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Comptes rendus de l’Académie from April to June 2013

Fascicle 2013-2


625 p., 200 ill.
Release : November 2014
Price : 37,50 € the volume
Subscription for 4 fascicles : people, 150 € / Institutions, 180 €.



Table of contents
  • Allocution à l’occasion du décès de M. Philippe GAUTHIER, membre de l’Académie, par M. Jean-Marie DENTZER, Président de l’Académie
  • Enquête sur les PHerc.Paris. 5 et 6, par M. Daniel Delattre (note d’information)
  • Léonard de Vinci et la Tavola Doria, par M. Louis GODART, associé étranger de l’Académie
  • Les Heures de Claude d’Urfé (1549) : la « chapelle portative » de l’ambassadeur, par Mme Isabelle Balsamo (note d’information)

    Claude d’Urfé, an ambassador of the king of France in Rome, commissionned in 1549 a splendid Book of Hours, in total break with tradition. For the first time in the history of illumination, the drawings are inspired by contemporary frescoes, executed between 1530 and 1550 in the famous church of Rome Trinità dei Monti, a foundation of the French kings. They demonstrate a remarkable virtuosity for reducing large scale paintings into small size pages. The artists as well as the scribe of the book, François Wydon, are close to the Farnese circle and to cardinal Georges d’Armagnac, himself one of the patrons of the Pincio monastery. Designed as an anthology of the roman maniera, the iconography of the book also shows several quotations from works by Michelangelo and Daniele da Volterra. A very special item in Urfé’s collection of 200 manuscripts treasured in the family castle of La Bâtie d’Urfé in Auvergne, this Book of Hours clearly stands for the ambassador’s « portable chapel ».

  • La royauté sacrée des Arpadiens dans l’historiographie hongroise médiévale et moderne, par M. Gabor Klaniczay

    The Sacred Kingship of the Arpadians in Medieval and Modern Hungarian Historiography Following a brief overview on the notions of sacred kingship and the sacrality of the sovereigns, the lecture will focus on the analysis of the Hungarian case. For understanding the subsequent evolution, historians have frequently made reference to the manifestations of sacred kingship among the people of the steppes where the conquering Hungarians have been issued from : the examples of the Huns, Avars, Khazars and especially the lasting and ambivalent fame of Attila, King of the Huns. The data on the cult of the descendants of Árpád in Hungary and their treatment in the chronicles of the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries (Anonymus, Simon of Kéza, Chronicon Pictum) constitutes a precious but lacunary corpus allowing a wide range of contradicting modern interpretations. After a glance at the trajectory of the historical memory on the Arpadians, we will discuss four modern historiographic figures. József Deér, who lived in emigration after WWII, followed the German discourse on « charismatic kingship » of the 1930s and relied upon the approach of Percy Ernst Schramm in his analysis of the Holy Crown of Hungary. György Győrffy was an expert of the oriental traditions of the Hungarians, the medieval chronicle-literature and the reign of Saint Stephen. Dezső Dümmerth was a prolific historian of the Arpadians in the 1970s who tried to revive, among the broader public, the concept of sacred kingship. Jenő Szűcs, in the framework of his critical approach of anachronistic historical interpretations of medieval « national » sentiments, has analyzed the medieval birth of the myth of the genetic kinship of Huns and Hungarians, and its first propagandist, the chronicle-writer Simon of Kéza. In conclusion, the contribution of the last three decades will be discussed (the work of Gyula Kristó, József Gerics, Pál Engel and Attila Zsoldos) which tends rather towards a deconstruction of generic interpretative frameworks.

  • L’article V de l’Intérim de Ratisbonne (1541), par M. Jean-Robert Armogathe
  • Amara Ouest : aspects de la vie quotidienne au Nouvel Empire en Nubie, par M. Neal Spencer et Mme Marie Millet

    Amara West : life in New Kingdom Nubia. Founded in the reign of Seti I (1306-1290 BC), the walled town of Amara West fulfilled the function of administrative centre for the pharaonic occupation of Upper Nubia, and seat of the ‘deputy of Kush’. Previously excavated by the Egypt Exploration Society (1938-9, 1947-50), a British Museum research project is now focusing on investigating ancient lived experience through renewed excavations in the town and two associated cemeteries, complemented by a range of scientific analyses, enabling the Amara West to be placed within a bioarchaeological and environmental framework. This presentation will explore the development of the town and the role of individual, household and wider agencies in creating and modifying the built environment. One focus of excavations, zone E13, allows a detailed exploration of how an area could be reformatted from one of large storage facilities to a dense housing neighbourhood, while investigations in an extramural suburb provide insights into a later, possibly elite, mode of life sought by inhabitants. The site offers considerable potential to move beyond a model of pharaonic domination, and explore the nature of cultural entanglement in the New Kingdom, through architecture and artefact assemblages. Finally, the role of environmental factors in shaping the history and longevity of the settlement will be explored.

