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A companion volume to the exhibition Europe meets the World National Museum of Denmark 2012 © The authors and the National Museum 2012 EDITORS

Lars K. Christensen, Poul Grinder-Hansen, Esben Kjeldbæk og Bodil Bundgaard Rasmussen COVER AND ART DIRECTION

Spild af Tid COVER PHOTO

Casper Sejersen LAY-OUT AND PRINT


Sabon & Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk

PAPER Munken

Polar 120 gr. / Munken Polar 300 gr.

ISBN 978-87-7602-186-3

Contents |



PREFACE Per Kristian Madsen



14 16












Bodil Bundgaard Rasmussen Bodil Bundgaard Rasmussen John Lund



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AS LONG AS YOU LIVE, SHINE Bodil Bundgaard Rasmussen




IN HONOUR OF THE EMPEROR Bodil Bundgaard Rasmussen




THE FACE OF POWER Helle W. Horsnæs






MANY GODS – OR JUST ONE Anne Haslund Hansen, John Lund og Peter Pentz


CHRIST IS KING Poul Grinder-Hansen






CHESS Poul Grinder-Hansen


THE CRUSADES Poul Grinder-Hansen





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204 206





SHAPING THE WORLD Poul Grinder-Hansen







250 252










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CITY LIGHTS Lars K. Christensen


A SLOW REVOLUTION Lars K. Christensen









336 338



THE WAR IN EASTERN EUROPE 1939-45 Esben Kjeldbæk




IN THE EVENT OF WAR Esben Kjeldbæk



378 380




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GLOBAL GALA Nathalia Brichet















| Preface


Fear filled her heart as, gazing back, she saw The fast receding sands. Her right hand grasped A horn, the other lent upon his back Her fluttering tunic floated in the breeze These lines about Princess Europa and the god Zeus, disguised in the form of a white bull, are from Ovid’s 2000 year old poem “Metamorphoses”. Just as Europa lost her innocence in her encounter with the ardent god, who carried her away on his back over the Mediterranean waves, any trace of innocence has long since departed from the continent which shares her name. Princess Europa originated in the Middle East, more precisely Phoenicia in the coastal landscape of what is now Lebanon, emerging in much the same way as the continent of Europe emerges from the Asian landmass. A need to explore and dominate the world, borne both by an unselfish yearning for discovery and a desire for new riches, power and honour are – if anything – characteristic of European culture. This applies across borders that have existed in Europe since the universal Mediterranean culture of Late Antiquity. These ran not just

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between North and South, but also between the Greek and the Latin Church and, since the time of the Reformation and the great religious wars of the early 17th century, between the Catholic South and the Protestant North. The Romans came to feel the bellicosity of immigrant Germanic and Asian tribes. Later, the Vikings were ravenous in their search of land and riches to the north and east and, in the name of Christianity, armies of Crusaders embarked on holy wars against the Arabs in the Orient and on the Iberian Peninsula. It was from the latter that the voyages of discovery set sail over the ocean to the south and to the west – swiftly followed by other European nations. New lands and riches were brought under European control and with England and France as the leading colonial powers the scene was set for the first worldwide, or rather European, great war – the First World War of 1914-18, followed by latent unrest until this culminated in the Second World War of 1939-45. Since then, the countries of Europe have attempted to make their mark on a world dominated by the Cold War and subsequently by the super powers, today in particular the United States. First individually then, following the creation in 1957 of what is today the European Union, increasingly in unison. European culture, often in an American derivative, has long gone from strength to strength across the world, for better and for worse, and now its consequences are coming back to visit an altered Europe The National Museum was built on ideals from the 18th century’s Age of Enlightenment; ideals of the free-thinking and the critically-minded citizen’s unhindered access to knowledge. We strive now to live up to this within the framework of the international national museum we should and must be. This is why we are presenting this exhibition PER KRISTIAN MADSEN

Director General National Museum of Denmark



| Introduction


With the exhibition Europe meets the World the National Museum of Denmark has posed a fundamentally simple question: What can our collections tell us about the relationship between Europe and the rest of the world through time? Answers are to be found in the museum’s main special exhibition for 2012, where visitors can walk through nine large elliptical rooms, each divided into a Europe-area and a Worldarea. The exhibits stand juxtaposed, relating stories of conflicts and mutual influences through time. Each of these areas has a core exhibit which, in the best possible way, opens visitors’ eyes to the special angle from which history is approached. We have worked according to the self-imposed rule that all exhibits should come from the National Museum, nothing was to be borrowed from outside. It is a special feature and strength of the National Museum that it is made up of several collections of varying size, each with its own unique history. The museum’s collection of Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities, extending 6000 years back in time, carries the opening sections of the exhibition. Exhibits

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from the Danish collections, Danish Prehistory, Danish Middle Ages, Renaissance and Danish Modern History, constitute the exhibition’s backbone, and the description of the surrounding world is made possible because of the Ethnographic Collection. Coins from The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals render the migration of wealth tangible, while instruments of the Music Museum reveal the very special role music has played in the history of Europe. Exhibits from the Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-45 expose the great catastrophes that Europeans unleashed upon themselves between 1914 and 1945, and which constituted the end of the c. 500-year-period when Europe was “Queen of the World”, as it was termed in a text from 1603. This collection of essays reflects the content and structure of the exhibition. The authors, who are all presently or have previously been employed at the National Museum, have had the opportunity to write about a number of the exhibits which can be seen in the exhibition. A concluding synthetic article – and a bibliography – aims to summarise some of the points made by the exhibition and, in the process, the mighty surges back and forth which Europeans can look back on in their history. It is our hope that this book will prove useful and informative – also long after the exhibition has closed and been dismantled. THE EDITORS

LARS K. CHRISTENSEN Curator Ph.D. Danish Modern History POUL GRINDER-HANSEN Curator, MA Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance ESBEN KJELDBÆK Chief curator, MA The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-45 BODIL BUNDGAARD RASMUSSEN Chief curator, MA Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities








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The reverse of a Greek two Euro coin shows a woman sitting sideways on the back of a running bull (fig.1). At first glance this is a rather strange image which is probably not understood by many people who find the coin in their hand. To interpret the motif it is necessary to go back almost 3000 years. In Greek mythology, Europa was the name of a young girl – not of a continent. She was the daughter of the king of Tyre in Phoenicia, present-day Lebanon. One day, while she was picking flowers by the shore with some girlfriends, Zeus, the supreme Greek god, fell in love with her. He metamorphosed into a bull and carried her across the sea to Crete (fig. 2), where she bore him three sons: Minos, who became king in Knossos on Crete, Rhadamantys, judge of the Underworld, and Sarpedon, who ruled in Lycia in south-western Asia Minor, to where Europa later emigrated.

Fig.1. | Reverse of the Greek two Euro coin depicting Europa and the




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Fig. 2. | Europa being abducted by the Zeus bull: fragment of a vase made in Greek Southern Italy around 350 BC. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

Fig. 3. | Europa’s journey over

Fig. 4. | Oil lamp in the Classical

the sea on the back of the bull is the central motif of a mosaic in a Roman villa at “Torre tre Teste” near Rome, c. AD 50. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

and Near Eastern Antiquities Collection. Made in Roman North Africa in 3rd century AD.

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Ancient scholars perceived “Europa” as being derived from a Greek word meaning: “girl with the broad forehead”. But modern linguists see its origin in the Semitic word for “dark” and “evening”, in line with the fact that “Europa”, from the 6th century BC onwards, was used as a geographical term. Initially for a part of the Greek mainland, and later for the part of the world to the west of this: the Evening Country – as opposed to the Morning Country to the east, in the direction of the rising sun. It is difficult – and not just for us – to explain the link between a Phoenician princess and a continent. As early as the 5th century BC the father of history writing, Herodotus, was in doubt:“As to Europe however, it is neither known by any man whether it is surrounded by sea, nor does it appear whence it got this name or who he was who gave it, unless we shall say that the land received its name from Europa the Tyrian; and if so, it would appear that before this it was nameless like the rest. She however evidently belongs to Asia and did not come to this land which is now called by the Hellenes Europe, but only from Phoenicia to Crete, and from Crete to Lykia”. Most other Greek and Roman authors believed, however, that the continent was named after the Phoenician princess. And there is no doubt that the Greeks learned much from this Semitic trading people, who sailed the length and breadth of the Mediterranean in search of metals and other raw materials. They also introduced goods and ideas from the Middle East to the countries they visited. For example the alphabet which first the Greeks and later the Italic peoples adopted and developed, resulting in the version which, to this very day, is used across most of the Western World. Numerous Greek and Roman depictions of “the Abduction of Europa” bear witness to the popularity of the myth in Antiquity. The motif appears in Greek art from the early 7th century BC, and Europa’s journey over the sea carried on the back of the Zeus bull often featured in vase paintings and reliefs in the subsequent centuries. Sometimes Europa is accompanied by female sea deities, so-called Nereides, who were perhaps intended as



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guardians on her two “journeys”: from Phoenicia to Crete and from girl to woman. The motive was also popular in Roman times, from floor mosaics (fig. 3) and murals to clay lamps (fig. 4). Europa and the Bull were rarely depicted in the Middle Ages, but the motif saw a renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries, for example in illustrations of the Roman poet Ovid’s “Metamorphosis”, sometimes with a Christian reinterpretation: the soul (Europa) is carried by the bull (Jesus) to God. The abduction of Europa is also depicted on a bronze entrance door to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the work of Italian sculptor Filarete in 1439-45. Other artists emphasised the story’s piquant elements and juxtaposed Europa’s abduction with other love stories between ancient gods and mortals. Danish artists have also been inspired by the myth, for example Nikolai Abildgaard, who produced four over-doors for Amalienborg, the Danish royal residence, with allegories of four continents: Europa being abducted by the Zeus bull (fig. 5), Asia is symbolised by a turban-clad woman and a camel, America by a half-naked woman and a tapir and Africa is depicted in the form of a black woman and a lion. Bertel Thorvaldsen drew Europa and the Bull in pencil and ink on paper (fig. 6), perhaps inspired by some of the Roman representations in his private collection of antiquities. The myth of Europa has, through time, been interpreted in many different ways – not least in the 20th century – by artists such as Picasso, Vallonton (fig. 7) and Bottero, who combined Classical pictorial elements with new images, for example from the bullfighting arena. Most recently, the motif has become an icon for the EU. Europa’s journey continues. JOHN LUND

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Fig. 7. | The Abduction of Europa, painted in 1908 by Swiss symbolist Félix Vallonton (1865-1925). Kunstmuseum Bern.

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Fig. 5. | Europe symbolised by Europa and the Bull over a door at

Amalienborg painted by Nikolai Abildgaard (1743-1809).

Fig. 6. | Part of a drawing by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844).

Thorvaldsen’s Museum.



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From Antiquity and well into the 18th century, Europeans knew that by travelling deep enough into the two great mystical continents, Africa and Asia, it was possible to encounter the most remarkable phenomena and the strangest creatures. Especially the East, i.e. Asia, seemed compelling. This was true already in Antiquity, when a few intrepid Greeks travelled as far as India and Afghanistan and later recounted their experiences. The belief continued in the Christian Middle Ages, when the East became of special interest as the location of Paradise – a world of strange beings and natural phenomena. Many fundamental ideas about Asia came from the Greek Megasthenes (c. 340-280 BC), Alexander the Great’s ambassador at the court of an Indian prince. His work has been almost completely lost, but he was extensively quoted by other Classical authors. Megasthenes provided objective information on the Indian cast system and about the geography, including the rivers Ganges and Indus. But he also wrote of many strange monsters: people with their feet turned backwards and eight toes on each foot; long-haired people without a mouth who lived on the scent of plants and fruits, one-legged people who could use their huge foot as a parasol when lying on their backs, and many

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more, including a headless person with eyes, nose and mouth on their chest. Such beings were in Greek termed “Akephal” which means “headless”. Another just as widely used name was “Blemmyae” – the Classical name for a mythical tribe in Africa (fig. 1). Megasthenes’ Indian contacts told him local myths and stories and, consequently, Indian ideas about exotic peoples came to inspire European perceptions of Asia. These also flourished during the Middle Ages and became expanded to fantastic stories about Alexander’s adventures and accounts of European travellers such as the famous fictive 14th century Englishman John Mandeville.

Fig.1. | Some of the wondrous creatures from the unknown parts

of the world, a Sciapod, a one-headed and a two-headed Cyclops, a chest-faced man (Akephal/Blemmya) and another being with a dog’s head (Cynocephal). Woodcut from Sebastien Münster’s Cosmographia (1544): Warburg Institute, University of London.



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In the Royal Cabinet of Curiosities in Copenhagen, a small figure of an Akephal was acquired in the second half of the 17th century (fig. 2). At this time, belief in the existence of Asian monsters was less prevalent than in the Middle Ages so the words Akephal or Blemmya are not mentioned in the accession register. Even so, the custodian of the Cabinet of Curiosities made the link with Asia. In the record for 1737 it is described as “an East Indian Idol”. However, East Indian it is not. It was made in Europe and reflected, if anything, European misconceptions about the nature of the world outside. It is probably just human nature that the further we travel from our usual safe everyday life, the stranger the world we meet becomes. Foreign traditions and practices are unfamiliar and people’s behaviour is different from that at home. At all times, people have been ready to believe that, somewhere out there, far away, there were animals and beings that contradicted all usual norms. It is only recently, in modern times, that almost every corner of the world has been surveyed, mapped and explored, and it feels as if the time of surprises has passed. But perceptions about the existence of unknown strange beings have just moved further away, out into the infinite universe. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN

Fig. 2. | Akephal from the Royal Cabinet of Curiosities – probably

from the 17th century. At the National Museum this headless man was first perceived as an “East Indian Idol”. When it was realised that it must be an early example of European misconceptions it was almost discarded as “unworthy of the museum”. Ethnographic Collection.








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Greek philosopher Socrates (469-399 BC) walked around Athens talking to people (fig.1). He discussed all manner of subjects – science, politics, religion and the terms “good” and “evil”. When he questioned everything and everyone it was not because he saw himself as superior. On the contrary, he believed that: “...all I know is that I know nothing”. Socrates became a focal point for the intellectual youth of Athens, but he also aroused the indignation of the citizens, probably because of his critical attitude to Athenian democracy. He believed decisions should be based on knowledge and insight rather than a random majority. As a consequence he did not take part in Athenian politics. He formulated no philosophical doctrine and wrote nothing down – free discussion was his sole route to enlightenment. His

Fig. 1. | According to contemporary sources Socrates was both ugly

and clumsy. This was reflected in early portraits whereas later examples, such as this, highlight the philosopher and the wise man. Roman portrait from 2nd-4th century AD, after a lost Greek original. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.



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pupil, Plato (fig. 2), continued the discussion form – the use of dialogue in the pursuit of knowledge – and wrote down several of Socrates’ conversations after the latter’s death. Although Socrates was very pious, his many questions were seen as blasphemy and he was brought to trial in 399 BC. According to Plato, he formulated the charges against him himself: “Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others”. As the accused, Socrates could argue his case and call witnesses to the stand. In his defence he told the story of a pupil who travelled to Delphi to question the Oracle: “You must have known Chaerephon; he was early a friend of mine, and also a friend of yours, for he shared in the exile of the people, and returned with you. Well, Chaerephon, as you know, was very impetuous in all his doings, and he went to Delphi and boldly asked the oracle to tell him whether – as I was saying, I must beg you not to interrupt – he asked the oracle to tell him whether there was anyone wiser than I was, and the Pythian prophetess answered that there was no man wiser”. And Socrates explained what this meant: “He, o men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing”. After the judges had found Socrates guilty, he suggested provocatively that his punishment should be to be fed for the rest of his life at public expense, like victors in the Olympic Games. But this did not happen – the court passed the death sentence. BODIL BUNDGAARD RASMUSSEN

Fig. 2. | The philosopher Plato (427-347 BC) was heavily inspired by

Socrates. Portrait in Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

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It is a common view that Athens was the cradle of democracy, but this claim is only partially true. The word “democracy” is of Greek origin and can be translated as “government by the people”, but ancient Greece was very different from the Greece of today. The country comprised many independent city states, constantly at war with one another. Only a few cities – primarily Athens – were at times governed according to democratic principles, and these differed in several respects from those of today. Athens had a “direct democracy”, whereby all free citizens took part in the decision-making process in contrast to our representative democracy, in which the people elect members to a parliament. The Athenians had a People’s assembly in which all free men over 20 could participate. The Assembly met several times a month and it is estimated that around 6000 of Athens’ c. 30-60,000 inhabitants took part regularly. The People’s Assembly chose a council – “The Council of 500” – by drawing lots. This served for a year and prepared legislative proposals which were to be put before the People’s

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Fig. 1. | The woman. A bride is led to the house of her husband’s

parents, her future home. Women had no rights in Greek democracy; they were not permitted to own land or other property. Vase used in the wedding ceremony. From Athens, 450-400 BC. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.



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Fig. 2. | The slave. Many families in Athens had domestic slaves.

The little slave boy seen here accompanying his master to market will never achieve the same civil rights as his master. Wine jar from Athens. 500-450 BC. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

Assembly. Everyone had a right to speak, but some were, of course, more eager than others. When there were no further speakers, the matter was put to the vote by a show of hands. There was no count; the chairman simply estimated the number of hands for and against and decided whether the proposal was adopted or rejected. It was also by drawing lots that the People’s Assembly appointed ofďŹ cials to perform various duties: regulation of trade and prices, weights and measures, managing the city’s grain stores and so on. Athenian democracy was both a form of government and a way of life. The democratic ideal was freedom. Political

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freedom, as expressed in the citizen’s right to participate in the governing of the state, and personal freedom, the right to live as one wished without state intervention. Freedom of speech was then, as now, an important element of personal freedom. Another aspect of democracy, namely human rights, did not figure in the Athenian version. Article 1 of the Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…” had no precursor in ancient Athens. So while the citizens (i.e. men) of Athens were busily involved in the political life of the city state, there were great segments of the population who could not participate: women, slaves and immigrants – socalled metics. Women ruled within the walls of their home (fig. 1). But here too they had no formal rights – the man was head of the family and the children could look forward to two very different existences as adults. Boys were sent to school and as young

Fig. 3. | The immigrant. A carpenter at work. Many of the craftsmen

in Athens were immigrants, metics, who had no share in the civil rights. From Boiotia, 6th century BC. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.



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men were trained as athletes with the aim of becoming strong soldiers. At the age of 20 they could take part in the People’s Assembly, and at 30 they could be selected for various posts in service of the state. Girls, in contrast, were brought up at home to take care of a household. They were married young and left home to live with their husband’s family. Slaves constituted a large part of the Athenian population (fig. 2). They could be “debt slaves” or prisoners of war and they worked in many different contexts. A family could have slaves involved in housework and home production, for example making the family’s clothes. There might also be a slave, a pedagogue, who accompanied the boys to and from school. Other slaves worked as craftsmen, scribes or perhaps even police officers. Slaves represented a commodity that was bought and sold. They had no political rights and could not participate in the People’s Assembly or become soldiers. Liberated slaves acquired the status of metics. Metics were Greeks who

Fig. 4. | Conviction. Citizens were the judges in the Athenian People’s

Court, where Socrates, among others, was convicted. Each juror was given two small wheels – one with a solid axle, the other hollow. The former signified not guilty, the latter guilty. From Athens, 5th century BC. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

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had come to Athens from other areas and could, therefore, not be admitted as citizens. They had no rights, but they did have duties (fig. 3). They were liable to a special metic’s tax and had to be available for military service. They could not apply for citizenship but the People’s Assembly could award citizenship if a metic had done something exceptional for the city. With the right to participate directly in the governing of the state also came duties. Citizens had to be available for the military until the age of 60 and could be called on at any time if there was a need for extra soldiers. Citizens had legislative powers through the People’s Assembly, as well as judicial authority. Selection for the courts took place by the drawing of lots among those present at the People’s Assembly and no one could refuse or be exempt. Each court had several hundred members or “jurors”, who each sat for a day. There were no professional lawyers or judges. Citizens presented their own cases and the jurors decided the outcome. It was, however, permitted to use a speechwriter or have relatives speak on one’s behalf. When the question of guilt was to be decided, bronze voting wheels were employed. Each juror was given two of these: one with a solid axle for not guilty, and on one with a hollow axle for guilty. Two ballot boxes were then set up, one bronze and one wood. The jurors then filed past the two boxes, holding the voting wheels between their thumb and index finger so no one could see how they voted. The wheels in the bronze box were decisive. When everyone had voted, the wheels were counted and the matter of guilt was decided (fig. 4). Since Antiquity, “democracy” has seen expression so variably that it can be difficult now to identify the precise meaning of the term. However, there is broad agreement in the Western World that democracy should be seen as something extremely positive. The ideal lives on. BODIL BUNDGAARD RASMUSSEN



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In contrast to democratic Athens, Macedonia was a monarchy. Initially, it covered only part of Northern Greece, but its kings, not least Philip II (382-336 BC), expanded the kingdom by conquest, making Macedonia one of the superpowers of the time. Philip II was planning a military campaign against the Persians, arch-enemy of the Greeks, when he was assassinated. The crown then passed to Philip’s 20-year-old son Alexander (later given the epithet “the Great”), who had already shown ability as a military commander. Alexander put into effect Philip’s planned campaign against the Persian Empire. In 334 BC he invaded Asia Minor and swiftly defeated the Persians and their local allies. He then continued down the Levantine

Fig. 1. | Alexander the Great. Roman portrait from the 2nd century AD, after a lost Greek original. He is deified with the ram’s horns of the Egyptian god Ammon and wears an elephant skin in reference to India. From Tunisia, perhaps the ancient city of Utica. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.



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Fig. 2. | Portrait of Pompey the Great (106-42 BC). Ny Carlsberg


Fig. 3. | Fresco depicting Alexander the Great – riding on an elephant

– and King Arthur, in Dronninglund Church, Vendsyssel, Denmark. Early 16th century.

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coast (through present-day Lebanon, Israel and the Gaza Strip) where one town after another either surrendered or was taken. In 332 BC Alexander conquered Egypt, and the priests at the oracle sanctuary of the ram-god Zeus Ammon in the Siwa oasis welcomed him as Ammon’s son. In doing so, they recognised Alexander’s divine status, and later portraits often depicted him with ram’s horns (fig. 1). Alexander’s next offensive was directed against the heart of the Persian Empire (corresponding more or less to present-day Iran). Here he took the capital of Persepolis and subsequently gained control of the NE parts of the empire, including Bactria (in present-day Afghanistan). Here he married Roxana – daughter of the defeated Bactrian general. Alexander then directed his attention towards India. After defeating the Indian ruler in a battle during which the Greeks had their first confrontation with war elephants, he wanted to push on further eastwards. But for once his army refused and he was forced to turn around. The soldiers had had enough. Alexander introduced some Persian traditions and practices to his court, and in the town of Sousa he organised a mass wedding between prominent Macedonians and local princesses – apparently out of a desire to create an empire based on a fusion of Greece and the Orient. But he died in Babylon in 323 BC after a short illness before he managed to realise his vision. Alexander’s generals divided his empire between them and in subsequent centuries Greek immigrants colonised the area from the Mediterranean coast to Afghanistan and the border of India, with the result that Greek culture and language spread all across this enormous area. Throughout his life Alexander was portrayed by some of the most outstanding sculptors and painters of the time. Their works have all been lost, but we know what Alexander looked like from Antique copies of the lost originals: His youthful clean-shaven face, his upturned eyes and his flowing head of hair which in Antiquity was compared to a lion’s mane. Some of these features can also be recognised in the portrait of the



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Roman army commander Pompey the Great (fig. 2) – note the epithet. Alexander quickly became a role model and an icon for young and ambitious army commanders who were thrilled by his formidable abilities and his fantastic exploits. Since Antiquity, many people have shared this fascination – and not just in the Western world. For example, the “two-horned”, DhulQarnayn, mentioned in the Koran, is by some identified with Alexander, as the Arabic name is understood as a reference to the ram’s horns with which Alexander’s was so often portrayed. In Denmark, Alexander appears in Late Medieval frescoes in Dronninglund Church (fig. 3) together with other heathen commanders: Hector of Troy and Julius Caesar, three old Testament heroes: Joshua, King David and Judas Maccabeus, and three Christian heroes: King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon. From the 14th century onwards, these nine heroes enjoyed popularity across most of Europe, first at courts and among the aristocracy, later in broader circles. Even today, a statue of Alexander the Great can be seen in Copenhagen. He sits together with three other allegorical figures on the plinth of the equestrian statue of Christian V on Kongens Nytorv – as a symbol of “bravery” (fig. 4). Brave he certainly was: Alexander always fought in the front line and did not spare himself any hardships or privations, but at same time he was also an ambiguous figure. How should we perceive him today – as a military genius or a despotic dictator? The question is irrelevant, as Alexander was first and foremost a child of his time, and by the standards of Antiquity he was one of the absolute greats. JOHN LUND

Fig. 4. | Alexander on the plinth of Abraham César Lamoureux’ eques-

trian statue of Christian V on Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen; probably the work of the artist’s brother Claude Lamoureux (died c. 1701).

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The Greek word “barbarian” arose as a phonetic imitation of foreigners’ – to Greek ears – unintelligible blah-blah-blah-like language and was used as a universal term for all non-Greek peoples. Not that the ancient Greeks suffered from xenophobia, i.e. fear of the peoples living around them, as is evident from Herodotus’ history of Greece from the 5th century BC. His accounts of living conditions in the old cultures such as Egypt and more peripheral parts of the then known world are so detailed that he might just as well be termed the father of socialcultural anthropology as the father of history. Herodotus was widely travelled, as were other Greeks before and after him, and his testimony was not uncommonly a first-hand account. In Herodotus’ time, however, an Athenian did not have to travel outside his own city in order to meet barbarians. He could do this simply by exiting his front door. There are no population statistics in modern sense from Classical Antiquity. But there is no doubt that the great city of Athens would have been home to many thousands of non-Athenians – first and foremost so-called metics (actually meaning cohabitants), who

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Fig. 1. | Two winged beings encircle the woman Hellas – the personification of Greece. Fragment of a vase made in Athens 400- 300 BC. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

Fig. 2. | Two alabastra – actually an Egyptian form of vase – of fired

clay and bearing images of an African wearing trousers. Was the motif perhaps a signal to the purchaser that the container held exotic oil or perfume? Athens c. 470 BC. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.



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Fig. 3. | Greek artists acquired new technology from time to time via

craftsmen from the Near East who settled in Greece. The goldsmiths’ granulation technique is a good example. These three pendants dating from the 7th century BC are Greek works, perhaps originating from Kameiros on Rhodes. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

were not permitted to own agricultural land and therefore lived by trade and craft activities. A census in Athens in about 310 BC revealed that there were about half as many metics as citizens living in the city. Citizens were actually in a minority when women, children and slaves are also taken into account – only free male citizens had political rights. Most metics were newcomers from other Greek city states, sometimes prominent figures such as the philosopher Aristoteles (384-322 BC) from Stagira in Northern Greece. But if we are to believe the author Xenophon, who lived during the 4th century BC, there were also many “Lydians, Phrygians, Syrians and barbarians of all sorts” – he was perhaps thinking specifically about liberated slaves who received metic status. One of the leading Athenian potters in the 6th century BC was by all

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accounts one of their number. His name, Amasis, suggests that he had roots in Egypt and it is probably no coincidence that he was the first in Athens to market a form of pottery imitating a special Egyptian alabaster perfume container (fig. 2). This diverse picture also included foreigners who only visited Athens briefly: political refugees, diplomatic representatives from other city states or powers and craftsmen with special know-how who passed on their skills to local apprentices (fig. 3). Not to mention the many merchants who docked at the harbour town of Piraeus. The Greeks were, from very early times, heavily involved in sea trade and they founded colonies to the east, west and north. There are also indications of foreign trading stations in the Aegean. The Phoenicians, for example, established themselves on Rhodes in the 8th century BC and there is reliable evidence for a Phoenician presence elsewhere in Greece, for example in Piraeus (fig. 4). How did Athens treat the newcomers? Metics did not have citizenship, but there are no indications that they suffered racial discrimination. However, there is no denying that the Greeks often had a rather condescending attitude to foreigners. For example, Aristoteles was the self-appointed spokesman for a view that people were shaped by the climate in which they lived: the cold climate made Europeans brave but lacking in thought, and the warm climate in Asia conferred intellect on the inhabitants, although they were fundamentally of slave mentality. The Greeks, living between these two extremes, were thereby characterised as being both brave and intelligent. Similarly, it cannot be refuted that denigrating remarks about the Persians – the most significant barbarian people of all – are occasionally encountered in Greek literature. This is due to the fact that the Persian Empire, the political superpower of the time, had in the 6th century BC seized the Greek city states on Cyprus and in Asia Minor, and had later made strenuous – unsuccessful – attempts to invade the Greek mainland. The picture of cultural ethnic diversity we see in ancient Athens is unlikely to have applied to the rest of Greece. We are



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much better informed on conditions in Athens than in other places, and the city therefore is easily seen as typical. Perhaps incorrectly, because there’s nothing to suggest that ancient reality was any less ambigous than our own – a complexity reflected in Constantine P. Cavafy’s (1863-1933) poem “Waiting for the Barbarians”: What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum? The barbarians are due here today. Why isn’t anything going on in the senate? Why are the senators sitting there without legislating? Because the barbarians are coming today. What’s the point of senators making laws now? Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating. … Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion? (How serious people’s faces have become.) Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly, everyone going home lost in thought? Because night has fallen and the barbarians haven’t come. And some of our men who have just returned from the border say there are no barbarians any longer. Now what’s going to happen to us without barbarians? Those people were a kind of solution. Constantine P. Cavafy JOHN LUND

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Fig. 4. | In 1834, the Danish architect Christian Hansen drew this

gravestone of a metic – a woman called Eirene from Byzantium, exhibited in Piraeus Museum. The style of the relief is pure Greek – dating from 400 BC – but the name is written twice using respectively Greek and Phoenician characters. Trading centres such as Piraeus had large non-Greek population groups.



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As long as you live, shine. Let nothing grieve you beyond measure for your life is short, and time will claim its toll. This little poem is inscribed on a grave memorial in the form of a small column erected by a Greek named Seikilos (ďŹ g. 1). It is set beneath the epigram and careful examination reveals characters between the lines: one of the best preserved examples of musical notation from Antiquity (ďŹ g. 1).

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Fig. 1. | Grave monument erected by Seikilos, a Greek. An epitaph,

and below this a poem with musical notes between the lines. One of the very few surviving inscriptions with musical notation from the Greek-Roman world. 1st century AD. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.



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There are about 50 known texts with musical notation from Antiquity – ranging from the Classical Period (5th century BC) to Late Roman times. The earliest is on a ceramic knee protector used when carding wool, a so-called epinetron, from the early 5th century BC. This is decorated with the image of an Amazon blowing a trumpet, out of which come the syllables TO TOTOTE, presumably intended to represent the sound produced. Most examples of musical notation and much of what we know of Greek and Roman music come from fragments of papyri which copy earlier documents. Here we find information on how the chorus in Euripides’ tragedy Orestes should be

Fig. 2. | Fragment of an oil lamp

Fig. 3. | Panagiotis Stefos with the

of fired clay, shaped like a water organ. From Carthage in present-day Tunisia. 1st-2nd century AD Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

Greek music group Lyravlos’ reconstructions of ancient musical instruments.

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performed, “this song should be sung in the highest tones and sounds loud”. Notes carved in stone, like on Seikilos’ stele, are very rare. However, an inscription on the Athenian Treasury in the Apollo sanctuary in Delphi reveals the name of two composers, Athenaeus and Limenius. They wrote the choir music for a performance in the sanctuary in 127 BC, and the text and the notes were later carved on one of the treasury’s outer walls. Even though the surviving evidence is sparse, scholars are in fairly broad agreement that a system of musical notation existed in the Greek world in the 3rd century BC – perhaps even as early as the 4th century. There were actually two systems of notation – one for vocal and one for instrumental music. Probably only professional musicians, composers and choir conductors were able to read them. The choir learned the tune by listening to the music and hearing others sing the text. Although only few notes survive, there is a wealth and diversity of other evidence for music in the Greek world: fragments of musical instruments, models of instruments (fig. 2), statues and sculptures of men and women with musical instruments, reliefs and numerous musical scenes on Greek vases. These made the reconstruction of a large number of instruments possible, enabling the small fragments of music we do have to be performed. In the winter of 2010 the Greek music group Lyravlos visited the National Museum and performed music using authentic copies of ancient instruments (fig. 3). However, how close we are able to come to the “sound of Antiquity” is very much an open question. BODIL BUNDGAARD RASMUSSEN








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Roman legionaries were infantrymen. Each was armed with sword, dagger and two spears. But some equipment was mostly decorative – for official parade use. Parts of this ceremonial equipment, of bronze and silver, are often better preserved than ordinary armour and helmets. Dress armour was worn in particular by the auxiliary cavalry – an important and colourful element in the frequent parades. Parades and displays were part of military training, and were held on the Emperor’s birthday or to celebrate other special days in the Imperial household. They could also mark an important victory, be in honour of the fallen or in commemoration of the formation of an army unit. Roman historian Flavius Arrian, 2nd century AD, gives a graphic description in his manual of cavalry tactics, Ars Tactica: “Those of the troopers who are distinguished in rank or are outstanding in horsemanship ride past armed with gilded iron or bronze helmets, so that in this way they draw the gaze of the spectators upon themselves. These helmets do not... protect only the head and the cheeks, but coincide completely with the

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Fig. 1. | Visor of a parade helmet. On the forehead, remains of a hinge which secured the visor to the helmet of metal or leather. Iron overlain with silver-plated bronze. Found in the River Tiber, Rome. AD 50-100. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

faces of the horsemen with openings at the eyes... From the helmets hang plumes of yellow hair... when the horses charge, if there happens to be even a slight breeze, they present a splendid spectacle when borne aloft by the breeze... They also carry shields, not of the kind used for battle, but lighter in weight... Instead of corslets they wear Cimmerian tunics, similar in size to corslets, some scarlet, others blue and others in a variety of colours�. The parades also included Hipparka Gymnasia, combat displays in which groups of riders took turns to throw blunt

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spears at each other. It was important for them to have their faces protected by helmets as described by Arrian. Helmet visors or masks of this type have been found all across the Roman Empire (ďŹ g. 1). They depict young clean-shaven men and most often have rudimentary ears and openings for eyes, mouth and nostrils. On the forehead is a hinge – securing the visor to the helmet of metal or leather. The light decorated shields were probably of leather on a wooden frame and were ornamented

Fig. 2. | Medallion from a parade shield depicting the war goddess Minerva. Silver-plated bronze. 3rd century AD. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.



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with medallions bearing reliefs (fig. 2). The only items that have not survived are the parade cavalry’s colourful embroidered costumes – here we must use our imagination. The dagger, pugio, had a 20-30 cm long blade (fig. 3) and accompanying sheaths were often small works of art – made of metal with inlaid decoration, or of wood and leather with a metal facade in openwork, so-called opus interrasile. Particular customs seem to be associated with these daggers. Grave reliefs show that legionaries wore them on the left and officers on the right, indicating that these were primarily decorative weapons the soldiers acquired for themselves. Adventurous young Danes apparently also journeyed south to enlist in the Roman army’s auxiliary troops. Quite an undertaking, as the term of service was 30 years and only after 25 years could they acquire civil rights. Perhaps the pugio with a richly decorated sheath, found in a grave between Herning and Horsens in Jutland, belonged to one of these mercenaries who returned home to Denmark after his term of service – and was later buried with his prestigious trophy. Who knows? BODIL BUNDGAARD RASMUSSEN

Fig. 3. | Short military dagger, a so-called pugio. Legionaries wore it on the left, officers on the right – perhaps indicating that it was primarily for display. Iron, with a silverdecorated grip. Found in the Danube at Belgrade. AD 50-100. Drawing Bjørn Skaarup. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.



