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The text is no longer considered to be a stable and objectively verifiable entity, but subject to profound transformation by the process of reception; in turn, it is an element in the transformation or modification of the experience of its Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp. New Directions in Literary History, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, p. It is worth noting at this point that today the history of the book has begun to supersede the line of argument presented here, drawing attention to the physical form of the book, the production and distribution of books, and the physical circumstances of the act of reading.

As Jauss emphasizes, not only is it necessary to overcome the diachronic emphasis of literary history through the construction of synchronous structures of per- ception; one must also recognize that it is the junction of synchronic and diachronic orders and the place of the reader at this junction which make historical understanding possible. By its nature, this junction is constituted by a concatenation of diverse elements, of different histories advancing at different rates and subject to varying conditions. Hence was developed the characterization of the moment of experience as a point of contemporaneity in which all that occurs together by no means enters into this moment in a uniform fashion.

In its own way, Begriffsgeschichte is a form of Rezeptionsgeschichte, chart- ing the course of the reception of concepts and examining the experience that they both contain and make possible. Overlying this is the continuing influence of Carl Schmitt,33 the man from whom Koselleck learned the merit of posing good questions. The perception of modernity as a problematic, if not crisis-ridden, condition is, in these essays, not so obvious as in Kritik und Krise, but it nevertheless plays a significant organizing role.

Enlightenment rationalism raised the prospect of unending progress and human improvement, and this vision was transformed into a future, realiz- able utopia through its articulation in the political programs of the French, and later, European revolutions. These broke decisively with the closed and cyclical structure of the eschatological world view in which predictions of the coming End of the World and the Final Judgment set the limit to human ambition and hope; instead, society was now perceived as accelerating toward an unknown and unknowable future, but within which was con- tained a hope of the desired utopian fulfillment.

Utopias and the hopes embodied in them in turn became potential guarantees of their own fulfill- ment, laying the basis for the transformation of modern conflict into civil war. Because the fronts of political conflict are now based upon ideological differences, conflict becomes endemic, self-generating, and, in principle, endless. In one sense, then, we exist in a modern world traversed by such conflicts, in which permanent civil war exists on a world scale; and which, The modern world repre- sents a future which once existed, is now realized, and is perpetually in dan- ger of outrunning the power of its inhabitants to control its course.

Associated with this was the idea that fallen sol- diers should have individual graves close to the site of their death, a senti- ment most extensively represented by the British and French Great War cemeteries marking out for all time its Western Front. As an instrument in Wilhelm Fink Verlag, pp.

That it is occasionally suggested that the English speaking world does not need the GG because we already have the Oxford English Dictionary38 merely confirms a lack of familiarity with the very different scope of these two projects. Besides the overall design of the GG project, the fact that it was ever brought to completion depended vitally upon a shared understanding of the existence of this tradition among German historians, a circumstance not open to replication elsewhere. It is what Koselleck has done with this tradition that deserves our attention, and which is elaborated in the essays that follow.

A Critical Introduction New York: Oxford University Press, This is a question that historical science has difficulty with, and which requires us to enter the domain of historical the- ory more deeply than otherwise required by the discipline. The sources of the past do inform us about thoughts and deeds, plans and events, but they provide no direct indication of historical time.

Some theoretical clarification is needed before we can answer a question that recurs constantly, but where the evidential legacy provides scant support. Research directed to historical circumstances has no need of an explicit confrontation with the question of historical time. The ordering and narra- tion of events only has need of an exact chronology. This unitary, natural time is equally suited to all on our planet, taking into account the inverse seasonal cycles of the northern and southern hemi- spheres and the progressive variation of day and night.

There is likewise a limited variability and general similarity in the biological time of human lives that medical intervention can do little to alter. Whoever seeks to form an impression of historical time in everyday life may notice the wrinkles of an old man, or the scars in which a former fate is preserved.


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The conjunction of ruins and rebuilt sites can be recalled, noting the obvious shifts in style that lend architectural outlines their deeper tem- poral dimension; or one might contemplate the coexistence, connectedness, and hierarchy of variously modernized forms of transport, through which, from sleigh to airplane, entire eras meet. Even such preliminary observations make clear that the generality of a measurable time based on Nature—even if it possesses its own history—cannot be transformed unmediated into a historical concept of time.

Even the singularity of a unique historical time supposedly distinct from a measurable natural time can be cast in doubt. Historical time, if the con- cept has a specific meaning, is bound up with social and political actions, with concretely acting and suffering human beings and their institutions and organizations.

All these actions have definite, internalized forms of conduct, each with a peculiar temporal rhythm. One has only to think keeping to everyday life of the annual cycle of public holidays and festivals that punc- tuate social life, or of changes in working hours and their duration that have determined the course of life and continue to do so. What follows will there- fore seek to speak, not of one historical time, but rather of many forms of time superimposed one upon the other. In the emphatic words that Herder aimed at Kant: In reality, every mutable thing has within itself the measure of its time; this persists even in the absence of any other; no two worldly things have the same measure of time.

