Review_Martina_Marinkova_and_Christian

Review_Martina_Marinkova_and_Christian - 338 Reviews the...

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Martina Ma ř ínková and Christian Zschieschang (eds.), Wasser- m ü hlen und Wassernutzung im mittelalterlichen Ostmitteleuropa , Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2015, 340 pp.; series: Forschun- gen zur Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Mitteleuropa, 50 Intensi fi ed interest in milling industry in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period has recently been seen in historiographical literature. This particular industrial branch, formerly of crucial importance, is perishing nowadays dramatically fast. When travelling across European villages, we come across numerous monuments of water or wind milling, not infrequently putrescent. But mills prove fascinating not only to historians (p. 7): ethnologists, anthro- pologists, archaeologists, and linguists are also interested. This large group of people has over the recent dozen-or-so years endeavoured to deepen our knowledge about this now-endangered ‘magical’ (as a book’s title would have it) craft. Many grassroots organisations are emerging in Europe to popularise knowledge on mills and windmills, one of them being The International Molinological Society, or a Scandinavian organisation Danish Windmills. With no association of this sort yet set up in Poland, there are some hobbyists’ projects such as the Rzeczpospolita M ł ynarska 1 , or The Virtual Museum My Windmills – a Web project run by a retired Pozna ń city guide. 2 Apart from popularisation activities, there are research units that delve into research in milling industry on a professional basis. The activity of one of them led to a conference held in 2013 under the auspices of the Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas 1 See http://rzeczpospolitamlynarska.pl [Accessed: Dec. 10, 2015]. 2 For more on the project, also in English, see http://www.wbc.poznan.pl/ publication/251856 [Accessed: Dec. 10, 2015].
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339 (GWZO), at which aspects of the operation of watermills in medieval East Central Europe were discussed. The publication under review has come as an aftermath of the event. The book includes an introduction and three main sections, of which the fi rst, ‘Wassernutzung im Mittelalter’, contains four articles (two of them in English) on the use of water resources in the medieval German Reich. The second section deals with watermills within the landscape, economy, and how they were perceived in the Middle Ages. This de fi nitely most abounding part of the book offers seven treatises – historical (i.a., Prof. Winfried Schich’s Die Bedeutung der Wasserm ü hle f ü r zisterziensische Klostergemeinschaft im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert ), onomasiological (by Stanis ł awa Sochacka), an essay co-authored by Monika Chro ś and Ł ucja Jarczak, and one by Christian Zschi- eschang. Also an article on mills in medieval theology of image ( Die M ü hle in der Bildtheologie des Mittelalters ). The third, and last, section comprises fi ve archaeological studies concerning relics of material culture related to the functioning of watermills in the medieval period, with two essays standing out. Jens Berthold discusses the most important outcomes of the recent West
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