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In 31 BC the young Octavian eventually defeated his rivals, following the assassination of Caesar 13 years previously. The Senate bestowed on him the honorary title of Augustus, the divine, and he became head of an empire encompassing the Mediterranean countries and a large part of the European continent. His successors expanded the empire through conquest and it achieved its greatest extent under Trajan (AD 98-117). Within its borders, Rome set the trend, not just in legislation and military matters, but also in architecture, fashion and mass entertainment. The latter took the form of bloody animal fights and gladiator combats in amphitheatres. An early example of globalisation? Perhaps, but the provinces did not relinquish their individuality: In the Eastern Mediterranean, people

Fig. 1. | The imperial family became a role model for citizens – also with respect to fashion. This young prince has an appearance so typical of the time that it is difficult to identify him with certainty. Marble portrait from the theatre in Tarent, c. AD 10. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.



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continued to speak Greek, whereas Latin was predominant in western parts. It was not until the 17th century that “Economics” became a discrete discipline. Trade statistics where unheard of in Antiquity. Consequently, it is difficult to gain a clear idea of the nature and extent of the ancient economy – partly also because extensive use was made of slaves in households, all forms of production and agriculture. But it was probably agricultural products, such as grain, wine and olive oil, that were the economic heavyweights of the Classical World. Production of (and

Fig. 2. | Mercury, the god of merchants, is identified by his winged hat and ankles. Originally he held a purse in his outstretched hand. From Melun, France, AD 50-250. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

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Fig. 3. | One of the two Roman silver cups found in a rich grave at Hoby on Lolland, Denmark. Each cup weighs about 1 kg and has on its outer surface images from Homer’s Iliad – in this instance the Trojan king Priamos, kneeling before Achilles. The cups were presumably manufactured during the reign of Emperor Augustus (31 BC-AD 14). Danish Prehistory.

trade in) all manner of goods was, however, also important and possibly played a significantly greater role than many scholars have previously believed The first centuries AD were carried forward on an economic upsurge, and it is unlikely to be just coincidence that Mercury – the god of traders (and thieves) – became one of the most popular deities of the time (fig. 2). Long-distance trade flourished: A great city like Rome imported enormous quantities of olive oil from Southern Spain and North Africa. Even in a provincial town such as Pompeii it was possible to pick and choose between the local table wine and wines from Kos, Crete, Rhodes, Turkey and Sicily. Roman trade embraced



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Fig. 4. | Stack of plates in the Roman version of sigillata. From Roman North Africa, c. AD 50-150. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

Fig. 5. | Mould for the production of so-called Arrentine beakers, dating from just before or after the birth of Christ. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

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countries as distant as India, the source of pepper and other luxury goods, and Roman metal vessels, glass and pottery were distributed far and wide – probably via several intermediate stations and not necessarily via trade. One example is provided by the magnificent silver drinking cups from a so-called chieftain’s grave at Hoby on Lolland in southern Denmark. They bear reliefs showing scenes from Homer’s Iliad (fig. 3). Just what did people in the Far North make of these? The boom in early Imperial Times was aided and abetted by the fact that peace had prevailed during a large part of Augustus’ reign (31 BC-AD 14) – an exceptionally unusual situation for Rome. Another important factor was the efficient infrastructure developed by the Romans on both land and water. All roads not only lead to – but also from – Rome. This made it possible, relatively quickly and easily, to deploy army units where needed and also to travel and exchange goods across the length and breadth of the empire. At the same time, production received a boost from technological advances made in the Eastern Mediterranean during the uneasy time from the death of Alexander the Great to the ascension of Augustus. These included the invention of machines, water mills, which were extensively used by the Romans in grinding grain and mining activities. Another example was the mass-produced standardised red pottery originally developed in North Western Syria wich, about 100 years later, kick-started the production of Rome’s sigillata (fig. 4). Roughly the same is also true of the idea of mass-produced relief-decorated vessels and oil lamps using matrices (fig. 5). Some of the Roman production facilities became very large, for example so-called fabricae, which employed between 200 and 500 workers and produced, in particular, weapons. In Late Antiquity, these working processes declined or ceased, but Antiquity’s inventions lived on into the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The seed of Europe’s later industrial revolution had been sown. JOHN LUND



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Emperor Augustus was a master of PR. His coins were the world’s first mass medium, carrying easily understood messages and logos (fig. 1a). The portrait on the obverse is of a youthful Augustus. It appeared unaltered on coins until his death at the age of 76, presumably expressing his wish to appear the eternally young and dynamic saviour of the Republic. The reverse provides even clearer evidence of his targeted use of images in propaganda. Few have said so much in so few words and with such simple but loaded images: Following the victory at Actium over Antonius, an ally of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, Augustus had a coin minted bearing an image of a crocodile and the inscription Aegypto Capta (Egypt is taken) (fig.1b). Augustus carried out a thorough reform of the coinage. Roman coins were then struck using four metals: gold and silver of denominations corresponding to the metal value, and bronze and brass – intrinsic coins – with a purchasing power greater than that conferred by their metal value. Augustus exercised control over the coins minted in precious metals; denarii of silver and aureii of gold, and the Senate was responsible for the

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Fig. 1a-b. | Denarius (silver coin, corresponding to 16 as) minted

under Emperor Augustus in 29-27 BC. The reverse bears the famous inscription Aegypto Capta (Egypt is taken); the Nile crocodile is a symbol of Egypt. Royal Collection of Coins and Medals.

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less valuable denominations of bronze and brass; these were minted senato consulto, by order of the Senate. This laid the foundation for a world economy with an integrated coinage. Several of Augustus’ successors employed more stereotyped reverse motifs, conveying messages which can appear paradoxical. On the reverse of a so-called dupondius found in Carthage is a depiction of Fides Publica (Public Trust) (fig. 2b). The coin was struck under the Emperor Domitian in AD 84 – an emperor with a poor posthumous reputation. There was apparently not much trust in him. The empire achieved its greatest extent under Trajan (AD 98-117). His portrait on coins, like that of the eternally young Augustus, shows no development through time, but Trajan was already 45 on his accession and he is depicted as a determined man with a steady gaze (fig. 3a). Through the often complex motifs on the coin reverses, it is possible to follow Trajan’s military victories and his impressive public building works in Rome, for example Trajan’s Market. The coins told Romans the history of their mighty ruler and they depict the buildings in such detail (fig. 3b) that they complement descriptions and data from archaeological investigations. With time, the dream of the republic faded and, especially in the 2nd century AD, the coins began to be used to underline the emperor’s claim to power. In addition to coins bearing the emperor’s own portrait, coins were also struck bearing images of his predecessors, of his appointed successor and of female members of the imperial household. None of these were new initiatives – Augustus had already employed all of them – but underlining dynastic relationships became ever more important, perhaps because there was no legally determined succession in the Roman Empire. The portraits of female members of the imperial household should not be understood as indicating a special status for women, but as part of a package solution in which they played roles such as “the good wife” or “the fertile mother”. The types shown on the reverses were most commonly bound up with



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traditional female virtues. At the same time, women were used to tie the dynastic webs together. This is probably the reason why Julia Mamaea was depicted on coins minted by her son. Her aunt, Julia Domna, was the wife of Emperor Septimius Severus (AD 193-211) and mother of Emperor Caracalla (AD 211-270), and her sister was the mother of Emperor Elagabal (AD 218-222). These family connections underlined that Julia Mamaea’s son, Alexander Severus (emperor AD 222-235) was a legitimate ruler. The 3rd century AD was a turbulent time in the history of the empire, characterised by periods of economic crisis, inflation, power struggles and borders under pressure. At only 13 years of age, Gordian III came to power by chance as a result of internal struggles following a revolt against Emperor Maximus in AD 238, which cost his paternal grandfather (Gordian I) and uncle (Gordian II) their lives. He probably had little say in matters during his short reign, which was characterised by unrest and ended with his death in AD 244 under shady circumstances during a battle against the Persians. His coins were very traditional. The obverse portrait shows a teenager with short hair and a characteristic nose which is slightly too long. Most of his reverses show personifications of virtues such as health (Salus), generosity (Liberalitas), balance (Aeqvitas) and safety (Securitas).

Fig. 2a-b. | Roman coins found during the Danish National Museum’s

excavations in Carthage (Tunisia) (1975-84). Left: dupondius corresponding to 2 as or 1/8 denarius, minted by Emperor Domitian. The female figure on the reverse personifies Fides (trust). Upper right: bronze coin minted in Alexandria (Egypt) under Antonius Pius. Lower left: as, corresponding to 1/16 denarius, minted by Alexander Severus with a portrait of his mother Julia Mamaea on the obverse and the goddess Venus on the reverse. Lower right: sestertius (corresponding to 4 as or 1/4 denarius) minted under the boy emperor Gordian III. On the reverse, a female figure personifying Securitas (safety). Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

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In the larger Roman centres in the eastern part of the empire there was already a coin economy prior to the Roman conquest. Coins were used on an everyday basis even for small transactions such as buying wine at the inn. But elsewhere in the European provinces, especially in rural areas, barter continued as an important part of daily life. Silver and gold coins of great value were used to pay wages and for purchasing property, while loans, credit, options and promissory notes also flourished in connection with larger transactions. HELLE W. HORSNÆS

Fig. 3a-b. | Aureus (gold coin corresponding to 25 denarii, 100 sestertii

or 400 as), minted by Emperor Trajan. The reverse shows Basilica Ulpia, the facade of Trajan’s Market in the centre of Rome. Royal Collection of Coins and Medals.



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The golden man found at Slipshavn, Eastern Funen, is made of thin sheets of gold (fig. 1). The figure, which is about 10 cm high, is naked apart from a neck ring. His hands have gripped something or other which has now been lost and some fillets on his head suggest that he wore a kind of headgear, perhaps a helmet. We do not know the purpose of the figure. Perhaps it depicts a god or a warrior, or maybe a Germanic king. There are numerous images of “barbarians”, produced both by Romans and by barbarians themselves (fig. 2). The golden man belongs to the latter category and probably dates from the middle of the 1st millennium AD, the period known as the Germanic Iron Age. At this time, the western part of the Roman Empire had disintegrated, but it had left behind influences which could never be erased. The great empire vanished, but the Europe that remained was a cocktail of traditions of the “barbarians” – not least the Germans – mixed with varying elements from Rome and Christianity. The Romans placed great significance on images and erected

Fig. 1. | The golden man from Slipshavn: a warrior king or perhaps a god, dating from the middle of the 1st millennium AD. Danish Prehistory.



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Fig. 2. | A Roman on Funen. The Gudme area of Funen has yielded

innumerable metal ďŹ nds from the Iron Age. These include a number of small metal ďŹ gures of both Nordic and Roman origin. The small silver head in the centre is Roman, whereas the remaining examples are Nordic. Gudme c. AD 200-600. Danish Prehistory.

portraits of the emperors in all large towns and cities. The golden man from Slipshavn, however, is not a portrait of a particular individual; the barbarians do not seem to have had these. They produced many depictions of people and faces, but no actual portraits. They preferred to highlight the common and the typical, not the individual and the unique. It is as if they wanted to accentuate common features, such as hairstyles, rather than

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the individual expressions which distinguish an individual from the group (fig. 2). Even though the golden man is far removed from Roman imperial portraits, he may well represent a king. As such, he was a king who required a completely different symbolic content to that aspired to by Roman emperors. Germanic kings had completely different values and traditions. They did not share the Roman perceptions of the state as res publica, literally: “a public entity”. They considered the territories over which they presided as their own personal property, to be divided up and bequeathed to their successors as they saw fit. First and foremost, they were kings of a people rather than an area of land. Consequently, they did not refer to themselves as the king of this or that land, but as “the king of the Franks”, “the king of the Vandals” and so on. The period in which the golden man was made coincides with the first reference in written sources to a king of the Danes, Hugleik, who harried the coasts of Europe. But we do not know the land occupied by Hugleik and his Danes. In the course of the 8th century AD the king of the Franks became the leading Germanic ruler in Europe. The most famous of all, Charlemagne, was crowned emperor in Rome in AD 800 by Pope Leo III. This event heralded a new order which came to characterise Europe for many centuries. By being crowned emperor in Rome, Charlemagne demonstrated that he was aware of his Roman inheritance. And the fact that he was crowned by the Pope demonstrated that Charlemagne was a fervent protector of the Christian Roman Church – and also that he accepted the Church’s right to crown and legitimise secular leaders. In staging himself as both the guardian and the servant of Christianity, Charlemagne became a role model for later European rulers, and this interaction between the ruling power and the Church is an important key to an understanding of political life in the Middle Ages. PETER PENTZ



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No other state has been of greater significance for European culture than Rome. From the foundation of the city of Rome – allegedly in the 8th century BC – until around the birth of Christ, the world appeared to be open to the Romans – like a beaker just waiting to be filled with Roman culture. But by AD 9 the beaker was full. The drop that caused it to overflow was Varus’ defeat in the Germanic forests east of the Rhine, with a loss of three complete legions – 15,000 men. On the orders of Emperor Augustus, Varus was to have prepared the way for a new Roman province, Germania, but this plan had to be abandoned and the Roman world was never quite the same again. Despite a couple of subsequent victories, in Britannia (i.e. England) and Dacia (Romania), the idea of continual and uninterrupted expansion was dead and buried. Frontiers became borders and, as such, AD 9 became a landmark in the early history of Europe. The border which thereafter applied to the Roman Empire corresponded more or less to the present-day division between Germany and France and that between Roman Catholic Southern Europe and Protestant Northern Europe. South of the border there was not just one Roman culture but many; the Roman Empire was a very special entity. The “real” Romans became a declining minority at a very early stage, a development for which they themselves were intentionally responsible.

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Fig. 1. | Northern England was one place where the Roman border took on a very tangible physical form with the building of Hadrian’s Wall. Bowls with enamel inlay were produced at Roman forts along the wall. This example was found in a bog, Maltbæk Mose, near Vejen in Jutland. Danish Prehistory.

In a way, ethnicity disappeared: a Roman could just as well be a North African, a Briton, a Gaul, a German or an Egyptian. The empire was a framework which encompassed a Jewish population on the Rhine and Syrians and Spanish in Britain (fig. 1). Not least the army was multicultural and Roman citizens could, regardless of their background, occupy high public office. Of the emperors, many had ballast acquired far from Rome. A degree of uniformity prevailed within the empire’s borders, but there was also diversity. There was no “pure” Roman way of life, contrasting with a “barbarian” equivalent – regardless of what contemporary Roman authors may have written, as they functioned somehow as “enforcers of identity”. Neither is it possible to speak of there being a “purer” Roman culture in Rome and a less pure one on the periphery. A Roman in Rome was not necessarily more Roman than a Roman in Mainz. Both were citizens of an empire that embraced many cultures and different ways of life.



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The Romans also left their mark beyond the border. Many Roman goods and luxury items have been found beyond the bounds of the empire, not least in Denmark. Until recently, the traditional perception has been that “barbarian chieftains” (fig. 2) demonstrated high status by means of Roman artefacts. However, the idea that Roman material goods conferred prestige on a “barbarian” emanates from a far too simple perception of the relationship between the two parties, i.e. the Roman Empire perceived as being on a higher cultural level, so that the “barbarian” who could display Roman luxury goods and who followed Roman practices demonstrated that he had elevated himself above the level of other barbarians. More Roman, higher culture.

Fig. 2. | One of the Roman silver cups from Hoby, Lolland, depicts a true barbarian: the Trojan king Priamus, kneeling before the Greek Achilles – an ideal image of how Rome saw the relationship with people living around them. Danish Prehistory.

Fig. 3. | An inhabitant of Funen who once looked in this Roman mirror, found at Broby on Funen, saw a “barbarian” who probably surrounded himself with Roman luxury items, but reinterpreted them and made them part of his own culture. 1st century AD. Danish Prehistory.

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But neither Romans nor barbarians were immutable entities. The spread of Roman culture was not a uniform process, moving out in regular waves from Rome. The geographic extent of the empire, and its influence, varied through time and the surrounding cultures – Germans to the north, Persians to the east, Libyans to the south-east and so on – developed in parallel. Mixed cultures and new cultural expressions were formed and these took inspiration from both the material and spiritual/ religious cultures of “the others”. The many Roman finds discovered beyond the borders of the empire probably do signify status, but they acquired a new meaning in the mixed cultures which reinterpreted them and used them in a form the locals found most appropriate (fig. 3). Rome was not identical with Europe, but the empire’s culture became an important part of Europe’s heritage and a pre-requisite for the later development of the continent. Consequently, numerous European kingdoms and nations have proclaimed themselves as the “new Rome”, and heads of state, tsars and emperors have acknowledged their heritage by taking the names of Roman emperors. The stereotype “barbarian” is also part of this heritage. Just as Caesar justified his conquests and his policy towards people outside the Roman Empire by demonising his enemy, stereotypes of “the others” were created in European countries in later times, thereby conferring on Europeans the moral right to conquer and exploit. Perceptions of uncivilised barbaric heathens paved the way for expansion and exploitation – from the medieval Danish crusades in the Baltic, through the Spanish conquests in America to the British Empire in India and Africa. The self-perception of Europeans as culturally and technologically superior not only conferred the right but also the duty to spread civilisation and “protect” foreigners from their natural tendencies of sloth, immorality and warlike behaviour. PETER PENTZ


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In Antiquity, people believed in a host of gods, each with their own area of competence. Some were associated with natural phenomena, for example creator gods, others could protect the living and give new life to the dead. These areas of activity were not, however, sharply delimited and several gods often overlapped in their significance. The divine powers could, in theory, take on an unlimited number of forms and variations. Each culture had its own names for, and images of, the gods, but their basic features and abilities were so uniform that borders and language boundaries were no hindrance. Consequently, religious perceptions could “communicate with one another” or, more precisely, “be translated”. People did not doubt or dispute the gods of others, but saw them more as new versions of their own deities. As a consequence, new and “foreign” gods could be assimilated among the already existing ones (fig. 1). The Egyptians incorporated several Syrian deities in their religion, the Greeks’ Zeus became the Romans’ Jupiter and Aphrodite became Venus. Gods from Egypt and Persia also found their way to Rome. There were no holy scriptures in this religious universe and


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Fig. 1. | Hands of the god Sabazios, originally a deity in Asia Minor who, with time, assumed the characteristics of the Greek god of wine Dionysos. He later borrowed features from other gods, including Mercury, whose image is seen on his knuckles. AD 50-250. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

Fig. 2. | The Egyptian god of death Anubis is known as far back as the Pyramid Texts, dating from c. 2300 BC. In Rome, he was worshipped from c. 100 BC onwards. From the 3rd century AD. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

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no gods were more true than others. In contrast to this stands another form of religious belief with ancient roots: monotheism, i.e. the belief that there is only one god. Ancient sources suggest that it was not until a conflict arose between the belief in “only one” in contrast to “several/many” gods that religion led directly to strife. The most important monotheistic denominations with ancient roots are Judaism (fig. 3) and Christianity (fig. 4), followed later by Islam.

Fig. 3. | Roman lamps bearing Jewish motifs: seven-branched candelabra, the so-called menorah, which originally stood in the temple in Jerusalem. 4th to 7th century AD. Following Emperor Titus’ conquest in 70 BC, the menorah was carried triumphantly to Rome. These lamps were found during the Danish excavations in Carthage.



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The earliest adherents of Christianity represented a minority in Rome and were, with varying intensity, subjected to persecution. Attempts by the Roman authorities to deal with the new religion can be followed in an exchange of letters between Pliny, governor of Bithynia (north-western part of present-day Turkey) and Emperor Trajan in AD 112. Christians were suspected of all kinds of atrocities, but Pliny obtained a testimony from one of them that it was usual for them “…on a fixed day to assemble before daylight and together recite a hymn to Christ as a god; and that they bound themselves with an oath, not to any crime, but to not commit theft or robbery or adultery, not to break their word, and not to deny a deposit when demanded”.

Fig. 4. | Roman bronze lamp with a handle formed as a Latin cross.

Probably originating in an early Christian context, perhaps as part of church furniture. From the 4th to 7th century AD. Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.

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Fig. 5. | The Dejbjerg Wagon. In c. AD 100, the Roman author Tacitus relates, with reference to the Germans, that “ On an island of the sea stands an inviolate grove, in which, veiled with a cloth, is a chariot that none but the priest may touch. The priest can feel the presence of the goddess in this holy of holies, and attends her with deepest reverence as her chariot is drawn along by cows. Then follow days of rejoicing and merrymaking in every place that she condescends to visit and sojourn in”. Was the Dejbjerg Wagon the wagon of the goddess? C. 150 BC. Drawing Magnus Petersen. Danish Prehistory.

Pliny could see nothing criminal in this and asked the emperor for advice on how to deal with such matters. Trajan replied: “They are not to be sought out; but if they are accused and convicted, they must be punished – yet on this condition, that he who denies himself to be a Christian, and makes the fact plain by his action, that is, by worshipping our gods, shall obtain pardon on his repentance, however suspicious his past conduct may be”. The offence was not due to the new religion, the Romans already worshipped many gods and were open to new beliefs, but to the Christians’ rejection of the traditional Roman gods.



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Fig. 6a-b. | The gold bracteates made in the Nordic Countries in the

late 5th century and early 6th century AD were clearly inspired by Roman coins. The Emperor’s portrait, with diadem and cape, was converted to Nordic style and combined with details not seen in the images on Roman coins. Many bracteates show a man’s head with a diadem, together with a horse-like mythical animal. Based on the elements in the motif and accompanying details and runic inscriptions, it can be interpreted as Odin using his magic powers to heal Balder’s wounded horse. Drawing Herbert Lange. Danish Prehistory.

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In doing so, they questioned the very foundation on which the Roman state rested. Those who refused to renounce Christianity were punished by death. Knowledge of the gods of the “barbarians” comes partly from Classical authors, partly from archaeological finds. Roman descriptions of the gods of the Gauls and the Germans are, however, often misleading and serve to portray the barbarians as primitive and uncivilised (fig. 5). Many archaeological finds, primarily of metal and wooden figures, have been interpreted as images of deities. Whether this perception is correct remains to be established. It is, however, exceedingly likely that images such as those seen on the Danish golden horns and on the socalled bracteates (figs. 6 a-b) are of a religious nature. Come the Viking Age, we know the actual names of the gods, but by this time the mythology was already ancient. Tangible evidence of the Germanic gods is seen in the days of the week, Tuesday (actually “Tyr’s day”), Wednesday (“Odin’s day”), Thursday (“Thor’s day”) and Friday (“Friggs’s day”). These names have been handed down in European areas where the Roman language was never introduced. In Northern Europe, the Middle Ages became the period in which all these elements, quite literally, were brought together: a Roman calendar with Christian festivals and Germanic weekdays. The past lives on in the present. ANNE HASLUND HANSEN, JOHN LUND AND PETER PENTZ








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Slightly less than 2000 years ago God’s son was executed: nailed powerless to a wooden cross at the place of execution outside Jerusalem. The ultimate failure, thought his enemies. Even so it is the cross which, in subsequent millennia, has become the very symbol of the Christian message. This required an audacious re-interpretation of a Roman instrument of execution, the very epitome of defeat and death. In modern times it would correspond to the electric chair in America, or the gallows in Iran, being used as a symbol of God. It was only possible because Christians, since the earliest days of Christianity, have maintained that there was a reason for Jesus dying on the cross. God allowed his only son – part of the divinity – to die, and with this absurd act He broke down all the old barriers between life and death for all of humanity. A magnificent Old-English poem from the 7th/8th century describes how the dead Christ knocks on the gates of the Kingdom of the Dead and the gates fly off their hinges allowing light to flood in to the despairing people inside. Death and the Devil are powerless. A road opens from

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Fig. 1. | Figure of Christ from Albersdorf Church in the Ditmarshes. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

hopelessness to salvation. According to the Bible, three days after the crucifixion, on Easter Morning, Jesus rose from his grave. Death was conquered and defeat turned to victory. The image of Christ on the cross, the crucifix, was at one and the same time an image of Jesus’ death and of His victory over death. Through time, the shape of the crucifix has varied between two basic types – one emphasises death, the other victory. In the first 1200 years of Christianity, as it spread from the Mediterranean area to most of Europe, the image of Christ as a victorious king seems to have had a particular impact. But there was always another type of crucifix, showing Christ as a suffering human being. A faith that was to displace well-established gods needed to make the power of God visible. Jesus is therefore shown as a king who, with open eyes and without fear, allows himself to be sacrificed. Crucifixes from AD 1000-1200 show Christ with nails piercing the palms of his hands, while his feet stand together on a foot rest, only being nailed in some

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instances. His body is erect and he stares straight ahead with eyes wide open. On his head he wears a golden crown. The 220 cm high figure of Christ in the exhibition is from just such a crucifix. The wooden cross is missing, but the human figure traces its shape as it stands with outstretched arms and parallel slightly flexed legs. The figure is a shadow of past magnificence as the paint covering the rough oak wood was removed long ago. Only faint traces on the chalk primer reveal that the lining of the loin cloth was once red. In Christ’s face, the colourless eyes are now expressionless, but once had painted eyeballs and pupils. Of the king’s crown, only the lower part remains, with holes for metal points. This figure of Christ with its cross was made around 1200 and it hung as a Holy Rood crucifix in the arch between nave and chancel in the village church of Albersdorf, in the peasant republic of Ditmarshes, SW Holstein. Other Holy Rood crucifixes of the time reveal that the cross was typically twice as high as the figure of Christ. So the church in Albersdorf had a crucifix 440 cm in height and of corresponding width hanging in its chancel arch – an impressive sight! Even though Christian churches contained many images, the crucifix was the focus of attention for the congregation gathered in the nave. Here, with their own eyes, they saw Christ as the Heavenly King who defeated death. In the 13th century, the perception of Christ changed and for the latter part of the Middle Ages the emphasis was on suffering and death. Christ was given a crown of thorns, not a king’s crown, and his body was shown bloody and slumped. His feet were crossed and penetrated by a single nail. Many old crucifixes were modernised with new paint and a crown of thorns. Could the many traces of nails on the Christ from Albersdorf result from it once having nailed-on pieces of wood, carved and painted as droplets of blood? POUL GRINDER-HANSEN



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On Christmas Day, 25th December, AD 800 the Frankish king Charlemagne was crowned Roman emperor by the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome; an historic event marking the conclusion of a long process and the beginning of a new era. While the Byzantine Empire had control over most of Italy, including the papal city of Rome, the emperor in Constantinople chose the Pope. But in the middle of the 8th century, the Byzantine Empire lost its grip on Italy and the papal power chose instead to forge links with the emerging Frankish Empire in Western Europe. The two men who stood face to face in Rome that Christmas Day each represented their own domain. Pope Leo III was the spiritual head of the Catholic Church and leader of the Christian Church in Europe. Charlemagne was

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Fig. 1a-b. | Byzantine ivory relief from AD 1000-1050, showing Christ

on the cross with Mary and John standing on either side. Around 1100, the name Jesus was carved in runes on the base, perhaps by a member of the Byzantine emperor’s life guard of Scandinavians. Carved on the reverse is an image of Mary in western style from around 1200. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.


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the secular ruler of an area covering present-day Northern and Central Italy, Northern Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and most of Germany. Charlemagne therefore controlled all regions where Latin Mass was held, except the British Isles and NW Spain. We don’t know whose idea the coronation was, but the emperor’s biographer, Einhard, is said to have heard from Charlemagne personally that he would not have attended church had he known he was to be crowned. But this could be the self-effacement expected of a great and pious man. Whatever, both parties benefitted from the co-operation between Church and emperor marked by the ceremony. The coincidence between areas of church and imperial power underlined the concept of a Christian Empire. In AD 799, an anonymous poet praised Charlemagne with the honorary titles of “Europe’s beacon” and “Europe’s father”. This was perhaps the first time that Europe is used in reference to areas under the supremacy of the Christian Frankish king. But these were poetic expressions, and Europe, as a political term, played no role at the court of Charlemagne. It is first recently, with the EU in mind, that scholars have attempted to market Charlemagne as a man with visions of European unity. When Charlemagne was crowned, it was as Christian emperor of the Roman Empire and king of the Franks and the Longobards. As history would later reveal, Charlemagne’s united empire was, after the death of his son, divided up into a western and an eastern part, corresponding more or less to France and Germany. The East Frankish king maintained imperial status as German-Roman emperor, but there was no question of a European entity. Instead, an ecclesiastic entity came to define Europe, with the Pope in Rome as its spiritual head. The following centuries would see many situations where relations between emperor and Church were exceptionally strained. The Catholic Church had a clear policy that the ecclesiastic organisation should be autonomous and independent of secular establishments. But in the old Germanic areas,

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Fig. 2. | In the Middle Ages Saint James the Elder was depicted resembling the pilgrims who flocked to his grave in Santiago de Compostela, NW Spain. He carries a pilgrim’s staff and wears a pilgrim’s hat with a symbolic scallop shell. Figure from an altarpiece in Havnbjerg Church, Denmark, made in North Germany c. 1500. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.



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Fig. 3. | The 13th century interior of the former abbey church in Sorø, Denmark.

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churches were usually built by private individuals who also appointed the priests. Similarly, bishops were chosen by rulers. Church leaders therefore faced a tough battle in having the Church’s independence recognised. Emperors deposed popes and appointed antipopes; popes excommunicated emperors. However, during the Middle Ages, the Church managed to build up the independent ecclesiastical network that had long been its aim. But this was in no way isolated from the secular society and its existence had significance far beyond purely religious matters. Every time a new European area became Christian, it became part of a total culture. With the Church came a common language, Latin, and the tools and instruments necessary for administration and leadership; this also strengthened the rulers in power. Papal Rome had, over the course of a millennium, extended its influence across the whole of Western and Northern Europe. It was, and continued to be, the centre of the Roman Catholic Church. With time, it became a close-knit and centralised organisation binding every single link together into a whole. There was a direct line to God from every parish priest, even in the farthest-flung hamlet; the parish priest was ordained by his bishop, and the bishop was ordained by the archbishop, who in turn was ordained by the Pope and the Pope was, in principle, chosen by God himself. The Catholic Church provided the framework for all aspects of people’s lives. With its churches, furniture, music and rituals it offered security in an uncertain world and led the way to eternal life after death. Pre-Christian concepts persisted as an undercurrent in everyday life, but the established Church was good at absorbing these and allowing them to live on in a Christian version. The written sources of the time reveal widespread righteous piety and a belief that God and the whole host of saints would help each individual through the trials and tribulations of life. There was a long way from the common peasant to the emperor or the Pope, but in the parish church sat Mary, the mother of God, carved in wood and painted so she seemed alive. People could touch the baby Jesus on her arm and kiss her foot. Here, the sacred was very close indeed. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN

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In 1439, a wonderful liturgical music manuscript, an antiphonary, was created in a Roman Franciscan monastery. It contains the antiphonal songs for the Catholic Church’s Liturgy of the Hours – for the day, but not the night. These were sung every three hours as a central part of the liturgy, the monastery’s religious fulcrum. The book would have had its set position where it lay open ready for use. It is also so heavy that it is difficult to move. The large format allowed many monks to read and sing from the same book. Producing a liturgical manuscript prior to the invention of printing was very expensive, both in time and money: This handwritten service book was made using the finest parchment and expensively adorned with fantastic uncials and artistic decorations characterised by detail and imagination. It is a functional object and a work of art. Roman Catholic ritual songs are known as “Gregorian chants” after Pope Gregory (AD 590-604) who, according to an anecdote, had liturgical music written down in a large book, an antiphonary. The music though, is later, probably from the 10th century. More precise dating is difficult as the



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songs were passed down orally until they could be fixed in precise musical notation. The songs were written down using simple symbols, so-called neumes, which give a “hint” as to how the song should be performed. They are the origin of our modern musical notation. The notation in this book – a square plainchant notation – was only employed in the chorale. This Romanesque development of neume notation eventually became the norm for Gregorian chants. Horseshoenail script is still used today in Roman Catholic liturgies. At the end of each line is a small note without text – the “custos” (custodian) – which gives the pitch for the start of the following line. In Guido of Arezzo’s 11th-century system, the pitch became an element in the notation. This system, with keys in combination with colours and four lines, was able to fix the melody to a greater degree than before, where notation without lines had made reading difficult. The musical notation of Gregorian chants does not give time signature and rhythm – the art lies in declamation and tradition. The Catholic liturgy’s unaccompanied unison plainchant can be performed by soloists and choirs. The texts in the book exhibited here were taken primarily from the Old Testament Psalms of David, and the hymns and antiphons were performed as antiphonal chants between two choirs. The key system consisted of eight scales, church modes, and the anonymous composers of Gregorian chants had, in the relation between text and music, to satisfy many demands with respect to form and style. Latin liturgical use is significantly rooted in musical scales, but the character of the individual keys does, however, have its context relative to various parts of the text. In the Middle Ages, the human voice was considered to be the very finest instrument – actually divine – and was therefore the instrument of choice for use in church. The organ is known from Antiquity and was then a secular instrument. It also accompanied dancing in the Middle Ages; small “portable” organs – portatives and regales – were used

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Fig. 1. | Manuscript score written on parchment in a Franciscan mon-

astery on an island in the Tiber in Rome in 1439. Large folio format (62x44 cm), 197 leaves. Complete, with an appendix of six leaves. Square notes still used in the Roman Catholic Church on four lines with numerous uncials and artistic decorations. The Danish Music Museum.


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Fig. 2. | The original leather binding was of exquisite quality, but the antiphonary was made to be used and wear made it necessary to stabilise the book with pieces of wood. A brass ďŹ tting in Rococo style has also been added together with studs for the book to stand and lie on. This clearly shows that the binding should not be seen. The Danish Music Museum.

in much the same way as bagpipes and utes. We don’t know when the organ became a liturgical instrument, but the transition from market place to the church is generally assumed to have taken place from about AD 900 to 1200.

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Organ accompaniment which, due to the construction of the instrument, must have been monophonic, could now be heard as an alternative to a cappella singing. Great church organs as seen in cathedrals, with several manuals and over a hundred registers, were introduced around the end of the 16th century and manifested various regional characteristics during the Baroque period. Prior to the Reformation in 1536, Latin was also the language of the Danish Church. Niels Jesperssøn’s Gradual from 1573, also shown in the exhibition, is the first Danish example to have printed notes. These were, however, more influenced by the Germanic than the Romanesque style. The shift from Latin to Danish is clearly apparent, despite the fact that the gradual was published several decades after the Reformation. On the one hand it retains the Gregorian chants with Latin liturgical parts, and on the other it contains Danish hymns. As early as 1520, Luther suggested the introduction of the mother tongue in evangelical liturgical song between the Latin parts, and he himself became the leading hymn writer. In 1524, the first Lutheran song books were published with Danish texts and musical notation; these are still used to this very day. MARIE MARTENS


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In 1283 Alphonse the Wise, king of the realms of Castile, Galicia and Leon in present-day Spain, had a richly illustrated manuscript produced called Libro de los juegos (Book of Games). It describes all the board and dice games known to the king, arranged in three types. Some games, such as dice, are solely dependent on luck. Others, such as backgammon, are decided both by luck and skill, and are most like real life, the book observes. But the third and in the king’s view the supreme form is chess, because victory is solely dependent on a player’s skill. He therefore devoted the greatest attention to this game and the book contains numerous colour illustrations placing representatives of Spain’s different population groups opposite each other at the chess board: man and woman, nun and monk,

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Fig. 1. | Figurative chess pieces positioned opposite non-figurative pieces of Muslim type. All the pieces are archaeological finds from Denmark. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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Fig. 2. | A game of chess between Europeans and Arabs, reproduced from a book on games commissioned in 1283 by King Alfonso X (the Wise) of Castile, Galicia and Leon. Biblioteca de el Escorial.

knight and king, Christians, Jews and Arabs. The illustration reproduced here shows a Christian knight and an Arab facing each other across a chess board in a tent. This motif illustrates admirably how chess came to Europe. The game has Asian roots and became known to Europeans via the Arabs. It was probably invented in Northern India, but the game’s main terms are of Persian origin, so it was most likely there it found its fundamental form. The English name “chess” and most other European names (Danish: skak, Dutch: Schaken, German: Schach, Latin: Scacci) are thought to derive from the leading piece in the game, the king or ruler: In Persian a shah. The cry of “checkmate” at the end of a game is also of Persian origin: “mat” is Persian for “defeated” or “helpless” (checkmate = the king/shah is defeated/helpless – the king is dead). The piece outermost on the back row, the rook or castle, was termed “roch” by the Persians.

