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Emotions in History – Lost and Found

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Ute Frevert

Chapter 1. Losing emotions

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Losing emotions in trauma

1There are many ways in which emotions get lost. An individual can lose them as a direct result of a traumatic incident. Some of us might know someone who has undergone successful brain surgery. The tumour is gone, everybody is happy, except for the patient who can no longer experience happiness or sadness. Instead they start behaving in a strange and bewildering way. They have no empathy. They cannot relate to those who used to be very close to them before surgery. They do not even seem to care much about themselves.

  • 1 Damasio, Hanna et al., “The return of Phineas Gage: Clues about the brain from the skull of a famo (...)

2Neuroscientists like Hanna Damasio and Antonio Damasio write about these cases. Their earliest and most prominent example is Phineas Gage, the rail-road construction worker from New Hampshire, who suffered a horrible accident in 1848. A blast of powder carried an iron bar through his head damaging part of his brain tissue. Although Gage miraculously survived, he later suffered from all kinds of convulsions and died in 1860. The “melancholy affair” (as the Boston Post called it) brought him much fame, though, and he made frequent public appearances, proudly holding his iron. After his death, his skull was deposited (along with the bar) in the Harvard Medical School’s museum, where it is still on display. Neurologists soon got interested in the case and tried to build all kinds of theories on it, connecting mental faculties to brain regions. Antonio Damasio, among others, used it to link frontal lobes and deeper brain centres that store emotional memories, to personal and social decision making. His assumptions, however, mainly rested on reports recording how Gage had mentally changed after the accident. Those reports have since been criticised as rather unreliable and hardly deserve the power of evidence attributed to them by later scientists.1

  • 2 Damasio, Antonio, Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (Orlando: Harcourt, 2003 (...)

3But there are more recent cases that allow for better-grounded hypotheses. Brain lesions and prefrontal damage are thought to impair a person’s ability to process neural signals that form the basis of emotions. Cognitive skills might remain unharmed, and patients can carry on with their work, leading a seemingly normal life—except for issues that heavily depend on emotional investment. Perhaps not surprisingly, those issues turn out to be absolutely crucial and wideranging. Despite the patient’s ability to solve logical problems and perceive their environment, they can no longer refer to their surroundings in an appropriate way. They prove unable to make sound decisions about their life, and they fail to properly display social emotions like embarrassment, sympathy, and guilt, which appear diminished or altogether absent. Since every decision, even the most rational one, implies emotions and is based, at least partly, on emotions, the absence of the latter, caused by brain damage, invariably has serious consequences.2

  • 3 Reisberg, Daniel and Paula Hertel, eds., Memory and Emotion (New York: Oxford University Press, 20 (...)

4There are other ways in which a person might lose the ability to experience emotions. It does not have to be a brain lesion, a trauma in the medical sense of the Greek word. It can also be a psychological trauma: something people have experienced as a crucial event in their life, something that happened to them, that was done to them, with which they could not adequately cope. This kind of trauma might be associated with a blockage of feelings connected to the event and its memory. In this case, it is usually not the whole emotional system that is impaired and distorted. More often, it is particular emotions that are at stake here: emotions linked to psychic damage, such as pride and shame.3

5Psychology and neuroscience have produced piles of evidence and a growing literature on these kinds of lost emotions. But how do historians approach the topic?

Losing emotions in psychology and historiography

  • 4 Solomon, Robert C., ed., What is an Emotion? Classic and Contemporary Readings, 2nd ed. (New York: (...)
  • 5 Scherer, Klaus R. and Paul Ekman, eds., Approaches to Emotions: A Book of Readings (Hillsdale, NJ: (...)

6They might first turn to psychologists for advice; after all, emotions have been on psychology’s agenda ever since the discipline was founded. And indeed, the relevant literature starting with William James offers a wealth of definitions, explorations and classifications.4 Still, emotions do not seem to be an easy topic. In 1984, there were many “questions about emotion” (to quote Paul Ekman’s and Klaus Scherer’s introduction to their volume), and a decade later, Ekman and Richard Davidson still asked “fundamental questions” on “the nature of emotion.” Are there basic emotions? How do they function? How do we distinguish them from moods, temperament, and other related affective constructs? Are there universal emotions with a specific physiology? Can we control our emotions? Can they be experienced on an unconscious level? How do individuals differ in emotion-related activity? And what bears an impact on the subjective experience of emotion?5

7The authors who attempted to answer those questions differed in almost every respect. They could not even agree on a common definition of emotion. Instead of interpreting such diversity as a lack of theoretical rigour and a symbol of disciplinary failure, we might take it as a sign of how complicated matters actually are. It did not help that scientific psychology, in its urge to cast off its philosophical shackles, dumped the traditional baggage of emotion words as they had developed over the centuries. Instead of distinguishing between passions and affects, between feelings and sentiments, between appetites and drives, the new psychological category of “emotion” came to encompass the wide range of mental states and bodily involvements of which humans are capable. It did not, however, integrate the in-built difference and ambiguity of those states, but rather forfeited much of their subtleties and incongruence.

8A plethora of different emotional phenomena that had been linguistically addressed up until the nineteenth century thus got lost by grouping them under an all-encompassing new category. Psychology, especially in the wake of the 1990s turn to neuroscience, followed the scientific drive to explore basic dimensions and approximate qualities (positive/negative) of emotional states. In order to detect general principles and underlying mechanisms of human behaviour (survival/procreation, reward/punishment), the experimental setting has to reduce complexity and focus on a single or a few controlled variables.

9Historians, in turn, are above all interested in the social and cultural complexity of emotions as well as in their historicity. They assume that the way in which people think and talk about emotions offers a clue as to how they experience and handle them. Ideas and concepts of what emotions are, and what they do, have clearly changed over time, and so have individual self-perceptions and emotional behaviour.

10Historians also differ from present-day psychologists in the fact that they pay more attention to social emotions and how these play out in relational and collective settings. While most branches of psychology focus on the individual person who is, however, stripped of all individual traits and peculiarities, history looks at individuals in their capacity as members of social groups and institutions, as bearers of culture, as subjects of and to power. Here, the specifics matter, and they matter greatly. Situational and structural contexts are to be carefully examined and accounted for, since they offer particular incentives for individuals to act one way or another. Personal experiences as well as cultural memories and traditions are equally relevant in explaining someone’s choices and decisions (or non-decisions).

11Historians thus construct “thick” environments, rich with institutional complexity and personal detail. Consequently, they can hardly ever produce clear causal evidence. The reason why well-educated men and women in the late eighteenth century became infatuated with sentiments and sensibilities is not to be explained by, and attributed to, a single variable. Literacy was surely not enough, since one hundred years later many more people could read and write without being sentimentalists. The availability of books and the development of a specific reading culture do not offer convincing explanations, either. Rather, these phenomena themselves have to be explained: why did authors write sentimental novels and why did readers bother to care for the unhappy fate of Clarissa, Julie or Werther? Religion might be a case in point, and scholars have pointed to the affinities between Pietist faith and literary sentimentalism. But how do we account for the fact that Catholic Paris seemed to be as driven by the wave of sensibilité as Lutheran Frankfurt?

12Every tentative answer to a causal question thus engenders new questions and answers, fuelling a neverending debate about historical explanations and interpretations. Even when historians attempt to test a hypothesis by comparing similar cases with slightly different features, they have to struggle not to miss the complexity and peculiarity of those cases. The history of emotions principally poses the same difficulties and dangers as any other field or topic of historical research. Some scholars, though, consider it even more complicated and unfeasible to investigate. Emotions, so they suppose, are by definition fluid and unstable, they escape the historian’s attention and remain hidden inside the human body. They seem to follow biological patterns that are impossible to be related to social or political events. As a part of human nature, they do not lend themselves to historicizing at all. They are, in one word, timeless and lost to historians.

  • 6 Jensen, Uffa and Daniel Morat, eds., Rationalisierungen des Gefühls: Zum Verhältnis von Wissenscha (...)

13Here, we encounter another dimension of losing and lost emotions. Academic historiography founded and crafted in the nineteenth century was not particularly eager to pick up on emotions as a topic of serious research. Although history books overflowed with passionate language and telos, authors hardly ever reflected on their own use of emotion words and images. They also refrained from systematically looking for emotions in their respective sources and analysing them in terms of functions, modes and causes. Only those who, by the end of the nineteenth century, had become interested in cultural history or were exploring the mechanisms of historical reasoning and understanding started to take an interest in “mental structural contexts,” in “passions and pains” (Wilhelm Dilthey) or in the development of national feelings and sensibilities.6

Losing emotions in the civilising process

  • 7 Elias, Civilizing Process, quotes pp. 367, 400.

14Those historians, though, remained as marginal as Norbert Elias who, as a young sociologist in exile, published his seminal studies on the civilising process in the late 1930s. For him (as much as for Huizinga), emotions had got lost on the way towards modernity. As he saw it, rationalising had progressed since the sixteenth century, gradually changing people’s affective “apparatus.” It led individuals to escape the “fog of personal affects and involvement,” the “haze of collective longings and fears,” and instead to be guided by experience and empirical evidence.7

  • 8 Plessner, Helmuth, Limits of Community: A Critique of Social Radicalism (1924), trans. Andrew Wall (...)
  • 9 Elias, Civilizing Process, p. 441. Interestingly, the postscript to this book did not mention the (...)

