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As Stowers reminds us, 21 of the 24 different writings that constitute the New Testament take the form of letters and both the Acts of the Apostles as well as the Apocalypse contain them.

So the letter is at the crossroad of many specialized disciplines of medieval studies, with particular relevance to diplomatics, palaeography, and the study of manuscript textual transmission.

The letter is also a common object to history and to literature, and all this results in a rich methodological field with many interesting sets of questions.

For available bibliographies: James J. Murphy, Medieval Rhetoric: a select bibliography, Toronto , pp. The complexity of the communication process referred to or described, for instance, by medieval treatises and by the epistolary texts themselves can be schematically represented this way It was a text which could be read by the messenger, or simply used as a reminder for an oral presentation, and it was eventually given to the addressee, together with the credential.

Medieval rhetoric was very conscious that the letter, although it might be considered a replacement of oral discourse, did not function at all like a replica of speech.

The epistolary message was changed in a definitive way by the passage from orality to writing, which not only introduced a proper distance but also required specific forms of composition.

Statements like those of Conrad de Mure should not be taken too literally, since there were clear limits to the analogy.

As suggested in our schematic picture, we should consider a more complex notion of parallel and sometimes converging but distinct channels of communication accompanying the current notion of a substitution of speech by epistle.

The same caution must be exercised as to the common definition, which I also quoted earlier, of the letter as a replacement for dialogue or even as a form of 13 See for instance A.

Dias Dinis ed. To sum up our argument so far, late medieval epistolary practice was different from that of today largely because written and oral forms of communication also interacted differently.

A concatenation of actions was required, in which the letter could be replaced or completed by verbal speech with some advantage, in the condition of course that one could be represented by a true messenger, that is, someone competent enough to communicate what one wanted to say.

The influence of the theories of Demetrius, for instance, on Poliziano, is also mentioned by John M.

On the contrary, the letter could on other occasions be seen as having merely an ancillary function to speech, to be almost like a propitiatory element or a form of validation in the establishment of verbal channels of communication.

While considering letters as historical sources, we should see them as sources in the basic and first place for the study of thousands of such complex communicative acts, in which the roles of the intervenients can be configured, and also analysed, in dyadic ways: the author and the scribe, the addressee and the messenger, the author and the messenger, and so on.

Those roles can coincide in the same individual: the role of scribe and author often did coincide, more rarely did the ones of scribe and messenger although medieval texts often refer to the similitude of the trust deposited in both intervenients, and to the dreaded betrayal of the forgerer scribe or of the unfaithful messenger.

The letter, however, always subsists by itself, as a fragment marked in a definitive and irretrievable way, in its very nature, by the absence which originated its writing.

How could these fragments be transmitted to us? The collection of Abbot Gomes is made of original letters and related documents, and it can be considered of a casual or archivistic nature comparable to other famous examples of the fifteenth century, for instance the collection of the English family of the Pastons.

As Petrarca himself considered his letters, which he successively rewrote and refashioned, to be animi mei effigies as well as ingenii simulacrum.

On the other hand, collections were also made for didactic purposes, and were sometimes designated summae dictandi when they were transmitted together with manuals, taking the form of anthologies of examples chosen by their stylistic value and deemed suitable for copy and study.

We should also mention the epistolary collections from Antiquity which in the central and late middle ages were read and imitated, such as the letters of Seneca to Lucilius23, as were other sets of epistles from the early medieval period like those of Sidonius Apollinaris or Braulius of Zaragossa c.

The two aspects of the experience work together: the objectivity of the events spills over into the subjectivity of the records, perceptions, feelings and observations.

See also Gillian R. A Semantic and Structural Analysis, London Who was this man? An ecclesiastic, we know that he obtained several benefices in the diocese of Lisbon in the first decade of the 15th century.

Proctors were a vital component of the papal court, especially in these times where permanent diplomatic representation was not yet practiced.

Besides, not only kings had proctors, but also bishops, cities, certain rich monastic communities had them.

Theirs was a professional service, remunerated, which consisted mainly in preparing dossiers, as we would say today, for obtaining decisions and related documents from the curia.

Tavani eds. He returned to his home country in , where he can be traced in that decade as collector of the apostolic chamber.

I shall not be long in reminding some basic notions about the evolution of the ars dictaminis, even at the risk of some over-simplification.

Some decades ago it was thought generally that the dictamen was a sudden invention of the eleventh century, specifically connected to the scholarly centres of Bologna and to the abbey of Monte Cassino.

But more recent investigations have explored, in a less peremptorious view of things, the connection between learning how to write letters and learning Latin, that is, an equally important long-term undercurrent linking the dictamen to grammar.

That older connection probably originated the 30 Robert Brentano, Two Churches: England and Italy in the thirteenth century, Princeton , p.

Sousa Costa, Braga , vol 4, pp. Afonso V, livro 4, fol. We should stress in the first place the importance of the salutation or variation in the forms of address.

Several compilations of these salutation formulas were made by royal secretaries in fifteenth century Portugal, either officially or in manuscripts kept for their own use.

The salutation was indeed a fundamental choice for the writer because it determined much of the further content of the composition. Another distinction clarified by the precepts of the manuals opposes the exordium to the narration, referring to a possible tension between contents that were vague and general, set against a sort of universal and atemporal horizon, and specific times and circumstances necessary to the narration.

Duarte, ed. Oliveira Marques, Lisbon , pp. Afonso V, in: Abade Correia da Serra ed. Salgado, Lisbon , pp. In the early precepts, the constant reiteration of the ideal of brevity made the narration almost secondary to the exordium and especially to the salutations.

But in the central period of the Middle Ages, the letter was becoming an admirable instrument of persuasion and doctrine, precisely by developing the narration together with the exordium.

This main textual nucleus could be kept in and by itself. An ordered sequence of such epistolary exchanges could approximate the development of a controversy, or the telling of a story, in a sort of narrative or argumentative palimpsest.

Persuasion and Politics in the early thirteenth century, New York , pp. Resulting from the application of legal categories and methods to a typology of letters, the manuals for notaries were often kept with the formularies proper, their diffusion coinciding in Italy with important changes in cursive writing.

However, the art of writing letters was to become in late medieval times, in many contexts, solely an introduction to literacy or to basic writing skills.

See also G. Literacy and Learning, , Baltimore , specifically pp. His book was very diffused in late medieval Iberia, with 13 manuscripts in Castilian, 3 in Catalan, one in Aragonese and we might add, one in Portuguese : J.

Holloway, Brunetto Latini. An Analytic Bibliography, London See for example the Castilian version, Libro del Tesoro.

Epistolary writing is at the centre of the debate about the origins of humanism since the pioneering works of Kristeller, Wieruzowski, and a few others, as the rejection of the dictamen first of all, it seems, by Petrarca in its newly perceived rigidity and lack of stylistic souplesse is seen as a determinant factor for cultural and literary innovation.

A cultivated monarch, Duarte had been associated to the government by his father since the decade of , although he ascended to the throne only in He was the author of two treatises, on moral education and the art of horse-riding, and was also a collector and reader of a notable number of books.

Exhortatory letters were a common production, such as the one sent in by the Portuguese monarch to his nephew the king of Aragon, urging him to join 46 For a discussion of the first humanism, see Ronald G.

On letters and letter-collections of the humanists: Cecil H. Epistles written in vulgar Portuguese also represented a means of political intervention and debate in the times of king Duarte and all through the fifteenth century.

Sometimes they took the form of diatribes, that is, of a formulation of adverse arguments and their ordered refutation.

Some of them have been transmitted in truncated form by the chronicles of the age, but they also circulated separately keeping distinctive elements of the epistolary format, such as the initial salutations or the final formulas.

The first letter mentioned dates from August Monumenta Henricina, vol 4, pp. The second from September Monumenta Henricina, vol 3, pp.

Pedro, ed. Occasionally providing doctrinal developments and examples but staying close to the specific political circumstances of the day, such epistles written in vulgar included mostly long narrations presenting ordered reasonings and refutations of contrary opinions, and they flourished until the last decades of the century.

Writing practices were thus articulated with certain social spaces or human figurations, and with characteristic roles associated directly or indirectly with the world of the court.

The traditional interpretation of the authorship of such texts, based on a quest for an exclusive individual attribution, plays down the perception of the dyadic relation hypothetically involved in their composition, which naturally demands a more careful study of the figure of the secretaries than has been made so far in the Portuguese context.

So the figure of the fifteenth 54 See the brief remarks of A. As we shall see in our final remarks, the central problem to be raised there, as well as in many other social contexts, was the problem of trust.

Letters and the generation of trust We recalled earlier that the awareness of writing models is central to the epistolary experience, being the main reason for the interest of the Portuguese royal secretary in possessing a copy of the stylistically sophisticated and much admired epistles of Salutati.

That awareness ultimately explains the success of manuals for writing letters and these still have many interesting things to tell us about the epistolary form, its social use and purpose, specifically when models are confronted with remaining texts and these are considered as sources for the study of specific communicative events.

If we take, for instance, the definition of Guido Faba used on the onset of our talk, letters should assure both authenticity and secrecy of the messages conveyed.

Authenticity seems to be a fundamental aspect of the epistolary form which is not only inseparable from the dialogic nature of these texts, but is also related to material characteristics such as the use of a variety of validation signals, of which the signature is a relatively late example.

Recent attempts at an history of the signature as a social practice show that its emergence is connected to the gradual disappearance of the practice of the subscription, since the twelfth century.

The legal value of autograph signatures, for instance, seems to be well established in most European contexts by the sixteenth century.

In the late medieval period, the generalisation of the signature in missives is clearly a condition for authenticity of epistolary messages, as we can see in the letters of Abbot Gomes collection.

Secrecy is not a characteristic solely internal to the epistolary message itself, a fact which many treatises of didactic literature for princes and secular lords often referred.

On the contrary, it rests equally on directness and transparency in the processes of writing and of transmission of letters.

Due to the plurality of the intervenients, the ways people were related in the epistolary process were, therefore, a main point of concern.

We should, however, amplify our view of this fundamental relation between the epistolary form and trust, reflecting more generally on how trust could be generated and maintained in the societies of the past, arguably less integrated and differentiated than modern ones.

We would like to suggest, as a concluding contribution of this paper, that there is indeed some structural, internal element in letters which facilitates and generates interpersonal trust.

This common present horizon enables the emergence of trust. More precisely, trust requires an anticipation of the future, being an orientation of behaviour that reduces a whole spectrum of possibilities for future action based in present states of a relationship.

And the letter, in the societies of the past, helped bring that present state into existence for both author and addressee.

This connection is clearer precisely in the cases in which no new content nor apparent exchange of information can be traced in medieval and early modern letters, the texts functioning more as previous commitments or formal requisites for certain actions to be performed, or certain relationships established.