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The king’s companion had the Persian name of farzin, the ruler’s trusted minister. The other pieces were elephant (bishop), horse (knight) and foot soldier (pawn). When the Arab armies conquered the Persian Empire, the Muslim conquerors quickly took up chess. Persian pieces could be figures, for example an elephant with a turret on its back. The Arabs did not approve of figurative depiction, preferring abstract chess pieces. These were cylindrical with various carved symbols. The king and the counsellor (the queen) had a semicircular notch uppermost. The elephant (bishop) had two projections intended to resemble tusks, while the horse (the knight) had a knob uppermost in suggestion of a horse’s head. Rooks had a square base and a V-shaped notch uppermost. Europeans became acquainted with chess via the Arabs when the latter advanced up through the Iberian Peninsula in the Early Middle Ages and also ruled Sicily for a while. Once in Europe, the basic rules of chess’ strategic war game remained unchanged. But the pieces were mostly renamed to reflect medieval European society and, according to European tradition, given a figurative form. Now the king really was a king, often carved as an enthroned ruler surrounded by his bodyguards. His companion changed gender to a queen rather than a minister, reflecting the important role potentially played by queens in the real world. The Persian roch became the rook, the solid benchmark in medieval warfare. The knight was depicted on horseback, the elite warrior of the Middle Ages, and the elephant became the bishop. It was a suitable expression of the power of the clergy, also in the secular world. Foot soldiers became pawns – the ones sacrificed first when a game of chess begins. Even though figurative chess pieces were probably the most sought after, non-figurative pieces were also used in medieval Europe. Examples of the latter from Danish medieval forts show that Europeans were equally able to play chess in Arabic fashion if required. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN


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In November 1095, a great synod was held in Clermont-Ferrand in Central France where Pope Urban II met church leaders and heads of state from Christian Western Europe to discuss the state of the Roman Church. The meeting took place during the age-long Investiture Controversy, in which German-Roman emperors and the Pope each maintained their right to make appointments to ecclesiastical positions – a question of both religious and political power. The German-Roman emperor Henry IV had even installed his own antipope who resided unchallenged in Rome while the meeting took place. On the final day, Pope Urban II gave a speech which, for a moment, overshadowed the disagreement between Pope and emperor and allowed the former to appear as a true church leader. The Pope painted for the influential gathering a vivid picture of how places of Christian pilgrimage in the Holy Land had been conquered by heathens, who mistreated Christians and defiled the holy shrines. He told of how the Byzantine emperor had complained to him. Now was the time for all Christians to stand together to liberate these holy places from the infidels! It would be a righteous war, because it was not aggression. On the contrary, it was a defence of a threatened Christianity. His


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speech was enthusiastically received. One after another, those present stepped forward and declared they would “take the cross”, i.e. embark for the Holy Land, weapon in hand. It would later transpire that the Roman Church was willing to recognise all battles against heretics and heathens as crusades. Accordingly, Danes and Germans were able to wage holy war against their heathen neighbours south of the Baltic, and on the Iberian Peninsula conquests of Muslim areas by Christian kingdoms were seen in a similar light. Even the Catholic Church’s suppression of heretic Christian sects in Southern France also fell within this pious category. But the main target was and remained the Holy Land. Pope Urban’s idea of a crusade spread like wildfire across Europe and resulted in a veritable public revival. A French hermit by the name of Peter stole a march on the knights by assembling an army of thousands of fervent supporters who, already in 1096, made the long journey by foot through Europe to Constantinople. They then continued to Asia Minor, where this undisciplined horde was promptly massacred. The actual crusade required greater preparation, and it was first in 1097 that a great army assembled outside the walls of Constantinople. It was a very loosely-knit force with no common leadership, but made up of war-hardened knights and their squires. The Byzantine emperor swiftly dispatched them to Asia Minor before the riches of Constantinople proved too tempting. The enemies they encountered were Muslims, but not descendants of the Arabs who, in the century following the death of the prophet Muhammad in AD 632, had conquered what now corresponds to the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, the entire North African coast and Spain, the Middle East, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. At that time the Arabs were a ruling class who collected taxes from conquered peoples, but otherwise left them very much to themselves. In the middle of the 8th century the capital was moved to Baghdad and a rich culture blossomed with a taste for poetry and science. However, the Arabic rulers made increasing use of soldiers recruited from Turkish nomadic

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Fig. 1. | A pfennig coin minted by the Danish king, Valdemar the Great

(1154-82), who led several crusades against the heathen Wends south of the Baltic. The banner of the cross on the reverse was a forerunner of the Danish national ag. Royal Collection of Coins and Medals.


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Fig. 2. | Water jug in the form of a horseman, an aquamanile, cast in bronze in Lorraine in present-day France around 1200. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

tribes. Ultimately, in 1055, one of these tribes, the Seljuks, seized power in Baghdad and formed their own conquest-hungry dynasty. The Islamic Caliphate disintegrated and the Islamic area was characterised by conflicts between various dynasties and of enmity between two Islamic schools of thought, Shi’a and Sunni Muslims. So it was a divided Islam the Crusaders faced, and their forces of armoured knights steamrollered through the Muslim armies they encountered. In Islamic eyes, they were animals who surpassed Muslims only in bravery and ferocity in battle. In 1099, the Crusaders succeeded in actually taking Jerusalem, after which they promptly massacred all the city’s Muslim and

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Fig. 3. | Bronze figure of a lion from 12th/13th century Persia where it was used as a water jug or for incense. Islamic animal figures such as these inspired Christian Crusaders in the production of the water jugs, aquamaniles, which became popular in Europe. Ethnographic Collection.

Jewish inhabitants. The Christian knights thanked God and celebrated their victory. One of the army commanders, Godfrey of Bouillon, became the first ruler of the new state, which quickly gained the name of the “Kingdom of Jerusalem”. In the course of the 12th century, a further three Crusader states emerged, and the Christian realms roughly comprised present-day Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and the western parts of Jordan and Syria. Mighty fortresses secured control over the landscape. But it was not long before Christian leaders of the Crusader states became embroiled in the eternal power struggles of the Muslim petty kings. In 1108, a Christian/Muslim army, belonging to a Christian count in Edessa and the Islamic governor in



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Mosul, faced a just as religiously-mixed army, arising from a coalition between the Christian ruler of Antioch and the Seljuk king of Aleppo. Even so, most battles had Christians and Muslims on opposite sides of the battlefield. The Christian states suffered a serious setback when a Kurdish army commander by the name of Salah ad-Dhin retook Jerusalem in 1187. This time there were no massacres and Saladin, as Europeans referred to him, showed a generosity which brought him a reputation as an honourable hero, even in Christian Europe. In the long term, the Christian realms could not be maintained and in 1291 the last Christian towns on the mainland had to be abandoned. The first Crusaders’ disdain for the local inhabitants did not last. The Franks adapted to local conditions, wore Arab-inspired clothes of silk and a few even acquired a harem in local style. Many learned Arabic. In general, the Christians absorbed the advantages of the Islamic culture where they encountered it, not just in Palestine but also in Spain and on Sicily. The Arabs had carried on the science of ancient Greek culture in the fields of astronomy, medicine, geography, chemistry and mathematics, and encounters with Muslims inspired Europeans. But, as the Lebanon-born author Amin Maalouf has pointed out, the opposite was not true. The Muslims were aware that some things functioned better for the Franks, but they only saw these as threats to Islamic culture, not as inspiration. The traumas of the Crusades led to the once so flourishing Islamic culture closing in about itself and becoming, as Maalouf writes, “sensitive to cold, defensive, intolerant, infertile”. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN

Fig. 4. | Chasuble from the Church of Our Lady in Aarhus. It is made of Persian silk brocade from c. 1300-50 and bears the repeated Islamic text: “the wise sultan”. It was quality material and no-one in Aarhus could read the text. The embroidered cross on the back was added around 1500. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.


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When the blood had dried from Crusaders’ massacres of July 1099 in Jerusalem, the new masters encountered the problem eternally faced by conquerors: How to organise a newlyconquered land – use methods from home or take inspiration from the new country? Studies of the Crusaders’ coins provide a glimpse of how they approached this in terms of coinage. The Crusaders organised their new conquests into a series of realms. Furthest to the north was the County of Edessa, quickly lost again to the Muslims, then Antioch and Tripoli and finally the Kingdom of Jerusalem. These realms were the basis for the Crusaders’ coins, although some minor barons also minted coins in their own name from time to time. Coinage in the Crusaders’ homelands in Europe was very different from that they met on their arrival in the Middle East. On their way to the Holy Land they travelled through the ancient Christian Byzantine Empire, Rome’s heir, and its capital in Constantinople (Istanbul). Here the old sophisticated Roman tripartite system of coinage – gold, silver and bronze – was maintained and developed. The Islamic realms of the

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Middle East had, in principle, the same system. Conversely, Europe’s coinage had but a single monetary unit: the pfennig, dating back to Charlemagne’s monetary reforms. This was a small thin silver coin of about a gram. In Charlemagne’s time it had been of high quality, in pure silver, but with time more and more copper had become mixed in. Initially, the Crusaders used European coins they had brought with them. We know this from written sources and from finds of these coins in the Middle East. Soon, however, they began to mint their own coins, first in the two northern counties of Antioch and Edessa; these were copper coins of clearly Byzantine appearance. The next major coin production conversely showed very clear European inspiration. It comprised small copper-mixed silver pfennigs, minted in Jerusalem, Tripoli and Antioch from 1140 onwards. This type formed the basis of Crusader coinage the next 150 years. And when, in the middle of the 13th century, people in Europe began to mint large sterling silver coins – most notably the French gros tournois from 1266 – the Crusaders followed suit and minted a gros in the County of Tripoli. After a break of several centuries minting of gold coins also recommenced in Europe, and there is a very rare gold Crusader coin showing the Lamb of God on the obverse. These developments came, however, to an abrupt halt with the fall of the Crusader states at the end of the 13th century. Crusader coins are clearly European in form (metal, minting technique and size) and motif. They bear crosses, stylised portraits of rulers in armour and simplified architectural images. Finds of these coins show that they were, of course, used internally in the Crusader realms. But they were also accepted in daily dealings with their Muslim neighbours, as shown for example by finds from the Syrian town of Hama, which never came under Crusader control. Many small Crusader coins turned up there during the Danish-led excavations of the 1930s. The meeting of cultures in the Middle East is one of the aspects that make studies of the Crusader states so fascinating.

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Fig. 1. | Coins minted in the Crusader states. Lower left: Gros from the County of Tripoli, minted by Count Bohemund VI or VII (125175/1275-87). Upper left: Gros from the County of Tripoli, minted by Count Bohemund VII (1275-87). Upper right. Silver coin from the Kingdom of Jerusalem, minted in Acre in 1251 with Arabic text. The cross was added following complaints from the Pope. Lower right: Pfennig from the County of Antioch, minted by Bohemund III (1163-1201). Royal Collection of Coins and Medals.

We have the outraged reports of newly-arrived Europeans, puzzled by the fact that their resident countrymen had, in terms of dress and food, “gone local�. With respect to coins, a similar process of adaptation took place. As early as about 1140 the Crusaders began to imitate the gold coins of their Islamic


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Fig. 2. | Muslim coins. Left: silver dirham, minted by the legendary army commander Saladin in Damascus 1182/83. Right: Copper coin, fulus, showing a portrait of the ruling Saladin, perhaps inspired by European coins with their depictions of ďŹ gures, minted in 1190/91. Royal Collection of Coins and Medals.

neighbours, followed at the beginning of the next century by those of silver. In contrast to European examples of the time, Islamic coins were without images. Their design comprised inscriptions that revealed where, when and by whom they were minted, together with quotes from the Koran and religious phrases. On some of the Crusaders’ imitations, these inscriptions are simply reproduced as meaningless nonsense characters. On others, religious inscriptions and the year according to the Islamic calendar are fully legible. The basis for this coinage was probably bluntly pragmatic. The Crusaders realised that these coins made trade with their Muslim neighbours considerably easier.

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In 1250-54, the Pope’s emissary Eudes de Châteauroux spent time, together with the French king Louis IX, in the Crusaders’ capital of Acre. De Châteauroux was offended by the Crusaders’ minting of Muslim coins. He banished those responsible and even had this ratified by papal brief. Consequently, the coins continued to be minted – but now with a cross and Christian inscriptions written using Arabic characters! This was a compromise that accommodated both pragmatic trading interests and dogmatic religious ideals! In 1291, Acre fell to the Islamic Mamluks and the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Counties of Tripoli and Antioch disappeared from the map. But the history of the Crusaders – and the minting of coins – continued on Cyprus until 1489, in the Latin petty realms in Greece until the 14th century and, ultimately, in the strongholds of the Knights of St John on Rhodes until 1522, and on Malta right up until 1798. But that is a completely different story. JENS CHRISTIAN MOESGAARD


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In the 16th century there was a major production of stoneware tankards in the German regions along the Rhine, roughly the area later termed the Ruhr District. There was suitable clay here which could be fired at a high temperature of 1200-1300 degrees C. The result was tough watertight pottery of high quality and German stoneware was in demand all over Europe. The tankards were richly decorated with motifs copied by workshops from the many flyers and leaflets of the time. They were often so decorative that owners displayed the tankards as ornaments on a shelf in the living room. Images on utility items such as stoneware were an ingenious way of spreading messages to a wide audience. They could be used for propaganda and this was very appealing in the divided Europe of the 16th century when the unity of the Catholic Church had dissolved through conflicts with the reform movements of, in particular, Martin Luther and Jean Calvin. The tankard shown here belongs in the very middle of this conflict and it can truly be termed a propaganda tankard. It has three images on its brown glazed sides, each with an anti-


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Catholic sting. The first shows Jesus felling a tree densely hung with Catholic altar furniture; letters of indulgence hang from its branches. The Pope, bishops and priests try to support the falling tree, but to no avail. The German text, giving Christ’s words, translates as: “I will eradicate weeds and throw them on the fire”. The second image shows a strange monster with a long tail, bird’s claws, a devil’s face on its belly and three heads on interwoven necks. The three heads are Satan, disguised as a peaceful angel, the Pope with a triple crown on his head and, finally, one of the Muslim Turks who were Christian Europe’s main enemies in the 16th century. For the people behind the tankard these amounted to one and the same thing. The final image shows Jesus chasing off the Devil while saying, translated from German: “Get off, Devil, in Introum”. Nobody is in any doubt about the tankard’s overriding message, but the reliefs were part of a special circumstance which the strange word “introum” helps to explain. During the course of the 1520s and 30s most of Northern Europe had abandoned the Catholic faith. Instead, a number of Lutheran churches arose under the protection of princes and kings. Elsewhere in Europe, i.e. in parts of France, the northern Netherlands and Switzerland, civil reformation movements inspired by the French priest Jean Calvin – the so-called Calvinists or Reformed – dominated. The Catholic Church was under pressure, but it was gathering strength for a counterreformation and it had a mighty ally in the figure of the German-Roman emperor. In 1547, Emperor Charles V presented the so-called Interim Book, intended as a compromise between Lutheran and Catholic teaching. It was though a predominantly Catholic dictate, and only a minority of the Lutheran rulers and clergy were positive with respect to this attempt to save the Church’s unity. The propaganda images directed against the Interim even included a special – and incidentally feminine – “Interim Monster” with three heads; it is this beast which is shown on the stoneware tankard. A coin from 1549, a socalled “mockingpenny”, shows Jesus on one side, chasing out

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Fig. 1. | Tankard bearing anti-Catholic propaganda – stoneware made in

present-day Belgium c. 1550. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.


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Fig. 2. | Modern drawing of motifs on the propaganda tankard.

the three-headed Interim Monster. The coin’s legend repeats Christ’s words: “Packe di Sathan dv Interim” (Get off, Interim Satan). This provides the keyword to understanding the tankard’s inscription, where “interim” is corrupted to “introum”. The emperor abandoned implementation of the Interim in 1552 and after this date the tankard would no longer be relevant. It must therefore have been manufactured during the short interval 1547-52. The tankard came to Denmark and, in the 16th century, it was already damaged, requiring repairs to the handle and the rim as well as a new tin lid. On the edge of the lid, the unknown but apparently learned owner had an inscription added in Latin, and there was an inscription with the same basic message in Danish on top of the lid. From this it appears that the tankard’s message was perceived as

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generally anti-Catholic by its Danish owner, whereas the association with anti-Interim propaganda was forgotten. The Danish verse (here translated into English) comments on the three reliefs and speaks for itself: What use the Pope’s staff when the tree is felled. Away Devil, Pope, Turk now lightens the world’s darkness. Devil you shall now go into darkness’ deepest corner. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN



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In the autumn of 1517 the Professor of Theology at the University of Wittenberg, Martin Luther, drew up a list of 95 critical points relating to the ruling Catholic Church’s trade in indulgences. He did not believe that Christians could, by their own efforts, render themselves worthy of salvation. It was therefore fraudulent when the Pope’s pardoners assured worried individuals that by buying a letter of indulgence they could be cleansed of their sins. The story was that, according to how much one paid, it was possible to avoid a certain number of years in purifying Purgatory, where sinful souls were destined after death. This was one of Luther’s greatest complaints. After writing out his list, Luther went to the castle church in Wittenberg and nailed the document to the door. If Martin Luther had limited his actions to nailing his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg it is unlikely that anyone today would have remembered them. The church door functioned as the university notice board, and much can hang in such a place without it changing the course of history. What really made a difference was that, at the same time, the 95

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Fig. 1a-b. | Portrait of the reformer Martin Luther, made of papier-

mâchÊ in the workshop of North German artist Albert von Soest c. 1550-60. The associated mould, into which the paper mass was pressed, is alongside. This was mass production of functional art with a message. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

theses were printed. In a short time they had spread all over Germany and everyone had read or heard of them. This is how the Reformation began. The scenario of the angry man nailing his theses up on the church door became the very symbol of the Reformation. But it was the quiet bustle in the printing works with the clinking of lead type and the creaking of the press which provided the true soundtrack for this and so many other social changes which took place in the 16th century. The art of printing extends back in Europe to around 1450, when a German goldsmith, Johann Gutenberg in Mainz, discovered the correct technique for printing books. The basic idea was to cast individual characters as loose lead type which could be mounted in matter so they formed meaningful words and sentences. The matter was then placed in the printing press and inked, after which sheets of paper were laid over and pressed

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against the inked matter using a large screw device. Gutenberg probably took inspiration for the printing press from the wine presses of the day. When the print run was complete, the lead type could be re-used and the printed books could be distributed far and wide. Previously, in the Middle Ages, no two books were identical. If another example of a book was to be produced this was done painstakingly by hand and even the most careful scribe could not avoid making small copying errors, ranging from individual wrongly-copied letters to missing or forgotten words and sentences. Colouring or illustrations could similarly not be reproduced without some deviation. Each book was unique. This situation changed completely with the invention of printing, but it took a while before the full potential was comprehended. In 1485 and 1487, the Bishop of Freising paid 400 guldens to five men who, line for line, were to check all 400 examples of a newly-printed prayer book to ensure that they really were identical. But that is, of course, the whole point of printing books – that many examples of the same book can be produced and they are all completely identical. With time, printers were able to produce books in print editions of several thousands. Printing was one of Europe’s first industries. The Catholic Church quickly realised the possibilities of the new medium. If one wanted to ensure the distribution of texts of the correct content to as many people as possible, the printed book was the way forward. Even though it was still a minority of Europeans who could read, their number was increasing, not least among the growing urban middle-class. At the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century there was a demand for many types of ecclesiastical printed papers, ranging from loose leaves with a prayer and a picture to actual books with devotional texts or prayers. The much-criticised letters of indulgence which provoked Luther’s outrage were also printed, merely with empty spaces for the purchaser’s name, the amount paid and the number of years in Purgatory which were remitted. Luther and the other reformers were, however, much better



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at exploiting the new medium which provided new opportunities to take up controversial subjects with a wide range of target groups. As there were printing works across all of Western Europe, it was not difficult to find a printer who would replicate the material. Thousands of books were published annually so it was an expression of impotent symbolism when the Papal Church reacted to Luther’s texts by ordering his books burnt. This would have had an effect in the time of the old hand-written books, when a single book fire could destroy every example

Fig. 2. | Functioning print works. The illustration comes from a book published in 1628 by Dutchman Pieter Schrijver, who erroneously claimed that printing was invented not by Gutenberg but by his compatriot L. Jansz Coster of Haarlem.

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Fig. 3. | Printed letter of indulgence, sold in 1517 by the papal pardoner Archimboldus. There are empty spaces for the buyer’s name, the payment and the number of years remitted in Purgatory in exchange for the payment. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

of a work. But it was impossible to destroy 1000 printed books of the same work if they were widely distributed, and even if the majority were to be lost it was relatively easy to print a new revised edition, given access to an independent printer. The 16th century would see enormous use of new media in the propaganda war between new reformed movements and the established Catholic Church. This applied not only to texts, but also to images, which were very effective in presenting complicated subjects in a simple way. With time, these prints became popular as wall decorations, even in humbler homes. As a near-


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Fig. 4. | Wenceslaus Hollar: Great prospect of Prague, 1649.

relative of printing, mention should be made of the works of the North German craftsman Albert von Soest, who used moulds to produce papier-mâché reliefs of German reformers and Biblical scenes. When these reliefs had been painted and framed, they appeared as carved in wood and were well suited to decorating the walls of those who could not afford “the real thing”. Printing was also an important precondition for the scientific advances of the 16th century. Printed books made it possible to disseminate new views and observations and, as the pages of books were numbered, scholars in the far corners of Europe could refer unequivocally to the books they had read and discuss their content when they exchanged correspondence. Furthermore, printed books rendered scientific questions and discussions accessible to circles outside scholarly ranks. All the classical works of Antiquity and the Middle Ages which, until then, had only existed in the form of a few manuscripts in se-

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lected monasteries and libraries, were now published as printed books such that many more people could become acquainted with them. Similarly, all the new observations and realisations from the voyages of discovery were also reproduced in printed books and maps. Danish historian Søren Mørch has pointed out that the development of printing was unique in Europe relative to the rest of the world. The number of printing works in Europe exploded from only one in Mainz in 1455 to 110 in 1480, and the expansion continued at this rate in subsequent years. We know the titles of no less than 28,360 books printed before the end of 1500. It is therefore remarkable that printing works were not set up in the countries which surrounded Christian Europe. The first printing works to use Turkish characters was established in 1727, but closed again after 14 years of activity. The first printing works in the Arab area was that which Napoleon’s troops took with them in their invasion of Egypt in 1798. It is significant that the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, the Chinese emperors and the Shoguns of Japan were not interested in this medium. Perhaps they suspected what experiences in Europe revealed, i.e. that printing stimulated debate, new ideas and disagreement. This was not something desired by autocratic monarchs. But it was just such elements which, in a divided Europe, created a dynamic and in the long term stimulated knowledge and growth. Seen from this perspective, printing was perhaps the decisive factor in the European process of modernisation which took off around 1500. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN



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Two side plates from a large German table clock, made in 1642, with engravings depicting two of the fathers of modern astronomy: Pole Nicholaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and Dane Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). They each stand pointing at their respective models of the structure of the Solar System. In 1543, Copernicus proposed that the Sun was the centre of the Universe, around which the Earth and the other planets move in circular orbits. This was a controversial break with the old belief that the Earth was at the centre of the Universe. The new theory provoked deliberation and discussion among scholars across Europe. The Danish nobleman Tycho Brahe realised that tangible systematic observations using the best available instruments were necessary in order to investigate the truth of Copernicus’ claim. The Danish king, Frederik II, saw that Tycho Brahe’s scientific project was worthy of support, and from 1576 to 1597 the small Danish island of Hven in the Oresund became the centre of European astronomy. Students from many countries worked in the observatories Uraniborg and Stjerneborg, while Tycho Brahe carried on extensive correspondence in Latin with other scholars and interested rulers across most of Europe.


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A European scholarly network was formed. Tycho and his students presented their findings and results in printed books. Tycho’s observations led him to establish his own model, in which the Earth was the centre about which the Sun orbited; all the other planets then orbited the Sun. This is the model he is pointing to on the clock plate. In 1597, Tycho Brahe fell out with the new Danish king, Christian IV, and his advisors who did not like the astronomer’s self-assured style and unorthodox religious beliefs. Consequently, Tycho Brahe ended his days in the service of the GermanRoman emperor Rudolph II at his court in Prague. A crucial development occurred when the Dane appointed the German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) as his assistant. On his death bed, Tycho Brahe asked Kepler to complete the publications of his observations and work. Kepler did this in collaboration with Tycho’s Dutch son-in-law – and former employee – Frans Gansneb Tengnagel (1576-1622). Kepler would later use Tycho’s precise measurements in the observation records to prove that the Sun was actually the centre and that the Earth and the planets moved around it along elliptical rather than circular orbits, as Copernicus had believed. Tycho’s interpretation of the Solar System was wrong, but his observations were correct. In 1626, Kepler finally managed to publish his and Tycho’s planetary tables under the name of the Rudolphine Tables, in honour of their old patron, Emperor Rudolph. The title page of the book shows the temple of astronomy with great astronomers from Ptolemy in Greece to Copernicus and Tycho Brahe who, through their research, had each laid the foundation stone for new learning. This was the original source of the two images on the clock plates – an image of 16th century European science. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN

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Fig. 1. | Plates from a German table clock from 1642. One plate shows Copernicus and his model of the Solar System, the other Tycho Brahe with his model. Tycho Brahe believed that the Sun orbited the Earth, while the other planets orbited the Sun. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.


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In the National Museum’s Renaissance collection there is a steel parade helmet of oriental type, richly decorated with gilt silver fittings. On the vertical tube intended to take a feather plume is a large blue sapphire flanked by two pearls and eight small rubies against a background of engraved arabesques with delicate twisted vines and small pointed leaves. These arabesques are also seen on others of the gilt fittings and are, as the name suggests, a decoration with roots in Arabic culture. But in the 16th century, arabesques had also become popular in Christian Renaissance culture with a basis in the oriental originals. Other details on the helmet reveal it not to be a piece of Turkish craftsmanship, as one might suppose at first glance, but of European origin. The helmet’s top fitting bears four small leaf-encircled medallions depicting, respectively, a man’s and a woman’s head, turned to face each other in pairs. In between are herms, i.e. men and women shown without their lower torso, again alternately male and female. Human representations of this kind were not something indulged in by the Osmanlis. But what really reveals the helmet’s origin is a series of ten (originally 11) small medallions located lowermost on the edge of the helmet. These show portraits of rulers with unfortunately

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Fig. 1 | Steel helmet with gilt silver fittings. Made in c. 1550-75, in a

Hungarian town near the border of the Christian German-Roman Empire with the Islamic Ottoman Empire. The helmet’s decoration includes small portraits of emperors from the Roman Empire and German-Roman emperors of the time, but its form is very oriental. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

almost illegible inscriptions giving the names of those portrayed. Not all can be identified, but it is clear that the medallions represent both Roman rulers from Antiquity and emperors of the German-Roman Empire. Of the Romans, Caesar can be recognised, and of the German-Roman emperors, Emperor Sigismund of Hungary (emperor 1410-37), Albert II (emperor 1438-39) and Charles V (emperor 1519-56). The helmet’s me-

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dallions thereby express a very intentional ideological line linking the ruling German-Roman dynasty with distant ancestors in the great Roman Empire. A final medallion falls outside the series in portraying Commander Andrea Doria of Genoa (14661560) whose long career included numerous battles against the Turks. In old age he was made High Admiral of the GermanRoman Empire by Emperor Charles V and it was surely Andrea Doria’s victorious efforts against the Turks which gave him the right to a place on the helmet. Hallmarks on the top piece of the helmet and on the rear of the plume mount take the form of a lily. This is the mark for the once Hungarian, now Slovakian town of Kosice (Hungarian: Kassa, German: Kaschau). Following a disastrous defeat to the Turks in the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Hungary became divided into three parts. The southern and western part came under Turkish rule; the eastern part was the partially independent principality of Siebenbürgen, while the northern part became incorporated within the Habsburgs’ German-Roman Empire. Kosice lay within the latter and in 16th century the town enjoyed a significant growth in population, partly due to an influx of craftsmen from the Turkish-dominated areas. Here, in this border town, there was the necessary expertise to create a parade helmet which drew the best from both Osmanli and European traditions. The owner of the helmet must have been an important figure in the German-Roman Empire’s fight against the Osmanlis. It may seem strange that he then chose an oriental helmet type, but this is not a unique instance. The Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, who led the war against the Osmanlis in 1555, also had a silver helmet in Turkish style, similar to the one at the National Museum but not quite so richly decorated. The helmet is just one of many examples seen through time of how conflict and enmity do not necessarily exclude mutual inspiration. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN


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Early on the 29th May 1453 the Roman Empire finally came to an end. Dawn saw the taking of Constantinople, the city that Emperor Constantine, in AD 324, made the capital of his Christian Roman Empire and which later became the legendary centre of the Byzantine Empire. The conquerors were the Turkish Osmanlis, a Muslim warrior people who, in the preceding centuries, had conquered substantial parts of the Near East and SE Europe. By 1453 nothing of note remained of the Byzantine Empire, apart from Constantinople itself. Now the town’s defenders were forced into surrender after a long siege and a heroic defence. Although the city was only a shadow of its former glory and the advancing Osmanli warriors managed in a single day to strip it of all valuables, including people suitable as slaves, it retained a special aura. This was felt not least by the victor, 21-year old Osmanli sultan, Mehmed II, who from that day on bore the epithet “the Conqueror”. He was in no doubt that Constantinople, now Istanbul, should be the capital of his Ottoman Empire. He was mortified at the destruction and with his



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Fig. 1. | Melchior Lorck: The Süleymanyie Mosque in Istanbul, seen from the east, 1570. National Gallery of Denmark.

own hand cut down a soldier who was breaking up the floor in the great Christian church of Hagia Sophia. This magnificent building was later converted into a no less magnificent mosque. Many of the city’s houses and palaces had prior to the conquest lain in ruins for centuries. Now the city would rise again in all its glory as the centre for a new Muslim empire. Mehmed never claimed that the Roman Empire ended on 29th May 1453. Quite the contrary: It was continued in a new and better form. Characteristically, the sultan took the title of Kaiser-i-Rum, Roman emperor. He created a true metropolis and, furthermore, permitted both Jews and Christians to move to the city and openly practise their religion. A German visitor in 1499 discovered – to his surprise – that there were two fully functional Franciscan monasteries in the old Genoese quarter of Galata. The sultan was less interested in converting everyone to Islam than in building up a world empire. In the following years the Osmanli conquests continued: The last Christian colonies along the Black Sea coast fell quickly, Valakia followed 1462 and in 1463 Bosnia, 1464 Peloponnese, 1474 Albania and 1476 Moldavia. In 1477 Osmanli forces landed near Venice and ravaged the hinterland of this lagoon city. And in July 1481 Mehmed took his greatest step so far when he landed an army on the heel of Italy. The sultan was

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already the ruler of the “new Rome”, now the “old Rome” must fall. Panic spread in the Papal City, but then Mehmed died and everything came to a halt. Italy and Rome were saved, and never again did the Osmanlis come as close to the headquarters of Western European Christianity. Mehmed’s Islamic Ottoman Empire was not alone in proclaiming continuation of the Roman Empire of Antiquity. In Europe, there was the German-Roman Empire. Its rulers, the Habsburg dynasty, saw themselves as the Romans’ successors. Just as the Osmanlis worked to subjugate Europe and break up the rival Roman Empire, the German-Roman Empire had combating of the Osmanlis as a high priority; this resulted in two centuries of intense warfare. During the 16th century, the German-Roman emperors had time and time again to resort to imposing a so-called Turkish Tax on inhabitants of the empire’s constituent states to fund the war against the Osmanlis. But the Ottoman Empire was often the aggressor and the militarily strongest party. Their most dangerous elite troops were the socalled Janissaries. Not even Turks, these were boys captured as children from Christian families in conquered areas. They were brought together, indoctrinated in the Islamic faith and trained as fearless warriors. As they had no family ties in Turkish society they were, in principle, independent of personal considerations and unwaveringly loyal to the sultan. The usual European term for the Osmanlis was “The Turks”, and following the invention of printing in the middle of the 15th century there was a steady flow of pamphlets, flyers and books dealing with these, at one and the same time, both terrifying and fascinating people. Many of the prints were about the Turks being the Devil’s henchmen. In the 16th century, when Europe was divided by conflicts between the old Catholic Church and the new reform movements, all the parties were able to agree on one thing: that the Turks were a threat to Christianity. However, it was also a favourite trick to claim that one’s Christian opponents stood in allegiance with them. When the Turks besieged Vienna in 1522, the reformer Martin


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Luther published a text, On War against the Turk, in which he wrote: “But just as the Pope is the Antichrist, so the Turk is the very devil incarnate”. However, travellers who visited the Ottoman Empire were enthralled by the strange traditions and customs they encountered. Particular fame became attached to a travelogue published by the French diplomatic emissary, Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq, about his time in Istanbul in 155562. This is full of observations about daily life and life at the sultan’s court. Busbecq uses the Turks to encourage Europeans to consider their own society: “In making his appointments the Sultan pays no regard to any pretensions on the score of wealth or rank, nor does he take into consideration recommendations or popularity, he considers each case on its own merits, and examines carefully into the character, ability, and disposition of the man whose promotion is in question... This is the reason that they are successful in their undertakings, that they lord it over others, and are daily extending the bounds of their empire. These are not our ideas, with us there is no opening left for merit; birth is the standard for everything...”. The Turks could in this way provide a contrast to Christian Europe in a different positive sense, rather than simply as feared enemies. And Europeans allowed themselves to be inspired by the Turks’ art of war, their military music, their clothes and their abstract art. Renaissance Europeans adopted the latter in the form of arabesques. The Turks were enemies, it is true, but they were also incredibly fascinating. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN

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Fig. 2. | The Turks’ use of ornamentation in the form of intertwined and twisted leaves inspired Renaissance Europe to produce socalled arabesques, and these became very popular. Arabesques are employed in the decoration of this 16th century plaque bearing a German text about the transience of life – a so-called memento mori (remember you must die). Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.