15But how true was this? Did empirical evidence not prove the exact opposite? Did Elias not write at a time when private and public emotions were exploding? Was he not aware of the fact that collective longings and fears were of paramount importance all over Continental Europe? Was he not personally affected by what Weimar intellectuals had already criticised as “boundless community morals”?8 How could he make the claim that modernity and civilization went hand in hand when his own times testified to the opposite? At the very end of his book, we do catch a glimpse of Elias’s personal perceptions and worries. “We scarcely realize how quickly what we call our ‘reason,’ this relatively farsighted and differentiated steering of our conduct, with its high degree of affect-control, would crumble or collapse if the anxiety-inducing tensions within and around us changed.” Twenty years later, he acknowledged that civilisation could and had indeed broken down or moved backwards and was not necessarily to be viewed as a linear development.9

  • 10 Febvre, Lucien, “Sensibility and History: How to Reconstitute the Emotional Life of the Past,” in (...)

16French historian Lucien Febvre had grasped this somewhat earlier. Writing in the late 1930s, at about the same time that Elias published his book, he urged his fellow historians to pay more attention to sensibilities and start a broad investigation of fundamental human emotions. Although he himself was an expert on the sixteenth century, he drew his inspiration mostly from what he observed in his own times: an over-abundance of what he called “primitive feelings.” Among his contemporaries, he witnessed “revivals of the cult of blood, red blood,” of the “cult of Mother Earth” and the healing sun, a quest for “cruelty at the expense of love.” He found emotions dominating over reason and hailing “animal behaviour,” and he warned that those emotions might soon turn the world into a “stinking pit of corpses.”10

  • 11 Febvre, Lucien, Honneur et Patrie (Paris: Perrin, 1996), pp. 30– 31; Jackson, Julian, France: The (...)

17“Primitive feelings” which, according to Elias, should have been controlled and civilised through a centuries-long process of rationalising, had thus, in Febvre’s testimony, returned to history. Once those feelings had finished their work of destruction, the historian settled in his Paris office and made notes for a lecture series on “Honneur et Patrie.” He approached these concepts as “sentiments” that held a long history but were still alive “in our hearts” in the middle of the twentieth century. As a starting point and proof for his analysis, he recalled the dramatic situation after the French defeat in 1940. In its wake, France had seen two camps both pledging allegiance to honour and the fatherland. Young men went to war and fought one another on the same grounds. Both camps aligned themselves with the motto that crowned France’s most prestigious order, the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, founded in 1802. As much as Marshal Pétain and his Vichy regime appropriated its motto for their collaborative politics, General de Gaulle and his Free France movement used it as their slogan. Yet what honour meant and what kind of actions it entailed was clearly different.11

  • 12 Febvre, Honneur, pp. 31, 54, 67–68.

18Febvre was highly interested in those differences and in the emotional power that the concept of honour (and fatherland) conveyed. Honour, he claimed, was a “mot-force” that appealed strongly to people, charged with history. In his lectures, he traced that history back to the Middle Ages, to the Song of Roland, and followed its path through the early modern period. As a personal attitude, as a “sensibilité” and as a force of action, honour had survived even in modern times, “toujours vivant […] dans nos coeurs.”12

19But was this really the case? Or, more precisely, was it the same “sentiment,” the same “sensibilité” that French philosophers of the seventeenth century had written about? As much as the honour that lived in the hearts of Pétain’s and de Gaulle’s followers differed from one another, we might assume that honour had also changed over time. Even if the word remained, its content and its references underwent serious alterations. What we, therefore, feel as honour is probably quite different from what our ancestors felt. Honour, in some respects, can be seen as an emotion that got lost over the course of history—though we still invoke it in our own times.

Losing emotions in words: acedia and melancholia

  • 13 In today’s Greek, it means delinquency and negligence (I owe this information to Merih Erol).
  • 14 Crislip, Andrew, “The Sin of Sloth or the Illness of the Demons? The Demon of Acedia in Early Chri (...)

20Before this strand is explored in more detail, let us look into the opposite case: an emotion whose name has indeed changed over time. What does that tell us about the emotion proper? Does the change of words mean that the emotion has changed as well? Or is there perhaps no direct link between the word and what it signifies? The case in point here is acedia, which in ancient Greece meant a kind of listlessness, of not caring or not being concerned with one’s position or condition in the world.13 An English translation would be sloth, Germans call it Trägheit. In Antiquity and during the Middle Ages, acedia was particularly noted as a problem amongst monks and other ascetics who led a solitary life. Thomas Aquinas writing in the thirteenth century defined it as “the sorrow of the world” contrasting it to “spiritual joy.” It was conceived as a demon that could strike at any time and infuse tedium or boredom. Closely related to tedium was a general laziness or refusal to work, a temptation that frequently befell the monastic at rest. Another characteristic of acedia was the lack of the desire to read or pray.14

21To people of the twenty-first century, this feeling might seem quite familiar. They, too, feel lazy at times, they procrastinate and do not like to carry out the tasks required by their job. But is this acedia? Is this the highly charged state of mind and feeling that the ancients described so lucidly? This is more than doubtful. First, the symptoms seem to differ. Premodern sources talk about corporeal signs that range from mere sleepiness to general sickness or debility, alongside a number of more specific ailments: fever, pain in the limbs and weakness in the knees. Second, and even more important, the interpretation of those signs was very peculiar and does not fit into today’s mental map. For the ancients, the bodily signs did not just signal a certain state of mind. Instead, they demonstrated the presence of a demon, some external influence that invaded the body and transformed it for the worse. The body was therefore thought to be utterly permeable and malleable. What mattered most was that the soul had the strength and willpower to cast off those influences and protect the body from falling ill. Somatic signs of the demon’s activities thus meant, in the last instance, that the spirit was too weak to fight and gave way to sin and vice. Suffering from acedia then ultimately placed guilt on the individual who suffered: his dedication to God, his veneration of God, was simply not strong enough and had to be rebuilt at all costs.

22Such an interpretation is not what most Europeans believe in at present. They would probably turn to stress theory and assume their laziness reflected a lack of energy. This might have multiple causes: too much or too little work, lack of motivation, general exhaustion, burn-out or bore-out syndromes. They would not be likely, however, to be concerned with personal guilt, and they would definitely not consider themselves deadly sinners if they did not fulfil their duties.

  • 15 Böhme, Hartmut, Albrecht Dürer, Melencolia I: im Labyrinth der Deutung (Frankfurt: Fischer, 1991); (...)
  • 16 Clair, Jean, ed., Melancholie: Genie und Wahnsinn in der Kunst (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2005), Fre (...)

23But what about the modern age inventing new names for similar states of distress, like melancholy? The word melancholia that gained prominence in the early modern period derives from the ancient medical theory of the four humours associated with bodily fluids. Melancholia was thought to be caused by an excess of black bile, and was accompanied by sadness, low levels of enthusiasm and no inclination to become actively involved. The German name is Schwermut, meaning that the Gemüt, which might vaguely be translated as the soul, carries a heavy load. Melancholia could express itself both through bodily and psychic symptoms, but it was different from acedia as there was no laziness, no Trägheit involved. Furthermore it was viewed as an internal state, not caused by any external demon, and it was not judged as unequivocally bad. There is a famous engraving by Albrecht Dürer entitled Melencolia I, dating from 1514. Here, the female allegory is portrayed in a pensive mood, perhaps waiting for inspiration. The original is far lighter than its reproductions, and so are the woman’s face, and, in particular, her eyes.15 In this way we might see her not necessarily in a state of depression, knocked down by anxiety, weakness and inertia, but in a state of expectation that in the sixteenth century was associated with creativity and ingenuity.16

Fig 1. Albrecht Dürer, Melencolia I (engraving, 1514).

  • 17 For decades, this had been the dominant paradigm: Depression was thought to be caused by an unbala (...)

24Talking about depression takes us to the twentieth century. The term entered the psychological lexicon in 1905, and since then it has seen a breathtaking career. It is considered a mental illness that affects, at least in Western countries, up to one in five people at some point in their lifetime. Its symptoms include loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of sadness, or little to no emotion, feelings of fatigue, guilt, helplessness, anxiety, and fear, often for little or no reason. The direct cause is attributed to neurobiological disorders, the level of neurotransmitters being either too high or too low.17

25Up to now, we have identified three states of mind, soul and body that at first glance seem to share certain symptoms. This might lead us to think that they are basically the same. But are they? The resemblance ends when we take into account that they are explained, interpreted and valued quite differently. This in turn makes an impact on how acedia, melancholia and depression are framed and felt by those who suffer from them. The fact that acedia is considered a mortal sin, an affront to both God and the religious community, is bound to influence the way that a monk or a nun of the thirteenth century experienced it. A seventeenth or eighteenth-century writer who feels melancholy will have a completely different self-perception, which shapes his way of being affected by Schwermut; and a twentieth-century person on anti-depressants thinks differently again about what is wrong with their bodily chemistry. Knowing that so many others are going through similar experiences might put one’s own ailment into a different perspective. Thinking of neurotransmitters and synapses allows for an approach that is different to pondering over temperaments and fluids, black bile, demons and sinning against God and the community.

26So the central argument is the following: Even if there are signs of acedia, melancholia and depression that resemble each other, the labelling, framing and contextualising of those signs are vastly different. Relating the symptoms to diverse systems of reference (magic, religion, arts and sciences, neurobiology) affects the value attributed to them. This in turn affects the appraisal and experience of those states. Seen from this perspective, acedia and melancholia are indeed “lost emotions,” lost in translation to a new emotional state called depression.