As Raymond de Roover has established, this specific type of missives came to replace the more formal and legally established instrumentum ex causa cambii or the contract of change, which was a notarial act.

This replacement, occurring in Genoa or Florence towards the middle of the thirteenth century, not only eliminated the formality and the slower process of the notarial instrument, but allowed also for a rational utilization of the fundamental differentiation of places that always exists between author and addressee of a missive.

Merchants used this specific element of the epistolary form in order to circumvent the religious prohibition of credit and banking operations, by making them coincide with an operation of change between different locations.

But I would also underline another aspect of the use of missives for such material purposes as change and credit operations, and that is the rather immaterial factor that they presuppose: trust.

In a contract, the validity of the transaction was not depending on who, if anybody, had actually trusted. While as in a missive, as we suggested, trust was a result or by-product of the communication process itself.

Both these two typologies of letters the letter of friendship and the letter of change , in conclusion, point to an important historical reality.

Epistolarity as a textual form as well as a mechanism of communication was a widely spread device for the generation and maintenance of trust in late medieval and early modern European societies.

Hale ed. Goitein, Letters of Medieval Jewish traders, Princeton In the study of medieval and contemporary history, the letter has also become one of the main sources of interest for the new disciplines that study the history of writing, literacy, gender and female socialization.

Socio-anthropological factors, as well as others of a more scientific and cultural nature, are the reasons why today it is worthwhile reflecting on this vast inheritance of books and manuscripts from the past when seeking answers to issues of both a theoretical and practical nature.

As has already been pointed out in the introduction to this Workshop, ours is an appropriate time to look into the changes that the traditional epistolary means of communication has undergone and introduced during periods of history that witnessed a profound cultural transformation brought about by technological and ideological factors, changes which also make us curious to investigate the social and literary meaning of letter writing.

Before moving on to the specifics of the issue I will deal with, I would like to draw your attention to two recent Italian books which, together with those mentioned in the prospectus to the Seminar and the Introduction, may be considered a good starting point for further study.

These few words describe the letter as a conversation, viz. Finally, there is the space which separates the friends who are conversing and the means used 1 Adriana Chemello ed.

Teorie e pratiche epistolari dai Greci al Novecento, Milan La scrittura epistolare femminile tra archivio e tipografia, Rome Per lettera, on the other hand, looks into uses and functions of letter writing with special attention focused on the specificity of the genre of female writing.

Roger Chartier ed. The book Per Lettera focuses its attention on the social practice of correspondence and the transformation it underwent during the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Events of undoubted economical and cultural importance, such as the discovery of America, and of an institutional nature, as was the centralization of State power and the move towards permanent diplomacy, favoured the organization of the Post, an extremely efficient system for the delivery of correspondence which was strengthened in the first half of the 16th Century in Europe under the German Empire.

Even though the Post never fully took the place of the brevi manu delivery system of letters, in particular those that had to be more carefully looked after for political or doctrinal reasons, the new distribution system for correspondence brought about an increase in letter writing, not to mention a perfection in compiling them, as witness the several Formulari and the increase in those whose job it was to write letters, such as the Secretaries, making editing and conservation of epistolary writings easier.

Among the first women to take up letter writing in Medieval times were nuns. They were literate first and foremost as readers, able, that is, to recognise the letters written in their breviary and other prayer books.

Often they were writers too, able to inscribe on parchment and 7 Cf. Karen Cherewatuk and Ulrike Wiethaus eds. Medieval Women and the Epistolary Genre, Philadelphia Generally speaking, they possessed a two-fold knowledge which, in the past had been described as knowledge of the alphabet, used above all to indicate the ability to read and write.

Many of the nuns studied and understood Latin too. In Florence, for example, the convent of the Murate was renowned for its scriptorium.

Writing was however a strictly regulated activity and all orders had rules prohibiting the nuns from writing letters. No monastic rule, however was eluded more than that which forbad the writing and receiving of letters.

Letters both spiritual and official, letters begging for alms and patronage, letters to the ecclesiastical authorities and family members, forbidden notes to family and friends came and went incessantly through convent doors even convents with a reputation for strict discipline.

There is even a pious convent of Poor Clares founded in Bologna in famed for the culture and holiness of its founder, that still keeps a handwritten formulary of letters in its archives which dates back to the 15th Century.

Salvatore Battaglia, vol. VIII, Turin , Suffice it for all to cite the example of the Dominican Corpus Domini order of Venice, reformed towards the end of the 14th Century by Giovanni Dominici, whose spiritual teaching conveyed by letter was studied recently by Daniel Bornstein.

It must be pointed out that convent archives contain letters sent to nuns rather than those sent by them; they often hold collections or copies of letters written by nuns only concerning events significant to the convent or linked to nuns of an especially holy reputation.

Letters of a spiritual content were often copied and circulated within the religious order. On the basis of well-documented examples and research conducted personally, I shall draw a broad outline for one type of monastic letter.

Preaching within monasteries was a task for the father confessor, members of the religious order or for preachers from outside who were invited to prepare cycles of sermons or 10 Giovanni Dominici, Lettere spirituali, ed.

Brown and Robert C. Davis eds. Some set the nuns down a path to greater spirituality and, after leaving the convent, continued their teaching by letter.

Like Giovanni Dominici, the Dominican we mentioned previously, Domenico Benivieni, a lay priest of the early 16th Century too, very close to Savonarola, continued to give instructions by letter to the Florentine nuns of the Murate as well as to the Benedictines of San Michele di Pescia.

The letters he wrote, copied along with those other religious personages sent to those same nuns, are conserved in a codex of the Riccardiana Library.

This is shown, as in the case already mentioned, by the letters being copied into a codex which then circulated among many convents, or the originals being conserved, bound in book form.

The oral and familiar aspects of teaching are much easier to convey in a letter than in a book; the absence of the friend and master is lightened by the material presence of what he himself wrote.

The Savonarolan Movement in Florence. Dipinti del secondo Cinquecento per un monastero femminile a Bologna. Catalogo della mostra, Bologna Not infrequently, letters were sent to sisters of other convents in order to promote or launch reformation processes.

This is the case, for example, of the Poor Clare Camilla Battista Varano da Camerino 13 The National Library of Turin houses an ancient collection of thirty letters commissioned by Margherita di Savoia in the early 15th Century.

La domenicana genovese Tommasina Fieschi e i suoi scritti ca. Patronage e reti di relazione nella storia delle donne, Turin , pp.

This same nun Camilla Battista was the author of an Istruzione al discepolo [Instruction for the disciple] in letter form, a clear reversal of role between master and disciple.

I, pp. In the Renaissance period and the early 16th Century, spiritual correspondence reflected a condition of relative openness on the part of convents to preaching by religious people from outside, as well as to spiritual instruction of lay people.

During the Counter-reformation, however, a more stringent control of seclusion and writing was enforced.

There were, however, instances in which writing was not forbidden but, on the contrary, made obligatory. This happened with the visionary nuns, or those considered saintly who were asked not to speak of their charismas or inspirations but to write down what they deemed to have been divinely inspired and submit it to the examination of their confessor.

This spawned a wealth of female writing, conserved in the convents or the tribunals of the Holy Office.

They have the colloquial form and external referee of the letter and the daily periodicity of the diary. The letter can, however, only convey information on licit relationships.

For information on the illicit, one must turn to trial 18 Many examples are to be seen in Adriano Prosperi, Tribunali della coscienza. Maria Duranti ed.

To better illustrate the multifarious networks of relationships that nuns kept with lay and ecclesiastical people, I shall take the example of the Murate convent of Florence, and on whose correspondence a pupil of mine is writing a thesis.

The convent was set up in the 14th Century by a small group of women who had themselves walled up in a cell on a bridge over the river Arno.

They subsequently founded a convent and took the Benedictine Order and seclusion. Renowned for its observance, the Institute came under the jus patronatus of the Medici family in the 15th Century who renovated and extended it.

Its fame and the patronage it enjoyed by the dominating family enabled the number of professed nuns to exceed two hundred, all from aristocratic families.

Recent studies by Francis Kent, Kate Lowe and Judith Brown show how some facets of convent community life20 can be shed light on by examining letters conserved in their archives.

These are many in number, some hundreds collected and classified from the last decade of the 15th Century to the 18th.

It is interesting to note that the spiritual letters to the sisters sent by Domenico Benivieni already mentioned are not conserved. These reached us by the codex of the Riccardiana Library we already discussed.

The confidentiality, however, is justified by the condition of patronage extended by the family. Atti del Convegno internazionale, Torino , pp.

Some were kept as relating to issues of dowries. The relationship with princes was indicative of a type of reciprocity which, within the Catholic Church, is the basis which justifies giving alms.

These relationships are not at all affected by distance: indeed a lively correspondence was kept up between and between the Murate and the Kings of Portugal, the latter also emerging later as among the most generous benefactors of the convent with a yearly inheritance from Queen Eleonora.

The letters of the Medici appear from Granduca Cosimo I onwards, a sign that there was a very close relationship between the nuns and the dominating family with no need for it to be documented in writing.

Suffice it to recall that Catherine, the future Queen of France, was sent to the Murate to be educated and, as Guicciardini testified, Pope Leo X, fearing incarceration by the French, in sent his triple crown to the Murate for safekeeping.

The convent was under the authority of the Bishop of Florence and received no orders or pastoral visits on the part of Benedictine abbots.

His attention was turned in particular to the implementation of the terms of the Council of Trent in the convent, and his wish that the community conserve the strictness and fame of sanctity for which the nuns had been hitherto renowned.

Relations between the convent and princes and cardinals and the nobility of Florence or elsewhere was also fed by small gifts for which the nuns worked assiduously.

Often, religious people took it upon themselves to deliver letters and unwritten messages too, as the letters we have mentioned of Eleonor of Aragon state openly.

The well-known preacher, Mariano da Firenze, who was often called to the Estense court was one of the most assiduous messengers of the Dukes of Ferrara.

The role of go-between to the Kings of Portugal was again played by religious pilgrims or agents of the convent itself.

Giovanni Ansaldo , Genoa As so often happens, however, the archive of an institution is conceived with the idea of conveying collective recollections and reflecting the honour of the institution.

Translated by Donald A. From the time of the wedding until the death of her parents in the mids, communication between Elisabeth and her parents was largely limited to that which could be expressed in letters and in oral messages conveyed by messengers.

They only met three times in person during the fifteen years between and In this paper, I will argue that the provenance of the letters which Elisabeth sent to her mother, Anna of Saxony, deserves to be considered as a source in its own right.

In the last part of the paper, the findings of this brief investigation are related to more general discussions regarding the strength of social structures in an early modern reality.