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Every year on Ascension Day, a magnificent procession of boats sailed out into the lagoon by the North Italian city of Venezia (Venice) to celebrate the city’s marriage with the sea. The city’s highest official, the Doge, was on board a particularly richly carved and gilded ship, Bucentaur, and it was his duty to cast a consecrated gold ring into the sea, while reciting in Latin: “We wed you, sea, with this sign from the true and eternal Lord”. The entire ceremony symbolised not only that this rich commercial city, with its maze of canals, was located on marine islands, but also that it made its living from the sea. Venetian merchant ships brought wealth and thereby power to this merchant republic and ships also secured contacts with all the Venetian colonies and military strongholds around the coast of the Mediterranean. Trade and wealth could only be maintained if the city also had the ability to put military power behind its commerce. Venezia had skilled shipwrights and also enough money to hire ships and sailors from other parts of Europe to supplement their

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own. One of those who entered Venetian military service was a captain by the name of Cort Sivertsen; born in Norway in 1622, but trained in The Netherlands. In the 1650s he was captain of an armed merchantman hired by Venezia under the name of San Giorgio and with a Venetian nobleman as commander. Subsequently, the ship was involved in the tempestuous battles with the Turks in order to protect Venetian possessions along the Mediterranean, first and foremost the island of Crete. The Turks succeeded in landing an army on Crete and the lightlygarrisoned Venetian fortresses on the island lived in a constant state of siege. The Venetians’ countermove was to prevent Turkish ships from reaching the island and thereby cutting off the attacking Turkish troops from supplies and reinforcements. For several years Venice went on the offensive and positioned its fleet as a barrage in the narrow strait of the Dardanelles, which the Turkish fleet had to pass on its way from Istanbul to the Mediterranean. Both fleets comprised a mixture of large sail-powered warships, carrying many cannon, and more lightly-armed galleys. The latter were oar-powered and therefore independent of the wind. At the Battle of the Dardanelles in 1654 Cort Sivertsen’s ship came at one point to lie at anchor accompanied only by a single Venetian galley. The rest of the Venetian fleet had cut its moorings and fled from a numerically superior Turkish fleet. Soon the Turkish ships swarmed around the Venetian galley, and it was quickly taken. Around Cort Sivertsen’s lone ship, guns and cannon fired on all sides. The Venetian Admiral Delfino, together with Cort Sivertsen, kept Venetian morale high, and they even managed to board the nearest Turkish ships and capture their standards. Finally, Cort Sivertsen’s ship managed to cut its anchor rope and drift away from the attackers with cannon thundering to all sides. In reward for his efforts the Norwegian captain received two gold chains and an annual pension of 300 ducats – plus coverage of all the costs incurred in repairing the ship. A few years later came the episode which forever became associated with Cort Sivertsen’s name. In 1657, the Venetians

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Fig. 1. | Turkish golden standard taken single-handedly by Cort Sivertsen Adeler in 1657. Ethnographic Collection.

were defending their new naval base on the Mediterranean island of Tenedos against an attack from a large Turkish fleet. During the conflict two Venetian ships were boarded and almost taken by Turkish forces. But Cort Sivertsen sailed to their aid and personally jumped on board the Turkish command vessel at the head of his men. Intense close-quarters combat ensued. The Norwegian captain single-handedly captured the enemy’s standard, and even though he was wounded by an arrow and two sabre cuts he and his men were victorious. A Latin heroic poem about Cort Sivertsen’s efforts states that he also duelled with the Turkish commander and this ended with the Norwegian beheading the Turk with his own sabre. The episode cast glory on the Norwegian captain who, in addition to other



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Fig. 2. | Cort Adeler’s Turkish war booty was exhibited with other Turkish weapons as trophies in the Royal Cabinet of Curiosities, as shown in this illustration from the Cabinet Catalogue of 1696. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

honours, was made a knight of the Order of St Marcus. On his coat of arms were four fields: one had three horizontal crescent moons, one above the other – the mark of the Turkish Janissary corps – and the second showed a hand holding a sword on which was impaled a head. These two fields must refer to Cort Sivertsen’s exploits in 1657. The final two showed a castle and a half eagle, respectively. The latter probably refers to the epithet Cort Sivertsen had begun to use: Adeler (leading thoughts towards the German word for eagle). As the eternal naval war against the Turks seemed to have no chance of ending in victory, Cort Sivertsen Adeler left the service of Venezia and arrived in The Netherlands in 1661 where

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he married. He had a reputation as a skilled naval warrior and, consequently, the following year he was “head-hunted” by the Danish king, Frederick III, to become an admiral in the Danish fleet. Following his arrival in Denmark, Cort Adeler presented the king with two valuable souvenirs from his battles with the Turks. One was a heart-shaped standard of gilt silver which had originally been fixed on the end of a long shaft. It was decorated with three horizontal crescent moons and bore a Persian inscription: “Standard of Sultan Murad, sultan of all sultans, the emperor’s emperor, Padishah over all the world”. Murad IV was sultan from 1623 to 1640. The other object was the sabre which Cort Adeler had used to cut off the head of the Turkish Pasha. The king happily received them and added them to his Cabinet of Curiosities. However, his successor, Christian V, became so fascinated by the sabre that he wore it as his personal weapon during the war against Sweden in 1675-79. The standard and the sabre were, in time, joined by a number of other weapons which were probably also taken from the Turks but which do not necessarily have anything to do with Cort Adeler. However, they were all exhibited together in a display in the Cabinet of Curiosities beneath the text: “Cort Adeler’s war booty”. Together with the weapons was a plaque bearing a tribute poem: “Ode to the great gold standard”, written sometime between 1663 and 1670 by the Dutch-born Danish court painter Karel von Mandern. These artefacts are now part of the National Museum’s Ethnographic Collection. Cort Adeler died in 1675 without becoming involved in any naval battles on behalf of Denmark. In his time as a Danish admiral he did much to modernise the Danish fleet. One initiative was to introduce galleys like those he knew from his battles in the Mediterranean. They proved to be well-suited to warfare in the Baltic and soon both the Swedish and Russian fleets followed suit. As a consequence, experience gained in battles against the Turks in the Mediterranean came to influence the waging of naval warfare at the opposite end of Europe. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN


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There is quite literally a world of difference between the oldest surviving globe, made in 1492 in Nuremberg by Martin Behaim, and globes produced during the 16th century. Behaim’s so-called “Erdapfel” (literally: earth apple) was made the year Columbus crossed the Atlantic, and Behaim was just as unaware as his contemporaries that a new world would appear to the west. Consequently, his globe is strange to modern eyes – a globe without America. Voyages of discovery revolutionised the European view of the world in the course of an astonishingly short time. The time of America-less globes quickly passed and with every new expedition new stretches of coast could be mapped and new islands and countries recorded. Skilled cartographers published maps of Europe and the whole world; the most popular world map was that of Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius. It was published in 1570, in book format, together with a series of detailed maps under the Latin title “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum” (Theatre of the World). The book was an immediate success and 25 revised editions were published prior to


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Ortelius’ death in 1598. A comparison of Behaim’s globe of 1492 and Ortelius’ map reveals how much Europe’s knowledge of the world had increased over the course of less than 75 years. A modern observer of Ortelius’ map will easily recognise a modern image of the world, even though the contours of the continents and many details are distorted. Only Australia and the South Pole remained to be discovered. One of the men who found Ortelius’ map useful was a goldsmith from Zurich by the name of Abraham Gessner, who found his own unique way of using the world – namely to drink from. As a goldsmith, Gessner was reliant on producing magnificent unusual products which could satisfy his wealthy customers’ need to demonstrate their position in society. Gessner, who was born in 1552, had great need of his skills as an engraver and goldsmith as he married young and had to support a wife and – with time – ten children. Like many others, he became a victim of the religious intolerance of the time. He was a Baptist, and this was not popular in reformed Zurich. When Baptism was banned in 1588, he and his family were forced to leave Switzerland and seek work elsewhere, in the first instance in Strasburg. On arrival, Gessner demonstrated his skills to the town council by presenting something the members were unlikely to have seen before: a magnificent gilt silver goblet in the form of a globe. By this time Gessner had, however, already become rather an expert in the special field of constructing globes people could drink from. He knew that the idea of drinking from the Earth appealed to modern European rulers and plutocrats. It was an appropriate symbol that the goblet’s owner was in control. Up until his death in 1613 Gessner produced an entire series of globe goblets, each

Fig. 1. | Globe goblet made by goldsmith Abraham Gessner in Zürich in Switzerland c. 1580. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance, on permanent loan from The Royal Danish Collections at Rosenborg Castle.

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Fig. 2. | Modern drawing of the world map on the globe goblet. The number of place names has been reduced relative to the original. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

one a piece of refined craftsmanship – not mindless mass production. No two are identical. Gessner followed developments in cartography and updated his globes according to the latest scientific maps of the world, even including some details yet to be published. The globes were also given a unique decoration and base. The globe goblet displayed in the Europe exhibition is from The Royal Danish Collections at Rosenborg Castle and was probably owned by the Danish royal family. It is not signed but there is no doubt that it is Gessner’s work. It is clear that Gessner based this globe primarily on the version of Abraham Ortelius’ world map published in 1578, but did not take account of the corrections Ortelius made to the new edition of 1587. It must therefore have been made in the intervening period, i.e. while he was still working in Zurich. On top of the globe is a small model of the orbits of the celestial bodies around the Earth, a so-called armillary sphere. The globe could be opened at the Equator when it was to be used as a goblet. The goblets were not solely intended for

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decoration, even though they were probably mostly used for display purposes. When the President of the Parisian Parliament, Jacques Auguste de Thou, visited the Swiss collector Bonifacius Amerbach in Basel in 1579, he was shown a silver globe engraved by a craftsman in Zurich. His host opened the globe, “and its two halves were filled with wine and a toast was made to Monsieur de Thou, as was the custom in these parts”. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN



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The European voyages of discovery had their origins in the Iberian Peninsula. Since the mid-13th century, the Christian realms of Castile, Aragon and Portugal lived largely at peace with the peninsula’s last Muslim enclave, in the mountainous south-eastern area with Grenada as its capital. For long periods the Christian kings showed tolerance towards their Jewish and Muslim subjects. The reward was a rich cultural environment whereby they had access to great Arabic learning on subjects such as astronomy, navigation and geography. But by the late 15th century the peace was over. The marriage between heirs to the thrones, Ferdinand of Castile and Isabella of Aragon, led in 1479 to a union of the kingdoms and the origin of Spain. All their might was now directed at Grenada and in 1492 the final Muslim bastion, the city of Grenada, was taken. Portugal took no part in the campaign. The country had established its borders in about 1249 and now concentrated on development and securing itself against attack from Castile. The Portuguese built up a fleet which enabled them to embark

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on longer trading voyages. The aim was to gain direct access to the rich markets of Asia instead of being dependent on Muslim intermediaries. The first step was the taking, in 1415, of a stronghold on the coast of North Africa, Ceuta. But it quickly became apparent that the smartest move would be to find a sea route around Africa to the riches of India. Therefore, on the initiative of Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460), they began to sail progressively further south along the African coast. They reached Madeira in 1420, The Azores in 1432 and Cape Verde in 1456. For Henry the Navigator, financial considerations were not everything. He also hoped to reach the legendary Christian king, Prester John, whose mighty kingdom was said to lie somewhere in Asia. Voyages there could establish contact with this powerful ally in the Christians’ battle against the Muslims. Scholars considered Africa east of the Nile to be joined to Asia and, with time, the Portuguese realised that there actually was a Christian kingdom there, Ethiopia. But this proved nowhere near as powerful as the myths had claimed. The Portuguese saw

Fig. 1. | Map of the World from Orbis terrarium Plancius, published in 1590.



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Fig. 2. | Road measuring instrument signed by Peter Jachenow of Mecklenburg in Northern Germany, 1582. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

the opportunity for a uniquely favourable deal by claiming a monopoly on navigation to India along the African coast. This had a particularly adverse effect on their Spanish neighbours, who had also begun to sail the oceans. In 1480, Portugal and Spain entered into an agreement whereby Spain kept the Canary Islands and Portugal gained the African Guinea Coast. The Por-

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tuguese continued their voyages and in 1488 Bartholomew Diaz rounded the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. With a sea route to India within their grasp, the Portuguese were not at all interested in the Italian-born merchant Christopher Columbus, who offered to sail westwards to India. Columbus found greater support in Spain, where the king and queen saw the possibility of finding a Spanish route to Asia without breaking the Portuguese monopoly. It was against this background that Columbus set sail westwards in 1492 with his three small ships and eventually reached islands he believed to be part of Asia. Logically, they were named the West Indies and the natives were, accordingly, “Indians”. When Columbus returned to Spain and announced he had found a western sea route to India, it was Portugal’s turn to be concerned. They felt a pressing need for a new agreement with Spain and, with the Pope as intermediary, the two countries entered into the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494; this split the world into a Portuguese and a Spanish part. The globe was divided into two hemispheres along a line running north-south, 2400 km west of the Cape Verde Islands. Everything to the east was Portuguese, everything to the west, Spanish. This division was respected and, when it was realised that Columbus had discovered a new and completely unknown continent located west of the dividing line, it meant America must be Spanish. Brazil was discovered in 1500 and, as this part of South America lies east of the dividing line, the Portuguese became colonial masters. This is why Brazilians still speak Portuguese, while the remainder of Central and South America is Spanish speaking. The Portuguese also finally achieved success in their voyages around the southern tip of Africa. In 1498 Vasco da Gama reached India and in 1505 the Portuguese installed a viceroy who employed army and naval forces to protect their commercial interests in Asia, based at strategically-located trading stations. For the next many years Portugal controlled the trade in exotic spices and other sought-after commodities from India and the Far East. Conversely, it was a Spanish expedition under



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Fernando de Magellan which was the first to circumnavigate the world. In 1521 Magellan’s ships reached the islands which, in 1565, became a permanent Spanish colony named after the Spanish king, Philip II: The Philippines. As a consequence of the dividing line, Indonesia lay in the Portuguese hemisphere but the Philippines were Spanish. That was logical. However, the division of the world between Spain and Portugal did not prevail in the long term. When a huge SpanishPortuguese fleet carrying invasion troops set sail for England in 1588, this “Spanish Armada” suffered a catastrophic defeat. The power balance in Europe, and on the world’s oceans, was about to shift and new powers such as England and The Netherlands appeared in the arena. In the 17th century almost all self-respecting European powers acquired colonies or trading stations around the world. In the footsteps of the discoverers followed missionaries who converted the natives to the Christian faith. Not all Europeans rejoiced at this overseas expansion. Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq, the German-Roman emperor’s emissary in Istanbul in 1556-62, wrote that Europeans should instead use their powers to free ancient Greek areas from the Turks: “Now people travel over great stretches of ocean to India and the Antipodes. For there, victory is easy and the booty rich and without shedding their own blood they can take from helpless and primitive people. They claim to be pious, but it is gold they pursue”. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN

Fig. 3. | Astronomical clock made by Josias Habrecht in Strasburg in

1572. The instrument is an armillary sphere, a model of the Solar System with the Earth at its centre, surrounded by rings showing the orbits of the celestial bodies. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance. On permanent loan from the Royal Danish Collections at Rosenborg Castle.

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Fig. 1. | Rhinoceros-horn goblet, turned by the German-Roman emperor Rudolf II. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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German-Roman emperor Rudolph II (1552-1612) liked working at the lathe in his studio in Prague. A block of suitable material was clamped into the lathe where, using adjustable blades, it could be carved into ingenious forms. Rudolph was not the only 16th century European prince to take up turning, quite the contrary; it was a particularly regal hobby. But why did it deserve such royal attention? Were there not opportunities for other crafts? The explanation lies in the process whereby a piece of nature becomes transformed, by the skilled hand of the prince, into something else – something superior. Nature is tamed and reshaped. This was an ideal in the era of discovery and wood-turning was therefore a craft worthy of a prince. It attained special significance when the raw material was exotic, as was the case with the rhinoceros horn that Rudolph II turned into a small goblet fitted with a similarly turned wooden lid with a brass rim. The inscription on the goblet reveals that it provides protection against poison (apparently a property of rhinoceros) and that it was turned by the hand of Rudolph II. The emperor’s goblet came into the possession of the Danish



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king, and in the 17th century entered the Royal Cabinet of Curiosities in Copenhagen (ultimately ending up at the National Museum, Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance). The idea of a cabinet of curiosities, which arose in the 16th century like the craft of turning, is associated with a desire to control the world. The cabinet should contain “naturalia”, i.e. objects from a God-created nature, but also “artificialia”, i.e. man-made objects. There were also hybrids: man-made objects imitating nature or natural phenomena resembling human artifice. Collectively, these objects provided the perceptive collector with a miniature picture of the world, a micro-cosmos. The idea was very European and very typical of the mentality that dominated the era of discovery in European history. POUL GRINDER-HANSEN

Fig. 2. | Nautilus goblet, carved from the shell of a tropical cephalopod. Made in The Netherlands and bearing images of the strange beings of the oceans: merman and mermaid, sea dog and sea cow. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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Despite the world financial crisis and the economic advance of China, the dollar remains the world’s major world currency. The green bill has massive iconic status, with perhaps only Mickey Mouse and Coca-Cola as competitors for the world’s strongest brand. But few people know that its roots lie deep in the old continent of Europe. The name – dollar – comes from the German word Thaler, a derivative of Joachimsthal, a Bohemian (Czech) mining town. Beginning in 1520, a large sterling silver coin was minted there, weighing about 30 g, which corresponds roughly to the last American silver dollar minted in 1935! The $ sign also has a European origin, from Spanish coins minted using South American silver. There is some doubt about its precise origin, but it seems likely to be the S-shaped scroll seen around the two pillars on Spanish silver coins from the South American colonies. The pillars appear on coins as early as the 16th century, but the sweeping scrolls were first introduced in Mexico in 1732. According to an ancient legend, the giant Hercules raised two pillars, one on each side of the Strait of Gibraltar; these

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Fig. 1. | Two Spanish coins, a 4 real from 1542-46 and an 8 real from 1733, minted from American silver in Mexico. The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals.

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were intended to mark the limit of the civilised world. The Latin message read: “Non plus ultra” (nothing further beyond). The columns were later used by the Spanish emperor, Charles V, together with the text: “PLUS ULTRA” (further beyond). The emperor wished to signal that his realm had no limits. So the journey continued, past Gibraltar towards the west and a completely new world, America, was discovered. Much later, this symbol of boundlessness came to inspire the design of the dollar symbol. And very appropriate it is too, given the universal significance of the American currency. JENS CHRISTIAN MOESGAARD


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For Europeans, America was the New World, and the meeting of the two worlds had fateful consequences for both, but especially for the natives of America. The desire for a sea route to Asia, to end the monopoly of Arabic and Italian merchants on the spice trade, prompted Columbus to set sail westwards in 1492; the first of four expeditions to the Caribbean and the coast of the South American continent. He called the natives Indians, believing to the last that he had discovered a sea route to India. Instead, the continents were named after an Italian merchant, Amerigo Vespucci, who recognised this was a completely new world. Europeans speculated on the origins of America’s inhabitants. Were they descendants of one of the Lost Tribes of Israel? Would they make good slaves? Should they be considered real people? Could they accept the Christian faith? The latter question was settled by Pope Alexander VI in 1493, with the papal bull Inter Cetera stating that the Indians were “people... seen sufficiently disposed to embrace the Catholic faith...”. Portugal and Spain had long competed for control of new



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lands. In the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, the Pope divided the rights to, the still undiscovered, South America into a western Spanish and an eastern Portuguese part, at longitude 46° 37’ W – the reason Portuguese is spoken today in Brazil, but Spanish prevails in the rest of South and Central America. News of the New World prompted many to embark westwards. Nuñez Balbao discovered the Pacific Ocean in 1513 and many conquistadors, monks, scribes and adventurers crossed the Atlantic. For the natives of America it was a huge shock. The white bearded men with their firearms, cannon and horses (a mounted rider was first thought to be one animal which, to the natives’ great terror, broke apart when the rider dismounted), and a different perception of the world and religion could not lead to anything but a violent collision between the two culturally so diverse worlds. When Columbus arrived, the American continents had been inhabited for at least 20,000 years and had undergone an independent and original cultural development uninfluenced by the Old World. The mountainous landscapes of Central and South America provided no incentive for the development of the wheel as there were no draught animals. The Indians had wheels, but only for ritual use, not cart or potter’s wheels for making pottery. Iron was unknown; tools were made of wood, stone, obsidian, bronze and copper. But great cultures had flourished, then faded. One of the most prominent was the Mayan culture, 250 BC to AD 1520, extending to the Pacific Coast and the highlands of Guatemala to the south and with a northern area on the Yucatan Peninsula. The Mayans were the first to develop some of the cultural features that characterised

Fig. 1. | Idol. The tubular wooden head is from 15th-16th century Mexico, probably made by the Mixtecs, who were renowned for their turquoise mosaics. It could represent the rain god Tlaloc or Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, who was carried around at ceremonies. Ethnographic Collection.

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Fig. 2. | Figure of a young Inca girl made of solid silver with bands of gold and bronze. On her legs, the gold has been replaced by a kind of resin. The ďŹ gure was probably originally clothed and functioned as an offering. Ethnographic Collection.

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pre-Columban Mesoamerica: a social hierarchy, stone monuments with inscriptions, temple pyramids and ball games. THE AZTECS The Aztecs were named after Aztlán, the land of herons, from which – according to legend – they originated. They founded their empire on the central Mexican plateau in 1325 but first became a significant power under the Aztecs’ fourth ruler, who made an alliance with two other city states at Lake Texcoco. The Aztecs subjugated their neighbours, forcing them into a vassal-state relationship whereby they retained independence but had to pay tax to the alliance twice annually in the form of tributes. The population of the Aztec Empire is estimated at 10 million, with c. 100,000 inhabitants in the capital Tenochtitlan, forerunner of Mexico City. War and religion were inextricably bound up with Aztecs governance and perception of the world. It was every Aztec warrior’s sacred duty to take prisoners for use in the daily sacrifices. These took place on top of the double pyramid at the centre of Tenochtitlan, to ensure the world would not collapse, as it had done four times previously. Some wars were solely for this ritual purpose. They were called “flower wars”, flowers being an Aztec metaphor for blood; the battlefield was seen as a field of flowers. The bloody sacrifices shocked the Spanish, who concluded that the Aztec religion came from Hell itself and its gods were devils. War was also necessary to provide a constant supply of new tax payers, to finance the realm and its upper class of warriors, priests, public servants and judges. There was also a growing merchant class, in addition to craftsmen and, on the lowest rung, the peasant majority. The Aztecs developed a system of writing based on symbols for words and syllables. Numerous codices dealt with religion, mythology and history, rituals, prophecies and court cases – especially land conflicts. Unfortunately, the Spanish burned these on religious grounds.


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The Aztecs’ complicated calendar was intended to calculate the seasons and movements of the stars. The Aztecs even predicted the end of their own civilisation. Every 104th year, when the 335-day calendars and the 260-day calendars coincided with Venus’ cycle of 584 days, was particularly ominous. They were convinced of the end of the fifth world at precisely the time the Spanish arrived. The year 1519 was also devoted to the feathered serpent, Quetzalcoatl, described in legends as a white man with a beard. When Aztec ruler Motecuzoma II heard news of the arrival of Hernán Cortés and his entourage of c. 200 Spaniards, little suggests, however, that he considered Cortés a god. The Spaniard, on a par with any other ruler, received a number of gifts from the Aztec ruler which were sent back to Charles V. But Motecuzoma under-estimated his uninvited guests. Nevertheless, it took the Spanish 2½ years to conquer Mexico, with the aid of several Indian peoples the Aztecs had repressed. Following their defeat, the Aztecs and other peoples expected to pay tributes to the victors, but that conquest would lead to the destruction of their entire culture and world order, the Indians had, for good reason, no idea. THE INCAS The Inca Empire, Tawantinsuyu (i.e. land of the four quarters), was the largest state and the last highly-developed culture on the South American continent. It extended from the southern part of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and included parts of Bolivia, Argentina and Chile – it was more than 5000 km in length and had c. 16 million inhabitants. The Inca conquests happened over a very short period, from the mid-15th century until the arrival of the Spanish. Cuzco, the hub of the Universe, was the centre of the realm and where the rulers had their palaces. From here, the Inca ruled aided by an elite comprised of descendants of previous Inca rulers. It was this ruling class who were the actual Incas. Dead mummified Inca rulers “lived on” in their respective palaces where their families and servants

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Fig. 3. | Inkallacta, a new Inca complex in ”the eyebrow of the jungle” with classic Cuzco-style architecture.

took care of them and looked after their lands and property. A new ruler inherited his father’s privileges, but not his father’s palace, wealth or lands, which is why he had to go out and conquer new lands. This is thought to be one explanation for the Incas’ rapid expansion over such a great area. The Incas had strong bonds with the harsh mountainous landscape in which they lived. They believed that rocks and stones had souls and could change into living warriors in times of war, before returning to stone again. The Inca architects understood how to exploit natural rock formations and adapt them into their buildings. The Sun Temple, now the Santo Domingo Church, was the religious centre in Cuzco. The walls were completely covered with gold and figures of deities. The Incas, who were themselves divine, worshipped the Sun, Moon, thunder and lightning, the Pleiades and had a strong ancestor cult involving sacrifices of animals, textiles and, on certain occasions, humans.


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Fig. 4. | Spanish helmet and short sword from Italy, both from the 16th century. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

The Incas had no system of writing, but used a Quipu, a knotscript, for the administration and organisation of the great empire. The Quipu was a knotted string which functioned both as a system of communication and a calculator and on which all statistical and historical information was listed.

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On the empire’s well-developed road network, runners constantly took messages to and fro – between officials and ruler. The runners could cover as much as 200-250 km per day in a kind of relay system. Great llama caravans transported agricultural products and luxury goods to Cuzco. Along the roads, checkpoints, lay-bys, administration centres and settlements were established – as well as state stores for crops and products from state and religious lands. The Incas expanded agricultural capacity with new stone terraces and irrigation systems. Maize was the most prestigious crop, and was used in particular for the production of chicha, maize beer. Other important crops were various tuber crops, the most familiar of these being potato, but beans, pumpkins, quinoa, amaranth, avocado, chilli, peanuts and manioc were also cultivated. In 1532 the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro came to Peru with 168 men and 62 horses. A civil war was raging between two half-brothers, Huascar and Atahualpa, after the previous Inca had died unexpectedly in 1527. As Atahualpa was son of the Sun and therefore divine, he was untouchable according to the Inca view of the world. It was therefore a complete surprise when the Spanish brutally took him prisoner. Atahualpa realised the Spaniards’ hunger for precious metal and ordered his subjects to fill one room with gold and another with silver to secure his release. Over the course of a couple of weeks his subjects delivered 6087 kg of the purest gold and 11,793 kg of silver. The metal was all largely melted down and taken to Spain, but it didn’t help Atahualpa. Pizarro accused him of treachery and had him garrotted in Cajamarca on 26th July 1533. SPANISH COLONIAL TIMES The Indian population had no resistance to European diseases such as chicken pox, measles and various cold viruses. These diseases quickly exterminated large parts of the populations of Northern and Southern Mexico, as also occurred in South America. It is estimated that these illnesses took the lives of as



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much as 90% of the population, contributing to a rapid Spanish invasion and a presence in all areas. In Mexico City and Lima in Peru were the residences of the supreme representatives of the Spanish king: the Viceroys who ruled on his behalf in collaboration with Real Audencia, the Supreme Court. The Indians constituted the workforce in the fields, textile workshops and mines, where the Spanish extracted silver and gold. They had also to be tax payers and good Catholic Christians. In the 17th century increasing numbers of large estates, haciendas, were established. These were selfsufficient units with their own church and priest and their own craftsmen. The surviving Indians lived here as the landowners’ subjects, devoid of rights. The New World changed radically on the arrival of Europeans. Unique cultures disappeared, while Europe, in addition to the stream of precious metals, benefitted from new crops such as maize, potato and other tuber crops, tomato, cocoa, avocado, chilli, tobacco, rubber and animals such as turkey, llama and guinea pig. INGE SCHJELLERUP

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Fig. 5. | The Dutch painter Albert Eckhout’s encounter with Brazilian

Indians in the 17th century resulted in a number of paintings. One depicts this member of the Tarairiu people who is shown almost naked in the bush with his hunting equipment. Ethnographic Collection.


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Today, money is paper and trust, but until quite recently the face value was intrinsic in the coins’ content of precious metal. This system was of course very sensitive to fluctuations in silver and gold supplies. The great silver finds in the Spanish American colonies were absolutely no exception to this rule. They crowned longer-term developments whereby Europe went from silver shortage to silver abundance. In the 14th/15th century European coinage was tripartite: gold coins, typically guilders, florins, ducats or crowns of 3-4 grams, then silver coins of c. 2 grams and then everyday small change of silver mixed with copper. There were ten to twenty silver coins to a gold coin, and five to ten small coins to a silver coin. Many of Europe’s silver mines were virtually exhausted and a lack of silver in some periods hindered countries in minting the coins needed for business and trade. However, new deposits were discovered in the second half of the 15th century and improved techniques enabled mines to be reopened. For a while the silver shortage was a distant memory and larger, heavier sterling silver coins were minted around Europe. Most important was the silver guilder, first minted in 1486 by the Dukes of Tyrol, who had their own silver mines. The coin had about 30 grams of fine silver and the name referred to the

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coin’s value as it was intended to match a golden guilder. The idea was well-received and similar coins were soon minted elsewhere. They were given different names in different places, but the name that persisted came from coins minted in the mining town of Joachimsthal in Bohemia (present-day Czech Republic) from 1520. These were named after the place: Joachimsthaler, a term which quickly became shortened in German to Thaler; the Danish derivative is daler and in American English it became dollar. The end of the 15th century was also the time of great discoveries. At the beginning of the following century, South and Central America were colonised by the Spanish who then came into possession of the great silver deposits in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. Each year, enormous Spanish convoys carried great quantities of silver across the Atlantic. Europe’s silver supplies were thereby secured for quite some time, because the silver did not stay in Spain. The country’s

Fig. 1. | Silver Joachimsthaler minted in the 1520s in the name of the

Bohemian and Hungarian king Louis by Count Stephan von Schlick. Both Louis and Stephan fell in the battle against the Turks at Mohác in 1526. The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals.


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Fig. 2. | Model in silver filigree work of a three-master with 30 can-

non. Made in the 17th century as a grand table decoration. Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance.

poorly developed business structure could not absorb the great riches and they were used instead to pay for imports of luxury goods. The silver migrated further up into Europe. Finds of Spanish silver coins from across the continent provide clear tangible evidence of this. There are 15 Spanish pieces among the 100 silver coins in the 17th century hoard found some years ago in the Northern French village of Oisemont (Somme). Similarly, the hoard from Sønder Vollum in Southern Jutland contained ten Spanish coins among the hoard’s total of 328. These coins are the so-called pesos, piasters or 8-real coins, with approximately the same silver content and value as a Central European thaler. There are also 4-, 2- and 1-real coins. Production was often primitive, with minting being carried out in Mexico City and the mining town of Potosi, now in Bolivia. It was not always possible to read the inscription and the name of the king, but the Spanish coat of arms with Castile’s castle and Leon’s lion guaranteed the quality.

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Much Spanish-American silver actually became disguised under the coinage of other countries. Large quantities of foreign Spanish coins were melted down to be used in the production of local coinage. The Netherlands, which belonged in part under the Spanish Crown, had flourishing industry and trade and could attract large amounts of silver. This was converted into Dutch coinage, which then itself became an internationally recognised currency. In France, the pattern of coin production shifted completely. In the 14th/15th century, mints located along the Dutch and Italian borders were the most active, as wealth came from trade with these neighbours. In the 16th century, mints located along the Atlantic coast and its hinterland, closest to Spain, enjoyed a great boom. This occurred in Bayonne, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Toulouse, Nantes and Rennes. But the abundance of silver led to inflation. The value of the coins was guaranteed by their silver content, but the price of silver, in terms of its buying power, inevitably fell as silver became more abundant. This was not helped by the authorities often cheating, making up the weight by mixing extra copper in the small coinage so the silver went a little further. Under this double pressure the least denominations became valueless. Minting of them ceased in many countries and these small coins disappeared from circulation. In France both the 2- and 3-pfenning were abolished as hated copper coins containing no silver. The previously so respectable middle nominals, such as the skilling in Denmark, ended up becoming small change. Conversely, the daler retained its weight and its silver content. The result of this was that the number of skillings to the daler changed constantly – the daler’s value in Denmark went from 48 skillings in 1541 to 96 skillings in 1625. Not all silver remained in Europe. Large quantities migrated with trade further east, to Russia, to the Middle East and to China. But that is a completely different story... JENS CHRISTIAN MOESGAARD


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For almost 30 years, Denis Diderot worked on the publication of Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des metiers (Encyclopedia or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Crafts). The result was 28 volumes, of which the first was published in 1751 and the last in 1772. In common parlance the work is often referred to as The Great French Encyclopedia – or just The Encyclopedia. It was not the first of its kind, but it was by far the largest and the most ambitious. Diderot was not alone in its production. Mathematician Jean le Rond d’Alembert was his co-editor, and France’s most prominent experts and intellectuals – scientists, economists, theologians and philosophers – contributed articles. The reason it took so long to write, edit and print The Encyclopedia was not only 18th century graphic technology, which required everything to be written, edited, and printed by hand. It was also because the authors were exceptionally thorough. It was intended that the finished encyclopedia should contain a complete and systematic account of human achievements, not

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just in science and art, but also economics, trade and industry. Diderot carried out the latter part of the task by personally visiting a large number of craft and trade workshops and carefully studying their methods. Then artists were sent to the same places. The ďŹ nal 11 volumes of The Encyclopedia consist, therefore, of beautiful copper engravings showing tools and methods used in the crafts and trades. Another important reason for the work taking so long was ecclesiastical and political opposition. While the editors aimed to keep the articles about science in an objective tone, the philo-

Fig. 1. | The Great French Encyclopedia was published in 1751-72, originally in 28 volumes. In this edition from 1780 the work is divided over 39 volumes. Danish Modern History.


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sophical articles were more opinionated. For example, in the article about “Political authority”, it could be read that: No man has received from nature the right to command others. Liberty is a gift from heaven, and each individual of the same species has the right to enjoy it as soon as he enjoys the use of reason. (…) Power that is acquired by violence is only usurpation and only lasts as long as the force of the individual who commands can prevail over the force of those who obey. At the time and in a country where all power was held by an autocratic king answerable only to God, it is no wonder that such texts prompted discussion. Opponents also managed on several occasions to have the French king intervene and halt the project. But the editors also had friends, even at court, and finally it proved possible to renew the king’s permission for the publication. There were also internal differences of opinion. Voltaire, one of the more impatient contributors, believed that the idea of Enlightenment should be made yet clearer. He complained that, as a writer, he had to “join beggar’s fustian to your cloth-of-gold” in order to avoid the censor. Despite these problems, Diderot and his associates completed the project. And for posterity, The Encyclopaedia stands not only as an editorial achievement, but also as a monument to the Age of Enlightenment and its ideas. LARS K. CHRISTENSEN

Fig. 2. | Denis Diderot (1713-84) was the tireless editor of The Encyclopedia. Oil painting, Louis-Michel van Loo. Louvre, Paris.


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This question was posed by German philosopher Immanuel Kant in 1784. He also gave the answer: Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Kant believed that one was immature if one did not follow one’s own reason rather than the decisions of others. This immaturity was self-imposed when not due to a lack of reason but a lack of the will to make use of it. The motto of Enlightenment, writes Kant, is therefore: Have the courage to use your own intelligence! To promote maturity was the common aim of the rather mixed band of men – and a few women – now known as “the Enlightenment Philosophers”. The Age of Enlightenment had its heyday in the middle of the 18th century, with figures such as Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) in Prussia, Denis Diderot (171384), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) and Voltaire (1694-1778) in France, David Hume (1711-76) in Scotland and American Benjamin Franklin (1706-90). The idea of Enlightenment did not come out of the blue; it had its roots in the scientific advances of the 17th century. These led to established, partly religiously-founded and speculative perceptions of the Universe and nature being gradually replaced by new theories, based on observation, experiment and logic.


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In 1687, Isaac Newton published his Philosophiae Naturalis Principa Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), in which he presented a mathematically founded description of the laws controlling the movements of the celestial bodies. The new science’s presentation of the Universe as a machine, the function of which could be investigated and rationally described, was an important precondition for the Age of Enlightenment. In the view of the Enlightenment Philosophers logic should rule, not just in science but also in human relationships. How this was to be achieved, however, was not necessarily something they agreed upon. This resulted in part from the different political situations prevailing in the countries where the philosophers were active. Britain, where the power of the monarchy was limited by a parliament, constituted rather the exception. Almost all of Europe was ruled by autocratic kings and princes who, in principle, had unlimited powers. There were, however, differences between these autocratic states. In the otherwise thoroughly militarised state of Prussia, Frederick the Great, who ruled from 1740 to 1786, showed interest in the new philosophical ideas. Immanuel Kant, who was radical in his belief in reason but politically rather conservative, identified Frederick as a model, because as long as there was a great mass of unthinking people he believed full political freedom would only be detrimental. Enlightened autocracy was a better solution. France, on the contrary, had not only an autocratic monarchy. The powerful Catholic Church also fought a relentless battle against every form of religious deviation. When Voltaire published his Treaty on Tolerance in 1763, it was inspired by the execution of a protestant convicted of murdering his own son in order to prevent him from converting to Catholicism. This was very probably a miscarriage of justice but it suggests that there was religious fanaticism on both sides. Many of the ideas and values for which the Enlightenment Philosophers took up the fight are today so widespread and commonly accepted that it is difficult to understand that they

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Fig. 1. | In 1789, The French Revolution adopted The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, with the famous words: Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. The idea of universal human rights was created in the Age of Enlightenment. Oil painting, Jean-Jacques-François Le Barbier. MusÊe Carnevalet, Paris.

were so very controversial back then. This applies for example to tolerance, considered by most people today as a positive value. But during the 17th century, the Church actually preached intolerance as a positive value: Those who showed tolerance towards non-believers must expect the wrath of the Church. However, as early as 1689, Englishman John Locke published



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Fig. 2. | In the Agricultural Society’s plough trials of 1770, the swing plough, shown here as a reconstruction, proved to be significantly better than the previously employed and heavier wheel plough. The dissemination of new rational agricultural techniques was also enlightenment. Danish Modern History.