Losing the mot-force: honour

27A similar point might be made regarding honour. In contemporary Western emotional lexicons, honour does not feature prominently. Febvre’s contention in 1945-46 that honour was alive and well soon found itself challenged. The political culture of post-war Western Europe was decidedly less pathos-driven than it had been during the Second Thirty Years War that had raged between 1919 and 1945. Even though the rift between Communist and non-Communist countries gave rise to a high degree of political anxiety and insecurity, those worries were framed in a different language. The old mots-force lost their ideological substance, existential power and emotional appeal, both in private and in public life. People seemed to be exhausted by their overuse and kept their distance.

28This held true particularly for Germany which had seen an upsurge of those words during the preceding years. Honour and fidelity had ranked highly on the list of values that the National Socialist regime had tried to enshrine in social and political institutions. “Alourdis d’histoire,” as Febvre observed for the French case, these emotions had been marketed as genuine “racial” German faculties. At the same time, they had been charged with great expectations and duties. Something as exclusive and eminent as German honour had to be safeguarded by all means. In 1935, the parliament passed a law “to protect German blood and German honour.” It forbade Jews (identified as non-German) to marry Germans (identified as non-Jewish), and it harshly sanctioned any sexual encounters between them. In addition, it barred Jews from employing German maids younger than 45, and it put a ban on them wearing or hoisting German colours. Honour here was closely associated with the “purity of blood” and with national symbols. A year later, the Parteitag der Ehre (rally of honour) met in Nuremberg to celebrate the restitution of German honour. That honour had, so the argument went, been seriously harmed by the Versailles treaty. The Allied Powers had not only held Germany responsible for World War I; they had also curtailed her sovereignty by suspending military conscription and demilitarising the Rhineland. In 1935, the National Socialists reintroduced conscription, and in 1936, they stationed Wehrmacht troops in the region. Honour (bound to sovereignty) had thus been restored.

  • 18 Bailey, Christian, “Honor Bestowed and Felt? Verdienstorden in the Federal Republic after 1945,” i (...)
  • 19 Whitman, James Q., “Enforcing Civility and Respect: Three Societies,” Yale Law Journal 109, no. 6 (...)

29Neither sovereignty nor sexuality featured in those concepts of honour that survived the Nazi period and lived on in East and West Germany. The honours that the respective governments bestowed on their citizens had nothing to do with the purity of blood. Instead, the state acknowledged and rewarded special merits and services for the community. Medals, orders, and decorations were and are conferred in order to “honour” exceptional deeds and virtues.18 In a similar vein, people appreciate honorary appointments, degrees and titles given to them by institutions like universities, associations, or parliaments. Honorary citizenship is conferred to those who have been of particular esteem and importance to a state or city, as when Winston Churchill was bestowed with the US citizenship in 1963 by an act of the Congress. In Germany, voluntary work is considered an “honorary office” (i.e. it is done pro bono). To give one’s “word of honour” means pledging one’s good faith. It is still in use, especially among children and adolescents who want to make sure that they are not being deceived. The law, too, accounts for honour and, under certain, well-defined circumstances, considers insults as an honour offense.19 Honour has thus not completely vanished from today’s mental map. In contrast to acedia, the term is still known and used.

  • 20 Appiah, Kwame Anthony, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen (New York: W.W. Norton, 2010), (...)

30But what about its meaning? Do we attribute the same valence, the same emotional weight and urgency to notions of honour as our grandparents or greatgrandparents did? Do we attach them to identical issues and practices? Do we gender them in similar ways as in the nineteenth century? Do we distinguish between lower or upper-class honour? Do we consider honour as an ethnically neutral phenomenon, or do we associate it with certain groups and cultures more than with others? In short, is the type of honour that still seems roughly familiar to contemporaries, equivalent or comparable to those types that have traditionally been defined as belonging to earlier periods of European history? Or, for that matter, to non-Western cultures cherishing a sense of honour and honour practices which seem to have been lost in mainstream Western societies?20

Honour as an emotional disposition: Internal/external

  • 21 Social psychologists are (sometimes) the exception to the rule, see Rodriguez Mosquera, Patricia M (...)

31Some people might even doubt whether honour counts as an emotion at all. It surely does not figure on the shortlist of basic emotions that psychologists have put together. It is also missing from most of the longer lists. But this should not concern us too much. Experimental psychology is a modern Western science, and deals with modern Western subjects who usually do not seem to care much about honour and are oblivious to its emotional thrust. Only rarely do psychologists extend their scope of questions to encompass experiences that are not shared by middle-class Western university students.21

  • 22 Bourdieu, Pierre, Outline of a Theory of Practice, trans. Richard Nice (Cambridge: Cambridge Unive (...)
  • 23 Febvre, Honneur, pp. 31, 67.
  • 24 A., “Betrachtung über das Duelliren,” Neue Mannigfaltigkeiten 1 (1774): p. 765 („im Herzen eingewu (...)
  • 25 Czernin, Rudolf Graf, Die Duellfrage (Vienna: K. Gerolds Sohn in Komm., 1904), p. 3; James, Willia (...)

32If we asked anthropologists or social scientists about the emotional power of honour, we would encounter a different response. The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, who started his career studying honour cultures in Algeria, described honour as a powerful habitus, as a system of emotional “dispositions” that in turn produces and structures social practices.22 Lucien Febvre called it a sentiment or a sensibility that lived in our hearts.23 Nearly two centuries earlier, an anonymous author likewise found honour “rooted in the heart.”24 The heart, in those days, was considered to be the organ from which emotions sprang. Honour is “physiologically felt,” wrote another expert in 1904. It obviously manifested itself alongside bodily symptoms which, according to contemporary psychologist William James, were thought to be emotion proper.25

33Learned men who published articles about affect and passion for the encyclopaedias of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries never hesitated to name honour and its derivatives (Ehrgeiz, Ehrtrieb, Ehrliebe) among the most noteworthy emotions. Montesquieu, writing in 1748, defined honour to be the “spring” of monarchical government. Instead of virtue that inspired republics, monarchies were based on “pre-eminences and ranks” and thus on honour “that is the prejudice of every person and rank.”26 Even if every person and rank claimed honour in early modern societies, there were vast differences between social classes or estates, between men and women, and between different religious and ethnic groups. All of them developed their own codes of honourable conduct which had to be strictly observed by group members. Losing one’s honour due to violating those codes and/or being banished from the group was tantamount to suffering social death.27

  • 28 Simmel, George, Soziologie: Untersuchungen über die Formen der Vergesellschaftung (Frankfurt: Suhr (...)

34The social and cultural importance of honour was not lost on modern societies, either. Sociologists like Max Weber or Georg Simmel around 1900 testified to its ongoing presence. Honour still played a vital role in informing and regulating people’s behaviour. Sociologically speaking, it served as the “glue” that bound a social group together and fostered cohesion among its members. While law, as Simmel noticed, stabilised society at large, and morals guided individual behaviour, honour was the safeguard of intermediate social groups or circles. Its special service was seen in its ability to push “external purposes” through “internal means.” Each group member was taught to embrace honour as his or her most individual concern. Social duties were thus translated into “individual salvation” and self-interest. As such, honour functioned as a perfect hybrid: although it was integral to a social group and its particular rules of conduct, it was appropriated by individuals as a “purely personal” thing. It was regarded as a deeply emotional matter linked to people’s self-concept in two ways: it directly related to their claims to personal integrity and their aspirations to social recognition and reputation.28

35How this worked can be neatly studied in the case of nineteenth-century upper and middle-class men. In countries like Germany, Austria-Hungary and parts of Switzerland, but also in France, Spain, Italy and Russia, they were exposed to an honour regime with massive institutional and personal ramifications. In terms of social institutions, membership in students’ associations as well as military recruitment introduced them to strict codes and practices of honour. As students and officers, they learnt not only to take their honour very seriously but also to defend it by all means. They were taught to watch out for possible insults and not to let them go unanswered. Being a member of a student fraternity required extreme sensitivity about honour. Whoever behaved in a dishonourable fashion lost his legitimate place in the group. Still worse was the group member who allowed himself to be treated dishonourably by someone else, within or outside the group. This behaviour was considered utterly despicable, since it displayed an eminent lack of courage and character. In this vein, being called a coward, or a cheater, or getting physically attacked commanded strong counter-action. Right or wrong, what was perceived as offending one’s honour had to be redressed immediately and with full force.

  • 29 Demeter, Karl, Das deutsche Offizierkorps in Gesellschaft und Staat 1650–1945 (Frankfurt: Bernard (...)

36Similar rules applied to the army. Officers, noble or middle-class, were trained to safeguard their honour as a professional asset of crucial importance. As they were acting as members and on behalf of a venerable institution, they had to behave in a way that kept the institution’s honour unharmed. Whoever dared to insult it (by not paying adequate respect, or by openly trespassing against its principles) was punished accordingly. This held true for the officers’ own conduct, as much as for civilians who disregarded the special reputation that the army claimed for itself and its members. Anyone offending an officer also offended the institution, and vice versa. Officers were thus known as a particularly honour-conscious group of men, who definitely took honour “to heart” and were eager to defend it whenever and wherever possible and necessary. They considered themselves true men of honour who were imbued with Ehrliebe, love of honour of the highest kind. And they were, time and again, reminded of what honour required them to do (and not to do) by their commander-in-chief. In 1874, Wilhelm I, Prussian King and German Emperor, let everybody know that he would not tolerate any officer offending the honour of a comrade, or any officer who failed to guard his own honour.29

  • 30 These actions were stated in a royal Prussian decree from 1843 [Fleck, Eduard, Die Verordnungen üb (...)

