Transylvanian Review nr. 4/2010

  • Paradigms
  • Anton Adamut , Un paziente ateniese: Socrate!, p.3
  • Abstract
  • An Athenian Patient: Socrates! - What was the problem of Socrates the patient? Socrates was plebeian, ugly (he was too ugly to be Greek!), he degraded the Greek spirit in favor of dialectics, i.e. the plebs gains preeminence and compromises the nobility. In other words, dialectics is adopted only when there is no other method. But dialectics can only be self defense in the hands of those who have no other weapons. And then, why the fascination with Socrates the patient? This is Socrates’ problem. Clearly, Socrates had guessed something. What had he guessed? Two things: a new kind of agôn and the tyranny of instinct (the anarchic instinct), the monster within the soul. He saw what was behind his Athenian nobles, he understood that the idiosyncrasy of his case was no longer an exception. The same kind of degeneration was spreading imperceptibly everywhere: the old Athens was on the verge of collapse, and Socrates understood that everyone needed him, his remedy, his treatment, his personal skill in self-preservation.
  • Keywords: Socrates, Socratism, Plato, Platonism, reason, instinct, philosophy
  •  Florin Ardelean, The Influence of Florentine Neoplatonism on Early Modern Transylvanian Culture, p.21
  • Abstract
  • The Influence of Florentine Neoplatonism on Early Modern Transylvanian Culture - Neoplatonism had a certain influence on the intellectual elites from sixteenth and seventeenth century Transylvania, but some of its elements also spread throughout popular culture. In this part of Europe, the reception of Neoplatonic works and ideas had to face many obstacles, but, as we are about to see, it also had some unexpected successes. The king showed great interest in Italian culture and favored above all the scholars from Florence. He had direct contact with Marsilio Ficino and his group, and Ficino personally addressed a letter to the Hungarian king. Neoplatonic ideas were present in the culture of both highly educated and non-intellectual categories of Transylvanian society. These ideas brought a renewed perspective upon some of the fundamental problems of early modern European civilization, such as virtue, knowledge, and the immortality of the soul.
  • Keywords: Marsilio Ficino, Matthias Corvinus, János (John) Kemény, Miklós (Nicholas) Bethlen, Neoplatonism
  • Mihaela Gligor, The Myth of the Master Builder: Mircea Eliade on the Legend of Master Manole, p.33
  • Abstract
  • The Myth of the Master Builder: Mircea Eliade on the Legend of Master Manole - The Legend of Master Manole, considered “a central myth in the spirituality of the Romanian people” (Mircea Eliade), is an aesthetic myth, indicating our understanding of creation. If Mioriţa represents a purely Romanian creation, without any correspondence in other nations, The Legend of Master Manole is also present with the other Balkan nations. In interpreting this legend, we have to begin by placing it within “the myths of the construction sacrifice,” based on authentic rituals which presuppose a human sacrifice as the foundation for a new construction. The legends and rituals connected to the cosmogonic myth recall the primordial act of creation that gave birth to the world. Regarding these creation myths, Eliade indicated that there are many myths, as well as documented instances, of a person being walled up into a structure to ensure its completion. Although he found different versions of the legend all over Europe, Eliade considered the Romanian version superior to all, in its artistic and “metaphysical” expression. Besides, the Romanian version of the legend has kept (or rediscovered) a detail rich in meanings: the Icarus flight of Master Manole, tragically ended on the threshold of the monastery, built at the price of his wife’s life.
  • Keywords: mythical stories, Mircea Eliade, spirituality, sacrifice, death
  •  Marta Petreu, On the Diseases of Cioran, p.44
  • Abstract
  • On the Diseases of Cioran - Throughout his entire life, E. M. Cioran experienced physical discomfort and failed to develop a satisfactory relationship with his own body and with his own existence. Present since the early years of his life, disease first stimulated Cioran to start writing and then became a true profession. Actually, his main occupation. The present study presents a few episodes in the career Cioran made of disease and also a few aspects concerning the complementary vocation, that of physician, a physician who treated himself and who provided medical assistance to others, to the best of his abilities.
