The article explores discourses and ideas related to the human body as expressed in Latin literature of the Higher Middle Ages, with a special attention payed to an anonymous poem in hundred elegiac distichs, probably composed shortly after 1200: De ventre. The poem is compared to other examples of the specific genre of poetic altercatio, as well as to discussions of the functioning of organism, from the School of Chartres to the "Retorica corporis humani" by Nicolas de Sanctis in 1260. The article is supplied by a complete poetic translation of the De ventre into Russian.
The article examines the unexpected effects of the May 5th 1779 Manifesto on the formation of deception practices among Russian peasants residing near the Swedish and Polish-Lithuanian borders. In the Manifesto, Catherine the Great invited fugitives to return to Russia, offering them an opportunity to change their social status and become state peasants, townsmen, or merchants, as well as to receive a six-year tax waiver. To achieve this, they needed to obtain returnee passes at border outposts, specifying their future status and residence. However, this decree proved appealing not only to the official returnees from abroad, but also to the peasants inside the country who sought to exploit it. The article proceeds to explore individual instances of deception and one peasant uprising in 1780 in Novgorod and Tver gubernias. Through bribery, forgery, and lying, several peasants managed to unlawfully register in towns along the western border and near the Volga. In turn, thousands of rebels illegally obtained authentic returnee passes through the mediation of a certain Lieutenant Palander, serving at a Russian outpost near the Swedish border, and claimed to have freedom from their landlords. The analysis of several specific cases lies at the heart of this article, which seeks to demonstrate the importance of the interplay between various informal practices and the understanding of legality by rural inhabitants.
The article represents a short comment to the S.A. Zinchenko’s research about the genesis of an ichtyomorphic syren’s image in the Hellenistic art. Our comment refers to the medieval images of syrens and christian text sources, that affected the build of syren-fish image in West European Middle Ages, and to this image’s possible connection to the antique protographs
This article focuses on the one fragment of "Chronicon mundi" ("Universal cronicle") of Lucas, bishop of Tuy (died in 1249). According to this text, Isidore of Seville had written some treatises, concerning to medicine and natural science, but had not published it. After his death his successor Teodist had translated uknown isidorian works from Latin to Arabian with the aid of one Arab Avicenna, and then they had published redacted and translated texts under Avicenna's name. So Lucas de Tuy argues the insignificance of Arabian and Muslim culture and philisophy. "Chronicon mundi" was written in Leon during the period of Reconquista, it can explain anti-muslim discourse of author. On the other hand the city of Leon became in this time a center of isidorian cult, because the relics of thi saint had been translated from Seville and burried in Leon. Lucas was one of creators of this cult and he glorifies Isidore in his works. It is not strangely that Lucas creates an ideal image of Isidore. Finally this story is significant in the context of rivalry of Leon and Toledo -- two biggest cultural and spiritual centres of medieval Spain. Then Lucas story was reproduced in "Estoria de Espanna" of Alfonso X.
Within this article the author analyses one episode from so-called “*Historia dialogada hasta 1288”, the anonymous Castilian chronic edited near the end of 13th or the first years of the 14th century. During the siege of an Andalusian town Niebla the troops of Alphonse X the Wise were attacked by a horde of the flies, that provoked the illness and rising mortality in the king’s camp. Two friars of St. Francis helped to the king, advising him to pay a certain quality of money for each jarful of the flies. Analysing this subject, the author makes three principal conclusions. First of all, he corrects the real dating of the text, placing it in the times of Fernando IV. Then, he affirms that the apparition in the chronic of the Franciscan friars was conditioned by the strong positions, which the Order of the poor friars had during the reigns of Sancho IV and Fernando IV. Finally, he assumes that this episode was included in the “*Historia dialogada” with the objective to represent the king as a good feudal seigneur, who takes into considerations the recommendations of his vassals, including the lesser ones. As an appendix to the article, we publish a transcription of the discussed episode of the chronic maid from the manuscript of Sevilla University library, and the translation of this text into Russian.