IN THE TIME IT TOOK TO SAY HALF AN “OUR FATHER”
The author describes – and investigates – the murder of fourteen-year-old Boštjan Svetek, who was stabbed to death for 6 Goldinars by his former schoolmate Blaž Sorčan. The crime occurred on the 19th of February, 1834 in the Savinja Valley in the vicinity of Podvin – the victim’s home town. It did not take long for the investigators to find the murderer, who was well known as a wild and wicked troublemaker in the area where he lived and several people had also testified to having seen him together with Boštjan Svetek on the day in question. Already at an early age, young Sorčan had proved to be too much of a handful for his ageing parents, becoming a vagrant, gambling, and also upon occasion, stealing. Blaž Sorčan had intended to use his victim’s money to purchase a rifle. Following the inquest, the young criminal was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour, which, in the unlikely chance that he survived his term, had undoubtedly left him a broken man and for the rest of his days branded him an outcast, who had got on the wrong side of the law.
THE “CRAPPER” – A SIMPLE TERM DENOTING THE TOILET
How even the most necessary hidden facility can contribute to the richness of a language’s vocabulary
Maintaining hygiene was, in days gone by, apparently something that people simply didn’t pay any attention to, as people in those days – particularly the so-called simple folk – had little awareness of the importance of cleanliness. The level of hygiene, or rather lack of it, was particularly appalling in rural areas. Proof of the slow progress made in the field of hygiene is the fact that up until the mid 19th century, the Slovene language had no specific term to denote the toilet. When referring to this “sanctum” , our predecessors resorted to the use of foreign words. Until the literary Slovenian term “stranišče” (meaning “toilet”) finally came into general use, local expressions were used which, in some places, were so obscure as to be understandable to only a small circle of users. The majority of these expressions will probably never be known to us, yet one of these terms, which up until recently lay hidden in the annals of history, came to light in the final verdict of a court case pertaining to a quarrel between two neighbours in Ilirska Bistrica.
A MONSTER FROM THE NETHER REGIONS
The Phylloxera aphid, or vine louse, is a pest, which in the second half of the 19th century nearly obliterated the vineyards of Europe. The Phylloxera was accidentally introduced by the European viticulturists themselves, who imported an American vine in their attempt to cultivate a vine resistant to the Oidium fungi.
It entered the Dual Monarchy through infested vine rootstock from Great Britain, unwittingly assisted by experts of the State Experimental Station for Viticulture and Pomology at Klosterneuburg near Vienna, which was an ideal starting-point for the aphid’s devastating progress across the vine-growing regions of Austro-Hungary. Despite the strict measures that were undertaken to stop it from spreading further, the aphid succeeded somehow in surmounting the large distances between countries and managed to spread to almost all the regions where the grape vine was cultivated.
In Slovenia, it was first observed in 1880 both in the surroundings of Piran as well as in the Bizeljsko region. After an initial phase of doubt and hesitation, a way of combating this pest was found, by grafting cuttings of the European vines onto Phylloxera-resistant North American vine rootstock, which ultimately ensured the continuation of viticulture in the affected regions.
THE TAGBLATT’S SHAVEN AND PAINTED HOG’S HEAD
The article discusses the third jury deliberation in Ljubljana, following the re-introduction of jury courts. In 1870, the newspaper of the Carniolan Liberal Germans, the Laibacher Tagblatt (1868-1880) had apparently made libellious comments aimed at the sexton from Brezje in a contribution it had published on a bewitched innkeeper from Carinthia. In response, the sextan filed a lawsuit against the editor in chief of the Laibacher Tagblatt, Mr. O. Bamberg. The trial aroused considerable interest in the papers at the time (the Novice, Slovenski narod, Zgodnja danica, and the Laibacher Tagblatt), as it was seen as a part of the struggle taking place in Carniola at that time between the Slovenian and the German Party. The plaintiff’s counsel occupied a prominent seat in the Slovenian Party, while the defendant’s barrister was no less a prominent member of the German Party, which advocated the liberal tendency to reduce the Church’s privileges within the Hapsburg Monarchy. The trial ended with an acquittal.
THE MEANING OF THE NATIONAL CONFLICT
A Case-Study from Lower Styria circa 1900
The author examines the embittered and long drawn-out national conflicts in Lower Styria, based on the case of the Ptuj solicitor and fiery Slovenian nationalist, Dr. Anton Brumen. From the beginning of the 20th century and up until the end of the First World War, he waged a private war with the Mayor of Ptuj, Josef Ornig, the standard-bearer of the German Party in Ptuj. During these conflicts, both sides copiously abused all available legal means, and often also “encumbered” the politics of state of the Austro -Hungarian Empire by means of petty and ludicrous mutual accusations made by “their” men in the National Assembly.
HISTORY IS PEOPLE
The Characteristics of Slovenian Biographics
In her article, the author attempts to define the essence of Biographics and presents a summary of the most important works of Slovene authors who have also published their findings and practical experiences in the fields of Ethnology, Historiography and Applied Museology. The author finds that Slovenian Biographics has a long-standing tradition, in particular in the study of Slovenian public figures and famous persons. However, the scientific approach in Biographics, with its new methodologies of studying the lives of the so-called “little person” throughout history, only developed in the various social sciences fields and the humanities over the last few decades.