New word: Landfrýd

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New word: Landfrýd

Postby bigdummy » 24 Sep 2011 19:24

Politics in Central Europe is so much more complex than I ever realized.

These were apparently corporations or confederations governed by a mixed assembly including representatives from the strongest towns, Feudal / Seigneurial rulers (both higher aristocrats and Gentry), Clerical (Churches and Abbeys), and peasant associations. They were usually created for political / military purposes and to establish and enforce the "peace of the roads". Moravia was evidently governed by a Landfrýd (landfrýdy in Czech, also landfrieden or landfried in German) which met in (the apparently impregnable) town of Brno or in the town of Olomouc, alternating between the two for at least 3 centuries.

There was another one in Bohemia centered in Pilsen, which represented the Catholic side of the Hussite / Catholic divide in that region. Evidently through most of the 15th Century when Bohemia had absentee and / or weak Kings the entire Kingdom was governed by landfrýdy. Here is a Czech language article on the Bohemian landfrýdy of Pilsen (via google translate).

Another example are the Baltic Noble Corporations in Livonia who shared power there with the Teutonic Order and with the Free Hanseatic Cities of Reval, Riga, and Dorpat .

The "Peasant Associations" were called Landsgemeinde in German speaking parts of Central Europe and Veche in parts of Russia and some of the other Slavic regions. Only certain districts had them, but some were very strong. The strongest in Northern Europe was in the region of the Dithmarshen in Saxony, as well as some districts around Bremen apparently, because both the city of Bremen and various regional nobles had to negotiate with them several times.

I believe there were the equivalent type of estates in Scandinavia, particularly Sweden, but I haven't had time to get into that yet.

The big Free Cities acted more or less like city states, joined together in loose associations like the Hanse, but smaller towns also had their little leagues in the area, called Städtebund. Notable examples in Central Europe include the Lusatian League in Lusatia, the Decapole or Zehnstädtebund in Alsace, and the Pentapolitana in Hungary.

BD
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby bigdummy » 24 Sep 2011 21:04

To underscore the political complexity of Central Europe, check out this rather amazing political map of The Holy Roman Empire from 1789!!

Zones in red are Imperial Free Cities (Reichsstadt) (note this is well after the French had annexed most of the big Free cities in the Rhine region like Strasbourg). The zones in kind of a Mustard color are the areas controlled by the Hapsburgs. You can zoom on the map by clicking on it.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... 789_EN.png

This is another map which shows the territories controlled by Free Cities in 1648 (after the Treaty of Westphalia which created the modern State)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... cities.png

BD
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby bigdummy » 25 Sep 2011 16:42

Czech wiki on Landfryd

German Wiki

Google translation reprinted with some of the key words (Landfriede, Reichslandfriede) "untranslated":

A Landfrieden (or Landfriede, lat Constitutio Pacis, pax pax instituta also Jurata) was in the medieval legal, contractual waiver of the power holders on the use of certain landscapes (actually legitimate) violence to enforce their own legal claims. This was particularly the right of the leadership feud .
Contents

Landfrieden formed the political basis for the realization of the right without the private use of force. They often also regulated the jurisdiction and enable the resolution of disputes through aligned to general rules decisions. Hazards or violations of public peace have been with a grievous punishment threatened. This allowed objects or buildings such as churches, houses, mills, farm equipment, bridges, and especially the imperial roads and people (priests, pilgrims, merchants, women and farmers, hunters and fishermen in the exercise of their profession) are placed under protection. The peace created a kind of martial law and special courts, justices of the peace the country.

Development

The peace and truth of God movement sought since the 11th Century, the continuation of God's peace . Was created the first National Rural peace of Henry IV as a so-called First Empire Mainz Reichslandfriede in 1103, after he had already in 1085 the peace of the Church of God in Mainz had proclaimed. Announced in 1152 Frederick I (Barbarossa), the Great Empire of the peace, which was extended to the whole kingdom. These were an act of constitution and set up a temporary coalition government dar. The two most important realm of the peace (1235 and 1495) were already law-like edicts and had fewer alliance character. The Reichslandfrieden in 1235, announced Frederick II ( Mainz Public Peace ). For the first time was a Reichslandfrieden bilingual country, so in both Latin and German languages. It was a Constitutional Act, the validity of the whole empire was. Their completion of the Reichslandfrieden was found in the eternal peace of 1495, with the Holy Roman Empire was constituted a permanent peace country.