This is done to assess the possibilities and limitations of employing provenance as a source in a study of dynastic figurations.

Before the letters from Elisabeth to Anna are introduced, a working definition of provenance should be established.

The place of origin, derivation, or earliest known history, esp. The material discussed here are letters, and the place of origin is generally stated in the dateline of the individual letters.

Hence, provenance here refers to the original order of this letter collection, i. The letters exchanged between Elisabeth and Anna are preserved in the vast correspondence that survives from Anna of Saxony.

Between six and eight thousand letters sent by her and c. The letters cover the period between and , but the large majority of letters were written between the mids and These contain an average of c.

XII, p. See also Kop. The parallel letter-books have identical titles and no systematic differences in their content can be detected.

Most of the later volumes are equipped with accurate alphabetical indexes penned by the same writers who drafted the letters for Anna. The letters received by Anna are collected in 70 volumes of c.

The majority of these are organised according to senders or to territories of senders. In each volume the letters are bound in a rough chronological order.

Ein Lebens- und Sittenbild aus dem sechzehnten Jahrhundert, Leipzig, The second volume is comprised of letters, and in addition to Elisabeth and Johann Casimir, Anna and August, thirteen other correspondents are represented.

This second volume does not appear to have been bound while Anna was alive: the last letter was received in Dresden on 14 September , only c.

Even so, the original order of the letters appears to have survived. The drafts for these letters are bound together with the received letters.

The titles of the two volumes of received letters also point to the common practice of binding the letters from a married couple together.

The concordance between the sequence in which Anna prepared the outgoing letters and the transmitted order of her received correspondence provide further evidence in support of it.

All four letters were 10 Johann Casimir to Anna, 26 Dec. Gemahl Frau Anna, gebohr. These three letters are bound together among the received letters.

The five letters are all dated 18 or 19 March and penned on consecutive pages folio in her letter-book. The reconstruction is based exclusively on the order in which the letters appear in the bound volumes, but can be confirmed by the content of several of the letters.

Anna refers to this letter in her reply in Kop. However, because of the intact provenance of the letters sent from Elisabeth, Johann Casimir and his parents to Anna, it is frequently possible to reconstruct at least the approximate date of a lost letter.

Roughly half of these were sent from Elisabeth to Anna. In comparison, drafts for c. It may seem unsound to employ the numbers of letters as an indication of social relations.

Not only is it clear that an unknown number of letters have been lost, but the quantities also do not reveal anything about the content of letters.

It is unlikely that Anna replied to her daughter and not to the other correspondents. Hence, Anna had sent letters to them between late-February and midMarch, but these are not preserved.

This gives reason to believe that development outlined below reflects more than the result of coincidental transmission of the material.

Year Number of letters Number of letters Number of letters Number of letters from Anna Elisabeth to from Elisabeth to from Anna Anna Johann Casimir to from Johann Casimir to Anna 7 6 4 5 9 17 5 14 7 5 4 6 10 12 7 9 7 10 2 2 8 19 2 7 16 20 1 1 14 16 0 1 12 11 3 9 10 16 0 1 10 13 0 0 9 12 0 1 8 5 0 0 7 10 0 0 12 10 2 2 6 8 0 0 Total 30 58 From the fifteen years investigated in this paper, letters exchanged between Anna and Elisabeth survive, but only 88 exchanged between Johann Casimir and Anna can be located.

Generally, more letters sent to Anna than sent by her have survived, possibly because not all of her letters were entered in the letter-books.

During the first years of the marriage, Elisabeth and Johann Casimir sent almost the same number of letters to Anna, and this suggests that the later 23 For only the letters written after 1 June i.

The communication between Anna and Elisabeth reached a quantitative peak between and between 23 and 36 letters survive from each of these years , and the lowest number is found in 12 letters.

Johann Casimir and Anna exchanged the highest number of letters in 19 letters , and with the exception of , they almost ceased to communicate from Most frequently these sets consist of letters from Johann Casimir and Elisabeth to August and Anna, hence, four letters sent together.

Only five of these bear a date on which Elisabeth did not write to her mother. From October until Christmas, Elisabeth was in Saxony, and when Johann Casimir sent a letter to her it seems that he also included one for Anna.

In these he repeatedly addressed when he wanted Elisabeth to be back in the Palatinate, see for examples Loc. Frequently, correspondences are conceptualised or even published as isolated exchanges between two people.

The provenance of the letters Elisabeth sent to Anna suggests that this imagination of easily definable exchanges between two individuals, which lie behind this practice, should be dismissed.

Even if each letter has only one sender and one addressee, several participants have to be granted access into the exchanges.

In the description above, it has been demonstrated how the letters from a married couple were bound together, and the overview points to a direct interrelation between the contact which took place between Elisabeth and Johann Casimir, respectively, and Anna.

But the inclusion of participants into an exchange should be taken further than to spouse: among the c. Johann Casimir and Elisabeth to August, both 26 Jan.

The individuals who only are represented in the copies of these letters are not included in this count. See for example the letters from Amalie, Electress Palatine, Loc.

The letters sent by Anna von Hohenlohe and Margaretha von Schleinitz, the two noble widows who recurrently spent longer periods by Elisabeth can be found in Loc.

Heller et al. Until Elisabeth and Johann Casimir had sent most of their letters to Anna together, but at this point Johann Casimir and Anna almost stopped corresponding.

These are the changing patterns of the correspondence, from which I will depart in order to examine what the content of the letters reveal about the nature and possible causes of the changes.

One of the last instances in which Johann Casimir and Elisabeth sent letters to her parents together was at the beginning of February He expressed gratitude for the offer of their portraits, and he thanked August for his financial help to secure Elisabeth through the acquisition of the estate Friedelheim.

Finally, he wished them a happy new year. She then proceeded with an account of the answer Johann Casimir had given to her numerous requests for permission to visit her parents.

He had told her that a Diet soon would be proclaimed to take place in the vicinity of Saxony, and that she there would have a chance to see her parents.

Only if this did not happen or her parents could not attend the Diet, would she be allowed to visit them in Saxony. His reluctance to grant her permission for the trip was explained by financial concerns.

The content of the second letter stands in stark contrast to the first. Here Elisabeth thanked her mother for an autograph letter and for the consolation Anna sought to provide her daughter because God had given her such a difficult cross to bear.

The next passage regards the money Johann Casimir had received from August. Elisabeth explained that she did not know about it nor about the conditions on which August had given the gift until the most recent letters from her parents had arrived.

The large sum was given on the condition that Johann Casimir deed the estate Friedelheim to Elisabeth.

No answer had arrived yet, but she promised to disclose to her mother whatever else she found out about it.

She depicted his deep subjugation to his father, which transferred some of the blame to Friedrich III, but it also weakened Johann Casimir in relation to his parents-in-law.

And in keeping with the secrecy, Anna made no references to any of the information it contained in her replies.

The information she so urgently needed to send to her mother regarded the christening of the child she was expecting.

This initiated a series of changes. On 2 September , she again penned two letters to Anna; a short letter, which Johann Casimir is likely to have read and approved, and a much longer and bleaker account of the obstacles she faced with regard to communications with her mother.

She explained that she usually had no problems securing messengers, but when Johann Casimir knew that she was preparing letters for her parents, no messenger would be made available.

The last letter from Anna to Amalie is dated 4 June The secret correspondence, which thus far had been sporadic, could now be carried out at regular intervals.

The provenance of her letters thus help to emphasise the interdependence between the various relationships between both groups and individuals within a dynastic figuration.

I consciously employ the terms figuration and interdependence and this requires a mention of the work of Norbert Elias.

The same danger is present if provenance is overestimated as a source. A consequent application of the approach advocated by Elias can even result in a disregard for notions of beginnings and ends, in part because his work regards long-term developments but also because of his insistence on change as a process.

The second point I wish to make regards the dichotomy of autonomy and dependency. Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations, Oxford, first German edition, , especially pp.

However, the tension, which Martin resolves through a distinction between conviction and appearance, bears resemblance to the questionable dichotomy of autonomy and dependency.

By the 16th century, people were reflecting on communication via letters, as the following example shows.

For the present article, see in particular: Roger Chartier dir. La scrittura epistolare femminile tra archivio e tipografia, Roma, Viella, I am grateful to Jeff Shapiro and Pernille Arenfeldt for careful proofreading.

But the episode reveals much more. Letters are here situated in the context of a noble culture, the importance of literacy is pointed out, as is the importance of the delivering and receiving of a letter which can fulfill its purpose only once it has been read by the person to whom it is addressed.

Indeed, Bernardino Pino himself suggests in his treatise a clear distinction between the letter that is being written and the one being received.

I will then proceed to interpret this, in my opinion, emblematic case, focusing mainly on one side of the communication that took place via letters: the reception, that is the act of receiving letters and the significance that was attached to this act.

Bernardino Pino da Cagli. Michele Peretti suo sposo e consorte [hereafter: Lettere diverse]. I developed this interest in a much broader context in my PhD thesis Sotto controllo.

Though well aware of the different typology of the examples I will report on I will deal with published and unpublished letters, written by writers from different social backgrounds , I intend to show their corresponding and contradictory elements in the following paper.

The main purpose of this paper is thus to demonstrate some of the difficulties associated with the interpretation of early modern letters and to challenge their clear-cut categorization as fictional or non-fictional texts.

How shall we contextualize this specific case in which we read texts written by a Roman noblewoman, describing her grief over the absence of the beloved, underlining with remarkable selfconfidence that she is suffering more than he is?

Scholars such as Ago, Casanova, Fosi, Visceglia and Borello have pointed out that the simple existence of a letter may be evidence of effective networking.

Michele Peretti, grandnephew of Sixtus V, had urged Francesco, his only son from his first marriage, to get married to ensure the perpetuation of the family.

When, shortly after the death of his first wife, he first went to meet his future daughter-in-law whom Francesco had chosen, Michele himself fell in love with Anna Maria.

Was there indeed an intense love affair behind the letters, almost untouched by strategic consideration of an alliance between two Roman noble families, or are we overly eager to accept the 19th century idea of romantic love re- presented by Litta?

The relationship that we read about in the letters is mainly confined to the writing and especially the reading of letters.

One of the main themes is reflections on reading and writing. And of course, a precondition for the production of love-letters is literacy, that is access to reading skills also for 7 Cf.

Le politiche matrimoniali della famiglia Spada secc. Rivista di storia delle donne, 21 3 , , pp. Lowe eds. At the beginning of the 17th century, published letter-writing guides so-called libri di lettere were widely distributed in Italy.

In his remarkable study of Le carte messaggiere 16th century letter-writering guides , Amedeo Quondam drew a distinction between other types of letter and the genre of the love letter, the lettera amorosa.

