czwartek, 20 lipca 2017

Izery, Turkish War, and the Holy Roman Emperor

 [Ferdinand II Habsburg, the grandson of Ferdinand I, in a 3-Kreuzer coin, 1631]

In 1527, we read in the "Heimatbuch des Kreises Löwenberg in Schlesien" (1959), Bad Flinsberg (today Świeradów Zdrój), paid an equivalent of 142 Thalers in a contribution for a war against the Ottoman Empire. The village of Blumendorf (Kwieciszowice) paid almost three times as much: 386 Thaler. This is interesting since today Świeradów has some 4250 residents, and Kwieciszowice a mere 134, over 30 times less. 

The first "proper" Thaler had just been minted: the Joachimsthaler Gulden (1525), which was one ounce in weight (27.2 g):

Joachimsthal is today's Jáchymov in Bohemia. The Thaler was  minted with silver from recently discovered deposits:

During that time, Jáchymov attracted the interest of Georg Bauer, better known as Georgius Agricola, who based his pioneering and famous Re Metallica chiefly on metallurgical studies conducted there in the late 1520s.

The Thaler (which is of course the origin of the "dollar") will become the de facto monetary standard of the Holy Roman Empire:

[Thaler of Ferdinand I of Austria, 1560]

Raising the Turkenkriege tax in 1527 was Ferdinand I Habsburg, king of Bohemia and Hungary since the death of his brother, Louis II, in the Battle of Mohacs a year earlier.

A hundred years later, the Thaler will look  like this:

Or this:

Ferdinand (born 1503) as a young boy:

After raising funds for his military activities, Ferdinand  made some gains against Jan Zapolya in Hungary in 1528, but when the Ottoman ruler, Suleiman the Magnificent, went into action himself, the Spanish-born king saw the low point of his career when Vienna was besieged in 1529.

In 1531, Ferdinand will be elected as king of the Romans:

Świeradów had first been mentioned in history not much earlier, in 1524, and interestingly, as "Fegebeutel". Kwieciszowice has a much older pedigree, dating back to 1305, according to the "Heimatbuch", where it is stressed as a "Neugrundung", a village newly founded (= by German-speaking colonists). At that time, the area was still primarily Slavic.

 [Geographische Delin. des Zum Churfürstenthum Sachssen gehörigen Marg Graffthum Oberlausitz, by Adam Friedrich Kartenzeichner [the Cartographer], before 1742]

A few images from Kwieciszowice in the 2010s:

Szklarka (Kochel)

River Performance with Mask

Deep down in the Mała Kamienna (Klein Zacken, Pleśna) valley.

A jednak Wilcze Źródło

Wolfgang czy Wolfram to późniejsze dodatki. A źródło(słów!) widać wyraźnie.

 ["Heimatbuch des Kreises Lowenberg in Schlesien", nazwy łąk w poszczególnych wsiach]

 born = brunnen = źródło

środa, 23 listopada 2016

Hexagram 31. Hsien / Influence (Wooing)

 "A lake on the mountain:
 The image of influence.
 Thus the superior man encourages people to approach him
 By his readiness to receive them."

wtorek, 20 września 2016

Nocturnal Excursion Through Seven Circles to Watch Deer in Rut

The Foreboding: The Raven.

First Circle: Starting at Rozdroże (767 m) with D. at 10.15 pm. It's the full moon night but, unusually, Luna is mostly behind the clouds. It's warm, though, the last warm night of the summer.

Second Circle: Reaching White Flins Quartz Mine (1000 m) at six past eleven.


Third Circle: Rozdroże pod Cichą Równią (943 m), seven past midnight. Time thickens, we can hear four bucks roaring around us, each from a different direction.

Fourth Circle:  Sitting at the place where the hermit Mr. Zbyszek used to live in his shack - now gone, alas - by the bridge on Jagnięcy Potok (Lammwasser) near the entrance to the Iserwiese - we share memories of the man. The night's only rain comes and goes. D. starts performing as we stand on the bridge, and somehow - this bridge has been here ever since industry (quartz mining and gold washing) began in the Wysoka Kopa mountain range in the early Middle Ages - somehow I get the feeling - the certainty - that this is a deja vu, that time now loops, and that this is not the first time that two people stood on this bridge and talked about Matters.

Fifth Circle: We reach the Hala (Iserwiese) at a quarter past two, bunk down under the firs on the edge of the forest, and doze off (kind of) for a few hours, listening to an unending symphony of deer buck roaring, coming from all directions. The one from the Czech side has the mightiest roar, but he has many fine rivals. We also hear modulated roars as well as repeated barks.
There are literally dozens of 'em here! Reality, dream and myth all merge, the symphony continues, we lose the sense of time, it's a night like no other.

Sixth Circle: twenty to five, Dawn breaks.

Seventh Circle: The first Stag shows himself, roars and goes. I fail to capture him. But then the second one arrives and this one poses. It's the climax of the Expedition, the moment we came here for. We look at each other: we've been let in, we've been allowed, we've been hallowed. We are Here, we are Now.

Twenty past nine, we're back at the Flins.