There are therefore to be precise and audacious at any one time in the Universe infinitely many times. All of these, to take only a few examples, can be evaluated historically only when measured and dated by naturalistic temporal divisions. But interpretation of the relationships arising from these factors imme- diately transcends temporal determinations derived from natural, physical, or astronomical phenomena. The pressure of time on political decision- making, the impact of the speed of means of transport and communication on the economy or on military actions, the durability or flux of social con- duct in the context of political or economic exigencies of specific and limited span: Each sur- vey of such interconnections among events leads to the determination of epochs and doctrines of specific eras which conclude entirely differently and can also overlap, depending upon the particular areas under consideration.

This volume considers only in passing such densely saturated sociohistorical issues, although it should help their clarification. The following essays, written during the s and s, have a more modest intention. They direct themselves to texts in which historical experi- ence of time is articulated either explicitly or implicitly. To be more precise, texts were sought out and interrogated that, explicitly or implicitly, deal with the relation of a given past to a given future.

The testimony of numerous witnesses from Antiquity to the present is assembled here: All testimony answers to the problem of how, in a concrete situation, experiences come to terms with the past; how expectations, hopes, or prognoses that are projected into the future become articulated into language. These essays will constantly ask: This query involves the hypothesis that in differentiating past and future, or in anthropological terms experience and expectation, it is possi- ble to grasp something like historical time.

It is certainly a biologically deter- mined human characteristic that, with increasing age, the relation of experi- ence and expectation changes, whether through the increase of the one and decline of the other, through the one compensating for the other, or through the opening of previously unperceived interior or metaphysical worlds that help relativize the finitude of personal life. But it is also in the succession of historical generations that the relation of past and future has clearly altered. Special attention is there- fore devoted to a given present and its condition as a superseded former future.

If a particular contemporary becomes aware of an increase in the weight of the future in his range of experience, this is certainly an effect of the technical-industrial transformation of a world that forces upon its inhabitants ever briefer intervals of time in which to gather new experiences and adapt to changes induced at an ever-increasing pace.

Clarification of this is the job of structural history, and the following studies are intended as a contribution to that end. Methodologically, these studies direct themselves to the semantics of central concepts in which historical experience of time is implicated. It will become apparent that when History is experienced as a new temporality, specific dispositions and ways of assimilating experi- ence will emerge. This is true both of a world history extending spatially, which contains the modern concept of history in general, and of the tempo- ral perspective within which, since that time, past and future must be relo- cated with respect to each other.

The latter problem is addressed throughout this book by the category of temporalization. Numerous concepts complementary to that of history, such as revolu- tion, chance, fate, progress, and development, will be introduced into the analysis. Similarly, constitutional concepts will be considered for their tem- poral implications, and the changes these undergo. The semantic analyses presented here are not generally conceived in terms of a particular purpose in linguistic history.

Rather, they should seek out the linguistic organization of temporal experience wherever this surfaces in past reality. Consequently, these studies continually reach out and take up the sociohistorical context; trace the impulse in the pragmatic or political language of author or speaker; or, on the basis of conceptual semantics, draw conclusions concerning the historico-anthropological dimension present in every act of conceptualization and linguistic performance.

It is for this rea- son that I have included in this volume the study on dreams and terror; this essay involves a degree of methodological risk, considering the manner in which language is reduced to silence and where the dimension of time appears to become reversed. The titles of the three parts do not imply a rigorous train of thought.

They are more a matter of emphases that relate to each other and, to greater or less extent, characterize all the studies. Initially, semantic cross sections are contrasted along a diachronic path. Finally, greater attention is paid to aspects of linguistic pragmatism and anthropology within semantics.

The arrangement is not, however, without a certain expediency, for each piece is conceived as independent and complete, so that series of examples, method- ological elaborations, and theoretical considerations of the relation of lan- guage and historical reality are almost a constant feature. To avoid unneces- sary repetition, the texts are brought into line with each other; nearly all are abbreviated or extended by a few sentences and quotations.

A few references to literature that has appeared since the original essays were published have been added. For the most part, these studies emerged from the planning and orga- nization of the lexicon Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe, edited by Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, and myself. Consequently, I would like to refer the reader to this lexicon and its contributors for further information.

I would like to thank these same contributors for their numerous suggestions. I also wish to thank Siegfried Unseld, who during years of promises waited patiently for the completion of the volume. Not to be forgotten is the memory of Frau Margarete Dank, who died quite suddenly, after having prepared the manuscript for the press, leaving a painful void in the work of the Faculty, and of the lexicon. Thematically Christian-Humanist, they depicted a series of bib- lical events, as well as a series of episodes from classical Antiquity. With hitherto unsuspected mastery Altdorfer was able to portray thousands upon thousands of individual warriors as complete armies; he shows us the clash of armored squadrons of horse and foot soldiers armed with spears; the victorious line of attack of the Macedonians, with Alexander far out at the head; the confusion and disintegration which overtook the Per- sians; and the expectant bearing of the Greek battle-reserves, which will then complete the victory.