Reinhard M. Nickisch, Die Stilprinzipien in den deutschen Briefstellern des They were all reprinted several times despite censorship, as I will discuss later.

In one popular collection of published letters, the Roman noblewoman Celia withdraws to her room in order to read her letters in private.

It was however rather unusual that letters were read in solitude. In questa seconda Impressione rivedute, et accresciute.

The letters substitute the presence of the beloved. Petrarca, Canzoniere, a cura di P. Cudini, Milano Garzanti , p. I giorni son longhissimi, et i tempi assai cattivi, et V.

He concluded that to while I am reading them over and over. Opereta amorosa, p. The days are terribly long, times are quite hard, and your lordship promised me to come soon, that helps me a bit, tomorrow is Thursday.

Above all he underlined that words needed the consent of the beloved, because she could be looked at without permission, but if she listened to his words or read them, she had to be in agreement.

Verdi , p. Then, since that sex is tender hearted and easily moved to pity, we shall strive to be as supplicating as possible.

We shall extol her merits and belittle our own, or at any rate mention them with great modesty. We shall demonstrate intense love joined to deep despair.

We shall try by turns moaning, flattery, and despair; at other times we shall make skilful use of selfpraise and promises; we shall employ precedents of famous and honourable women who showed favour to a pure, unfeigned love and to the devotion of youths far beneath them in social condition.

We shall attempt to show of humility we shall beg that if she can in no way deign to give her love in return, she will at least resign herself to being loved without prejudice to herself; we shall add that if this request is not granted, we are resolved to cut short a cruel life by whatever means 31 possible.

Flattery and gifts were also useful, great promises could be used as well, because every woman is ultimately seducible, as Boncompagno shows by refererence to the successful seductions of nuns.

In most pedagogical treatises and advice books on behaviour of the second half of the 16th century, we find allusions to the danger attributed to letters.

Literary and Educational Writings 3. Kelly Sowards, translated by Charles Fantazzi, Toronto , p. Nevertheless in Venice in Mambre had no reservations about having his wife read his correspondence.

Inquisitionis, b. The letters were too powerful against the weekness of a female heart, that is easily impressed.

De Bujanda , Quebec seg. ILI , vol. IX, p. ILI, IX, p. The prohibitions, therefore, functioned only partially.

Her familiarity with literary texts certainly influenced her writing, but she appropriated the words for her own use.

Celia warned against the possible misuse of letters with the following words. Tale confesso essere di me avenuto. In any case, the copying from letter books was widespread.

Uffizio, b. Lizzari, Cassandra Ruggiero mentions her case, without talking about the love letter. Guido Ruggiero, Binding Passions.

ASV, S. The collection presented a series of ready-made sentences for all occasions arranged in alphabetical order.

Among the aphorisms, we are told how to express joy upon receiving a letter. By the beginning of 17th century, women and men move between standard expressions in their letters, a highly codified genre.

The writing of letters must always be seen in connection with the various ways in which the same letters might be read.

Epistolary communication cannot be thought of without considering the moral framework in which the letters were written. What must be reconstructed are the circumstances of receiving letters, the role of the inbetweens, the specific tactique De Certeau of appropriating texts, and the meaning the exchange of love letters could have.

The correspondents were quite conscious of their use of readymade phrases. It seems worthwhile to investigate in detail how the letter writers tried to overcome the dilemma of expressing themselves forced to use inevitable standard expressions.

Barthes recognizes behind this dilemma a semantic standard feature. Raccolti da lui per scrivere familiarmente, Roma Vincenzo Valgrisi Dolfi gives a convincing interpretation of this fragment in the introduction to A.

Atti di seminario. Trento, maggio , Roma , pp. Jahrhundert erhoben worden waren. Erst in den achtziger Jahren des Beatrix Bastl, Tugend, Liebe, Ehre.

Faksimiledruck nach den Ausgaben von und Mit einem Nachwort von Reinhard M. Nickisch, Stuttgart Briefkultur im So schreibt Johanna Theresia Harrach, geborene von Lamberg, am Juli an ihren Mann Ferdinand Bonaventura I.

Diese galten aber nicht unbegrenzt und wurden manchmal gnadenlos dechiffriert. Alltag bei Hof im ausgehenden Juni in der Linzer Burg inhaftiert wurde.

Oktober Juni auf dem Platz am Hof in Wien enthauptet. Was mier leider, gott erbarms, mein liebster herr und gemahll vonn seinem leydigen zustandt zugeschriben, das wird mein herr vetter aus beyliegender seiner handtschrift vernehmen, darauf ich umb godt und es jungsten gericht willen mein flehendlichs und hochfreundlichs bidten, mein her vedter wolle sich alsbalt, und in angesicht dieses schreibens aufmachen unnd durchaus in erwegung der hechsten noth nicht ausbleiben Eine Festgabe Hermann Wiesflecker zum Geburtstag, Graz , S.

Juni Erst im So schreibt Helena, die in das Franziskanerinnenkloster Hl. Deine treue schwester bis in tod, Helena von 24 Schallnberg.

Chaufontaines, August 6. Es geht nicht um eine Opposition zwischen Umgangston und Kanzleistil, sondern um den Versuch die Darstellung des Selbst innerhalb des Briefschreibens zu kultivieren.

Sprechinhalte sollten verbal rekonstruiert werden. Jahrhunderts bereits zu beobachten. Jahrhundert29 oder die Korrespondenz zwischen Judith von Ungnad gest.

Adlige Ehen im Purpose and form of epistolary conversation between aristocratic siblings Siena 17th century by Benedetta Borello In recent years, careful analysis carried out on correspondence by historians, anthropologists and linguists has emphasized one of its fundamental functions: the letter creates social relationships.

In particular, family letters have offered very fertile ground for investigation. The letters show us that within the aristocratic families there existed areas of more intense relationships or relations of a different type.

Sigismondo was ten when he moved to Rome, and his moving away from home was indispensable and fairly urgent.

Second child but only and very beloved son of Francesca Piccolomini, since the other children were born from Olimpia Della Ciaia , with an uncle who was Pope, Sigismondo was to take up an ecclesiastic career and become a cardinal at only eighteen.

Departure from Siena gave way to a consistent flow of letters directed to the young prelate. The family archive preserves the correspondence written by Olimpia Chigi, third child of Augusto and Olimpia Della Ciaia, as well as wife of Giulio Gori as of There are about ninety letters written between and , nearly all addressed to her brother.

The letters written by Francesca Piccolomini, numerous and well preserved, bear witness to a very intense relationship.

Their mother, who had stayed in Siena, seemed invested with the duty of managing the family relationships in toto.

Over the following pages I will reconstruct the family networks that the Chigi siblings wove during the second half of the 17th century between Siena and Rome, comparing the two relationship systems with that bound between mother and son.

I would like to show how the scope of the single letters sent by the two women blends with their manners of expression.

Epistolary conversations between siblings served to create a dense area, that integrated well with the overall family equilibrium, with the strategies pursued, and with the primogeniture logic.

Brother and sisters The relationship between siblings, their conflicts and their complicity are a topic that still merits an in-depth study.

Lawrence Stone, for example, suggested various times in his Family, Sex and Marriage in England, the intensity of the sibling relationship in the sixteenth and seventeenth century family.

Following the path marked by Hans Medick and David Sabean and above all by Martine Segalen in their volume,11 the editors of the issue of Quaderni Storici dwelled on the reconstruction and redefinition of the male and female roles at the time of transmission or division of patrimony.

In the inheritance game or in the creation of a circuit of dowries, strongly complementary matters between siblings seem to emerge within families.

Yet the letters also witnessed an on-going play of readjustment to reabsorb asymmetries of power and conflicts, playing with different wording as well.

Secret and confidence In the two epistolaries written by the sisters Chigi to their brother I seem to find a solid bond between siblings who, between Siena and Rome, worked together, each one within their own sphere in the interest in the lineage.

The domestic roles covered by Sigismondo Chigi, Olimpia Chigi Gori and Sister Maria Pulcheria Chigi, cut out precise scopes of action for the siblings and defined their duties.

Nevertheless, the letters show how the functions could work well together, creating alternative spaces yet nonetheless essential to the most traditional family dynamics, characterising the logic of the primogeniture.

The topics of the letters were varied and, naturally, the reasons the two sisters decided to take pen in hand were different.

At times though, the restricted circulation of news could even not take the form of transmitting a secret or a confidence. Within the family there could actually be a kind of specialisation by topic.

Some could be delegated to deal with certain matters in their letters, while others intentionally ignored them.

After the volume edited by Hans Medick and David Sabean, it is superfluous to say that, within these family networks, woven transversally and that could take on various shapes, material interests and affection were indissolubly bound.

This can be seen quite well in a letter written by Sister Maria Pulcheria at the end of This time the letter was the fruit of family collaboration.

Sister Pucheria wrote with her young niece Angela Chigi,17 brought up in the cloisters. The epistolary conversation between the two siblings concerned another Chigi, whom sender and addressee claimed to know well.

Benedetta Borello, Trame sovrapposte. Wife of the only Roman Chigi, Agostino, Maria Virginia had had only one boy and, so far, seven girls.

There's a ledge about 30 metres up. He bounced on that ledge and fell there. This ledge leads to your father's room. Il cornicione porta da vostro padre.

Outside his window, on the ledge , four stories high. Fuori dalla finestra, sul cornicione , al quarto piano. There's a ledge below us.

C'e una cengia sotto di noi. From the ledge we continued past easy climbing for another 30 meters. Dalla cengia abbiamo proseguito per arrampicata facile per altri 30 metri.

I'll go out on a ledge here and say Put the phone on the ledge , no fast moves. Metti il telefono sul cornicione , niente mosse affrettate.

Sometimes you can talk a man off of a ledge. A volte puoi convincere un uomo a scendere da un cornicione. No, there's no ledge.

If we can reach that ledge. Se riusciamo a raggiungere quella sporgenza. And punishing the ones that put her on that ledge. E punito quelli che l'hanno spinta su quel cornicione.

He's kind of under the ledge of a bridge. I know Cassidy's not on this ledge to say goodbye. Okay, kicking him off that ledge was Penso che spingerlo da quel cornicione fosse You were hanging off a ledge.

Tu stavi precipitando da un cornicione. Come down off this ledge with me. Scendi da questo cornicione con me. I want to catch that conversation out on that ledge.

Nevertheless, numerous analogies and related questions were to be found between chronologically distant cases. Moreover, it should always be kept in mind that this specific practice moves between the dimensions of the individual and of the social.

In addition, they consider how letters may establish a relation to an Other superior, equal or subordinate. No scholar can ignore the themes and contents contained in the letters, the social and cultural references they include.

Learning how to write a letter correctly was part of a specific civility, disseminated first through handwritten collections, then through published correspondences.