37How could honour be offended? Actions that were deemed irreconcilable with an officer’s honour were those that showed a lack of determination or discretion, debts, unsuitable social company, gambling or alcohol abuse. Apart from these manifest transgressions, officers might feel hurt by a dismissive remark, a wry look, by not being greeted or invited to a dinner party. Verbal insults were topped by physical assaults: a punch, a slap in the face or a stroke with the sword. If worst came to worst, an officer found his “domestic” or “family honour” violated, meaning that a comrade had seduced his daughter or wife.30

  • 31 Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv München, IV, A XIII 3, Fasz. 2.

38In the light of such dishonourable acts, honour can thus be positively described as an emotional disposition focusing on a person’s moral and physical integrity. Violating this integrity brought disgrace on the person who had been offended. Above all, it meant lowering and shaming him in front of an audience of peers. Those peers were concerned about the offence and demanded a vigorous reaction. A man who failed to react in an appropriate way, who shied away from calling the offender to account, was judged a coward. It was implied that he deserved the insult by not being emotionally involved and eager to protect his honour. This was the case with a Bavarian officer in the 1840s. A pharmacist had insulted him as a “scoundrel,” a slander for which the offender was taken to court and given a prison sentence. This, however, did not satisfy the officer who found himself cornered by his comrades. To retain their respect, he planned to take stronger personal action.31 A similar case became known and immortalised in literature: in Arthur Schnitzler’s novel “Lieutenant Gustl” from 1900, an Austrian officer feels publicly humiliated by a man who is of inferior social status. As he fails to respond appropriately (i.e. strike down the other with his sword), he decides to commit suicide. This to him seems the only way to wipe off the stain that the other had left on his honour’s clean slate.

39As Simmel observed so lucidly, honour here worked both ways. On the one hand, it was deeply embedded in professional and institutional codes. The officer corps demanded a specific conduct and imposed negative sanctions on members who failed to meet those demands. Contemporary critics thus attacked the honour code as compulsion and coercion. On the other hand, the code was carefully and smoothly translated into individual mindsets and demeanour. To safeguard one’s honour was considered and felt to be a strictly personal matter, profoundly and intimately in one’s own interest.

  • 32 Brentano, Lujo, “Über die Duellfrage,” Mitteilungen der Deutschen Anti-Duell-Liga 29 (1909), p. 6.
  • 33 Welcker, Carl, “Infamie, Ehre, Ehrenstrafen,” in Das Staats-Lexikon: Encyklopädie der sämmtlichen (...)
  • 34 Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels, Werke, vol. 29 (Berlin: Dietz, 1970), pp. 331, 336, 562–63.

40As a personal issue, it called for a holistic approach. It was not enough to take the offender to court and have him convicted for slander and libel. Although the law had made relevant provisions, men were rarely inclined to accept them. In Germany, the Anglo-Saxon logic of financial compensation was met with harsh criticism. Even Lujo Brentano, a liberal social reformer and admirer of British institutions, disapproved and found it incommensurate with the immaterial character of personal honour.32 Germans generally privileged the idea of the “whole man,” of the autonomous personality who masterfully managed to integrate moral and material concerns. Heart and brain, emotion and reason had to act in unison. As much as an insult affected the “whole man” in his “right to exist,” that man had to take personal responsibility for asserting his right. Since honour was seen as one and indivisible, it demanded full action to preserve one’s “moral and emotional integrity.”33 Even Karl Marx, a reliable critic of bourgeois morality, felt sympathetic towards men who refused to bargain over their “individuality.” In certain situations, he argued, they could not help but take recourse to “feudal forms” in order to prove it.34

Honour practices: The duel

  • 35 Lassalle, Ferdinand, Nachgelassene Briefe und Schriften, ed. Gustav Mayer, vol. 3 (Stuttgart: DVA, (...)
  • 36 Becker, Bernhard, Enthüllungen über das tragische Lebensende Ferdinand Lassalle‘s und seine Bezieh (...)

41What did Marx have in mind? What kind of “feudal forms” was he referring to? His remarks came in response to a letter by Ferdinand Lassalle in 1858. Lassalle, a German-Jewish writer and socialist activist, had been called out to a duel by a civil servant, but since he opposed duelling, he had refused. Yet, as he confessed to a close friend, it had been hard for him to “suppress the desire of my blood in favour of my principles.” As a member of a student fraternity, he had learnt to value honour highly and observe the relevant comment. His first reaction to the challenge had thus been a passionate one: he had felt “an extremely vigorous drive” to accept it under even harsher conditions. When he saw reason and rejected the challenge, he nonetheless feared for his reputation. The prospect of people interpreting his behaviour as an act of cowardice tormented him. It came close to “annihilation” and hurt his “vanity.”35 Six years later, he withstood annihilation and let vanity, individuality and honour reign. By then the founder and president of the first social-democratic party in Germany, he sent a challenge to the man who had refused to let him marry his daughter. The duel took place on August 28, 1864. Lassalle was shot and died three days later, aged 39.36

  • 37 Gay, Peter, The Bourgeois Experience, vol. III: The Cultivation of Hatred (New York: W.W. Norton, (...)

42Lassalle was one of many “men of honour” who populated Europe during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Duelling, which had originated in early modern Spain, proved very much alive and part of the “bourgeois experience” as Peter Gay aptly called it.37 Even though Marx referred to it as a feudal form, it had undergone a drastic change of substance and appearance. Advice literature and handbooks had worked to transform it into a highly regulated and controlled encounter. It was still regarded as an act of passion, but the ritual itself did not match this concept. Duellists were supposed to behave calmly and in a restrained manner. They were not allowed to curse or insult each other but had to keep their distance. Seconds ensured obedience to the rules and fair play.

  • 38 Wilhelm und Caroline von Humboldt in ihren Briefen, ed. Anna von Sydow, vol. 4 (Berlin: Mittler, 1 (...)

43Among the gentlemen who took to duelling figured eminent politicians, professors, doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs. Wilhelm von Humboldt was one of them, a high-ranking civil servant and founder of Berlin’s first university. In 1815 he was Prussia’s envoy to Vienna where European politicians decided on the future of Europe after the defeat of Napoleon and his revolutionary armies. Another member of the Prussian delegation was Hermann von Boyen, Prussian minister of war. On one occasion, Humboldt urged Boyen to leave a meeting with the Austrian chancellor, Duke Metternich. He did not mean to offend Boyen, but the latter obviously felt that way. Even after Humboldt apologized, Boyen would not calm down and only relented when Humboldt offered him a duel. They met, they took aim, they shot, yet they both chose not to hit the other. Right after the duel, they talked in great harmony and were at peace with one another—which, as Humboldt confessed to his wife, would never have happened without the duel.38

  • 39 Freud, Sigmund, Briefe 1873–1939, eds. Ernst Freud and Lucie Freud (Frankfurt: Fischer, 1960), p. (...)

44Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, was equally sensitive about honour. In 1885, as a young doctor at the Viennese General Hospital, he told his fiancée about a duel that his colleague and friend Carl Koller had with another colleague. The latter, after a minor dispute, had insulted Koller as a Saujud, an anti-Semitic slur for which Koller had retaliated with a slap in the face. Both the verbal and the manual slip were considered serious slanders and should have resulted in a duel. Freud was obviously happy about Koller’s response and sent him a bottle of wine so that he could gain strength before the fight. He found it important to protect the honour of Jewish men and citizens, and was full of pride and joy that Koller had acted in a manly and courageous way.39

  • 40 Weber, Marianne, Max Weber. Ein Lebensbild (Heidelberg: Schneider, 1950), pp. 473–89.

45A last case in point—of which there are many more—is Max Weber. The famous sociologist, who considered himself a proud member of the middle classes, repeatedly talked and wrote about honour as a pre-modern pretension. At the same time, he was extremely thin-skinned when it came to his personal honour. He never hesitated to call out colleagues who, as he saw it, had insulted him or his wife. Although Marianne Weber was an outspoken feminist, she obviously did not mind him defending hers and his honour. Later on, she reported that her husband harboured very “irascible” and passionate feelings of honour and fought hard to sustain them.40

46Those feelings were by no means restricted to German or Austrian men. In 1804, US Vice President Aaron Burr challenged Federalist Alexander Hamilton to a duel in which the latter was killed. Three years earlier, Hamilton’s son Philip had died at the same duelling site.41 In 1829, the Duke of Wellington, as British Prime Minister, called upon the Earl of Winchilsea “to give me that satisfaction for your conduct which a gentleman never refuses to give.” The Earl responded immediately and found it “of course impossible for me to decline” the request. The two gentlemen met at Battersea Park in London. The Duke shot first, but apparently did not aim at his opponent. The latter then fired in the air. After having given “the usual satisfaction,” the Earl publicly declared his regret for having accused the Duke of “disgraceful and criminal motives.”42 In 1891, the British Vice Consul in Paris acted as a second to a duel causing the House of Commons to passionately debate the case. At that time, the British had by and large abandoned the custom of duelling at home.43 However, it survived in the Continent, above all in France where the duel was cherished by monarchists, republicans, conservatives and socialists alike.

  • 44 Schmid, Joseph C., Über die Duelle (Landshut: Weber’sche Buchhandlung, 1802), pp. 9, 28.
  • 45 Lasson, Adolf, System der Rechtsphilosophie (Berlin: Guttentag, 1882), p. 547; Frevert, Ute, Men o (...)