  • Graffiti islamiques du début de l’islam : nouvelles découvertes en Arabie saoudite, par M. Frédéric Imbert (note d’information)

    Recent epigraphic surveys conducted in Saudi Arabia in November 2012 on behalf of the mission Oasis d’Arabie (CNRS, UMR 8167) have revealed new Arabic texts dating from the first two centuries of the Hegira. In a first exploration around Najrân (South of the Kingdom, near the Yemeni border) our attention was particularly attracted by some fifty graffiti collected on rocks at a place called al-Murakkab. A systematic survey have highlighted the presence of a corpus of ancient texts, one of which is dated back to 59 AH / 678 AD. Curiously, it is associated with full-scale representations of men in position of prayer with raised arms. Undoubtedly these human figures are contemporary to the epigraphic texts ; over one of them, the name of an anonymous person (al-Haytham b. Bishr,) is engraved and is repeated in various other sites around Najrân. However, the most spectacular discovery at al-Murakkab was that of a graffiti written by ‘Umar b. al-Khattâb, a companion of the Prophet and the second Caliph of Islam murdered in 24/644. In a second exploration in northern Arabia, the epigraphic team noticed about 200 graffiti concentrated on a few rock walls near the city of Dumat al-Jandal. Three unpublished texts mentioning caliphs and princes of the Umayyad dynasty (661-750) were discovered on this occasion. These recent fieldworks can support the hypothesis that there were local Islamic shrines specifically dedicated to prayers and invocations whose formulas are repeated by hundreds. We now call them the « walls of forgiveness. »

  • L’héritage scientifique des Mythologiques de Claude Lévi-Strauss ?, par M. Emmanuel Désveaux

    This communication is in two parts. First, it will be recalled the crucial novelty of Lévi-Strauss’ Mythologiques (1964-1971)on an epistemological stance. This piece of work unveils a global semiotical system that relays on two principles : the logical (by inversion) transformation and the notion of code. This system covers the whole continent and transcends the linguistically and culturally defined internal borders of the continent drawn by the American cultural anthropological school. But, far from being restricted to the myths’ domain where Lévi-Strauss maintained it, this transformational system concerns also the rituals, social organizations, technical devices, and, even more unexpected kinship terminologies as we have shown it in Quadratura americana. Essai d’anthropologie lévi-straussienne (2001). Therefore a question is raised : Does it not concerns the totality of Amerindian cultural expressions ? Which means that it would include art and spoken languages. In the latter case, this transformational principal could explain the highly diversification of the languages in America in comparison with other parts of the world. In the second part of the communication, we will come back to the raw ethnographical material mobilized by Lévi-Strauss, i. e. the great Panamerican mythemes and observe that he used to put the emphasis on only one of them, the bird nester, to the detriment of tree other ones which are equally important : the mytheme of the conjunction of Sun and Moon, the mytheme of the Rolling-Head and the mytheme of the Animals’ parade. A full quadrant reveals itself that appears as the powerful semantical matrix. It declines an ontology based on the succession of individuals through time, the distinction of the sexes, the opposition between live and death and the differentiation of natural species, synonymous of basic totemism. In conclusion, we will consider, at least as an hypothesis, that this fundamental semantical matrix may have correspondences at the level of Amerindian linguistics.

  • Les romans grecs et latins et le traité de l’Exégèse de l’âme (Nag Hammadi II, 6), par Mme Madeleine Scopello

    Latin and Greek Novels and the Nag Hammadi Texts. Some anonymous Gnostic authors of the 2nd and 3rd centuries – whose original Greek writings, now lost, have been kept in a Coptic translation made in the 4th century, in the Nag Hammadi Library – have counted the Gnostic myth of the Soul in a romanesque mode. This myth recounts the story of Psyche, from her heavenly origin and her fall into the world, to her return to heaven and her marriage with her fiancé, the Intellect. Three texts presenting the features of this myth are taken here into account : the Exegesis on the Soul (Codex II,6), the Authoritative Teaching (Codex VI,3) and the fragmentary tractate of Hypsiphrone (XI,4). The aim of this paper is to appreciate the influence exerted by Latin and Greek novels on these Nag Hammadi tractates. It is well known that the chief ingredients of these novels were love and adventures, and that they were governed by a single motif : the tragic separation of two lovers and their final reunion after many misadventures. Nevertheless, in the Greek novels the heroine preserves her virginity at any cost ; the heroine of the Gnostic tractates has led, for a time, a life of prostitution. We will focus as well on the original approach of these Gnostic authors and their rich relation to the literary contemporary culture, with the purpose of communicating the doctrine of Gnosticism to a wider, cultivated public.