That writing models were essential for the epistolary experience is also considered by other 2 See Daniel-Odon Hurel ed. Studien zum Wandel des literarischen Geschichtsbewusstseins.

Sohn, La correspondance, p. However, Beatrix Bastl questions the claim that norms were always put into action and traces the use of oral expressions in letters written by aristocratic women in Austria 16thth centuries.

From the second half of the 17th century onwards the French model was particularly strong and its application marked social distinction: Kollbach and Luisa Tasca analyse its influence for the German and Italian case respectively.

In the context of normative behaviour, it should not be forgotten that in different historical periods, moralistic, catholic voices were warning against reading letters Tippelskirch, Tasca.

Using letters as historical sources permits us to reconstruct social relationships and family structures and ways of establishing them: letters exchanged between parents and their children and between siblings appear in the contributions of Arenfeldt, Borello, Kollbach familial letters rather than private letters.

Benedetta Borello uses letters as a means of reconstructing material interests and affection characterizing the relationships between members of the Chigi-family in Siena and Rome 17th century.

Love letters and the construction of a relationship are discussed in the papers by Schulte and Tippelskirch, and Marina Calloni takes a close look at letters exchanged between friends.

Another realm of social interaction is touched on by Gomes, Gabriella Zarri and also by Borello who show how important epistolary communication proved to be for monastic circuits.

Zarri highlights in her paper the importance letter writing could achieve for nuns. Letters could be associated with politics and could serve as important means of "distinction" Bourdieu.

They could also be sent secretly - as reflections of intimacy. The study of different letters shows examples of the transmission of the allowed, forbidden and secret; it presupposes trust and challenges the very notion of trust Gomes.

Margreiter and Tasca show in different ways, how letters can be used to help construct social history. Using letters as historical sources today raises a further set of questions including that of how and why the letters are conserved already touched upon by Arenfeldt, Zarri, Gomes and Kollbach.

A very important issue is the reception, i. In this context, several papers allude to the important role in early modern letter culture of the messenger, the intermediary or go-between Gomes, Zarri, Arenfeldt, Tippelskirch.

The role of the messenger would need to be reconstructed from other sources, and might explain some of the blanks contained in letters.

Different branches of historical research are touched upon through the study of letter culture: the history of writing and reading, the history of religion and the history of ideas, biography, literary studies, as well as cultural, political and social history.

As this collection of articles shows in a very exemplary way, the genre entails very different methodological challenges and as a consequence different methodological instruments applicable to analyses texts within this particular category were suggested.

However, they all concur in showing that the meaningful study of letters necessitates a good knowledge of the context, of the epistolary codes and of the historically different modes of self-representation.

We owe thanks to Sergio Amadei who provided secretarial and administrative support for the workshop and to Brigitte Schwab for help with the publication of the Working Paper.

We are grateful to Giulia Calvi and Barbara Hahn for inspiring contributions to the discussion. After due recommendation let it be known that I wrote to you some days ago, asking to have the epistles of Coluccio.

So I supplicate and ask of you, as a most singular grace, that you make all efforts so that I can have those letters, and let them be as many as it is possible, and please let me know the cost so that I can send you the money to pay for them.

And please let me have them in paper, for that will be sufficient for me. The sooner you will provide for this, the more I will be indebted to you.

May God all mighty make your honour grow and give you a long life at His service. Written in Rome 8 days of May of Each of these characters suggests a different angle for the analysis of the practice of writing letters in past societies.

Biblioteca MediceaLaurenziana, Ashburnam , Vol. I, Fasc. The problems of authorship and readership or, if you want, of letter-writing as a cultural practice in many aspects quite different from the one of our world today are evoked by a well-known Portuguese author such as king Duarte.

Finally, with the figure of Salutati we face the general problem of change in epistolary models against the background of fifteenth-century humanism.

It is not so much a discussion of the documentary value this particular letter could have for an interpretation of Portuguese or Iberian humanism, however, which will be made in this occasion.

I will rather follow a different path, building upon more general remarks about letters as distinctive communicative devices in past societies.

A more lengthy explanation would be required of why it does not seem sufficient to prove that a specific author, such as Salutati, was admired and imitated in certain intellectual and professional circles of early fifteenth century Portugal, in order to discuss available historical interpretations of Portuguese humanism.

Letters sent and letters received Abbot Gomes, the addressee of this letter, was a Portuguese living in Italy since He was the head of the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria of Florence from to Lowe ed.

The same task of compilation was done for Castile in the s counting a total of published letters dating from the fifteenth century, and there are still a much greater number of unpublished originals kept at several Spanish archives.

Such an abundance is absolutely expected, if we think of the great number of functions that the letter came to perform in late medieval society.

Gomes was a personal name used in several languages of the Iberian Peninsula since the tenth century, not a family name as in modern Portuguese.

Eanes was a patronymic. Abbot Gomes did not use a family name and rarely used his patronymic. He was not of noble origin, as many Italian authors have claimed attributing also hypothetical family names to him.

As several letters of his collection show, the relatives of Abbot Gomes were merchants and bureaucrats of Lisbon and Oporto.

In the hands of the notaries, the letter acquired, by means of a rigid formal structure, a generic function of validation and register of juridical acts.

But throughout the medieval period as a whole, the letter served also as a vehicle to communicate all forms of thought and to give shape to individual reflection.

Many medieval writers had found, both in Christian thought as well as in the classical heritage, an abundant reserve of textual traditions related to the epistolary genre, perceived and received in many different ways.

As Stowers reminds us, 21 of the 24 different writings that constitute the New Testament take the form of letters and both the Acts of the Apostles as well as the Apocalypse contain them.

So the letter is at the crossroad of many specialized disciplines of medieval studies, with particular relevance to diplomatics, palaeography, and the study of manuscript textual transmission.

The letter is also a common object to history and to literature, and all this results in a rich methodological field with many interesting sets of questions.

For available bibliographies: James J. Murphy, Medieval Rhetoric: a select bibliography, Toronto , pp. The complexity of the communication process referred to or described, for instance, by medieval treatises and by the epistolary texts themselves can be schematically represented this way It was a text which could be read by the messenger, or simply used as a reminder for an oral presentation, and it was eventually given to the addressee, together with the credential.

Medieval rhetoric was very conscious that the letter, although it might be considered a replacement of oral discourse, did not function at all like a replica of speech.

The epistolary message was changed in a definitive way by the passage from orality to writing, which not only introduced a proper distance but also required specific forms of composition.

Statements like those of Conrad de Mure should not be taken too literally, since there were clear limits to the analogy.

As suggested in our schematic picture, we should consider a more complex notion of parallel and sometimes converging but distinct channels of communication accompanying the current notion of a substitution of speech by epistle.

The same caution must be exercised as to the common definition, which I also quoted earlier, of the letter as a replacement for dialogue or even as a form of 13 See for instance A.

Dias Dinis ed. To sum up our argument so far, late medieval epistolary practice was different from that of today largely because written and oral forms of communication also interacted differently.

A concatenation of actions was required, in which the letter could be replaced or completed by verbal speech with some advantage, in the condition of course that one could be represented by a true messenger, that is, someone competent enough to communicate what one wanted to say.

The influence of the theories of Demetrius, for instance, on Poliziano, is also mentioned by John M. On the contrary, the letter could on other occasions be seen as having merely an ancillary function to speech, to be almost like a propitiatory element or a form of validation in the establishment of verbal channels of communication.

While considering letters as historical sources, we should see them as sources in the basic and first place for the study of thousands of such complex communicative acts, in which the roles of the intervenients can be configured, and also analysed, in dyadic ways: the author and the scribe, the addressee and the messenger, the author and the messenger, and so on.

Those roles can coincide in the same individual: the role of scribe and author often did coincide, more rarely did the ones of scribe and messenger although medieval texts often refer to the similitude of the trust deposited in both intervenients, and to the dreaded betrayal of the forgerer scribe or of the unfaithful messenger.

The letter, however, always subsists by itself, as a fragment marked in a definitive and irretrievable way, in its very nature, by the absence which originated its writing.

How could these fragments be transmitted to us? The collection of Abbot Gomes is made of original letters and related documents, and it can be considered of a casual or archivistic nature comparable to other famous examples of the fifteenth century, for instance the collection of the English family of the Pastons.

As Petrarca himself considered his letters, which he successively rewrote and refashioned, to be animi mei effigies as well as ingenii simulacrum.

On the other hand, collections were also made for didactic purposes, and were sometimes designated summae dictandi when they were transmitted together with manuals, taking the form of anthologies of examples chosen by their stylistic value and deemed suitable for copy and study.

We should also mention the epistolary collections from Antiquity which in the central and late middle ages were read and imitated, such as the letters of Seneca to Lucilius23, as were other sets of epistles from the early medieval period like those of Sidonius Apollinaris or Braulius of Zaragossa c.

The two aspects of the experience work together: the objectivity of the events spills over into the subjectivity of the records, perceptions, feelings and observations.

See also Gillian R. A Semantic and Structural Analysis, London Who was this man? An ecclesiastic, we know that he obtained several benefices in the diocese of Lisbon in the first decade of the 15th century.

Proctors were a vital component of the papal court, especially in these times where permanent diplomatic representation was not yet practiced.

Besides, not only kings had proctors, but also bishops, cities, certain rich monastic communities had them.

Theirs was a professional service, remunerated, which consisted mainly in preparing dossiers, as we would say today, for obtaining decisions and related documents from the curia.

Tavani eds. He returned to his home country in , where he can be traced in that decade as collector of the apostolic chamber.

I shall not be long in reminding some basic notions about the evolution of the ars dictaminis, even at the risk of some over-simplification.

Some decades ago it was thought generally that the dictamen was a sudden invention of the eleventh century, specifically connected to the scholarly centres of Bologna and to the abbey of Monte Cassino.

But more recent investigations have explored, in a less peremptorious view of things, the connection between learning how to write letters and learning Latin, that is, an equally important long-term undercurrent linking the dictamen to grammar.

That older connection probably originated the 30 Robert Brentano, Two Churches: England and Italy in the thirteenth century, Princeton , p.

Sousa Costa, Braga , vol 4, pp. Afonso V, livro 4, fol. We should stress in the first place the importance of the salutation or variation in the forms of address.

Several compilations of these salutation formulas were made by royal secretaries in fifteenth century Portugal, either officially or in manuscripts kept for their own use.

The salutation was indeed a fundamental choice for the writer because it determined much of the further content of the composition.

Another distinction clarified by the precepts of the manuals opposes the exordium to the narration, referring to a possible tension between contents that were vague and general, set against a sort of universal and atemporal horizon, and specific times and circumstances necessary to the narration.

Duarte, ed. Oliveira Marques, Lisbon , pp. Afonso V, in: Abade Correia da Serra ed. Salgado, Lisbon , pp.