Careful examination of the painting enables us to reconstruct the entire course of the battle. For Altdorfer had in this image delineated a history, in the way that Historie at that time could mean both image and narrative Geschichte. To be as accurate as possible, the artist, or rather the court his- toriographer advising him, had consulted Curtius Rufus so as to ascertain the supposedly exact number of combatants, the dead and those taken prisoner. These figures can be found inscribed upon the banners of the rele- vant armies, including the number of dead, who remain in the painting among the living, perhaps even bearing the banner under which they are about to fall, mortally wounded.

Altdorfer made conscious use of anachro- nism so that he could faithfully represent the course of the completed battle. There is another element of anachronism which today is certainly much more apparent to us. From their feet to their turbans, most of the Persians resemble the Turks who, in the same year the picture was painted , unsuccessfully laid siege to Vienna.

In other words, the event that Altdorfer captured was for him at once historical and contemporary. Alexander and Maximilian, for whom Altdorfer had prepared drawings, merge in an exemplary manner; the space of historical experience enjoys the profundity of generational unity. The state of contemporary military technology still did not in principle offer any obstacle to the representation of the Battle of Issus as a current event.

Machiavelli had only just devoted an entire chapter of his Discourses to the thesis that modern firearms had had little impact on the conduct of wars. The belief that the invention of the gun eclipsed the exemplary power of Antiquity was quite erroneous, argued Machiavelli. Those who followed the Ancients could only smile at such a view.

The present and the past were enclosed within a common historical plane. Temporal difference was not more or less arbitrarily eliminated; it was not, as such, at all apparent. The proof of this is there to see in the painting of the Alexanderschlacht. Altdorfer, who wished to corroborate represented history Historie statistically by specifying the combatants in ten numbered columns, has done without one figure: His battle thus is not only contemporary; it simultaneously appears to be timeless.

Schlegel was able to distinguish the painting from his own time, as well as from that of the Antiquity it strove to represent. For him, history had in this way gained a specifically temporal dimension, which is clearly absent for Altdorfer. Formulated schematically, there was for Schlegel, in the three hundred years separating him from Altdorfer, more time or perhaps a dif- ferent mode of time than appeared to have passed for Altdorfer in the eigh- teen hundred years or so that lay between the Battle of Issus and his painting.

What had happened in these three hundred years that separate our two witnesses, Altdorfer and Schlegel? What new quality had historical time gained that occupies this period from about to ? If we are to answer these questions, this period must be conceived not simply as elapsed time, but rather as a period with its own specific characteristics. We will restrict ourselves to the perspective we possess from the onetime future of past generations or, more pithily, from a former future. Let us try to regard the picture with the eye of one of his contemporaries. For a Christian, the victory of Alexander over the Persians signifies the transition from the second to the third world empire, a sequence in which the Holy Roman Empire constitutes the fourth and last.

This battle, in which the Persian army was des- tined for defeat, was no ordinary one; rather, it was one of the few events between the beginning of the world and its end that also prefigured the fall of the Holy Roman Empire. Analogous events were expected to occur with the coming of the End of the World.

The Alexanderschlacht was timeless as the prelude, figure, or archetype of the final struggle between Christ and Antichrist; those participating in it were contemporaries of those who lived in expectation of the Last Judgment. Until well into the sixteenth century, the history of Christianity is a his- tory of expectations, or more exactly, the constant anticipation of the End of the World on the one hand and the continual deferment of the End on the other.

While the materiality of such expectations varied from one situation to another, the basic figure of the End remained constant. However the image of the End of the World was varied, the role of the Holy Roman Empire remained a permanent feature: The Emperor was the katechon of the Antichrist. All of these figures appeared to emerge into historical reality during the epoch of the Reformation. As city architect he applied himself, while working on his painting, to strengthening the fortifications so that they would be secure against the Turks.

Luther frequently referred to the fact that the Fall was to be expected in the coming year, or even in the current one. The foreshortening of time indicated that the End of the World was approaching with greater speed, even if the actual date remained hidden from us. Let us stop for a moment and look forward over the three hundred years whose structural change in temporality is the subject of this essay. On May 10, Robespierre, in his famous speech on the Revolutionary Constitu- tion, proclaimed: The progress of human Reason laid the basis for this great Revolu- tion, and you shall now assume the particular duty of hastening its pace.

Both posi- tions, insofar as the French Revolution descended from the Reformation, mark the beginning and end of our period. Let us try to relate them in terms of visions of the future.

Bibliography and Documents

A ruling principle Herrschaftsprinzip of the Roman Church was that all visionaries had to be brought under its control. Proclaiming a vision of the future presupposed that it had first received the authorization of the Church as decided at the Fifth Lateran Council, — The ban on the Joach- imite theory of the Third Empire; the fate of Joan of Arc, whose determined affirmation of an unlicensed vision led to the stake; the death by fire of Savonarola: The stability of the Church was not to be endangered; its unity, like the existence of the empire itself, was a guarantee of order until the End of the World came.

Correspondingly, the future of the world and its end were made part of the history of the Church; newly inflamed prophets necessarily exposed themselves to verdicts of heresy. The Church utilized the imminent-but- future End of the World as a means of stabilization, finding an equilibrium between the threat of the End on the one hand and the hope of Parousia on the other. The Church is itself eschatological.

