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  • Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
  • 2013-2022
  • Open Access
  • Ghent University Academic Bibliography
  • Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage

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  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Erika Graham-Goering; Michael Jones;
    Publisher: OpenEdition
    Country: Belgium

    L’administration de la vicomté de Limoges par Arthur II de Bretagne, qui l’avait acquise par mariage en 1275, et par ses successeurs n’a, jusqu’ici, pas été sérieusement étudiée. La découverte de quelques rares témoignages financiers datant du règne de Charles de Blois et de Jeanne de Penthièvre, duc et duchesse de Bretagne (1341-1364) et vicomte et vicomtesse de Limoges à partir de 1343, nous permet d’examiner en détail comment la vicomté était gouvernée et quelles ressources elle offrait à ses souverains. Un compte du receveur de Charles de Blois à Limoges pour la période 1344-1347 et les comptes du prévôt de la châtellenie de Ségur-le-Château pour 1345-1346, qui sont parmi les plus anciens témoignages de ce genre pour la vicomté, illustrent les développements sociaux, économiques et militaires connus par celle-ci alors que Limoges s’impliquait de plus en plus dans la succession contestée du duché de Bretagne (après la mort de Jean III en 1341), mais aussi dans le conflit plus général qui allait engloutir l’ouest de la France dans la première phase de la guerre de Cent Ans. Une édition des comptes de Ségur est annexée à l’étude. The administration of the viscounty of Limoges by Arthur II of Brittany, who had acquired it by marriage in 1275, and his successors has not been seriously studied. The discovery of some rare financial evidence dating to the reign of Charles de Blois and Jeanne de Penthievre, duke and duchess of Brittany (1341-1364), and viscount and viscountess of Limoges from 1343 onwards, allows us to examine in some detail how the viscounty was governed and what resources it offered its rulers. An account of the receiver of Charles de Blois in Limoges for the period 1344-1347 and the accounts of the provost of the castellany of Segur-le-Chateau for 1345-1346, amongst the earliest such records surviving for the viscounty, illustrate social, economic and military developments as Limoges became more and more involved not only in the disputed succession to the duchy of Brittany (following the death of John III in 1341) but also the more general conflict that would engulf western France in the first phase of the Hundred Years War. An edition of the Segur accounts is appended to the study.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Lieve Macken; Daniel Prou; Arda Tezcan;
    Publisher: MDPI AG
    Country: Belgium

    This paper studies the impact of machine translation (MT) on the translation workflow at the Directorate-General for Translation (DGT), focusing on two language pairs and two MT paradigms: English-into-French with statistical MT and English-into-Finnish with neural MT. We collected data from 20 professional translators at DGT while they carried out real translation tasks in normal working conditions. The participants enabled/disabled MT for half of the segments in each document. They filled in a survey at the end of the logging period. We measured the productivity gains (or losses) resulting from the use of MT and examined the relationship between technical effort and temporal effort. The results show that while the usage of MT leads to productivity gains on average, this is not the case for all translators. Moreover, the two technical effort indicators used in this study show weak correlations with post-editing time. The translators&rsquo perception of their speed gains was more or less in line with the actual results. Reduction of typing effort is the most frequently mentioned reason why participants preferred working with MT, but also the psychological benefits of not having to start from scratch were often mentioned.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Delphine Munos;
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
    Country: Belgium

    Drawing on Shoshana Felman’s distinction between “the texts of madness” and “the madness of texts,” Munos looks at Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) and “The Cheater’s Guide to Love” (2012), a short story written in the second person, with a view to showing how the “reader-effects” at play in these two texts further ambiguate the suggested equation between cultural authenticity and Dominican hyper-masculinity. By comparing Diaz’s use of the first person in his novel and that of the second person in his short story, Munos’s aim is to show how “The Cheater’s Guide” shifts the ground of analysis even more irrevocably from thematizing the madness of Dominican hyper-masculinity to dramatizing the status of knowledge and the very possibility of interpretation.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Stijn Van de Velde; Lieve Macken; Koen Vanneste; Martine Goossens; Jan Vanschoenbeek; Bert Aertgeerts; Klaar Vanopstal; Robert Vander Stichele; Joost Buysschaert;
    Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach
    Country: Belgium

