Volume 4 Issue 2 CONTENTS


Domagoj Madunić

Taming Mars: Customs, Rituals and Ceremonies in the Siege Operations in Dalmatia during the War for Crete (1645–69)


The main question of this study is how seventeenth-century European societies attempted to regulate the conduct of warfare. It deals with a peculiar aspect of seventeenth-century siege warfare, namely the customs, ceremonies and rituals that regulated various aspects of a siege, such as the observation of truces and immunities, the negotiation of surrenders, the treatment of prisoners etc. So far, most historians dealing with Early Modern siege warfare have been more concerned with its technical and operational aspects: the digging of trenches, the development of various elements of fortifications, wastage rates of combatants, hardships brought about by lack of food and epidemics, and so on, than they have been with these “decorative elements” of engagement. Nevertheless, these activities, although usually without any obvious operational military value, provided a medium for a discourse between the besieger and besieged and thus, as I argue, played an important role in the final outcome of a siege. Through descriptive analyses of three cases, each dealing with one siege operation in the Dalmatian theater of operations during the War for Crete (1645–69), this inquiry provides an account of customs, rituals, ceremonies and rules of “proper” conduct of a siege, with particular emphasis on the most critical part of a siege: the surrender of a fortified site.


Keywords: Republic of Venice, Dalmatia, Ottoman Empire, military history, War for Crete, siege warfare.

Volume 4 Issue 2 CONTENTS


Cristina Bravo Lozano

Madrid as Vienna, Besieged and Saved.

The ceremonial and political dimensions of the royal cavalcade to Atocha (1683)*


This paper focuses on the festive practices in the Spanish court and the diplomatic problems of etiquette and personal position in the planta of the procession that emerged in relation to both the Count of Mansfeld, imperial ambassador, and the Cardinal-Nuncio Savo Mellini. It also examines the opposition of the royal authorities to any kind of “innovation,” in the ceremony, the different interpretations of the image of Carlos II, and the political discourse of this public cavalcade to the Royal Convent of Our Lady of Atocha. The ceremonies were used to celebrate and elevate the position of this king, who had not taken part in the victorious siege of Vienna. An analysis of the celebratory representations allows one to establish an interpretative framework in which to consider the political functions of the rituals surrounding concerning the triumph of the allied Christian armies over the Turks. The symbolic language of the festivities, which included visual images, the meaning-laden choreography of the events, and the composition of works of imaginative literature, was intended to emphasize the majesty of the Spanish monarch, his devotion to the Christian faith, and the tremendous debt of thanks he was, implicitly, due.


Keywords: cavalcade, diplomacy, ceremonial, Ottomans, Madrid, Vienna, Carlos II, Count of Mansfeld, Savo Mellini.

Volume 3 Issue 2 CONTENTS

Krzysztof Brzechczyn

The Reliability of “Files” and Collaboration with the Security Service (SB) in Poland: An Attempt at a Methodological Analysis

Over the course of the last decade, the disclosure in Poland of information regarding the secret collaboration of public figures with the Security Services (SB) has triggered emotional discussions on the reliability of the archival records stored in the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). Analysis of these discussions enables one to draw a distinction between two opposing views. According to the first, documents stored in the archives of the IPN are incomplete and devoid of accurate information. According to the second, documents produced by the repressive apparatus of the communist state constitute a new type of historical source and contain reliable information.

However, these discussions concerning the reliability of “files” lack methodological rigor and precision. I consider the reliability of the “files” in the light of Gerard Labuda and Jerzy Topolski’s concepts of historical sources. According to this analysis, the “files” do not constitute a new type of historical source requiring a radical rethinking of existing classifications and new interpretive methods. However, one precondition of an adequate interpretation is the acknowledgment of the purpose for which they were created and the functions they played in the communist state. The repressive apparatus collected, selected and stored information on society if they considered this information useful in the maintenance of political control over society. Ignorance of or failure to acknowledge this specific social praxis (and its different forms: manipulation, disintegration, misinformation, etc.) performed by the secret political police is one of the reasons for methodical and heuristic errors committed by historians: the uncritical application of the vision of social life and processes presented in these sources for the construction of the historical narrative.

