A brief investigation finds that this is not the case. The first chapters deal mainly with Goths (Visi- and Ostro-), Vandals, Huns, Avars and others, peoples with whom Europe in no period, let alone its middle one, had anything to do, Nor, indeed, do these chapters appear to be recounting the middle age of any history known to man.. The middle age in question turns out to be simply the way that orthodox European historians name the thousand years between the end of the Roman Empire in the West in the 5 th century and the end of the first age of European history around In the matter of serving intelligibility or logic of the historical narrative, they might as well have called this stretch of historical time the humpty-dumpty age! Clearly, if we are at this late stage to have a real history of Europe, one which is in fact what it purports to be, the first step will be to get rid of the narrative boorishness that, beginning with something called The
7 Middle Age, arrives after centuries of extraneous narrative at the beginning and first age of Europe. Pressing also for removal is that recurrent feature of the conventional history of Europe that presents myths as reality. Nothing wrong with myths in themselves: they are a device by which people who want to give special importance and meaning to an event, prehistoric or historical, do so figuratively rather than literally. But they are by definition not history, not what a great historian called wie es eigentlich gewesen as it really was. Beginning in northern Europe in the eighteenth century, but preponderantly in the nineteenth, backwarddirected historical myth-making worked powerfully. Its agents were Protestants and classical Liberals who, having created or accepted the myth of Modernity and Progress, wanted to show themselves and their era as heirs to modernising and progressive pioneers whose heads touched the sky; men who by their action and their minds liberated mankind from the thraldom and darkness of the Pope, the Catholic Church and clergy of any hue, along with Superstition and Tradition of all kinds. To this end, as historians of Europe, or simply as writers about that history, they created a post-medieval European history that had been launched, liberatingly for Europeans and mankind, by three mythical events: the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment. As an endeavour by those who engaged in it, it is understandable, but its creations are useless to real history. It is not true that, first in fifteenthcentury Italy, then in Europe generally, there was a rebirth of high culture, artistic achievement and intellectual vigour after a long. dark period when these were absent. It is not true that the Reformation was an event in European history: that at a certain point in the sixteenth century Europe rejected the Pope and opted for a Protestant reform of Christian faith and practice more in keeping with the Gospel. And it is not true that from the end of the seventeenth century to the French Revolution, leading European minds experienced a degree of insight equivalent to that which the Buddha achieved and which pious Buddhists aspire to. So it is necessary in the real telling of European history to eschew a narrative which presents or suggests those untruths. Primarily this would be so as to keep to the true story. But it would also render more acceptable to the rational reader a story that in narrating the French Revolution must mention its savagery, and in narrating twentiethcentury Europe must advert to the fact that this great civilisation produced the century most destructive of human life in human history. In both instances a story to be told in no moralistic vein but simply to nourish and fortify ourselves and future generations with our true story. It would begin as follows. The First Age (c.1050 to c.1500 AD) The name The word Europe originated in an ancient Greek myth as the name of a Phoenician princess whom the supreme god Zeus, in the form of a white bull, carried off from her homeland to Crete. There in human form he mated with her, producing three noble sons who on their deaths became the judges of the underworld. In ancient Greek, and later, Roman times, geographers used the word to describe the western part of the Eurasian land-mass stretching from the Atlantic to somewhere in the Caucasus or in what we now call Russia. In the sense that came to predominate namely, a group of culturally and politically distinct peoples sharing a territory and a common civilisation, something like Ancient Greece but located in western Eurasia it began to take shape in the 7 eleventh and twelfth centuries AD. The curtain-raiser Three centuries earlier there had been what might be called a curtain-raiser. It was around the time that Islamic civilisation, having absorbed the high culture of ancient Greece and Alexandria, was entering its golden age under the Abbasid Caliphate which ruled from Afghanistan to Spain. Of the Germanic peoples who had conquered most of the territory that previously formed the Western Roman Empire, the Franks, with their capital in Paris, controlled the largest area. In 771, after centuries of warfare among themselves and with others, Charles, later surnamed the Great and in French called Charlemagne, became king and, following the death of his co-ruling brother, sole ruler. During his reign, which lasted until his death in 814, Europe had, so to speak, a false start. The Franks were Christians and they imposed Christianity, by force if necessary, on any people they conquered; the death penalty for paganism was abolished only in 797. Twenty-four years before that, in 773, Pope Hadrian I had appealed to Charles for help against the Germanic Lombards who, established for two centuries as rulers of most of Italy, had occupied the city of Rome. Charles entered Italy with an army, defeated the Lombards, declared himself their king and reaffirmed the Papal sovereignty over central Italy which had been guaranteed by his father Pepin the Short. Most of Italy belonged thenceforth to the Frankish realm. Having established his capital at Aachen in northwest Germany, Charles extended Francia, as the realm was called, beyond the Saxons and Frisians to the border with Denmark. He incorporated the Bavarians and established a defensive march in Austria. Defensively again, beyond the Pyrenees, he fortified a Spanish march to prevent the Islamic Moors, who ruled most of Spain, from ever again pushing north into Francia, as they had done in 732 when Charles ancestor Charles Martel had repulsed them at Poitiers. (It was from that Charles that the dynasty was named Carolingian.) On Christmas Day, 800, in Rome, Pope Leo III crowned
