Label: Rainbow Bridge - RB-178 Format: Cassette Limited Edition, Numbered C32 Country: US Genre: Electronic Style: Noise, Drone, Abstract, Experimental
In their own very distinct ways, both artists were engaging with the media through which Pacific islands were materially and symbolically constructed in the European expansionist phase, both probing the complicity of wide-eyed imaginings and hard-edged reason. Agroup ofwomen guarded the phone. Gibbon, however, who, in order to acquire a jutt idea of these events, has compared the narratives and prejudices of the Moguls, Turks, Greeks, and Arabians, says, that So-liman, the son of Bajazet, soothed the pride of the conqueror with tributary gifts, and accepted, by a red patent, the investiture of the kingdom of Romania, which he already held by the sword. They retreated before the Turks to their inaccessible fastnesses, and wasted the immediate seat of war, so as to leave nothing Contemplative And Abrupt - Juice Machine / PCRV* - Ideas Of Permanence (Cassette) the subsistence of their enemies. The transition from Romanesque we prefer using the generic term to Gothic is natural and straightforward, in many points traceable to mechanical and local necessities of which one, the dangerous weight of snow on flat roofs, has been candidly acknowledged by our authorand directed by the tendency, common to humanity in all ages, to push every newly-discovered means of delight to its most fantastic extreme, to exhibit every newly-felt power in its most admirable achievement, and to load with intrinsic decoration forms whose essential varieties have been exhausted. This process also involved an increasing awareness of the nature of transTasman reductive art practices, including artists such as John Nixon, George Johnson, Justin Andrews, Rose Nolan and many others. The distance is, however, erroneously stated to be about ten miles; for it is even less than two miles from Beshiktash on the Bosphorus to Cassim Pasha on the harbour.
But while we thus defer to the discrimination, respect the feeling, and join in the hope of the author, we earnestly deprecate the frequent assertion, as we entirely deny the accuracy or propriety, of the metaphysical analogies, in accordance with which his work has unhappily been arranged.
Though these had been as carefully, as they are crudely, considered, it had still been no light error of judgment to thrust them with dogmatism so abrupt into the forefront of a work whose purpose is assuredly as much to win to the truth as to demonstrate it. The writer has apparently forgotten that of the men to whom he must primarily look for [Pg 23] the working out of his anticipations, the most part are of limited knowledge and inveterate habit, men dexterous in practice, idle in thought; many of them compelled by ill-ordered patronage into directions of exertion at variance with their own best impulses, and regarding their art only as a means of life; all of them conscious of practical difficulties which the critic is too apt to under-estimate, and probably remembering disappointments of early effort rude enough to chill the most earnest heart.
The shallow amateurship of the circle of their patrons early disgusts them with theories; they shrink back to the hard teaching of their own industry, and would rather read the book which facilitated their methods than the one that rationalized their aims. Noble exceptions there are, and more than might be deemed; but the labor spent in contest with executive difficulties renders even these better men unapt receivers of a system which looks with little respect on such achievement, and shrewd discerners of the parts of such system which have been feebly rooted, or fancifully reared.
Their attention should have been attracted both by clearness and kindness of promise; their impatience prevented by close reasoning and severe proof of every statement which might seem transcendental.
Altogether void of such consideration or care, Lord Lindsay never even so much as states the meaning or purpose of his appeal, but, clasping his hands desperately over his head, disappears on the instant in an abyss of curious and unsupported assertions of the philosophy of human nature: It is generally easier to plan what is beyond the reach of others than to execute what is within our own; and it had been well if the range of this introductory essay had been something less extensive, and its reasoning more careful.
Its search after truth is honest and impetuous, and its results would have appeared as interesting as they are indeed valuable, had they but been arranged with ordinary perspicuity, and represented in simple terms. We question whether many readers may not be utterly appalled by the aspect of an "Analysis of Human Nature"—the first task proposed to them by our intellectual Eurystheus—to be accomplished in the space of six semi-pages, followed in the seventh by the "Development of the Individual Man," and applied in the eighth to a "General Classification of Individuals": Mind or Intellect;—of which the distinguishing faculties—rarely, if ever, equally balanced, and by their respective predominance determinative of his whole character, conduct, and views of life—are,.
On what authority does the writer assume that the moral is alone the Immortal principle—or the only part of the human nature bestowed by the breath of God?
Are imagination, then, and reason perishable? Is the Body itself? Are not all alike immortal; and when distinction is to be made among them, is not the first great division between their active and passive immortality, between the supported body and supporting spirit; that spirit itself afterwards rather conveniently to be considered as either exercising intellectual function, or receiving moral influence, and, both in power and passiveness, deriving its energy and sensibility alike from the sustaining breath of God—than actually [Pg 26] divided into intellectual and moral parts?
For if the distinction between us and the brute be the test of the nature of the living soul by that breath conferred, it is assuredly to be found as much in the imagination as in the moral principle. There is but one of the moral sentiments enumerated by Lord Lindsay, the sign of which is absent in the animal creation: But where, among brutes, shall we find the slightest trace of the Imaginative faculty, or of that discernment of beauty which our author most inaccurately confounds with it, or of the discipline of memory, grasping this or that circumstance at will, or of the still nobler foresight of, and respect towards, things future, except only instinctive and compelled?
The fact is, that it is not in intellect added to the bodily sense, nor in moral sentiment superadded to the intellect, that the essential difference between brute and man consists: Intellect natural, leading to skepticism; intellect spiritual, expanding into faith: Passion natural, suffered from things spiritual; passion spiritual, centered on things unseen: We should not have been thus strict in our examination of these preliminary statements, if the question had been one of terms merely, or if the inaccuracy of thought had been confined to the Essay on Antagonism.
But it is far otherwise when the theory is to be applied, in all its pseudo-organization, to the separate departments of a particular art, and analogies the most subtle and speculative traced between the mental character and artistical choice or attainment of different races of men. Such analogies are always treacherous, for the [Pg 28] amount of expression of individual mind which Art can convey is dependent on so many collateral circumstances, that it even militates against the truth of any particular system of interpretation that it should seem at first generally applicable, or its results consistent.
The passages in which such interpretation has been attempted in the work before us, are too graceful to be regretted, nor is their brilliant suggestiveness otherwise than pleasing and profitable too, so long as it is received on its own grounds merely, and affects not with its uncertainty the very matter of its foundation.
But all oscillation is communicable, and Lord Lindsay is much to be blamed for leaving it entirely to the reader to distinguish between the determination of his research and the activity of his fancy—between the authority of his interpretation and the aptness of his metaphor.
He perpetually associates the present imaginative influence of Art with its ancient hieroglyphical teaching, and mingles fancies fit only for the framework of a sonnet, with the deciphered evidence which is to establish a serious point of history; and this the more frequently and grossly, in the endeavor to force every branch of his subject into illustration of the false division of the mental attributes which we have pointed out. Each of these three elements, Sense, Intellect, and Spirit, has had its distinct development at three distant intervals, and in the personality of the three great branches of the human family.
The race of Ham, giants in prowess if not in stature, cleared the earth of primeval forests and monsters, built cities, established vast empires, invented the mechanical arts, and gave the fullest expansion to the animal energies. After them, the Greeks, the elder line of Japhet, developed the intellectual faculties, Imagination and Reason, more especially the former, always the earlier to bud and blossom; poetry and fiction, history, philosophy, and science, alike look back to Greece as their birthplace; on the one hand they put a soul into Sense, peopling the world with their gay mythology—on the other they bequeathed to us, in Plato and Aristotle, the mighty patriarchs of human wisdom, the Darius and the Alexander of the two grand armies of thinking men whose antagonism has ever since divided the battlefield of the human intellect: Now the peculiar interest and dignity of Art consists in her exact correspondence in her three departments with these three periods of development, and in the illustration she thus affords—more closely and markedly even than literature—to the all-important truth that men stand or fall according as they look up to the Ideal or not.
And as if to mark more forcibly the fact of continuous progress towards perfection, it is observable that although each of the three arts peculiarly reflects and characterizes one of the three epochs, each art of later growth has been preceded in its rise, progress, and decline, by an antecedent correspondent development of its elder sister or sisters—Sculpture, in Greece, by that of Architecture—Painting, in Europe, by that of Architecture and Sculpture.
If Sculpture and Painting stand by the side of Architecture in Egypt, if Painting by that of Architecture and Sculpture in Greece, it is as younger sisters, girlish and unformed. In Europe alone are the three found linked together, in equal stature and perfection. The reader must, we think, at once perceive the bold fallacy of this forced analogy—the comparison of the architecture of one nation with the sculpture of another, and the painting of a third, and the assumption as a proof of difference in moral character, of changes necessarily wrought, always in the same order, by the advance of mere mechanical experience.
Architecture must precede sculpture, not because sense precedes intellect, but because men must build houses before they adorn chambers, and raise shrines before they inaugurate idols; and sculpture must precede painting, because men must learn forms in the solid before they can project them on a flat surface, and must learn to conceive designs in light and shade before they can conceive them in color, and must learn to treat subjects under positive color and in narrow groups, before they can treat them under [Pg 31] atmospheric effect and in receding masses, and all these are mere necessities of practice, and have no more connection with any divisions of the human mind than the equally paramount necessities that men must gather stones before they build walls, or grind corn before they bake bread.
And that each following nation should take up either the same art at an advanced stage, or an art altogether more difficult, is nothing but the necessary consequence of its subsequent elevation and civilization. Angelo; had he led us from beneath the iridescent capitals of Denderah, by the contested line of Apelles, to the hues and the heaven of Perugino or Bellini, we might have been tempted to assoilzie from all staying of question or stroke of partisan the invulnerable aspect of his ghostly theory; but, if, with even partial regard to some of the circumstances which physically limited the attainments of each race, we follow their individual career, we shall find the points of superiority less salient and the connection between heart and hand more embarrassed.
Yet let us not be misunderstood: The separation is not gradual, but instant and final—the difference not of degree, but of condition; it is the difference between the dead vapors rising from a stagnant pool, and the same vapors touched by a torch. But we would brace the weakness which Lord Lindsay has admitted in his own assertion of this great inflaming instant by confusing its fire with the mere phosphorescence of the marsh, and explaining as a successive development of the several human faculties, what was indeed the bearing of them all at once, over a threshold strewed with the fragments of their idols, into the temple of the One God.