Dokumente, Formulare und Hinweise

But the moment the figures of the apocalypse are applied to concrete events or instances, the eschatology has disintegrative effects. The End of the World is only an integrating factor so long as its politico-historical meaning remains indeterminate. The Church integrates the future as the possible End of the World within its organization of time; it is not placed at the end point of time in a strictly linear fashion.

The end of time can be experienced only because it is always already sublimated in the Church. The history of the Church remains the history of salvation so long as this condition held. The most basic assumptions of this tradition were destroyed by the Reformation. Neither Church nor worldly powers were capable of contain- ing the energies which Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin unleashed upon the European world.

The empire had failed in its duty. Henceforth peace and religious duty were no longer identical: Today we can only with great dif- ficulty gain a sense of quite how monstrous this imposition seemed at that time. Politicians were concerned about the temporal, not the eternal, as the orthodox among all parties complained. Heresy no longer existed within religion; it was founded in the state. This is a dangerous statement, if we repeat it today.

In , however, its meaning consisted in formulating orthodoxy as a ques- tion set in terms of the jurisdiction of the state Staatsrecht. But it was only after the Thirty Years War had worn down the Ger- mans that they were able to make the principle of religious indifference the basis for peace. While in the West modern states arose from guerre civile and civil war, the religious war in Germany transformed itself—thanks to intervention— into a war between states, whose outcome paradoxically gave new life to the Holy Roman Empire.

The renewed life was under new conditions, of course: What consequences did the new arrangement of politics and religion have for the construction of the modern apprehension of time, and what displacement of the future had this process brought with it? The experience won in a century of bloody struggles was, above all, that the religious wars did not herald the Final Judgment, at least not in the direct manner hitherto envisaged. And this disclosed a new and unorthodox future.

This process took place slowly, and had been prepared well in advance. The first shift can be found in the fact that by the fifteenth century, and in part earlier, the expected End of the World was progressively prorogued. Nicolaus von Cues at one time placed it at the beginning of the eighteenth century; Melanchthon calculated that the final epoch would begin to wane with the passing of two thousand years from the birth of Christ.

The last great papal prophecy in , attributed to Malachias, extended by a factor of three the customary list of Popes, so that reckoning according to the aver- age duration of papal rule the end of all time could be expected in , at the earliest. Newton himself proph- esied around that papal rule would end in Astrological calcula- tion of the future pushed eschatological expectations into a constantly receding future. Ultimately, expectations of the End were undermined by apparently natural determinants. A symbolic coincidence is that in the year of the Peace of Augsburg, , Nostradamus published his Centuries.

He did, of course, complete his visions with a prophecy of the End quite in keeping with the traditional spirit; the intervening period, however, was formulated in terms of an endless array of undatable, variable oracles, confronting the interested reader with an immeasurably extended future. Third, with the paling of presentiments of the End, the Holy Roman Empire lost its eschatological function, in a manner distinct from that ear- lier. Since the Peace of Westphalia, it had become clear at the very least that the preservation of peace had become the business of the European system of states.

Bodin here played a role as historian which was quite as path- breaking as his foundation of the concept of sovereignty. In separating sacral, human, and natural history, Bodin transformed the question of the End of the World into a problem of astronomical and mathematical calcu- lation. The End of the World became a datum within the cosmos, and escha- tology was forced into a specially prepared natural history. Working within a cabbalistic tradition, Bodin considered it quite possible that this world would end only after a cycle of 50, years. The Holy Roman Empire was thus stripped of its sacred task.

The maintenance of peace was the task of the state, not the mis- sion of an empire. If there were any land with a claim to the succession of imperial power it was the Turkish Empire, which spread itself over three continents. The setting free of a historia humana which turned away from sacral history, and the legitimation of a modern state capable of subduing salvation-oriented religious factions, are for Bodin one and the same. This leads to a fourth point. The genesis of the absolutist state is accom- panied by a sporadic struggle against all manner of religious and political pre- dictions.

The state enforced a monopoly on the control of the future by sup- pressing apocalyptic and astrological readings of the future. In doing so, it assumed a function of the old Church for anti-Church objectives. Disobedient prophets could expect lifelong imprisonment. Henry III of France and Richelieu followed the English example so that they could stop up once and for all the source of a steady stream of religious pre- sentiments. He added the warning: This was also apparent in England, where during the Puritan Revolution the old expectations, expressed in prophetic terms, were once again preva- lent.

But the last great predictive struggle conducted on a political plane—in and over the question of whether or not a Restoration would occur— was already argued out in the language of critical philology. The republican astrologer Lilly proved that his Cavalier enemies had falsely quoted from their sources. And if Cromwell made his intentions for the coming year popularly available in the form of an almanac, this is to be attributed more to his cold realism than to any belief in revelations.

The last widespread mil- lennial prophecy in Germany arose during the Thirty Years War: The basic lines of prediction were always limited, although they were creatively formulated well into the seventeenth century. It was an epilogue. The course of the seventeenth century is characterized by the destruction of interpretations of the future, however motivated. Where it had the power, the state persecuted their utterance, such as in the Cevennes uprising, ulti- mately driving them into private, local, folkloristic circles or secret associa- tions.