8 Charles as Emperor of the Romans. This action caused much displeasure in the surviving Eastern Roman Empire (called Byzantium by western historians) which was ruled from Constantinople, where the Empress Irene was considered sole Roman emperor. But some years later Constantinople recognised Charles as co-emperor. Charles reign and that of his son and successor Louis the Pious were marked by a cultural revival in which the Church was the main agent, with its bishops and abbots working under the king-emperor s patronage. As the chief architect of this revival, Charles was able to draw on the intellectual resources not only of Italy, but also of Christian Ireland and of northeast England previously christianised by the Irish. The palace school which he established was headed by the English deacon, scholar, and theologian Alcuin of York. The practical emphasis was on establishing, in place of many variants, authentic texts of the Bible and of religious rituals and on spreading literacy, good Latin, and knowledge of elementary mathematics. Monasteries were encouraged to make copies of patristic and classical Roman writings, thus preserving them for later centuries. This copying adopted a beautiful new script, Carolingian Minuscule, which became the basis of the later printed alphabet. Additionally. Charles established a regionalised administration and improved the economy by maintaining a degree ot public order, building roads and reforming the currency. In the palace school and in court circles the term Europe was current as a description of Latin Christendom, which was virtually identical with the Frankish empire. A court poet described Charles as rex pater Europae, king, father of Europe. After Charles death in 814, his son, Louis the Pious, maintained the empire in face of Viking attacks from the sea. After his death with three sons living, the process began which made Charlemagne s empire a mere curtainraiser for Europe; a false start rather than its beginning.. Because Frankish tradition imposed partible inheritance among living sons, there was a tripartite division of the realm. After a brief civil war, Charles, Lothair and Louis agreed in the Treaty of Verdun to divide the empire into three kingdoms. The divisions, longitudinal from north to south, produced West, Middle and East Francia. Lothair, as the eldest and king of the middle kingdom, bore also the title of emperor. Through several subsequent generations, revised partitions together with territorial breakaways would transform West Francia into the kingdom of France, Europa and the bull East Francia into the kingdom of Germany, and erase Middle Francia as an entity. At the same time, a rebalkanisation into lordships of various sizes and kinds was occurring. In the latter part of Charlemagne s reign sea-faring warriors and traders from Denmark and Norway, called Vikings or Norsemen, had become an aggressive presence in the North Sea and North Atlantic. They travelled in distinctive longships which had a shallow draft that made them easy to beach and usable in rivers as well as on the sea. Their lightness made them easily portable. In England, Scotland, Ireland and northwest France, the Vikings raided monasteries for their treasures, often killing the monks. Emboldened by the death of Louis the Pious in 840 and the quarrels that ensued, they attacked Rouen and, using Charlemagne 8 the Seine as a highway, besieged Paris until they were bought off with gold. It would be the first of four attacks on the city by the Norsemen. Ultimately the West Frankish king Charles the Simple, tired of buying them off, would agree to yield to the Norseman Rollo the territory thenceforth called the Duchy of Normandy on condition that he would be baptised a Christian and guard the estuaries of the Seine from further attacks. From Ireland, the Isle of Man and eastern England to Iceland, France and Scandinavia the Vikings established a network of trading settlements, often trading in slaves, many of whom they brought back to their Scandinavian homelands. This western trading network was linked with an eastern one, established mainly by Swedes called Varangians, that reached through the lands of the Eastern Slavs to the Middle East and Constantinople. In the course of this eastern penetration a principality called Rus after a Varangian people was established in Kiev. Converted to Orthodox Christianity, it would ultimately, after an invasion by the Mongols, become the Russian zardom centred on Moscow. In 924 the Frankish imperial title had fallen vacant. Thirty-eight years later, in Rome in 962, Pope John XII crowned the German king Emperor of the Romans, thereby initiating a quite different story. Making a secure space for Europe Throughout the tenth century Viking aggression, with attendant settlements, continued in the West. Both would continue well into the eleventh century. For a time, from 900 to 955, even more serious disruption was caused by a Central Asian people, the Magyars (also known as Hungarians), who after a long migration had settled in the Pannonian Plain on both sides of the Danube and raided westwards. Clearly, before any new civilisation could be established, stability must be restored. The Magyars defeated a Bavarian army and a Frankish army led by the then emperor. In the following years they made powerful looting raids into Germany, through France as far as Spain and into Italy. In 955 their incursions into the West were stopped by a decisive defeat at the Lechfeld near Augsburg at the hands of Otto I, Duke of Saxony and King of the Germans. It was as a consequence of this that Pope John XII conferred
9 on Otto the vacant Roman imperial crown. Thereafter, the Magyars, having withdrawn to their base territory, roughly present-day Hungary, concentrated on building a Hungarian state. In 1001 their leaders accepted Christianity, made Stephen I their first king, and were confirmed in their territory by the Pope. About ten years before that, beginning in Aquitaine and than spreading to other parts of France and beyond its borders, the Peace of God movement had emerged. Bishops and abbots summoned assemblies of villagers, lords and knights to meet in the presence of saints relics. The assemblies were made to swear to keep the peace. the nobles to refrain from killing unarmed clergy and civilian men, women and children. As this movement continued into the eleventh century it was seconded by a Truce of God movement which became one with it. The Truce of God was a commitment to refrain from fighting on holy days and on Fridays. In Germany efforts were made to ensure that the Emperor s duty to maintain the Landfriede or peace of the realm became more fact than theory. In Anglo-Saxon England similar efforts were made to make the legally stipulated king s peace a reality. All these efforts failed to produce decisive results, especially in France; but they at least made commonplace the doctrine that violence could not run rampant and that there were ethical limits to what powerful armed men might do. A decisive reduction of wars among the nobles had to wait until the summoning of the First Crusade by Pope Urban II in 1095 induced many knights and their retinues to set out for Jerusalem. In the course of the eleventh century Viking maritime activity diminished and gradually ceased. Many Vikings had settled permanently abroad, merging with the local Christian population where such existed and in Iceland founding a new Norse nation. Others remained in Scandinavia to enjoy their accumulated wealth. Christianity had been making inroads there, and now strong Christian monarchies emerged in each of the three nations. The fact that these nascent nation-states forbade the enslavement of Christians removed much of the incentive for trade. In 1066 the now French-speaking Norse of Normandy invaded and conquered England and established a ruling dynasty. Growing in the form of Latin Christendom was the community of nation-states that would make Europe. In 1095 even Scandinavia sent contingents to join the first European joint venture, the First Crusade. Desmond Fennell Dublin A Woman Pirate? Not on my Ship The Strange Lives of Anne Bonny and Mary Reed, Notorious Women Pyrates of the 18 th Century The subject of women pirates in the 18 th century was not one of which there was much written nor discussions entertained until later in the 18 th century. Interestingly, only in the later periods during the study of this golden age of piracy did women appear in other than