The first of these is evidently the capability of carriage of large blocks of stone over perfectly level land. It was possible to roll to their destination along that uninterrupted plain, blocks which could neither by the Greek have been shipped in seaworthy vessels, nor carried over mountain-passes, nor raised except by extraordinary effort to the height of the rock-built fortress or seaward promontory.
A small undulation of surface, or embarrassment of road, makes large difference in the portability of masses, and of consequence, in the breadth of the possible intercolumniation, the solidity of the column, and the whole scale of the building. Again, in a hill-country, architecture can be important only by position, in a level country only by bulk.
Under the overwhelming mass of mountain-form it is vain to attempt the expression of majesty by size of edifice—the humblest architecture may become important by availing [Pg 33] itself of the power of nature, but the mightiest must be crushed in emulating it: On the other hand, a small building is in a level country lost, and the impressiveness of bulk proportionably increased; hence the instinct of nations has always led them to the loftiest efforts where the masses of their labor might be seen looming at incalculable distance above the open line of the horizon—hence rose her four square mountains above the flat of Memphis, while the Greek pierced the recesses of Phigaleia with ranges of columns, or crowned the sea-cliffs of Sunium with a single pediment, bright, but not colossal.
The derivation of the Greek types of form from the forest-hut is too direct to escape observation; but sufficient attention has not been paid to the similar petrifaction, by other nations, of the rude forms and materials adopted in the haste of early settlement, or consecrated by the purity of rural life. The whole system of Swiss and German Gothic has thus been most characteristically affected by the structure of the intersecting timbers at the angles of the chalet.
This was in some cases directly and without variation imitated in stone, as in the piers of the old bridge at Aarburg; and the practice obtained—partially in the German after-Gothic—universally, or nearly so, in Switzerland—of causing moldings which met at an angle to appear to interpenetrate each other, both being truncated immediately beyond the point of intersection.
The influence at Venice has been less immediate and more fortunate; it is with peculiar grace that the majestic form of the ducal palace reminds us of the years of fear and endurance when the exiles of the Prima Venetia settled like home-less birds on the sea-sand, and that its quadrangular range of marble wall and painted chamber, raised upon multiplied columns of confused arcade,  presents but the exalted image of the first pile-supported hut that rose above the rippling of the lagoons.
In the chapter on the "Influence of Habit and Religion," of Mr. As by the constant reminiscence of the natural proportions of his first forest-dwelling, the Greek would be restrained from all inordinate exaggeration of size—the Egyptian was from the first left without hint of any system of proportion, whether constructive, or of visible parts.
Hence the predisposition to attempt in the built temple the [Pg 35] expression of infinite extent, and to heap the ponderous architrave above the proportionless pier. The less direct influences of external nature in the two countries were still more opposed. The sense of beauty, which among the Greek peninsulas was fostered by beating of sea and rush of river, by waving of forest and passing of cloud, by undulation of hill and poise of precipice, lay dormant beneath the shadowless sky and on the objectless plain of the Egyptians; no singing winds nor shaking leaves nor gliding shadows gave life to the line of their barren mountains—no Goddess of Beauty rose from the pacing of their silent and foamless Nile.
One continual perception of stability, or changeless revolution, weighed upon their hearts—their life depended on no casual alternation of cold and heat—of drought and shower; their gift-Gods were the risen River and the eternal Sun, and the types of these were forever consecrated in the lotus decoration of the temple and the wedge of the enduring Pyramid.
Let us, for the present omitting consideration of the debasement of the Greek types which took place when their cycle of achievement had been fulfilled, pass to the germination [Pg 36] of Christian architecture, out of one of the least important elements of those fallen forms—one which, less than the least of all seeds, has risen into the fair branching stature under whose shadow we still dwell.
The principal characteristics of the new architecture, as exhibited in the Lombard cathedral, are well sketched by Lord Lindsay: The crypt and absis, or tribune, are retained from the Romish basilica, but the absis is generally pierced with windows, and the crypt is much loftier and more spacious, assuming almost the appearance of a subterranean church. The columns of the nave, no longer isolated, are clustered so as to form compound piers, massive and heavy—their capitals either a rude imitation of the Corinthian, or, especially in the earlier structures, sculptured with grotesque imagery.
Triforia, or galleries for women, frequently line the nave and transepts. The roof is of stone, and vaulted. Above the central door is usually seen, in the later Lombard churches, a [Pg 37] S. Sometimes the western front is absolutely covered with these galleries, rising tier above tier.
I may add to these general features the occasional and rare one, seen to peculiar advantage in the cathedral of Cremona, of numerous slender towers, rising, like minarets, in every direction, in front and behind, and giving the east end, specially, a marked resemblance to the mosques of the Mahometans. The Lombards seem to have built them with peculiar zest, and to have had a keen eye for the picturesque in grouping them with the churches they belong to.
The three doors and three gable ends signify the Trinity, the Catherine-wheel window if I mistake not the Unity, as concentrated in Christ, the Light of the Church, from whose Greek monogram its shape was probably adopted. The monsters that support the pillars of the porch stand there as talismans to frighten away evil spirits.
The crypt as in older buildings signifies the moral death of man, the cross, the atonement, the cupola heaven; [Pg 38] and these three, taken in conjunction with the lengthened nave, express, reconcile, and give their due and balanced prominence to the leading ideas of the Militant and Triumphant Church, respectively embodied in the architecture of Rome and Byzantium.
Add to this, the symbolism of the Baptistery, and the Christian pilgrimage, from the Font to the Door of Heaven, is complete,"—Vol. We have by-and-bye an equally comprehensive sketch of the essential characters of the Gothic cathedral; but this we need not quote, as it probably contains little that would be new to the reader. It is succeeded by the following interpretation of the spirit of the two styles: Each, then, of these styles has its peculiar significance, each is perfect in its way.
The Lombard Architecture, with its horizontal lines, its circular arches and expanding cupola, soothes and calms one; the Gothic, with its pointed arches, aspiring vaults and intricate tracery, rouses and excites—and why? Because the one symbolizes an infinity of Rest, the other of Action, in the adoration and service of God.
And this consideration will enable us to advance a step farther: Even so Lombard Architecture attained perfection, expressed [Pg 39] its idea, accomplished its purpose—but Gothic never; the Ideal is unapproachable. This idea occurs not only in this passage: The transition from Romanesque we prefer using the generic term to Gothic is natural and straightforward, in many points traceable to mechanical and local necessities of which one, the dangerous weight of snow on flat roofs, has been candidly acknowledged by our author , and directed by the tendency, common to humanity in all ages, to push every newly-discovered means of delight to its most fantastic extreme, to exhibit every newly-felt power in its most admirable achievement, and to load with intrinsic decoration forms whose essential varieties have been exhausted.
The arch, carelessly struck out by the Etruscan, forced by mechanical expediencies on the unwilling, uninventive Roman, remained unfelt by either. The noble form of the apparent Vault of Heaven—the line which every star follows in its journeying, extricated by the Christian architect from the fosse, the aqueduct, and the sudarium—grew into long succession of proportioned colonnade, and swelled into the white domes that glitter above the plain of Pisa, and fretted channels of Venice, like foam globes at rest.
But the spirit that was in these Aphrodites of the earth was not then, nor in them, to be restrained. Colonnade rose over colonnade; the pediment of the western front [Pg 40] was lifted into a detached and scenic wall; story above story sprang the multiplied arches of the Campanile, and the eastern pyramidal fire-type, lifted from its foundation, was placed upon the summit.
With the superimposed arcades of the principal front arose the necessity, instantly felt by their subtle architects, of a new proportion in the column; the lower wall inclosure, necessarily for the purposes of Christian worship continuous, and needing no peristyle, rendered the lower columns a mere facial decoration, whose proportions were evidently no more to be regulated by the laws hitherto observed in detached colonnades.
The column expanded into the shaft, or into the huge pilaster rising unbanded from tier to tier; shaft and pilaster were associated in ordered groups, and the ideas of singleness and limited elevation once attached to them, swept away for ever; the stilted and variously centered arch existed already: Daring concentrations of pressure upon narrow piers were the immediate consequence, and the recognition of the buttress as a feature in itself agreeable and susceptible of decoration.
The glorious art of painting on glass added its temptations; the darkness of northern climes both rendering the typical character of Light more deeply felt than in Italy, and necessitating its admission in larger masses; the Italian, even at the period of his most exquisite art in glass, retaining the small Lombard window, whose expediency will hardly be doubted by anyone who has experienced the transition from the scorching reverberation of the white-hot marble front, to the cool depth of shade within, and whose beauty will not be soon forgotten by those who have seen the narrow lights of the Pisan duomo announce by their redder burning, not like transparent casements, but like characters of fire searing the western wall, the decline of day upon Capraja.
Here, then, arose one great distinction between [Pg 41] Northern and Transalpine Gothic, based, be it still observed, on mere necessities of climate. While the architect of Santa Maria Novella admitted to the frescoes of Ghirlandajo scarcely more of purple lancet light than had been shed by the morning sun through the veined alabasters of San Miniato; and looked to the rich blue of the quinquipartite vault above, as to the mosaic of the older concha, for conspicuous aid in the color decoration of the whole; the northern builder burst through the walls of his apse, poured over the eastern altar one unbroken blaze, and lifting his shafts like pines, and his walls like precipices, ministered to their miraculous stability by an infinite phalanx of sloped buttress and glittering pinnacle.
The spire was the natural consummation. Internally, the sublimity of space in the cupola had been superseded by another kind of infinity in the prolongation of the nave; externally, the spherical surface had been proved, by the futility of Arabian efforts, incapable of decoration; its majesty depended on its simplicity, and its simplicity and leading forms were alike discordant with the rich rigidity of the body of the building.