    Background: The construction of EBMPracticeNet, a national electronic point-of-care information platform in Belgium, began in 2011 to optimize quality of care by promoting evidence-based decision making. The project involved, among other tasks, the translation of 940 EBM Guidelines of Duodecim Medical Publications from English into Dutch and French. Considering the scale of the translation process, it was decided to make use of computer-aided translation performed by certificated translators with limited expertise in medical translation. Our consortium used a hybrid approach, involving a human translator supported by a translation memory (using SDL Trados Studio), terminology recognition (using SDL MultiTerm terminology databases) from medical terminology databases, and support from online machine translation. This resulted in a validated translation memory, which is now in use for the translation of new and updated guidelines. Objective: The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the performance of the hybrid human and computer-assisted approach in comparison with translation unsupported by translation memory and terminology recognition. A comparison was also made with the translation efficiency of an expert medical translator. Methods: We conducted a pilot study in which two sets of 30 new and 30 updated guidelines were randomized to one of three groups. Comparable guidelines were translated (1) by certificated junior translators without medical specialization using the hybrid method, (2) by an experienced medical translator without this support, and (3) by the same junior translators without the support of the validated translation memory. A medical proofreader who was blinded for the translation procedure, evaluated the translated guidelines for acceptability and adequacy. Translation speed was measured by recording translation and post-editing time. The human translation edit rate was calculated as a metric to evaluate the quality of the translation. A further evaluation was made of translation acceptability and adequacy. Results: The average number of words per guideline was 1195 and the mean total translation time was 100.2 minutes/1000 words. No meaningful differences were found in the translation speed for new guidelines. The translation of updated guidelines was 59 minutes/1000 words faster (95% CI 2-115; P =.044) in the computer-aided group. Revisions due to terminology accounted for one third of the overall revisions by the medical proofreader. Conclusions: Use of the hybrid human and computer-aided translation by a non-expert translator makes the translation of updates of clinical practice guidelines faster and cheaper because of the benefits of translation memory. For the translation of new guidelines, there was no apparent benefit in comparison with the efficiency of translation unsupported by translation memory (whether by an expert or non-expert translator). [JMIR Med Inform 2015;3(4):e33]

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Dirk Heirbaut;
    Country: Belgium

    Summary Although Raoul van Caenegem claimed otherwise, he had very strong views on what legal history should be. In his opinion, legal history belonged to the disciplinary field of history, not to law. The legal historian should not only chronicle past evolutions of the law, but also explain them. To this purpose, van Caenegem himself turned to sociology, trying to work with types and models in order to generalise. Van Caenegem rejected the idea of a Volksgeist and advocated to look at the European context in a comparative legal history. Nevertheless, his ‘Europe’ was limited to the founding members of the European Union, joined by England. He constructed legal history as a history of power and preferred to study groups of law makers instead of individuals. In his legal history, the European ‘Second Middle Ages’, from 1100 until 1750, stand out as the cradle of the modern rule of law, with a special role for the cities of medieval Flanders. Although well-known for a leading handbook promoting the idea of the ius commune, the common law of Europe, van Caenegem actually deemed custom to have been the primary source of law in medieval Europe, whereas the role of the ius commune had been, in his opinion, overestimated. As he showed many times during his distinguished career, van Caenegem wanted legal historians to take part in current debates. In the end, his main lesson from legal history was a plea for moderation, as taking a sound idea to its extreme leads to absurd or unintended consequences.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Severine Verlinden; Klim Zaporojets; Johannes Deleu; Thomas Demeester; Chris Develder;
    Publisher: Association for Computational Linguistics
    Country: Belgium

    We consider a joint information extraction (IE) model, solving named entity recognition, coreference resolution and relation extraction jointly over the whole document. In particular, we study how to inject information from a knowledge base (KB) in such IE model, based on unsupervised entity linking. The used KB entity representations are learned from either (i) hyperlinked text documents (Wikipedia), or (ii) a knowledge graph (Wikidata), and appear complementary in raising IE performance. Representations of corresponding entity linking (EL) candidates are added to text span representations of the input document, and we experiment with (i) taking a weighted average of the EL candidate representations based on their prior (in Wikipedia), and (ii) using an attention scheme over the EL candidate list. Results demonstrate an increase of up to 5% F1-score for the evaluated IE tasks on two datasets. Despite a strong performance of the prior-based model, our quantitative and qualitative analysis reveals the advantage of using the attention-based approach.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Elchin I. Jafarov; J. Van der Jeugt;
    Publisher: IOP Publishing
    Country: Belgium