Modern forms

To date, trespass is a criminal offense in Germany ( § 125 StGB ), Austria ( § 274 StGB ) and Switzerland ( Art. 260 CH-CC ). The preservation of the peace - the prohibition of right thumb and vigilantism - is in the form of the state's monopoly on the basis of every modern legal system .
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby Monzambano » 26 Sep 2011 16:44

Hi, bigdummy,

Jack forwarded to me your posts on the Landfrieden and Landsgemeinde - I'm in Switzerland where we still have Landsgemeinde (in my neighbouring canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden). I studied law, and the whole pax and treuga efforts were central to the history of law course. A few years ago, I started looking at the issues again to be able to explain Swiss history to the kids, and realised some fascinating aspects of Swiss history.

Anyway, not much here, but if you're interested, I'm happy to be in touch. I started writing a history of Switzerland for the kids (in English) which currently ends with the Italian Wars, so well within the period you're interested in. If that would be of interest to you, I'm happy to send that.

Best regards,

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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby bigdummy » 26 Sep 2011 19:08

Jürg,

Thanks, I'd be fascinated to read your history. Please email me at bigdummy504 at yahoo.com. I am working on a history of the Baltic myself but I am very interested in other parts of Central Europe as well.

I am somewhat familiar with the story of your country, having been drawn to the Eidgenossenschaft from my early days of studying military history, but I probably have a very limited understanding based on what I've been able to find online and in books written in English. History of Central Europe is somewhat hidden in the United States, where English and French history come to represent all of Europe basically.

I've been fascinated to learn increasingly how representative the political structures of Switzerland were of systems actually very common throughout many different parts of Central Europe, from Italy to Poland, from Hungary to Norway. The unique or remarkable thing about the Swiss Confederation was that was able to grow into a large contiguous region which lasted so long and managed to band together the town and rural power centers in a democratic (if not necessarily idyllic or utopian) manner. I think it's good for many people to know about this because it is probably a key lesson for the rest of the world to look at and an important part of our heritage as humans, which few people outside of places like your country really understand anything about.

Anyway enough speachifying, yes please do send me your histry, and very nice to make your acquaintance!

Sincerely,

Jean
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby Thearos » 26 Sep 2011 19:19

Great stuff-- especially how the Swiss developed and maintained institutions-- but how the basic setup was not unique, across Central Europe. England and France do look rather different. Flanders not so much.

Monarchy, feudalism, and civic institutions and the church-- what a mixture.

Maybe it would be better if the EU were not made up of these big nations, but much smaller units like city-states or regional federations. Maybe that's what the Germans have in store for us.
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby bigdummy » 26 Sep 2011 20:41

I think the Germans are much better off as a looser affiliation of different regional groups, if they could be maybe a bit more like the Swiss in how they link them together it would be even better. Some people there do see it that way and you see revived interest in some of the old Hanseatic towns in their Pre-State heritage for example and I see articles in German magazines online re-assessing the old Holy Roman Empire in a more positive light. Italy is another place which seems to go 'off' a bit when it is highly centralized, but they were somewhat problematic the old way as well because they couldn't get along. The Italian city-states were always at war with one another.

The trick is to create the regional and local autonomy while preventing different regional / ethnic / economic groups from fighting one another.

Countries in the West have a long history as strong centralized Monarchies and proto-States, but obviously in Central Europe where we get many useful things from the printing press to the inventions of Da Vinci and so on, it seems they are better off with a looser form of regional organization.

But somehow today Europe has to compete with China, Brazil, India. The USA. Which makes the ideas of decentralization in a modern context more challenging still.

BD
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby Thearos » 26 Sep 2011 21:43

Yes, I'm a great believer in the city-state as a place of creativity, connectivity and agency-- but China as a model of a successful empire (which does not place liberty very high on the scale of things that matter) gives pause.

I hope you can download this: v. stimulating, controversial, piece on how small networked polities perform better than behemoths, using the ancient Greek example

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/transactio ... .ober.html
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby bigdummy » 27 Sep 2011 04:01

I'd be willing to bet that the original Bronze Age Agean civilization (Minoans or whatever you want to call them) was basically set up something like the Swiss Confederation or the Hanse... but by the time you get to the glory days of Greece they seem to have lost the ability to get along with each other.

There is sort of a false dichotomy between Empire and Tyranny on the one hand, and chaos and warfare on the other. This is for example how the Chinese see the world: there is the warring States period, and then "progress" in the form of an Emperor to make everyone play nice... with the downside that you have an Emperor who tends to kill people on a massive scale and stifle the culture and so on.

But there is a third way that we can see a hint of today with the Swiss. I think it has always been an important aspect of European culture, clearly it was going back to the early Iron Age.

BD
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby Thearos » 27 Sep 2011 09:01

The Greek system of cities did get along, it had various institutions that allowed them to do this, even though the big cities did undergo a period of thinking imperialism was the way forward (say 470s-350, the age of high classical political history). Federalism, or "kinship diplomacy", all this is there from the start (say the sixth century BC), and basically goes very strong into the Roman period.