The process of change was thus consistent throughout, though at intervals accelerated by the sudden discovery of resource, or invention of design; nor, had the steps been less traceable, do we think the suggestiveness of Repose, in the earlier style, or of Imaginative Activity in the latter, definite or trustworthy. And with respect to the more fitful and fantastic expression of the "Italian Gothic," our author is again to be blamed for his loose assumption, from the least reflecting of preceding writers, of this general term, as if the pointed buildings of Italy could in any wise be arranged in one class, or criticised in general terms.
It is true that so far as the church interiors are concerned, the system is nearly universal, and always bad; its characteristic features being arches of enormous span, and banded foliage capitals divided into three fillets, rude in design, unsuggestive of any structural connection with the column, and looking consequently as if they might be slipped up or down, and had been only fastened in their places for the temporary purposes of a festa.
But the exteriors of Italian pointed buildings display variations of principle and transitions of type quite as bold as either the advance from the Romanesque to the earliest of their forms, or the recoil from their latest to the cinque-cento. The first and grandest style resulted merely from the application of the pointed arch to the frequent Romanesque window, the large semicircular arch divided by three small ones.
Pointing both the superior and inferior arches, and adding to the grace of the larger one by striking another [Pg 43] arch above it with a more removed center, and placing the voussoirs at an acute angle to the curve, we have the truly noble form of domestic Gothic, which—more or less enriched by moldings and adorned by penetration, more or less open of the space between the including and inferior arches—was immediately adopted in almost all the proudest palaces of North Italy—in the Brolettos of Como, Bergamo, Modena, and Siena—-in the palace of the Scaligers at Verona—of the Gambacorti at Pisa—of Paolo Guinigi at Lucca—besides inferior buildings innumerable: The latest is that most vicious and barbarous style of which the richest types are the lateral porches and upper pinnacles of the Cathedral of Como, and the whole of the Certosa of Pavia: But between these two extremes are varieties nearly countless—some of them both strange and bold, owing to the brilliant color and firm texture of the accessible materials, and the desire of the builders to crowd the greatest expression of value into the smallest space.
Thus it is in the promontories of serpentine which meet with their polished and gloomy green the sweep of the Gulf of Genoa, that we find the first cause of the peculiar spirit of the Tuscan and Ligurian Gothic—carried out in the Florentine duomo to the highest pitch of colored finish—adorned in the upper story of the Campanile by a transformation, peculiarly rich and exquisite, of the narrowly-pierced [Pg 44] heading of window already described, into a veil of tracery—and aided throughout by an accomplished precision of design in its moldings which we believe to be unique.
In St. Petronio of Bologna, another and a barbarous type occurs; the hollow niche of Northern Gothic wrought out with diamond-shaped penetrations inclosed in squares; at Bergamo another, remarkable for the same square penetrations of its rich and daring foliation;—while at Monza and Carrara the square is adopted as the leading form of decoration on the west fronts, and a grotesque expression results—barbarous still;—which, however, in the latter duomo is associated with the arcade of slender niches—the translation of the Romanesque arcade into pointed work, which forms the second perfect order of Italian Gothic, entirely ecclesiastical, and well developed in the churches of Santa Caterina and Santa Maria della Spina at Pisa.
The Veronese Gothic, distinguished by the extreme purity and severity of its ruling lines, owing to the distance of the centers of circles from which its cusps are struck, forms another, and yet a more noble school—and passes through the richer decoration of Padua and Vicenza to the full magnificence of the Venetian—distinguished by the introduction of the ogee curve without pruriency or effeminacy, and by the breadth and decision of moldings as severely determined in all examples of the style as those of any one of the Greek orders.
All these groups are separated by distinctions clear and bold—and many of them by that broadest of all distinctions which lies between disorganization and consistency—accumulation and adaptation, experiment and design;—yet to all one or two principles are common, which again divide the whole series from that of the Transalpine Gothic—and whose importance Lord Lindsay too lightly passes over in the general description, couched in somewhat ungraceful terms, "the vertical principle snubbed, as it were, by the horizontal.
The accessibility of marble throughout North [Pg 45] Italy similarly modified the aim of all design, by the admission of undecorated surfaces. A blank space of freestone wall is always uninteresting, and sometimes offensive; there is no suggestion of preciousness in its dull color, and the stains and rents of time upon it are dark, coarse, and gloomy.
But a marble surface receives in its age hues of continually increasing glow and grandeur; its stains are never foul nor dim; its undecomposing surface preserves a soft, fruit-like polish forever, slowly flushed by the maturing suns of centuries.
Hence, while in the Northern Gothic the effort of the architect was always so to diffuse his ornament as to prevent the eye from permanently resting on the blank material, the Italian fearlessly left fallow large fields of uncarved surface, and concentrated the labor of the chisel on detached portions, in which the eye, being rather directed to them by their isolation than attracted by their salience, required perfect finish and pure design rather than force of shade or breadth of parts; and further, the intensity of Italian sunshine articulated by perfect gradations, and defined by sharp shadows at the edge, such inner anatomy and minuteness of outline as would have been utterly vain and valueless under the gloom of a northern sky; while again the fineness of material both admitted of, and allured to, the precision of execution which the climate was calculated to exhibit.
All these influences working together, and with them that of classical example and tradition, induced a delicacy of expression, a slightness of salience, a carefulness of touch, and refinement of invention, in all, even the rudest, Italian decorations, utterly unrecognized in those of Northern Gothic: Even the later and more imitative examples profess little more than picturesque vigor or ingenious intricacy.
The oak leaves and acorns of [Pg 46] the Beauvais moldings are superbly wreathed, but rigidly repeated in a constant pattern; the stems are without character, and the acorns huge, straight, blunt, and unsightly. Round the southern door of the Florentine duomo runs a border of fig-leaves, each leaf modulated as if dew had just dried from off it—yet each alike, so as to secure the ordered symmetry of classical enrichment.
But the Gothic fullness of thought is not therefore left without expression; at the edge of each leaf is an animal, first a cicala, then a lizard, then a bird, moth, serpent, snail—all different, and each wrought to the very life—panting—plumy—writhing—glittering—full of breath and power. This harmony of classical restraint with exhaustless fancy, and of architectural propriety with imitative finish, is found throughout all the fine periods of the Italian Gothic, opposed to the wildness without invention, and exuberance without completion, of the North.
One other distinction we must notice, in the treatment of the Niche and its accessories. In Northern Gothic the niche frequently consists only of a bracket and canopy—the latter attached to the wall, independent of columnar support, pierced into openwork profusely rich, and often prolonged upwards into a crocketed pinnacle of indefinite height.
But in the niche of pure Italian Gothic the classic principle of columnar support is never lost sight of. Even when its canopy is actually supported by the wall behind, it is apparently supported by two columns in front, perfectly formed with bases and capitals: This form, modified only by various grouping, is that of the noble sepulchral monuments of Verona, Lucca, Pisa, and Bologna; on a small scale it is at Venice associated with the cupola, in [Pg 47] St.
At Pisa, in the Spina chapel it occurs in its most exquisite form, the columns there being chased with checker patterns of great elegance. The windows of the Florence cathedral are all placed under a flat canopy of the same form, the columns being elongated, twisted, and enriched with mosaic patterns.
The reader must at once perceive how vast is the importance of the difference in system with respect to this member; the whole of the rich, cavernous chiaroscuro of Northern Gothic being dependent on the accumulation of its niches. He seems to have forgotten from the first, that the mountains of Syene are not the rocks of Paros.
Neither the social habits nor intellectual powers of the Greek had so much share in inducing his advance in Sculpture beyond the Egyptian, as the difference between marble and syenite, porphyry or alabaster.
Marble not only gave the power, it actually introduced the thought of representation or realization of form, as opposed to the mere suggestive abstraction: Were it otherwise, were finish possible, the variegated and lustrous surface would not exhibit it to the eye. The imagination itself is blunted by the resistance of the material, and by the necessity of absolute predetermination of all it would achieve.
Retraction of all thought into determined and [Pg 48] simple forms, such as might be fearlessly wrought, necessarily remained the characteristic of the school. The size of the edifice induced by other causes above stated, further limited the efforts of the sculptor. No colossal figure can be minutely finished; nor can it easily be conceived except under an imperfect form.
It is a representation of Impossibility, and every effort at completion adds to the monstrous sense of Impossibility. Space would altogether fail us were we even to name one-half of the circumstances which influence the treatment of light and shade to be seen at vast distances upon surfaces of variegated or dusky color; or of the necessities by which, in masses of huge proportion, the mere laws of gravity, and the difficulty of clearing the substance out of vast hollows neither to be reached nor entered, bind the realization of absolute form.
Yet all these Lord Lindsay ought rigidly to have examined, before venturing to determine anything respecting the mental relations of the Greek and Egyptian. But the fact of his overlooking these inevitablenesses of material is intimately connected with the worst flaw of his theory—his idea of a Perfection resultant from a balance of elements; a perfection which all experience has shown to be neither desirable nor possible.
His account of Niccola Pisano, the founder of the first great school of middle age sculpture, is thus introduced: I cannot over-estimate the importance of this principle; it was on this that, consciously or unconsciously, Niccola himself worked—it has been by following it that Donatello and Ghiberti, [Pg 49] Leonardo, Raphael, and Michael Angelo have risen to glory.
The Sienese school and the Florentine, minds contemplative and dramatic, are alike beholden to it for whatever success has attended their efforts. Like a treble-stranded rope, it drags after it the triumphal car of Christian Art. But if either of the strands be broken, if either of the three elements be pursued disjointedly from the other two, the result is, in each respective case, grossness, pedantry, or weakness: This is mere Bolognese eclecticism in other terms, and those terms incorrect.
We are amazed to find a writer usually thoughtful, if not accurate, thus indolently adopting the worn-out falsities of our weakest writers on Taste. Does he—can he for an instant suppose that the ruffian Caravaggio, distinguished only by his preference of candlelight and black shadows for the illustration and re-enforcement of villainy, painted nature—mere nature—exclusive nature, more painfully or heartily than John Bellini or Raphael? Does he not see that whatever men imitate must be nature of some kind, material nature or spiritual, lovely or foul, brutal or human, but nature still?
Does he himself see in mere, external, copyable nature, no more than Caravaggio saw, or in the Antique no more than has been comprehended by David? Every year he recommended an artist, signing his letter "your brother from the future.