In the early precepts, the constant reiteration of the ideal of brevity made the narration almost secondary to the exordium and especially to the salutations.

But in the central period of the Middle Ages, the letter was becoming an admirable instrument of persuasion and doctrine, precisely by developing the narration together with the exordium.

This main textual nucleus could be kept in and by itself. An ordered sequence of such epistolary exchanges could approximate the development of a controversy, or the telling of a story, in a sort of narrative or argumentative palimpsest.

Persuasion and Politics in the early thirteenth century, New York , pp. Resulting from the application of legal categories and methods to a typology of letters, the manuals for notaries were often kept with the formularies proper, their diffusion coinciding in Italy with important changes in cursive writing.

However, the art of writing letters was to become in late medieval times, in many contexts, solely an introduction to literacy or to basic writing skills.

See also G. Literacy and Learning, , Baltimore , specifically pp. His book was very diffused in late medieval Iberia, with 13 manuscripts in Castilian, 3 in Catalan, one in Aragonese and we might add, one in Portuguese : J.

Holloway, Brunetto Latini. An Analytic Bibliography, London See for example the Castilian version, Libro del Tesoro. Epistolary writing is at the centre of the debate about the origins of humanism since the pioneering works of Kristeller, Wieruzowski, and a few others, as the rejection of the dictamen first of all, it seems, by Petrarca in its newly perceived rigidity and lack of stylistic souplesse is seen as a determinant factor for cultural and literary innovation.

A cultivated monarch, Duarte had been associated to the government by his father since the decade of , although he ascended to the throne only in He was the author of two treatises, on moral education and the art of horse-riding, and was also a collector and reader of a notable number of books.

Exhortatory letters were a common production, such as the one sent in by the Portuguese monarch to his nephew the king of Aragon, urging him to join 46 For a discussion of the first humanism, see Ronald G.

On letters and letter-collections of the humanists: Cecil H. Epistles written in vulgar Portuguese also represented a means of political intervention and debate in the times of king Duarte and all through the fifteenth century.

Sometimes they took the form of diatribes, that is, of a formulation of adverse arguments and their ordered refutation.

Some of them have been transmitted in truncated form by the chronicles of the age, but they also circulated separately keeping distinctive elements of the epistolary format, such as the initial salutations or the final formulas.

The first letter mentioned dates from August Monumenta Henricina, vol 4, pp. The second from September Monumenta Henricina, vol 3, pp.

Pedro, ed. Occasionally providing doctrinal developments and examples but staying close to the specific political circumstances of the day, such epistles written in vulgar included mostly long narrations presenting ordered reasonings and refutations of contrary opinions, and they flourished until the last decades of the century.

Writing practices were thus articulated with certain social spaces or human figurations, and with characteristic roles associated directly or indirectly with the world of the court.

The traditional interpretation of the authorship of such texts, based on a quest for an exclusive individual attribution, plays down the perception of the dyadic relation hypothetically involved in their composition, which naturally demands a more careful study of the figure of the secretaries than has been made so far in the Portuguese context.

So the figure of the fifteenth 54 See the brief remarks of A. As we shall see in our final remarks, the central problem to be raised there, as well as in many other social contexts, was the problem of trust.

Letters and the generation of trust We recalled earlier that the awareness of writing models is central to the epistolary experience, being the main reason for the interest of the Portuguese royal secretary in possessing a copy of the stylistically sophisticated and much admired epistles of Salutati.

That awareness ultimately explains the success of manuals for writing letters and these still have many interesting things to tell us about the epistolary form, its social use and purpose, specifically when models are confronted with remaining texts and these are considered as sources for the study of specific communicative events.

If we take, for instance, the definition of Guido Faba used on the onset of our talk, letters should assure both authenticity and secrecy of the messages conveyed.

Authenticity seems to be a fundamental aspect of the epistolary form which is not only inseparable from the dialogic nature of these texts, but is also related to material characteristics such as the use of a variety of validation signals, of which the signature is a relatively late example.

Recent attempts at an history of the signature as a social practice show that its emergence is connected to the gradual disappearance of the practice of the subscription, since the twelfth century.

The legal value of autograph signatures, for instance, seems to be well established in most European contexts by the sixteenth century.

In the late medieval period, the generalisation of the signature in missives is clearly a condition for authenticity of epistolary messages, as we can see in the letters of Abbot Gomes collection.

Secrecy is not a characteristic solely internal to the epistolary message itself, a fact which many treatises of didactic literature for princes and secular lords often referred.

On the contrary, it rests equally on directness and transparency in the processes of writing and of transmission of letters.

Due to the plurality of the intervenients, the ways people were related in the epistolary process were, therefore, a main point of concern.

We should, however, amplify our view of this fundamental relation between the epistolary form and trust, reflecting more generally on how trust could be generated and maintained in the societies of the past, arguably less integrated and differentiated than modern ones.

We would like to suggest, as a concluding contribution of this paper, that there is indeed some structural, internal element in letters which facilitates and generates interpersonal trust.

This common present horizon enables the emergence of trust. More precisely, trust requires an anticipation of the future, being an orientation of behaviour that reduces a whole spectrum of possibilities for future action based in present states of a relationship.

And the letter, in the societies of the past, helped bring that present state into existence for both author and addressee.

This connection is clearer precisely in the cases in which no new content nor apparent exchange of information can be traced in medieval and early modern letters, the texts functioning more as previous commitments or formal requisites for certain actions to be performed, or certain relationships established.

As Raymond de Roover has established, this specific type of missives came to replace the more formal and legally established instrumentum ex causa cambii or the contract of change, which was a notarial act.

This replacement, occurring in Genoa or Florence towards the middle of the thirteenth century, not only eliminated the formality and the slower process of the notarial instrument, but allowed also for a rational utilization of the fundamental differentiation of places that always exists between author and addressee of a missive.

Merchants used this specific element of the epistolary form in order to circumvent the religious prohibition of credit and banking operations, by making them coincide with an operation of change between different locations.

But I would also underline another aspect of the use of missives for such material purposes as change and credit operations, and that is the rather immaterial factor that they presuppose: trust.

In a contract, the validity of the transaction was not depending on who, if anybody, had actually trusted.

While as in a missive, as we suggested, trust was a result or by-product of the communication process itself.

Both these two typologies of letters the letter of friendship and the letter of change , in conclusion, point to an important historical reality.

Epistolarity as a textual form as well as a mechanism of communication was a widely spread device for the generation and maintenance of trust in late medieval and early modern European societies.

Hale ed. Goitein, Letters of Medieval Jewish traders, Princeton In the study of medieval and contemporary history, the letter has also become one of the main sources of interest for the new disciplines that study the history of writing, literacy, gender and female socialization.

Socio-anthropological factors, as well as others of a more scientific and cultural nature, are the reasons why today it is worthwhile reflecting on this vast inheritance of books and manuscripts from the past when seeking answers to issues of both a theoretical and practical nature.

As has already been pointed out in the introduction to this Workshop, ours is an appropriate time to look into the changes that the traditional epistolary means of communication has undergone and introduced during periods of history that witnessed a profound cultural transformation brought about by technological and ideological factors, changes which also make us curious to investigate the social and literary meaning of letter writing.

Before moving on to the specifics of the issue I will deal with, I would like to draw your attention to two recent Italian books which, together with those mentioned in the prospectus to the Seminar and the Introduction, may be considered a good starting point for further study.

These few words describe the letter as a conversation, viz. Finally, there is the space which separates the friends who are conversing and the means used 1 Adriana Chemello ed.

Teorie e pratiche epistolari dai Greci al Novecento, Milan La scrittura epistolare femminile tra archivio e tipografia, Rome Per lettera, on the other hand, looks into uses and functions of letter writing with special attention focused on the specificity of the genre of female writing.

Roger Chartier ed. The book Per Lettera focuses its attention on the social practice of correspondence and the transformation it underwent during the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Events of undoubted economical and cultural importance, such as the discovery of America, and of an institutional nature, as was the centralization of State power and the move towards permanent diplomacy, favoured the organization of the Post, an extremely efficient system for the delivery of correspondence which was strengthened in the first half of the 16th Century in Europe under the German Empire.

Even though the Post never fully took the place of the brevi manu delivery system of letters, in particular those that had to be more carefully looked after for political or doctrinal reasons, the new distribution system for correspondence brought about an increase in letter writing, not to mention a perfection in compiling them, as witness the several Formulari and the increase in those whose job it was to write letters, such as the Secretaries, making editing and conservation of epistolary writings easier.

Among the first women to take up letter writing in Medieval times were nuns. They were literate first and foremost as readers, able, that is, to recognise the letters written in their breviary and other prayer books.

Often they were writers too, able to inscribe on parchment and 7 Cf. Karen Cherewatuk and Ulrike Wiethaus eds. Medieval Women and the Epistolary Genre, Philadelphia Generally speaking, they possessed a two-fold knowledge which, in the past had been described as knowledge of the alphabet, used above all to indicate the ability to read and write.

Many of the nuns studied and understood Latin too. In Florence, for example, the convent of the Murate was renowned for its scriptorium.

Writing was however a strictly regulated activity and all orders had rules prohibiting the nuns from writing letters. No monastic rule, however was eluded more than that which forbad the writing and receiving of letters.

Letters both spiritual and official, letters begging for alms and patronage, letters to the ecclesiastical authorities and family members, forbidden notes to family and friends came and went incessantly through convent doors even convents with a reputation for strict discipline.

There is even a pious convent of Poor Clares founded in Bologna in famed for the culture and holiness of its founder, that still keeps a handwritten formulary of letters in its archives which dates back to the 15th Century.

Salvatore Battaglia, vol. VIII, Turin , Suffice it for all to cite the example of the Dominican Corpus Domini order of Venice, reformed towards the end of the 14th Century by Giovanni Dominici, whose spiritual teaching conveyed by letter was studied recently by Daniel Bornstein.

It must be pointed out that convent archives contain letters sent to nuns rather than those sent by them; they often hold collections or copies of letters written by nuns only concerning events significant to the convent or linked to nuns of an especially holy reputation.

Letters of a spiritual content were often copied and circulated within the religious order. On the basis of well-documented examples and research conducted personally, I shall draw a broad outline for one type of monastic letter.

Preaching within monasteries was a task for the father confessor, members of the religious order or for preachers from outside who were invited to prepare cycles of sermons or 10 Giovanni Dominici, Lettere spirituali, ed.

Brown and Robert C. Davis eds. Some set the nuns down a path to greater spirituality and, after leaving the convent, continued their teaching by letter.

Like Giovanni Dominici, the Dominican we mentioned previously, Domenico Benivieni, a lay priest of the early 16th Century too, very close to Savonarola, continued to give instructions by letter to the Florentine nuns of the Murate as well as to the Benedictines of San Michele di Pescia.