    We present some algebraic models for the quantum oscillator based upon Lie superalgebras. The Hamiltonian, position and momentum operator are identified as elements of the Lie superalgebra, and then the emphasis is on the spectral analysis of these elements in Lie superalgebra representations. The first example is the Heisenberg-Weyl superalgebra sh(2 vertical bar 2), which is considered as a "toy model". The representation considered is the Fock representation. The position operator has a discrete spectrum in this Fock representation, and the corresponding wavefunctions are in terms of Charlier polynomials. The second example is sl(2 vertical bar 1), where we construct a class of discrete series representations explicitly. The spectral analysis of the position operator in these representations is an interesting problem, and gives rise to discrete position wavefunctions given in terms of Meixner polynomials. This model is more fundamental, since it contains the paraboson oscillator and the canonical oscillator as special cases.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Marc De Groote;
    Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH
    Country: Belgium

    AbstractNot until 2006 could the scholarly community welcome the first critical edition of the 103 Quaestiones et responsiones ascribed to Anastasius of Sinai (CPG 7746; M. Richard / J.A. Munitiz. CCSG, 59). However, this publication did not solve all topics surrounding Anastasius’s work, because 21 Greek manuscripts contain still another florilegium, the so-called Σωτήριος dating from before 900 AD, whose core is formed by 88 ἐρωταποκρίσεις. Between 914 and 927 a Slavonic translation thereof was made which has been preserved in the so-called Изборник, a codex from 1073. The first and sole critical edition of the Slavonic text was made by O.M. Bodjanskij (1845). The 900th anniversary of the Изборник in 1973 incited the interest in the Greek original. Eventually, in 1996 the decision to edit the Greek text was made, mainly under the impetus of Prof. em. Dr F. J. Thomson. This edition, originally started by Dr D.Tj. Sieswerda, will be continued by the author of this article in close cooperation with Dr L. Sels, specialist in Church Slavonic.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Gunnar De Boel;
    Publisher: Centre d'Études Balkaniques
    Country: Belgium

    Pour Kazantzakis, Ascèse n’est pas qu’une métaphysique abstraite ; ses idées anti-humanistes sont utilisées aussi pour interpréter la réalité contemporaine. Ce n’est que confronté à la misère qui en résulte quand elles sont appliquées dans la réalité, qu’il les abandonne et devient un écrivain véritable. For Kazantzakis, Askitiki is not just an abstract metaphysics; its anti-humanistic ideas are also used to interpret contemporary reality. Only when he is confronted with the misery that results from their application in reality, he abandons them and becomes a real writer. Για τον Καζαντζάκη η Ασκητική δεν είναι μόνο μία αφηρημένη μεταφυσική, οι αντι-ουμανιστικές ιδέες του χρησιμοποιούνται και για να ερμηνέψουν την σύγχρονη πραγματικότητα. Μόνο όταν βρίσκεται απέναντι από την προκύπτουσα αθλιότητα, τότε τις εγκαταλείπει και γίνεται ένας αληθινός συγγραφέας.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Hofhuis, S.T.; Boudry, Maarten; LS Cultuurgeschiedenis; OGKG - Cultuurgeschiedenis;
    Publisher: Ubiquity Press
    Countries: Belgium, Netherlands

    Abstract The theory of Darwinian cultural evolution is gaining currency in many parts of the socio-cultural sciences, but it remains contentious. Critics claim that the theory is either fundamentally mistaken or boils down to a fancy re-description of things we knew all along. We will argue that cultural Darwinism can indeed resolve long-standing socio-cultural puzzles; this is demonstrated through a cultural Darwinian analysis of the European witch persecutions. Two central and unresolved questions concerning witch-hunts will be addressed. From the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, a remarkable and highly specific concept of witchcraft was taking shape in Europe. The first question is: who constructed it? With hindsight, we can see that the concept contains many elements that appear to be intelligently designed to ensure the continuation of witch persecutions, such as the witches’ sabbat, the diabolical pact, nightly flight, and torture as a means of interrogation. The second question is: why did beliefs in witchcraft and witch-hunts persist and disseminate, despite the fact that, as many historians have concluded, no one appears to have substantially benefited from them? Historians have convincingly argued that witch-hunts were not inspired by some hidden agenda; persecutors genuinely believed in the threat of witchcraft to their communities. We propose that the apparent ‘design’ exhibited by concepts of witchcraft resulted from a Darwinian process of evolution, in which cultural variants that accidentally enhanced the reproduction of the witch-hunts were selected and accumulated. We argue that witch persecutions form a prime example of a ‘viral’ socio-cultural phenomenon that reproduces ‘selfishly’, even harming the interests of its human hosts.