Parallel to this developed a 1iterary feud conducted by humanists and skeptics against oracles and associated superstitions. The first well-known people to become involved were Montaigne and Bacon, who revealed the psychology of prophecy in penetrating essays, well before their contempo- raries. He not only denounced visions as the customary subterfuge of con- temporary factions which were either subversive or merely ambitious, but he also went a step further and sought to unmask canonical prophecy as the vic- tim of primitive powers of self-delusion.

The facility with which anticipations of devout Christians, or predictions of all kinds, could be transformed into political action had disappeared by Political calculation and humanist reservations marked out a new plane for the future. Neither the One Big End of the World nor the several smaller ones could apparently affect the course of human affairs. Instead of the antic- ipated millennium, a new and different temporal perspective had opened up. Here we touch on a fifth point. But these con- cepts became established for the entirety of historical time in a gradual man- ner from the second half of the seventeenth century.

Since then, one has lived in Modernity and been conscious of so doing. It is possible to identify two types, relating to each other as well as referring back to expectations of salvation: The rational forecast, the prognosis, became the counterconcept of contemporary prophecy.

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Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time (Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought.)

The delicate art of political calculation was first developed in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy, and then brought to a peak of finesse during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the cabinets of the European courts. As a motto for this art, we will repeat a classical quotation from Aristotle, which was used by Guicciardini when introducing it into political literature: The future became a domain of finite possibilities, arranged according to their greater or lesser probability. It is the same plane that Bodin disclosed for the opera- tion of historia humana.

Weighing the probability of forthcoming or nonoc- curring events in the first instance eliminated a conception of the future taken for granted by religious factions: For a politician, on the other hand, the only remaining moral judgment related to measuring the greater or lesser evil. It was in this sense that Riche- lieu stated that nothing was more important for a government than fore- sight: The second consequence of such a posi- tion was preparedness for possible surprise, for it was generally not this or that possibility that would be realized, but a third, or fourth, and so on.

The prog- nosis is a conscious element Moment of political action. It is related to events whose novelty it releases. Hence time continually emanates from the prognosis in an unforeseeable, but predictable, manner. Prognosis produces the time within which and out of which it weaves, whereas apocalyptic prophecy destroys time through its fixation on the End.

From the point of view of prophecy, events are merely symbols of that which is already known. A disappointed prophet cannot doubt the truth of his own predictions. Since these are variable, they can be renewed at any time. More- over, with every disappointment, the certainty of approaching fulfillment increases. An erroneous prognosis, by contrast, cannot even be repeated as an error, remaining as it does conditioned by specific assumptions. Rational prognosis assigns itself to intrinsic possibilities, but through this produces an excess of potential controls on the world.

Time is always reflected in a surprising fashion in the prognosis; the constant similitude of eschatological expectation is dissolved by the continued novelty of time run- ning away with itself and prognostic attempts to contain it.

Niccolò Machiavelli - Auszüge aus Il Principe

In terms of tem- poral structure, then, prognosis can be seen to be the integrating factor of the state that transgresses the limited future of the world to which it has been entrusted. Let us take a favorite example from classical diplomacy: The manner in which it was done, and not the reason, can easily be traced to Frederick the Great. Frederick lived, after the embit- tering struggles of the Seven Years War, with a dual fear.

First, there was the fear of Austrian revenge. To reduce the chances of this possibility, he con- cluded an alliance with Russia. Both prog- nostications, the short-term Austrian and the long-term Russian, now entered into political action in a fashion that altered the conditions of the prognosis, that is, altered the immediate situation.

The existence of a Greek Orthodox population in Poland provided the Russians with a constant pre- text for intervention on the grounds of religious protection. The Russian envoy, Repnin, ruled like a governor-general in Warsaw and directly super- vised the meetings of the Polish National Assembly. Unpopular representa- tives were soon dispatched to Siberia. This growing threat in the East brought the long-term threat dangerously close. In , the situation worsened. Austria had no desire to tolerate the situation.

It saw in the annexation of Romania a casus belli. Thus Frederick, as the ally of Russia, was in addition bound to the second of the feared evils, a war against Aus- tria, which he did not want. The solution to this dilemma, discovered by Frederick in , is quite startling.

As soon as Frederick learned before the Russians could know that the Austrians shrank from the prospect of war, he forced Russia, through the pressure of his obligation to assist them in the event of war, to dispense with the annexation of Romania. In compensation, Russia received the eastern part of Poland, which in any case it already ruled; in return, Prussia and Aus- tria gained West Prussia and Galicia—significant territories, but which, more importantly, were thereby removed from Russian influence.

Instead of smoothing the way westward for his intimidating ally in the course of war, Frederick had preserved his peace and had strategically blocked Russian intrusion into the bargain. Frederick had made a double gain out of what had seemed mutually contradictory elements. Such flexible play with a limited but within these limits almost infinite number of varied possibilities was clearly possible only in a particular his- torical situation.