A Letter Concerning Toleration, in which he argued that the authorities did not have the right to intervene in situations pertaining to an individual’s salvation and, as a consequence, the state should show religious tolerance. In Britain there was leeway for a slightly freer debate than in Europe, as Voltaire himself experienced when he lived there for three years in exile. In France, on the other hand, criticising the Church was still risky, but when the criticism finally did break out, it was all the stronger. In their criticism of the status quo, the Enlightenment Philosophers often argued on the basis of human nature. John Locke thought accordingly that humans were by nature created free individuals. To prevent some from using their freedom to repress others, humans have entered into a “social pact”. Through authority and legislation it is society’s task to ensure the individual’s original right to freedom. The term “social pact” is also used by Rousseau, for whom the original natural state does not

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appear as positive as it does for Locke. Rousseau sees the natural state more as “all pitched against all and”, in his view, actual freedom can only be created in a society where individuals are prepared to sacrifice their individual rights in the interests of the common good, i.e. government by an enlightened majority. The very subject of an individual’s freedom relative to the interests of the community was to become a recurrent theme in the political discussion for many years to come. But despite their differences, Locke and Rousseau both represent the view that humans are born with special rights by virtue of nature. Natural right would prove to be a potent argument against the prevailing perception that rulers and monarchies could rule as they saw fit, answerable only to God. The perception of human nature in the Age of Enlightenment led to the view that there are universal human rights, i.e. rights that apply to everyone regardless of social status. Not just freedom to believe, but also freedom of speech and of the press, equality before the law and the right of the people to rebel against injustice and tyranny are ideas born or at least given their substance during the Age of Enlightenment. But the philosophy of Enlightenment has also left its mark on posterity at a more practical level. In the wake of its worship of reason and rationality, societies emerged all over Europe aimed at promoting agriculture and production through information on new improved methods. The first of these was the British Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, founded in 1753. In Denmark, the corresponding Kongelige Danske Landhusholdningsselskab began its activities in 1769. This society informed and lobbied with respect to new crops such as clover and potatoes, held competitions for the best type of plough etc. From great discussions of human nature to quite literally more down to earth problems, the Age of Enlightenment left an indelible mark on Europe. LARS K. CHRISTENSEN


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One morning in 1789, a group of armed Parisians stormed the city’s old prison, killed the governor and liberated prisoners. “The Storming of the Bastille” has gone down in history as the beginning of the French Revolution, and the date on which it took place, 14th July, is still France’s national day. In truth, by then the Revolution had already started. A couple of weeks earlier, in Versailles just outside Paris, representatives of the so-called “Third Estate”, i.e. citizens and peasants, had formed a National Assembly with the aim of writing a new French constitution. King Louis XIV threatened to break up this assembly by force and it was in this situation that the Storming of the Bastille gained its crucial historic significance. It was the starting signal for the formation across the entire country of armed civil groups, National Guards, which took over in town after town. The National Assembly gained power in support of its intentions and could continue its work. As peasants also rebelled in many places across the country, events suddenly moved quickly in the direction of abolishing the nobility’s established special rights and privileges. The National Assembly also approved the famous Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the first paragraph of which states: “Men are born and remain free and

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Fig. 1. | French cap and sash in blue, white and red tricolore, the colours of the French Revolution. A young woman of the Copenhagen bourgoisie wore the sash during a dinner party in 1793. Danish Modern History.

equal in rightsâ€?. However, there was not complete agreement among the revolutionaries on what freedom and equality actually meant. The National Assembly was dominated by the middle class and the constitution approved in 1791 aimed speciďŹ cally at introducing a liberal market economy. Not only was virtually all regulation of industry and trade abolished, it was also forbidden for workers to form trade unions. Those who had taken to the streets and fought for the Revolution were, however, mostly small shopkeepers, craftsmen and workers. They did not necessarily feel that their demands for more social justice had been met.


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Fig. 2. | The French queen Marie-Antoinette on her way to

her execution. The guillotine can be seen in the background. Copper engraving, 1793. Danish Modern History.

In April 1792 France declared war on Austria, and for the next 23 years the country was at war with shifting coalitions involving most other major European powers. There were several motives for war: Leading politicians hoped that a war could overshadow internal disagreements and perhaps even benefit the economy. There was, in broad terms, a revolutionary fervour and a view that it was France’s duty to fight for freedom, and against tyrants in neighbouring countries. Finally, there was a fear that foreign powers would support a counter-revolution in France. However, the war was a catastrophe and soon German troops had advanced far into French territory. This led to radicalisation of the Revolution: The King and Queen were arrested and later executed, the ruling National Assembly was deposed and a new constitutional assembly summoned. Power shifted to the Jacobins, a group based primarily on the petite bourgeoisie of Paris and other large cities.

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With the Jacobins, “Brotherhood” was added to the original revolutionary slogan of “Freedom and Equality”. France became a republic with equal franchise for all men, the right to work was written into the constitution and slavery in the colonies abolished. But posterity would remember the Jacobins for the ruthlessness with which they achieved their aims. The years 1793-94 are known as “la Terreur” (the Terror). The guillotines operated almost around the clock, executing enemies of the Revolution – both real and imagined. It did, however, prove possible to turn the war to France’s advantage. Mobilisation took place across the country and after the aristocratic officers had deserted, the army became an organisation in which anyone with courage and talent could progress. An almost arrogant belief in France’s revolutionary mission in Europe made up for the lack of formal discipline. Under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte, the army won a number of battles and now it was France who conquered territory in surrounding countries. However, with time the Jacobins made enemies of all the other political groups and, as a consequence, weakened their own power base. On 28th July 1794 it was over: The leader of the Jacobins, Robespierre, ended up under the guillotine on Place de la Révolution. Power was again taken by the representatives of the high bourgeoisie. Their strength was not so much in their own support but in the weakness of others. They had increasingly to make use of the army to counter opposition. The more desperate the government became, the clearer it was that the army was actually in charge. In 1799, General Napoleon struck and seized power in a military coup. Seen in detail, the French Revolution is a story of idealism, but also of power struggles, fanaticism and political violence. Seen in an historical perspective, it changed the world by fixing a new society, based on economic and political freedom, as its aim. Modern bourgeois society was born in Paris on 14th July 1789. LARS K. CHRISTENSEN


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The price of the African who cultivated the sugar that made rich Europeans fat and their teeth black varied through the more than four centuries of the Atlantic slave trade. Early sources reveal that in c. 1500 an Arab horse could be had for 15-20 slaves, while a woman and her son were bought for a washbasin and four bracelets. The price of slaves rose markedly following Columbus’ arrival in America and the colonisation and cultivation of the New World. Portuguese and Spanish merchants were the first to trade along the West African coast, from where, in subsequent centuries, around 13 million people would be shipped. An estimated 2 million died in transit. Denmark was responsible for buying and selling 85,000-100,000 of these. Some believe that Britain can thank the slave trade for the Industrial Revolution. In Denmark it led, first and foremost, to great private wealth, some of which was expended on luxurious building works. In 1750, the king in Dahomey earned £250,000 from the trade, but in Africa fortunes were mostly spent on luxury goods and weapons. Danish trade on the Gold Coast, especially in gold and

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ivory, began around 1660. Just a few years later with annexation of the West Indian island of St Thomas slaves came into the picture. Demand grew with the acquisition of St John and St Croix. At first, textiles formed a major part of the slave price. Some textiles came from India, others, of poorer quality, from the new British textile factories. In the mid-18th century weapons, gunpowder and bullets began to figure prominently; Danish rifles from the Hellebæk small-arms factory were particularly popular. In his book: A Reliable Account of the Coast of Guinea, Ludvig Ferdinand Rømer gives the price of a slave in 1749.

Fig. 1. | Weapons, textiles, glass beads and many other types of goods could be used in payment for a slave. The price varied over the more than 400 years that slaves were traded in Africa. The items shown here are examples of such payments, but none were actually used in the slave trade. Ethnographic Collection.



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Fig. 2. | Cartoon strip from the 18th century carved on an elephant tusk: Shackled slaves, Danish slave ships, forts on the Gold Coast and a female slave waiting on a West Indian plantation owner. Ethnographic Collection

Gunpowder and rifles first, followed by several types of textiles worth collectively more than the weapons. Alcohol, precious stones, metal and cowries (shell currency) also feature, with a total value of 96 rix-dollar. The extensive Danish written sources are one area where Denmark has made her mark, another is the royal decree of 16th March 1792 prohibiting the slave trade. This has, however, been criticised for being hypocritical and for boosting the slave trade during the ten years prior to the decree coming into force in 1803. The Foreign Minister Ernst Schimmelmann, who owned plantations on St Croix and the rifle factory in Hellebæk, acknowledged that slavery, which the British were anyway about to abolish, could in time be replaced by sugar plantations in Africa. But this was in the future. Following record imports in 1792-1803, it would then only be necessary for existing slaves to reproduce themselves. It was first in 1848 that slaves on St Croix, who threatened rebellion, were freed by Danish governor Peter von Scholten. Two years later it was finally possible to sell the costly Danish Gold Coast territories to Great Britain.

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The disputed decree prohibiting the slave trade was well received by the British Member of Parliament William Wilberforce, who battled fiercely and with great eloquence for abolition. In his support he had American Quakers, Enlightenment Philosophers such as Montesquieu and The Encyclopaedia: The volume published in 1765 included a strong criticism of slavery. In an inflammatory speech in 1792 Wilberforce used Denmark as an example to be followed. Supported by economic developments pointing in the direction of colonies needing to produce palm oil, rubber and other raw materials, Wilberforce achieved victory in 1807. However, despite British attempts to persuade other nations to follow suit, slavery continued in some places until the end of the 19th century. Even though slavery is now forbidden in all countries of the world, millions of people still live in slave-like conditions, especially in Africa and Asia. INGE DAMM

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Fig. 3. | This drawing showing people crammed onto a slave ship was used in the British Parliament as an argument against the slave trade by advocates for its abolition. After Lægen Paul Iserts Breve fra Dansk Guinea 1783-87 (Doctor Paul Isert’s letters from Danish Guinea 1783-87), 1917.



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Excerpt from the editorial in the Delhi Gazette, India, 5th January 1856: “Instances have been known of Englishmen coming out to India early in life and becoming in the course of time so thoroughly Indianized, so identiďŹ ed with the natives (usually with the Mohammedan natives) in habits and feelings as to lose all relish for European society, to select their associates and connections from among the Muslims, to live in every respect in Mussalman fashion, and to openly or tacitly adopt the Mussalman creed, at any rate ceasing to manifest any interest in Christianity ... These have frequently been men of very superior ability... and their familiarity with the ways of the natives may have paved the way for successes otherwise dubious or impracticable. It is evident however that such time has gone by, and we must be careful

Fig. 1. | Goblets made of cloves threaded on wire, from the island of Ambon c. 1696. Ornaments made from cloves were a typical souvenir from the Spice Islands, i.e. The Moluccas, which today form part of Indonesia. Ethnographic Collection.



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not to be misled by [these assimilated Englishmen’s] opinions, however applicable to the task of their day”. This quote is characteristic for the shift that took place between the early European colonialism in Asia of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, led by private trading companies with maximum profits for their shareholders as their primary aim, and the later colonialism, whereby overseas territories were annexed and administered by European states. Europeans came to Asia in search of luxury goods and other specialised products: first and foremost spices, but also textiles, indigo and saltpetre (for gunpowder). In China they acquired tea and porcelain in Canton, the only town to which the European trading companies were granted access. The Chinese authorities would not allow the Europeans to gain a further local foothold, as had happened elsewhere across most of Asia. Europeans enjoyed favourable conditions in the existing Asian trading networks, firstly because they were able to buy themselves into this market using the surplus, in particular of silver, from the New World. Furthermore they forged alliances with local rulers against the enemies and competitors of the latter. Even though there were initially no plans to introduce systems of government locally, European-controlled plantation economies were rapidly established in several places, with collection of taxes, minimum quotas for export crops and severe punishment for non-delivery. In Java, in particular, local rulers quickly became reduced to puppets for the management of the Dutch trading company. The Spanish in the Philippines and the Portuguese in India and the Indonesian-Malayan region soon began to run Christian missions, whereas Dutch and British trading companies had no desire to bring conversion’s salvation to local populations. On the contrary, they feared that missionary activity would arouse resistance in local rulers and thereby disrupt trade. In India Christian mission was banned in the British-controlled areas until 1813. The Asian trading centres were cosmopolitan places which,

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Fig. 2. | Peter Mule and Joachim Severin Bonsach were supercargoes, i.e. officers responsible for trade and cargo, on the first Danish ship to China in 1730 and were portrayed by a Chinese “facemaker” in Canton. Ethnographic Collection.

in addition to the local population, numbered Chinese, Arabs and Europeans. Despite the fact that deep divisions existed from the very start between Europeans and the other populations, there were also many dealings across cultures, and it was a great advantage to be familiar with local court traditions and etiquette. The Dane Mads Lange established close links with local rulers and became a major merchant on Bali before the Dutch defeated the local rulers and took control of the island. As a contemporary Dutch captain stranded on the island later wrote: “Because [Mads Lange] had already traded on Bali for


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Fig. 3. | Balinese drawing of a European, ostensibly Danish merchant Mads Lange, who lived on Bali in 1839-56 and was closely allied with local rulers, but who also traded on behalf of the Dutch Colonial Administration on Java. Ethnographic Collection.

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years and waged wars down there, he knew these peoples’ language and character inside out. They had great respect for him, and he was able personally to achieve a great deal with them. All trade came to him. And when he asked the ruler for something, this was rarely denied, whereas we were even refused permission to erect a flag pole on the beach”. Like so many other European men, Mads Lange married locally and his descendants live on in one of Malaysia’s sultan dynasties. It was common for European men to marry or live with local women, and in both India and South East Asia this led to large populations of mixed race. Some Europeans, especially the British who were stationed in the Indian principalities, were married into the local elites and were bi-cultural with respect to language, attire and religion. It is to these “Indianised” Englishmen that the introductory newspaper quote refers with a strong air of dissociation which became characteristic for the late colonial period during the 19th century. The division between the European colonial masters and local populations widened as European states took over the colonies from the private trading companies and as the European military and governmental control expanded from trading stations and forts on the coast to internal regions and more distant islands: Local elites were no longer perceived as equals but considered decadent and despotic, unmarried women from the homelands were encouraged to go to the colonies to limit the number of mixed marriages and Christian mission advocating values such as moderation and diligence was promoted much more intensely than had been the case during early trade colonialism. BENTE WOLFF



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There are two kinds of people in the world: “civilised” and “savage”. This would be the view of a cultured person during Europe’s Age of Enlightenment. Civilisation defined the savage as its counterpart – whether applied to Europeans of humble birth, i.e. workers, servants and the poor, or to the exotic foreigners people heard about from the colonies or read about in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe published in 1719 and in very popular expedition accounts such as those of Captain James Cook’s expeditions to the South Seas in the 1770s. But what should a civilised person do about these savages? Here opinions differed; some Europeans chose to idealise the savages, others to demonise them. The Age of Enlightenment’s theories about human origins were still based on Christian perceptions of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Many of the great thinkers of the 18th century maintained that the primitive peoples of the New World reflected this paradisiacal state. They were the pure innocent children of nature, noble and unspoiled and in complete harmony with their environment. Savages were,

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consequently, elevated to “noble savages”, a term erroneously attributed to the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78), its roots being with the French discoverer Marc Lescarbot. On his journey to North America in 1609, Lescarbot noted that the natives were truly “noble”, in the sense of aristocratic, as they went hunting – a practice which in Europe was the preserve of the aristocracy. Nevertheless, it is this term which later came to characterise the Age of Enlightenment’s romanticised view of uncivilised people. An antipole to civilised and rather less natural Europe, the image of the noble savage came inevitably to be included in a European self-criticism. Certain of the great figures of the time were of the view that, by virtue of its civilisation, Europe had become degenerate and had thereby lost its natural state and the original virtues which were still to be found among natural peoples. “Everything is good as it leaves the hands of the Author of things; everything degenerates in the hands of man”, wrote Rousseau in 1762 in his book Émile, or On Education. It is in praise of man’s natural state, as found in the child, not the savage, that Rousseau makes his contribution. Whereas the elite was occasionally invited to presentations of various wild people at the courts of Europe, the ordinary citizen had only travelogues and art with which to personify them. In art, two conflicting pictures emerged: savages were either depicted in classical robes, drawing parallels to other pagans with which the thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment felt great empathy, i.e. the Greeks and the Romans of Antiquity, or they were shown either naked or scantily covered by leaves or feathers. Despite the clear references to Adam and Eve this nakedness was by many Europeans associated with a degree of bestiality. This view sees particular expression when savages are depicted as cannibals, as was the case with the Dutch artist Albert Eckhout’s painting of a Brazilian Tarairiu woman from the mid-17th century. The savages were, on the one hand, praised for their naturalness but were, on the other, condemned for being too

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Fig. 1. | If we are to believe this picture from 1777, Captain James Cook was received by toga-clad natives on his arrival at Middleburgh, Tonga, during one of his famous South Sea expeditions. The Landing at Middleburgh, one of the Friendly Isles. W. Hodges, 1777.

natural, too passionate. The view of the people who were colonised as cannibals, murderers and “brutal savages�, barely to be considered human, was shared not least by the sailors and emigrants who travelled and settled in the New World. Bestiality not only caused offence, it also fascinated. This duplicity explains why sailors, merchants and explorers enthusiastically collected and took home so-called cannibal forks from Fiji, tattooed heads from New Zealand and scalps from North America. There was a market for these kinds of souvenir at home in Europe, where being a learned gentleman involved not just owning a library but also the building of private collections of curiosities from the worlds of nature and culture. Depiction of the savage as a cannibal was not exclusively based on a desire to show reality in a realistic way, it was also done with the intention of demonising the colonised. This


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served to justify colonial expansion and the fact that so many native peoples succumbed due to their meeting with Europeans: The Brazilian Tarairiu Indians, of whom the woman in the painting was a member, died out as a consequence of epidemic diseases, exploitation and extermination. MILLE GABRIEL

Fig. 2. | Tarairiu woman from Brazil. The woman was painted by Dutch artist Albert Eckhout in 1641 and is clearly depicted as a cannibal; cf. the severed human foot in her basket. Ethnographic Collection.







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In 1802, the world’s first public gasworks was established in London, and the new technology spread quickly to other European towns, large and small. In 1853, the first Danish works was founded in Odense. With gas, towns could be lit; streets, squares and – for the wealthy – also private homes. Later came electricity, which was expensive at first and was mostly used in public buildings.With time electricity gained ground, partly at the expense of gas, although gas street lightning continued well into the 20th century. Towns and cities were not just lit in a physical sense. City lights also came to symbolise the compelling effect urban centres had on those living in small towns or the country. At the beginning of the 19th century there were few great cities in Europe. Only London had a population in excess of 1 million and only ten cities numbered more than 100,000 inhabitants. This situation changed drastically: By 1900 over 100 cities had a population of this size or more. London was joined by Berlin, Moscow, Paris, St Petersburg and Vienna in passing the one million mark. Equally astonishing was the emergence of places

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Fig. 1. | This magniďŹ cent gas chandelier lit the home of a Copenhagen pharmacist. Danish Modern History.


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Fig. 2. | Citizens stroll along the Parisian boulevards. Oil painting, Gustave Caillebotte, 1877. The Art Institute of Chicago.

like Tyneside in Northern England and the Ruhr in Germany, where small towns and heavy industry grew together to form huge conurbations. Europe’s population increased through the 19th century. Mechanisation resulted in a reduced labour requirements in rural areas, but industrialisation created many new jobs in towns. By 1851, there were already more English people living in towns than in the country; urban dwellers became the majority in Germany just before 1900. But other areas, especially in Southern and Eastern Europe, saw much slower development and most people still lived and worked in the country. Urban growth created a need for planning and development. For example, Paris underwent massive restructuring in the mid19th century under the direction of Baron Haussmann: Some quarters were torn down and winding medieval streets were replaced by long straight boulevards. Monumental buildings

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such as a new opera house were built and along the boulevards came rows of neo-classical facades. The modern bourgeois city was created. For hundreds of thousands of Europe’s new urban dwellers life differed radically from that in the country. Many were packed tightly into tenement buildings in working class districts of large towns, although towns also had beautiful mansions, wide streets and new department stores. It was here that people were first with the latest in fashion, entertainment or politics. Life in towns ran quite simply in a higher gear than that people had been used to for centuries in the country. Tradition was replaced by change and progress. The city lights prompted both concern and enthusiasm. In 1886, the Danish psychiatrist Knud Pontoppidan published Neurasthenien. Bidrag til en skildring af vor Tids Nervøsitet. The book was a contribution to an international debate on how modern hectic urban life led to nervousness and neurasthenia. In 1900, another author and later Nobel Prize winner Johannes V. Jensen visited the World Fair in Paris. He was not nervous but deeply fascinated by the great city with its swarms of people and machines. Sitting up in the exhibition’s landmark, the Ferris wheel (Grande Roue de Paris), he wrote: Hear how this city, how this mighty city down there sings! There are verses of iron, rhymes of steel and stone, and rhythms to the Heavens (...) The twentieth century soars overhead. I profess to reality, I profess. LARS K. CHRISTENSEN


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It started with something not evidently very explosive: cotton yarn. During the 18th century cotton textiles, imported from India, became popular in England. In an effort to protect domestic textile production these imports were gradually banned, creating a market for cotton yarn among English weavers. In both India and England cotton was spun and woven by hand, a slow process, and there was a great demand for yarn. This prompted Richard Arkwright in 1771 to build a new kind of cotton spinning mill. The innovation was that machines were not driven by hand but by water power. Power from a large mill wheel was transferred by axles and belt drives to the many carding and spinning machines. Arkwright had built the ďŹ rst modern factory. This proved to be such a good idea that it was soon copied elsewhere. But factories would also prove to have other advantages. Previously, production of textiles had been spread out among numerous small craftsmen, many of whom were also smallscale farmers. Merchants and their agents had a constant battle to ensure that work they had ordered was actually delivered.

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Fig. 1. | Rubens Dampvæveri (Steam Weaving Mill), Frederiksberg, 1890. With its c. 270 female and 80 male workers, it was Denmark’s largest employer of women. Watercolour, Rasmus Christensen. Danish Modern History.

In a factory it was different: The workers had either to arrive on time and work the 10-12 hour day they had agreed to – or stay away. The factory proved to be an effective instrument in disciplining the workforce. New technologies did not come out of the blue. As a rule they were developed in response to actual problems, such as bottlenecks in production, and sometimes over a long time. For example, mechanisation of spinning mills solved the yarn shortage. In fact, there was now so much yarn available that weavers had difficulty in keeping up. The answer was the mechanical loom, invented in 1785, but first developed in a practical form in the early 19th century. The steam engine, which for posterity became the very symbol of the Industrial Revolution, also started out as a solu-

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tion to a concrete problem: keeping mine shafts free of water. Primitive steam engines had already been built for this purpose in England early in the 18th century. Towards the end of the century James Watt improved the original design on several counts: The engine became more energy-efďŹ cient and from just being able to move a piston up and down in a pump, its power could now be converted to rotary movement. Instead of just

Fig. 2. | Fly wheel from a steam engine produced by the engineering works Atlas A/S, 1899. Danish Modern History.


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being applicable to mines, steam power could now be used as the driving force for all kinds of factories. With steam power it was no longer necessary to site factories by a river. Industry could be located where it was most appropriate: close to labour, raw materials or access to transport. The latter also developed enormously when, after 1800, steam engines could be made smaller yet more efficient. Steam could now be used to power railways and ships. Industrialisation had become a self-reinforcing process, whereby new markets created demands for new technologies which in turn opened up further new markets. Earlier in history there had been examples of something resembling industry, for example in Renaissance North Italy. However, these remained isolated initiatives, which never really took off and developed into an actual industrial revolution. What made late 18th century Manchester and its surroundings so very different that changes which began here spread and became a self-reinforcing process that ultimately changed the whole of Europe – and the rest of the world? It was down to an interaction between technology and markets. English agriculture was already engaged in a transition from self-sufficiency to market economy and, as a result of extensive colonial trade, British towns were larger and more numerous than their European counterparts. Consequently, there was a domestic market for industrially-produced goods – especially if produced cheaply. Britain was the largest colonial power of the time and had the world’s mightiest navy. It was therefore in a position actively to create new markets, such as when imports of cotton textiles from India were forbidden in order to promote domestic industry. The new industrial goods could be produced so cheaply that they could subsequently be exported to India, where they effectively out-competed local production. Development in Britain was partially achieved on the basis of under-development in the colonies. The factors leading to the Industrial Revolution are both numerous and ambiguous, but its effects on almost all areas of

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Fig. 3. | Telegraph equipment from the Store Nordiske TelegrafSelskab. Starting in 1869 from a base in Copenhagen, Store Nordiske established telegraph lines across half the globe. Danish Modern History.

life were clear. First and foremost it changed the working life of the many thousands recruited to work in the factories. They had to labour from morning to evening, six days a week, often in poorly-lit, dusty and hot conditions. Many moved to the towns where they had to live in wretched conditions in small tenement rooms. But industrialisation also brought improvements, although these were slow. Towards the end of the 19th century economic growth took off in earnest. Simultaneously, in the leading industrial countries such as Britain, France and Germany –


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Fig. 4. | In 1819, Caledonia, as the first steam ship in Denmark, entered regular service on the route Copenhagen-Kiel. Coloured engraving. Danish Modern History.

and even in Denmark – a strong trade union movement was formed. In conjunction, these developments led to a marked improvement in the standard of living of many industrial workers. The Industrial Revolution brought many new commodities and technologies which directly changed daily life. The railways resulted in journeys that previously took days being achieved in hours. Gas lamps lit streets, homes and workplaces. The rotary press was one of several new graphical technologies which changed books and newspapers from luxury goods into mass media. At the end of the 19th century industry had taken hold across most of Europe, although with a centre of gravity in the north-west. Germany and – outside Europe – America challenged Britain as the leading industrial nation. Germany

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was, in particular, a leader in the new branches of industry, for example the chemical and electro-technical industries. In 1851 The Great Exhibition of Works and Industry of all Nations opened in London. It was not the first of its kind but was much more grandiose than those which preceded it and is considered to be the first of the great world exhibitions. These were where European nations and America celebrated progress by each displaying their finest and most impressive craft and industrial products. The 19th century started with war and destruction across almost all of Europe. The French army advanced all the way to Moscow before being defeated and the Napoleonic Wars of 1804-15 are estimated to have cost between 3.5 and 6.5 million lives. The end of the war coincided with a depressed and inwardly-looking atmosphere in many countries. Conversely, at the end of the century, competition between European nations was primarily in the fields of economy, industry and technology. The time was now one of outward-looking optimism and a belief that technology would lead to yet further progress. But behind the optimism were the stirrings of incipient doubt: Could things continue this way? LARS K. CHRISTENSEN


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“A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of Communism”. So reads the first sentence of a small pamphlet issued in 1848. Its title was The Communist Manifesto and it was written by an exiled German philosopher and social critic by the name of Karl Marx, together with his good friend Friedrich Engels. It was no coincidence that the pamphlet was issued in 1848. In this and the following year rebellion and social unrest surged through Europe. Population growth and early industrialisation had not just created increasing social contrasts; it had also made the bourgeoisie richer and more self-aware. Many felt it was time for the dominant autocratic forms of government to be replaced by more democratic systems. In February 1848 a social revolt broke out in Paris. The disturbances spread to Germany and Italy, where they quickly became linked with calls for the unification of the many small kingdoms and principalities to form nation states. In Hungary, demands were made for independence from Austrian supremacy. In Denmark, accounts of revolutionary events around Europe led to the king, without any resistance, accepting the call

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Fig. 1. | Portraits of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in Social-

demokratiets Aarhundrede, published by the Danish Social Democratic Party in 1904. Danish Modern History.

for a constitution and democratic government. In most countries, however, the 1848 revolutions ended in failure, without demands being met. At the forefront of most rebellions were the nationally- and liberally-oriented middle-classes. Workers were also represented but they rarely formulated their own demands, for example for greater social justice. Nevertheless, the ruling powers employed insults such as anarchists and communists in reference to their opponents. It was this scare campaign to which Marx referred when he wrote of the communist spectre. Even though Marx was able to support the liberals’ demand for democracy, he believed more to be necessary. As long as ownership of agricultural land, factories and other means of production was concentrated in a few private hands, social and political inequality would remain. He argued that workers must unite and ďŹ ght for a society in which there was a collective ownership of the means of production. His call did not, how-



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Fig. 2. | In August 1910, almost 900 delegates gathered for the 8th International Socialist Congress in Copenhagen. The participants included prominent European socialists such as Kier Hardie, Jean Jaurès, V.I. Lenin, Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg and Thorvald Stauning. The Workers’ Museum.

ever, receive much direct support, partly because there were as yet few workers in most European countries and partly because the existing preliminary stirrings of a working class movement were heavily divided along internally conflicting lines. This situation changed as industrialisation progressed. Especially in Northern and Western Europe, strong working class movements emerged. When, after decades of political persecution, the German workers’ party was finally permitted to participate in an election in 1890, they received 20% of the votes. In 1912, their proportion was 35%, making them Germany’s largest party, both in terms of votes and party members. Most workers’ parties referred to themselves as social democrats. The aim was still a class-less society and collective ownership. In

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time, with the improved opportunities for parliamentary influence, increasing confidence was placed in the ballot box as the way forward. In 1910, The International Socialists’ Congress was held in Copenhagen. The almost 900 delegates represented the largest non-religious union in the world and speaker after speaker highlighted the movement’s demands and strength. But it was also apparent that there was disagreement between the reformseeking majority and the more radical minority. When, in 1914, the labour movement did not manage to remain united in preventing the war, it was the spark which ignited division. The radical wing broke away and became organised into a new movement under the original name: The Communists. Both communists and social democrats would come to have a crucial influence on the 20th century Europe. In the east were regimes headed by communists who took little account of political freedom: state’s ownership and equality were the official aims. In the west, social democrats lead welfare states which attempted to create social reform by democratic means, but within the framework of continuing private ownership. Both movements claimed to represent Marxist ideals. Marx died in 1883, so we are unfortunately unable to ask him his view. LARS K. CHRISTENSEN



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Take up the White Man’s burden Send forth the best ye breed Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives’ need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child. Thus wrote Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), the great poet of British Imperialism, in 1898. His incitement to travel out and lift “the white man’s burden” was directed towards the Americans, who had just annexed the Philippines and thereby entered the ranks of imperialist nations. For Kipling, born to British parents in the Crown Colony of India, imperialism did not represent unscrupulous exploitation of the colonies. On the contrary – it was the white man’s duty to travel out in service of the Empire, not just to bring home



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Fig. 1. | The white pith helmet is one of the most powerful symbols of imperialist ideology. This helmet belonged to Victor Genner, a Danish physician who specialised in tropical diseases and who worked in Indonesia in 1920-22. Ethnographic Collection.

colonial goods and raw materials to the growing industry of Europe, but equally to civilise these “half-devils, half-children”. Seen through European eyes, the white man was superior to all others. There was therefore a widespread perception that Europeans had both the duty and the right to spread European civilisation to the barbarian parts of the world. In 1859, Charles Darwin (1808-82) published On the Origin of Species, in which he shocked the world by claiming that plants and animals were not created complete by God, but had developed over the course of millennia. Darwin’s ideas also influenced social studies when, in 1864, Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) transferred the theory of “natural selection” from biology to human society. Spencer claimed that by the principles

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Fig. 2. | The white man’s burden? A European being carried on a hammock, Benin C. 1895.

of “survival of the fittest” the world’s societies found themselves on various rungs on the ladder of human evolution. They should therefore be ranked, with European civilisation as the ultimate developmental goal. The dominance of the white race was thereby seen as a result of the laws of nature. This scientific racism challenged the Age of Enlightenment’s idealisation of the noble savage. Savages were less well-developed and also dirty, brutal and war-like peoples who should ideally be “civilised off the face of the Earth”, as author Charles Dickens (1812-70) wrote in 1853. Ideas of the precedence of Western Civilisation justified European expansion – by virtue of

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its superiority, Europe had both the right and the duty to bring the world’s primitive societies into a civilised state. Spiritual aspects were taken care of by Christian mission. Across the entire world, local pagan religions were forbidden and the local population converted to the true faith. With the introduction of various forms of judicial and educational systems and health care, colonial administrations brought enlightenment, education and proper governance to the barbarians who, it was believed, could not govern themselves. And if these inferior peoples refused to be educated, retribution fell swiftly. In the Crown Colony of India in 1857, the British army came down hard on a revolt initiated by Indian soldiers, sepoys, in the service of the British East India Company. In Africa, the Kingdom of Benin was burned and plundered during a British punitive expedition in 1897, prompted by the population’s resistance to annexation as a British protectorate. And Sudan was incorporated as a British colony after the religious reformer, the Mahdi, was defeated by a numerically inferior but better armed British army. . MILLE GABRIEL



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It was still dark and cool in the desert outside Omdurman in Sudan on 2nd September 1898 when a group of British cavalrymen was sent out on patrol. Only when the sun rose, just after six o’clock, did they gain sight of the enemy they faced: From the dark rocks on the horizon came column after column of marching warriors and between them horsemen. Hundreds of flags – green, black and white bearing texts from the Koran – fluttered above the marchers. The rising sun was reflected in thousands of shining spears. The battle cries rolled forwards towards the British soldiers like a deep rumble. The British cavalrymen were part of an army of about 8000, augmented by a further c. 18,000 Egyptian auxiliary troops. But the Sudanese Mahdi army, which now charged, numbered at least 50,000 warriors. A terrifying prospect but for one simple, but important, detail: The British were armed with modern rifles, machine guns and cannon. In contrast, the Mahdi warriors had spears, sabres and antiquated firearms. By noon it was all over. As many as 11,000 of the Mahdi warriors lay dead on the desert sand and the remainder had fled. The British losses numbered 47. With the conquest of

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Fig. 1. | Uniform belonging to Uthman Digna, a general in the Sudanese Mahdi army. Digna was badly wounded in a previous battle and did not take part at Omdurman. He died at the age of 90 in Egypt in 1926. Ethnographic Collection.



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Fig. 2. | British soldiers on their way into battle in Egypt.

Their armaments included an early form of machine gun. Krigen i Ægypten, no. 2, Copenhagen 1882.

Omdurman, Sudan effectively became a British colony and remained as such until 1956. There was nothing new in European powers subjugating areas in Africa, America or Asia. But in the late 19th century European dominance of the world achieved a previously unseen extent. In Africa, the British and French secured the best morsels, but Germany and Belgium tagged along. Britain ruled over India and environs, France over Indochina, and The Netherlands over the huge island kingdom which today is Indonesia. Almost a quarter of the globe had colonial status. Only in America had developments gone in the opposite direction: Both in North and South America former colonies had gained their independence and Spain represented only a shadow of its former colonial power. In North America, the former colony, the United States, was itself developing into a major power after the end of the civil war in 1865. The situation was rather

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different in South America. Despite their formal independence, the economies of former colonies such as Argentina, Chile and Brazil were still deeply subservient to European interests. And economic interests were what it was all about. The combination of a capitalist market economy and industrialisation created a European economy more dynamic than any seen previously in history. But it required new growing markets, and these could be found in the colonies. The same was true of raw materials for industry. In the 19th century, demands grew for copper, tin, rubber, saltpetre and other materials which could most readily be obtained outside Europe. Local populations provided cheap labour and railways and steam ships made transport viable. Simultaneously, an improved European standard of living brought increasing demands not just for basic foodstuffs but also for “colonial goods” such as coffee, tea, cocoa and sugar. What were previously luxury goods for the few were now in demand from a growing proportion of the population. For example, the British alone drank more than five times as much tea in 1890 as they did in 1840. The creation of an economy based on international trade and division of labour had its roots in the 18th century, but accelerated in the mid-19th century and was making a major impact by 1900. Economic links were forged between stock exchanges in London, Paris and New York and ports in Asia, mines in Central Africa and rubber plantations far up South American rivers. A doubling of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage between 1870 and 1910 and a fivefold expansion of the railway network during the same period are signs of this globalisation. While the economy became global, its centre – Europe – was still divided into nation states. At the start of the 19th century most of these were at war. But the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 heralded a relatively peaceful period only broken by smaller, regional conflicts. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 there was peace on the continent for the remainder of the century. The great powers had relocated their rivalries to the colonies.