The letters he wrote, copied along with those other religious personages sent to those same nuns, are conserved in a codex of the Riccardiana Library.

This is shown, as in the case already mentioned, by the letters being copied into a codex which then circulated among many convents, or the originals being conserved, bound in book form.

The oral and familiar aspects of teaching are much easier to convey in a letter than in a book; the absence of the friend and master is lightened by the material presence of what he himself wrote.

The Savonarolan Movement in Florence. Dipinti del secondo Cinquecento per un monastero femminile a Bologna. Catalogo della mostra, Bologna Not infrequently, letters were sent to sisters of other convents in order to promote or launch reformation processes.

This is the case, for example, of the Poor Clare Camilla Battista Varano da Camerino 13 The National Library of Turin houses an ancient collection of thirty letters commissioned by Margherita di Savoia in the early 15th Century.

La domenicana genovese Tommasina Fieschi e i suoi scritti ca. Patronage e reti di relazione nella storia delle donne, Turin , pp.

This same nun Camilla Battista was the author of an Istruzione al discepolo [Instruction for the disciple] in letter form, a clear reversal of role between master and disciple.

I, pp. In the Renaissance period and the early 16th Century, spiritual correspondence reflected a condition of relative openness on the part of convents to preaching by religious people from outside, as well as to spiritual instruction of lay people.

During the Counter-reformation, however, a more stringent control of seclusion and writing was enforced.

There were, however, instances in which writing was not forbidden but, on the contrary, made obligatory.

This happened with the visionary nuns, or those considered saintly who were asked not to speak of their charismas or inspirations but to write down what they deemed to have been divinely inspired and submit it to the examination of their confessor.

This spawned a wealth of female writing, conserved in the convents or the tribunals of the Holy Office. They have the colloquial form and external referee of the letter and the daily periodicity of the diary.

The letter can, however, only convey information on licit relationships. For information on the illicit, one must turn to trial 18 Many examples are to be seen in Adriano Prosperi, Tribunali della coscienza.

Maria Duranti ed. To better illustrate the multifarious networks of relationships that nuns kept with lay and ecclesiastical people, I shall take the example of the Murate convent of Florence, and on whose correspondence a pupil of mine is writing a thesis.

The convent was set up in the 14th Century by a small group of women who had themselves walled up in a cell on a bridge over the river Arno.

They subsequently founded a convent and took the Benedictine Order and seclusion. Renowned for its observance, the Institute came under the jus patronatus of the Medici family in the 15th Century who renovated and extended it.

Its fame and the patronage it enjoyed by the dominating family enabled the number of professed nuns to exceed two hundred, all from aristocratic families.

Recent studies by Francis Kent, Kate Lowe and Judith Brown show how some facets of convent community life20 can be shed light on by examining letters conserved in their archives.

These are many in number, some hundreds collected and classified from the last decade of the 15th Century to the 18th.

It is interesting to note that the spiritual letters to the sisters sent by Domenico Benivieni already mentioned are not conserved.

These reached us by the codex of the Riccardiana Library we already discussed. The confidentiality, however, is justified by the condition of patronage extended by the family.

Atti del Convegno internazionale, Torino , pp. Some were kept as relating to issues of dowries. The relationship with princes was indicative of a type of reciprocity which, within the Catholic Church, is the basis which justifies giving alms.

These relationships are not at all affected by distance: indeed a lively correspondence was kept up between and between the Murate and the Kings of Portugal, the latter also emerging later as among the most generous benefactors of the convent with a yearly inheritance from Queen Eleonora.

The letters of the Medici appear from Granduca Cosimo I onwards, a sign that there was a very close relationship between the nuns and the dominating family with no need for it to be documented in writing.

Suffice it to recall that Catherine, the future Queen of France, was sent to the Murate to be educated and, as Guicciardini testified, Pope Leo X, fearing incarceration by the French, in sent his triple crown to the Murate for safekeeping.

The convent was under the authority of the Bishop of Florence and received no orders or pastoral visits on the part of Benedictine abbots.

His attention was turned in particular to the implementation of the terms of the Council of Trent in the convent, and his wish that the community conserve the strictness and fame of sanctity for which the nuns had been hitherto renowned.

Relations between the convent and princes and cardinals and the nobility of Florence or elsewhere was also fed by small gifts for which the nuns worked assiduously.

Often, religious people took it upon themselves to deliver letters and unwritten messages too, as the letters we have mentioned of Eleonor of Aragon state openly.

The well-known preacher, Mariano da Firenze, who was often called to the Estense court was one of the most assiduous messengers of the Dukes of Ferrara.

The role of go-between to the Kings of Portugal was again played by religious pilgrims or agents of the convent itself. Giovanni Ansaldo , Genoa As so often happens, however, the archive of an institution is conceived with the idea of conveying collective recollections and reflecting the honour of the institution.

Translated by Donald A. From the time of the wedding until the death of her parents in the mids, communication between Elisabeth and her parents was largely limited to that which could be expressed in letters and in oral messages conveyed by messengers.

They only met three times in person during the fifteen years between and In this paper, I will argue that the provenance of the letters which Elisabeth sent to her mother, Anna of Saxony, deserves to be considered as a source in its own right.

In the last part of the paper, the findings of this brief investigation are related to more general discussions regarding the strength of social structures in an early modern reality.

This is done to assess the possibilities and limitations of employing provenance as a source in a study of dynastic figurations.

Before the letters from Elisabeth to Anna are introduced, a working definition of provenance should be established. The place of origin, derivation, or earliest known history, esp.

The material discussed here are letters, and the place of origin is generally stated in the dateline of the individual letters.

Hence, provenance here refers to the original order of this letter collection, i. The letters exchanged between Elisabeth and Anna are preserved in the vast correspondence that survives from Anna of Saxony.

Between six and eight thousand letters sent by her and c. The letters cover the period between and , but the large majority of letters were written between the mids and These contain an average of c.

XII, p. See also Kop. The parallel letter-books have identical titles and no systematic differences in their content can be detected.

Most of the later volumes are equipped with accurate alphabetical indexes penned by the same writers who drafted the letters for Anna.

The letters received by Anna are collected in 70 volumes of c. The majority of these are organised according to senders or to territories of senders.

In each volume the letters are bound in a rough chronological order. Ein Lebens- und Sittenbild aus dem sechzehnten Jahrhundert, Leipzig, The second volume is comprised of letters, and in addition to Elisabeth and Johann Casimir, Anna and August, thirteen other correspondents are represented.

This second volume does not appear to have been bound while Anna was alive: the last letter was received in Dresden on 14 September , only c.

Even so, the original order of the letters appears to have survived. The drafts for these letters are bound together with the received letters.

The titles of the two volumes of received letters also point to the common practice of binding the letters from a married couple together.

The concordance between the sequence in which Anna prepared the outgoing letters and the transmitted order of her received correspondence provide further evidence in support of it.

All four letters were 10 Johann Casimir to Anna, 26 Dec. Gemahl Frau Anna, gebohr. These three letters are bound together among the received letters.

The five letters are all dated 18 or 19 March and penned on consecutive pages folio in her letter-book. The reconstruction is based exclusively on the order in which the letters appear in the bound volumes, but can be confirmed by the content of several of the letters.

Anna refers to this letter in her reply in Kop. However, because of the intact provenance of the letters sent from Elisabeth, Johann Casimir and his parents to Anna, it is frequently possible to reconstruct at least the approximate date of a lost letter.

Roughly half of these were sent from Elisabeth to Anna. In comparison, drafts for c. It may seem unsound to employ the numbers of letters as an indication of social relations.

Not only is it clear that an unknown number of letters have been lost, but the quantities also do not reveal anything about the content of letters.

It is unlikely that Anna replied to her daughter and not to the other correspondents. Hence, Anna had sent letters to them between late-February and midMarch, but these are not preserved.

This gives reason to believe that development outlined below reflects more than the result of coincidental transmission of the material.

Year Number of letters Number of letters Number of letters Number of letters from Anna Elisabeth to from Elisabeth to from Anna Anna Johann Casimir to from Johann Casimir to Anna 7 6 4 5 9 17 5 14 7 5 4 6 10 12 7 9 7 10 2 2 8 19 2 7 16 20 1 1 14 16 0 1 12 11 3 9 10 16 0 1 10 13 0 0 9 12 0 1 8 5 0 0 7 10 0 0 12 10 2 2 6 8 0 0 Total 30 58 From the fifteen years investigated in this paper, letters exchanged between Anna and Elisabeth survive, but only 88 exchanged between Johann Casimir and Anna can be located.

Generally, more letters sent to Anna than sent by her have survived, possibly because not all of her letters were entered in the letter-books.

During the first years of the marriage, Elisabeth and Johann Casimir sent almost the same number of letters to Anna, and this suggests that the later 23 For only the letters written after 1 June i.

The communication between Anna and Elisabeth reached a quantitative peak between and between 23 and 36 letters survive from each of these years , and the lowest number is found in 12 letters.

Johann Casimir and Anna exchanged the highest number of letters in 19 letters , and with the exception of , they almost ceased to communicate from Most frequently these sets consist of letters from Johann Casimir and Elisabeth to August and Anna, hence, four letters sent together.

Only five of these bear a date on which Elisabeth did not write to her mother. From October until Christmas, Elisabeth was in Saxony, and when Johann Casimir sent a letter to her it seems that he also included one for Anna.

In these he repeatedly addressed when he wanted Elisabeth to be back in the Palatinate, see for examples Loc. Frequently, correspondences are conceptualised or even published as isolated exchanges between two people.

The provenance of the letters Elisabeth sent to Anna suggests that this imagination of easily definable exchanges between two individuals, which lie behind this practice, should be dismissed.

Even if each letter has only one sender and one addressee, several participants have to be granted access into the exchanges. In the description above, it has been demonstrated how the letters from a married couple were bound together, and the overview points to a direct interrelation between the contact which took place between Elisabeth and Johann Casimir, respectively, and Anna.

But the inclusion of participants into an exchange should be taken further than to spouse: among the c. Johann Casimir and Elisabeth to August, both 26 Jan.

The individuals who only are represented in the copies of these letters are not included in this count. See for example the letters from Amalie, Electress Palatine, Loc.

The letters sent by Anna von Hohenlohe and Margaretha von Schleinitz, the two noble widows who recurrently spent longer periods by Elisabeth can be found in Loc.

Heller et al. Until Elisabeth and Johann Casimir had sent most of their letters to Anna together, but at this point Johann Casimir and Anna almost stopped corresponding.

These are the changing patterns of the correspondence, from which I will depart in order to examine what the content of the letters reveal about the nature and possible causes of the changes.

