Transylvanian Review nr. 3/2010

  • Paradigms
  • Ioan Ciorba, Le phénomène épidémiologique en Transylvanie (fin du XVIIIe – début du XIXe siècle), p.3
  • Abstract: Epidemic Phenomena in Transylvania (End of the 18th Century–Beginning of the 19th Century) - The considerable interest shown by researchers when it comes to the history of diseases and epidemics can be explained by their strong demographic, economic, and mental effects. In Transylvania, the last but dramatic outbreak of the plague occurred in 1813–1814. It was followed by the cholera epidemics of 1830–1832, 1835–1836, 1855, 1872–1873. Other diseases that devastated the region were smallpox, syphilis and scurvy. The study also presents the actions taken by the Habsburg imperial authorities in order to prevent and fight these diseases and epidemics.
  • Keywords: epidemics, plague, cholera, Transylvania, Habsburgs
  • Marius Rotar, Iacob Mârza, The Polymath Vasilie Popp or the Temptation of Change: On the first Romanian Doctoral Thesis in Medicine (1817), p.16
  • Abstract: The Polymath Vasilie Popp or the Temptation of Change: On the first Romanian Doctoral Thesis in Medicine (1817) - The study is dedicated to the doctoral thesis defended by Vasilie Popp in 1817 at the University of Vienna, drawn up under the supervision of Professor Georgius Prochaska, the first doctoral thesis in medicine successfully defended by a Romanian. The otherwise short thesis—only 56 pages in length—deals with the Romanian traditions concerning funeral rites and was aimed to fight existing superstitions, its topic being important today from four points of view: medical, historical, ethnographical and philological. Thus, despite some fallacies and unsubstantiated claims, Popp deserves credit for providing an early scholarly description of Romanian funeral traditions and for laying the foundations of ethnographical research in Romania.
  • Keywords: medical science, popular beliefs, funeral customs, public health
  • Mircea Brie, Life Expectancy in Northwestern Transylvania: Latter Half of the 19th Century–Beginning of the 20th Century, p. 34
  • Abstract - Life Expectancy in Northwestern Transylvania: Latter Half of the 19th Century–Beginning of the 20th Century - Our research on life expectancy started from analyzing mortality in the counties of Bihor and Sătmar. We focused on different elements influencing the death rate. The frequent mortality crises and daily life in the countryside in Northwestern Transylvania resulted in a low life expectancy at the time. The differing life expectancy by gender was influenced by the communities’ socio-economic and mental-cultural conditions at the time. There was also a considerable influence of meteorological conditions on life expectancy.
  • Keywords: life expectancy, death rate, parish, infantile mortality, death crisis, countryside
  • Florica Ştefănescu, A. D. Xenopol on the Means of Improving Agriculture and the Romanian Villages, p.50
  • Abstract - A. D. Xenopol on the Means of Improving Agriculture and the Romanian Villages - The paper briefly presents the measures proposed by the Romanian scholar A. D. Xenopol (1847–1920, historian, philosopher, economist and social thinker) for the improvement of Romanian agriculture, peasantry and villages in the second half of the 19th century. These legislative, economic, administrative and social measures were likely to contribute to the improvement of the Romanian peasantry’s life, to the prosperity of the Romanian villages and to the effectiveness of Romanian agriculture. While he did not blame anybody for the poor state of Romanian agriculture, as it was—in his opinion—the result of historical fatality, he considered that the future was exclusively the responsibility of social forces: peasantry, landlords, bourgeoisie, and the political class. For this reason, he sought to identify and emphasize the means of changing this state of affairs, of improving the peasants’ situation, starting with the measures that could eliminate abuse.
  • Keywords: A. D. Xenopol, Romanian agriculture, Romanian peasantry, Romanian village, second half of the 19th century
  • Elena Bărbulescu, We and They: Family, Illness and Physicians in Transylvania (1940–1990), p.62
  • Abstract - We and They: Family, Illness and Physicians in Transylvania (1940–1990) - The paper is based on a field research done in the summer of 2009 in three villages of Cluj County—Râşca, Finişel and Mociu. The investigation sought to identify the attitude of peasants towards illness and towards the modern healthcare system. Precisely, it shows the way in which the family solidarity typical to rural societies functions in the concrete case of the process of illness and healing. We have in view here both systems that the rural world resorts to in pursuit of healing: the modern healthcare system and also what we may call the pre-modern healthcare system.
  • Keywords: peasants, family, illness
  • Transsilvanica
  • Marius Eppel, Normes fondamentales d’organisation et fonctionnement des institutions ecclésiastiques orthodoxes en Transylvanie au XIXe siècle, p.72
  • Abstract - Fundamental Norms Governing the Organization and Activity of Orthodox Ecclesiastical Institutions in the 19th Century Transylvania - The present study is part of a more comprehensive project aimed at the functioning of Transylvanian Orthodox ecclesiastical institutions, more specifically the parishes and the archpriesthood, from the vantage point of their ecclesiastical administration. Our investigation is also meant to highlight the development experienced by each of these institutions, showing how certain attributions shifted from one to the other or overlapped throughout the 19th century. In other words, the study seeks to present the relationship between the Church and the process of modernization. The fact that the Organic Statute of the Greek-Oriental Church in Hungary and Transylvania (1868) clearly defined the attributions of both priests and protopopes indicates the modernization of the respective institutions. The rationalization of all levels in the ecclesiastical administration presented many advantages for the clergy, but it also raised a number of challenges.