passing comments, news clippings, trials, or other similar categories. The exception to this lack of interest was, however, one Captain Charles Johnson in his written records and epic and the original publication of His book was titled, A General History of Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates. Johnson is believed by some historians and scholars to have been a pseudonym for Daniel Defoe; others believe it to be one Charles Johnson ( ), a playwright author of The Successful Pirate. Defoe ( ) was an English writer and journalist, considered by literary historians as the father of the English novel, notably Robinson Crusoe. Whoever wrote the book, though, seemingly had been a pirate, met with pyrates, or at least served as a sailor to have captured the earliest written mythological aspects of pirating during the golden age of pirating in the 18 th century. In Johnson s early records, he wrote of two women of the sea. They were, respectively, named Anne Bonny and Mary Reed. To understand just what unique event transpired and caused both women to become noted as pirates, one must first consider the circumstances under which they were 9 caused to be cited. Here a little pyrate background is in order. Pirates have been around as long as people have traveled the oceans as trade routes. The name pirate comes from the ancient Greek word peiráomai, meaning attempt; i.e. an attempt to rob for personal gain. This form morphed into peirat s, meaning brigand, and from that to the Latin pirata, from which we get the modern English word for pirate. The Aegean and Mediterranean The earliest documented instances of piracy are the exploits of the Sea People who threatened the Aegean and Mediterranean in the 13th century BC. From that time forward, pirating took on a special Mary Reed allure to those seafaring countries which sought to enrich themselves at the expense of others. Pirating was a tool of politics, in which countries fostered the use of privateers to seek out and plunder sea-going ships from other countries or communities. Such pirates were commissioned by their own country to prey upon ships of potential enemies to disrupt and degrade their enemy s capabilities. Pirate captains observed a degree of democracy in running their ships. For the most part, a pirate captain was elected by the crew and could be subsequently voted out of his command, sometimes resulting with his being put ashore or even killed. The Master or Quartermaster, too, was generally elected by the crew. It was the quartermaster s responsibility to allocate provisions, select and
10 distribute the loot or booty, adjudicate crew member differences, and administer discipline. He, in most cases, was the first to board a captured ship. The captain, on the other hand, had complete and total control over the ship and its crew in the pursuit and capture of another ship. The captain could order punishment, but it was the quartermaster who administered it. Captain JACK, Calico Jack Rackhan, was notorious for wearing calico design clothing. As with any type of organization, to include pirates, a set of rules was required to manage the pirate ships and their crew. Here we see the earliest process for equitable treatment and a form of meritocracy. The first was a set of rules. Beginning in the late 17 th century, pirate organizations were operating under a set of rules which were originally called Chasse-Parte or Charter Party, Custom of the Coast, or Jamaica Discipline. Eventually these rules came to be known as Articles of Agreement or pirate code. These rules varied from ship to ship but were generally in keeping with the distribution of loot among the ship s company and the compensatin of injuries incurred in battle. The sea a man s domain The famous pirates of history were always men, but what about the women with whom they associated? The sea has generally has been thought of a man s domain. The cult of feminism did not exist in the 18 th century among the female gender. Women on board ships were in general considered bad luck for the crews, but there were exceptions. As most sea-going pirates would believe women were weak, reckless, hysterical beings who distracted men and brought bad luck to ships, calling forth supernatural winds which sank vessels and drowned men. The practice of bringing women on board ships wives for the most part was a practice employed in the British navy, though not officially sanctioned. Pirates in general found their enjoyment of women in the bars and pubs of the ports where they entered, and would often spend their entire sum of the loot which had been obtained in a tryst of a day or two. In the 18 th century there are many accounts of women taken aboard ships having been taken as captives. There were few of any documented cases of women serving as pirates during this period other than that described in Captain Johnson s book. In his book, the author singled out but two women for special attention, Mary Reed and Anne Bonny. Both have become since pirate heroines of sorts and for additional analysis and scrutiny. Anne and Mary The first of these women pirates was Anne Bonny. Anne was born an illegitimate daughter of a distinguished lawyer and the family maid in County Cork Ireland, in Disowned by her family, Anne was married early in 1718 to a penniless sailor, John Bonny, and together they made their way to the island of New Providence in the Bahamas. While in the Bahamas Anne encountered the famous pirate Captain Calico Jack Rackham. The captain courted Anne causing her to leave her husband and to join his ship. Anne became pregnant, either by her former husband or Calico Jack. When the boy was born, Anne and her son were taken to Cuba where she placed Anne Bonny the boy with friends and she then returned to her new found lover. As women were still frowned upon, Anne initially dressed as a man to appease the crew, but eventually her gender was discovered and she became an accepted member of Captain Jack s pirate crew. Mary Reed shared her earlier life s experience with Anne as she, too, was an illegitimate daughter of an English sea captain. Born in England circa 1690, she was raised by her mother as a boy and she wore boy s clothing into her teen-age years. As a young man of thirteen, she found work onboard a British man-of-war, subsequently jumping ship and then joining the English Army. Mary continued to serve the military, eventually marrying a fellow soldier. Following the death of her husband, Mary departed England on a Dutch vessel bound for the Bahamas, only to be captured 10 by Captain Jack Rackham s ship and inducted into the world of piracy. What is interesting for both Anne and Mary is that both were able to remain disguised as a man among the crews for as long as they did. What then transpired aboard Capt. Rackham s ship is still a mystery. Soon after her capture, Mary dressed as a man, came to Anne s loving attention. At first resisting her advances, Mary soon confided in Anne her true gender and as some sources indicate, became with Anne, lesbian lovers. However, on one occasion, soon after joining the pirate ship, Mary was confronted with a situation in which she found herself in a duel with a member of the crew. Mary won out killing her opponent. Eventually as he was dying she revealed herself to him as a woman much to his astonishment. Soon thereafter both women, now well known in their gender to the pirate crew, served alongside the other pirates on board fighting, screaming, and cursing with the best of them. Calico Jack s ship with his small crew including Anne and Mary continued