One of the last instances in which Johann Casimir and Elisabeth sent letters to her parents together was at the beginning of February He expressed gratitude for the offer of their portraits, and he thanked August for his financial help to secure Elisabeth through the acquisition of the estate Friedelheim.

Finally, he wished them a happy new year. She then proceeded with an account of the answer Johann Casimir had given to her numerous requests for permission to visit her parents.

He had told her that a Diet soon would be proclaimed to take place in the vicinity of Saxony, and that she there would have a chance to see her parents.

Only if this did not happen or her parents could not attend the Diet, would she be allowed to visit them in Saxony.

His reluctance to grant her permission for the trip was explained by financial concerns. The content of the second letter stands in stark contrast to the first.

Here Elisabeth thanked her mother for an autograph letter and for the consolation Anna sought to provide her daughter because God had given her such a difficult cross to bear.

The next passage regards the money Johann Casimir had received from August. Elisabeth explained that she did not know about it nor about the conditions on which August had given the gift until the most recent letters from her parents had arrived.

The large sum was given on the condition that Johann Casimir deed the estate Friedelheim to Elisabeth. No answer had arrived yet, but she promised to disclose to her mother whatever else she found out about it.

She depicted his deep subjugation to his father, which transferred some of the blame to Friedrich III, but it also weakened Johann Casimir in relation to his parents-in-law.

And in keeping with the secrecy, Anna made no references to any of the information it contained in her replies. The information she so urgently needed to send to her mother regarded the christening of the child she was expecting.

This initiated a series of changes. On 2 September , she again penned two letters to Anna; a short letter, which Johann Casimir is likely to have read and approved, and a much longer and bleaker account of the obstacles she faced with regard to communications with her mother.

She explained that she usually had no problems securing messengers, but when Johann Casimir knew that she was preparing letters for her parents, no messenger would be made available.

The last letter from Anna to Amalie is dated 4 June The secret correspondence, which thus far had been sporadic, could now be carried out at regular intervals.

The provenance of her letters thus help to emphasise the interdependence between the various relationships between both groups and individuals within a dynastic figuration.

I consciously employ the terms figuration and interdependence and this requires a mention of the work of Norbert Elias. The same danger is present if provenance is overestimated as a source.

A consequent application of the approach advocated by Elias can even result in a disregard for notions of beginnings and ends, in part because his work regards long-term developments but also because of his insistence on change as a process.

The second point I wish to make regards the dichotomy of autonomy and dependency. Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations, Oxford, first German edition, , especially pp.

However, the tension, which Martin resolves through a distinction between conviction and appearance, bears resemblance to the questionable dichotomy of autonomy and dependency.

By the 16th century, people were reflecting on communication via letters, as the following example shows. For the present article, see in particular: Roger Chartier dir.

La scrittura epistolare femminile tra archivio e tipografia, Roma, Viella, I am grateful to Jeff Shapiro and Pernille Arenfeldt for careful proofreading.

But the episode reveals much more. Letters are here situated in the context of a noble culture, the importance of literacy is pointed out, as is the importance of the delivering and receiving of a letter which can fulfill its purpose only once it has been read by the person to whom it is addressed.

Indeed, Bernardino Pino himself suggests in his treatise a clear distinction between the letter that is being written and the one being received.

I will then proceed to interpret this, in my opinion, emblematic case, focusing mainly on one side of the communication that took place via letters: the reception, that is the act of receiving letters and the significance that was attached to this act.

Bernardino Pino da Cagli. Michele Peretti suo sposo e consorte [hereafter: Lettere diverse]. I developed this interest in a much broader context in my PhD thesis Sotto controllo.

Though well aware of the different typology of the examples I will report on I will deal with published and unpublished letters, written by writers from different social backgrounds , I intend to show their corresponding and contradictory elements in the following paper.

The main purpose of this paper is thus to demonstrate some of the difficulties associated with the interpretation of early modern letters and to challenge their clear-cut categorization as fictional or non-fictional texts.

How shall we contextualize this specific case in which we read texts written by a Roman noblewoman, describing her grief over the absence of the beloved, underlining with remarkable selfconfidence that she is suffering more than he is?

Scholars such as Ago, Casanova, Fosi, Visceglia and Borello have pointed out that the simple existence of a letter may be evidence of effective networking.

Michele Peretti, grandnephew of Sixtus V, had urged Francesco, his only son from his first marriage, to get married to ensure the perpetuation of the family.

When, shortly after the death of his first wife, he first went to meet his future daughter-in-law whom Francesco had chosen, Michele himself fell in love with Anna Maria.

Was there indeed an intense love affair behind the letters, almost untouched by strategic consideration of an alliance between two Roman noble families, or are we overly eager to accept the 19th century idea of romantic love re- presented by Litta?

The relationship that we read about in the letters is mainly confined to the writing and especially the reading of letters. One of the main themes is reflections on reading and writing.

And of course, a precondition for the production of love-letters is literacy, that is access to reading skills also for 7 Cf. Le politiche matrimoniali della famiglia Spada secc.

Rivista di storia delle donne, 21 3 , , pp. Lowe eds. At the beginning of the 17th century, published letter-writing guides so-called libri di lettere were widely distributed in Italy.

In his remarkable study of Le carte messaggiere 16th century letter-writering guides , Amedeo Quondam drew a distinction between other types of letter and the genre of the love letter, the lettera amorosa.

Reinhard M. Nickisch, Die Stilprinzipien in den deutschen Briefstellern des They were all reprinted several times despite censorship, as I will discuss later.

In one popular collection of published letters, the Roman noblewoman Celia withdraws to her room in order to read her letters in private.

It was however rather unusual that letters were read in solitude. In questa seconda Impressione rivedute, et accresciute.

The letters substitute the presence of the beloved. Petrarca, Canzoniere, a cura di P. Cudini, Milano Garzanti , p.

I giorni son longhissimi, et i tempi assai cattivi, et V. He concluded that to while I am reading them over and over.

Opereta amorosa, p. The days are terribly long, times are quite hard, and your lordship promised me to come soon, that helps me a bit, tomorrow is Thursday.

Above all he underlined that words needed the consent of the beloved, because she could be looked at without permission, but if she listened to his words or read them, she had to be in agreement.

Verdi , p. Then, since that sex is tender hearted and easily moved to pity, we shall strive to be as supplicating as possible.

We shall extol her merits and belittle our own, or at any rate mention them with great modesty. We shall demonstrate intense love joined to deep despair.

We shall try by turns moaning, flattery, and despair; at other times we shall make skilful use of selfpraise and promises; we shall employ precedents of famous and honourable women who showed favour to a pure, unfeigned love and to the devotion of youths far beneath them in social condition.

We shall attempt to show of humility we shall beg that if she can in no way deign to give her love in return, she will at least resign herself to being loved without prejudice to herself; we shall add that if this request is not granted, we are resolved to cut short a cruel life by whatever means 31 possible.

Flattery and gifts were also useful, great promises could be used as well, because every woman is ultimately seducible, as Boncompagno shows by refererence to the successful seductions of nuns.

In most pedagogical treatises and advice books on behaviour of the second half of the 16th century, we find allusions to the danger attributed to letters.

Literary and Educational Writings 3. Kelly Sowards, translated by Charles Fantazzi, Toronto , p. Nevertheless in Venice in Mambre had no reservations about having his wife read his correspondence.

Inquisitionis, b. The letters were too powerful against the weekness of a female heart, that is easily impressed.

De Bujanda , Quebec seg. ILI , vol. IX, p. ILI, IX, p. The prohibitions, therefore, functioned only partially.

Her familiarity with literary texts certainly influenced her writing, but she appropriated the words for her own use. Celia warned against the possible misuse of letters with the following words.

Tale confesso essere di me avenuto. In any case, the copying from letter books was widespread. Uffizio, b.

Lizzari, Cassandra Ruggiero mentions her case, without talking about the love letter. Guido Ruggiero, Binding Passions. ASV, S. The collection presented a series of ready-made sentences for all occasions arranged in alphabetical order.

Among the aphorisms, we are told how to express joy upon receiving a letter. By the beginning of 17th century, women and men move between standard expressions in their letters, a highly codified genre.

The writing of letters must always be seen in connection with the various ways in which the same letters might be read. Epistolary communication cannot be thought of without considering the moral framework in which the letters were written.

What must be reconstructed are the circumstances of receiving letters, the role of the inbetweens, the specific tactique De Certeau of appropriating texts, and the meaning the exchange of love letters could have.

The correspondents were quite conscious of their use of readymade phrases. It seems worthwhile to investigate in detail how the letter writers tried to overcome the dilemma of expressing themselves forced to use inevitable standard expressions.

Barthes recognizes behind this dilemma a semantic standard feature. Raccolti da lui per scrivere familiarmente, Roma Vincenzo Valgrisi Dolfi gives a convincing interpretation of this fragment in the introduction to A.

Atti di seminario. Trento, maggio , Roma , pp. Jahrhundert erhoben worden waren. Erst in den achtziger Jahren des Beatrix Bastl, Tugend, Liebe, Ehre.

Faksimiledruck nach den Ausgaben von und Vedi esempi per la traduzione ripiano Sostantivo 16 esempi coincidenti.

Vedi esempi per la traduzione cornice Sostantivo - Femminile 15 esempi coincidenti. Vedi esempi per la traduzione roccia Sostantivo - Femminile 14 esempi coincidenti.

Vedi esempi per la traduzione mensola Sostantivo - Femminile 13 esempi coincidenti. Vedi esempi per la traduzione precipizio Sostantivo - Maschile 11 esempi coincidenti.

Vedi esempi per la traduzione baratro Sostantivo - Maschile 7 esempi coincidenti. Vedi esempi per la traduzione Ledge 24 esempi coincidenti.

Vedi esempi che contengano proiezione 8 esempi coincidenti. There's a ledge about 30 metres up. He bounced on that ledge and fell there.

This ledge leads to your father's room. Il cornicione porta da vostro padre. Outside his window, on the ledge , four stories high.

Fuori dalla finestra, sul cornicione , al quarto piano. There's a ledge below us. C'e una cengia sotto di noi. From the ledge we continued past easy climbing for another 30 meters.

Dalla cengia abbiamo proseguito per arrampicata facile per altri 30 metri. I'll go out on a ledge here and say Put the phone on the ledge , no fast moves.

Metti il telefono sul cornicione , niente mosse affrettate. Sometimes you can talk a man off of a ledge. A volte puoi convincere un uomo a scendere da un cornicione.

No, there's no ledge. If we can reach that ledge. Se riusciamo a raggiungere quella sporgenza. And punishing the ones that put her on that ledge.

E punito quelli che l'hanno spinta su quel cornicione. He's kind of under the ledge of a bridge.

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