ISSN 1805-790X
e-ISSN 2694-720X

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Václav BůžekIntroduction – opera-historica-2015-01-7-8

Ivo Cermanopera-historica-2015-01-9-36
Who was the first one? The Subject and Method of a History of Human Rights


The article points out the fact that histories of human rights are often based on a kind of circular logic because they seek to find predecessors to a contemporary conception of human rights. However, this approach compels us to ignore a wide range of theories which operated with the notion of human rights in the past. In conclusion what we look for in history is only a confirmation of our present beliefs. This approach prevents us from seeing that human rights were used for various purposes and that their meaning may not be inferred from a static definition, as proposed in the Vienna Declaration of 1993, but from the argumentative purpose for which they are used in communication. If we continue to believe that human rights are Platonic ideas which are absolutely good, and the use of which may not be a subject of systematic scrutiny, we easily become victims of anyone who uses human rights as an argument. In order to question contemporary beliefs in the self-sufficient power of the notion of human rights, I focus on the moment when a fully-fledged theory of human rights appeared for the first time in history. My intention is to show from the example of the first legal theories of human rights that the meaning of this term changes according to the context and that it is not guaranteed by an exact definition, or by using the exact wording “human rights”. In order to show this, our article follows the emergence of the idea of human rights in early legal and philosophical theories. We start with the emergence of the exact wording “human rights” in Spanish theology of the 16th century and gradually add the notion of inalienable goods in Grotius, and proceed to the application of “natural rights” in natural law and social contract theories of the 17th century. The case of Spinoza´s use of rights and democracy even shows that the meaning of such key terms can be changed quite dramatically. Even though none of the early modern lawyers we have discussed proposed that justice should be guaranteed by a bill of human rights, I point out that early modern lawyers sought to guarantee justice by providing a well-thought-out system of laws that would be based on simple and absolutely true principles of justice.

Michal Morawetzopera-historica-2015-01-37-53
The Correspondence between Count Georg Buquoy and European scientists


The article interprets the scientific correspondence of the extravagant  physicist and mathematician Georg Buquoy (1781-1851) as a medium of communication. It is based on manuscript sources from Buquoy family archives in SOA Třeboň. The investigation has proved that an independent scholar such as Buquoy could use correspondence as a means of scientific communication even in the Age of Romanticism. Buquoy made contacts with eminent scientists in Germany and France but he used it mainly to publicize his printed works, not to discuss scientific issues.

Petr Mareš – Miroslav Žitnýopera-historica-2015-01-54-69
Editing the Papers of the Family Pětipseký of Chýš and Egrberk


The study presents a project, the aim of which is to publish the family correspondence of the knightly family Pětipeský of Chýše and Egrberk. They belonged to lesser nobility which makes these letters exceptionally valuable for they provide a unique testimony of the lifestyle and mentality of this social group before the Battle of White Mountain. The study provides a valuable survey of critical editions of similar documents that pertain to nobility in sixteenth-century Bohemia.

Rostislav Smíšekopera-historica-2015-01-70-99
Margareta Theresa of Spain in the Symbolic Language of Baroque Performances


In this study the author explains the aims of his post-doctoral project which deals with the life of Empress Margareta Theresa at the Court of Vienna. He will focus on the analysis of her role in the symbolical communication which was carried out by means of rituals and their representation in printed media. The panegyrical orations describing the performances will be combined with the testimony of private documents. The author´s understanding of “performative acts” draws on J. L. Austin.

František Koreš opera-historica-2015-01-100-148
Power, War and Social Advancement in the History of the House of Robmháp of Suchá from the 16th to the 18th Centuries and their Family Memoirs


The article contains a short edition of a manuscript with chronological notes on the history and family events of the Robmháp of Suchá. They are a useful testimony of the lifestyle of lesser nobility before and after the battle of White Mountain.

Recenze / Book Reviews


Co je nového v raném novověku / What Is New in Early Modern Studies


Autoři / Authors