Advanced search in Research products
Research products
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Searching FieldsTerms
Any field
arrow_drop_down
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Include:
The following results are related to Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
1,001 Research products, page 1 of 101
  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Erika Graham-Goering; Michael Jones;
    Publisher: OpenEdition
    Country: Belgium

    L’administration de la vicomté de Limoges par Arthur II de Bretagne, qui l’avait acquise par mariage en 1275, et par ses successeurs n’a, jusqu’ici, pas été sérieusement étudiée. La découverte de quelques rares témoignages financiers datant du règne de Charles de Blois et de Jeanne de Penthièvre, duc et duchesse de Bretagne (1341-1364) et vicomte et vicomtesse de Limoges à partir de 1343, nous permet d’examiner en détail comment la vicomté était gouvernée et quelles ressources elle offrait à ses souverains. Un compte du receveur de Charles de Blois à Limoges pour la période 1344-1347 et les comptes du prévôt de la châtellenie de Ségur-le-Château pour 1345-1346, qui sont parmi les plus anciens témoignages de ce genre pour la vicomté, illustrent les développements sociaux, économiques et militaires connus par celle-ci alors que Limoges s’impliquait de plus en plus dans la succession contestée du duché de Bretagne (après la mort de Jean III en 1341), mais aussi dans le conflit plus général qui allait engloutir l’ouest de la France dans la première phase de la guerre de Cent Ans. Une édition des comptes de Ségur est annexée à l’étude. The administration of the viscounty of Limoges by Arthur II of Brittany, who had acquired it by marriage in 1275, and his successors has not been seriously studied. The discovery of some rare financial evidence dating to the reign of Charles de Blois and Jeanne de Penthievre, duke and duchess of Brittany (1341-1364), and viscount and viscountess of Limoges from 1343 onwards, allows us to examine in some detail how the viscounty was governed and what resources it offered its rulers. An account of the receiver of Charles de Blois in Limoges for the period 1344-1347 and the accounts of the provost of the castellany of Segur-le-Chateau for 1345-1346, amongst the earliest such records surviving for the viscounty, illustrate social, economic and military developments as Limoges became more and more involved not only in the disputed succession to the duchy of Brittany (following the death of John III in 1341) but also the more general conflict that would engulf western France in the first phase of the Hundred Years War. An edition of the Segur accounts is appended to the study.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Lieve Macken; Daniel Prou; Arda Tezcan;
    Publisher: MDPI AG
    Country: Belgium

    This paper studies the impact of machine translation (MT) on the translation workflow at the Directorate-General for Translation (DGT), focusing on two language pairs and two MT paradigms: English-into-French with statistical MT and English-into-Finnish with neural MT. We collected data from 20 professional translators at DGT while they carried out real translation tasks in normal working conditions. The participants enabled/disabled MT for half of the segments in each document. They filled in a survey at the end of the logging period. We measured the productivity gains (or losses) resulting from the use of MT and examined the relationship between technical effort and temporal effort. The results show that while the usage of MT leads to productivity gains on average, this is not the case for all translators. Moreover, the two technical effort indicators used in this study show weak correlations with post-editing time. The translators&rsquo perception of their speed gains was more or less in line with the actual results. Reduction of typing effort is the most frequently mentioned reason why participants preferred working with MT, but also the psychological benefits of not having to start from scratch were often mentioned.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Delphine Munos;
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
    Country: Belgium

    Drawing on Shoshana Felman’s distinction between “the texts of madness” and “the madness of texts,” Munos looks at Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) and “The Cheater’s Guide to Love” (2012), a short story written in the second person, with a view to showing how the “reader-effects” at play in these two texts further ambiguate the suggested equation between cultural authenticity and Dominican hyper-masculinity. By comparing Diaz’s use of the first person in his novel and that of the second person in his short story, Munos’s aim is to show how “The Cheater’s Guide” shifts the ground of analysis even more irrevocably from thematizing the madness of Dominican hyper-masculinity to dramatizing the status of knowledge and the very possibility of interpretation.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Stijn Van de Velde; Lieve Macken; Koen Vanneste; Martine Goossens; Jan Vanschoenbeek; Bert Aertgeerts; Klaar Vanopstal; Robert Vander Stichele; Joost Buysschaert;
    Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach
    Country: Belgium