  • Les instruments de la diplomatie de Bayezid II (1481-1512), par M. Nicolas Vatin

    The Tools of Beyazid II’s Diplomacy (1481-1512). Due to the growing relations with the West under Beyazid II, we have enough data to get an idea about the tools of the Ottoman diplomacy : its intelligence system, its methods, and its men. The collection of intelligence was organized at different levels. In the capital, the veziers spoke with foreign diplomats, but at a lower level, discreet contacts took place, of which accounts were given to the governement. The Porte had local correspondents in foreign countries, where it sent as well secret or semi-official agents ; effective nets existed. Beyazid was quite well informed. The diplomacy as well worked at different levels. In the capital, it was the veziers’ task, the last decisions being the Sultan’s. But Beyazid II run a diplomacy of his self, without the knowledge of his veziers. At the same time, specialized agents remained in touch with foreign diplomats or Italian merchants in Pera (who were very useful go-between). To foreign lands, the Porte sent non official agents and ambassadors.Their safety relied on the efficiency of the Sultan’s Italian friends’ net. Lastly, in a time when permanent embassies were emerging in Europe, the Ottomans practiced a border diplomacy, which was entrusted to the governors of border regions. The men working at different levels for Bayezid II’s diplomacy were of different origins, but they had in common the knowledge of Greek or Italian and quite often direct links with the West. One can see the same men appearing more than once in the documentation. Obviously there was no Ottoman diplomatic staff at the end of the XVth century, but the Porte’s foreign relations were entrusted to specialists who, by their origin, formation and experience, appeared to be competent to deal with the West. At first glance, one can have a feeling of confusion, but actually some kind of coherence existed : Beyazid II’s diplomacy, for which worked efficient men, was rather a success.

  • Tell Kazel – Sumur et le Royaume d’Amourrou, par Mme Leila Badre
  • Fouilles de Tel Yarmouth : résultats des travaux de 2003 à 2009 (14e-18e campagnes), par M. Pierre de Miroschedji
  • Découverte d’une nouvelle ville cérémonielle nubienne et le menenou de Thoutmosis Ier (Doukki Gel, Soudan), par M. Charles BONNET, associé étranger de l’Académie
  • Monnayages provinciaux en argent sous Trajan, par M. Michel Amandry
  • La Méditerranée de Peiresc : ce que les enseignements du XVIIe siècle apportent au XXIe, par M. Peter Miller

    Nicolas Fabri de Peiresc (1580-1637) is known as the great antiquary of the late Renaissance. His commitments to oriental studies in Europe, and medieval France, have been the subject of earlier books of mine. In this lecture, a précis of the work I have just completed, I focus instead on his close relationship with the merchants and mariners of Marseille. Through his surviving archive we can reconstruct the daily life of the Mediterranean and its merchants at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and of Marseille’s maritime life, as from no other type of source. This contribution to the history of the Mediterranean, is also a contribution to its historiographic role as a place of innovation. If Fernand Braudel’s Méditeranée (1949) could be said to be all structure with no people, and S.D. Goitein’s Mediterranean Society (5 vols. 1965-85) all people with little structure, Peiresc’s archive suggests the possibility that attention to the structures of everyday life can actually come through attention to the individuals who live it.

