Transylvanian Review 1/2012

Vol. XXI, No. 1, Spring 2012

• Paradigms


Italian Reports Concerning the 1462 Wallachian Campaign of Sultan Mehmed II, p.3
Ioan-Aurel Pop
Abstract
- Italian Reports Concerning the 1462 Wallachian Campaign of Sultan Mehmed II. The year 1462 marked a turning point in the history of Wallachia, and its repercussions were felt not only in the area of the Danube and of the Carpathians, but also in Hungary and in Western Europe. The Ottomans tried to strike a final blow against Wallachia with the help of an impressive army, roughly 100,000 strong and supported by a fleet of 25 galleons and 150 smaller vessels. In the summer and early autumn of 1462, authentic and verified news regarding the consequences of the sultan’s campaign in Wallachia reached Milan, usually via Venice and originally coming from Constantinople and the Levant in general. While some elements may have differed, all reports agreed on the fact that the Ottoman army led by the conqueror of Constantinople returned in disgrace to its base south of the Danube. These sources indicate that, while the general outcome of the sultan’s campaign north of the Danube did not prevent the reign of Vlad the Impaler from coming to an end, the actual expedition failed to achieve its original military and political goals, as Wallachia managed to remain a free Christian state, paying an annual tribute to the sultan but avoiding an Ottoman occupation and remaining outside the actual borders of the Ottoman Empire.
Keywords: Vlad the Impaler, Mehmed II, Antonio Guidobono, Aloisio Gabriel, Venice

La biblioteca di Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli (1712) e il mondo balcanico, p.16
Andrea Gardi
Abstract - The Library of Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli (1712) and the Balkans. The article presents the library of Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli (1658–1730), scientist, military engineer and diplomat of the Habsburgs during the Hungarian wars, then founder of the Istituto delle Scienze in Bologna, in order to understand his image of the Balkan world. For this purpose, the paper discusses the creation of Marsigli’s library, by ascertaining when he gathered it (mainly between 1696 and 1703), in which way (contacts with intellectuals and booksellers, thematic bibliographies) and on the basis of what criteria (to build a reference library for politicians); then, it identifies the 37 works about Balkan matters Marsigli got and analyzes them quantitatively and qualitatively. The emerging image is heavily conditioned at a cultural level: Marsigli chose important books, but solely written in Western languages and mainly referring to the Hungarian regions and to the Greek-Turkish world, and he neglected the Slavic and Romanian areas.
Keywords: L. F. Marsigli, libraries, Balkans, 16th–18th centuries

The Plague of 1718–19 and its Impact on the Foreign Trade of the Romanian Principalities, p.28
Cristian Luca
Abstract - The Plague of 1718–19 and its Impact on the Foreign Trade of the Romanian Principalities. The plague epidemics of 1718–19 greatly affected the foreign trade of the Romanian Principalities, and also the international trade in Central and Eastern Europe, leading to a complete interruption of commercial exchanges following the closing of the borders of Imperial Hungary and given the uncertainty of the routes in the areas affected by pestilence. On the basis of a critical analysis of the correspondence between the Venetian ambassador to Vienna and the Provveditori e Sopraprovveditori alla Sanità of the Serenissima, this paper presents the impact of the bubonic plague on the foreign trade of the Romanian Principalities, especially in what concerns the commercial relations between Transylvania, Wallachia and Venice. These unpublished Venetian sources refer to the position of the Romanian Principalities at the periphery of world economy, after the conclusion of the Peace Treaty of Passarowitz (Požarevac), which led to the annexation of Little Wallachia by the Habsburgs, thus causing a reduction in Wallachian exports and the rise of a new competitor—the Habsburg Empire—in the commerce with the Ottoman Levant.
Keywords: bubonic plague, foreign trade, Transylvania, Wallachia, Italian Peninsula, 18th century pestilence

