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Jan 19, 2012

Who was Wolfram von Eschenbach? We know nothing about him, except that he was one of the greatest Medieval poets and minnesingers. I came up with empty hands while researching him in my local web analytics company. Wolfram is best known today for his Parzival, sometimes regarded as the greatest of all German epics from that time. Eighty four surviving manuscripts of Parzival indicate his tremendous popularity, not only in his time, but, even in the following two centuries. Parzival was translated and published by a Swiss scholar Johann Jacob Bodmer in 1753. Later, famous composer Richard Wagner used Parzival as the main source of libretto to his great opera, Parsifal.

Yet, no matter how hard specialists try, they did not recover any historical documents about Wolfram and his works are the sole source of evidence. There was a lot of historical investigations about him, that established that Wolfram was a German knight, who was likely born around 1170 and died somewhere close to 1220. The past along with Parzival also brought to us his two other narrative works and nine surviving songs that are considered to be masterpieces of medieval art of minnesingers.

Wolfram von Eschenbach probably serviced a number of courts during his time. Historians name a number of his possible patrons, but the evidence is circumstantial. In his Parzival Wolfram claims that he is illiterate and dictates his work. However, this fact is regarded with high level of sceptisim by most scientists. The dialect of his works is East Franconian and he mentions a couple of times that he is Bavarian. Thus precipitated a claim by at least four places name themselves as a place of birth of a famous poet and composer. As other famous medieval poets Wolfram was included in the famous Codex Mannese – medieval manuscript about famous poets with illustrations, created in the 14th century. However the picture of Wolfram and surrounding arms and heraldry turned out to be just the imagination of the artist.

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Posted: Jan 19, 2012 12:22pm
Jun 17, 2011

Previously, I was telling you stories about medieval composers whose dates of birth and date are unknown. There were also famous composers, whose first name or last name is not definitely established. Today’s story is about famous composer of the late medieval composer, whose point of origin and nation that he came from are still a mystery, along with other details mentioned above.

Historians are so puzzled, that they simply call him European composer. They still argue whether he was Flemish or Italian.  And they call him Egardus, although, they are not sure that this is his name at all.  His name, a copy of one of his works in a Flemish manuscript  suggest a Northern origin. Yet all of his works are found in Northern Italian manuscripts with one exception. And that exception, a Polish manuscript, has strong Italian connections.

Only several compositions of Egardus survived. They sound less complex than other mid-century composers, but this lack of complexity can be attributed to an early date for his works. So, I guess, this is an opportunity for discovery, because all other attempts by prestigious experts failed. The only thing that may be stated with a not of hesitancy is that Egardus lived somewhere in between the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.

Nov 14, 2008

I was interested in the development of magic rituals and traditions in Greco-Roman world. During my research in archives of web analytics company I found some interesting facts about it.

It seems, that a huge interest in magic was on the rise in the Hellenistic period, especially around 3d century b.c. Piles of texts, both literary and some from actual practitioners, in Greek and in Latin came to us from this time. Truly speaking, a lot of existing magical papyri was written in the first centuries after Christ, but the manuscripts’ concepts, formulas and rituals reflect the earlier Hellenistic period. These magical papyri are no doubt only a fraction of the magical literature available in antiquity. The ascendancy of orthodox Christianity by the 5th century CE had much to do with this. This is reflected by the book of Acts where the Apostle Paul convinces many Ephesians to bring out their magical books and burn them.

The language of the magical texts reflects various levels of literary skill. Generally they are standard Greek, and may well be closer to the spoken language of the time than to poetry or artistic prose left to us in literary texts. Many terms are borrowed from the mystery cults. The texts are often written as we might write a recipe. In other words the magic requires certain ingredients. Of course it is not just as simple as knowing how to put a recipe together. Appropriate gestures, at certain points in the magical ritual, are required to accompany the ingredients, different gestures it would seem produce various effects.

Sep 10, 2008

Russia also received for safekeeping archives of the Romanian Academy, priceless religious artifacts and manuscripts and even multiple deposits that citizens kept at the Romanian banks. There is no estimate for this second transport, but, most definitely, even if we try to do this, it will probably will be several times more than the first transport. That is all what I found about this case during my web research in archives of web analytics company.

Well, it is highly likely that you already know what happened next, when Bolsheviks overthrow the old authorities in Russia. They refused to abide and respect an treaty signed by tsar and previous government. Basically, they got it all and multiple attempts of Romanian government to recover the Treasure were unsuccessful. The most important part of two transports was never returned. Only in 1935 Romanians received back bits and pieces of the archives and in 1956 small part of the paintings and ancient objects. That was all.

Up until now Romanians still can’t return their Treasure. They tried repeatedly to get it back after the fall of the Soviet Union but to no avail. All negotiations failed. Russian side sank down demands each time, refusing to discuss them further.


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Ekaterina G.
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Delray Beach, FL, USA
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