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When British soldiers charged over the desert sand at Omdurman on that September day in 1898 it was not just for economic reasons. The British had long had an interest in Egypt, but from 1869, when the newly-built Suez Canal was opened, the country was of strategic importance for shipping between Britain and India, that most important of British colonies. When a nationally-oriented leader took power in Egypt, the British were afraid of losing control of the canal. So they intervened militarily and effectively made Egypt a colony and with that came an active role in Egypt’s battle for control of Sudan. At the same time, they upset France who had originally financed the building of the Suez Canal. The two European powers embarked on a veritable race to secure as much as possible of Africa, while Germany attempted to keep up as best she could. In the middle of all this the Belgian king succeeded in securing Congo as his own personal colony. Empires had existed since prehistory but never previously had the globe been so comprehensively divided up between the great powers, and never before had their economic and strategic interests dominated so many people and countries. This new world order became known as imperialism, a term which came into use in earnest in the 1890s. For countries that came under the control of European interests, either as colonies or as independent but economically dependent states, this was very significant. There was often investment in infrastructure such as harbours, railways and plantations. For the people, this might mean a better income but also exploitation and repression. Of greatest importance in the long run was, however, the distortion of the countries’ economy: Production was geared to exports of raw materials and agricultural products to Europe rather than meeting local needs. Profits made by European powers from the colonies can be difficult to assess. Looking at individual colonies in isolation there may even have been an overall loss. But imperialism’s significance for Europe cannot be quantified simply as the sum of incomes from individual colonies. It was an integrated part

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Fig. 3. | Pottery figures of sepoys, i.e. Indians who served as soldiers for the British East India Company or in the British Army. Produced in India as souvenirs for British colonial officials. Ethnographical Collection.

of the economic system and a requirement for the continued expansion of European trade and industry through the 19th and well into the 20th century. Even though sources are unreliable, the average standard of living in Europe at the end of the 18th century is thought to have been no greater than in the world as a whole. However, by 1913 it was at least three times higher in Europe and the United States than in the rest of the world – and for the most industrialised countries even higher. Our modern division between socalled economically developed and undeveloped countries was founded in the 19th century – in the era of imperialism. LARS K. CHRISTENSEN


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On a December day in 1876, the leader of the Danish Social Democratic Party, Louis Pio, was summoned by the police and informed that he would shortly be imprisoned. Alternatively, he could accept a sum of money and travel to America. Pio, who had been imprisoned previously, chose to accept the bribe. Together with a handful of friends he attempted to establish a socialist colony in the United States – without success. Pio’s example is unique in Denmark where, at least on paper, freedom of organisation and speech had existed since 1849. In Bismarck’s Germany any form of workers’ organisation received much harsher treatment. And further east, in Russia, it was not just the Tsar’s political opponents who were persecuted – the Jewish minority was also subjected to discrimination and bloody pogroms. The hope of escaping political and religious persecution was one of the factors which drove millions of Europeans to seek a better life in other continents, primarily North and South America, but also Australia.

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Another factor was poverty. Between 1800 and 1900, the European population doubled in size, from c. 200 to c. 400 million. A large proportion of the growing population obtained work in the factories which sprang up, especially in towns. But in agriculture there was an ever-increasing surplus of labour. The situation was most catastrophic in Ireland. Agriculture was poorly developed and the potato was the only food source for thousands. In 1847 the country was hit by potato blight, and in the course of a few years 2 million people were lost from a population of 8.5 million: half died of starvation, the remainder emigrated. The Irish catastrophe was fortunately an exception. Europe as a whole actually experienced a rising standard of living through the century. But this rise was unequally distributed and it was tempting for the rural poor, especially in areas where industrialisation developed slowly, to make the leap, not just to town, but all the way to America. With the so-called “Homestead Act� of 1862, immigrants to the United States could receive a piece of prairie land more or less for free on which to start their own

Fig. 1. | Album containing photographs sent home to their family in Denmark by emigrants in America. Danish Modern History.



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Fig. 2. | Trunk, camp bed, revolver and knife. In 1919 the owner travelled to Argentina where he worked as a gaucho, a kind of cowherd. He later returned to Denmark. Danish Modern History.

farm. This was, of course, attractive to European small holders and agricultural workers. Technological developments, with more and larger steam ships, also made it steadily cheaper to cross the Atlantic and immigration increased markedly towards 1900. Between 1821 and 1914, 44 million Europeans left their homelands, with 1 million emigrating in 1902 alone. For European states, emigration was a safety valve which helped reduce the risk of social unrest. For those who emigrated, life was naturally very different. Some remained just as poor as they were in their homeland, others experienced progress and a better life. The successful often

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wrote back to their families at home, and perceptions in Europe of what could be achieved on the other side of the Atlantic were probably not diminished as a consequence. But there were emigrants who returned home, either because they couldn’t settle abroad or because it had always been their original plan to stay for a few years to save money and then perhaps be able to buy a farm at home in the old country. It is especially possessions of these returned emigrants that subsequently have ended up in the National Museum’s collections. About two thirds of European emigrants chose America as their dream destination. Other popular destinations were Canada, Argentina and Australia. For recipient countries, immigration meant an often welcome addition to the population. In 1800, the population of America was 5.2 million, i.e. just less than today’s Denmark. By 1900 it had grown to more than 76 million. It was mostly immigrants who took part in the internal colonisation of “The Wild West” and the transformation of the prairie to agricultural land. Simultaneously, the original native population was pressed into to smaller and smaller reservations. Towards the end of the 19th century industrialisation really took hold in the United States and entirely new forms of mass production were introduced. It was unskilled European immigrants who became the workers in American industry which, after the turn of the century, caught up with – and in certain areas outcompeted – their old homelands. LARS K. CHRISTENSEN


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Fig. 1. | Prison uniform belonging to a Danish communist who, in 1943-45, was incarcerated in Stutthof in present-day Poland. The stripes and the number are intended to depersonalise. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.

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During the Second World War c. 6000 Danes were deported to German concentration camps. A few were sent to death camps where they were killed. The remainder were held in ordinary KZ-camps, penal camps aimed at exploiting prisoners’ labour. Most survived and took home with them the clothes and small everyday articles they had acquired. Per Ulrich (1915-94) was a member of the illegal group Frit Danmark and was arrested by the Gestapo for drawing caricatures of Hitler for the illegal press. He was sent to Sachsenhausen and then Neuengamme, where he drew what he saw. People were aware of KZ-camps, but the world into which prisoners stepped was totally alien. Ulrich’s c. 200 drawings are a unique documentation of camp life which, almost incomprehensibly, emerged in the century of rationalism and progress. Since the 17th century, Russian Tsars had deported dissidents, criminals and later also opponents to eastern parts of their huge realm. After the revolution in 1917 those identified as enemies of the new government were put into camps. Starting in 1929, when Stalin decided to use forced labour in the industrialisation of the Soviet Union, an enormous system


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grew up – known as Gulag – consisting of thousands of camps, large and small. Until Stalin’s death in 1953, around 18 million people passed through these camps, of which – the figures are very uncertain – perhaps 2.7 million died. Shortly after Hitler took power in 1933 the first concentration camps were established for enemies of the regime. Communists and social democrats were sent here to be “reeducated”. Later Jews, gypsies, criminals, religious believers and homosexuals were also confined because, by Nazi thinking, they were abnormal tumours on the pure body of the German people. At the outbreak of the Second World War there were 25,000 people in the camps, but with German conquests the system grew and spread; most were labour camps. Collectively they had around 1100 sub-camps where prisoners were often worked to death or died of starvation and disease. There were prisoner of war camps, penal camps and, in parallel with these, death camps. The Nazi treatment of prisoners depended both on ideological and war-related economic considerations, and these often conflicted. At the beginning of the Russian campaign, when the Germans took almost 3 million prisoners, most were allowed to die in camps out in the open or were simply shot. But when forces stalled outside Moscow at the end of December 1941, it was necessary to prepare for a longer war with the deployment of further German troops. Because Nazism did not, in principle, want women to work in the war industries, as they did in the Soviet Union, Britain and America, there was a labour shortage. This was solved by importing forced labour from all over occupied Europe and exploiting prisoners of war. Many Jews also survived for a while in war-related industries, being hired out to businesses by the SS. Sachsenhausen, north of Berlin, was built in 1936 and was planned by the SS as an “ideal camp” where the architecture should express control and subjugation. It was built as an equilateral triangle, with the buildings arranged symmetrically about an axis and a semicircular area where prisoners fell in

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Fig. 2. | A prisoner found dead in his bed. In his hand he clutches a piece of bread. Severely emaciated prisoners on the point of death from starvation were referred to in the KZ-camps as “muselmænd” (= human skeletons). The final stage of life for this new human type: the camp prisoner. Original drawing. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.

for roll-call. In 1938 the “Concentration Camps Inspectorate” moved to Sachsenhausen. Then, under Theodor Eicke, it became the centre for the KZ-system in the entire area under German control. It was here that the later commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, was trained. Around 200,000 prisoners passed through Sachsenhausen. It was not a death camp; most of the prisoners worked in the weapons industry via more than 100 sub-camps. The camp itself also housed prominent political prisoners such as leader of the Danish communists, Aksel Larsen, who survived. But tens of thousands died of starvation, cold, disease, exhaustion, brutality and medical experiments,


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Fig. 3. | Russian prisoner drawn by Per Ulrich. On his armband is the word “Torsperre”, because he is condemned to death and not allowed on working parties outside the camp. Several months could elapse before such prisoners were executed. Original drawing. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.

or by public execution. In 1941, at least 12,000 Soviet prisoners, including many Jews, were killed in trials of “mobile gas chambers” or in experiments involving a special device whereby prisoners were killed by a bullet to the back of the head. In a film recording, Per Ulrich has related how all the Danes in his group, were on the day after their arrival, ordered out onto the parade ground to witness a hanging. Perhaps 20,000 prisoners stood and watched and, on a given signal, they were to remove their caps. The trap door then opened and the man was hanged. They had just received their ration of bread and even under these circumstances the prisoners stood and ate,

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driven by hunger. But a Dane beside Ulrich said: “I won’t live in this, you can have my bread”. “He simply gave up, and a few days later he was dead”. An example of how health and food were not the only factors determining survival. The mental strength found in political and religious prisoners could almost be more important. Ulrich was aware of how the system functioned. It was designed by the SS to break down any attempt at solidarity between the prisoners. Differences of nationality and prisoner category were used to pitch prisoners against one other. In parts of the camp, power would be held by either the criminals or the political prisoners, and each looked after their own. Some could gain advantages by being “prison functionaries” or “Kapo”.

Fig. 4. | Ulrich’s drawing of the labels worn by the various categories of prisoner. Red triangle = political prisoner, green triangle = criminal. P meant Pole and so on. The system pitched prisoners against each other and thereby kept them down. Original drawing. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.


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Fig. 5. | Two Polish and a Ukrainian prisoner portrayed by Per Ulrich and with their signatures. Original drawings. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.

A little extra food ration, warm clothes and lighter work were vital rewards and the result was, as Ulrich relates, that the SS need not involve themselves much in prisoners’ lives. There were prisoners who struck other prisoners, prisoners who tortured other prisoners and there were plenty willing to do what

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the SS asked of them. A deeply degrading and inhuman system, says Ulrich, and he recorded the consequences in his drawings. He drew what he saw without asking permission. But in some cases he asked those portrayed – mostly Poles and Russians – to put their name to the drawings. They had exotic signatures but this contributed, as Ulrich says, to the veracity of the drawing “that it was the man himself who signed his own portrait”. Denmark was not involved in the First World War, and no forced labour was drafted in Denmark during the Second. But monuments remain to Europe’s great 20th century catastrophes, even in Denmark. In 1916-17, the Danish state built a humanitarian prisoner of war camp at Horserød near Helsingør. This housed 1000 exchanged Russian soldiers and 200 officers until the Russian Revolution brought Russian participation in the war to an end. The camp was then used sporadically as a holiday camp for inner-city children, but following the occupation in 1940, the Danish state interned first German refugees, then Danish communists and Spanish Civil War volunteers there. On 29th August 1943 the German security police took over the camp and used it to hold members of the Resistance, including Per Ulrich whose first drawings are from Horserød. He had already been deported when the camp’s 750 prisoners were transferred in September 1944 to the newly-built Frøslev Camp. From there, 1600 prisoners were in subsequent months deported to German concentration camps; of these 220 died and the remainder were scarred for life. The others lived on in the Frøslev Camp, imprisoned but with abundant food and no brutality or hard labour. Even so, the two Danish camps represent distant satellites in the system which controlled Europe during those years. The Frøslev Camp was built according to German plans. Seen from the air it actually resembles Sachsenhausen. ESBEN KJELDBÆK


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Western European perceptions of the Second World War come from books and films such as Steven Spielberg’s – incidentally brilliant – Saving Private Ryan from 1998. Reality was rather different. In 1996, British historian Norman Davis termed the prevalent view “The Allied Scheme of History”. According to this, the Soviet Union, the United States and Great Britain had in 194145 jointly defeated the worst terror regime in history and won a victory for humanity. Davies does not actually dispute this, but points out that the Soviet Union bore disproportionally large military losses, that Stalin was just as much a monster as Hitler, although he mainly terrorised and killed Soviet citizens, and that the Western Allies quietly accepted that from 1945 all of Eastern Europe became subject to communist dictatorships, controlled from Moscow. This revisionist view was followed in 2010 by Timothy Snyder’s widely reported – and debated – book Bloodlands, which identifies the East European countries of Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states as the place where 14 million innocent civilians were killed by the Soviet Union and Germany – while a military conflict costing a similar number of soldiers’ lives took place in the same areas.



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Fig.1. | Casket containing gravel and fragments of human bone from

the Mamaev Mound in Stalingrad. Official gift from the Soviet Union “To the Danish People” in March 1956. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.

It is important to comprehend the enormity, the almost incomprehensible extent of the extermination and the intensity of the battles in Eastern Europe, compared with war events in Western Europe. They were as two different worlds, not least seen from Denmark, where at most 6000 people lost their lives as a consequence of the war and where life after 1945 continued virtually as before. Snyder’s figures (which include 3.3 million Soviet citizens, mostly Ukrainians, intentionally starved to death by Stalin as part of collectivisation in 1932-33) also encompass 200,000 Polish citizens shot by Germany and the Soviet Union in 193941, while dividing Poland between them. Thereafter, 4.2 million Soviet citizens (mostly prisoners of war and citizens of besieged

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Leningrad) were starved to death by the German occupation forces, 5.4 million Jews shot or gassed by Nazi Germany in these areas and 700,000 others, mostly Byelorussians and Poles, shot by the Germans in “reprisals”. Hitler’s unannounced attack on the Soviet Union on 22nd June 1941 was the decisive event of the war. The German expectation was that a lightning war of a few months would topple the communist regime. Then, the Slavic population of Eastern Europe, including Russia roughly up to the Urals, would be starved to death, expelled or enslaved by German colonists. Despite great victories and over 3 million Soviet prisoners of war,

Fig. 2. | Extermination of civilians and prisoners of war was achieved by simple means. A bullet to the back of the head was both a Soviet and a German method. The weapons: a Russian Nagant revolver or a German Sauer & Sohn pistol. In 1941-42, the Germans took 3.2 million Russian soldiers prisoner. By summer 1942, 2.8 million had died of starvation, imprisoned behind barbed wire in open camps. Gassing of European Jews was accomplished either with petrol engine exhausts or Zyklon-B, an insecticide. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.


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Fig. 3. | Until 1941 the Nazis’ policy towards Jews was expulsion. But with the conquests in Eastern Europe, home to millions of Jews, came radicalisation. In 1941 it was decided that European Jews should be exterminated; round 6 million were murdered. A Danish Jewish woman’s prison jacket with Jewish star from the KZ-camp Theresienstadt. 95 % of Danish Jews escaped to Sweden and just less than 500 were taken to Theresienstadt, where about 50 died of old age and illness. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-45.

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the campaign stalled outside Moscow in December 1941 and a year later en entire army was forced to capitulate at Stalingrad. The Battle of Stalingrad was also seen in the West as a turning point on a par with the British general Montgomery’s victory over Rommel at El Alamein in North Africa shortly before. But as Davies points out, 973,000 soldiers fell on both sides at Stalingrad. At El Alamein the total losses numbered 4650. In military terms Stalingrad was not even the decisive battle. This took place at Kursk in July 1943, where German forces were defeated in history’s greatest armoured engagement. The great battles on the Eastern Front remain unknown to the Western public. The Battle of Budapest in 1944-45 cost 130,000 lives. The invasion of Normandy by the Western Allies on 6th June 1944 was a technical and logistical achievement which was also of great significance for the duration of the war. But losses during the landings and subsequent battles until 21st July totalled 132,000; on a par with those of killed at Budapest. The battle for Berlin in 1945 cost the lives of 250,000 German and Soviet soldiers. The total military losses suffered by Great Britain, the United States and France during the Second World War were just over 800,000. The Soviet Union lost 11 million and Germany 3.3 million men, the great majority on the Eastern Front. In the West we have forgotten the extent of Eastern European losses. There could be several reasons. Nazism’s contempt for the peoples of Eastern Europe, and its particular hate of the Jews, had roots not only in German but also in a common European culture. Perceptions can be traced of Eastern Europe being backward and under “Asian-influence” – where loss of human life was to be expected. Add to this guilt about the size of the losses borne by the Soviet Union and perhaps subsequent guilt about the fact that, in a form of compensation, the East European peoples were abandoned to Soviet dominance and repression. ESBEN KJELDBÆK


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At The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945, a Russian submachine gun with a drum magazine had, from time immemorial, hung on a wall – well secured and wired to an alarm. The German troops who invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 found to their surprise that the Russians, officially declared to be primitive sub-humans, had weapons that matched and in some cases even surpassed their own. This was true of the Soviet T-34 tank, found to be immune to most German anti-tank weapons; by the end of the war an estimated 55,000 had been produced, more than any other tank on either side in the war. It also applied to the Soviet PPSh submachine gun. This had a drum magazine with 71 rounds and a range of up to 200 m. Ordinary German soldiers had a carbine of the type all European armies had developed in the late 19th century. Although this had a range of 400 m, it was slow. The magazine contained only five rounds which had to be fired singly. In the urban battles on the Eastern Front the Soviet submachine gun was a superior weapon and German soldiers made use of examples they captured.

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When, in the mid-1990s, we revised the exhibition at the Museum, we had to render the submachine gun inoperable in case of theft. When it was dismantled, a revealing detail emerged. A weapon of this type functions such that a shot from the chamber sends a metal cylinder (the bolt) inside the weapon backwards, making room for the next round to be fed into the chamber. The bolt then shoots forwards again, firing the new round. In this submachine gun the sequence repeats up to 900 times a minute. One would therefore expect the bolt, on its way backwards, to be met by a fine spring of special steel which threw it forwards again, firing the new round. But there was no spring, just a small piece of laminated artificial wood. It was able to take the load, so why do more? The Soviet weapon designers prioritised durability, reliability and weight. Comfort and advanced technology were excluded by the tough conditions under which production and combat took place. When the PPSh submachine gun was tested with other types in 1940, this involved intentionally adding dirt to the magazines and cleaning the internal parts and the cartridges with petrol so they lacked the oil in which they were normally coated. 500 rounds were then fired without cleaning the weapons. The PPSh won the test. In 1943, the Germans developed a revolutionary new weapon for soldiers at the Front. This was a mixture of submachine gun and traditional rifle. It could be aimed and it had a range

Fig. 1. | A Soviet submachine gun PPSh 1941 with drum magazine. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.


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Fig. 2. | A German MP 44 assault rifle. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.

of up to 400 m, but it was also fitted with a magazine containing 30 rounds and was able to fire up to 500 rounds a minute. The German Führer, Adolf Hitler, was completely obsessed by knowing everything about weapons, their use and production. He always had an updated manual of German weapon types at his bedside, and he enjoyed getting the better of his generals with his detailed knowledge. He believed German technology to be so superior that new weapons would win the war, and Germany did develop weapons which, taken individually, were superior to all others. For example a jet plane, advanced and heavy types of tank, not to mention the V2 rocket, the progenitor of both the Soviet and the American rocket programs after the war. But he also held the ideological conviction that everybody in the Nazi systems should compete internally, because then the strongest and therefore the best would prevail. This led to a chaos of competing weapon types which, consequently, were rarely produced in sufficient quantities. With respect to weapons of the ordinary soldier, Hitler, with his experience from the First World War, thought himself a particular expert. He was also anti-innovation. His armaments minister Albert Speer therefore initially began production of the new rifle under a cover name. When it had demonstrated its applicability in practice, Hitler accepted the weapon. It even seems he gave it

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the name “Sturmgewehr” (assault rifle). It was first deployed in 1944 and only 424,000 examples were produced. A total of 6 million Soviet PPShs were produced. In contrast, the assault rifle has had a long post-war life. In 1947, the young Russian engineer Mikhail Kalashnikov presented a further development of the assault rifle under the name “Avtomat Kalashnikov”. We also know this today as the AK-47 or the “Kalashnikov”. Its simple construction makes it easy to produce and its deadly effect makes it much in demand. We see it daily in TV reports from revolutions and civil wars. It is estimated to have taken more than 10 million lives. But it has also become an icon. Osama bin Laden was often photographed with a special mini version of the weapon. The conflict on the Eastern Front casts long shadows. ESBEN KJELDBÆK


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In 1962, the Prime Minister’s Department issued a 32-page brochure: Hvis krigen kommer (In the event of war). It was distributed to all Danish households and everybody knew which war was referred to. The front cover, in sober colours, is dominated by an air raid siren, found then everywhere on urban roof tops. Many of us remember the characteristic siren wail when the sirens were tested each Wednesday at 12 noon. This was during the 40 years of the Cold War, 1949-89. According to Den Kolde Krig og Danmark (The Cold War and Denmark) (2011), the term “Cold War” became widespread in 1947, but it can be traced back to the 14th century when the Spanish author Don Juan Manuel used it to describe conflicts between Christianity and Islam. The terms “hot” and “cold” war distinguished how conflicts ended: “War that is very fierce and very hot ends either with death or peace, whereas a cold war neither brings peace nor confers honour on those who wage it”. According to the above book, this is a very accurate characterisation of the Cold War years. Following the defeat of Hitler’s Germany in 1945, Europe was, in practice, divided up between two new superpowers, the

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Figur 1. | Front cover of brochure from the Danish Prime Minister’s

Department “Hvis krigen kommer” (In the event of war) from 1962. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.

Soviet Union and the United States. Both had European roots but were also new empires. In a famous speech in Fulton in 1946, Winston Churchill coined the term The Iron Curtain: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron


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curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere...” The world fell into two systems. The West was capitalist, democratic and colonial; the East had a planned economy and was dictatorial and totalitarian. In the beginning it was a battle for Europe. America was the only country to emerge strengthened from the war. The Soviet Union had lost in the vicinity of 30 million citizens and had to rebuild its western areas following the destruction. On the other hand, the Red Army now stood in the middle of Europe, to ensure Germany never again became a threat. The United States feared that a weakened Western Europe would be torn apart by social unrest and become communist. The answer was the Marshall Plan, once referred to as an exceptional example of enlightened egoism. The United States started a large-scale aid program for Western Europe, intended to form a bulwark against communism by helping Western Europe back onto its feet. The dollar subsidy was conditional on European countries establishing a joint organisation to administer the resources. The OEEC, as it was known, became the first forerunner of the EU. BERLIN In 1945, the immediate problem was Germany, divided between the victorious powers into four zones of occupation. The former capital of Berlin was also divided, even though it lay in the middle of the Soviet zone. As agreement could not be reached on a peace solution for this, Europe’s potentially strongest country, the Western Powers decided in 1949 to combine their zones to form West Germany with a new currency, the Deutschmark. In the same year NATO was formed, intended to “keep the Russians out, Germany down and the Americans in Europe”. In 1948, the Soviet Union, through

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a blockade, unsuccessfully attempted to keep the Western Powers away from Berlin. So they transformed their zone into the communist-governed “German Democratic Republic”, or DDR, and the political parties were standardised. The country was economically weak and, as many inhabitants fled to the West by going to West Berlin, in 1961 the regime built a wall through the city. This joined the long zone running down through Europe where barbed wire, land mines, watchtowers and booby traps prevented flight or contact. Until its fall in 1989, the wall was a symbol of a divided Europe. About 200 East Germans were killed by border guards in attempts to cross the border and reach West Berlin. THE BALANCE OF TERROR By 1949, the Soviet Union had also developed atomic weapons and the two superpowers then accumulated huge arsenals of atom and hydrogen bombs and the missiles to carry them. These weapons ensured that both parties could wipe each other out several times over. It was, to use an American expression, a state of mutually assured destruction – the very appropriate acronym being: MAD. Both sides had secret plans but the Western public knew more or less how a war would proceed. Soviet tanks would roll across the North German plains to reach the sea and bisect Europe. Weaker American and Western European forces would attempt to hold them back until one side employed atomic weapons and unleashed Armageddon. But this didn’t happen; confrontations shifted out to the so-called “Third World” instead. EUROPE The Cold War is usually said to have begun in 1949 and ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 or the peaceful breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. There were crises, as in Berlin in 1961, the Soviet deployment of missiles on Cuba in 1962 and the deployment of medium-range missiles in Europe in


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Fig. 2. | Pages from the Prime Minister’s Department’s brochure

Hvis krigen kommer (In the event of war). The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.

1979-83. The Soviet Union repressed liberation attempts in Berlin (1953), Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). But it was a certainty that NATO would not intervene in Eastern Europe. For long periods tensions were relaxed but the possibility of war always lurked. On West German motorways, American tanks could be seen rumbling along on the hard shoulder, and in the urban nightlife GIs were conspicuous in their wellpressed uniforms. Atomic submarines sailed under the North Pole and fighter planes from both sides checked each other out 20 km above the Arctic Ocean. On Glieneckebrücke in Berlin, the USA and the Soviet Union exchanged the spies they had captured. But Western Europe experienced 40 years of peace and growth, and already in 1962 it was possible to poke fun at the Cold War. One of the songs in Klaus Rifbjerg and Jesper Jensen’s revue Gris på gaflen made fun of the brochure Hvis krigen

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kommer, issued that year, which attempted to encourage housewives and families to establish their own civil defences. The last verse of the song goes like this (translated into English): In the event of war In the event of war We’ll just go down to the cellar and have a beer And wait for victory In the event of war In the event of war We have our driving licence, insurance policy and birth certificate And a woolly waistcoat Now we know what’ll happen We’re not neurotic and frail We’ll take it easy We have everything ready The war can begin in a bit For we have bought a toilet, ready-meals and lard. During the Cold War, sirens were heard wailing each Wednesday at 12 noon. Now they are only tested once a year on a Wednesday in May. Somebody must have decided that the risk of our sudden collective extermination is 1/52 of what it was in 1989. Or perhaps we need a new kind of siren. ESBEN KJELDBÆK


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In 2009, somewhere on Zealand, apparently near Køge (the police cannot give a precise location) a very rusty iron pipe, sealed at both ends, was found buried. It was feared the pipe could contain explosives, but an x-ray scan revealed a dismantled submachine gun and a pistol. In 2010, the pipe was opened at Avedøre by military weapon experts. With the weapons there was an issue of the Communist Party newspaper Land og Folk dated 21st April 1948. But who hid the weapons and why? Following liberation in 1945 Denmark could, as a small neutral country on the sidelines, watch a cold war develop between the two victorious powers in Europe, the United States and the Soviet Union. The Danish military was weak, but the country was awash with weapons in the hands of the former Resistance members. THE EASTER CRISIS On 23rd February 1948 the communists took power in neutral Czechoslovakia. They had already won 38% of the votes in a



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Fig. 1. | Iron pipe found in 2009, containing a Danish Suomi-Madsen submachine gun with hundreds of rounds, a heavy-calibre 1911 Remington pistol – and an issue of the Communist Party newspaper Land og Folk dated 21st April 1948. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.

free election, now they staged a coup and seized power, supported by armed workers’ militia and with the Soviet superpower behind them. This prompted a fear that something similar could happen in other European countries where communists were strong. The Danish Communist Party had even publicly welcomed the Prague coup. In Denmark, rumours erupted in spring 1948 about a possible Soviet attack supported by groups of armed

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Danish communists. At Easter, in late March, the Danish government led by social democrat Hans Hedtoft mounted increased surveillance of military depots and facilities. Rumour had it that Soviet parachute troops would land in Dyrehaven one Saturday night, prompting 4-500 men from the resistance group Holger Danske, and other non-Socialist Civil Defence forces, to gather equipped with trucks, explosives, machine guns and mortars. After Easter the crisis subsided, and even after the opening of Soviet archives, acute Soviet attack plans for Western Europe or Scandinavia were never demonstrated. Historians believe that Denmark’s Easter Crisis functioned almost as a major Civil Defence training exercise which, as it revealed Denmark’s inherent weakness, helped bring the country into NATO in 1949 and thereby under the American atomic umbrella. A PROVOCATION? But what of the weapons in the iron pipe? The newspaper dates from a month after the Easter Crisis peaked and the front page reports on the Italian election under the headline (translated into English): “Pretence sought for intervention against communists”. Inside the paper is a report on increased surveillance of Police Headquarters due to “some rumours of a renewed Easter hysteria”. The paper’s leader rebukes the national head of the Civil Defence, the national conservative Erik Husfeldt, who encouraged all Civil Defence members to protest against the coup in Prague. And in fact only a month passed before the government presented a bill proposing that private the Civil Defence organisations should be taken in under the state. This was adopted and known communists were not permitted join the new organisation. So the weapons could then have been hidden by a communist who realised he would soon be forced to surrender them. But an anti-communist group which wanted to “prove” that the communists were preparing a coup could also have been responsible. The rightwing-nationalist, former Resistance mem-



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ber Arne Sejr had founded a secret organisation Firmaet (The Firm) which for example spied on vice-chairman of the Danish Communist Party (DKP), Alfred Jensen, and used the information to send false newsletters out to party’s members. Could such a group have buried the weapons in the pipe? The fact that a communist newspaper was included seems almost too strange to be true. There had, as Peer Henrik Hansen and Jacob Sørensen write in their book on the Easter Crisis: Påskekrisen 1948, been finds of weapon depots associated with communists in France, Czechoslovakia, Finland and Italy. In Denmark, in April 1948 – i.e. that very same month – carbines, rifle grenades and ammunition were found in boxes buried in a garden belonging to Nikolaj Jensen, a former member of the Communist Party Central Committee. Similarly, two submachine guns, 30 hand grenades, 30 rifle bombs and 2000 rounds of ammunition were found hidden in the apartment of a window cleaner, Felix Kristensen. But these were apparently “genuine finds” rather than provocation, and the weapons in the iron pipe were never “found” and used politically. The newspaper and the ammunition boxes were unaffected by damp and the weapons had been welloiled before the pipe was buried as if the intention was to use them again at some time in the future. It therefore seems most likely that they were hidden by a communist former Resistance member. Perhaps he thought it unlikely that he would dig them up again, so he included the newspaper to explain the situation to posterity, maybe also as a quiet protest against, in his eyes, unjust denigration. ESBEN KJELDBÆK

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Fig. 2. | Satirical drawing for the newspaper Morgenbladet by Gustav Østerberg about the coup in Prague. One militia member says to another: “When you just neutralise so many of the opponents that the majority become the minority, everything can be achieved completely by parliamentary means”. A letter reveals that the paper’s editor, Poul Sørensen, gave Østerberg precise instructions as to the appearance of the drawing. For example, life in the street and two militia members should appear as natural and congenial as possible to show readers that the same could also happen in Denmark. Original drawing by Gustav Østerberg. The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945.







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On 1st January 2012, euro notes could celebrate ten years in European circulation and most Danes will now have some lying at home, left over from foreign trips. But just take look at the notes – shown here – and ask family and friends which bridges are illustrated on their reverse? They won’t be able to answer, no one can – the bridges don’t exist, they are fictitious. But why is this? And why are there no people on the notes? Are they the EU system’s indirect judgement of itself as a nonexistent place where nobody lives? This is close to the truth according to American commentator Fareed Zakaria’s view at the time the banknotes were introduced in January 2002. In an article in Newsweek he called them Money for Mars: “The currency looks as if it has been designed for a Star Trek episode: about some culturally denuded land on Mars – not for the home of Socrates, Charlemagne, Martin Luther, Notre Dame, the Uffizi, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart”. But was Zakaria right? American university researcher Jacques Hymans has investigated the process whereby the


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euro banknotes were created, and whether this really was so completely detached from the way nation states have designed their currency in the past. Do they perhaps, on the contrary, constitute some form of pinnacle on a development which was already well underway? The obverses of euro banknotes show images of windows, archways and doors. These are ideal-typical, or in other words fictitious building elements, intended to illustrate examples of European architecture during various epochs. More symbolically, they are, according to the homepage of the European Central Bank, intended to “symbolise the European spirit of openness and cooperation”. On the reverse of the notes are similarly idealised images of bridges, aqueducts and viaducts, in styles ranging from Classical Antiquity to today’s most upto-date examples. These are also all fictitious but are intended to symbolise the close “communication between the people of Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world”. People are absent from both the front and back of the notes, but how were people depicted previously on banknotes? Hymans demonstrates that this was done in four distinct ways. Up until 1920 it was common to show symbolic, mythological figures on banknotes – and often women. Great Britain had “Britannia” with a Greek helmet, shield and spear. Sweden had “Svea”, Germany had “Germania” and so on. In the period 1929-49, new images emerged on the scene, for example material depictions of state and society. These could be of historical statesmen or idealised portraits of representatives of “the people”, for example the German citizens, whose names are unknown to us but who were portrayed by Albrect Dürer or Hans Holbein, or the anonymous peasants seen on banknotes of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Portugal. Between 1959 and 1979 famous individual figures from art and culture began to appear. Composers such as Giuseppe Verdi (Italy) and Johan Strauss (Austria), painters such as Ignacio Zuloaga (Spain) and scientists such as Isaac Newton (Great

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Fig. 1. | Euro banknotes – six reverses (backs) and one obverse (front). The National Museum’s till.