47But why, we may ask, did men duel? Why did they choose to carry their honour, as Rousseau framed it, on the tip of their sword? Why did they risk their lives in order to save their honour? Contemporaries called the idea of duelling “a true paradox of self-love”: through acting out of self-love, duellists destroyed its foundation—their physical existence.44 Such behaviour poses an unresolved puzzle for any evolutionary biologist or rational choice economist. Men of honour were not in the least driven by material interest or gain. Rather, they went for something immaterial, spiritual and emotional.45 They acted in an extremely self-centred and self-possessed way when taking every offence to heart and listening exclusively to their own sense of honour and righteousness. They brushed off all concerns for their own life and that of others, including the well-being of family members. Whenever they felt insulted, men would call each other out, and fight to the last drop of blood in order to save their honour. Why? What was so compelling and attractive about the duel?

The emotional power of duelling

48In order to find out, we have to listen to those who fought and defended it. There were others, obviously, who abstained from the custom and condemned it as stupid, dangerous and irrational. Criticism had been around as long as the practice existed. All pros and cons had already been discussed at the beginning of the nineteenth century. A hundred years later, critics were even more outspoken. They dominated parliamentary debates and newspaper reports, they hijacked literature and religious sermons. They organised rallies and founded associations like the anti-duelling league that were active in many European countries. Yet, despite their efforts, duelling persisted as a social practice.

  • 46 See his 1897 argument, in Die Verhandlungen des achten Evangelisch-sozialen Kongresses (Göttingen: (...)
  • 47 Wagner, Adolf, “Meine Duellangelegenheit mit dem Freiherrn von Stumm,” Die Zukunft 10 (1895): pp. (...)

49In part, this can be attributed to the ongoing power of supportive institutions: student fraternities and the army. Still, it would be misleading to think of duelling mainly as a ritual forced upon their members. On the contrary, duellists prided themselves on holding motives of their own. Even Marx, who strongly disapproved of duelling as a social convention, tolerated it as an expression of individuality. The same held true for Max Weber, who openly defended the duel in certain situations, but denounced those who were blindly following the custom and using it for minor purposes.46 Weber’s colleague Adolf Wagner, who was challenged by a well-known industrialist in 1895, eloquently described his ambivalence on the matter. On the one hand, duelling was forbidden by law which, as a civil servant, Wagner had a strong commitment to obey. On the other hand, he felt equally committed to the “passions” and “opinions” of his academic and middle-class circles. The rift, he knew, could not be healed. Yet it could be narrowed by restricting the duel to truly serious cases of slander. In those cases (like physical assaults, or attacks on the “family honour”), duels still seemed the only acceptable answer. To stress their exceptional status, though, they were supposed to be fought under extremely hard circumstances: “Whoever calls out or accepts a duel has to be forced to face an emergency”—meaning that they might lose their lives.47

  • 48 Wilhelm und Caroline von Humboldt in ihren Briefen, ed. von Sydow, vol. 4, pp. 545–46.

50Death figured prominently on men’s mental map. Indeed, duellists wrote farewell letters to their loved ones or drew up their last will in the night before they met their opponent. They were well aware that they faced death at dawn. Even if the offence had been trivial, thus softening the rules (in terms of distance, number and order of shots) and reducing the risk, one could never be sure about the outcome. One could also never be sure of one’s own emotions, let alone about those of the opponent. When Humboldt confronted Boyen in 1815, he did not know, as he later confessed to his wife, if Boyen was really determined to shoot him. He knew Boyen had been furious about the offence and held “serious ideas” about the duel. At the duelling site, he saw him taking aim with care and precision— until, when Boyen finally pulled the trigger, he turned the pistol into a slightly different direction. Humboldt was left with “strange and peculiar” feelings.48

  • 49 Fürst Bismarcks Briefe an seine Braut und Gattin, ed. Herbert von Bismarck, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: Co (...)

51In 1852, Otto von Bismarck had a similar experience after he had called out the liberal politician Georg von Vincke. He was doubtful whether he should shoot at Vincke at all. Eventually, he did, albeit “without rage,” as he wrote to his mother-in-law. And he told her, somewhat surprised, about his “feeling of discontent” after he had noticed that Vincke had not been hit. He could not join in the chorus cheerfully greeting the bloodless outcome, but would have preferred to continue the fight. That the exchange of shots had been limited to one caused him “displeasure” and “annoyance.” Only somewhat later, when his “blood had cooled down,” he changed his mind and felt “very grateful” considering the undramatic result.49

52Facing death and facing one’s own lust to kill (or maim) generated noteworthy emotions. They took men by surprise and overwhelmed them to such an extent that they felt the urge to share them with family and close friends. As a general rule, duels followed a highly ambiguous emotional script. On the one hand, they were seen as terminating a conflict that had aroused strong, sometimes even violent emotions. Men felt shamed and humiliated by an insult which had stirred their anger and rage. Yet, instead of retaliating in the same manner or even worse, they called the other person out. Anger and rage were transferred into regulated action. It involved third parties who served as seconds and tried to mediate. The time that elapsed between the insult and the duel was another method to pacify hearts and minds. On the site, then, duellists were supposed to display a restrained and controlled demeanour. Even if their blood was still boiling, they were not supposed to show it. All precautions taken were meant to deflate the situation and allow for detached, polite and “civilised” behaviour. Initial rage was thus transformed into noble restraint and fair play.

  • 50 Lassalles letzte Tage: Nach den Originalbriefen und Dokumenten des Nachlasses, ed. Ina Britschgi-S (...)

53On the other hand, the duel itself was not without emotion, but rather confronted the individual with feelings that appeared strange and that he did not expect. Humboldt alluded to fear and anxiety, Bismarck wrote about his desire to see blood. Others evoked the serenity of the moment and a sense of sublimity. Many felt torn between the wish to be generous and compassionate, and the lust for revenge and self-assertion. For Lassalle, his last duel was all about revenge, as he had confessed to his lady-friend: “This fight is not a duel, it is pure revenge.”50 As an experienced marks-man, he was sure that he would kill or hurt the opponent while he himself would escape unscathed.

54Life proved him wrong, though. The fight was a duel, meaning that chances and risks were evenly distributed. It happened time and again that students without any shooting experience killed or wounded officers who were well-trained in pulling the trigger. A duel’s outcome was always unpredictable, which turned it, as Lassalle had to learn as a final lesson, into an unsuitable measure for revenge.

Shaming the coward

  • 51 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 8th ed. (Edinburgh: Adam & Charles Black, 1853–1860), vol. 10 (1856), p. (...)

55Duels, however, offered a perfect platform to display manly character and personality. “Men of honour” as they used to call themselves, were true men who embraced the code of chivalry as much as the rules of gentlemanly behaviour. A gentleman’s conduct, as defined by the Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1856, was “regulated by a true principle of honour, which springs from that self-respect and intellectual refinement which manifest themselves in unconstrained yet delicate manners.”51 His character was mild and his conduct inoffensive. At the same time, though, he stood up for his convictions, values and beliefs. He defended them through vigorous action and did not shy away from sacrificing his life or health for what he found important and necessary. A man of honour was, in short, anything but a coward.

56The duel proved just that. Fearing for his life and avoiding any action that could put him in danger was not something of which a duellist could be accused. His whole behaviour spoke to the exact opposite. He personified courage, no more and no less. And he personified it in a special way. His courage was not the daredevilry and foolhardiness of some youngster who did not know or care about risk. Men like Humboldt, Boyen, Bismarck or Vincke, who were in their late 30s or 40s, could hardly be considered ignorant firebrands. Rather, they were men who thought of themselves as responsible adults, fathers and husbands, who held important public offices and made an impact on the world in which they lived. Still, they found it necessary to demonstrate courage, fully aware of the life-threatening risks involved. Courage for them was equivalent to fortitude and steadfastness. Rather than offensively moving forward and pushing their limits, they held their ground.

  • 52 Jhering, Kampf, pp. 21, 95–96.
  • 53 Preußische Jahrbücher 84 (1896), p. 376.

57To stand up for one’s beliefs and fight bravely was deemed, as the famous law professor Rudolf von Jhering framed it in 1872, a duty of “moral and physical self-preservation.” Whoever denied a man’s right to personally and forcefully fend off an offence, was “unmanly” and acted as a “moral eunuch.”52 In the same vein, Hans Delbrück, a conservative professor of history and influential author, described the “psychological undertone” of a duel as the following: “To be a whole man and personality, one needs the courage to support one’s cause in person. To have that courage makes up manly honour.”53

  • 54 Mann, Thomas, The Magic Mountain, trans. H.T. Lowe-Porter (London: Penguin, 1960), p. 699.

58Thomas Mann beautifully captured and highlighted this attitude in his novel Magic Mountain published in 1924. Looking back at pre-war society and its cultural trajectories, he let the two intellectual antipodes, Naphta and Settembrini, engage in a duel. Hans Castorp, the novel’s main character, objected by arguing that there had been no real insult between the two but only disagreement on a “matter of abstractions.” As he saw it, the latter had nothing to do with personal honour and thus did not merit a duel. Settembrini felt otherwise. For him, “things of the mind” were highly personal and contained “more possibilities of deep and radical hatred, of unconditional and irreconcilable hostility than any relation of social life.” They directly and relentlessly invited the “radical intimacy” of the duel. And then he explained to his young friend what duelling was really about: It “is not an ‘arrangement,’ like another. It is the ultimate, the return to a state of nature, slightly mitigated by regulations which are chivalrous in character, but extremely superficial. The essential nature of the thing remains the primitive, the physical struggle, and however civilized a man is, it is his duty to be ready for such a contingency, which may any day arise. Whoever is unable to offer his person, his arm, his blood, in the service of the ideal, is unworthy of it; however intellectualised, it is the duty of a man to remain a man.”54

  • 55 Mann, Katja, Meine ungeschriebenen Memoiren, eds. Elisabeth Plessen and Michael Mann (Frankfurt: F (...)