On side B of the disk was the voice of Auckland, recorded at the exact same moment. A record with two faces: Elodie Lesourd Modernism- Rhythm-keepingfor the Culture Often seated at the back of the stage behind the other musicians, the drummer is rarely in the spotlight. He is a solitary figure, ignored, unappreciated and ultimately forgotten. And yet he is the one who leads the dance, who defines the contour of each piece, who determines the tempo, whose rhythm is pivotal, almost primal.
This then is the context in which I transposed two of his works, the ones mentioned above, painting The Dashpers and. Julian Dash per, although not a musician himself, was hugely interested in this most versatile of instruments.
He used it as a readymade to provide the structure for a discourse that mixed issues of identity and cultural heritage. Its low-profile status made it the perfect allegory for works like Big Bang Theory or Untitled the Warriors.
With its undertones of inferiority, isolation and frustration, in his hands it became a symbol of reserve. And the drumheads provided a new and fertile support for pursuing his dual analysis opposing abstraction and popular culture. He loved to dig through art history, so it is only fair that I in turn use his work to reclaim the aesthetic potential of the referent.
Appropriation, which is always ideaor concept-driven, proposes a distancing from art, but the filtering-in of music widens and deepens the discourse. Drum kits have been used a number of times in contemporary art, producing some memorable rim-shots Oldenburg, Marclay and Koh spring to mind.
But Dash per, with his destabilising detachment and intellectual agility, triggers serious ontological reflexion. For my part, through a neo-conceptual interpretation of the codes and modes related to rock culture, I distance myself from the subject for the purpose of semiotic analysis. My access to his form of conceptualism was via another.
Julian wove into his work a web of references, his attachment to artists like Donald Judd and Dan Flavin served to structure his discourse and gave direction to his art. He assumed his role as heir with pride. The homage is subtly visible in the use of quotations. And homage, heritage, critique, and quotation are key elements in both our practices. But over and above this notion of referent, analysing the status of painting was also a common concern.
I paint life-size, free hand, with no mechanical aids or back projections, so self-implication comes from the actual execution of the painted work. The concept of the author, the death of the author Barthes , disappearance, dilution, was something else we both addressed but in opposite directions. The work in question was not about re-painting an installation but about re-painting a painting the drumhead was the canvas a real mise en abime.
The Dotted Note Transforming installations by other artists into paintings confirms the concept, renders permanent an artwork that is ephemeral, and fixes it in time.
The work of]ulian Dash per is truly fluid and, as such, to a degree omnipresent. This transposition is essentially the prolongation of the original work.
In order to be part of this conceptual continuum I have to interact and discuss with the other artist so that he fully comprehends what I am doing and what is involved.
Julian subscribed to the project immediately, was there when it was executed, and saw for himself his piece morphing into a flat and cold one-dimensional image. There is cohesion to his enthusiasm. For the mise en abime of his work inevitably reveals its essence. Photographs of some artworks come to be prized by artists as virtual traces of the original in documentary form.
Installations are dismembered, broken up; they are no longer three-dimensional; they are transformed and impoverished. Their transient status makes them fragile, dooms them to destruction. For what is left of an installation once the show is over? They are reincarnated in new works that will be preserved and frozen in time. Propagation as prolongation. The piece You May Know H im is seen through the eyes of the musician not those of the viewer. Reborn through the sacred art of painting the drum as metaphor- silent in its abstraction- becomes an active force in the discourse.
But the. Imposing a specific format makes diffusion easier, gives the work extra momentum. Wave Field Synthesis Julian questioned the value of isolation. His aim was internationalism and the breaking-down of boundaries.
And in a way my work is proof of his success. The Internet widened his horizons, there were no limits to communication, his works could travel freely, the world was his oyster. In this new order everything could be transported, even stripped of its material form. This process of dematerialisation made possible by the Web can be reversed by painting, which restores the digitised works to life-size.
Propagation by allograph is like the current running through an electric guitar. The guitar can work without it but, as soon as it is plugged in, the interpretations are endless. Mutating, the work becomes communicable, exportable, recognisable, even at the other side of the world -like a refrain.
Blast Beat. My interest in the work of other artists is a function of their association with music in general and rock music in particular. I tend to work with artworks produced recently, sometimes less than one year after their production.
The more recent an artwork is, the more ambiguous its status and the more interesting it is to me. Music as raw material has endless conceptual potential when we make the effort to reveal the recurrent and intricate mechanisms that govern it. Rock music also epitomises youth, effervescence -life itself. So the dialogues I have had with the artists on whom my work is based are lively and intense, rooted in reality and anchored in the present, a present that totally excludes distance and death.
And, by the natural phenomenon of contagion, mine too. Quoting Pliny the Elder: Composed of different elements polymorphous , stemming from different origins international and oscillating between the archaic and the rigid, the drum is emblematic of his work and of his way of thinking.
Associated with modernism it is. Our works may be dissimilar in terms of sensibility, but in concert they have a certain power, with Julian infusing both sense and sensitivity. For Julian, the drummer was the musician in the background, a simple timekeeper. But did it occur to him to what degree he, as the drummer, imposed his own unique, timeless rhythm, a basic beat on which to build?
He is and always will be the leader of the band TheDashpers. Anne M. Dash per Acrylic on wood x JN meets up again with ]D and they begin to meet up on a regular basis in Sydney, Auckland and other European cities when travelling. These recordings also include other artist friends. MF begins to release solo recordings. The cover is designed by JN and the circle motif on the record is designed by JD. It is thought to develop the record label to also. The label effectively becomes a three-part project.
These recordings are not of music but are more like sound documents. This interest continues through the records and CDs they have released on different self-initiated and independent labels.
Pilot Essay was interrupted after two weeks to allow Leo Castelli-Tries tine by birth- to document the history of his New York galleries, then reinstalled for another month.
There we met Moreno Miorelli, a poet from Biella and colleague of New Zealand artist Chiara Corballetto who was living in the valley behind the historic town of Cividale, on the border with Slovenia. They arrived in the 6oos,. He found the people demoralised, poor, and mostly elderly. They had returned to their village on retirement from employment as tram drivers in Turin, in Belgian mines, or in domestic service throughout Europe. The mood was about to change: To polo was planning to celebrate its wooth birthday in It was hard work- with Julian we visited the.
Ten minutes walk from the border which until recently had been part of the Iron Curtain, cutting off the Slovene inhabitants of the village from their relatives in Slovenia it is itself a divided village for political reasons with two parts: The lower village was particularly hostile to us artists and to the whole idea.
Odinea and I in fact made several visits over the next six months to develop relationships which would allow us to proceed. Julian understood the situation very quickly. Few of the houses had telephones in them. He thought about how life had been for those who had resisted the fascist era, the wars, the povertyrelying on subsistence farming only to have their young ones leave for schooling and then find work elsewhere.
So he thought up Future Call- the ex pats ringing home, and the sense of anticipation of those in the village waiting for the telephone call to come For Julian an important feature was that his telephone call was being made from the future.
The call would be made every day of the art event at Julian left Italy before it was decided which house and which telephone number he would call at the appropriate hour from Auckland. Moreno found two villagers Emilio- who had worked in Belgium- and his wife Romilda who were prepared to place their phone on the window sill of their house in the small piazza in the centre of the village.
This is where all the speeches and choir music would be performed during the opening, with heavy foot traffic throughout the weeks of the event. The opening took place on 2 July There are no shops in To polo but for the opening somebody opened a temporary bar. It was about 32 degrees Celcius and the piazza was crowded.
This is from a letter I sent to Julian, 6 July A huge group of people in costume arrived from the surrounding villages: At 5 pm, when the loudspeakers, mike, vice-mayor and choir were ready and anxious to commence, the phone began to ring. We all waited and listened until about ten minutes past five. People talked quietly: At ten past the choir started singing. Every once in a while someone,feeling irritated, would pick up the phone.
They were told off each time by the locals. Next day the phone was left inside the house with the windows open and at 5pm there was more music in the square- this time a piano accordian with singers: The vice- mayor spoke again, and the Slovene consul.
The ringing continued in the background. Agroup ofwomen guarded the phone. Moreno leaned in the window and told them they could pull the connection from the wall after 15 minutes.
They were horrified. Later Moreno told me that ofall the works there were 16 artists this piece held the most meaning for the locals - the very work Moreno had thought would be considered the most difficult.
And that julian would ring not just the day of the opening, but every weekend until the exhibition closed on 15th August. Since then both the village and annual event have changed enormously.
Stazione di Topolo - Postaja Topolove is rigorously bilingual. The selection of works has always been through artist recommending other artists they consider suitable for the social character of the site- it is not a place for making a career, but for making work that in some way has a connection to the people of the place, and for interacting with artists from around the world, many of whom stay a week or more. Julian undertook a subsequent To polo project.
Marie Shannon also exhibited there, and Moreno continues to curate Stazione TopoloPostaja Topolove, as well as other historical memory projects. Julian with Leo Castelli, Nadia Bassanese and. In the late s I came to Wellington. Mondrian in New Zealand, possibly for the very first time, said curator Paula Savage. Kind friends then took me to the South Island: We saw spectacular landscape and some artists and a southern sky of incredible clarity.
Clouds and shadows of clouds on the grass. For the first time I saw paintings by Colin McCahon and because their mood and darkness kept haunting me I returned the next year- mainly to Auckland this time to start the exercise difficult as it turned out of organising an exhibition of the elusive master in Europe.
I remember Jenny Gibbs taking us to a beach of black sand to look at the ocean where McCahon had also been. In the glorious light shining on the lush green, and most of the day talking about the painter with Wystan Curnow and then meeting his father, the great poet , it was difficult not to be led astray by the romance of the country. The year before, in a lecture in Wellington, I had deplored the exclusivity of the modernist tradition and the absence in that context of a painter like McCahon.
Jenny Gibbs then agreed to lend us a small Otago Landscape to hang, as a guest, in the exhibition in Wellington. I was then, happily, saved from succumbing to my own drifting sentimentalities by Julian Dash per. His freshness of mind and his wonderful laconic artistic attitude put me back in the real world of modernism.
