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Abstract

When the astronomical clock of the Strasbourg Cathedral was inaugurated in 1574, Nicodemus Frischlin, humanist and professor of poetics in Tübingen, responded to this monumental, ‘time-defining event’ with a didactic poem – in Latin, and profoundly informed by the great models of Classical Antiquity – in which he embedded the stages of human life in an encompassing horizon of both secular and religious temporality. With his ‘carmen’, Frischlin aimed to complement the ambitious technological construction with an equally ambitious literary account, gradually tracing the building’s multiple and hybrid conceptions and semantics of ‘time’ in versified description. This article examines how Frischlin’s didactic poetry organizes knowledge of anthropological, historical, and eschatological times; moreover, illuminating the motifs of the moon disc, the ‘Lebensalterautomat’, and the mechanical figure of Death, it sheds light on the emulating adaptation of Classical tradition (Lucretius; Ovid). Frischlin portrays the Strasbourg clock as a technological masterpiece without equal in Classical Antiquity.

In: Daphnis

Abstract

In the context of this article, the work of Quirinus Kuhlmann (1651–1689) is interpreted as an attempt to project one’s own life onto the history of the world and salvation in the sense of Hans Blumenberg’s essay “Lebenszeit und Weltzeit” (1986). As particularly rich sources of information on Kuhlmann’s biography and his interpretative practice of relating historical events to his own life, the paratexts – preface, motto, commentary, letters, prose introductions, and title copy – are at the centre of the study. These paratextual elements are an integral part of a self-fashioning of authorship that aims to elevate Kuhlmann as the “Son of Jesus” to a central figure in chiliastic and eschatological expectations of the near future.

In: Daphnis
Author: Dirk Werle

Abstract

This article starts from Achim Landwehr’s thesis that the present is an invention of the 17th century, and that this is reflected not least in developments in contemporary narrative literature. It analyzes the narrative representation of the relationship between life-time and world-time (Lebenszeit und Weltzeit) in the epic poem Achilles Germanorvm, published anonymously in 1632, in which the contemporary events of the Thirty Years War are interpreted allegorically in the light of the Trojan War. It is shown that the present in the epic is not emphatically asserted as present, but presented as part of a model of time operating with the factors of repetition, recurrence, and mythical meaningfulness. World-time (Weltzeit) appears in the epic as structured by repetition and recurrence, and the role of the single individual is also embedded in this model. Landwehr’s account, however, needs to be corrected to the effect that, contrary to what he insinuates, such interpretations of the present did exist at all in the genre of epic verse in the 17th century and that the epic genre had not at all become outmoded at that period. They are highly relevant for understanding a history of the telling of time in the 17th century.

In: Daphnis

Abstract

This paper aims at presenting some thoughts on the hypothesis of an Anatolian-Greek language area in the second millennium bc comparing different approaches both in the theoretical frames and in the analysis of the linguistic facts. For this purpose, it is necessary to introduce some terminological premises, followed by a selection of methodological issues, which will help explore the putative features that characterize the Anatolian-Greek area (morphological traits such as actionality markers, particles, verbal prefixes as well as special morphological forms; morphosyntactic traits, such as modal particles, sentence particles, absolute participial constructions; lexical units and phonetic features).

Open Access
In: Old World: Journal of Ancient Africa and Eurasia
In: Daphnis
Author: Oliver Bach

Abstract

The aim of this article is to outline how Hans Blumenberg’s conception of lifetime and world time (Lebenszeit und Weltzeit, 1986) can help to elucidate a substantial problem of utopian literature and its development from the 16th to the 18th century: utopias always try to illustrate the ways by which the single members of a political community harmonise with the community as a whole. The congruence of private good and common good, private interest and common interest, private will and general will is a main task of 17th and 18th century political philosophy. Blumenberg’s book, however, allows us to focus on the existential dimension of this harmonisation: under which circumstances may the single members become so wise and virtuous within their lifetimes that they always know about and comply with the common good? 18th century utopias seem to find answers to this question in theories of moral sense, common sense and aesthetic education.

In: Daphnis

Abstract

Writing by hand in calendaric diaries is one of the most important cultural techniques of the early modern period. The epistemic framework of the printed calendar, whose premises are by no means unproblematic, enables the writing self to document, narrate, and reflect on its own life against the background of the temporal framework of past, present, and future. Thereby, the latter is always subject to scrutiny by empiricism. The narrating ‘ego’ emerges from the calendaric order: authorship is constituted by an act of reception.

In: Daphnis
Author: Astrid Dröse

Abstract

This article focuses on Opitz’s well-known song “Ach Liebste/ laß vns eilen” and its intercultural contexts. While so far mainly ancient texts (Horace/ carpe-diem motif) as well as sonnets and odes of Ronsard have been analyzed as models and intertextual references, the author here examines the Air de Cour “Ma belle je vous prie” by the French composer Gabriel Bataille as a model. The analysis shows that Opitz, although clearly oriented on the French Air, makes decisive translational changes: Opitz translates the courtly semantics of time of the Air into a typically Protestant-bourgeois vocabulary reflecting temporal acceleration and economization.

In: Daphnis

Abstract

Abui is a Papuan language spoken in Alor Island, South-East Indonesia. Although there are rich studies on the Abui language and its structure, research on Abui toponymy, which aids the understanding of language, culture, and society, deserves greater attention. This paper analyzes features of Abui society through Abui toponyms collected using Field Linguistics and Language Documentation methods. It finds that, because place names communicate valuable information on peoples and territories, Abui toponyms reflect the agrarian lifestyle of Abui speakers and, more broadly, the close relationship that the people have with their landscape. Furthermore, Abui toponyms express positive traits in the Abui culture like kinship ties and bravery. Notwithstanding, like other pre-literate and indigenous societies, oral stories are commonly used to explain how places are named. This paper augments the existing Abui toponymic studies on the connection between names and the places they name and provides a deeper understanding of the Abui language, culture, and society.

Open Access
In: Old World: Journal of Ancient Africa and Eurasia

Abstract

The term ‘magic’ is problematic. Magic studies have rapidly developed in recent decades and have suggested various ways of understanding the term, especially regarding objects from the medieval Roman Empire, Byzantium. Two early Byzantine amulets (as case studies) display conventional semiotic structures, which include persuasive analogy, speech-acts, and show-acts. Persuasive analogy, speech-acts, and show-acts – and how they organize information – operate also in religious, medical, and philosophical examples. Accordingly, art, archaeology, and texts of ritual power exemplify intersecting communities of thought and various types of social practices. Magic studies is interdisciplinary, and it encourages critique of modern assumptions regarding authority and of our intellectual colonization of times past. This essay is broad with several object examples across media, written as a conference presentation. Another approach to these semiotic structures on magical amulets – with examination of fewer objects and wider attention to the historiography of magic studies – will appear in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Byzantine Art and Architecture, ed. Ellen Schwartz.

Open Access
In: Old World: Journal of Ancient Africa and Eurasia