  • Le comte de Maurepas et la redécouverte de la Méditerranée sous Louis XV, par M. Christopher Drew Armstrong

    My talk is about the coordination of the French state administrative apparatus under Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux, Comte de Maurepas (1701-81), who, as minister for the king’s household (1718-49) and secretary of state for maritime affairs (1723-49) was responsible on the one hand for managing the principal scholarly institutions in Paris, (including the Académie des Sciences, the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, and the Bibliothèque du Roi), while on the other overseeing French trade in the Mediterranean Sea. The French state apparatus in the Mediterranean was especially dense, consisting of an ambassador in Constantinople (who reported directly to the secretary of state for maritime affairs) and over forty consulates in Greece, the Aegean, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, and North Africa. Though the framework of this administration was put in place by Jean-Baptiste Colbert in 1669, the reorganization of the Académie des Sciences and the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres under Maurepas’s father created an exceptional network for scholarly research, the impact of which would be apparent in the spectacular development of the royal collections in the early eighteenth century. But perhaps the most visible and widely known aspect of the Phélypeaux’s on-going commitment to science was their contribution to improving cartography. The key documents attesting to both Maurepas’ impact on eighteenth-century science and the effectiveness of the system of consulates and learned bodies he managed in the production of knowledge is a sequence of maps produced for the maritime administration in which the Mediterranean Sea is progressively “corrected.” This work proceeded based not only on astronomic observations carried out by members of the Académie des Sciences, but also research into ancient texts on geography and units of measurement by members of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Though the academies are often regarded as having partitioned knowledge into discrete realms, cartography under Maurepas demonstrates how their work was joined to build a new image of the ancient and modern Mediterranean.

  • Nouvelles recherches sur les comptes des hiéropes de Délos : des archives de l’intendance sacrée au « grand livre » de comptabilité, par Mme Véronique Chankowski
  • La nouvelle lettre séleucide provenant de Limyra en Lycie, par M. Biagio Virgilio (note d’information)
  • Les sanctuaires préhispaniques : une géographie du sacré, par M. Daniel Lévine, correspondant français de l’Académie
  • Les papyrus de la mer Rouge (Ouadi el-Jarf, golfe de Suez), par M. Pierre Tallet (note d’information)
  • Le programme de la Sainte-Chapelle (1241-1248), par M. Christian de Mérindol
  • Nouvelles recherches archéologiques sur le Maroc médiéval : les fouilles d’Îgîlîz, berceau de l’Empire almohade, par M. Jean-Pierre Van Staëvel

    New archaeological research on medieval Morocco : the excavations Îgîlîz cradle of the Almohad Empire. Since 2009, the program of Franco-Moroccan research entitled « The mountain of Îgîlîz and the land of the Arghen : A survey of the history of rural settlement in southern Morocco in the Middle Ages and the early modern era » began the archaeological study of Îgîlîz, about sixty kilometers east southeast of Taroudant. Discovered in 2004 by A. Fili and J.-P. Van Staëvel, Îgîlîz is a landmark in the history of medieval Morocco. This is here, on the heights of the Anti-Atlas, the last mountain before the Sahara, that appears in the early 1120 the religious movement of the Almohads. Lead at its beginings by a charismatic character, the jurist and theologian Ibn Tûmart, this tribal and religious revolution was soon to set ablaze all southern Morocco, and succeeded a quarter of a century later in building the greatest empire –the Almohad empire– the medieval Maghreb has ever known. Quickly marginalized then largely deserted, the fortified site of Îgîlîz offers an unique opportunity to study large portions of a lost rural civilization. As a remarkable example of medieval settlement in a mountain community of devotees dedicated to religious reform, it is also particularly relevant to begin a historical and archaeological study of the evolution of rural settlement in pre-Saharan regions of Morocco, and beyond the entire Maghreb. This archaeological program is part of the scientific activities of the Casa de Velázquez, the Institut National des Sciences du Patrimoine et de l’Archéologie (Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Morocco) and Jacques Berque Centre in Rabat. He receives a grant given by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to support the scientific cooperation between France and Morocco, as well as grants from the UMR 8167, the UMR 5648 and UMR 7209. It is set under the joint responsibility of Ahmed S. Ettahiri (INSAP, National Institute of Archaeological Sciences and Heritage, Rabat), Abdallah Fili (Choaib Dokkali University, El Jadida, UMR 5648, Lyon) and Jean-Pierre Van Staëvel (University of Paris IV - Sorbonne, UMR 8167 , Paris).

  • Rapport sur la 87e Assemblée générale de l’UAI (Mayence, 12-17 mai 2013), par M. Jacques JOUANNA, membre de l’Académie
  • Rapport de la commission du Prix Gustave Schlumberger, par Mme Cécile Morrisson, correspondant de l’Académie

To order this book :
Website: https://www.peeters-leuven.be/ Peeters Publishers – Bondgenotenlaan 153, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium tel. 00 32 (0) 16 24 40 00 peeters@peeters-leuven.be Paris Office - 52, Boulevard Saint-Michel, F-75006 Paris tel.+33 1 40 51 89 20


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