Good points about China...

In the meantime,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... NTCMP=SRCH
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby bigdummy » 27 Sep 2011 15:19

Thearos wrote:The Greek system of cities did get along, it had various institutions that allowed them to do this, even though the big cities did undergo a period of thinking imperialism was the way forward (say 470s-350, the age of high classical political history). Federalism, or "kinship diplomacy", all this is there from the start (say the sixth century BC), and basically goes very strong into the Roman period.


I wasn't aware of that, I will defer to your apparently greater knowledge. I remember reading a tantalizing reference to the Republic of Rhodes and the great siege there which led to the recover of a bronze clad siege-tower from which they allegedly made the colossus. But I could never find out much about this republic or the political / economic context of their time (post Alexander) before they were swallowed up by the Roman Republic.

Good points about China...

In the meantime,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... NTCMP=SRCH


Excellent article, I've put that book in my Amazon queue for reading. Reminds me a great deal of the political arguments of the great Swiss historian Jacob Burkhardt, who is still considered one of the greatest ever authorities on the Italian Renaissance and also to some extent on the Classical era. Though himself conservative, assessed the rising States of his time both the right wing (i.e. Prussia) and left wing (quasi-Napoleonic republics) of his time as both corrupt and warlike. He correctly predicted both WW I and WW II almost down to the year (I think he estimated 1916 and 1933, respectively) and argued that it mattered less what form of system or authority a given region had, than what it's size was (i.e. bigger is worse).

He also advocated the idea of moderation in all things, especially politics... something the ancient Greeks did understand at least some of the time.

The problem we face of course is that small political entities must face large vast nation States militarily and economically. But the answer to that is arguably federation. Contrary to popular cliches, Democracy and 'rule by committee' actually seem to be inordinately militarily effective as both the Swiss and the Bohemians demonstrated repeatedly, as well as many lesser known regions in Europe from the city states to some regions like the Dithmarschen.

But could that be translated to todays reality of nuclear weapons, satelites, predator drones and so on? It's a daunting prospect.

BD
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby Lyceum » 27 Sep 2011 16:13

Thearos wrote:The Greek system of cities did get along, it had various institutions that allowed them to do this, even though the big cities did undergo a period of thinking imperialism was the way forward (say 470s-350, the age of high classical political history). Federalism, or "kinship diplomacy", all this is there from the start (say the sixth century BC), and basically goes very strong into the Roman period.

Good points about China...

In the meantime,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... NTCMP=SRCH


Sorry to massively interrupt here, but what do you think of Vlassopoulos' "Unthinking the Greek Polis"?
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby Thearos » 27 Sep 2011 19:41

@BD-- we talked a little about Rhodes earlier. The siege, as you know, is well described in Diodorus Siculus; there is a lovely description of Rhodes by Strabo, it must be book 13 or 14. On Rhodes proper, an old book by van Gelder; recently books by Vincent Gabrielsen. A not so good book by R. M Berthold. Good book by H. U. Wiemer (in German), on the links between war, trade and the state in Hellenistic Rhodes; anything by Alain Bresson-- who notably shows how the Rhodians spread into the vacuum after 322. And LOTS of inscription, and even some good archaeology (on the city of Rhodes for instance). Also very good; Polybios on the war Rhodes waged on Byzantion to keep them from levying tolls on trade through the Bosphorus. I'd check livius.org.

Quick sketch: 408 the three cities on Rhodes become one state and found a new urban centre. A pretty unremarkable C4th. Kick out Macedonian garrison, and turn into important power. Economically very active: wine trade and position on trade between B. Sea and Egypt, and Asia Minor (and Aegean) and N. Syria. Military very good at pirate killing (with special light and fast ships). Politically v. successful, notably taking over good chunk of SW Turkey. Falls foul of Asia Minor in 172-167, and loses out when Delos turned into free harbour. The economy takes a hit but basically declines a lot in the decades 120-100 BC. Revival in the early C1st BC; Rhodes helps fight off Mithradates. Still has fleet in C1st, but no longer major player.


The city state keeps going strong under the Roman empire-- it's one of the secrets of Roman stability. G. Rogers, The Sacred Identity of Ephesos; anything by F. Millar. And the splendid Decline and Fall of the Roman City, by W. Liebeschutz.