59In 1910, the author of this pathos-ridden paragraph had himself been confronted with such a contingency. Theodor Lessing, a 38-year-old philosopher, felt insulted by an article that Mann had written, and asked him (by telegram!), if he was prepared to defend his opinions “at gunpoint.” Mann was not sure how to react and asked his father-in-law for advice. Alfred Pringsheim, a professor of mathematics, was himself an experienced duellist; as a passionate admirer of Richard Wagner, he had once physically attacked a stranger who did not share his musical sympathies, and consequently was called out. In Thomas Mann’s case, however, he recommended a strategy of de-escalation. Since Lessing’s challenge had not been communicated in the appropriate form, there was no need to accept it. His son-in-law gratefully accepted the advice since he was obviously not ready to “offer his person, his arm, his blood, in the service of the ideal.”55

60Not every intellectual dispute or difference of taste, therefore, had to end in a duel. It very much depended on the situation, on its publicity, on the personal character of those involved, on their sensibilities and judgments. The culture of honour, as it was practised and observed in Continental Europe until the early twentieth century held many opportunities for negotiation and compromise. The duel was but the most radical and existential solution to a conflict that had touched on men’s sense of integrity. As an extreme, it brought to light and emphasized the underlying principles of honour: an intense feeling of “self-love,” i.e. self-centredness and self-respect, connected to the claim of being recognised and treated accordingly by one’s peers.

Equality and group cohesion

61Those peers were of crucial importance. Honour was not an emotional capital that could be traded and exchanged regardless of space and social status. It was only valued by, and within, social groups that shared the same notions and practices. If, for instance, a middle-class entrepreneur got insulted by a worker, he would remain quite unconcerned. In serious cases, he might take the offender to court and have him fined or flung into prison. His personal sense of honour, though, was left unharmed. If, however, a man from his own circles dared to deny him the respect that he deemed necessary, things were different. Sociologically speaking, honour served as a means of social integration: it established certain rules of conduct within a social group and enabled its members to solve their disputes in a way that did not damage the community.

62How this worked in real life can again be studied by looking at the extreme case of duelling. Above all, the duel was a social practice that relied on, and expressed the equality of its actors. They met on equal terms and fought under equal conditions. They both consented to the rules and were not taken by surprise. No one was attacked from behind, or ambushed at night. The fight took place in broad daylight and under the supervision of peers (seconds, doctors, friends). Through this setting, the opponents claimed to be men of honour belonging to the same social universe. By confronting each other on the duelling site, they acknowledged and recognized this claim. And they allowed credit for, and invested in, the cohesion of what was called “the society of those capable of giving satisfaction” (satisfaktionsfähige Gesellschaft).

  • 56 The letter of cand.med. Franque (quoting his Heidelberg fellow student) to the rector of the Unive (...)
  • 57 Wilhelm und Caroline von Humboldt in ihren Briefen, ed. von Sydow, vol. 4, pp. 545–46.
  • 58 Frevert, Men of Honour, pp. 168–70.

63Duellists did even more: They actively sought to maintain the respect members of that society owed to each other, and they went as far as to aim at reconciliation. This was framed in rather abstract terms by a student from a Heidelberg fraternity: He called the duel a “blood baptism,” in which “the stains of hatred have been washed away, and love has prevailed over enmity.” Reason, the student added, “can never understand this, but feeling knows it as an inescapable truth.”56 How this feeling was translated into action, was demonstrated time and again. Humboldt was absolutely sure that the duel with the Prussian minister of war had purified and stabilised their relationship. After the fight, they spoke “much and very well” to each other on a bridge over the Danube river, perfectly aware of the symbolism attached to the particular site.57 Reconciliation even happened post mortem. In 1828, the brother of a man who had been killed in a duel, asked to pay a visit of respect to the colleague who had fired the mortal shot and who had subsequently been detained in a fortress (a prison for the privileged). Likewise, parents of duelling victims often filed clemency appeals for their sons’ opponents who had been lawfully convicted to serve time in prison.58

  • 59 Berger, “Obsolescence,” p. 93. This is both acknowledged and severely criticised by Bowman, James. (...)
  • 60 Honneth, Axel, The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Confl icts (Cambridge: Pol (...)

64These acts of sympathy testify to the general support the duel enjoyed in those circles who subscribed to honour as a crucial emotional disposition and habitus. They are hard to understand, though, by present-day men and women who have grown up in societies that no longer value this kind of gentleman’s honour. In twentieth-century Europe and the US, honour lost its emotional appeal and became “meaningless.”59 Strong feelings of honour are no longer to be expected from university professors, civil servants, or the world of business and finance. Men might still be irritated when insulted, and even file a lawsuit against slander. But they would surely not be as upset as to risk their lives in a duel. The compelling emotional overtones and undercurrents of honour have disappeared. What is left is one’s reputation, one’s good name, the quest for recognition.60 This is what the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries used to call “external honour.” Its internal disposition that was “rooted in the heart” and made the blood boil has evidently vanished.

Crimes of honour, now and then

  • 61 Gambetta, Diego, The Sicilian Mafia: The Business of Private Protection (Cambridge: Harvard Univers (...)

65It survives, however, in other social groups and cultures. Present-day Western societies still know of highly ritualised and emotionally charged honour practices performed in marginal or liminal settings. The Mafia and related criminal networks are a case in point, and so are certain male adolescent milieus. While the former use honour mainly to strengthen group cohesion, the latter tend to stress self-assertive claims to honour and respect that are inextricably tied to the male body and its physical as well as sexual prowess.61

  • 62 See the UN Population Fund’s 2000 report on The State of World Population, ch. 3 (honor killings): (...)
  • 63 Speitkamp, Ohrfeige, pp. 270–77, argues that the honour killings taking place in Western immigrant (...)

66Non-Western societies also cherish strong notions, feelings and practices of honour tied (though not exclusively) to gender roles and male power. “Family honour” acquires a particularly urgent meaning that often results in violent and aggressive actions against female family members accused of dishonourable behaviour. According to UN reports, the number of “honour” killings is on the rise worldwide.62 They are not confined to countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, but can as well be observed in Paris, London, and Berlin, in their Turkish, North-African or South Asian, mostly Muslim neighbourhoods. Usually a father or brother murders his daughter or sister respectively, because she did not lead the kind of life dictated by the family customs. She has thus offended or violated the family’s honour, and the family takes revenge.63

67Are these practices related to crimes of honour committed by upper- and middle-class Europeans some generations ago? Quite evidently, there are some important differences. For one thing, the duel could not be considered murder since it was voluntary, consensual, and symmetrical. Men were not forced to fight a duel but did so because they found it appropriate for various reasons. They met on equal terms: neither the offender nor the offended claimed advantages. They bore the same weapons, they exposed themselves to the same risk of killing and being killed. The duel was not an act of revenge or premeditated murder that left the victim no chance of hitting back or defending himself. Instead, it was a social practice that drew on, and established the equality of those involved. This implied, for another thing, that duels were fought between men only, and between men of similar social backgrounds. Duels between a man and a woman were virtually unheard of, and so were duels between men of different social classes.

Fig 2. Le monde renversé. Les femmes se battent en duel (detail from a 19th-century postcard).

68Still, the notion of honour at stake in both cases seems to be somehow similar. First, honour holds such strong emotional power that it imperatively calls for action. Men do not just feel it, they act upon it. Second, the action is always a male prerogative. Women might lose their honour, but they can never restore it by themselves. Duelling is an exclusively male affair; it would mean le monde renversé if women ever took to it. Third, female honour (or family honour as it is sometimes called) is always tied to sexuality. It is about chastity, purity, and appropriate sexual behaviour. It is about not sleeping around or betraying your husband. Male honour, on the other hand, does not bear any direct sexual connotations. To a large extent, it consists of safeguarding the female honour and making sure that what belongs to him—or the family—is not taken away or sullied by someone else.

69This was demonstrated to the global public in 2006 during the Soccer World Cup final. Towards the end of the game, which was won by the Italian team, the French captain Zinédine Zidane suddenly head-butted the Italian player Marco Materazzi in the chest. The referee immediately showed him the red card and Zidane left the field. Everybody wondered what had caused his violent action. Two days later, Materazzi admitted to the Gazetta dello Sport that he had insulted Zidane but did not say how. Shortly after, Zidane explained himself on French television. He apologized to the “two or three billion people” who had watched his “inexcusable gesture.” He even apologized to Materazzi—but he did not regret what he had done. The Italian had directed some “very hard words” at him allegedly insulting both his mother and sister. “I am a man and some words are harder to hear than actions. I would rather have taken a blow to the face than hear that.” Even four years later, he was not willing to change his mind: to ask for Materazzi’s forgiveness, he told the Spanish newspaper El País, would “dishonour me. I’d rather die.”64

70Here we hear exactly the kind of language that was spoken in eighteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe. It was also the language with which Zidane had been brought up. The son of Algerian immigrants from the Kabylie region (which Bourdieu had studied in his early ethnographic research), he was accustomed to honour as social and emotional capital that needed to be protected and maintained. Losing one’s honour was worse than death. What was perceived as an insult closely resembled the list of offences that European men of honour had taken to heart: a blow to the face— above all, though, an attack on the sexual integrity of female family members. In 2007, Materazzi finally disclosed what he had said on the soccer field: he had called Zidane’s sister a “puttana,” a whore, and he had insinuated that he would like to take advantage of her.