They had a lightly brushed 0-shape in the centre, in dull orange, simple and straightforward as a traffic sign. One could easily fold them and carry them in your hand luggage on a plane. I acquired one: It was obvious that Julian not just lived in Auckland but had become one of those travelling modernists, someone like his example Daniel Buren- at home in the world. For that adventurous attitude and an impressive artistic independence he was important- and for his wit and energy and, I remember, his optimism.
Eventually the painting with the 0-shape was joined in Amsterdam by the Otago Landscape when Jenny Gibbs donated the little McCahon jewel to us.
Thus the circle was completed. Jan van der Ploeg. In , the so-called Abel Tasman year, I was invited to visit New Zealand with a few colleagues as part of a cultural exchange between New Zealand and the Netherlands.
We were toured around the country by Luit Bieringa and spoke about our work in public galleries and art schools in Auckland, Wellington, New Plymouth, Christchurch and Whanganui.
On the way we were introduced to many people from the New Zealand art world: We had a great evening; we spoke about our work and Julian invited me to visit his studio the next day. The visit was very good, we had a great conversation and I was impressed with the works Julian showed me.
Back in Amsterdam we kept in contact via fax. For the exhibition Stelling Gallery published a catalogue and the idea was that the show would go to Auckland and that I would visit New Zealand once more. Julian has always been very good and loyal in sharing friendships, interests and information, and in bringing people together.
He introduced us to his colleagues and students; he encouraged them to travel and promoted their work. We met a number of them in Amsterdam and with many we still maintain good contact. I have very good memories of all the times we met. I was given a guest apartment to stay in with a beautiful, simple Donald Judd-designed table, chair and bed. One evening in Marfa we all cooked a meal together for when Robert Irwin came to visit. We sat along the long tables in the Arena building.
In Italy we shared a very special and intense moment together, the first time we visited Stazione di To polo.
During the opening weekend we watched various concerts and performances. At midnight all visitors were invited to walk up the hill past the chapel to the cemetery. An artist had installed a telescope in between the graves.
Julian and I both felt that we were looking straight into heaven, and together we remembered the close relatives we both had recently lost. Through the years Julian made many friends in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. His work is very well respected and it was a great moment when Rudi Fuchs bought his work for the collection of the Stedelijk Museum and prominently showed his painting in the Thin Ice exhibition alongside other great and famous international artists.
Where ever we went we would always have a lot of fun together and something would always happen. One day, years ago, the two of us went on a trip to Utrecht for a tour through the Rietveld Schroder House and to visit the pavilion with Rietveld furniture designs in the Centraal Museum. Walking through the exhibition I got ahead of Julian and was in another room when I heard a guard saying, "excuse me sir, can you please come away from. Being so far away from each other we would often e-mail, sometimes more than once a day.
We would know what the other was up to whether we were at home working in our studios or travelling around the world for exhibitions. Marie contacted me to explain that Julian was seriously ill, and I was on a plane to Auckland the next day. We spent a week together with Marie, Leo, his family and his friends.
Saying goodbye to Julian when I had to go was probably the most difficult thing ever, knowing that I would never see again my best friend and colleague Julian Dash per. One such incident had me heading to a small village, population 31, in the northeastern corner of Italy. In the Victoria State Library Map Collection with the help of a librarian I checked current maps, historical maps, indexes, encyclopedias and databases, yet there was no mention of this far-flung village anywhere.
It did not exist in this library basement stacked with topological renderings and encyclopedic lists of the world. Julian was fond of such slippage- that a corner of the world may have gone undetected, and I think he liked that I was calling to confirm he was sending me somewhere real.
Julian was also fond of this small village for its proximity to borders. He had once shown me photos of the invisible line separating east and west Europe- one foot in Italy, one foot in Slovenia.
Julian liked the contorted logic this presented someone from an island in the middle of an oceanic expanse. I was reading the other day about modernism and thinking about Julian. It is certainly the case that Julian was. I saw references to him in the discarded frames that lay over the top of one another in my studio- they appeared interlocked, forming a chain.
Regardless of whether one argues for modernity as a single project, or whether one affirms modernities in the plural, I wondered as I read whether or not Julian had operated in the gap between one notion of modernism and many. In retrospect, the comingling of conventions in his work- frames, devices, references to the canon and allusion to local art history, resumes, slides, telephones, drum kits, chain-links- seem to repel and attract modernism in the singular and plural sense.
Time has a complicated relationship with the museum and the white cube. At one moment these spaces suspend work in a timeless void, yet they are also the storehouses of time- marking it and reminding us of its passing- this is something I have tested in my own work, and something I believe Julian was also interested in.
I think Julian was interested in permanence, in time. I see evidence of this in the lengths of pine- the stretches leaning against a wall.
These works toy with the question. To own this, to live with it, collect it, to consider its life beyond the exhibition throws up all sorts of interesting problems- does the work exist when not installed?
Is the work located in the relationship between the object, the wall and the floor? Is the shadow part of the work? Is gravity listed as a material? It is certainly the case that these works operate, on some level, as a provocation of permanence. The temporal action of leaning something against a wall an act that is simultaneously understated and overstated flexes time -and now that Julian has gone, these works gain further significance in their poise, heightening our awareness of time passing.
Julian and I often shared photos and information on Cass as we gathered it. According to Wikipedia, it is referred to as the smallest town on earth, population 1. The title refers to the lone figure population 1 sitting on the train platform, waiting. A featureless face, no mouth, no eyes - nothing.
The act of rendering the figure mute tells us Angus was clearly interested in the landscape and the landscape alone.
He turns our attention away from this obsession -this obsession with ourselves, and refocuses it on the lone figure who was there all along, sitting, waiting, travelling and thinking.
Nine copies of Speculation; three empty CD size Handi Boxes; two joined stretchers of Belgian linen which may or may not be painted with morphine; a box of brochures from the and Venice Biennales; correspondence A tall thin box containing press kits from European art fairs ; an exhibition poster; an A4 envelope containing maps, itinerary and various exhibition cards and invitations from Amsterdam; a Sunday Express article on Stonehenge, or perhaps on football; two proof sheets of photographs of sky; an empty paper bag.
A vinyl travel wallet containing: A letter from Jan asking, "How is the baby? I am looking at boxes of correspondence: Allen Maddox 14 Burlington Rd Napier. Dear julian, I received an invite today for your show at Real PicturesPhotographs! I liked the paintings- nice and loose, and certainly not like photos. A comment- one of the paintings had ultramarine blue tracery travelling down the picture in sort of lazy zig-zags. I show with Peter in November, and am working towards that.
Ifyou felt inclined, you could drop me a line sometime. Hope this finds you well. Good luck for your show at Real Pictures. Warm regards, Allen. Insta llation view Midwestern Unlike You and Me: Installation view Midwestern Unlike You and Me: The Gift from: No majestic mountains, no improbably green pastures- just a bland tangle of shopping malls and suburbia. I follow a dead-end street, past a rubber plant, a roofing company, a drainage service, and a plastics manufacturer, until I reach a white building behind a chain-link fence.
Inside is a kernel of a nation within a nation- a sneak preview of what a climate change exodus looks like. It was an apt choice. The tiny nation of Tuvalu, some 1o,ooo people living on six atolls and three reef islands, punched way above its weight at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP Bringing a strand of negotiations to a halt, the Tuvaluan representatives led a coalition of small island states and least developed countries to propose what became known as the Tuvalu Copenhagen Protocol: As predicated sea level rises occur, low-lying Tuvalu and its neighbour Kiribati are expected to be among the first places to be rendered uninhabitable.
Basic physics suggests this may already be inevitable. With a population some 10 times that of Tuvalu, Kiribati is in a precarious situation. Beyond the immediate need for a future homeland, representatives of nation states like Kiribati and Tuvalu- which have made negligible contributions to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels- know that the charges they make against heavier carbon emitters are effectively unanswerable. As COP15 made apparent once again, there is as yet no effective and binding decision-making mechanism for dealing with the way that the actions of some people in some parts of the world are jeopardising the existence of others elsewhere.
This is an ethical and political fault-line running right through the heart of the globalised modernity we have constructed for ourselves over the last few centuries. Or, as philosophers like to say, abyssal. So much for flux, flotation and lightness: Hervey put it -for unrelated reasonsback in the midst of our cultural nationalist phase.
In the successful but footloose and impecunious Australian-Scots painter Ian Fairweather made a solo crossing of the Timor Sea, setting out from Darwin where he had been dossing in an abandoned ship. On a self-assembled raft, poorly equipped, with no more than a libraryacquired knowledge of navigation, Fairweather commended himself to the perilous currents and tides of the Timor- and rather miraculously washed up, 16 days later, on the small island of Roti. Here, the exhausted "argonaut" was taken in by villagers and nursed back to health.
At the heart of these shows is a serviceable reconstruction of the vessel Fairweather cobbled together out of driftwood and scrap, its flotation provided by empty fuel tanks from Japanese fighter planes, its sail a cast-off parachute Fig. No mere museumification, Stevenson surrounds the raft - "rakit" to the Roti Islanders - with an inventory of recreated documentary and ethnographic artifacts - which serve as navigational aids helping to bring this postwar Oceanic adventure into an open-ended conversation with the very different currents and flows of our own era.
When Fairweather made his voyage, his requistioning of World War Two flotsam for peaceable purposes may have had a certain swords-to-ploughshares ring to it, in our own climate jittery century, the recycling of aviation fuel containers to float a windpowered vessel suggests another, just as recklessly hopeful, reappropriation. Today, its oil and gas deposits have turned the Timor Sea into contested territory, while the Australian navy and coast guard patrol these waters in order to thwart the boatloads of undocumented migrants who attempt the hazardous crossing to Australia.
But if the Timor Sea is already a site of life and death struggles to make landfall, if our Pacific neighbours are currently entreating us for new homelands, then what is likely to become of our encircling seas and beachheads when the hard-core realities of climate change really start to weigh in?
I was drawn to what Emma Bugden had to say in the previous issue of this journal about the concern with carbon emissions meaning that distance will likely matter for New Zealand cultural producers in new ways. Over much the same span that social thinkers have been finessing their theories of globalisation, geoscientists have been composing their own concepts of global interconnectedness.