  • Keywords: disease, medicine, herbal teas, suicide, death
  • Alexandru Bogus, The Constitution of Meaning in the Writings of Martin Heidegger between 1919 and 1927, p.61
  • Abstract
  • The Constitution of Meaning in the Writings of Martin Heidegger between 1919 and 1927 - In this paper I shall discuss the way in which meaning (Sinn) is constituted, starting off with the concept of significance (Bedeutsamkeit) as it is found in the writings of Martin Heidegger between 1919 and 1927. For a thorough understanding of meaning and significance, our analysis must turn to the existentials of the there, namely Attunement, Understanding and Discourse. This will lead us to conceiving meaning not as an epistemological entity, but rather as an ontological structure articulated by way of Dasein’s factical existence. Considering the fact that meaning is the articulation of the disclosure of Being-in-the-world, I will argue that there is a structural difference between meaning and the significations of language: since the latter are conceived as being determined and differentiated and the former is considered undetermined and undifferentiated, we must consider meaning as the “condition of possibility” of any signification. However, the way in which Heidegger conceives possibility (as thrown possibility) renders inappropriate any attempt to interpret his approach as a transcendentalist one.
  • Keywords: meaning, significance, understanding, attunement, disclosure, facticity
  • Profile
  • Marius Hriscu, Une perspective critique sur l’activité diplomatique de Nicolae Titulescu (1932-1936), p.72
  • Abstract
  • A Critical Approach to the Diplomatic Activity of Nicolae Titulescu (1932–1936) - The present article seeks to approach from a critical perspective the diplomatic activity carried out by Nicolae Titulescu between 1932 and 1936, a period seen as the culminating point of his career, with a special focus on Soviet-Romanian relations. Titulescu made the mistake of believing that the USSR would abide by international law and even saw in this state a guarantor of Romania’s independence and integrity. Equally fallacious was his belief that if the mutual assistance treaty between Romania and the USSR had been signed in 1936, the world war could have been prevented. Still, his errors cannot overshadow the undeniable merits of his diplomatic activity, carried out in keeping with the motto “from national, through regional, to universal.”
  • Keywords: diplomacy, Eastern Pact, Soviet-Romanian relations
  • Antonio Faur, Les démarches de Nicolae Titulescu contre le projet du Pacte a Quatre-Puissances (1933), p.82
  • Abstract
  • Nicolae Titulescu’s Actions against the Four-Power Pact (1933) - Informed by French diplomats about the planned pact between the four powers (France, Germany, Britain, and Italy), initiated by Benito Mussolini in the spring of 1933, the Romanian minister of foreign affairs, Nicolae Titulescu, traveled to France and Britain and met with a number of prominent politicians, trying to obtain the elimination from the text of this draft of certain unacceptable provisions. Two of them really threatened the stability of the continent and came in contradiction with the principles underlying the League of Nations. The first had to do with the fact that the aforementioned countries could set up a European Directorate, in which Nicolae Titulescu saw an “attempt at instituting an international dictatorship.” The second incriminated article concerned a possible “revision” of the Paris peace treaties of 1919–1920. This meant that revisionist countries like Germany, Italy, and Hungary were allowed to initiate such actions, which would have unavoidably led to military conflict. Nicolae Titulescu, acting also as a representative of the Little Entente, successfully tried to obtain the elimination from the draft of the Four-Power Pact of these claims advanced by Mussolini. In the final version of the pact, these unjustified claims—likely to have started the war six years earlier than it actually did—were no longer included.
  • Keywords: Four-Power Pact, Nicolae Titulescu, Benito Mussolini, Little Entente, revisionism
  •  Transsilvanica
  •  Serban Turcus, Les anthroponymes vétérotestamentaires en Transylvanie aux XIIIe et XIVe siecles, p.89
  • Abstract
  • Old Testament Names in 13th and 14th Century Transylvania - The available historical sources indicate the presence in 12th–14th century Transylvania of 2,750 people bearing Old Testament names. The most common names in this respect were Michael (42.58%), Jacob (24.83%) and Simon (10.72%). In the entire Transylvanian medieval corpus of texts, the Oradea Register (Regestrum Varadinense, first half of the 13th century) includes the largest number and the greatest diversity of Old Testament names, conveying the image of a multiethnic and multi-confessional society. After the onomastic revolution of the 13th century, the number of Old Testament names decreased in the area under the liturgical-spiritual domination of the Roman Church (where they were confined to the clerical and monastic environment), giving way to New Testament or to saints’ names.
  • Keywords: medieval names, Christian names, anthroponymy, medieval Transylvania
  •  Adinel Dinca, Les noms des Roumains en Hongrie a l’époque de Louis d’Anjou (1342-1382): Différents points de vue, p. 104
  • Abstract
  • Considerations Regarding Romanian Names in Hungary during the Reign of Louis of Anjou (1342–1382) - Within the comprehensive project devoted to Transylvanian names under the Arpadian and Angevin dynasties, the analysis of the name pool used by the Romanian population is a distinct endeavor, both important and difficult. The aim of the present study is to provide a complete and complex analysis of the names used by Romanians in Transylvania, Banat, Partium and Maramureş, as part of a more comprehensive approach soon to be finalized and published. Precise quantitative data regarding the names used by the Romanian population that, during the Middle Ages, lived under the authority of the Hungarian Crown are available only starting with the 14th century, especially with its second half. The desire of the authoritarian King Louis I (1342–1382) to change the judicial and denominational status of the Romanian elite favored—at a time when written documents were playing an increasingly significant part—the more significant presence of the native population of Transylvania, Banat, Partium and Maramureş in chancellery documents.