  • Keywords: Orthodox Church, Transylvania, parish, archpriesthood, Andrei Şaguna, Organic Statute
  • Tangencies
  • Mihaela Grancea, Mémoire et épitaphe dans l’histoire, p. 82
  • Abstract - Memory and Epitaph in History - By nature, the epitaph is a funerary inscription written in verse or prose. Typically, the commemorative text praises the deceased and includes moral-philosophical and religious reflections. The large number of Latin and Greek funerary inscriptions (both pagan and Christian) led to the affirmation of epigraphy as a modern discipline (auxiliary to history), which studies the official/public and private monument inscriptions, but also those everyday objects, from a critical/ scientific point of view. Studying the cultural structure of these inscriptions allows the discovery of certain manifestations of historical memory, of the genealogy and evolution of funerary art. Regar¬ ding the research on the relationship between the representations of death (the 17th–20th centuries) and the influence of consecrated emblems, the sources from a specific epoch are quite enlightening (such as the commercial catalogues of the companies specialized in funeral art), as well as the surveys particularly concerned with the dynamic of the artistic and architectural motives and their symbolic significance.
  • Keywords: cemetery, epitaph, history, death, epigraphy
  • Ana Victoria Sima, La place et le rôle des Églises catholiques de rite oriental dans l’ecclésiologie du pape Léon XIII, p.94
  • Abstract - The Place and the Role of the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite in the Ecclesiology of Pope Leo XIII - Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903) showed particular interest in regard to the Eastern Churches, reviving—from a different ecclesiological position—the (failed) unionist agenda of Pius IX. Evidence in this respect are the more than 250 documents (encyclicals, decrees, letters) issued by Leo XIII in connection to the return of these Churches to the Roman fold. His efforts were undermined by the general atmosphere present in the Catholic Church following the Council of Trent (awareness of the Roman Church’s superiority in regard to the Eastern ones, the association between Catholicism and the Latin world), the realities of the pontificate of Leo XIII demonstrating that the openness to dialogue was rather incomplete.
  • Keywords: ecclesiology, Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite, Leo XIII
  • Gabriel-Viorel Gârdan, The Petition of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate in the United States of North America to President Woodrow Wilson, p.108
  • Abstract - The Petition of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate in the United States of North America to President Woodrow Wilson - On 15 November 1918, the Romanians living in the United States submitted a petition to President Woodrow Wilson. In the context of the preparations for the Paris Peace Conference, the petition was meant to determine the U.S. president to support the union of all Romanians in a single nation state. The signatories did not demand vengeance for the centuries during which Romanians had been deprived of rights in Transylvania, nor domination over other inhabitants of the same province, but merely the right to self-determination for the Romanian majority and the possibility to unite with their Romanian brothers. Also, the signatories of the petition described the propaganda carried out by the representatives of the Hungarian government as an authentic attack against the sense of freedom and justice of the American people.
  • Keywords: petition, union, Romanians, self-determination, Woodrow Wilson
  • Andrea Carteny, The Military and “Humanitarian” Mission of Colonel Romanelli to Hungary (1919), p.122
  • Abstract - The Military and “Humanitarian” Mission of Colonel Romanelli to Hungary (1919) - Colonel Guido Romanelli, the head of the Italian Military Mission in Hungary, played an important role in Budapest for a few months in 1919, at the time of the Soviet regime lead by Béla Kun and later, during the Romanian military occupation. His actions, in the framework of the Danube policies and of the international relations of Italy, led to an interesting debate in which his character has stirred both passion and criticism. After the publication of his memoirs of these events—In the Hungary of Béla Kun and During the Military Romanian Occupation: My Mission (May/November 1919)—the complexity of the story has also been confirmed by the documents found in the Historical Archive of the Italian Army’s General Staff Records Office. His relationship with Kun’s reds is defined as “beneficial to all” (by Leo Valiani), even if he was accused of being too close to the Hungarian Bolsheviks and of insubordination.
  • Keywords: Italy, Hungary, Paris Peace Conference, Hungarian Soviets, Romania, cadets
  • Ottmar Traşcă, Stelian Obiziuc, Un diplomate roumain à la défense des Juifs : Constantin I. Karadja, p.131
  • Abstract - A Romanian Diplomat Defending the Jews: Constantin I. Karadja - Drawing on documents found in the Archives of the Romanian Foreign Ministry, the paper presents a number of aspects pertaining to the activities carried out by diplomat Constantin I. Karadja (1889–1950), consul general in Berlin (1936–1941) and director of the Directorate for Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry (1941–1944), activities meant to rescue the Jews having Romanian citizenship and who resided in Germany or in the states occupied or controlled by the Reich during World War II. Thus, the diplomat wrote a number of memorandums and reports to the Foreign Ministry, speaking about the discriminatory measures taken against the Romanian citizens of Jewish origin in the Reich and in the territories occupied or controlled by it, insistently demanding the repatriation of those who were being persecuted, interned or de¬ ported to concentration camps.
  • Keywords: Constantin I. Karadja (1889–1950), diplomacy, Romanian Jews, The Third Reich
  • Book Reviews, p. 146
  • Contributors, p. 159

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