They have been developing a vision of the earth as a. One in which here and there, now and then, are linked by vast circulations, conveyor belts and teleconnections. However much it muddies the polemics of climate change politics, earth science cannot but help reminding us that anthropogenic inputs make a difference only because climate systems are inherently shifting and changeable, and that global climatic regimes have tipped and see-sawed many times in the human and prehuman past.
And what kind of welcome, I want to ask, awaits those who have this sort of strangeness visited upon them? Blue Displacement I was starting to think through the issue of climate change in relation to islands and coasts before I left New Zealand just over a decade ago- in the context of a little online show I put together called Shrinking Worlds. Though the results were mixed and the impact barely discernible, a few fortuitous juxtapositions nudged my thinking along.
In particular there was a conversation between some "digital sketches" John Lyall generated while he was working towards his installation Towards a Hyper-JeralArt,Aotearoa: My own spin on the sort of animated exchanges Lyall and Shepherd get up to in real life. In their own very distinct ways, both artists were engaging with the media through which Pacific islands were materially and symbolically constructed in the European expansionist phase, both probing the complicity of wide-eyed imaginings and hard-edged reason.
Cook had learned his trade serving on coal-carrying ships, and both the Endeavour and the Resolution were converted colliers- sturdy, shallow-drafted vessels designed to heft a good cargo. His voyages set out literally from the birthplace of the industrial revolution, from the time and the place of the coal-fired take-off which we now know to be the beginning of a self-reinforcing unearthing of sequestered carbon that would come to transform the globe in its entirety.
And so, it seemed to me, there were two shock waves simultaneously unleashed from the epicentre of. I was quite pleased with the idea of seeing the ocean as a medium of two distinct but implicated waves of transformation that ebbed around the earth and washed up on "our" beaches and coastlines. But already those insights feel like they belong to an earlier, simpler era, one in which the hard new facts of human-induced climate change seemed to declare the need for an aboutturn in the destiny for our modernity, a time when we could point the finger unambiguously at the biggest, heaviest carbon emitters.
This is, understandably, still the message of progressive climate change politics, and it still holds a lot of water. Anthropogenic climate change is indeed significant, and its causes are profoundly uneven in their historical, geographical and social distribution. The more complex picture, however, is of a global climate with cycles and rhythms and jitters at every conceivable spatia-temporal scale.
Perhaps the most disturbing revelation of the last decade or so in the earth sciences has been the gathering evidence of the speed at which climate has changed in the past. Each long wave movement in and out of an ice age now turns out to be rent by multitudes of rapid warmings and coo lings that saw the temperature in some parts of the world shift by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit 9.
As glaciologist Richard Alley sums up: Lines of Defence Bawdsey, Suffolk February 12, 38 appliqued fiags on posts, year-long web-cast, photo archive, t ime-lapse film, www. Betti na FurneetDylan Banarse. Lines of Defence Bawdsey, Suffolk October 15, 38 appliqued fiags on posts, year- long web-cast, photo archive, time- lapse fi lm, www. Even without abrupt climate change, we have had some reminders lately of these ongoing forces of the earth: These are human tragedies but they are also unexceptional sea-coast stuff, what happens habitually along the land-sea interface on a dynamic planet.
Even here in the UK where I now live- far from tectonic plate junctures, tropical cyclones and the climatic pulsing of the El Nifio Southern Oscillationthe waterfront is a troublesome and insecure zone. On the southeast coast the land is naturally sinking as a long term response to the last glacial period. As the north of the islands gradually tip back up, so the southeast correspondingly drops down, resulting in ongoing encroachment by the sea.
Sited on a stretch of eroding beachfront on the Suffolk coast, the five rows of flags run inland from the cliff face. Photographed every 15 minutes for a year beginning on January 15 zoos,. The last one falls on September 16, marking the permanent loss of 14 metres ofland in just eight months Fig. Global Flow, Planned Retreat "Planned" or "managed retreat" is the technical term for an environmental management strategy of permitting an eroding shoreline to recede at its own pace, sometimes involving deliberate breaching of former retaining walls and relocation of built structures.
Here in England, as in Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia and many other places on the global littoral, those whose land and lives are left unprotected tend to feel abandoned, and some residents have taken coastal defence into their own hands.
But if this is a big issue even before the oceans have manifest significant sea level increase, what can we expect with anticipated rises of up to two metres over the rest of this century, and the very real possibility of a seven metre rise if things go downhill rapidly in Greenland or West Antarctica? The concept of planned retreat, I want to suggest, might well be bound for a much broader applicability than current coastal management.
The predicament of the people of Tuvalu, Kiribati and other low-lying islands will also be shared by millions living in deltas and other low elevation coastal regions. Elsewhere even hastier retreats are being considered. A geologist colleague is currently working on an evacuation plan for the city of Padang on the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. That fault-line where the India tectonic plate meets and slips beneath the Burma plate- the one that generated the Indian Ocean tsunami- is still "ripe" for further readjustment.
The high spirit which animated the descendants of the Normans and Germans had now retired from distant and fruitless crusades, and was occupied chiefly in the wars, or the domestic feuds, of Europe. The eastern empire had protracted its feeble existence by arts calculated to debase the ruler, and to extinguish every spark of manly fire in the breasts of the people. The court of Constantinople had practised perjury and treachery, had submitted to insult and public reprimand: The unwarlike Greeks were not, however, the only enemies with whom the Ottomans had to contend.
The downfal of the Byzantine empire was retarded by the fears, or the jealousy, of the emirs who still exercised independent power over the fairest provinces of the Seljukian monarchy. The sovereignty of the emir of Cara- mania, which derives it name from the mountain Amanus, extended over Cilicia, and part of the frontiers of Lycaonia, Pamphilia, Caria, and the greater Phrygia, Ionia Ma-, ritima, as far as the city of Smyrna, obeyed the family of Sarukhan.
Aidin consisted of the greatest part of Mysia, together with some part of Lydia. The principality "of Mentes derived its name from a city in Caria called Mendos or Myn-dus.
Ertogrul was buried in this town, and his tomb is to this day held in veneration by the Ottomans. Leunclavius, historiat Musulmanics Turcorum, p. Francofurti ChaJ-condylas, 1. Knolles, v. Orient, voc. Carman, Carax Hi, Aidin, Soli. Mignot, t. Gibbon, v. The names or titles of the several governors, exclusively of the sultan of Iconium, are thus enumerated in the Turkish annals seeCantemir, preface, p.
Haya The Asiatic Greeks, thus insulated among powerful and irreconcileable enemies, could not protect themselves by union or confederacy, and despaired of succour from the Byzantine emperors, who, after the feeble effort. In the mean time Osman, by frequent and important acquisitions in Phrygia, Mysia, and Bithynia, laid the foundations of his empire: But Osman had so terrified the Christians, by his consummate skill and san-guiuary practice in war, that they cautiously-avoided giving him any cause of offence.
Before his power was firmly established he prudently connected himself, by a general treaty of amity, with the surrounding chieftains: Formidable only to his enemies, Osman endeavoured to soothe into loyalty the subjects whom he had acquired by force, and to reconcile the conquered Christians to his government by the exercise of justice and of mercy; by leaving, in some instances, the ancient laws of the country without abrogation or change, or by the establishment and impartial admi- liv nistration of new and salutary regulations.
He neglected no means, which the wisest policy could dictate, of alluring the conquered people to return to their settlements. Among the captives, the women and the children were taken under his peculiar protection. Submission ensured safety to all, and conversion to Mahometanism led to dignity and affluence. Their name and nation were no longer dear to the Greeks. The civil and military virtues of Osman were not the only causes of his success.
The Turkish subjects of the neighbouring emirs flocked to the standard of a victorious prince, who distributed among his soldiers the fruits of his conquest, in whose success the favour of heaven was visible, and the continuance of whose prosperity was announced by the koran itself, which declares, that at the commencement of each century, a period which corresponded with the origin of the Ottoman monarchy, God will send to his people a chosen servant in order to renew their faith.
He did not, however, limit his ambition to victories over infidels. While he increased and cemented his power, the Seljukian emirs had, in many instances, weakened their states by dividing them among their children. The protection of the house of Osman was solicited in proportion as it grew formidable. Ork-han was invited to arbitrate between the heirs of the neighbouring provinces, whose dominions became the price of his interference, and gradually and imperceptibly dropped into his possession, by force or by fraud, by marriage or cession.
Tindal, the translator of Cantemir, says p. But it appears to me, on the contrary, that the injunction relates wholly to the line of conduct which Orkhan was counselled to hold towards the Seljukian emirs.
See also Knolles, v. Cantemir, p. While the Ottoman empire was limited to Asia, its preponderance silenced jealousy, or it crushed opposition, but when the son of Orkhan had effected his passage across the Hellespont, and the Ottoman armies were engaged in frequent and obstinate warfare on the opposite continent, the Asiatic princes united their arms for the purpose of recovering their independence. Their revolts greatly retarded the progress of the sultans in their fo- reign conquests, and protracted the final overthrow of the Greek empire: Gib- bon T.
Its inaccessible mountains, a branch of the Taurus, were the seat of the descendants of the pirates who were subdued by Pompey. They were afterwards the asylum of a few mutineers, who revolted from the ttandard of the emperor Gallienus, and preserved themselves for two hundred and thirty years in savage independence in the midst of the Roman armies.
See Gibbon, v. The plains near Dory-laeum, where the crusaders gained a decisive battle over Soliman, sultan of Roum, in the year , were afterwards called firenk svalare. The wars wherein both parties were orthodox Mussulmans, were, however, carried on with comparative mildness.
Murad had ordered, that none of his soldiers, under pain of death, should use violence to the country people, or take any thing from them by force, in order that it might appear to the world, that he made war against Mahometans rather to repel injury and wrong, than from any lust of ambition or of avarice; and in further confirmation of the purity of his motives, he not only punished some Christian auxiliaries for transgressing his orders, but even permitted the conquered emirs to retain their territories.
Murad having thus intimidated and pacified Asia, extended his conquests, not only over the whole province of Thrace to the verge of the capital, but even into Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Servia, and Albania, when he was assassinated on the field of battle, after gaining the victory of Cossova over the confederated army of the Sclavonian tribes, headed by Lazarus.