Volume 3 Issue 2 CONTENTS

Maja Gori

Fabricating Identity from Ancient Shards: Memory Construction and Cultural Appropriation in the New Macedonian Question1

In the Republic of Macedonia, the use of archaeology to support the construction of national identity is a relatively new phenomenon, but it has been steadily growing since the declaration of independence in 1991. In sharp contrast to the nation­building process of the Greeks, Serbians, and Bulgarians, whose main ideological components were drawn from a “glorious past,” Macedonian nationalism in the mid-twentieth century looked to an equally “glorious future.” This paper analyzes the construction of popular archaeology in the Republic of Macedonia, and particularly the creative mechanisms driving it, its relation with the national and international academic world, its spread to a public of non-specialists through new media, its reception by society and its political utilization in constructing the national identity.

Volume 3 Issue 2 CONTENTS

Zsolt K. Horváth

The Metapolitics of Reality: Documentary Film, Social Science Research and Cognitive Realism in Twentieth-Century Hungary1

The article explores how, given the absence of a proper public sphere, twentieth-century Hungarian social research began to use the notion of “reality” in populist socio-reports, the documentary films of the 1970s, and sociological debates. These discussions all shared the assumption that contemporary political elites ignored the “real” conditions of society. Thus it was the duty of social research (socio-reports or sociology proper) to reveal these facts in a manner that was free of ideology. Whereas in North America and Western Europe during the 1960s and 1970s the notion of a directly accessible “reality” had been thrown into question, in Hungary scholarship insisted on this kind of cognitive realism because of social and political reasons. As they argued, “reality” was to be interpreted not as a universal epistemological category, but according to particular terms of the sociology of knowledge. This article explores how the detection of “reality” and “facts” became an ethical vocation within these interrogatory frameworks.

Volume 3 Issue 2 CONTENTS

Péter Apor

Spectacular History: Photography, Film and Exhibitions in Representations of the Hungarian Soviet Republic after 1956

The article explores the implications of communist representations of history as it relates to representation and evidence in historical theory. It investigates the attempts of the party historians to establish a historical connection between the “counterrevolutions” of 1919 and 1956: as they argued, the counterrevolution that had been born in 1919 and ruled the country until 1945 and, subsequently, been forced “underground” by the Soviet Red Army and the new communist power, was able to “resurrect itself” once again in 1956. It examines how they attempted to authenticate this historical abstraction through various historical, mostly visual, records: photography, film and exhibitions. The article argues that an unusual attitude towards evidence prevailed in these historical works. Although communist historians boasted of referring to an abundance of original source material, their narrative frames of representation proved to be fictitious: sources were selected not in order to draw conclusions regarding historical processes, but instead to illustrate various pre-figured abstract constructions of history. The aim of this method was to maintain the separation of the empirical source base and the philosophical-theological imagination surrounding the meanings of history in order to unbind the latter from evidence and tie it to political ideologies and commitments.

Volume 3 Issue 2 CONTENTS

Martina Baleva

Revolution in the Darkroom: Nineteenth-Century Portrait Photography as a Visual Discourse of Authenticity in Historiography

Historical photography has always played a crucial role in historiography, in the creation of collective memory, and in the perpetuation of historical traditions. Of all the photographic genres, portrait photography is the most prevalent genre and remains the “vera icon” of illustrated histories. The significance of portrait photography in historiography is amply illustrated by its use in the creation of so-called “Bulgarian national heroes,” historical figures that acquired an almost mythic significance largely through their depictions in photographic portraits. In this article I examine the specific use of this particular photographic genre in Bulgarian illustrated histories and provide analyses of the motifs and symbols of the portraits themselves, both as historical primary sources and as epistemological instruments that have had a decisive and continuous influence on the historical process of the creation of “true” national heroes. My aim is to outline the genesis of these photographic portraits in order to shed light on the process of their framing within the historical imagination as authentic representations.



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