Transylvania in the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Accounts of the Papal Legates, p.40
Ana Victoria Sima
Abstract - Transylvania in the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Accounts of the Papal Legates. This article describes and analyses the image of Transylvania and the Transylvanian Romanians as it is reflected in the accounts written by the legates of the Holy See in the mid-nineteenth century. This image was constructed from a series of stereotypes and clichés that were commonly used in the milieus of Western extraction and that reinforced, most of the times, the existing negative bias against the Romanians and the Romanian space. The papal legates’ accounts included reflections on: the geographical and climatic conditions, the level of civilization, education, the material situation, the bookish horizon and the understanding of religious dogmas and doctrines. All of these aspects were perceived in prevalently negative terms, emphasizing the inferiority of this space and signaling, implicitly, the gap that separated Western and Eastern Europe. The only aspects that were perceived in a positive light were the physiognomic similarities between the Romanians and the Italians, the fact that a part of the Transylvanian Romanians were Catholics (belonged to the Greek-Catholic Church) and the Romanians’ Latin descent. As the envoys of the Holy See confessed in their reports, their mission was to pave the way for Transylvania’s integration within the value system of Western civilization.
Keywords: Transylvania, nineteenth century, Holy See, Papal Legates’ accounts

La Legione Romena sul fronte italiano, p.53
Marco Baratto
Abstract - The Romanian Legion on the Italian Front. The paper outlines the historical context in which, during the First World War, the Romanian Legion in Italy was created in June 1918, at Avezzano. Led by Brigadier General Vittorio Zuppelli, the Legion consisted of Romanian prisoners of war who had previously belonged to the Austro-Hungarian army. The three Romanian companies integrated into the Italian army distinguished themselves in the battles that led to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian forces and brought about the end of the war. Keywords: World War I, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Action Committee of the Romanians in Transylvania, Banat, and Bukovina

Tra aperture e neostalinismo, p. 58
Alberto Basciani
Abstract -
Between Openness and Neo-Stalinism: Italy and Romania in the 1960s and 1970s.  Devoted to the Italian-Romanian relations in the ’60s and the ’70s, the study focuses on both the foreign policy of the two countries and on their internal situation. It is very difficult to determine to what extent the Italian side benefited from these relations, but it is rather obvious that the Italian connection was very important for the Romanians, interested in projecting a human face for a regime that was increasingly leaning towards a form of boastful dynastic neo-Stalinism, whose traces are still visible in the society and the economy of a post-communist Romania that is still struggling to become fully integrated into the European Union.
Keywords: Nicolae Ceauşescu, Aldo Moro, Giancarlo Elia Valori, foreign policy

• Europe

Historical Patterns of Euroscepticism, p.81
Paul Dobrescu
Abstract - Historical Patterns of Euroscepticism: An Analysis of the Romanians’ Confidence in the EU in the Context of the Schengen Affair.
This paper discusses some historical patterns of Euroscepticism across the entire EU in order to analyze the dynamics of the Romanians’ attitudes toward the EU against this general background. The paper presents some findings related to the arguably rising phenomenon of Euroscepticism, which were gathered in the context of the proposal of the French and German Ministers of Internal Affairs on 21 December 2010 to delay Romania’s accession to the Schengen area of free movement. At the beginning of 2011, we carried out an ample research project for which we used a multi-method research design including a national survey, a content analysis of related media coverage and a series of in-depth interviews with high-profile Romanian political figures. For the purpose of this paper we shall only present the data obtained from the survey (N = 1,168). The first part of the paper is dedicated to the existing literature on Euroscepticism—conceptualization, historical patterns, causes and explanatory mechanisms—, while the rest is dedicated to the results of the survey.
Keywords: Euroenthusiasm, Euroscepticism, Schengen area, European identity, European Union