their attacks on small ships sailing in the Caribbean for the next several months, all the time being hunted by the Royal Navy whose mission it was to eradicate piracy for the British crown and its colonies. The lives of both Anne and Mary changed radically during the evening hours of October 22. At that time their ship was sailing in Dry Harbor Bay off the northern coast of Jamaica. It was identified by a ship commissioned by the Governor of Jamaica to search for and destroy pirate ships. Rackham s ship, called the William, was stopped and the Captain asked to identify himself. At this time, almost all of the crew of the ship was drunk in the hold. Above deck, the drunken captain fired a cannon at the governor s ship causing an ensuing fight. Rackham then chose to surrender. Anne and Mary did not and instead continued the fight. According to one Captain Barnett of the governor s ship, the women screamed, fighting like hellcats as the shot their pistols and swung their cutlasses, refusing to give up peacefully. Eventually overtaken, the women and crew were taken to St. Jago de la Vega to await their trials. After approximately one month, on September 28, 1720, both Anne and Mary were brought to trial by an Admiralty Court. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges of piracy. The court s verdict was death be hanging. At which time both Anne and Mary informed the court they were quick with child. The court then ordered
11 Fugit irreparabile tempus Zeit und Zeitenwende in den Gemälden Alessandro Magnasco s 1 an examination which confirmed each was indeed pregnant. The court upon receiving this finding then sentenced Mary to prison where she remained until death. She died of either fever or as a result of child-bearing, on April 28 th, Anne s fate was far different. In prison, her name came to the attention of her father, William Cormac, by now a prominent planter in the Carolina colonies. Cormac is believed to have used his political influence and possibly money to secure Anne s release in the summer of Records reveal a woman by Anne s name leaving Jamaica for Carolina. There are other records which show Anne Bonny marrying and having seven more children, dying later in the Carolinas at the age of 82. With almost fairy-tale like lives, both Mary Reed and Anne Bonny did most certainly claim a small piece of history with their escapades as the most notorious female pirates of the 18 th century. How different things have become today. Women of many nations, cultures, and races, now serve openly on both commercial as well as military ships, worldwide, and have caused to change the superstitions of man that women bring evil and bad luck to any ships on which they sail. Robert Craig Princeton, NJ Sources consulted Tamara J. Eastman & Constance Bond, The Pirate Trial of Anne Bonny and Mary Reed Fern, Canyon Press, Cambria Pines by the Sea (California, 2000; Captain Charles Johnson, A General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates (Lyons Press, 2010); Klausmann, Meinzerin, and Kuhn, Women Pirates and the Politics of the Jolly Roger, Black Rose Books (Texas, 1997); Bold in Her Britches: Women Pirates Across the Ages, ed. Jo Stanley, (Harper Collins, 1995); David Cordingly, Women Sailors & Sailors Women, (Random House, New York, 2001). Abstract During the eighteenth century, the concept of time changed gradually. By the end of the century, time was no longer an absolute model outside the subjective perception of man. Instead, the personal experiences of time-lapse and time-stretching, time-arrest and time-break began to play an increasing role. Parallel to these revolutionary changes in the intellectual history of the concept of time we find a direct response to the new understanding of it in the art of the Italian painter Alessandro Magnasco ( ). Born in Genoa and working in Milan on the eve of the Enlightenment, Magnasco created a variety of cabinet pictures in which he gave his north Italian society a bizarre, non-conformist view of their times in relation to the past. From a unique visionary perspective he reflected the decline of the aristocracy, who had lost the splendour and richness of earlier times, as well as the abandonment by God of the Christian life by showing the emptiness and the desolation of monastic existence. The article examines this development more precisely in three paintings by the artist. It shows the innovative role of Magnasco in the broader context of eighteenth-century Europe by demonstrating his relationships with the Milanese Dramaturge Carlo Maria Maggi and the great Italian historian and philosopher Giambattista Vico. Im dritten Buch seiner Georgica entwirft der römische Dichter Vergil am Beispiel des Lebens der Tiere das literarische Bild vom Werden und Vergehen jeglicher lebendigen Existenz. Der Bericht kulminiert in den berühmten Worten, die in den Vergänglichkeitsvorstellungen der Frühen Neuzeit zum Topos werden sollten: Aber inzwischen entflieht die Zeit, entflieht unwiederbringlich. 2 Vergils Zeitvorstellung war eingebettet in eine wahrnehmbare Kosmologie, die dem 11 Rhythmus der Naturgesetze folgte und dem Entwicklungsmodell von Entstehen, Wachsen und Vergehen unterworfen war. Im Wesentlichen war dieses zyklische und physikalische Zeitmodell ins Christliche gewendet bis in das späte 17. Jahrhundert hinein prägend für die Zeitwahrnehmung der Menschen. Noch in Isaac Newtons zentraler Schrift Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica von 1676 wird die Kategorie der Zeit als eine Absolute charakterisiert, die gleichmäßig fließt und sich durch Homogenität, Kontinuität und Unendlichkeit auszeichnet. 3 Demgegenüber zeichnet sich um die Wende des 18. Jahrhunderts ein zunächst zaghafter, aber im Zuge der Entwicklung immer deutlicher werdender Sinneswandel ab, in dem Zeit nicht mehr als absolute Größe außerhalb der subjektiven menschlichen Wahrnehmung begriffen wird, sondern in dem die subjektiven Zeiterlebnisse wie Zeitraffung und Zeitdehnung, Zeitstillstand oder auch Zeitbrüche eine immer größere Rolle zu spielen beginnen. 4 Parallel zu diesen umwälzenden Veränderungen in der Geistesgeschichte lässt sich in der Malerei des beginnenden 18. Jahrhunderts eine Reaktion auf das neue Zeitverständnis ablesen, die in Italien am deutlichsten im Werk Alessandro Magnasco s ( ) nachzuweisen ist. Der in Genua geborene und in Mailand tätige Künstler schuf am Vorabend der Aufklärung eine Vielzahl von Kabinettbildern, in denen er der oberitalienischen Ständegesellschaft ein bizarres, nonkonformistisches Aussehen verlieh. In einer einzigartigen visionären Vorausschau reflektiert der Künstler darin den Verfall des Adels, der den Glanz und Reichtum früherer Zeiten eingebüßt hat, ebenso wie die Gottverlassenheit des christlichen Daseins, dessen Leere sich in der Trostlosigkeit mönchischen Daseins widerspiegelt. 5 Die Forschung hat sich bisher bemüht, den Künstler stilistisch in eine Genealogie zu Jacques Callot und der lombardischen Schule des Barock mit Morazzone, Cerano, Daniele Crespi zu bringen und ihn thematisch im späten Barock anzusiedeln. 6 Demgegenüber wird hier erstmals der