Laonicus Chalcondylas de origine et rebus gestis Turcorum. Earn regionis partem, quse a Pherris tendit usque ad Axium flumen, Pogdano tribuit, viro bono et rei militaris peritissimo. Regio-nem, quse a Pherris excurrit ad Istrum, Chrati et Unglesi fra. Regionem Istro adjacentem nactus est, contribuente rege, Bulcus Eleazurus, Pranci films. Trica et Castoria obvenere Nicolao Zupano. AEtolia decreta est Prialupi. Ochridem et regionem Prilisbseam dictam Placidae, viro haud ignobilij regendam dedit.
Commemorates modo tiros accepimus Europas regionibus prxfectos esse a rege Stepano, qui, ubi exhalavit animam, singuli suas regiones, quas a vivo gubernandas. Gracis vero, ut cuique opportunum erat, admo-dum bellicis armis molesti eiant. Michaelem Mysiorum ducem, qui imperavit locis Istro subjectis et- regni sui sedem Trinabum constituit, Stepano antiquiorem extitisse audivi, prseterea Bul-garos, quos Mysios vocamus, ibi sedes tenuisse accepi. Service autem et Tryballos a se discretes tandem ad istum nomen emersisse.
The Sclavonian language or the Illyric is spoken, at this day, over a greater extent of country than any other living language ; for, exclusively of many countries of Asia, it prevails in Dalmatia, Croatia, Epirus or Albania, Bosnia, Servia, Bulgaria, Russia, Poland, Bohemia, and Silesia.
It has no affinity with the Turkish or Hungarian. The Mahometan princes of Asia had been subdued by force, but their minds were not -li yet moulded into slavish submission. Baja-zet was diverted from the prosecution of his wars against the infidel nations of Europe by their intrigues and their insurrections, till at length, finding it impossible to reconcile them, he resolved to keep no longer any lxii measures with treacherous allies or disaffected subjects. The princes themselves were sacrificed to his ambition or his safety.
By these usurpations, and by his conquests in Armenia and on the banks of the Euphrates, Bajazet had now reached the term of his greatness, the frontiers of the Mogul empire. Timour, or Tamerlane, a Mussulman prince, renowned for his austerity and his justice, ruled over the eastern world, and held liis imperial court in the city of Samarcand.
The Asiatic emirs, oppressed by tyranny and misfortune, fled from the power of Bajazet by different routes and under various disguises;— they met together in the court of Tamerlane, recounted their grievances, and pre- lxiii sented their petitions, at the foot of his throne. Tamerlane, though attentive to the progress of Bajazet, had felt no envy at his -prosperity, but had witnessed with approbation his active and successful warfare against their common enemy, the Christians.
He was unwilling to interrupt the holy occupations of Bajazet, who was at that time engaged in besieging Constantinople, and he affected to disbelieve, that a prince so zealous in the cause of religion, and so observant of justice, could exercise violence and oppression towards his friends and faithful associates. His jealousy was, however, awakened by the intelligence, that Bajazet, after subjecting the whole of Asia Minor, was meditating the conquest of Syria and Egypt, and had even made preparations for carrying on war against the sultan of Cairo: He then marched against Sivas, or Sebaste, demolished the fortifications, razed the city to the ground, trampled the citizens under the hoofs of his cavalry, and again sent a summons to the sultan, exhorting him to return to the duties of religion and the practice of virtue, and to restore the princes to their rights.
Bajazet refused and resisted, but resistance was in vain. Tamerlane planted his victorious standard at Kutahia, and dispersed his troops, without further resistance, over the greatest part of the Ottoman empire in Asia. Bajazet acquired the sur--name of ilderim or lightning from the frequency and quickness of his alternate marches from his European, to his Asiatic, frontiers.
Chalcondylas, 1. Knolles p. Cantemir p. Paris arrogates to himself the merit of having decided this historical problem, from the discovery of some human bones a nd rusty weapons in a field near Brusa. When he had broken the fabric of their ancient government, he abandoned them to the evils which his invasion had aggravated, or caused, nor were these evils compensated by any present or possible benefits.
The sons of Bajazet, and the Seljukian emirs were re-instated in their, hereditary dominions, and confessed, by the homage of the coin and prayer, their own dependence, and the clemency of their common lord. Mussah was lxviii appointed by Tamerlane to the government of Anatolia, and Issa to that of Angora, Sinope, and the neighbouring countries on the Euxine sea.
Gibbon, however, who, in order to acquire a jutt idea of these events, has compared the narratives and prejudices of the Moguls, Turks, Greeks, and Arabians, says, that So-liman, the son of Bajazet, soothed the pride of the conqueror with tributary gifts, and accepted, by a red patent, the investiture of the kingdom of Romania, which he already held by the sword.
He, however, omits the mention of Issa, whose name, together with those of several other Ottoman princes, the sons of Bajazet, he supposes to have been introduced by the ignorance of Phranza and other Christian writers, p. Gibbon v. SaiaziJ p. The Ottomans, though they omit the name of Tamerlane in the catalogue of their mo-narchs, consider this period of their history as an interregnum.
None of these princes, on account of the division and the dependent nature of their power, are classed among the Ottoman sultans, nor honoured with the title of padisliah. They are merely distinguished by the appellation of chelebi. The death of Tamerlane, the division of his empire among his sons, their discord, and the ambition of his great captains, relieved the Turkish provinces from the Tartar yoke.
Mignot t. The permanence of the Ottoman government during this long suspension of its regular exercise, is, perhaps, the most remark-aBle circumstance in the history of the nation. The empire had been dismembered by the policy of the conqueror. The prevalence of a prejudice among the Turks which connects the prosperity of the empire with the Ottoman government, preserved the attachment of the subjects to the blood and family of its founder, and prevented competition among the neighbouring princes for the dominion of its hereditary possessions, and its acknowledged and legitimate conquests.
The vital principle of the Ottoman government was, however, more especially preserved in the European provinces of the empire by the institution of the military order of janizaries, which had been formed, in the reign preceding that of Baja- lxxi set, by a levy of every fifth captive taken in the Thracian or Sclavonian wars: To the overawing influence of this establishment are also to be attributed the supineness of the Byzantine emperors, and the inattention of the governments of Christendom to a juncture apparently so favourable to the extermination of the Turkish power in Europe, and to the reduction of it in Asia.
No combined attack was made upon the European Turks, although, in their insulated situation, it could hardly have failed of success. No means were even used to intercept the communication of Europe with Asia, which-a fleet, stationed at the Hellespont, could so easily have effected. Voltaire, cssai sur les moeurs, chap.
Mahomet the First restored the inte-grity and the peace of the Ottoman empire. A few days before his death he summoned Murad, who was governor of Amasia, to come and take possession of his inheritance, and concluded his letter by a distich of his own composition in the Persian language.
Mustafa, the eldest of the sons of Bajazet, had fallen in the battle against lamerlane; but an impostor for such the Ottoman historians have determined him to be , from a strong resemblance of shape and feature, assumed the name and character of the heir of the empire.
The princes of Wallachia were the first to encourage and promote his pretensions, but their army was routed by lxxiii Mahomet, and their country was at once exposed to ravage and subjected to tribute. Murad the Second, in the very commencement of his reign, was reduced to the greatest difficulties by the victorious progress of Mustafa. By these conquests the frontiers of the Ottoman empire were extended to the borders of Hungary, the entrance into whose plains was defended only by the fortress of Belgrade, and the valour and military resources of the celebrated Hunniades.
Murad, having thus restored. The Byzantine emperors had entered into the league with the Hungarians, and the Hellespont was occupied by the gallies of the Franks. Gibbon, T. Caramania was not, however, entirely subdued until the reign of Mahomet the Second Cantemir, preface, p. Chalcondylas, in describing the state of the Turkish empire under Mahomet the Second, seems to confirm the assertion of Cantemir.
Canterair p. A strange diffidence in the resources of his empire. Ixxxix, p. The admirable situation of Constantinople, the walls and suburbs of which, under Con-stantine Palseologus, comprised the whole of the Roman world, and the history of its last memorable siege, are familiar to every reader.
The events of this siege have been related both by the victors and the vanquished, and consequently with all the disagreement to which their opposite feelings on the occasion must have given rise. It is confirmed by the unanimous testimony of the Greek and Turkish writers, that Mahomet, in order to Attack the city on the side of the harbour, transported a flotilla overland from the Bosphorus.
This bold and extraordinary plan was executed in a single night, though the intervening space of ground is hilly. The distance is, however, erroneously stated to be about ten miles; for it is even less than two miles from Beshiktash on the Bosphorus to Cassim Pasha on the harbour.
See Cantemir, p. Mahomet the Second acquired the surname of fatih, or the vanquisher, from the number and the importance of his conquests. He united under his sceptre all the provinces in Europe which had formerly belonged to the eastern division of the Roman empire, and the whole of Asia on this side mount Taurus.
He expelled the Genoese colony from Kaffa in the Crimea, and confirmed the khan of the Tartars in the dominion over the hordes which were diffused throughout that peninsula, and the deserts on the north of the Euxine sea from the Dniester to the Cuban. After the death of Mahomet his generals were recalled from the conquest of Italy, which they had already successfully commenced by the sack of the city of Otranto. See p. Bajazet the Second rather consolidated than enlarged the dominion which he had inherited from his ancestors.
The beginning of the reign of Bajazet had been disturbed by the pretensions of his brother Djem, who founded his title to the succession on the circumstance of his having been born the son of a sultan, whereas the birth of Bajazet had preceded the elevation of his father to the imperial dignity. Djem, who held the government of Magnesia, raised a powerful army, but was defeated by the grand vizir Ahmed.
He then fled to the sultan of Egypt, who offered his mediation with Bajazet, but did not encourage nor assist his pretensions. He next excited the Caramanians to rebel, but the war -terminated in their subjection to the power of the sultan.