The Historical Legacy of the Current Euro Crisis, p.101
Alina Bârgãoanu
Abstract - The Historical Legacy of the Current Euro Crisis: The Battle for Interpretation. This article reviews the major events in the unfolding of what is conveniently and somehow mistakenly labeled as the Euro Crisis. The main idea underpinning the interpretation of these events is that while there is absolute agreement that the Euro Crisis is an existential test for the European Union, no similar agreement can be found regarding the roots of the crisis. Two largely divergent, even clashing views on these roots are the catalyst for the countless discussions in this regard: “Europe is to blame” vs. “markets are to blame.” The stakes of this clash have to do with the fact that the prevailing interpretation influences the policy responses for crisis resolution and, even more importantly, will influence the future direction of the EU. The topic of the EU public sphere as the battleground where the battle over interpretations takes place is brought in, together with the role of the most important actors in the public sphere—mass media and the elites. The conclusion is that the prevailing interpretation regarding the roots of the crisis, the solutions and the model for the EU springing from this prevailing interpretation will be the historical legacy that the EU media and EU elites will leave to future generations.
Keywords: Euro Crisis, global crisis, European integration, EU public sphere

The Control Mechanism for the Enforcement of European Court of Human Rights Decisions (I), p.115
Titus Corlãtean
Abstract - The Control Mechanism for the Enforcement of European Court of Human Rights Decisions. The paper examines the manner in which the enforcement of the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights is monitored and controlled, as the execution of those judgments depends on the states concerned. Thus, due to the fact that the judgments are declaratory and not directly enforceable, by themselves, in the Contracting States, although they are binding for the convicted states, the supervision of their execution goes to the Committee of Ministers, a political organ, and not to the judicial organ wherefrom they originated. Within this control mechanism, alongside the Committee of Ministers, the European Court has come to play a greater part in supervising the execution of its own decisions. At the same time, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe became more active with the passing of time, exerting a growing pressure on the member states and supporting the Committee of Ministers to ensure a proper execution of the conviction judgments of the European Court.
Keywords: European Court of Human Rights, control mechanism, Committee of Ministers, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

• Tangencies

The Battle of Britain As Presented by the Romanian Legionary Media, p.130
Sorin Arhire
Abstract - The Battle of Britain As Presented by the Romanian Legionary Media (September 1940–January 1941) The Battle of Britain, one of the most important and dramatic battles of World War II, received considerable media attention in Romania during the national-legionary period. The present article is based upon the investigation of three newspapers, Buna Vestire, Cuvântul and Axa, publications recognized as legionary media by an official announcement of the General Secretary made on 19 December 1940. Each issue of the abovementioned newspapers described in detail the recent events of the Anglo-German conflict. The attitude of these publications was clearly Germanophile and of course, Anglophobic, the hostilities being always presented in a manner favorable to Germany. The legionary media was not short of direct attacks against Britain and against everything British, some passages being really caustic and vilifying. The anti-Semitic component of the legionary ideology, with its atavistic aversion to the Jews, increased the hostility even further, to the point of hatred against Great Britain. Keywords: Great Britain, Germany, Romanian newspapers, British cities, Anglophobic attitude, Germanophile attitude

• Book Reviews

Roberto Scagno, Paolo Tomasella, and Corina Tucu, Veneti in Romania (reviewed by Marcela Sãlãgean, Liana Lãpãdatu), p. 143

Géza Pálffy, Die Anfänge der Militärkartographie in der Habsburgermonarchie (reviewed by Harald Heppner), p.144

Francesco Guida, ed., Italia e Romania verso l’Unità nazionale (reviewed by Olivia Simion) , p.145 Ioan-Aurel Pop and Ion Cârja, Un italian la Bucuresi: Luigi Cazzavillan (1852–1903) (reviewed by Lucian Turcu), p. 147

Eero Madijainen and Olaf Mertelsmann, eds., Border Changes in 20th Century Europe (reviewed by Harald Heppner), p.151

Bruno Mazzoni and Angela Tarantino, eds., Geografia e storia della civiltà letteraria romena nel contesto europeo, (reviewed by Carmen Muntean), p.152

Ioana Em. Petrescu, Studii eminesciene (reviewed by Nicoleta Popa), p.153

Ion Pop, La Réhabilitation du rêve (reviewed by Oana Rusu), p.155 Oana Fotache, Divanul criticii (reviewed by Dana Filaropol), p.156

• Contributors, p.159

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