12 Versuch unternommen, Magnasco s Zeitverständnis an drei ausgewählten Beispielen zu konkretisieren und seine innovative Rolle im Italien der Voraufklärung deutlicher herauszuarbeiten. In der Satire eines Adligen in Not von ca (Abb. 1) verdichtet Magnasco die aktuelle soziale Situation des Mailänder Adels in der Darstellung eines hageren Mannes, der trotz geflickter Kleidung in stolzer und lässiger Haltung zugleich sein Standesbewusstsein ausdrückt. 7 Sein düsterer, von tiefer Sorge durchzogener Gesichtsausdruck bezieht sich unmissverständlich auf die prekäre Lage, in der er sich befindet. Die heruntergekommene, einfache Behausung ist statt mit kostbaren Möbeln nur notdürftig mit hölzernem Mobiliar ausgestattet. Als Stütze dient dem Edelmann ein einfacher Strohsack, während die karge Mahlzeit in Form von einem Bündel Rüben achtlos auf einem niedrigen Holztisch verteilt ist. Keine Kunstsammlung, kein kostbares Geschirr, keine Prunkmöbel umgeben den Mann, lediglich der steinerne Kamin im Hintergrund, an dem sich eine Dienerin zu schaffen macht, und ein kleines nachgedunkeltes Gemälde dahinter, dessen Leinwand sich in Auflösung befindet, fungieren als Abglanz vergangener Zeiten. Geblieben sind ihm darüber hinaus zwei letzte Attribute des verlorenen Ruhmes: ein Degen, den er in seiner Linken hält und ein am linken Bildrand angeschnittener Helm, dessen metallischer Glanz in der dumpf-düsteren Atmosphäre akzentsetzend wirkt. Die elegante Haltung des Mannes kulminiert in dem würdevoll ausgerollten Pergament, das den Stammbaum der Familie zeigt und somit ein klarer Verweis auf die genealogische Vergangenheit ist. Die momentane, prekäre Lebenssituation wird ins Ironische durch eine aus dem Dunkel auftauchende Figur im Rücken des Adligen gewendet, die mit erhobener Hand einen Spottgestus ausführt. Die Bildzeit innerhalb des Gemäldes wird durch diese Figur und die weibliche Figur im Hintergrund durchbrochen, weil sie die einzigen sind, die eine Aktion ausführen und damit dem ruhigen Sitzen des Adligen einen Handlungsmoment entgegensetzen. Der zeitlose Zustand, der seine ständische Legitimation aus der Vergangenheit bezieht, wird somit gestört und insbesondere durch die spottende männliche Figur in seiner existentiellen Schärfe markiert. Die Zeitstruktur des Bildes oszilliert so zwischen einer idealen Vergangenheit, deren Existenz nur über die Relikte einer besseren Zeit präsent ist und der erbarmungswürdigen Jetztzeit, in der das Zeitkontinuum des Adligen massiv gestört erscheint. A. Magnasco, Satire über den Adligen in Not, um 1725, Detroit, Institute of Arts Ein dynamisches Zeitmoment erhält das Gemälde durch die charakteristische Pinselschrift Magnasco s, deren exzessiver Einsatz von Weißhöhungen zu flirrenden Lichtreflexen führt, die wiederum die Farbmaterie in Bewegung versetzen. Es war insbesondere diese Malweise, welche die zeitgenössischen Biographen faszinierte, weil sie in dieser Konsequenz in der italienischen Kunstlandschaft einzigartig waren. Als tocchi risoluti, e spediti di gran macchia beschrieb Pellegrino Orlandi bereits 1719 diese Pinselschrift 8, eine Charakterisierung die der spätere Biograph und Genueser Kunstschriftsteller Giuseppe Ratti 1769 weiter ausführte: La sua abilità nel dipingere di tocco non solo non ebbe addietro fra nostri chi l uguagliasse; ma neppure chi la seguisse [ ] Le figure di questi [ ] son fatte con rara maestría, e composte di veloci, e sprezzanti, ma artificiosi tocchi, lanciati con una certa bravura, che è difficile a spiegarsi, né può ben immaginarla chi non la vede. 9 Es ist diese Bravour, die dem Gemälde ein transitorisches Zeitmoment verleiht und die Handschrift des Malers als Prozess in die Zeitstruktur mit einbezieht. 10 Sieht man sich zuletzt die Lichtinszenierung des Gemäldes an, so ist ein gewisser theatralischer Effekt nicht zu übersehen, der die Deutung des Bildes und dessen Funktion erschwert. Handelt es sich hier vielleicht gar nicht um das Porträt eines verarmten Adligen, trotz der unverkennbar porträthaften Züge des Dargestellten, sondern um eine Genreszene, deren Verbindungen zum Theater zu suchen wären? Tatsächlich lassen sich inhaltliche Parallelen zur Mailänder Theaterpraxis ziehen, präziser gesagt zu den Komödien des bedeutenden Mailänder Theaterdichters Carlo Maria Maggi, der bereits in seinen Stücken Manco Male von und Il barone di Birbanza von 1696 Krise und Verfall der Mailänder Oberschicht satirisch aufs Korn nimmt. 11 Die Moral der Stücke kommt am besten in den Versen aus Manco Male zum Tragen, wo es heißt: Es sind die Vorfahren ein schöner Schmuck, aber in der armen Behausung sind sie eitler Wahn. Auch der Adel bezieht seinen Glanz von den Goldstücken. 12 Maggi war mit seinen Stücken eine einflussreiche Persönlichkeit in der zeitgenössischen Mailänder Gesellschaft, deren politische Realität zu Beginn des Jahrhunderts von der spanischen Fremdherrschaft bestimmt war und deren soziale Struktur von dem Wettbewerb alter und neuer Adelsfamilien geprägt wurde. 13 Er fand seine Bewunderer und auch Beschützer in der alteingesessenen Mailänder Familie der Borromeo und wurde von dem Vater der italienischen Geschichtsschreibung, Lodovico Antonio Muratori, sehr verehrt. Dieser zählte selbst zu den frühen Stimmen eines aufgeklärten Italiens. In diesem kulturellen Klima bewegten sich auch die Auftraggeber Magnasco s, die zwar aus dem höheren Adel der Stadt stammten, sich aber zu aufklärerischen Reformen bekannten. 14 Wir können davon ausgehen, dass die Gemälde Magnasco im Schutz dieser mächtigen Familien entstehen konnten, denn die bissige Kritik an den herrschenden Zuständen hätte wohl kaum unter den aktuellen politischen Umständen überleben können. 15 Ein in diesem Sinne aufschlussreiches Gemälde von 1740 findet sich heute in Privatbesitz und zeigt den Niedergang der Wissenschaften und Künste im Lichte einer dekadenten Adelsschicht (Abb 2.). Um das prächtige Himmelbett einer jungen Dame vertreiben sich einige Edelmänner ihre Zeit mit Kartenspiel, während rechts durch die allegorische Darstellung ein Bruch in der zeitlichen Bildstruktur zu erkennen ist. Wir sehen die Personifikationen der Wissenschaften und Künste am Boden liegend, ihre Attribute sind zerstreut, ein hinkender geflügelter Genius verlässt in Gestalt eines Bettlers die Szenerie, während der Esel der Ignoranz und die Wildsau der Unzucht auf den Attributen der Künste und Gelehrsamkeit herum trampeln. Im Hintergrund wird eine weitere Wildsau auf einem Thron von einer männlichen Figur beweihräuchert, während ein weiteres Tier links im Bild in den Spiegel der Prudentia blickt und somit die Klugheit ad absurdum führt. Die moralische Aussage dieser Allegorie bricht in die momentane Zeiterfahrung der dargestellten Gruppe hinein, ohne dass diese davon Notiz nehmen würde. Aber gerade in diesem Kontrast wird die
13 demaskierende Aussage noch dichter. Lag in dem zuerst betrachteten Gemälde eine gewisse Ambivalenz über der Bildaussage, so besteht hier kein Zweifel über das Thema des Bildes. Ungewöhnlich für die Zeitstruktur des Werkes ist die Verschränkung von Genre und Allegorie. Die Genreszene mit den spielenden Adligen gehört einer momenthaften Zeitebene an, während die sie umgebenden Personifikationen das Bildthema in eine überzeitliche Allegorie überführen. Zwischen diesen extremen Polen entfaltet sich die Bildaussage als moralische Kritik an einer dekadenten Oberschicht. Kompositionell wird der Bruch zwischen geschilderter Wirklichkeit und symbolhafter Welt über Gegensätze markiert. Der geschlossenen Örtlichkeit des Schlafzimmers links, die der Genreszene als Handlungsort dient, steht die durch die große Bogenöffnung in die Tiefe geführte Kulissenarchitektur, in der sich das negative Bild einer verkehrten Geisteswelt frei entfaltet. Auch bei diesem Bild dominiert der Eindruck einer theaterhaften Szenerie, deren Künstlichkeit durch die unvereinbaren Zeitstrukturen noch betont wird. Wieder ließe sich Carlo Maria Maggi als intellektueller Referenzpunkt anführen, der in seinen Werken immer wieder die Verderbtheit einer untätigen, aufgeblasenen und ignoranten Adelsschicht kritisiert und damit den moralischen Anspruch auf eine wahrhaftige Beziehung mit der eigenen Zeitgenossenschaft erhebt. 