  • 65 Roper, Lyndal, “Männlichkeit und männliche Ehre,” in Frauengeschichte – Geschlechtergeschichte, ed (...)

71If Zidane had lived a hundred years earlier and belonged to “polite society,” he would have called out Materazzi. His peers would have agreed and given him their support and solidarity. An offence as “hard” as this one could not have been redressed by any other means. Zidane shared the same notions of honour but used different practices to defend it. By taking direct physical action, he followed the example of less educated men who had long since settled their honour disputes with fists and brawls. Instead of keeping a stern face and delegating the affair to third persons who would then submit the challenge, they struck back at the offender and took immediate revenge.65 While duellists acted in “cold blood,” less “civilised” men let their blood boil. Still, it was no less a social act adhering to a commonly understood script.

Chastity and family honour

  • 66 See the case studies in Peristiany, John G., ed., Honour and Shame: The Values of Mediterranean So (...)
  • 67 Frevert, Ute, ‘Mann und Weib, und Weib und Mann’: Geschlechter-Differenzen in der Moderne (Munich: (...)

72Women’s sexual behaviour was a major topic when men felt their honour insulted. Especially those cultures that put a high price on female chastity held men responsible. This applies to Mediterranean societies like the one from which Zidane’s family originated;66 it also applied to noble and middle-class circles setting the tone in European societies of the long nineteenth century. While members of the lower classes apparently observed less strict rules of conduct, “good society” was obsessed with female “purity” and shame. A young factory worker could have premarital sex without being called a prostitute; she should make sure, though, that she only shared pleasures with the one who would later become her husband. In contrast, the unmarried daughter of a middle-class family had to abstain from sex altogether. Her chastity was guarded like a treasure—which had a lot to do with marriage strategy and worries about paternity. In families that had much to be inherited, paternity issues were of utmost importance. A woman who had slept around before marriage could not be trusted afterwards. In addition, the new morality of romantic love demanded exclusivity and complete devotion on the part of the female partner. In her own best interest, this should only take place in marriage which offered her long-term security and protection.67

  • 68 Grevenitz, Friedrich August Ferdinand, Unterricht zur Kenntniß der vorzüglichsten Abweichungen der (...)

73Female honour thus became inexorably linked to sexual chastity. Educational treatises, advice literature, legal texts and religious sermons all worked towards pointing out the intimate connection between a woman’s “moral existence” and her chastity. A woman who had lost the purity of body and soul, was deemed “fallen” and could never reclaim her honour. This was how “nature” had organised it— nature, not culture.68 Culture only followed nature’s intentions by enshrining them in social institutions and legal regulations (like the one that punished a married adulteress much harder than a married adulterer). By referring to nature, contemporaries both universalised and legitimized a moral code that was by no means natural, but integrally tied to man-made concerns and interests.

  • 69 Frevert, Mann und Weib, pp. 183, 214.

74Hence, female honour and male honour were conspicuously and closely related to each another. Since men based their honour on “courage and strength” (Grevenitz), they were held in charge of protecting the honour of their female relatives considered too weak to stand up for their own integrity. This was part of the code of chivalry that was widely praised as an asset of Western civilization. Upon closer examination, however, men acted not only as protectors and guardians, but also as proprietors and representatives. The language of honour and its semantics were absolutely clear about this: attacking a woman’s honour meant, in the first place, insulting her husband, father or brother. Anyone who seduced a married woman offered the “greatest affront” to her husband, according to one judge who in 1902 sentenced an adulterer for killing the deceived husband in a duel. In a similar vein, Prussian ministers of justice and war identified adultery as a sign of disrespect for the husband whose manliness and Wehrhaftigkeit (ability and willingness to fight) were contested by the adulterer’s behaviour.69

75This is what lay beneath the term “family honour”—a term that was harshly criticised by early feminists. They astutely regarded it as an “extended version of male honour” and pointed to the fact that it could be harmed, but not restored by women.70 Interestingly enough, the term was even used in legal documents of the time. The 1907 Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of the Land included a paragraph on “family honour.” Family honour, the article said, had to be respected by military authority of an occupied territory.71 Reading this now, we probably shrug our shoulders. But people at the time knew exactly what it meant: women should not be raped.

  • 72 Rother, Rainer, ed., Die letzten Tage der Menschheit: Bilder des Ersten Weltkrieges (Berlin: Ars N (...)

76Rape in wartime posed a particularly difficult problem. It affronted men’s honour without giving them any chance to restore it. They could neither challenge nor take on the rapist who was protected by the power of the victorious army. Instead, they were made to stand by and experience utter emasculation. This predicament was depicted in the numerous drawings and lithographs documenting “atrocités allemandes” during World War I. Many showed women raped and mutilated by German soldiers.72 Using those atrocities as a propaganda weapon worked both ways: by denouncing and shaming the offender as someone who took advantage of weak and helpless women, the material also highlighted the dishonour of French or Belgian men who had kept in the background.

Rape, sex, and national honour

  • 73 Bourke, Joanna, Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present Day (London: Virago, 2007), ch. 13.
  • 74 Treitschke, Heinrich von, Politics, trans. Blanche Dugdale and Torben de Bille, vol. 2 (New York: (...)

77But there was another dimension that should not go unnoticed. Violating the honour of the enemy’s wives and daughters was not only an attack on husbands and fathers. It was meant and perceived to target and damage the honour of the whole nation. Wartime rape thus held a highly symbolic and political meaning as much as it humiliated individual women and hurt men’s self-perception.73 In order to explain this, we have to remember the connection between social and political honour that was forged and stabilised during the modern period. The fact that nations and states were imbued with honour was a common paradigm of nineteenth-century European thought. National and state honour was deliberately moulded on the example of male honour as we have seen it developed and practised in “polite society.” In the 1880s and early 1890s, Heinrich von Treitschke, an influential German historian and public intellectual, delivered passionate university lectures on slander, reparation and respect that must have sounded thoroughly familiar to his students, well-versed in the academic honour culture. “Any insult offered,” he stated, “even if only outwardly, to the honour of a State, casts doubt upon the nature of the State.” Therefore, “if the flag is insulted, the State must claim reparation; should this not be forthcoming, war must follow, however small the occasion may seem; for the state has never any choice but to maintain the respect in which it is held among its fellows.”74 War here was equivalent to the duel, and the “honour of a State” obviously shared many features with the honour of a gentleman.

78Contemporary politics seemed to confirm Treitschke’s concept of state honour. The Franco-German war of 1870–71 and its prehistory had been largely conceived of in terms of honour and shame, of humiliation and satisfaction. The attempt of the House of Hohenzollern to take possession of the vacant Spanish throne was interpreted as an attack on French honneur; the French government demanded a “satisfaction éclatante.” Bismarck’s Ems Dispatch was perceived as a “slap in the face” of the French ambassador and thus of France proper.

  • 75 Quotes in Aschmann, Birgit, “Ehre – das verletzte Gefühl als Grund für den Krieg,” in Gefühl und K (...)
  • 76 Frevert, Ute, “Honor, Gender, and Power: The Politics of Satisfaction in Pre-War Europe,” in An Im (...)

79Paris, in turn, declared war on Prussia in order to defend French honour and interests. Prime Minister Bismarck, who had stood his ground on numerous affairs of honour, was equally concerned about the Prussian monarchy not being abased. “We can only choose between war,” he told the Prussian missions abroad, “or a humiliation that the honour of the nation cannot put up with.”75 Four decades later, the outbreak of World War I was negotiated along the same semantic lines.76

  • 77 Mein lieber Marquis! Friedrich der Große, sein Briefwechsel mit Jean-Baptiste d’Argens während des (...)

80States valuing honour and demanding satisfaction could be regarded as prolonging the absolutist tradition which had identified prince and state. Neither Louis XIV nor Frederick II had drawn a distinction between their honour as monarchs and the honour of the states they were thought to personify. Facing defeat in 1760, the Prussian king vigorously refused to sign a “humiliating peace.” By implication, his “inner motivation and feeling of honour” was deemed binding and authoritative for the country as a whole.77 Since the French Revolution, the notion of monarchical and state honour had explicitly extended to the nation comprising all (male) citizens. Each one of them was now called on to feel personally insulted by derogative acts of foreign governments and the nations they represented. This introduced an urgency and passion into foreign politics that had hitherto been unknown. The full thrust of this passion was felt in 1914, when the language of honour was not only spoken among diplomats, but also used to whip up national feelings and prepare Europeans for war.

  • 78 Objects I/6 and I/185 in Rother, ed., Die letzten Tage der Menschheit, pp. 454, 473. As to Germani (...)
  • 79 See object I/170 in Rother, ed., Die letzten Tage der Menschheit, p. 470.
  • 80 Gullace, Nicoletta F., “The Blood of our Sons”: Men, Women, and the Renegotiation of British Citiz (...)