  • Keywords: anthroponymy, medieval names, Transylvania
  •  Tangencies
  •  Cristian Luca, Greek-Levantine Merchants in the Black Sea Harbors in the Early Eighteenth Century: New Sources, p.112
  • Abstract
  • Greek-Levantine Merchants in the Black Sea Harbors in the Early Eighteenth Century: New Sources - The author succinctly analyzes two previously unpublished sources discovered in the archive of the former diplomatic and consular Venetian mission in Constantinople. The documents in question, an original one from 1710 and a contemporary copy from 1712, are shipping contracts between Greek ship owners from Thessaly and some Greek merchants from an undetermined area in the Balkans, but who most likely resided in Constantinople and were part of the local Greek-Levantine community that was actively involved in the trade between Eastern Europe and the Italian Peninsula.
  • Keywords: Black Sea, 18th century, maritime trade, Greek-Levantine merchants, Constantinople, Italian Peninsula, Romanian Principalities
  •  Bianca Droc, Claudiu D. Butculescu, A Propedeutical Approach to Contract History, p.121
  • Abstract
  • A Propedeutical Approach to Contract History - In ancient Roman law, the basis for obligations were either contracts, which, when breached, led to slavery for the debtor, or torts, which prompted the perpetrator to reward the victim, who would renounce his/her right to private vengeance. In the classical period, the two legal sources (contracts and torts) were systematized and improved. The contract became a formal agreement with legal effects and the tort was sanctioned independently, as a derivation of breaching the legal order. The postclassical era featured new legal sources, such as the so-called various other causes (variae causarum figurae). The evolution of modern states and international labor development led to intensified commercial exchanges between states. Thus, for the first time in Western European history, the premises necessary for the birth and development of legal norms, comprised in today’s private international law, were met.
  • Keywords: contracts, Roman law, Civil Code, formalism
  •  Alexandru Ghisa, Stages in the Institutional Establishment of Danube Cooperation: From the European Commission of the Danube to the Danube Commission, p.130
  • Abstract
  • Stages in the Institutional Establishment of Danube Cooperation: From the European Commission of the Danube to the Danube Commission - Throughout its history, the Danube has facilitated exchanges—of people, of goods, of ideas—between Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkan Peninsula, and the Black Sea, having a direct contribution to the economic and especially to the multicultural development of the region. The present paper discusses the main instances when, in the modern era, the Danube came to the attention of the main European powers, becoming the object of various treaties and agreements: from the Congress of Vienna (1815) to the Paris Peace Congress of 1856 (with the establishment of the European Commission of the Danube), the Treaty of Berlin (1878), the Treaty of London (1883), the Versailles Treaties (1919–1920), the Semmering Agreement of 1932, the Sinaia Arrangement of 1938, the Bucharest Agreement of 1939, the Belgrade Convention of 1949 (with the establishment of the current Danube Commission). Attention is also given to the issue of the Danube in the broader contact of EU enlargement in this geographic area.
  • Keywords: Danube, European Commission of the Danube, Danube Commission, Danube Cooperation Process
  • I. Maxim Danciu, Andreea Mogos, La presse écrite roumaine post-transition: Structurations institutionnelles et discursives, p.141
  • Abstract
  • The Romanian Press after the Transition: Institutional and Discursive Developments - Lust like other socio-cultural phenomena, during the transition period the Romanian media experienced a series of developments related to their adaptation to the new economic and cultural circumstances imposed by the democratization of social and political structures and by journalistic practices themselves, in keeping with the Western models. The Romanian press finds itself at the end of a cycle that lasted for one and a half decade (1990–2005), during which it experienced a series of changes and all the pains” of post-communist journalism. The year 2010 marks the beginning of a new stage, likely to take even further the “mediamorphosis” of the Romanian press and bring it into contact with an electronic culture seeking models of communication that defy the traditions of classical journalism. We are referring here to the advent of online newspapers and of blogs, and generally of an uninhibited journalism free from the constraints of traditional press writing.
  • Keywords: journalism, mass media, Romanian (post)transition
  •  Book Reviews, p.148
  • Contributors, p.159

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