What is the nature of this historical plane in which abso- lutist politics could be refined? The future was a known quantity insofar as the number of politically active forces remained restricted to the number of rulers. Behind each ruler stood an army and a population of known dimen- sions whose potential economic power and monetary circulation could be estimated by cameralistic means. In the domain of a politics constituted by the actions of sovereign rulers, though only in this domain, nothing particularly new could happen. Characteristic of this is the ultimate boundary within which political calculation operated.

Hume, who himself made long-term, contingent prog- noses, once said that a doctor forecast with confidence no more than two weeks in advance, and a politician a few years at most. Character, for instance, was such a constant; it could be esti- mated, relying, for instance, on the corruptibility of a minister. But above all, the assumed life span of a governing ruler was a permanent feature of the political calculus of probability. The uttermost future that the Venetian envoy in Paris predicted in for the coming half-century was his cer- tainty that there would be a War of Spanish Succession: The fact that most of the wars conducted among European rulers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were wars of succession clearly demonstrates the manner in which the dimensions of historical time were measured by natural, human qualities.

Based as it was on the life and character of acting personages, the Euro- pean republic of rulers could still understand history in natural terms. It is not surprising that the ancient pattern of cycles put back in circulation by Machiavelli found such general support. This experience of history, founded as it was on repeatability, bound prospective futures to the past. This certainly makes clear that the distance separating the early modern political consciousness of time from that of Christian eschatology was nowhere as great as it might seem. Sub specie aeternitatis nothing novel can emerge, whether the future is viewed in terms of faith, or of sober calcula- tion.

A politician could become more clever or even cunning; he could refine his technique; he could become wiser or more farsighted: The reoccupation of a prophesied future by a predicted future had not yet fundamentally ruptured the plane of Christian expectations. That is what harnesses the republic of rulers to the Middle Ages, even if it no longer conceives of itself as Christian. It was the philosophy of historical process which first detached early modernity from its past and, with a new future, inaugurated our modernity. A consciousness of time and the future begins to develop in the shadows of absolutist politics, first in secret, later openly, sustained by an audacious combination of politics and prophecy.

There enters into the philosophy of progress a typical eighteenth-century mixture of rational prediction and sal- vational expectation. Progress occurred to the extent that the state and its prognostication was never able to satisfy soteriological demands which per- sisted within a state whose own existence depended upon the elimination of millenarian expectations. The prorogued End of the World had been constituted by the Church and then projected in the form of a static time capable of being expe- rienced as a tradition. Political prognostication also had a static temporal structure, insofar as it operated in terms of natural magnitudes whose poten- tial repeatability formed the cyclical character of its history.

The prognosis implies a diagnosis which introduces the past into the future. This always- already guaranteed futurity of the past opened out yet bounded the sphere of action available to the state. To the extent that the past can be experienced only insofar as it contains an element of what is to come and vice versa , the political existence of the state remains trapped within a temporal structure that can be understood as static mobility.

Progress opened up a future that transcended the hitherto predictable, natural space of time and experience, and thence—propelled by its own dynamic—provoked new, transnatural, long-term prognoses. The future contained in this progress is characterized by two main fea- tures: This began to be apparent well before the French Revolution. The bearer of the modern philosophy of historical process was the citi- zen emancipated from absolutist subjection and the tutelage of the Church: Present at the baptism of the prophetic philosopher in the role of godfather was a combination of political calculation and speculation on a future liberated from Christian religion.

Lessing has described this type for us: He wants this future to come more quickly, and he himself wants to accelerate it. In other words, in the eigh- teenth century, the acceleration of time that had previously belonged to eschatology became obligatory for worldly invention, before technology completely opened up a space of experience adequate to this acceleration. What was conceived before the Revolution as katechon itself became a stimulus to revolution. Reaction, still employed in the eighteenth century as a mechanical category, came to function as a movement that sought to halt it.

Revolution, at first derived from the natural movement of the stars and thus introduced into the natural rhythm of history as a cyclical metaphor, henceforth attained an irreversible direction. It appears to unchain a yearned-for future while the nature of this future robs the present of mate- riality and actuality; thus, while continually seeking to banish and destroy Reaction, it succeeds only in reproducing it: This alternation of Revolution and Reaction, which supposedly heralds the attainment of an ultimate paradise, has to be understood as a futureless future, because the reproduction and necessarily inevitable supersession of the contradiction brings about an evil endlessness.

This fixation on an end-state by historical actors turns out to be the subterfuge of a historical process that robs them of judgment. Needed, therefore, is historical prog- nostication that goes beyond the rational prognoses of the politicians and, as the legitimate offspring of historical philosophy, can moderate the histori- cal-philosophical design. There is evidence of this before the French Revolution. Predictions of the Revolution are numerous, although only a few look forward to a succeeding epoch and its nature.

Rousseau was one of the greatest forecast- ers, whether it was a matter of forecasting the perpetual state of crisis or reg- istering the subjugation of Europe by the Russians and of the Russians by the Asians. We will not examine here the variety of wishful or forced prognoses with the aid of which the Enlightenment built up its self-confidence. Among them, however, is to be found one of the greatest predictions, which has remained in the shadows of anonymity and geographical camouflage up to the present.