16 Diese Rolle des Künstlers als Chronist seiner Zeit zeigt das ungewöhnlich breite Gemälde mit einer Abendgesellschaft in einem Villengarten, in dem Magnasco sich selbst in der Rolle des zeichnenden Beobachters darstellt, der die wahrgenommene Szene unmittelbar in sein Skizzenbuch überträgt (Abb. 3). Auf einer villenartigen Terrasse entfaltet sich ein Panorama adligen Müßiggangs vor der Kulisse einer klar eingegrenzten Landschaft. Ein schmaler Streifen eines von Wolken durchsetzten blauen Himmels schließt diese geordnete Welt nach oben hin ab und verleiht ihr eine Enge, die einen Kontrast zu der weitläufigen Ebene bildet. Der Eindruck eines klar eingefassten Landschaftsbildes wird durch die Hügelkette im Hintergrund und insbesondere durch die hohe Horizontlinie verstärkt. In dieser Kulturlandschaft ist nichts zufällig, wir finden keinen Hinweis auf eine wildwüchsige Natur. Stattdessen bilden angelegte Wege ein geometrisches Ordnungssystem, dem sich die kleinen Dorfansiedelungen, Gehöfte und größere Gebäudekomplexe eingliedern. Die Landschaft entfaltet so ein topographisches Identifikationsmuster feudaler Herrschaft. Nicht zufällig ist die Familie, deren Besitzungen im Hintergrund porträtiert sind, ganz nah an den vorderen Bildrand gerückt. Als souveräne Besitzer des Territoriums, das durch eine hohe Mauer von ihrem schmalen Handlungsort getrennt wird, gehen sie ihren Vergnügungen nach. Die geographische Situation lässt sich übrigens noch heute nachempfinden, denn die Landvilla der finanzkräftigen Genueser Aristokratenfamilie Saluzzo hat sich bis heute in dem kleinen Ort Albaro unverändert erhalten, selbst die Terrassensituation entspricht in etwa der Wiedergabe in dem Gemälde (Abb. 4). Doch die topographische Genauigkeit in der Darstellung der Besitzungen im Val Bisagno am Fuße der Genueser Hügel wird zugunsten einer symbolischen Markierung des Herrschaftsbereiches verlassen. Oben rechts erscheint A. Magnasco, Verschwendung und Ignoranz zerstören die Künste und Wissenschaften, um 1740, Privatbesitz das Wallfahrtsheiligtum der Nostra Signora del Monte, das in Wirklichkeit in größerer Distanz zur kultivierten Ebene liegt, das aber als Grablege der Familie eine bedeutende Rolle in dem Gemälde übernimmt. Mit ihr wird die genealogische Legitimität in einen zeitlosen Machtanspruch überführt, der über das gesamte Land und seine Bewohner gespannt wird. Die Familie, die sich ihrer Herrschaft sicher ist, kann sich entspannt dem Kartenspiel hingeben, Gäste empfangen und Konversation üben. In der linken Bildhälfte erscheint das Oberhaupt der Familie, in einen lässigen Morgenmantel gekleidet. Verschiedene Mitglieder der herrschenden Gesellschaft, darunter auch ein Priester, der wohl mit der am Boden ruhenden Sänfte herbeigetragen 13 wurde, vervollständigen die Spielrunde. In der rechten Bildhälfte haben sich die Damen des Hauses und die jüngeren männlichen Mitglieder der Familie versammelt. Ein Diener reicht einer Dame eine Tasse, möglicherweise mit dem Modegetränk Schokolade, ein junger Kavalier reinigt gerade sein Jagdgewehr und ganz rechts wendet sich ein Höfling elegant einem Hündchen zu. Insgesamt ergibt sich das Bild über eine entspannte Gesellschaft, welche die Früchte ihres Reichtums, die offensichtlich aus den feudalen Besitzungen stammen, genießt. Doch wie auch in den beiden zuvor betrachteten Gemälden trügt auch in diesem Spätwerk Magnasco s der erste Augenschein. Vor der aktuellen historischen Situation des Genueser Adels, der sich schon seit der zweiten Hälfte des 17. Jahrhunderts sowohl politisch als auch kulturell und wirtschaftlich in einem stetigen Niedergang befand, musste die lebensnahe Schilderung als gesellschaftliche Utopie erscheinen. Tatsächlich hat der Künstler auch hier wieder zeitliche Brüche in seine Komposition eingebaut, die aus dem Gegensatz von statischen, in der Pose der Konversation gleichsam eingefrorenen Bewegungsabläufen und dem ersten Eindruck einer momenthaften Erfassung des Augenblicks resultiert. Die größte Eigentümlichkeit des Bildes liegt aber in der völlig fehlenden Individualisierung der dargestellten Personen, die so klein erschienen, dass sie kaum als Porträts zu erkennen sind und sich in dieser Miniaturhaftigkeit zu verlieren scheinen. Statt eine kraftvolle Gegenwärtigkeit zu entfalten, gebärden sich die Figuren wie ein traumverlorenes Puppentheater, das in den vorgegebenen Gesten ihres Standes gefangen zu sein scheint. Der Statik der Szenerie entspricht auch die Unbeweglichkeit der gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse, in denen kein Raum zur Entwicklung geboten wird. Die Rolle des Künstlers im Bild erweist sich auch hier, wenn auch ein wenig abgeschwächt in Hinblick auf die früheren Gemälde als eine weit über das neutrale Schildern hinausreichend. 17 Die Anonymität der Figuren, die hinter ihrem ständischen Habitus zu verschwinden drohen, entlarvt ihre Existenz als bloßes Ritual. Magnasco gelingt mit seinen Gemälden ein Sittenbild seiner Zeit, das trotz moralischer Anklänge
14 nicht mit der gleichen scharfen Gesellschaftskritik zu verwechseln ist, wie sie später Goya in seinen Gemälden anschaulich machte. Die große Beliebtheit der Gemälde Magnasco s bei hochrangigen Auftraggebern und Sammlern aus Adel und Klerus spricht eher dafür, dass der Mailänder Künstler die Zeitumstände und die Zeitwahrnehmung seiner Zeitgenossen subtil einzufassen wusste. Zudem stand Magnasco zeitlich am Beginn eines Epochenwandels, dessen volle Ausprägung erst ein halbes Jahrhundert später sichtbar wurde. Dennoch ist die Rolle des Künstlers als Neuerer in der Forschung zu wenig markiert worden. 18 In den mit hoher psychologischer Einfühlung in die menschliche Seele und präziser Beobachtungsgabe gemalten Genreszenen zeigt sich tatsächlich ein Bewusstsein vom Wandel der Zeiten, der seine Parallelen am ehesten in den Überlegungen des bedeutendsten Rechts- und Geschichtsphilosophen Italiens, Giambattista Vico, findet. In seinem Hauptwerk Scienza Nova von einem Werk, das die späteren französischen Aufklärer Diderot und Rousseau maßgeblich prägen sollte - entwickelte der Autor eine umfassende Theorie vom Auf- und Niedergang ganzer Zivilisationen. 19 Nach Vico wurde der stetige Fortschritt in zyklischer Weise unterbrochen. Auf eine Kulminationsphase der Entwicklung folgte in der Menschheitsgeschichte immer wieder auch ein Abstieg, der wiederum einen neuen Aufstieg ermöglichte. Mit einem gewissen Geschichts- und Kulturoptimismus lag für Vico das entscheidende Potenzial der menschlichen Entwicklung in seiner Fähigkeit zur Ratio und zu rationellem Handeln. Magnasco s Gemälde scheinen diesen Gedanken eine visuelle Entsprechung verliehen zu haben. Sie lassen sich damit in einen breiteren europäischen Kontext am Vorabend der Aufklärung verstehen. 