Warfare and resistance: in a way, that's not the concern here, I'd argue-- because of assymetrical warfare, and because the Big State's way of war is so expensive that it needs revenue-- to be drawn from where ?
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby Thearos » 27 Sep 2011 19:42

@Lyceum

Vlassopoulos v. energetic and provocative-- and good. Historiographically important. But is the case really made that the polis is only about reflection of our desires and fears ?
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby bigdummy » 27 Sep 2011 23:58

This seems pretty similar to some of the Northern /Central European systems:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_Parliament

BD
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby Thearos » 28 Sep 2011 00:38

Correct what I wrote earlier: "falls foul of Rome", of course.

the French scholar (now in Chicago) Alain Bresson shows that the Rhodian fleet was involved in pretty heavy duty anti-pirate operations ca. 310 already-- going in loaded for bear, to speak, with very large warships, fighting at Antikythera / Cerigotto, and getting involved in western (i.e. towards Italy) sea routes. In retaliation, a lot of pirates participated in the big siege of Rhodes.

I remember a deposit of 9000 catapult balls has been found in Rhodes, in a pyramid, in a shrine-- almost certainly a dedication / monument after the successful defence against Demetrios.
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby bigdummy » 28 Sep 2011 01:32

Yes, I've read detailed accounts of that siege, and some of the other military exploits of the Republic, but I'm particularly interested in their political and economic history. Thanks for providing all those links, I'll pour through them later and see if I can track some of those down.

BD
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby Lyceum » 28 Sep 2011 15:52

Thearos wrote:@Lyceum

Vlassopoulos v. energetic and provocative-- and good. Historiographically important. But is the case really made that the polis is only about reflection of our desires and fears ?


Well I don't know if I could take it quite so far as to that but as you've said its a damn good book and in a way this thread is proof as to how we build up the poleis in our mind: For BD a natural jump from the federal systems of the HRE was the Ancient Greek world and certainly in the context of scholars coming out of post Imperial Germany, pre unified Italy you can see why the temptation to make these connections loomed so huge.

I really think our eurocentric view points have really f*cked things up when it comes to the Greeks....Vlassopoulos' book was a step in the right direction but it could have been done better and in general the community is not aware enough. Contextualisation of ancient Greek culture is the key I think. I think it's really, really, really, worrying that so many people in the mainstream of the subject don't seem to be aware of the work of people like Burkert and West. Meh.
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby bigdummy » 28 Sep 2011 16:18

Lyceum wrote:
Thearos wrote:@Lyceum

Vlassopoulos v. energetic and provocative-- and good. Historiographically important. But is the case really made that the polis is only about reflection of our desires and fears ?


Well I don't know if I could take it quite so far as to that but as you've said its a damn good book and in a way this thread is proof as to how we build up the poleis in our mind: For BD a natural jump from the federal systems of the HRE was the Ancient Greek world and certainly in the context of scholars coming out of post Imperial Germany, pre unified Italy you can see why the temptation to make these connections loomed so huge.


So I'm making a mistake? Care to elaborate a little? Maybe you are making an assumption about my assumptions. I don't stop at the borders of Europe.

BD
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Re: New word: Landfrýd

Postby Lyceum » 28 Sep 2011 17:26

bigdummy wrote:
Lyceum wrote:
Thearos wrote:@Lyceum

Vlassopoulos v. energetic and provocative-- and good. Historiographically important. But is the case really made that the polis is only about reflection of our desires and fears ?


Well I don't know if I could take it quite so far as to that but as you've said its a damn good book and in a way this thread is proof as to how we build up the poleis in our mind: For BD a natural jump from the federal systems of the HRE was the Ancient Greek world and certainly in the context of scholars coming out of post Imperial Germany, pre unified Italy you can see why the temptation to make these connections loomed so huge.


So I'm making a mistake? Care to elaborate a little? Maybe you are making an assumption about my assumptions. I don't stop at the borders of Europe.

BD


No, you're not making a mistake. Well not exactly. What I'm saying is that the concept of the "polis" is a natural construct for you and I to use due to the way later European history turned out. I'm saying that that background was born in mind when many early theorists came up with the poleis.

I'm saying that perhaps, to a degree, many Classicists were projecting these elements of their own history/culture backwards onto the ancient Greeks when theorising. After all there were more than a fair few clues leading that way.

But how useful is the polis model really? Athens has always seemed more theocratic to me, Sparta...well wtf was going on with Sparta? one must include their religious oddities, the helots, the perioikoi and so on forth in any assessment and huge swathes of the Greek world doesn't seem particularly suitable to the polis model, like the Thessalians. Were the Makedones Greek? (I think not really, another debate) well if you consider them to be, they're another group who don't really fit into the polis model.

I just, I don't know. I fully understand I'm not coming across as very clear, I'm just basically trying to say that it isn't as clear cut as we theorise and that I really think the background of various European scholars is what caused the polis model to stick so fast and in such a manner.
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