This concerns a prediction made in , apparently relating to Sweden but aimed also at France. The author is Diderot, who wrote: Under despotism the people, embittered by their lengthy sorrows, will miss no opportunity to reappropriate their rights. But since there is neither goal nor plan, slavery relapses in an instant into anarchy. Within the heart of this general tumult there can be heard but one cry: And soon the people are divided into various factions, eaten up with contradictory interests.

After a short while there are only two factions within the state; they distinguish themselves by two names, under which all necessarily have to include themselves: The moment of plotting and conspiracy. In this, royalism serves as a subterfuge as much as antiroyalism. Both are masks for ambition and covetousness.

The nation now is merely an entity dependent upon a collection of criminals and corrupt persons. In this situation only one man and a suitable moment are needed for an entirely unexpected result to emerge. If the moment comes, the man emerges. He speaks to the people, who until this moment believe themselves all: And he speaks to them: I am the Lord. And they speak as if out of one mouth: You are the Lord. And he says to them: Here are the conditions according to which I am pre- pared to subject you. What will suc- ceed this revolution? He proposed a long-term prognosis, assuming the certainty of the as yet unknown beginning of the revolution; and further disclosed the dual watchwords of Good and Evil, Freedom and Slavery, tracing them to the dialectic of liberty; and thence derived the unexpected result.

This expressed in modern terminology the full scope of the classical model. But Diderot inquired further. Forit was not clear to him how things would pro- ceed from that point. He therefore formulated the same question that Toqueville would later take up, and which today remains for us to answer.

Napoleon was never a man of taste, but the Alexanderschlacht was his favorite painting, and he wanted it in his inner sanctum. Did he sense the way in which the history of the Occident was present in this painting? Napoleon saw himself as a parallel to the great Alexander, and more. The power of tradition was so strong that the long-lost, salvational- historical task of the Holy Roman Empire shimmered through the suppos- edly new beginning of the Revolution.

Napoleon, who had definitively destroyed the Holy Roman Empire, afterward married the daughter of the last emperor, just as two thousand years earlier Alexander had married the daughter of Darius, likewise in a premeditated second marriage. Napoleon made his son king of Rome. When he was overthrown, Napoleon said that this marriage was the only true mistake he had ever made, that is, to have resumed a tradition that the Revolution, with himself at its head, appeared to have destroyed.

Was it really a failure? While still at the peak of his power, Napoleon saw it differ- ently: During counsel in Charlottenburg, Oelssen [section head in the Min- istry of Finance] animatedly defended the preparation of a quantity of paper money so that debts could be paid. All argument to the contrary failing, I said with immense audacity knowing my man: But he risked a lie since he calculated its effect—appealing rhetorically to the schooling of his opponent.

That effect relied on the force of that old topos, according to which history is supposed to be the great teacher of life. The privy councilor acquiesced to this formula, not to an argument. What does the application of this topos to our Charlottenburg example tell us? Thanks to his skill in argument, Raumer placed his colleagues in a seemingly continuous space of experience, but one that he himself treated with irony. The scene demonstrates the continuing role of history as the teacher of life, while also demonstrating how questionable this role had become.

Before pursuing the question of the degree to which this older topos had dissolved into a modernized historical process, we need to look back on its persistence. It lasted almost unbroken into the eighteenth century. Until the present we have had no account of all the expressions through which his- toricity has been conceptualized. Despite a verbal identity, the coordinates of our formula have varied greatly over time.

It was not unusual for historiographers to reduce the topos to an empty rubric, only used in prefaces. It is therefore more difficult to identify the difference that always prevailed between the mere use of a commonplace and its prac- tical effectiveness. Besides this problem, however, the longevity of our topos is certainly instructive, indicating its flexibility in accommodating the most diverse conclusions.

We can also note the manner in which two contempo- raries employed this exemplary function of history: For Montaigne, histories showed how every generalization was nullified, whereas Bodin used them to disclose gen- eral rules. It implies a thorough apprehension of human possibili- ties within a general historical continuum. Until the eighteenth century, the use of our expression remained an unmistakable index for an assumed constancy of human nature, accounts of which can serve as iterable means for the proof of moral, theological, legal, or political doctrines.

Likewise, the utility of our topos depended on a real constancy of those circumstances implying the potential similitude of earthly events. If there were a degree of social change, it occurred so slowly and over such a period that the utility of past examples was retained. The temporal structure of past history bounded a continuous space of potential experience. I The idiom historia magistra vitae was coined by Cicero, borrowing from a Hellenistic pattern.

The usage is, more- over, associated with further metaphors indicating the tasks of history. Monastery libraries not infrequently catalogued his philosophical works as collections of examples, and were widely available. The apologists of Christianity had no little trouble passing on as precedents events belonging to a profane history, and a hea- then one at that. Nonetheless, even Isidor allowed heathen histories an educational function, if somewhat covertly. Nor did the linear schema of biblical prefiguration and its fulfillment—right up to Bossuet—rupture the framework within which one derived lessons for the future out of the past.