Britain) and Christiaan Huygens (The Netherlands). Finally, from the 1980s until the present, individual female cultural figures began to emerge as motifs, reflecting the advance of gender equality and equal opportunities. But why then are there no people on the euro banknotes? Hymans outlines various theories. The first relates to the lack of appropriate common European memorial fix points (including people). However, this was also the case when the nation states arose – and they were compelled to take the popular mythological figures and reinvent them as actual national symbols, as happened for example with Joan of Arc in France. A more likely theory is that the euro banknotes actually


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represent a universal modern cultural trend, namely postmodernism. The latter has pervaded cultural thinking since the breakdown of communism, the last of “the great stories”. All ideas are now analysed as “constructs” that must serve some purpose or other, often seen as devious or repressive, or at least something that leads to exclusion of some groups from the community. People will no longer have anything to do with “great men”, and even “great women” are no longer the order of the day. Under these circumstances it is not easy to invent new symbols for a phenomenon like the EU, in itself a construct. But as Hymans points out, post-modernist banknotes without people or national symbols already existed before the euro notes hit the streets. The Dutch issued a series of banknotes in the late 1970s on which plants and animals replaced people and did not even include traditional symbols such as the tulip. In 1989, a further step was taken and bank notes were issued on which geometric symbols were employed in preference to people, animals and plants. When the euro banknotes were to be designed it was therefore obvious to choose a form of imagery which could reflect the idea that “Europe” is everywhere – but no place in particular. Or, as the former president of The European Monetary Institute (EMI) has expressed it: “In Dublin... which is the outside north-western edge of Europe by whatever destination you take, look around and you will find at least four or five of these styles at every street corner. And then take all or any of the other member countries and you will find exactly the same thing...” Surprisingly perhaps to some, the design process for the euro notes was a very open undertaking. It began with the EMI establishing a working group made up of representatives of the European national banks (with the exception of Denmark who chose not to participate in the process). The working group formulated the fundamental guidelines. Then a competition was announced for experienced banknote designers and the EU’s opinion poll institute, EOS, subjected the resulting designs to

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market research in member countries to find out which suggestion was considered most appropriate. It was first at this stage that the EMI’s council made a final decision. All in all, this was a more transparent process than is usual in nation states. In preparing their brief for the designers, the national bank representatives deliberated hard and long. Themes such as the Zeus-bull’s abduction of the mythological princess Europa, or portraits of the founders of the EU were rejected in favour of the theme “European culture”. Here they ran into the problem of national sentiment. If, for example, Cervantes was depicted as a great “European” author, this would favour Spain. Shakespeare, on the other hand, was rejected because his play The Merchant of Venice might be judged to be anti-Semitic. Mozart was thrown out because of his interest in Freemasonry, as apparent from The Magic Flute, and the same fate befell Leonardo da Vinci as there was a fear his alleged homosexuality would offend. Against this background, two main themes were chosen for the designers to work with: “ages and styles of Europe” or “abstract/modern”. In December 1996, the winner was announced: Austrian designer Robert Kalina. Kalina’s bridges and building elements reflected what Hymans calls “moderate post-modernism” and they had received a positive response in the Europe-wide market research. The designer himself chose to exclude people because he was not, of course, able to work with “great men and women” and he expressed the view that “anonymous portraits would be senseless and without value, so I chose to use none at all”. WHAT DO THE EURO BANKNOTES MEAN? Today, money is much more than just physical banknotes or coins. It is also a plastic chip card or a blip on a screen. In reality, the euro existed as a financial unit for several years prior to the banknotes coming into circulation in 2002. The important aspect of money is the mutual confidence between those who exchange the assets that money represents. But banknotes and


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Fig. 2. | : A Roman silver denarius of Emperor Tiberius. The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals.

coins still have a symbolic significance and we live in a time where the importance of symbols is on the increase rather than on the decline. Perhaps the most important aspect of all is not even the banknotes’ design but simply the fact that they exist and are used by 17 out of the 27 EU countries. Or, as the then president of the EU Commission Romano Prodi said of the banknotes when they were introduced: “To millions of European citizens, the euro notes and coins in their pockets are a concrete sign of the great political undertaking of building a united Europe... So the euro is becoming a key element in people’s sense of shared European identity and common destiny”. At the time of writing, in autumn 2011, the euro is threatened by financial crisis. Economists on all sides point out that

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a common currency is impossible without a common economic and financial policy. However, even if the euro does survive, it is difficult to imagine it ever figuring in a symbolic context with a similar weight to that of the Roman silver denarius – probably depicting Emperor Tiberius – mentioned in the Bible. In this, a totally fundamental feature of Christianity and, ultimately, also of European culture is defined, namely the separation of spiritual and secular power. Jesus was asked whether it was permissible to pay taxes to the emperor. He called for a denarius: “And he asked them, ‘Whose image is this? And whose inscription?’ ‘Caesar’s,’ they replied. Then he said to them, ‘So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s’”. (Matthew 22:20-21).



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If you’re young, you won’t remember a European country called “Yugoslavia”. It usually fielded a good football team and always had fantastic handball players who combined effectiveness with great elegance. But the country that arose in 1918 under a name meaning “Land of the Southern Slavs” disintegrated in 1991, experiencing a cruel civil war that lasted until 1995. Although most of the population spoke closely-related languages and could understand one another, the area had through history been divided in all directions. The two northern parts, Slovenia and Croatia, were Catholic and looked towards Western and Central Europe. The eastern and largest part, Serbia, was Russian Orthodox and oriented towards Russia. In the south lived Montenegrins, Macedonians and Albanians, and in the middle were “the Bosnians”. The latter were originally Slavs who, during the Osmanli occupation, had converted to Islam. They are Muslims, it is said, in the same way that Danes are Christians. From 1945, the country was communist, but remained independent of the Soviet Union.

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During the great European upheavals after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the break-up of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia’s constituent parts tore themselves loose one after another and declared independence. This resulted in wars in which over 100,000 civilians were killed and about 2.5 million were displaced. Tens of thousands of women were subjected to mass rape, intended to dishonour them and lead to the birth of the victors’ “ethnically correct” children. Serbia, having most to lose from the break-up of the country, attempted to form a “Greater Serbia” by joining forces with Serbs in the other parts. Consequently, Serbs were responsible for most of the atrocities, most notorious of which was the shooting of 8000 Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica in July 1995. Bosnia suffered most because, in addition to the 44 % Bosnians, its population comprised 31 % Serbs and 17 % Croats.

Fig. 1. | Lt. Col Lars R. Møller in helmet and flak jacket. During “Operation Bøllebank”, a shell splinter passed between Møller’s helmet and flak jacket removing some of the hair from the back of his head.


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In 1992, the UN decided to send peace-keeping forces to establish secure refuges where the civilian population would be shielded from the fighting and receive food and medicine. The peace-keeping forces (UNPROFOR) included a Nordic battalion, deployed to protect civilians in Tuzla in Bosnia. It comprised mostly Swedes but, in a new initiative, also included ten Danish Leopard tanks with their Danish crews and support staff under the command of Lt. Col Lars R. Møller, who also became overall second-in-command. The UN soldiers established observation posts and patrols; their orders were solely to defend themselves and protect civilians, not to intervene in the fighting. But aid convoys were often harassed or fired upon and, contrary to agreements, the Bosnian Serbs regularly bombed the airfield at Tuzla, jeopardising emergency supplies. It was impossible to obtain UN permission to call on NATO planes to bomb the Serbian positions, so members of the Nordic battalion devised “Operation Bøllebank”, a plan to deploy the Danish tanks against the Serbs. The operation was mounted then called off a couple of times. Finally, on 29th April 1994, ten Swedish soldiers in a UN observation post came under heavy Serb fire and the Danish tanks were dispatched. The Leopard tank is a modern war machine, capable of over 70 km/h and with a laser range finder accurate up to 10,000 metres plus an infra-red imaging system that can measure a 0.5 degree difference (e.g. a person) at a range of 2000 m, facilitating night strikes. In Kalesija, the tanks were met by missiles, mortars and artillery fire from a mountain top but they halted the bombardment by unleashing a total of 72 shells at the Serb positions. One of the shells went over the top of the ridge and hit a Serb ammunition depot which exploded. The Serb losses were seven or nine dead. But subsequent reports suggests that as many as 150 were killed by the exploding ammunition. The action attracted international attention. It was the first time that the UN had made an effective response to an attack.

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It was also the first time for many years that forces of pacifist Denmark had shown their teeth. Myths were quickly born, for example that the gunner was a female soldier, and accounts in the Danish media sometimes bordered on the self-congratulatory. Lars R. Møller’s book on the Danish operations in Bosnia is rather more sober. The enemy images are subtler – the Bosnians were not only victims – and it is the soldiers’ professionalism and self-control that come to the forefront, together with a pride in the help their efforts brought to civilian refugees from the war. This was a first indication that the Danish military had acquired a new post-Cold War role. Danish military peacekeeping or peace-making efforts abroad no longer prompted a knee-jerk reaction among the Danish public. Through pressure from United States – not the EU – an agreement was reached in Dayton, USA, in December 1995 which brought peace to Bosnia. Yugoslavia qualified for the European championship in football in 1992, but as the country disintegrated this left a vacant place. Denmark was included instead and went on to win the championship that year. ESBEN KJELDBÆK


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When a search is made in the National Museum’s records using the term ”Europe”, one of the ”hits” is a ”Europa Spil” (Europe Game). It was bought at a jumble sale in Nærum in 2000 but we don’t know who played it. It is a traditional board game, where players move forward, from Copenhagen through Europe, according to throws of the dice. Various obstacles are encountered on the way and the first player to return home is the winner. But the map shows countries that no longer exist, such as the Soviet Union, and there are countries in existence now that are not included, for instance Croatia. The game was produced by Danish games company Dreschler and shows Europe as it appeared at some time after the Second World War – but when? Germany appears as a unified country – so it must be post-1990. But it appears older and the airplane on the box does not look very modern. Let us follow the game and see if we can find a time when the board corresponded to reality in Europe: The fifth stop is “Leningrad”, founded by Peter the Great in the 17th century under the name St Petersburg in order to open

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Fig. 1. | Board from the “Europa Spil” (Europe Game), produced by

the Dreschler company. Danish Modern History.

Russia to the west – hence the German name. After the Revolution in 1917 the city was renamed and from 1924 was known as “Leningrad” until, following a referendum, it reverted to its original name on 6th September 1991. The Soviet Union exists on the map; it was first officially dissolved on 25th December 1991 – so far so good. We can see that the independent Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are not marked, even though we visit the capital of Latvia, Riga. They were recognised by the UN as independent countries on 17th September 1991.


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The game is organised such that, in almost all instances, players visit a country’s capital, so it seems strange we don’t go to Moscow, capital of the former Soviet Union and today of Russia. Russia is apparently not part of Europe, although Leningrad, i.e. modern St Petersburg, is. Here the game’s designer is on a collision course with several Russian tsars and numerous later political leaders who perceived Russia as a European country. The exact position of Europe’s eastern border has always been the subject of debate. Some claim it just doesn’t exist, but in the Middle Ages it was thought to follow the River Don in Southern Russia. In 1730, a Swedish officer in Russian service by the name of Strahlenberg proposed that the border to Asia be moved eastwards to the Urals, and the Russian government established a border post here on the road between Yekatarinburg and Tuymen to mark where Europe became Asia. Consequently, a large part of Russia became “European”, and from then on it became a tradition for shackled prisoners, on their way to exile in Siberia, to kneel at the border and take up a final handful of European soil. The game continues down through Spain, Italy and Greece. Stop number 40 is Istanbul, a large and historically very significant city in Turkey. Under the name of “Constantinople” it was the principal city of the East Roman Empire, until the empire fell when the Turks took the city in 1453. The city’s new name, Istanbul, sounds perhaps Turkish but is actually Greek. It is a corruption of “in-polis” which means “in the town”, just as people say “in the City” when they mean New York. But Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey – that is Ankara, which we don’t visit. At present there are heated discussions about whether Turkey belongs in the EU; whether the country is “European”. The game’s designer solved the problem in the same way as for Russia. The most “European” city is included, others are not. But here he is more in tune with tradition. In Antiquity the division between Europe and Asia was drawn at the “Hellespont” strait, the location of Istanbul.

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We then travel up through Yugoslavia, which in the game still exists as a single state. The land broke apart in June 1991 when Slovenia and Croatia declared themselves independent, followed by Macedonia in September and Bosnia in 1992. Slovenia was attacked by the Serb military on 26th June 1991. From there we reach Czechoslovakia, which on the board also still exists as a single state. These two countries parted peacefully on 1st January 1993. So far everything fits fairly well with the game describing the situation prior to June 1991. But then we come to the crucial part. We visit Berlin and this is the capital of a unified Germany. The East German state, DDR, which Berlin lay in the middle of, is not shown on the board, so we must be after 3rd October 1990 when the DDR was included in the new unified Germany. The board’s picture of Europe was, therefore, only correct for a very short period of time, i.e. from 3rd October 1990 when Germany was reunited until 26th June 1991 when Yugoslavia’s disintegration began. Subsequently the map on the board has moved further and further away from reality as Europe’s borders have changed up to the present day. The actual game is, however, probably much earlier than 1991. During the Cold War there were many in the West who, for a long time, refused to recognise the formation of the East German state, DDR, and there were maps on which this area was termed “presently under Soviet administration”. It must be during this period that the game was manufactured by the Danish company Dreschler. ESBEN KJELDBÆK.


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Finally it was December. Politicians, NGOs, civil servants, journalists, representatives from the world of business and activists from the entire globe had long waited in anticipation. Not for Christmas and its cornucopia of gifts, but for the UN Climate Summit, also known as COP15, programmed to take place in Copenhagen in 2009. Little provincial Copenhagen was to host and facilitate binding negotiations and agreements about major global climate challenges faced by the world. It was said that the world now had the opportunity to take decisive action on global warming and negotiators, NGOs and journalists ocked to the Bella Center on Amager, the primary conference venue. Even with a new temporary building, access to the massive conference area was limited and many grassroots were turned away frustrated. They did not have the standard admission card, the silver one, and deďŹ nitely not the even more sought after goldcoloured card which gave universal access. Extra police from across Europe had come to the assistance of the Danish force. An enormous logistical and securitychallenging task had to be solved: Heads of state and other


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VIPs had to be protected, demonstrators had to be controlled and Copenhagen residents, tourists and other visitors had to be shepherded unhindered around the city’s streets and thoroughfares. One evening, during the two weeks of the actual summit, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II invited heads of state and prominent international figures to a gala dinner at Christiansborg Castle. Even Zimbabwe’s notorious President Mugabe, otherwise forbidden entry to the EU, could gain access to both city and the dinner under reference to the diplomatic immunity conferred by the UN Summit. The media buzzed with rumours. 130 heads of state were gathered in Copenhagen, of which more than 120 were invited by the Queen to the gala dinner. Speculations flourished in the media that more than 6000 police officers had been called in to look after the 15,000 foreign delegates as well as the expected 30,000 demonstrators. In one of the happenings – “”– red flashing bicycle lamps were affixed in trees and on house walls around Copenhagen at a height of 7 m to show where the global sea level would rise to if all the Greenland ice cap should melt. UN reports warned of temperature rises of at least 2-3 degrees C. There was talk of allocating 10 billion dollars extra annually in 2010-12 to finance the development and transfer of technology, as well as protecting the rainforests and adapting to climate change in developing countries. 122 countries, responsible for around 80% of the total emissions of greenhouse gasses, acceded to the declaration of intent that resulted from the conference, and a tenuous agreement specifying a maximum permissible temperature rise of 2 degrees C was ultimately achieved.

Fig. 1. | “The Little Mermaid” with Jens Galschiøt’s bronze statue “Survival of the fattest” in the background. Galschiøt’s sculpture depicts an obese Justitia figure on the back of an emaciated man standing in water to his waist. The statue has travelled all around the world to various summits and happenings.

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Fig. 2. | A woman’s shoe left in the Bella Center that fateful evening when American President Obama was in Copenhagen and negotiations dragged on long into the early hours.

During COP15, limits were created, guarded, breached, broken down, qualified and, not least, quantified: Limits on access and movement and limits for the permissible and the intolerable. In a medley of local initiatives and global trends, limits were negotiated, shifted and re-established. Suddenly, places of which we were previously unaware became prominent in negotiations about world climate targets. The continued existence of Pacific Island state Tuvalus was a crucial indicator for absolute limits on which agreement could, even so, not be reached. Copenhagen, Denmark and Europe were portrayed as a single negotiating partner, with a lone wolf’s concern for the global climate whereby national borders receded into the background. In a newly-forged alliance with Aarhus, Copenhagen attempted to brand itself as a bicycle city. Danish Industry, with a pavilion in the Bella Center, attempted to strike a blow for exports of Danish high-technological climate-friendly initiatives and

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Europe attempted to mediate between superpowers such as China and the USA. These new partnerships were, however, joined by new fracture planes: The rich United States, Canada and Europe became juxtaposed with poor countries, or countries which now, finally, seemed to be on their way to prosperity and growth – with increased CO2 emissions as a consequence. One question which lurked in the background for some during the negotiations – and in the foreground for others – was: Why was it precisely now, when developing countries finally had a chance to catch up with the industrialised world and to begin to erase differences between rich and poor, that limits on pollution were being set? One icy December evening, as the summit entered its concluding phase, a motorcade of three limousines equipped with blue toy flashing lights drove across Stormbroen, outside the National Museum, and headed for Christiansborg Castle. In the three cars sat eight Greenpeace activists. No one had invited them to the Queen’s gala dinner being held at the castle that evening. And no one at the special police checkpoints apparently noticed the arrival of these uninvited guests. Neither did a sign in the front windscreen, held in place with a sock and bearing the text “Planet Rescue – Greenpeace delegation”, arouse suspicion. Not even the blue flashing lights from a toy shop, the stuck-on false number plates, in danger of curling up and falling off due to the bad weather, or the false jewels gave any cause for alarm among the otherwise so alert security officers or police. On this cold evening nothing more was apparently required to secure illegitimate access to the heavily-guarded Christiansborg Castle. Tense and nervous about the next few minutes, the three as yet unknown European activists, Nora Christensen dressed in gala as the wife of Juan Antonio Lopez de Uralde, “Head of State of the Natural Kingdom”, and bodyguard and chauffeur, Christian Schmutz, walked up the red carpet to the Queen’s gala dinner. They could only hope that all the world’s newspapers and internet media would, next morning, carry their photographs.


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Fig. 3. | Greenpeace activists photographed during the happening – “Politicians Talk, Leaders Act” – at the Queen’s gala dinner, Christiansborg Castle.

In the entrance hall, in front of photographers and TV cameras, the false head of state and his wife unfolded a yellow banner bearing the text “Politicians Talk, Leaders Act”. A few seconds later the three unwelcome guests were apprehended, led away and locked up in the temporary climate jail in Valby. Later, a Danish newspaper contained a statement from Birgitte Lesanner, of Greenpeace’s press department in Denmark: “It was incredibly important to send a message to the heads of state and government leaders. We have a climate agreement that is about to become completely derailed. It is incredibly important they put on their work clothes, not their gala outfits”. Conversely, in another Danish newspaper, Chief Assistant Commissioner Per Larsen expressed concern: “We clearly see this case as very serious because they succeeded in penetrating an outer cordon. There should be consequences when people challenge security in this way”. And for contravening the

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Danish Penal Code the action did have its consequences. Four of the 11 involved Greenpeace activists sat in custody for 20 days – until 6th January. Further to this, on 22nd August 2011 and after almost two years of legal proceedings, all 11 activists were given a 14 day suspended sentence. The final defendant, Greenpeace’s Nordic Office, was fined to 75,000 DKK. Following the arrests, Greenpeace underlined the action’s non-violent character and also co-operated with the authorities. “There must be room for peaceful protests. Not least when we face one of the greatest threats ever posed to humanity. Perhaps we did do something naughty, but we did it in an attempt to stop a much greater catastrophe – the climate catastrophe”, said one of the activists to a Danish newspaper. Through a testing of borders and limits, as manifested in admission passes, diplomatic passports, coastal stretches, maximum values, climate jails, road blocks, thresholds, dress codes or, in the case of the Greenpeace action, the lack of an invitation, COP15 showed with all desirable clarity that locations and space for negotiation, alliances, disagreement and activism – are created through meetings of a more or less complicated nature. In this light, Europe is no special or defined place without its surroundings. In other words, Europe is formed by encounters with everything that lies beyond. NATHALIA BRICHET

End note: The acquisition of the banners and the evening dress for the National Museum’s Danish Modern History collection, and the writing of this article, would not have been possible without the help from Greenpeace’s political advisor, Jan Søndergård, Vice Police Superintendent for Copenhagen, René Hansen, and Gritt Nielsen and Frida Hastrup.


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Cairo’s c. 15 million inhabitants include a minority known as the Zbala, ”the garbage people”. The city’s ten thousand tons of daily refuse mostly ends up on the streets where it present a growing environmental problem. The garbage people gather, sort and re-use large parts of it, in part because, as Christians, they are able to keep pigs which eat the organic material. Every day, refuse is taken to garbage towns around Cairo where the garbage people and their animals live with and off it. Through generations, people have specialised in particular refuse types, but Cairo’s municipal government is troubled by the situation. They are afraid of infectious diseases and health hazards and it is bad for the city’s image that a particular ethnic group is involved in this filthy work. Therefore, in May 2009, with reference to the H1N1-influenza epidemic, all the pigs in the garbage towns were slaughtered; a campaign which led to crisis both for the garbage people and the city’s sanitation. This story is not unique to Cairo. The same can be seen in Dharavi outside Mumbai in India, or Orangi Town near Karachi in Pakistan – and many other places linked to what we refer to today as “megacities”. Large areas on the margins of Third

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World cities often characterised by poverty and by an overlap between rural and urban lifestyles, varied exploitation of the soil and rapid changes in land use, great mobility and diversity, together with a non-existent or worn-out infra-structure. The phenomenon has many names – ghetto, shanty town, favela, slum – and is often not acknowledged by city authorities. But this form of urban development is growing faster than any other. Some estimates suggest that in 2005 these informal settlements held one sixth of the world’s population. Their high metabolism and chaotic structure are reflected in the objects they produce: imaginative household items, toys and ritual objects, produced quickly from available materials. Modern global consumer products – tin cans, mobile phones – are included as raw materials or motifs. Century-old traditions such as grave goods find their form in modern objects, e.g. mobile phones and laptops, reflecting the interwoven character of globalisation.

Fig. 1. | Tin figure of a horse and cart from Karachi, Pakistan. Ethnographic Collection.


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Fig. 2. | Chinese burrial gifts intended to be burnt on the deceased’s grave. Purpose-made mobile phone and laptop of paper. Taipeh, Taiwan. Ethnographic Collection.

The most recent decades of urban hyper-growth have resulted in dissolution of the boundary between town and country that has existed since the urbanisation of modern Europe. Now there is no longer an obvious boundary between town and country. In megacities there is constant implosion, drawing more and more of the hinterland into a densely-populated zone. Inhabited landscapes are formed with populations the size of medium-sized nation states. In 1900, around 3 % of the world’s population lived in towns. Urbanisation was seen in European and North American towns. It created jobs which attracted the rural population and

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several network technologies were developed: sewerage, public transport, electricity, water, gas etc. With these, new Western metropolises could more or less cope with the health, movement and security of their growing populations. At the end of the 20th century, the same seems to be happening again, although now mostly in Asia and Africa and on a completely different scale. Dreams of a better life still draw people to towns, but a new global division of labour has been established. Globalised trade and an information economy have forged a new urban hierarchy. Some cities are centres for finance and administration and have become hubs for the exchange of information and money between nations and across regions. Others are centres for production and cheap labour, flooding the rest of the world with cheap industrial products. Although there are a few European megacities – and some, such as Istanbul and Moscow, have strong Asian links – urban growth is greatest in Asia and Africa. But great cities are not always necessarily bound up with poverty and social problems. Tokyo for example is one of the world’s largest cities. But megacities – both rich and poor – present a challenge to Europe’s future orientation in the world. In its latest State of the World report, the UN describes global urbanisation as unstoppable. By 2050, more than 70% of the world’s population will live in towns and cities and only 14% of the population of rich countries will live outside them. MIKKEL THELLE



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About halfway through the National Museum’s exhibition there is a helmet of the type worn by the Spanish conquerors in South America in the early 16th century. With its solid steel and sweeping form, it could well have been present on 16th November 1532 when conquistador Fransisco Pizarro met autocratic Inca ruler Atahuallpa in Cajamarca in the Peruvian highlands. This was a crucial point in the relationship between Europe and the rest of the world, when Europeans, through the conquest of America, gained access to enormous wealth, both in precious metals, but probably equally so in new crops and territories that could be populated and exploited. Thereafter, Europe outran the other great cultures and, for the next four to five centuries, became “queen of the world”, as it was termed in a text from 1603. In Cajamarca Pizarro was in command of 168 Spanish soldiers whereas the Inca ruler arrived with 80,000 men, of which 2,000 accompanied him to the actual meeting. They swept the road in front of his litter. The Spanish lay in wait, then suddenly fired their muskets

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and cannon and blew their trumpets. The cavalry and infantry surged forwards towards Atahuallpa’s litter and took him prisoner. The Inca army fled. The Spanish’s immediate advantage lay in their firearms and the noise they made, their horses – unknown to the Incas – and their weapons of steel. These cut easily through the cloth armour of the Incas, while the Spanish, in their steel mail, were invulnerable to the Incas’ wooden swords edged with sharp obsidian. At about the same time, further north in what is now Mexico, the Spanish conquered and destroyed another great American culture, the Aztec Kingdom. Incas and Aztecs knew nothing of each other’s existence. The Spanish on the other hand could, through writing and printing, record and exchange information about everything they found in the New World. They quickly discovered for example that the Aztecs, in creating their empire, had oppressed other peoples with whom the Spanish could forge alliances. Europe had arrived in the New World. Of crucial importance in the subsequent colonisation of the continent were the infectious diseases which the Spanish brought with them. With time, these exterminated 95% of the original population of North and South America. But why, asks author Jared Diamond, was it not Atahuallpa who sailed to Europe and took Emperor Charles V prisoner? Why was it not the Incas who infected Europeans with their deadly diseases? How did this unequal power balance arise? Diamond’s explanations focus on the geographical and biological advantages possessed by the peoples of the Eurasian continent: a 14,000 km east-west axis extending from Ireland to China. Along this, new discoveries such as agriculture, livestock farming, language, the wheel and metallurgy could disseminate. The same was true of animal diseases which spread to humans but rendered survivors resistant. America and Africa both extend north-south. Along this axis, the climate varies to such a degree that the same livestock or crop species



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could not live and spread throughout. But this was possible in Asia and Europe, where people and cultures, as a consequence, lived exposed to external influences; the reason they developed. THE EUROPEAN SUB-CONTINENT Europe is not an independent continent in a geographical sense. Rather it is a protrusion on the great Asian landmass. It occupies only a quarter of the area of Asia, a third of Africa or one half of North or South America. It is a sub-continent at the end of the known world. In both France and Spain there are rocky outcrops bearing the name “Finisterre” – World’s End. Otherwise, as historian Norman Davies has remarked, Europe has many attractive geographical aspects. The southern parts have a pleasant climate and even in the north the Gulf Stream ensures that the temperature never falls to the same levels as seen at the same latitudes further east. Europe is fertile, there is considerable rainfall and Europe is rich in water. We are not aware of this today due to agricultural drainage, layers of asphalt and town sewerage systems, but in the Middle Ages there were watercourses everywhere – large enough for people to drown in – even in river-less Denmark. These could drive water mills, thereby increasing human muscle power many fold when grain was to be ground or cloth fulled. Europe’s rivers constituted a network which facilitated journeys through the great road-less parts of the continent. Swedish Vikings sailed from the Baltic to Constantinople, only rarely having to haul their ships over land to the next river. In the district of Auxois, in Upper Burgundy, it is possible in a few hours to walk between rivers which can take the traveller either to the Mediterranean, the Atlantic or the English Channel. The Central Alps provide the sources of both the Rhine and the Rhone, from where they flow north and south, respectively. Not far away is the source of the Danube which then meanders down to the Black Sea. However, Europe also has a number of natural obstacles, such as the Alps, the Pyrenees and the dense German forests.

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Fig. 1. | Map of the EU, with candidate states shown in pale green.

When the map is rotated through 90 degrees as here, a new view emerges of the extent of Europe’s coastline relative to its land mass. It was natural to learn to sail the seas. EU Calendar 2011-12.

These made it difficult for a single power to break through and dominate. So different from China, where two major east-west river systems, both greater than any European river, invited the creation of a central power. Geographically, Europe provides good conditions for interaction, but has sufficient barriers to ensure that it has never been possible for anyone, whether an Augustus, a Napoleon or a Hitler, to gather Europe under one power. Geography has favoured contact on the one hand and competition or war on the other. Ideas could spread but it was always possible to build fortifications against physical invasion. But geography is only the framework, the most important aspect is how people and cultures occupy it – and that is what this exhibition is all about.



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I. NOTHING TO EXCESS Europe explores the World

THE STORY BEGINS The story starts in Antiquity with a bust of Socrates. Like Jesus, Socrates’ words have only reached us through the writings of others. But his method, dialogue, bridges the 2500 year gap to the present with the idea that it is possible, through conversation and reason, to arrive at important truths, instead of blindly accepting what others maintain is true. Socrates’ method of investigating the world through dialogue was seen by the Athenian authorities as being so subversive that the philosopher was ultimately condemned to death for offending the gods and corrupting youth. But his method is a thread of thought that has survived and has permeated European culture to the present day, even though it has repeatedly led to the imprisonment or death of those who asked critical questions. The traditions arising from Socrates’ culture of discussion or dissent have provided inspiration throughout the entire history of Europe and the World. This is apparent, not least, from the number of people who have contributed to handing them down. Note how the two Greek busts in the exhibition are Roman

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copies of lost Greek originals. Medieval monks and Arab scholars copied and thus rescued Greek philosophy and science from oblivion. In the 12th and 13th centuries, their work provided the foundation for Western Europe’s encounter with Greek Antiquity, handed down in Latin translation. THE WORLD BEYOND: TOWARDS NEW HORIZONS At the beginning of the exhibition we have skipped perhaps the most significant revolution in human history: the introduction of agriculture. With it came a sedentary lifestyle, increased child survival rates and an opportunity for population growth. Agriculture and later inventions, such as the wheel, writing and metallurgical techniques were all developed outside Europe, arriving from Asia via the Middle East. The Greeks learned of writing from the Phoenicians, a fellow trading people. A Sumerian clay tablet, bearing cuneiform writing and a note in a quick version of Egyptian hieroglyphs, shows how this revolutionary idea – that thought and speech can be recorded in symbols – came to Europe from much older cultures in the Middle East. The Greeks refined the Phoenicians’ consonant alphabet by inventing the vowels. Through writing, we are aware of the Greeks’ ideology, and it seems surprisingly familiar, just as their statues, busts and vase paintings depict people of totally modern appearance, created as they are through careful observation. Opposite Socrates stands a portrait of Alexander the Great. He came a couple of generations later than Socrates and was king of Macedonia, a northern militaristic state within the Greek cultural circle. In the exhibition, he represents the cultural encounter between Greece and the outside world. The portrait shows Alexander as a world conqueror, decorated with symbols of foreign deities from cultures he subjugated in a series of campaigns in Asia and Africa. These conquests created a mixed Greek-Oriental culture which, as shown by the Gandhara sculptures, has left its mark as far east as modern-day Pakistan. Alexander conquered the entire Persian Empire, including



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Egypt, but he was forced to turn back from India when his troops refused to continue. He is fêted as a world conqueror, as master of the known world. However, although his conquests spread Greek culture, the bust in the exhibition also shows that eastern cultures had a reciprocal effect. He was no longer depicted as a mortal, but as a god. He died young in Babylon, of disease; did he suffer the gods’ punishment for arrogance, nemesis? With Alexander, Greek military power reached its peak. British historian John Keegan has identified a characteristic difference in the way in which Europeans and non-Europeans wage war. The Greeks founded what has been termed “The Western Way of Warfare”, the western confrontational approach: a formation of lines, phalanxes, in which the men stood close together, covering each another with their large shields. The phalanxes ran towards each other and impacted: a chaos of sweating, screaming men who stabbed and lunged until one phalanx collapsed and the losers were cut down as they fled until the victors ran out of steam. Other cultures employed evasive tactics; this reduced their own losses and prevented all being lost in a single battle. In modern times this tactic of protracted warfare was successfully employed by Mao Zedong in China and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam and it is used today by the Afghan Taleban. SUPERPOWER In contrast to the Greeks, the Romans created an enduring empire on the basis of a well-organised army and a welldeveloped road network, whereby mass-produced goods could be transported in safety and be exchanged within a common currency. A map of the Roman Empire at the death of Trajan in AD 117 shows the Mediterranean as a Roman inland lake. The empire covers North Africa, extends far into Asia, reaches along the Danube and the Rhine up to the English Channel. From there it continues to the Scottish border, a few years later

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the site of Hadrian’s Wall. But that’s how it remained – more or less. In AD 9, Caesar Augustus’ troops suffered a landmark defeat to Germanic tribes and this halted Rome’s expansion towards the north – permanently. The Roman Empire developed into a multi-ethnic entity with a universal set of laws by conferring citizenship on people from the nations it subjugated. The army offered a career open to talents. Research into the gravestones of Roman soldiers killed in service provides some examples of this: A cavalryman from Mauretania, modern Morocco, died at Hadrian’s Wall. A standard-bearer, born in Lyon, died in Wales, a centurion born in Bologna was killed in the catastrophic battle in Teutoburger Forest, Germany, in AD 9. The gravestones of a woman and her soldier husband are quite exceptional: they were found at opposite ends of Hadrian’s Wall, she was a local girl and he was born in Syria. And it was probably here, at a fort on the Scottish border, that the bowl with enamel inscription shown in the exhibition

Fig. 2. | The Roman Empire at the death of Trajan in AD 117. Politikens historiske atlas, Politiken/J.W.E. Cappelens Forlag, 1961.



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was produced. Such bowls were given to Roman soldiers as a farewell gift. This one somehow found its way into a bog, Maltbæk Mose, in Jutland, Denmark. THE WORLD BEYOND: ON THE OTHER SIDE Outside the Roman Empire lived the Barbarians. An example of their impenetrable culture is the small golden figure of a man found at Slipshavn, near Nyborg. The Romans had many gods corresponding to those of the Greeks and, with the conquest of Asia Minor, the Middle East and Egypt, new forms of worship were introduced to the Roman Empire. With time, the Roman Empire became Christian and divided into a western part, with Rome as its main city, and an eastern part, with Constantinople (now Istanbul) as its capital. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century AD under waves of invaders from the north and east. In contrast to other great cultures, such as China and India, Rome was not able to subsume the conquerors’ culture and rise again. There was a certain Romanisation of the invading Germanic tribes but also barbarisation of the original inhabitants. The Eastern Roman Empire endured for a further millennium as the Byzantine Empire, with a predominantly Greek culture and a form of Christianity different from that of the West. The united empire encircling the Mediterranean, with its hinterland in Asia, Africa and Europe, disappeared. And with that the inhabitants of Europe were compelled to forge their own development. In the beginning, only the Christian Church remained as a unifying bearer of culture. BOUNDARIES OF BELIEF The form of Christianity which then developed in Western Europe was of a naïve character relative to that of Antiquity, which was not fully comprehended. A more simple society developed, characterised by Germanic military ideals of personal loyalty to the ruler. But this new mixture had a dynamism

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Fig. 3. | The Germanic migrations and the Migration Realms in AD 526. The names of the Germanic peoples can be recognised in landscapes such as Catalonia (the Goths), Lombardy (the Lombards) and Andalusia (the Vandals). The migrations did not proceed quite as rapidly as one might imagine. The Vandals, who were the fleetest, moved at an average rate of 2 km per week. Politikens historiske atlas, 1961.

which enabled attacks from the east and south to be repulsed and the development of a system of fiefdom which allocated a position to everyone in society. In AD 799, the Frankish ruler Charlemagne met with Pope Leo III in Paderborn, where Charlemagne was fêted in a poem as “Pater Europae”, the father of Europe. The following year he was crowned emperor in Rome itself. Following his death in AD 814 the Frankish Empire, comprising Germany, France, The Netherlands and Northern Italy, was divided up between his sons. Germany and France developed in their own separate directions, and the contrasts between them have threads running up until the Second World War. However, the areas ruled by Charlemagne are the same six countries which, in 1957, signed the Treaty of Rome, the beginning of the EU.