    Background: The construction of EBMPracticeNet, a national electronic point-of-care information platform in Belgium, began in 2011 to optimize quality of care by promoting evidence-based decision making. The project involved, among other tasks, the translation of 940 EBM Guidelines of Duodecim Medical Publications from English into Dutch and French. Considering the scale of the translation process, it was decided to make use of computer-aided translation performed by certificated translators with limited expertise in medical translation. Our consortium used a hybrid approach, involving a human translator supported by a translation memory (using SDL Trados Studio), terminology recognition (using SDL MultiTerm terminology databases) from medical terminology databases, and support from online machine translation. This resulted in a validated translation memory, which is now in use for the translation of new and updated guidelines. Objective: The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the performance of the hybrid human and computer-assisted approach in comparison with translation unsupported by translation memory and terminology recognition. A comparison was also made with the translation efficiency of an expert medical translator. Methods: We conducted a pilot study in which two sets of 30 new and 30 updated guidelines were randomized to one of three groups. Comparable guidelines were translated (1) by certificated junior translators without medical specialization using the hybrid method, (2) by an experienced medical translator without this support, and (3) by the same junior translators without the support of the validated translation memory. A medical proofreader who was blinded for the translation procedure, evaluated the translated guidelines for acceptability and adequacy. Translation speed was measured by recording translation and post-editing time. The human translation edit rate was calculated as a metric to evaluate the quality of the translation. A further evaluation was made of translation acceptability and adequacy. Results: The average number of words per guideline was 1195 and the mean total translation time was 100.2 minutes/1000 words. No meaningful differences were found in the translation speed for new guidelines. The translation of updated guidelines was 59 minutes/1000 words faster (95% CI 2-115; P =.044) in the computer-aided group. Revisions due to terminology accounted for one third of the overall revisions by the medical proofreader. Conclusions: Use of the hybrid human and computer-aided translation by a non-expert translator makes the translation of updates of clinical practice guidelines faster and cheaper because of the benefits of translation memory. For the translation of new guidelines, there was no apparent benefit in comparison with the efficiency of translation unsupported by translation memory (whether by an expert or non-expert translator). [JMIR Med Inform 2015;3(4):e33]

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Dirk Heirbaut;
    Country: Belgium

    Summary Although Raoul van Caenegem claimed otherwise, he had very strong views on what legal history should be. In his opinion, legal history belonged to the disciplinary field of history, not to law. The legal historian should not only chronicle past evolutions of the law, but also explain them. To this purpose, van Caenegem himself turned to sociology, trying to work with types and models in order to generalise. Van Caenegem rejected the idea of a Volksgeist and advocated to look at the European context in a comparative legal history. Nevertheless, his ‘Europe’ was limited to the founding members of the European Union, joined by England. He constructed legal history as a history of power and preferred to study groups of law makers instead of individuals. In his legal history, the European ‘Second Middle Ages’, from 1100 until 1750, stand out as the cradle of the modern rule of law, with a special role for the cities of medieval Flanders. Although well-known for a leading handbook promoting the idea of the ius commune, the common law of Europe, van Caenegem actually deemed custom to have been the primary source of law in medieval Europe, whereas the role of the ius commune had been, in his opinion, overestimated. As he showed many times during his distinguished career, van Caenegem wanted legal historians to take part in current debates. In the end, his main lesson from legal history was a plea for moderation, as taking a sound idea to its extreme leads to absurd or unintended consequences.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Severine Verlinden; Klim Zaporojets; Johannes Deleu; Thomas Demeester; Chris Develder;
    Publisher: Association for Computational Linguistics
    Country: Belgium

    We consider a joint information extraction (IE) model, solving named entity recognition, coreference resolution and relation extraction jointly over the whole document. In particular, we study how to inject information from a knowledge base (KB) in such IE model, based on unsupervised entity linking. The used KB entity representations are learned from either (i) hyperlinked text documents (Wikipedia), or (ii) a knowledge graph (Wikidata), and appear complementary in raising IE performance. Representations of corresponding entity linking (EL) candidates are added to text span representations of the input document, and we experiment with (i) taking a weighted average of the EL candidate representations based on their prior (in Wikipedia), and (ii) using an attention scheme over the EL candidate list. Results demonstrate an increase of up to 5% F1-score for the evaluated IE tasks on two datasets. Despite a strong performance of the prior-based model, our quantitative and qualitative analysis reveals the advantage of using the attention-based approach.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Elchin I. Jafarov; J. Van der Jeugt;
    Publisher: IOP Publishing
    Country: Belgium