As millennarial expectations became more volatile, ancient history, in its role of teacher, once more forced itself to the fore. At the head of his Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem, Bodin placed the Ciceronian topos: In this way one preaches more to under- standing than to memory; history becomes pleasant and interesting for the pupil, and he is imperceptibly instructed in the prudence of both private and state affairs, and educated in the way of artes belli ac pacis.

Without prejudice to these evidently historiographic statements, one should not underestimate the practical, didactic force of early modern his- torico-political literature. The increasing refinement of contemporary politics was mirrored in the reflections of memoirists and the doings reported by envoys. But in this way it remained bound to the indices of Kameralistik and Statis- tik: It is more than a habitual topos that Frederick the Great constantly invokes in his memoirs: By contin- ually comparing earlier cases, he claimed to have sharpened his powers of deduction.

Naturally, there were objections to the maxim according to which one could learn from history. The stupidities of the fathers are lost upon their children; each generation must commit its own. For the contention that one could learn noth- ing from history was itself a certainty born of experience, a historical lesson that could render the knowing more insightful, more prudent, or, to borrow a term from Burckhardt,29 wiser. The constant possibility of otherness proved so powerless in abolishing similitude from the world that this other- ness cannot as a consequence be conceived as an otherness.

Nevertheless, at the same time the meaningful content of our idiom was hollowed out. The ancient form of History was pushed from its lectern, not least by enlightened men who made such free use of its teachings; and all in the course of a move- ment bringing past and future into a new relationship. This new history assumed a temporal quality peculiar to itself, whose diverse times and shift- ing periods of experience drew its evidence from an exemplary past.

This process will now be used to investigate symptomatic points in the transformation of our topos. II As a way of characterizing this event—of a newly emergent tempo- rality—we will use a statement from Tocqueville. His entire work is laden with the tension of the modern breaking free of the continuity of an earlier mode of time: Behind this is concealed a complex process whose course is in part invisible and gradual, sometimes sudden and abrupt, and which is ultimately driven forward consciously.

Begriffsgeschichte, as practiced here, serves as a preliminary means for determining the nature of this process. It can show how shifting semantic relations break up and distort our topos as it is handed down. Only through this process does the idiom gain its own history; but at the same time, this history does away with its peculiar truth. To begin in the German language area, there first occurred a termino- logical displacement that emptied the older topos of meaning, or at least fur- thered this. Since around , the turn from Historie toward Geschichte is detectable and emphatic enough to be statisti- cally measurable.

To be sure, Geschichte had for a considerable time implied such an account, just as Historie referred to an event. But this mutual limitation which Barthold Niebuhr tried in vain to reverse led to the development of an emphasis peculiar to the German language. Geschichte assumed the sense of history and drove Historie out of general linguistic usage. Dies bedeutet der Bericht ist mindestens Was ist zu beachten? Verzichten Sie bitte auf Arbeitsproben o. Marcus Tullius Cicero v. Augustinus Augustinus Johannes de Saresberia Johannes v.

Dante Alighieri Dante Alighieri Marsilius von Padua Marsilius von Padua Bartolus de Saxoferrato Bartolus de Saxoferrato Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun Martin Luther Martin Luther Johannes Calvin Johannes Calvin Johannes Althusius Johannes Althusius Tommaso Campanella Tommaso Campanella John Milton John Milton Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes James Harrington James Harrington Baruch de Spinoza Baruch de Spinoza Samuel Pufendorf Samuel Pufendorf Algernon Sidney Algernon Sidney John Locke John Locke Christian Thomasius Christian Thomasius Bernard Mandeville Bernard Mandeville Montesquieu Montesquieu Adam Smith Adam Smith Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant Wilhelm von Humboldt Wilhelm von Humboldt Thomas Paine Thomas Paine Joseph de Maistre Joseph de Maistre Benjamin Constant Benjamin Constant Charles Fourier Charles Fourier Carl von Clausewitz Carl von Clausewitz Alexis de Tocqueville Alexis de Tocqueville Carl von Rotteck Carl von Rotteck Max Stirner Max Stirner Lorenz von Stein Lorenz von Stein Karl Marx Karl Marx Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels Michail Bakunin Michail Bakunin Georges Sorel Georges Sorel Karl Kautsky Karl Kautsky Max Weber Max Weber Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg Antonio Gramsci Antonio Gramsci Carl Schmitt Carl Schmitt Leo Strauss Leo Strauss Eric Voegelin Eric Voegelin Ernst Fraenkel Ernst Fraenkel.

Hannah Arendt Hannah Arendt Popper Karl R. Kritischer Rationalismus Kritischer Rationalismus. Funktionalismus und Systemtheorien Funktionalismus und Systemtheorien. Neuer Institutionalismus Neuer Institutionalismus. Politische Ethik Politische Ethik. Politische Utopie Politische Utopie. Politische Symbolik Politische Symbolik. Theorie der politischen Macht Theorie der politischen Macht.

Theorie der Nation Theorie der Nation. Theorie des Krieges Theorie des Krieges. Theorien der Internationalen Politik 1. Theorien der Internationalen Politik. Kooperation in der internationalen Politik 2. Kooperation in der internationalen Politik. Konflikte in der internationalen Politik 3.