He finally escaped by sea to the island of Rhodes, and took refuge among the knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. Mig-not, t. It was indeed a series of such triumphs which led the effeminate and virgin city to the ludicrous consummation of her Gallic nuptials in the eighteenth century. This military and religious order was instituted about the middle of the eleventh century for the purpose of succouring pilgrims, and of protecting them in their dangerous journey through Palestine.
When Jerusalem was abandoned, the knights took up their residence in the island of Cyprus, where the house of Lusignan continued to reign; but the obligation of their oath, the restlessness of the military spirit, and the love of glory, prompted them to acquire by arms an independent establishment. They obtained possession of the island of Rhodes after an obstinate contest with the inhabitants, who, aided by the Saracens, had shaken off the yoke of the Byzantine emperors ;—here their navy continued to harass the commerce, and ravage the coasts, of the Turkish empire.
The grand master of the order received and protected the fugitive rival of the sultan, and firmly resisted both the solicitations and the menaces of Bajazet, but consented at length to remove him to a greater distance from the Ottoman territories, in consideration of an advantageous treaty which was offered him by the porte.
Mignot, on the authority of the Christian writers, attributes his death to Alexander the Sixth, who was bribed to perpetrate this atrocious action by a sum of three hundred thousand ducats sent him by Bajazet. He was himself suspected by the janizaries of disaffection to their order: Selim the First, surnamed Yavuz or the Cruel, having defeated and strangled his brothers, who were competitors for the throne, saw himself the undisputed master of an extensive empire, mighty in itself, and defended on every side by rivers, mountains, and deserts.
Volney, voyage en Syrie et en Egypte, t. Sme edit. Paris, an vii. The sultan led back his victorious army to Amasia, loaded with booty, but diminished in numbers, and depressed by suffering and disease. Selim, whose ambition projected the entire conquest of Persia, no longer dared to leave in his rear such faithless allies, or such dangerous enemies.
Selim put a stop to their progress by the rapidity of his movements, or awed them by the magnitude of his preparations.
Egypt, the civilization of which had begun at such an early period that even before the time of Abraham its government had degenerated into absolute monarchy, has patiently endured, during two thousand three hundred years, the successive dominion of strangers.
A Turcman occupied the vacant throne, and the Mamelukes thenceforward arrogated to themselves the privilege of electing and cashiering the sovereign of Egypt.
Their history, for two hundred and fifty-seven years, is a series of crimes and disorders. The Turcman, were supplanted by the Circassian, Mamelukes. Amrou, in a letter to the caliph, thus describes the country of Egypt. Such is Egypt. All its riches and productions, from Syene td Mensha, are owing to a blessed river which flows with majesty through the midst of it. The periods of its rise and fall are as regular as the courses of the sun and moon.
Then its waters swell till they overflow their bed, and cover the land of Egypt, depositing on its surface a prolific slime. Commerce between the villages is carried on at that time only by means of light boats, which are as numerous as the leaves of the palm-tree.
The seed develops itself, the stalk rises, and the ear is formed, by the aid of an abundant dew, which supplies the want of rain, and keeps up the nourishing moisture with which the soil is imbued. A rich crop- is immediately succeeded by sterility.
Thus, O prince of the faithful, Egypt offers by turns the image of a powdery desert, a liquid and silvery plain, a black and slimy marsh, a green and waving meadow, a garden blooming with flowers, or a field covered with yellow harvests. Blessed be the creator of so many wonders.
The first, not lightly to adopt projects engendered by fiscal avidity for increasing the taxes: Both nations, although they had engaged in actual warfare in behalf of their dependents or their allies, were, however, restrained from open or avowed hostilities by mutual respect for the number, the strength, and the prowess, of their enemies.
The Ottoman sultans were superior in the physical robustness of their infantry, in their steady valour and rigorous discipline; while the Mameluke cavalry, which has preserved its reputation through all the successive improvements in the art of war, constituted the main support of the Egyptian armies.
The Mamelukes of that age were chiefly of the Circassian race: Volney, t. Selim, however, preferred his submission to his alliance, and profiting by the secret, but inveterate, enmity of the governors of Damascus and Aleppo, he encouraged their desertion from the standard of Egypt.
The power of the Mamelukes was dissolved by the decisive battle of Meritz Dabik, in which the Egyptian sultan was slain with the flower of his army. The submission of Syria and Palestine, the defeat of the new king ot Egypt, Touman Baih, with the conquest of that country, immediately followed.
Mecca sent her keys to the conqueror in token of submission, and her scherif received the orders of Selim which regulated the succession to the principality. Volney t. Selim confirmed, with certain modifications, the form of administration which al-Yeady prevailed in Egypt. The government established by Selim subsisted till the year , when Ibrahim Kiahya effected a revolution which transferred to the Mamelukes the reality of power, and reduced the authority of the Ottoman porte and the pasha to a nullity and a pageant.
The sultan returned to his capital, leading with him the last caliph of the house of Abbas, by whose resignation he obtained for the princes of the Ottoman dynasty the title of caliph, so important in the eyes of Islamism as conferring the powers of sovereign pontiff, administrator of justice, and doctor of legislation. He died while projecting new conquests. The mind of Selim was, however, adorned or vitiated by the literature, and the philosophy, of his age and country; while his character was marked by the most revolting incongruities.
The same man, whose vengeance reared, on the banks of the Nile, a pyramid of human skulls, constructed and embellished the pavillion of the nilometre. He overturns the throne of the conqueror, and scatters the treasures of the lords of the Nile.
Soliman ascended the throne of his father under the most favourable auspices. He was born in the nine-hundredth year of the hegira, and was himself the tenth sultan of the Ottoman race;—this combination of perfect numbers was considered by his subjects to presage the splendour of his reign and the prosperity of his empire.
His father, the victim of superstition, had acknowledged on his death-bed, that a holy man of Damascus, who enforced his belief by foretelling his victory, had also predicted, that, though his own reign should not exceed nine years, that of Soliman should extend through half a century. The conquests of Selim had secured the empire in Asia from the apprehension of external attack, and left to Soliman the choice of extending its boundaries either to the east or the west. The Hungarians waited his determination with anxiety, but without using the precautions which their own situation and the affairs of Europe seemed to require.
Belgrade, which had successfully repelled the attacks of Mahomet the Great and his father Murad, and was considered not only the bulwark of Hungary, but the chief barrier of the Christian commonwealth, was, nevertheless, left with a garrison insufficient for its defence, and ill-supplied with provisions and military stores. Coxe, however, who has had the advantage of consulting the histories of national and contemporary writers, says History of the house of Austria, v.
Though Rhodes, while in the hands of the knights, was acknowledged to be the only defence of Italy against the fleets and armies of the Turks, it had received no assistance from the Christian princes in its last great struggle. Venice was in league with the porte. The general politics xcviii of Europe, and the incomplete union of its states in any plan of defence against the common enemy, precluded the expectation, and even the possibility, of effectual co-operation among them.
In this posture of affairs, the councils of Soliman were decided by the peculiar inaptitude of Hungary for resisting, unsupported, the shock of the Turkish arms. Soliman stationed an army of sixty thousand men under the command of the beylerbey of Anatolia for preserving the tranquillity of Asia: Robertson, history of the reign of the emperor Charles V, v. Robertson, v. Coxe, v. In the meantime Lewis, embarrassed by the tedious forms of the feudal constitution, assembled the states of his kingdom, whose previous sanction was necessary to enable him to summon the Hungarian nobility to take up arms in defence of their invaded country.
The military force of Hungary consisted almost wholly of cavalry, composed of the nobles or possessors of fiefs, their vassals, and servants. Every proprietor of land was obliged, in consequence of his military tenure, to march with a proportionate number of vassals under the c standard of the officer of his district.
These forces, which were not consolidated by any identity of discipline and skill, could make but a feeble resistance against a regular army, even if they had been united under one command. But though every consideration of prudence and of patriotism evinced the imperious necessity of repressing faction and of adhering to the sovereign, the nobility still continued to make their own pri-r vileges the primary object of their concern.
The king could command the attendance of the nobles only in extraordinary circumstances, and under peculiar conditions. He could summon all the armed force of the country to his camp when the state was acknowledged to be in danger; but the service of the feudal vassals was for a limited time, and they could not be compelled to carry on war far beyond their own frontier. They were privileged to serve only about the person, and under the immediate command, of the king, and not in flying camps, nor detached bodies; and on this ground they refused to occupy passes which might arrest the progress of the Turks, preferring the conservation of an injurious distinction to the interest of the commonwealth.
The soldiery ci were impatient of the restraints and the privations of a camp: Their country to the great body of the inhabitants was indeed a term void of animation: In the ordinary affairs of government, the prerogative and authority of the king were circumscribed and impeded by the powers and privileges of the diet and the nobility In military affairs, his commands were obey. The capital, the chief fortresses, and the open country, surrendered to the mercy of conquerors inflamed with zeal, with avarice, and revenge.
The male race of the royal family of Jagellon became extinct by the death of Lewis. He was, however, opposed by a strong party headed by the great palatine, Stephen Battori, who caused Ferdinand archduke of Austria, brother of the emperor Charles the Fifth, to be elected by a diet assembled at Presburg.
Ferdinand, who by the cession of his brother united under his sway and in his own person all the German dominions, and all the pretensions, of his house, founded his claim to the succession of Bohemia and Hungary on ancient treaties in favour of his family, and on his own marriage with the princess Anne, the only sister of Lewis the Second: The causes which contributed to the elevation of Ferdinand, were, on the one part, the calamities of the kingdom and the necessity of providing additional nieans of security, and on the other, the civ envy which was naturally excited among the Hungarian nobility by the preferment of the vaivoda.
In these circumstances, the. John found himself unable to maintain by arms the ascendancy which he had acquired. He abandoned his capital, and flying from province to province before the armies of Ferdinand, took refuge at last in Poland with his brother-in-law Sigismund. Soliman indeed needed no intreaties to make the crown of Hungary really dependent on-the porte by this seeming act of magnanimity and generosity.
The Ottoman army marched to Buda without meeting resistance. Soliman captured with the same facility the principal fortresses along cvi the Danube r he advanced into Austria, and laid siege to Vienna, but his operations were frustrated by the loss of his heavy artillery, which had been intercepted on its passage up the Danube and sunk by the garrison of Presburg.
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