    We present some algebraic models for the quantum oscillator based upon Lie superalgebras. The Hamiltonian, position and momentum operator are identified as elements of the Lie superalgebra, and then the emphasis is on the spectral analysis of these elements in Lie superalgebra representations. The first example is the Heisenberg-Weyl superalgebra sh(2 vertical bar 2), which is considered as a "toy model". The representation considered is the Fock representation. The position operator has a discrete spectrum in this Fock representation, and the corresponding wavefunctions are in terms of Charlier polynomials. The second example is sl(2 vertical bar 1), where we construct a class of discrete series representations explicitly. The spectral analysis of the position operator in these representations is an interesting problem, and gives rise to discrete position wavefunctions given in terms of Meixner polynomials. This model is more fundamental, since it contains the paraboson oscillator and the canonical oscillator as special cases.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Marc De Groote;
    Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH
    Country: Belgium

    AbstractNot until 2006 could the scholarly community welcome the first critical edition of the 103 Quaestiones et responsiones ascribed to Anastasius of Sinai (CPG 7746; M. Richard / J.A. Munitiz. CCSG, 59). However, this publication did not solve all topics surrounding Anastasius’s work, because 21 Greek manuscripts contain still another florilegium, the so-called Σωτήριος dating from before 900 AD, whose core is formed by 88 ἐρωταποκρίσεις. Between 914 and 927 a Slavonic translation thereof was made which has been preserved in the so-called Изборник, a codex from 1073. The first and sole critical edition of the Slavonic text was made by O.M. Bodjanskij (1845). The 900th anniversary of the Изборник in 1973 incited the interest in the Greek original. Eventually, in 1996 the decision to edit the Greek text was made, mainly under the impetus of Prof. em. Dr F. J. Thomson. This edition, originally started by Dr D.Tj. Sieswerda, will be continued by the author of this article in close cooperation with Dr L. Sels, specialist in Church Slavonic.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Gunnar De Boel;
    Publisher: Centre d'Études Balkaniques
    Country: Belgium

    Pour Kazantzakis, Ascèse n’est pas qu’une métaphysique abstraite ; ses idées anti-humanistes sont utilisées aussi pour interpréter la réalité contemporaine. Ce n’est que confronté à la misère qui en résulte quand elles sont appliquées dans la réalité, qu’il les abandonne et devient un écrivain véritable. For Kazantzakis, Askitiki is not just an abstract metaphysics; its anti-humanistic ideas are also used to interpret contemporary reality. Only when he is confronted with the misery that results from their application in reality, he abandons them and becomes a real writer. Για τον Καζαντζάκη η Ασκητική δεν είναι μόνο μία αφηρημένη μεταφυσική, οι αντι-ουμανιστικές ιδέες του χρησιμοποιούνται και για να ερμηνέψουν την σύγχρονη πραγματικότητα. Μόνο όταν βρίσκεται απέναντι από την προκύπτουσα αθλιότητα, τότε τις εγκαταλείπει και γίνεται ένας αληθινός συγγραφέας.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Hofhuis, S.T.; Boudry, Maarten; LS Cultuurgeschiedenis; OGKG - Cultuurgeschiedenis;
    Publisher: Ubiquity Press
    Countries: Belgium, Netherlands

    Abstract The theory of Darwinian cultural evolution is gaining currency in many parts of the socio-cultural sciences, but it remains contentious. Critics claim that the theory is either fundamentally mistaken or boils down to a fancy re-description of things we knew all along. We will argue that cultural Darwinism can indeed resolve long-standing socio-cultural puzzles; this is demonstrated through a cultural Darwinian analysis of the European witch persecutions. Two central and unresolved questions concerning witch-hunts will be addressed. From the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, a remarkable and highly specific concept of witchcraft was taking shape in Europe. The first question is: who constructed it? With hindsight, we can see that the concept contains many elements that appear to be intelligently designed to ensure the continuation of witch persecutions, such as the witches’ sabbat, the diabolical pact, nightly flight, and torture as a means of interrogation. The second question is: why did beliefs in witchcraft and witch-hunts persist and disseminate, despite the fact that, as many historians have concluded, no one appears to have substantially benefited from them? Historians have convincingly argued that witch-hunts were not inspired by some hidden agenda; persecutors genuinely believed in the threat of witchcraft to their communities. We propose that the apparent ‘design’ exhibited by concepts of witchcraft resulted from a Darwinian process of evolution, in which cultural variants that accidentally enhanced the reproduction of the witch-hunts were selected and accumulated. We argue that witch persecutions form a prime example of a ‘viral’ socio-cultural phenomenon that reproduces ‘selfishly’, even harming the interests of its human hosts.