20 Claudia Steinhardt-Hirsch Universität Graz 1 Bei dem Text handelt es sich um die überarbeitete Fassung meines Vortrags gleichen Titels, den ich am 13. Internationalen Kongress zur Erforschung des 18. Jahrhunderts am in Graz gehalten habe. 2 Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus,vergil, Georgica III, Isaac Newton, Mathematische Grundlagen der Naturphilosophie, hg. v. E. Dellian (Hamburg 1988), Buch I, Scholium zu den Definitionen, S. 44. Vgl. Gregory Gilette, Isaac Newton s philosophy of sacred space and sacred time. An Essay on the History of an Idea, Lewiston et al Zur Diskussion des Phänomens Zeit in der bildenden Kunst siehe vor allem: Alfred Messerli, Bilder verstehen so gut es geht. Frühneuzeitliche Bildrezeption zwischen visueller Vorgabe und individuellem Erwartungshorizont, in: Modernisierung des Sehens. Sehweisen zwischen Künsten und Medien, hg. v. Matthias Bruhn/Kai- Uwe Hemken (Bielefeld 2008), S Zeitlichkeit in Text und Bild, hg. v. Franziska Sick/Christof Schöch, (Heidelberg 2007). Bilderzählungen-Zeitlichkeit im Bild, hg. v. Andrea von Hülsen-Esch/ Hans Körner/Guido Reuter (Köln 2003). Gottfried Boehm, Bild und Zeit, in: Das Phänomen Zeit in Kunst und Wissenschaft, hg. v. Hannelore Paflik (Weinheim 1987), S Hans Holländer, Augenblick und Zeitpunkt, in: Augenblick und Zeitpunkt. Studien zur Zeitstruktur und Zeitmetaphorik in Kunst und Wissenschaften, hg. v. Christian W. Thomsen/Hans Holländer (Darmstadt 1984), S Hans Holländer, Augenblicksbilder. Zur Zeitperspektive A. Magnasco, Gesellschaft in einem Garten Albaros, um 1745, Genua, Galleria di Palazzo Bianco in der Malerei, in: ebd. (Darmstadt 1984), S Dagobert Frey, Das Zeitproblem in der bildenden Kunst (1955), in: Bausteine zu einer Philosophie der Kunst, hg. v. Gerhard Frey (Darmstadt 1976), S Der Künstler ist in der Forschung bisher wenig beachtet worden. Grundlegend sind die Arbeiten von Oscar Mandel, The Art of Alessandro Magnasco. An essay in the recovery of meaning (Florenz 1984), und Georg Gerrit Syamken, Die Bildinhalte des Alessandro Magnasco (Hamburg 1965). Einen guten Überblick über das Schaffen des Künstlers bietet der Ausstellungskatalog Alessandro Magnasco (Mailand 1996). 6 Syamken 1965, S Fausta Franchini Guelfi, in: Ausst.-Kat. Mailand 1996, S. 18f Satire über den Edelmann in Not, um 1725, Detroit, Institute of Arts. 8 Pellegrino Orlandi, Abbecedario Pittorico (Bologna1719), S Carlo Giuseppe Ratti, Vite de pittori, scultori ed architetti genovesi, hg. v. Raffaello Soprani (Bologna 1969), 2 Bde., Bd. 2, S Zur Vorgeschichte des Begriffs Bravur im italienischen Cinque- und Seicento siehe: Nicola Suthor, Bravura. Virtuosität und Mutwilligkeit in der Malerei der Frühen Neuzeit (München 2010). 11 Vgl. auch Franchini Guelfi, in: Aust.- Kat. (Mailand 1996), S Carlo Maria Maggi, Il Barone di Birbanza Et Il Manco Male (Venezia 1708), S Alessandro Morandotti, Magnasco a Milano. La realtà della città e il panorama del collezionismo provato fra vecchia e nuova nobiltà, in: Aust.-Kat. (Mailand 1996), S , S Syamken, S Zu den Auftraggebern Magnasco s gehörten die Herzöge Colloredo, Gazzola, Carrara und Großherzog Ferdinand de Medici. 16 Vgl. FN Der weniger bissige Ton des Gemäldes könnte an der Auftragssituation gelegen haben, denn das Gemälde war mit seinem ungewöhnlichen längsrechteckigen Format sehr wahrscheinlich für die private Ausstattung, möglicherweise ein Möbel, der Familie geschaffen worden und sollte somit sehr viel stärker repräsentieren als eine moralische Botschaft vermitteln. Franchini Guelfi, in: Ausstellungskatalog (Mailand 1996), S Im Wesentlichen konzentriert sich die Feststellung auf die ungewöhnlichen Ikonographien, doch fehlt eine präzise Untersuchung des geistesgeschichtlichen Kontextes im Hinblick auf die innovative Rolle, die Magnasco in der Malerei des frühen 18. Jahrhunderts einnahm. Am ehesten sind solche Ansätze bei Franchini Guelfi zu finden, doch bleiben ihre Überlegungen auf Italien beschränkt. 19 Enrico De Mas, Time and Idea. The Theory of History in Giambattista Vico (Chicago, 1953). 20 Aus Platzgründen kann hier nicht auf die Beziehungen zwischen Magnasco und anderen europäischen Künstlern eingegangen werden. Eine vertiefte Analyse verdiente aber der thematische Vergleich mit den etwa zeitgleichen Werken von William Hogarth, der zeigen würde, wie sehr der italienische Künstler in die aktuellen geistesgeschichtlichen Entwicklungen in Europa involviert war.
15 Book in review An Enlightened Duke: The Life of Archibald Campbell ( ), Earl of Ilay, 3 rd Duke of Argyll. By Roger L. Emerson. Pp. xviii, 553. Kilkerran: humming earth, ISBN Not many people living in Scotland, or visiting the country, would be able to tell you much about the bewigged figure who adorns every Royal Bank of Scotland banknote issued since Even in the specialist literature, Archibald Campbell, 3 rd Duke of Argyll and 1 st Earl of Ilay ( ) generally appears as a minor figure, a Scottish nobleman, lawyer, businessman, and soldier skilled in managing elections, but relatively insignificant in the political history of eighteenth-century Britain. Roger Emerson s latest book puts to shame the complacent Anglocentrism of early Hanoverian political historiography, offering for the first time a richly textured although necessarily somewhat speculative account of a great political man who underpinned Robert Walpole s ministry, helped put post-union Scotland on a sound economic and social footing, and laid the foundations for the Scottish Enlightenment. Emerson s achievement is all the more remarkable because the subject of this absorbing biography failed to leave behind a convenient cache of personal papers, ripe for discovery and analysis by the modern historian. Ilay does not seem to have published anything of significance, while his family s papers at Inverary remain effectively closed to historians, with no satisfactory list of the manuscripts currently available. Emerson makes the most of what can be gleaned from the scattered remnants of Ilay s personal archive (amongst them, a lone surviving library catalogue, the sale catalogue of scientific instruments dispersed by Ilay s nephew and heir, the 3 rd Earl of Bute, the sketchy diaries of secretaries, and a series of incomplete bank account ledgers at Coutts), but overcomes the relative lack of direct source material through his unrivalled control of the primary and secondary literature on eighteenth-century Scotland, built up over at least thirty years working on Archie and the Scotland he helped create. The book is separated into three sections, with the two discernable phases of Ilay s political maturity bookending a sequence of fascinating chapters on his bookish, scientific, botanical, and intellectual tastes. All three sections revolve around one key issue the importance of the Anglo- Scottish Union of 1707 to Scotland s present and future. Although much of his day-to-day work was spent recommending men for jobs in every area of life so that political allies in London could more easily control Scotland, Ilay emerges from this first full biography as an instrumental figure in working out the practical implications of the Union treaty of He remained constantly vigilant, ensuring that Scottish issues were not overlooked by an increasingly powerful Parliament in Westminster. Though keen to use the law to improve Scottish society, Ilay sought to protect the separate and distinct Scots legal system from English encroachment, patiently explaining differences in Scots law to English peers when the House of Lords sat in judgement on Scottish charges most notably when the unfortunate Captain Porteous had to be tried for murder because there was simply nothing in Scots law comparable to the English charge of manslaughter. Even grubby deal-making over votes, posts, and pensions had a fundamental importance for post-union Scotland, taking the disposal of Scottish jobs out of the hands of Englishmen only interested in their constant jockeying for power with fellow politicians. By making himself indispensable to Walpole and the Pelham brothers over a formative and exceptionally long period of time, Ilay was able to change the direction of Scottish culture (98). By Emerson s conservative estimate, at least 54,000 men owed their position to Ilay and his supporters, the vast majority of whom had been