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A unique feature of Europe was a common understanding of a universal Christian empire, in which the spiritual and secular powers were united while, in practice, power was divided between Crown and Church, between Emperor and Pope. There was permanent conflict, but out of this grew the principle of power sharing which is one of the requirements for a modern democracy. The situation was different in Eastern Christianity and later in Islam. Here, secular rulers also decided religious matters. THE WORLD BEYOND: HOLY WAR? In AD 632, the prophet Muhammad died. The following year an Arab army invaded and conquered the Persian Empire. Thereby began the spread of Islam through a series of military campaigns on a previously unseen scale. The Middle East and North Africa were conquered, and from here the army embarked for Spain in AD 711. It continued on up into France before being halted in AD 732 at Poitiers by a Frankish army under the command of Charles Martel. Just as significant, but unknown to Europeans, was the fact that the Arabs also conquered Afghanistan and NW India and penetrated further to the east across the Oxus River. Here, in AD 751, by the River Talas, they met a Chinese army which they defeated. Consequently, they gained control of the Silk Road, the great caravan route between East and West. They also learned the art of paper-making from Chinese prisoners. Through their conquests in Asia the Arabs came into contact with warlike Turkish steppe tribes, whom they converted to Islam. It has been said that this subsequently achieved the same significance as the conversion of the Franks to Christianity. The Islamic Arabs had no special new battle technique. Their strength lay in the firm conviction that the entire world should be converted and should subjugate itself to one god, Allah. In the course of a century they had created a contiguous empire of enormous extent. Islam was not based on affiliation to particular territories, tribes or clans. All were equal before God, and

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the defeated could avoid forced conversion if they submitted themselves to Koranic Law. The Christian ideal of poverty did not exist in Islam, which encouraged trade and the accumulation of riches. The military campaigns lasted a very short time; then came a blossoming of architecture, literature and science. In this respect, the Arabs could draw on knowledge and inventions from India, China and from the ancient Greek culture of learning, which they studied and preserved. The expansion of Islam cut Europe’s links to the south and east. The Mediterranean was no longer a centre for trade and communication – and activities and money flows shifted towards the SE, to the Indian Ocean. Equally, this isolation strengthened internal contacts between Europeans and made Europe into the heartland of Christianity. In 1095, Pope Urban II called for a Crusade – Jerusalem must be liberated. Noblemen from across Europe – though mostly from France – answered the call. A chess set, introduced to Europeans by Muslims, shows how the protracted battles which created entrenched enemy concepts on both sides also led to cultural exchange, even if it was Europeans, in particular, who took this to heart. But Europeans embellished the things they acquired with their own culture – this chess set is a striking example. In the oriental version of chess, the piece next to the king is a vizier, an advisor. In the European version he changes gender and becomes the queen. This says much about the significantly more emancipated position of women in Europe. When the Osmanlis began, in the 17th century, to send diplomatic representatives to Europe, one of the first, Evliya Celebi, remarked: “I saw a most extraordinary spectacle... In this country and in general in the land of the infidels, women have the main say. They are honoured and respected out of love for Mother Mary”. A medieval vestment from Aarhus is made of Persian fabric and bears an Islamic inscription. European water jugs (aquamaniles) show Arabic influences, and a lute from Italy (a string instrument that gained a place in the troubadour culture at the courts of Europe) arrived via the Muslims in Spain.


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The Scandinavian Vikings were not part of Europe or, as it was termed, Christendom (“Christianitas”). But through their trading activities, plundering raids and settlements in England and France, they came under the influence of European culture and in AD 950-1050 adopted Christianity – the Swedes somewhat later than the Danes. A century later they too embarked on Crusades against pagans in the Baltic area. A crozier in the exhibition perhaps belonged to one of the most prominent pioneers on these crusades: The Danish Archbishop Absalon. COMMUNICATION AND CONFLICT Christendom was divided. The western part was bound to Rome, had the Latin alphabet and Latin as the language of the Church. The eastern part was bound to Byzantium (Constantinople), had Greek as the language of the Church and used the Cyrillic alphabet. The latter was developed during the Christian conversion of Slavic areas, from the Balkans, through the Ukraine and northwards to Moscow. In the West, a new split developed during the course of the 16th century between the Catholic Church on the one hand, and the Protestant Church on the other. The latter maintained that people did not need the Church as an intermediary in order to achieve Salvation. Martin Luther, and others with him, read and translated the Bible and distributed it in national languages via the newly invented art of printing. And the Bible made no mention of a Purgatory which one could avoid by buying expensive letters of indulgence issued by the Catholic Church. Religious wars broke out. Germany lost a third of its population during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48), before the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 established the equality and independence of European states. With that, the precursors of the European states we know today could be established. The aristocracy became less significant, losing their power to strong rulers who enjoyed the support of urban citizens; towns acquired increasing significance as centres of trade and crafts. During the Renaissance, which saw itself as a “rebirth” of

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the culture of Antiquity, a scientific breakthrough occurred which changed the view of the world. A network of scholars was formed which communicated across national borders using printed texts. Gradually it became clear that the Earth no longer was at the centre of the Universe, as the Church had otherwise maintained for centuries. A crucial factor for the modernisation of Europe and its growing strength relative to the rest of the world was the fact that the cultures outside did not take up printing. Whereas there are 28,600 known titles of European books printed before 1500, it was not until 1727 that the first print workshop opened using Turkish characters – and it closed down again after 14 years. In “Europe meets the World” the most “European” artefact is probably a propaganda tankard produced in present-day Belgium around 1550. It bears three scenes from the anti-Catholic leaflets of the time. One shows Jesus felling a tree adorned with Catholic liturgical equipment (even though the Pope and priests are trying in vain to keep the tree upright). The next shows Jesus chasing away the Devil, and the third is of a three-headed monster, its heads being Satan, the Pope and a Turk. These were apparently one and the same thing to the vehement Protestants who produced the tankard. But why is this tankard so specifically European? Firstly, it is a further demonstration of the battle for truth and power, the disagreement which runs like a red thread through European history; it was also mass-produced. More prosaically, the tankard is also a testimony to the fact that perceptions of Christianity had now become so diverse that it was no longer possible to speak of one “Christendom” (Christianitas). Consequently, from then on, people began instead to speak of “Europe”. THE WORLD BEYOND: THE TURKISH THREAT The Ottoman Empire had conquered the centre of Eastern Christendom, Constantinople, and renamed it “Istanbul”, after which the Turks advanced up into the Balkans, across Hungary and threatened Vienna – for the first time in 1529. Across the



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German-Roman Empire, a so-called Turkish Tax was imposed, intended to fund the armies that were to keep the Turks out of Central Europe. The Catholic powers were, consequently, occupied with the Turks as the Reformation spread in Germany. The Sultan was, it has been said, “Luther’s best ally”. In 1683, a Turkish army of 200,000 again besieged Vienna, but they suffered a crucial defeat and ceased to pose a threat to Europe. Quite the contrary, the Ottoman culture had a fascination and appeared to Europeans both exotic and enticing. The Danish admiral Cort Adeler, who served in the Republic of Venice’s wars against the Turks, brought home a collection of Turkish weapons, kept at the National Museum and its predecessor, the Royal Cabinet of Curiosities, since the 17th century.

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II. HUBRIS Europe conquers the World

THE ROUND EARTH In 1492, the Spanish captured Granada, the last remnant of Islamic Spain, and banished the Muslims and Jews who did not convert to Christianity. That same year, Columbus discovered America. Here we see the beginnings of the great European discoveries. In the long term only the most isolated societies would avoid Europe’s influence with its new insights into the physical world, its military superiority and brutality, its hunger for goods or markets for its own products – and also its missionary fever and desire to see “civilisation” distributed to the entire world. The great cultures more or less stood their ground. China, Japan, the Mughal Empire in Northern India, the Ottoman Empire and Persia never became European colonies. But this was the case for large parts of Africa, Asia and the whole of America. The meeting between the Spanish conquistador Fransisco Pizarro and the Inca ruler Atahuallpa in 1532 became the pattern for many similar meetings between Europeans and nonEuropeans. The core exhibit in this section of the exhibition is a gilt silver goblet in the form of a globe, which can be split at the Equa-


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Fig. 3. | The great discoveries prior to c. 1600. Note the two lines divid-

ing Spain and Portugal’s parts of the two hemispheres, drawn up in a treaty signed at Tordesillas in 1494. They probably knew the Earth was round, but the Philippines had not yet been discovered. The new continent, America, was found because the two countries competed to find a new sea route to the spices of India. An example of how Europe’s divisions and internal competition released a drive that left its mark on the whole world. Politikens historiske atlas, 1961

tor. Drinking from the globe, reads the text, capturing Europe’s increasing feeling of invincibility. THE WORLD BEYOND: EUROPE’S AMERICA The great discovery was America – almost like a new planet and soon with only a remnant of its original population due to European-introduced diseases. Silver and gold were what the Spanish and Portuguese sought.

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But the real wealth was, in the words of historian Søren Mørch, the American wonder crops of potato, maize, sugar and tobacco. Tangible results are a crozier made from sugar cane and coins struck using silver mined from America’s rich deposits. America became a lasting source of wealth for Europe and a place to deposit surplus population. But it also became a source of conflict and new European powers, Holland, England and France, joined the list of conquerors. Spain’s new silver wealth ultimately led to inflation and decline in domestic production. In Europe, the fulcrum of power shifted from Southern Europe to the regions around the English Chanel. In the Islamic world, coffee was originally obtained via Ethiopia and sugar from Persia and India; it had then been possible to re-export to Europe. The word “sugar” is Arabic in origin. At the end of the 18th century, European colonial powers could instead export their much cheaper coffee from Java or Spanish America and their sugar from the West Indies to Muslim countries. WORLD ORDER The scientific discoveries of the 17th century and the establishment of a learned “public”, which published and debated across Europe’s borders, had not in itself led to religion or the power of autocratic rulers being opened up to discussion. God had created the world as “the great watchmaker” and the rulers were the guardians of science and learning. But when, during the 18th century, science began in earnest to analyse and classify nature, it became clear that the critical thought which was fundamental to everything could also be focussed on society’s institutions. Were existing power structures and religious dogma “naturally determined”, or were they the work of humans which could be criticised and perhaps changed? This period is illuminated by The French Encyclopedia, a mighty work of 28 volumes intended to gather and make accessible all human knowledge. The volumes are exhibited between two mirrors, bringing the observer, i.e. humanity, face to face with him-/herself. One of the volumes lies open at the entry for


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“political authority”. This states that no human being has the nature-conferred right to determine over another. As noted by historian Norman Davies, Denis Diderot and Jean d’Alembert’s work was programmatic, opinionated, anti-Church and sharply critical of the regime, and the two authors were regularly harassed by state officials. But it was a monument to freedom of thought and was imitated in other countries during what scholars and philosophers referred to as “The Age of Enlightenment”. Freedom of thought also reached politics and ignited great social tensions in France. On 14th July 1789, autocratic King Louis XVI saw a revolution break out which a few years later would cost him his head. Shockwaves from the French Revolution resounded across Europe and, as shown by a French cap and a sash in the colours of the Tricolore, even reached distant Copenhagen. The Age of Enlightenment worshipped the logic that would liberate people and allow them to control and exploit nature instead of subjugating themselves or fearing it. During the Age of Enlightenment, the individual was, at least in theory and as stated in The Encyclopedia, allocated a number of rights, human rights. Individual civil and political rights were laid down in the English Bill of Rights in 1689 and subsequently in the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the French Declaration of Human Rights in 1789. Following the Second World War, these were expanded to include a number of social, economic and collective rights in the United Nations’ World Declaration of Human Rights enacted in Paris in 1948. This was the greatest achievement of the European Age of Enlightenment. THE WORLD BEYOND: BUYING THE WORLD With the conquest of America, Europeans acquired the means to initiate global trade. A carved elephant tusk shows rather prosaically, and in cartoon form, how captured Africans, slaves, were taken by ship to the West Indies in the New World. They were put to work in plantations, perhaps growing sugar cane. This

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was converted into sugar and rum and sailed to Europe, where the goods were produced which Europeans could exchange for slaves in Africa. Opposite The Encyclopedia’s text about personal freedom is the 1749 price for a man slave on the Gold Coast – Danish territory at the time – now Ghana. European expansion took place at almost the same time as China ceased to sail the oceans. From 1405 to 1433 the Chinese had dispatched great ocean-going fleets, reaching as far as Africa. A power struggle at the Imperial Court led to these voyages being halted and shipyards being destroyed. Previously, the imperial power had ordained that the development of advanced spinning machines driven by water power should also cease. Mechanical clocks were destroyed and forbidden. Something similar occurred in Japan where, in 1543, the invention of firearms was adopted from the Portuguese. By about 1600 they had developed better firearms than those in Europe. But then firearms were effectively forbidden. Bans such as these had their justification. Firearms undermined the entire Japanese Samurai culture with its exquisite swordsmanship, because anyone could learn to use firearms. As a result, eastern cultures stagnated for many years while Europe surged ahead. No power in Europe was strong enough to forbid or even hinder the spread of new inventions, ideas and production methods. ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR These are the words of Karl Marx who, in The Communist Manifesto of 1848, described a modern life in constant change, where “All that is solid melts into air”. Familiar habits, perceptions, methods of production and ways of life all changed. Industry expanded and disciplined the workers. Religion was shaken by Darwin’s demonstration that animal species, including humans, had developed through a process of natural selection. They were not created complete by God. But for Marx, it was the power struggle between social classes which ultimately changed society and propelled history forwards. Europeans had already developed various water-powered


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machines and were therefore ready to exploit the mighty power of steam, manifested here in the great flywheel of a steam engine formerly in the engineering works of Atlas A/S. Perceptions of specific “peoples” or “nations” can be demonstrated in medieval Europe, or even further back in time. Figures such as the French Joan of Arc or the Danish Niels Ebbesen symbolised national unity against an external foe. But it was first after the French Revolution and Napoleon’s military campaign through Europe that modern nation states emerged. The difference was that a people or nation now became bound up with a particular delimited territory which was different from and – in nationalistic perceptions – superior to all others. England and France were the first to create states within which internal customs borders were abolished and attempts were made to repress regional differences through a uniform national and patriotic upbringing in schools – and through the establishing of new museums. Germany and Italy followed suit. Russia continued its expansion eastwards through Siberia to the Chinese border. Between 1683 and 1914 this took place at a rate of 55 square miles – per day. Europe expanded in all directions. THE WORLD BEYOND: IMPERIALISM Between 1870 and 1914, European powers – large and small – shared a quarter of the Earth’s territory. Colonies were established which, in some cases, became directly annexed to the mother country. Christianity now presented a more muscular face to the outside world and Europe’s original fascination with the new worlds shifted. Skulls of the natives were collected in order to support European perceptions of superiority to all other “races”. Britain had lost its North American colonies, which became the United States of America. The latter declared their independence and became instead a target for peaceful immigration of the European population surplus. The exhibition has a suitcase, camp bed, revolver and Asado knife from someone who sought

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their fortune in Argentine and a Stetson hat from someone who had been in the USA but came home again to Denmark. Britain sought and found compensation by conquering India and present-day Pakistan, as well as large areas of Africa, where the British competed with the French. A smaller power, The Netherlands, created a large colonial empire in present-day Indonesia. Europeans had traditionally despised and feared those who lived by warfare, either as mercenaries or conscripted by their rulers. In the new nation states military service became both a right and a duty and suddenly it was possible to churn out millions of soldiers. The major powers formulated mobilisation plans by which the new railway network could swiftly transport troops into action. The steel industries competed to produce the heaviest cannon. The chemical industry developed new explosives and poison gases. The newly-invented machine gun (1884), firing up to 1400 rounds per minute, was successfully trialled in the colonies. On Cuba, a Spanish colony, the authorities set up campos de reconcentration, where rebellious peasants were cut-off from their land. The British used the term “concentration camps” in reference to the facilities they established for the rebellious Boers in South Africa. In German SW Africa, the first Konzentrationslager were set up in 1905. Here, members of the Herero tribe were interned and forced to work. The administrative director was Heinrich Göring, father of Herman Göring, Hitler’s Reich Marshal. In the camps, medical experiments were carried out on the inmates. A Socrates from ancient Greece would perhaps say that Europe’s imperialism was a typical expression of human arrogance, of hubris. In which case, the consequence, nemesis, followed in the years 1914-45.


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III. NEMESIS Europe’s decline and resurrection WARS 1914-45 At the beginning of the 20th century, people in Europe spoke about the possibility of war, and states entered into shifting alliances and made mutual displays of military bluster. But very few people thought it would actually happen. There seemed to be progress everywhere and it was possible to travel around Europe without a passport. The assassination of the heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, Franz-Ferdinand, in Sarajevo in June 1914 sparked a war between the European powers, and because it also took place at sea and in the colonies, it was termed the World War. Europeans now turned their technology on themselves. About 8.5 million soldiers from 15 European countries died, most of them during four years of trench warfare. In the exhibition are papers from a Danish-oriented Southern Jute, forced to fight for Germany on the Eastern Front. Germany and her allies, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, lost to an alliance of Britain, France and Tsarist Russia, with the latter disintegrating in the revolution of 1917; America participated in the final stages of the war. A revolution in 1918 within the German Empire led to the formation of a republic. The Austrian-Hungarian Empire disintegrated, as did the Ottoman Empire, which lost all its non-Turkish territories and became the nation state of Turkey. A number of new states were formed with democratic constitutions, but this democracy was weak and when the economic crisis unleashed in 1929 by the Wall Street Crash spread to Europe, it toppled democracy in Europe’s strongest state, Germany. Italy was fascist, the Soviet Union communist and

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Germany Nazi. Hitler embarked on an aggressive foreign policy supported by forced re-armament, and in September 1939 the Second World War broke out. When, in 1933, Hitler set up the first concentration camps on German soil for his enemies, millions of Stalin’s foes, real or imagined, were already incarcerated in the Soviet Union’s system of labour and penal camps (Gulag). The German attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 was waged as a merciless war of extermination, intended to drive out or kill Eastern Europe’s Slavic population, who were seen as sub-human, and create new “Lebensraum” (i.e. living space), for the German population. Germany became involved too late in the race for colonies in the rest of the world and now treated Eastern Europe as a great future colony. On the heels of ferocious battles and initial major German conquests came further radicalisation and during the course of 1941 Jews were singled out for complete extermination. A Danish concentration-camp prisoner, Per Ulrich, drew his fellow prisoners from Eastern Europe; some of them even signed his drawings. Two figures, a German and a Soviet soldier, represent the Second World War’s two main military antagonists. The Eastern Front was where three quarters of the war’s military losses took place and where the greatest battles were fought. Eleven million Soviet soldiers lost their lives there, as did the majority of the 3.3 million men lost by Germany. A casket containing gravel and fragments of bone from Stalingrad, where more than 900,000 fell, and an eye patch used as a disguise after the war by Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, the leader responsible for the concentration camp system, symbolise these horrors. The Western Allies, America, Britain and France, lost a total of 800,000 soldiers. In 2010, historian Timothy Snyder calculated losses of civilians and prisoners of war in Eastern Europe between 1932 and 1945 to be 14 million. The figures and their juxtaposition have been the subject of debate, but the overall dimensions stand abundantly clear.


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Fig. 4. | Europe after the Second World War. Politikens historiske atlas, 1961.

THE WORLD BEYOND: THE COLD WAR 1945-89 A Japanese-produced propaganda matchbox from the Second World War, with a text in Indonesian, shows how Japanese defeat of European colonial powers in the East had shattered the myth of European invincibility. When European countries attempted to retake their colonies after the war they were met by guerrilla movements they were unable to defeat. But this retreat from the colonies was also the factor which very largely sparked the unity movements of modern Europe. The point of departure here is the result of the war in Europe, i.e. that two new superpowers divided up Europe between them. Both the Soviet Union and the United States had European roots but were also new empires with interests all over the world and they each dominated their part. Under the subsequent Cold War, a balance of terror arose which gripped Europeans in fear on both sides of the “Iron Curtain” of barbed wire and mines that now divided the continent. The links of a tank track indicate how the Soviet Union maintained its influence in Eastern Europe, now communist, whereas the Danish

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copy of an American Fender guitar demonstrates how Western Europe adopted American culture. During the two world wars, Europeans had confronted each other with the ancient Greeks’ Western Way of Warfare – with catastrophic consequences. The United States and the Soviet Union, the two victorious powers, recoiled from the ultimate atomic confrontation but tested the technique in other parts of the world. America suffered defeat in Vietnam (1975) and the Soviet Union in Afghanistan (1979), both to guerrilla movements employing avoidance tactics. Guerrilla tactics had, moreover, also been applied by resistance movements in occupied European countries. A strange find from 2009 could be a remnant of this: a buried iron pipe containing a submachine gun, a pistol and a number of rounds of ammunition – together with an issue of the Communist Party newspaper Land og Folk, dated April 1948, a time when the Danish authorities feared a Soviet invasion, conceivably supported by armed Danish communists. This fear was groundless, but we don’t know whether the weapons were actually buried by a communist – or by someone who wanted to cast suspicion. Threads from the iron pipe could lead to either Moscow or Washington – or to neither of them. FLUID BORDERS Western Europe recovered through the American Marshall Plan. This was accompanied by a demand that the European recipients should form a common organisation to channel the initiative. The result was the OEEC (later: OECD), which introduced European economic co-operation in practice. A few years later, in 1951, six West European countries signed the European Coal and Steel Community. This was intended to integrate French and German industry to such a degree that war was “not just unthinkable, but impossible”. It was the foundation stone for the EU, the first step of which was the Treaty of Rome in 1957. And with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 it became possible for one European country after another to become a member of


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the European Union; the member states now number 27 – from the original six. Open borders have contributed to an economic blossoming and there have been no wars between member states. The latter is historically abnormal and is perhaps not entirely due to the EU, but reflects developments in Europe of which the EU is a part. As for a core exhibit for modern Europe, the choice fell on the Euro banknotes introduced in 2002, which bear motifs of fictitious European bridges. Their post-modernist form symbolises the fact that Europe is everywhere and at the same time not in any particular or special place. However, as a financial entity, the euro is at the time of writing under heavy threat – as is Europe as a whole. The author Hans Magnus Enzensberger has pointed out that the EU has on one hand made life easier and has even taken up the fight against some of the international cartels against which individual nation states are powerless. On the other, the EU has in Enzensberger’s view developed into a “gentle monster”. It has extensive influence on legislation in member states and wants to address all aspects of citizens’ lives. But EU institutions do lack the popular legitimacy of nation states – even though it is a “gentle monster”, proceeding without violence and without even – as far as we know – an intelligence service! Is the solution to the problems, as some people believe, a federal entity, a United States of Europe, modelled on the United States which have had such enormous influence on Europe during the last five decades? Regardless of whether one agrees or not, it is worth remembering that what began as a voluntary union of “the free states of North America” had first, by means of an extended war, to seize independence from its colonial overlord, Britain. Subsequently, in 1861-65, when several states wanted to leave the union, there came a civil war so bloody that the losses out of a population of 25 million were greater than all of America’s later wars combined. Even though the American federal states today enjoy extensive autonomy, and for example determine whether they will have the death penalty,

Europe meets the World | 449

the American state, i.e. the president and congress, is so strong that in the 1960s it was able to break resistance by some southern states to equal rights for white and black simply by deploying the military. Is the EU able to measure up to such historic precedents and, even so, be able to develop the necessary strength to overcome the challenges it faces? THE WORLD BEYOND: THE WIDE WORLD “Europe meets the World” ends at the point in the exhibition where the boundary between Europe and “not Europe” becomes increasingly difficult to define. With the doors of a 20-foot container we point towards one of the challenges of globalisation, i.e. that goods can be produced where they are cheapest and be transported anywhere in the world in huge quantities. Clothes worn by Greenpeace activists for their action during the climate summit COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009 refer to the global challenges faced not just by Europe but by the world as a whole. Historian Søren Mørch has predicted that European civilisation will continue as the World Civilisation. A similar conclusion was reached by the Polish historian Krzystof Pomian who writes that European civilisation is the only one with movable borders. It has elevated transgression to its own being and has, even after the fall of colonialism, continued to expand out into the world because it is, as Pomian says, transgressive – built to transgress. This does sound a little like when the British enviously watched young brother America develop into a new superpower and then maintained that the world was at least still influenced by “English ideas”. Or is Pomian correct? Will ideas which we now consider to be “European” appear in the future in new guises as “Chinese”, “Islamic” or something completely different? ESBEN KJELDBÆK


| Postscript

POSTSCRIPT Europe meets the World A cross-disciplinary project

With ”Europe meets the World” the National Museum of Denmark has wished to make a contribution to the social debate about Europe’s history with an exhibition inspired by the museum’s own collections. Europe’s relationship with the rest of the world over 2500 years is a huge subject and each research department was invited to contribute such that all the museum’s collections, totalling c. 10 million accessions, could in principle be brought into play. Consequently, the exhibition acquired a cross-disciplinary character, whereby chronology, geography and themes were discussed in new contexts, and new knowledge was created across professional boundaries. The exhibition developed into a minimalist experiment, whereby researchers and communicators wove stories around specially chosen exhibits and contributed to an overall impression given shape and form by the museum’s architects and graphic designers. The National Museum aims to be a meeting place where both historical and topical European questions are discussed. Accordingly, the historical account did not stand alone, but was given a digital track comprised of projected images and sound

Postscript |

in combination with pertinent questions providing modern perspectives. The exhibition was also supplemented by cultural activities and educational programmes, directed for example at children and young people’s interests and understanding of the outside world, with a particular focus on democracy and identity. We have presented a view of Europe’s history – reflected in the surrounding world through 2500 years – combined with a wish to promote dialogue on our roles as Danes, Europeans and citizens of the great international community. LENE FLORIS

Director of Research & Exhibitions National Museum of Denmark


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Idee Europa. Entwürfe zum ”Ewigen

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Complete Letters, a new translation by P.G.

Walsh. 2006. POMIAN, KRZYSTOF: Europa

og dets grænser (1991), in: Madsen, Peter et al

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Behaim Globus. 1993.

The Oxford illustrated History of the


Émile, ou de l’éducation. 1762.

SHAPIRO, I. & HACKER-CORDÓN, I. (eds.): Democracy’s SNYDER, TIMOTHY: Bloodlands. THOMAS, HUGH:

Value. 1999.

Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. 2010.

The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade,

1440-1870. 1997.

Selected Bibliography |

WIECZOREK, A. ET AL.(eds.): Saladin

und die Kreuzfahrer. 2005.

VOKOTOPOULOU, JULIA (ed.): Macedonians.

Era of Alexander the Great. 1994. WOOLF, G.: Becoming


The Northern Greeks and the


458 | Illustrations – acknowledgements


with permission from Hel-

lenic Republic, Ministry of Finance. Photo Mads Møller Nielsen. Fig. 2. | Photo

National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 3. | Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

IN0890. Photo Ole Haupt. Fig. 4. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark Fig. 5. | Amalienborg Museum. Photo Peter Nørby. Fig. 6. | Thorvaldens Museum INC790r. Photo Helle Nanny Brendstrup. Fig. 7. | Félix Vallotton. The Abduction of Europa, 1908. Olie på lærred, 130 x 162 cm. Gift from Prof. Hans R. Hahnloser, Bern. Photo Kunstmuseum Bern. AKEPHALS AND THE LIKE: Fig. 1. | © The Warburg Institute, University of London, School of Advanced Study. Fig. 2. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. PAGES 32-65 | 1 | THE STORY BEGINS NO MAN WISER: Fig. 1. | Photo

John Lee and Arnold Mikkelsen, National

Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2 | Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek IN2553. Photo Ole Haupt. THE CRADLE OF DEMOCRACY?: Figs. 1-4. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. TOWARDS NEW HORIZONS: Fig. 1. | Photo John Lee and Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek IN0733. Photo Ole Haupt.Fig. 3. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 4. | Photo John Lund. WHILE WE AWAIT THE BARBARIANS: Fig. 1. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 3. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 4. | Photo

National Museum of Denmark. AS LONG AS YOU LIVE, SHINE: Figs.

1-2. | Photo

National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 3. | Photo Lyravlos.


Niels Elswing, National Museum

of Denmark. Figs. 2-3. | Photo Weiss & Wichmann, National Museum of

Illustrations – acknowledgements |

Denmark. EUROPE’S FIRST COMMON MARKET?: Fig. 1. | Photo John Lee and Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of Denmark. Figs. 2-3. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. Figs. 4-5. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark: THE FACE OF POWER Figs. 1-3. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 4. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. PORTRAIT OF A BARBARIAN: Figs. 1-2. | Photo

Lennart Larsen, National Museum of Den-

mark. Fig. 3 | Photo National Museum of Denmark. MANY GODS – OR JUST ONE: Fig. 1. | Photo

National Museum of Denmark. Figs. 2-5. | Photo John

Lee, National Museum of Denmark. Figs. 6.a-b. | Photo Lennart Larsen, National Museum of Denmark. PAGES 116-161 | 3 | BOUNDARIES OF BELIEF CHRIST IS KING: Fig. 1. | Photo

Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum

of Denmark. THE CHURCH, THE EMPEROR AND THE CHRISTIANS: Fig. 1 a-b | Photo Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 3. | Photo Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of Denmark. SING A SONG FOR GOD: Figs. 1-3. | Photo

Lisbet Torp. CHESS: Fig. 1. | Photo Arnold Mikkelsen, National

Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Libro de Juegos de Ajedrez, Dados y Tablas (T.I.6) de Alfonso X el Sabio, f. 64r. Biblioteca de el Escorial. © Patrimonio Nacional. THE CRUSADES: Figs. 1.-4. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. THE CRUSADERS AND THEIR COINS: Figs. 1-2. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. PAGES 162-203 | 4 | COMMUNICATION AND CONFLICT PROPAGANDA TANKARD: Fig. 1. | Photo | Photo

National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2.

John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. THE PRINTED BOOK AND

NEW IDEAS: Figs. 1 a-b. | Photo Fig. 2. | Efter

John Lee, National Museum of Denmark.

Arvidson, H. & Kruse,T.: Europa 1300-1600. 1999. Fig. 3. |

Photo National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 4. | Statens Museum for Kunst. © SMK Photo. SCIENTIFIC NETWORK: Fig. 1. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. A PARADE HELMET FROM THE BORDER LAND: Fig. 1. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. THE TURKS – THREAT AND FASCINATION: Fig. 1. | Statens

Museum for Kunst. © SMK Photo. Fig. 2. | Photo National Mu-


Lennart Larsen, National Museum of

Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo National Museum of Denmark.


460 | Illustrations – acknowledgements


John Lee, National Museum

of Denmark. Fig. 2. |Drawing: Shawki Khanji. Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY: Fig. 1. | http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/File:1590_Orbis-Terrarum_Plan-cius. Fig. 2. | Photo Jesper Weng, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 3. | Photo Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of Denmark. SHAPING THE WORLD: Fig. 1. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. FROM BOHEMIA AND GIBRALTAR TO UNCLE SAM’S GREEN BILL: Fig. 1. | Photo

John Lee,

National Museum of Denmark. EUROPE AND THE NEW WORLD: Fig. 1. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 3. | Photo Inge Schjellerup. Fig. 4. | Photo Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 5. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. AMERICAN SILVER AND EUROPE: Fig. 1. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. PAGES 250-291 | 6 | WORLD ORDER A WORLD OF KNOWLEDGE IN ONE BOOK: Fig. 1. | Photo

Arnold Mikkelsen,

National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | © The Gallery Collection/ Corbis/ POLPHOTO. BUT JUST WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENT?: Fig. 1. | © Roger-Viollet/ Musée Carnavalet/POLPHOTO. Fig. 2. | Photo Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of Denmark. FREEDOM TO POWER – POWER TO FREEDOM?: Fig. 1. | Photo

John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo

National Museum of Denmark. THE PRICE OF A SLAVE? Fig. 1. | Foto Arnold Mikkelsen, Nationalmuseet. Fig. 2. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. COLONIAL CONTACTS IN ASIA: Figs. 1 and 3. | Photo

John Lee, National Museum of

Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo National Museum of Denmark. NOBLE OR BRUTAL SAVAGES: Fig. 1. | ©

David Rumsey Map Collection. Fig. 2. | Photo John Lee,

National Museum of Denmark. PAGES 292-335 | 7 | ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR CITY LIGHTS: Fig. 1. | Photo

Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of

Denmark. Fig. 2. | Gustave Caillebotte, French, 1848-1894, Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877, oil on canvas, 212.2 x 276.2 cm, Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection, 1964.336, The Art Institute of Chicago.

Illustrations – acknowledgements |

Photography © The Art Institute of Chicago. A SLOW REVOLUTION: Fig. 1. | Photo

National Museum of Denmark. Figs. 2 og 3. | Photo Arnold Mik-

kelsen, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 4. | Photo Nationalmuset. THE SPECTRE THAT BECAME REAL: Fig. 1. | Photo

John Lee, National Museum of

Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo Arbejdermuseet & Arbejderbevægelsens Bibliotek og Arkiv. WHITE MAN’S BURDEN: Figs. 1 a-c. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | © L/Roger-Viollet/Getty Images. THE BATTLE FOR THE WORLD: Figs. 1-3. | Photo

Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of

Denmark. THE DREAM OF A BETTER PLACE: Fig. 1. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of Denmark. PAGES 336-377 | 8 | WARS THE CAMP PRISONER – A NEW HUMAN TYPE : Figs. 1-5. | Photo

Arnold Mik-

kelsen, National Museum of Denmark. THE WAR IN EASTERN EUROPE 193945 Figs. 1-2. | Photo

John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 3. | Photo

Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of Denmark. WEAPONS FROM THE EASTERN FRONT: Figs. 1-2. | Photo

Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of

Denmark. IN THE EVENT OF WAR: Figs. 1-2. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. A WEAPON CACHE FROM THE COLD WAR: Fig. 1. | Photo Arnold Mikkelsen, National Museum of Denmark. Fig. 2. | Photo John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. PAGES 378-415 | 9 | FLUID BORDERS EURO NOTES: MONEY FOR MARS?: Figs. 1-2. | Photo

John Lee, National Muse-


permission from Lars R. Møller. EUROPE’S BORDERS: Fig. 1. | Photo

John Lee, National Museum of Denmark. GLOBAL GALA: Figs. 1-2. | Photo Nathalia Brichet. Fig. 3. | © POLPHOTO. Photo Amdi Thorkild. BOUNDLESS CITIES: Figs. 1-2. | Photo

John Lee, National Museum of Denmark.


John Lee, National Museum of Denmark.


462 | Authors


NATHALIA BRICHET, MSc, PhD scholar, Ethnographic Collection, National Museum of Denmark LARS K. CHRISTENSEN, PhD, curator, senior researcher, Danish Modern History, National Museum of Denmark INGE DAMM, MA, curator, Ethnographic Collection, National Museum of Denmark LENE FLORIS, MA, Director of Department of Research & Exhibitions, National Museum of Denmark MILLE GABRIEL, PhD, curator, Ethnographic Collection, National Museum of Denmark POUL GRINDER-HANSEN, MA, curator, Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance, National Museum of Denmark

Authors |

ANNE HASLUND HANSEN, MA, PhD scholar, Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities, National Museum of Denmark HELLE WINGE HORSNÆS, PhD, curator, senior researcher, Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, National Museum of Denmark ESBEN KJELDBÆK, MA, chief curator, The Museum of Danish Resistance 1940-1945, National Museum of Denmark JOHN LUND, MA, curator, senior researcher, Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities, National Museum of Denmark PER KRISTIAN MADSEN, MA, Director General, National Museum of Denmark MARIE MARTENS, MA, research librarian, Danish Music Museum, National Museum of Denmark. JENS CHRISTIAN MOESGAARD, MA, curator, senior researcher, Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, National Museum of Denmark PETER PENTZ, Fil.Dr., curator, Danish Prehistory, National Museum of Denmark BODIL BUNDGAARD RASMUSSEN, MA, chief curator, Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities, National Museum of Denmark INGE SCHJELLERUP, Fil.Dr., senior researcher, Etnographic Collection, National Museum of Denmark MIKKEL THELLE, MA, PhD scholar, Danish Modern History, National Museum of Denmark. BENTE WOLFF, PhD, curator, senior researcher, Ethnographic Collection, National Museum of Denmark


Europe’s long chequered history is dramatic and thoughtprovoking – and as such has had a crucial influence on the European reality of today. For more than 2500 years our continent has embraced the surrounding world, defended itself against it and then, over a long period, ventured out and ultimately dominated it. Now Europe faces new challenges in a modernised world. Will they unite or divide us? In this collection of essays Europe meets the World staff of the National Museum present and discuss selected exhibits and salient themes in Europe’s long history and the continent’s interaction with the world around. The richly illustrated book is a companion volume to the National Museum’s major 2012 exhibition: Europe meets the World. It examines and elaborates on the major themes addressed by the exhibition, but can also be read in its own right.

Europe meets the World :  

A companion volume to the exhibition Europe meets the World at The National Museum of Denmark 2012.

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