carefully selected for their secular, scientific, and improving outlook. His nominees came to dominate the Scottish delegation in 15 both Houses of Parliament, the civil administration in Scotland, the burghs, the courts, the universities, the army, the economic institutions, and the church. Indeed, the Moderate party in the Church of Scotland would not have existed without Ilay s promotion of polite scholars like Hugh Blair, William Robertson, John Home and Adam Ferguson, while Ilay also laid the platform for a string of successful economic initiatives, not least the Royal Bank of Scotland itself (founded in 1727). Thus Emerson s biography of a single politician becomes the story of how Scotland came to grips with Union, emerging by the time of Ilay s death as one of the foremost cultural powerhouses of Enlightenment Europe through stable politics, a polite Kirk, profitable commerce, efficient agriculture, productive manufacturers, and pioneering universities. But what is particularly striking here is how far this public mission dovetailed with the relentlessly improving tenor of Ilay s personal, intellectual and business activities. His reading was ruthlessly pragmatic (history books helped him understand what made men tick (115), and he was only interested in scientific research that could be put to practical use ( finding new and better manures, better heckles and bleaches, more effective ways of promoting trade or educating Scots (132). His renovation of the family seat at Inverary had a public dimension (204), promoting the work of Scots architects, engineers, and gardeners, and bringing work to Highlanders resentful after 1745, while even his monumental book catalogue, the Catalogue Librorum A.C.D.A. (1758), was commissioned as a make-work project for the Foulis brothers whom he had patronized in the past (104). Most dynamically, perhaps, Ilay set himself up as a model landowner in draining, improving, and cultivating waste land around Whitton Park in London and the Whim in Peebleshire. At the latter, he even established an admired demonstration farm [which] gave him credibility with improving landlords (242). Readers familiar with Emerson s earlier work will recognise some of these facets of Ilay s life, but in pulling all of them together Emerson makes a compelling case for Ilay as the central figure in the emergence of Enlightenment in Scotland. An Enlightened Duke is a fascinating read, and serves as a fitting culmination of a pioneering career in eighteenthcentury Scottish studies. Mark Towsey University of Liverpool
16 Directory of Scholars in European Studies Dear Colleague, We are a little team of scholars working for the compilation of a Directory of Scholars in European Studies, which has the aim of boosting and systematizing the study of European history and of contributing to the cultural and political union of our continent. The Directory will be online, with free access, and will constitute a network of scholars which, we believe, will somehow influence the future of our civilization, promoting suitable cultural activities. We would be happy should you agree to join our Directory, along with the colleagues who have already given their assent. You should be as kind as to let us know, in four or five lines, your university affiliation, field of interest, e.mail for further communications on the part of the editorial board and of colleagues, and your postal address. To your e.mail we will forward all the communications about the activities that our society will promote and our journal ( The European Journal: see all the past issues on the internet). Yours sincerely Cher/ère collègue, Nous sommes une petite équipe d universitaires qui travaillent pour la compilation d un Directory of Scholars in European Studies, dans le but de promouvoir et systématiser l étude de l histoire européenne et de contribuer à l union culturelle et politique de notre continent. Le Directoire sera en ligne, avec accès gratuit, et constituera un réseau d érudits qui, nous le croyons, influencera dans une certaine mesure l avenir de notre civilisation, en promouvant des activités culturelles appropriées. Nous serions heureux que vous acceptiez de vous joindre aux collègues qui ont déjà adhéré au Directoire, ou Annuaire. Pourriez-vous avoir l obligeance de nous indiquer, en quatre ou cinq lignes, votre université, votre champ de recherche, votre e.mail ainsi que votre adresse postale pour communications de la part du comité éditorial et des collègues? À votre e.mail nous ferons suivre toute communication sur les activités que notre société va promouvoir et notre revue ( The European Journal: voir sur internet tous les numéros précédents). Cordialement Vincenzo Merolle P.S.: The Directory is now on the internet under www. directoryeuropeanstudies.com. The e.mail address is all the correspondence should be sent to this address. Directory of Scholars in European Studies Editor: Vincenzo Merolle (Rome, La Sapienza ), private office: viale Grande Muraglia 301, Roma, e.mail coeditors: Andreas Golob (Graz), Andreas Golob (Graz), Erhard Steller, Köln Editorial Board: Tatiana Artemyeva (St Petersburg), Riccardo Campa (Siena), Francis Celoria (Keele), Annie Cointre (Metz), Desmond Fennell (Dublin), Harald Heppner (Graz), F.L. van Holthoon (Groningen), Vincent Hope (Edinburgh), Serge Soupel (Paris, Sorbonne Nouvelle), P. Sture Ureland (Mannheim). Editorial Associates: Federico Bonzi (Napoli), Olga Ermakova (Yekaterinburg), Sabine Kraus (Montpellier), Elisabeth Lobenwein (Salzburg), Katherine Nicolai (Edinburgh), Tatiana O. Novikova (St. Petersburg), Marine Riva-Ganofski (Oxford), Simona Seghizzi (Roma, La Sapienza ), The journal appears twice a year, in June and December. The publisher is the Milton School of Languages srl, Viale Grande Muraglia 301, ROMA. Cost of each issue d 10, $ 10, 7 The subscription (individuals d 25, $25, 15; institutions and supporting d 50, $50, 35), can be sent to the Milton School of Languages, from any post office, in Italy, to our conto corrente postale no , with a bollettino postale. From outside Italy it is possible to make direct transfer of money to our postal account IBAN: IT-72-X , or to send a cheque to the Milton School Publishers plc. We do not have the capacity to accept credit card payments. Please, take out a subscription to the journal. Help us find a subscriber. *** *** *** To contributors: essays should not exceed 3000 words, reviews should not exceed 700 words. They can be sent via to the editor, in Viale Grande Muraglia 301, ROMA, iol.it. Stampato nel mese di dicembre 2013 dalla tipografia Città Nuova della P.A.M.O.M. Via Pieve Torina, Roma - tel The European Journal / La Revue Européenne Editor/Directeur: Vincenzo Merolle - Università di Roma La Sa pienza Board of Editors/Expertenbei rat: Vincent Hope (Edinburgh) / Cairns Craig (Aberdeen), Serge Soupel (Paris III) Editorial Associates/ Secréta riat de Rédaction : Elizabeth Durot-Boucé (Paris III), Harald Heppner (Graz), Ronnie Young (Glasgow) Consulting Editors/Comité de Lecture: Francis Celoria (Keele) / Annie Cointre (Metz) / Desmond Fennell (Dublin) / Michael Fry (Edinburgh) / Mark Spencer (St. Catharines, Ontario), Mark Towsey (Liverpool) / Frits L. van Holthoon (Groningen) / P. Sture Ureland (Mannheim) http//www.europeanjournal.it Web-Editors: Kerstin Jorna (Perth), Claudia Cioffi (Roma) Direttore Responsabile: Riccardo Campa - Università di Siena Publisher/Verleger: Milton School of Languages s.r.l.; Publisher & Editorial Offices/ Rédaction: Viale Grande Muraglia 301, ROMA; tel 06/ Reg. Tribunale di Roma n. 252 del 2/6/