81This was immediately translated into public imagery. Female national allegories that had been popularized throughout the nineteenth century became war heroines and took up the sword. Deutschland— August 1914, the famous painting by Friedrich August Kaulbach, depicted Germania in full armour and flowing blond mane, ready to defend and attack. She joined German soldiers on the battlefield whenever and wherever it was necessary to uphold the “German honour.”78 But national allegories also served as icons of ridicule and humiliation.79 The nation represented by a female figure was thus stripped of honour and respect. In turn, men were asked to defend and restore national honour by enlisting in the army and fighting for victory. As Kaulbach painted his armoured Germania in Bavaria, the British Admiral Charles Fitzgerald founded the Order of the White Feather in Kent. It encouraged women to give out white feathers—a well-known symbol of cowardice— to younger men who did not wear a uniform and had not joined the troops. This was meant as an outright humiliation, and it often had this effect.80

  • 81 Robert Capa, Retrospektive, ed. Laure Beaumont-Maillet (Berlin: Nicolai, 2005), p. 213. Virgili, F (...)

82Gutless men were considered as detrimental to national honour as women who were forced, or even worse, voluntarily chose to have sex with the enemy. On August 18 1944, war journalist Robert Capa took a photograph in the streets of Chartres, France. It showed a woman with her hair shorn carrying a child in her arms. The child was hers, the offspring of a relationship with a German soldier. After the liberation, she was publicly humiliated as a traitor: she had not only lost her honour as a woman, but had also insulted the national honour by rejecting French men and instead privileging a German lover. To brand her as a traitor, fellow-citizens sheared her hair and made her the subject of public outrage and ridicule.81

Fig 3. “Chartres, August 18, 1944” by Robert Capa.

  • 82 Warring, Anette, “Intimate and sexual relations,” in Surviving Hitler and Mussolini, eds. Robert G (...)
  • 83 Sander, Helke and Barbara Johr, eds., BeFreier und Befreite: Krieg, Vergewaltigungen, Kinder (Muni (...)
  • 84 Woller, Hans, Gesellschaft und Politik in der amerikanischen Besatzungszone: Die Region Ansbach un (...)

83The connection between female and national honour was witnessed all over Europe, in Denmark and Norway as much as in Czechoslovakia and Greece.82 German women, who had been raped by (mostly) Russian soldiers, were given a hard time by their husbands who, after returning from the war, felt personally dishonoured and could not face the shame.83 When the war was over, women who had had affairs with Allied soldiers were accused of violating the national honour (“It took six years to beat the German soldier, but it took only five minutes to win over a German woman”). Fräuleins who went out with an American GI were beaten up and had their hair shorn. Although economically beneficial to their families, their behaviour raised concerns about moral looseness and was interpreted as degrading German men.84 The discourse was fraught with semantics that gendered national honour and nationalised female honour.

The decline of honour, or its return?

  • 85 Berger, “Obsolescence,” p. 83.

84Has this language gone out of fashion nowadays? Has it made room for more individualised, less standardized and patriarchal notions of gender, nation and society? In 1973, sociologist Peter Berger wrote: “Honor occupies about the same place in contemporary usage as chastity […] Both concepts have an unambiguously outdated status in the Weltanschauung of modernity […] At best, honor and chastity are seen as ideological leftovers in the consciousness of obsolete classes, such as military officers or ethnic grandmothers.”85 This statement was obviously aimed at the US and perhaps also Europe, from where the “ethnic grandmothers” had originally come. Evidence seemed to confirm the claim. Even in countries like Germany or Italy, which had tried to restore strong notions of honour (and chastity) during fascism, the gradual decline and erosion of honour as an emotion and a social practice became prevalent and could not be stopped. This was closely tied to societal transformations that were accelerated after WWI and gathered even more momentum after WWII. European societies became far more egalitarian and less class-structured. The social stratification of honour that had survived the early modern period lost its legitimacy and was no longer taken for granted. Dignity started to prevail as a universal human concept superseding honour, as bound to distinctive social groups.

85In contrast with dignity, honour had been inextricably linked to highly self-assertive and aggressive practices. Both in politics and social conduct, honour required violent action that often resulted in the loss of life and limb. After two devastating wars and mass murder of an unprecedented scale, Europeans were less inclined to cherish concepts of male heroism that bore the risk of death in order to prove one’s valour. Embracing and enjoying life without further commitment to notions of national duty or social responsibility gained currency in post-war Western Europe.

86This applied even to those groups and classes that had tenaciously stuck to exclusionary practices of honour. Being members of a satisfaktionsfähige Gesellschaft had put a great burden on men’s actions and attitude. As “men of honour,” they had to pay meticulous attention to formal rules and social conventions, and to hold death in higher regard than life. When codes of social conduct became less formal during the 1960s, a heavy blow was dealt to the point d’honneur—a blow whose liberating effects, however, could not be denied. Furthermore, increasing individualisation and pluralisation of styles and manners undermined the defining power of formerly dominant circles.

  • 86 Fontanes Briefe, ed. Gotthard Erler, vol. 2 (Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, 1989), pp. 213, 299, 377–78.

87Equally important, gender relations underwent radical change. Women no longer accepted the iron rule dictating that their honour depended on chastity and sexual purity. They took offence at patriarchal notions of family honour lost by women’s alleged weakness and rekindled by men’s alleged strength. Women like Caroline von Humboldt, who in 1815 had strongly supported her husband’s decision to fight a duel, were hard to find a hundred years later. When Theodor Fontane published his novel Effi Briest in 1895, he was puzzled by the readers’ reactions. Everybody sympathised with Effi, the young woman who had had a love affair that her husband found out about years later. He challenged the lover to a duel, shot him and divorced Effi. His behaviour found little approval among Fontane’s readers which caused the author to wonder about his contemporaries’ “weak morals.”86 By 1974, when the book was adapted for film, moral codes had changed even more, and Fontane’s ideas about male and female honour were altogether lost on the German public.

  • 87 Allen, Beverly, Rape Warfare: The Hidden Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia (Minneapolis: (...)

88Hence there is ample evidence that honour has indeed become a “lost emotion” in twentieth-century Western societies. But how does Nicolas Sarkozy’s outburst fit into the picture? What do we do with Zinédine Zidane’s headbutt, and the honour killings that continue to take place in some urban neighborhoods? And how do we account for what happened during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s? They introduced organised mass rape to the European theatre of war and used it to humiliate men and impair national honour. What had been known as more or less individualised acts of sexual violence in modern warfare developed into a strategy to foster ethnic cleansing. Rape camps were set up to impregnate women held captive and thus destroy the cultural and social ties of victims’ communities.87

89These facts cast doubt on the liberal-progressive view that sexualised notions of honour have fallen out of fashion in post-1945 Europe. Even if women no longer accept their honour to be solely identified by notions of sexual integrity, they cannot escape patterns of male behaviour targeting them as such—and, in addition, connecting their integrity to the integrity of the nation to which they belong. In circumstances surrounding violent ethnic conflict, as witnessed in former Yugoslavia (and multiple African states ever since), women have been and are still held prey as bearers and representatives of national or ethnic honour. Anyone who violates their sexual integrity, humiliates their male protectors, insults the national honour and emasculates their ethnic group.

90What happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina calls into question the powerful Western narrative of female sexual liberation and emancipation. It only seems to work successfully in those regions whose inhabitants experience relative social peace and security. Highly militarized societies and those torn by war in contrast tend to quickly (re-)install notions of gendered honour that reflect older concepts of female chastity and male physical force. Wherever “obsolete classes” like military officers reclaim power, honour is back on the agenda. This is even more relevant for places where “ethnic grandmothers” hold their ground. Instead of grandmothers, however, it is mostly fathers and brothers who are obsessed with honour and tightly control their daughters’ and sisters’ sexuality. Here again, family honour essentially depends on female chastity which, as some immigrant groups see it, is threatened by the demoralising influence of the Western host society. The clash of cultures is thus being acted out over the female body, and honour comes at a high price. How long this price will continue to be paid, remains to be seen. If honour serves, as Georg Simmel knew, as a means to strengthen a group’s internal cohesion, it gains currency when boundaries between “us” and “them,” between in-group and out-group, have to be strong and impenetrable.

  • 88 Recently, East European politicians like Poland’s Jaroslaw KaczyÐski and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán pl (...)

91Those boundaries, to return to where we started from, are getting weaker and weaker within the European Union. Where states and nations before 1945 waged battles of honour against each other, honour has since then become “obsolete” as a political concept and emotional disposition among EU members. Invoking honour, as the French president did in 2010, was therefore met with widespread bewilderment. “Honneur et patrie” may still have a more vibrant sound in France where General de Gaulle held office until 1969 and continued his war-time efforts to save French national honour during the campaign against Algerian independence. Other Europeans, however, remained unmoved—like many a French citizen who felt put off by Sarkozy’s agonal pathos.88

Notes

1 Damasio, Hanna et al., “The return of Phineas Gage: Clues about the brain from the skull of a famous patient,” Science 264 (May 1994): pp. 1102–5; Damasio, Antonio, Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (New York: HarperCollins, 2000); for criticism, see Macmillan, Malcolm, An Odd Kind of Fame: Stories of Phineas Gage (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000).

2 Damasio, Antonio, Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (Orlando: Harcourt, 2003), pp. 53–80, 140–79; Daum, Irene et al., “Neurobiological Basis of Emotions,” in Emotions as Bio-cultural Processes, eds. Birgitt Röttger-Rössler and Hans J. Markowitsch (New York: Springer, 2009), pp. 111–38; as to emotions in decision-making, see Gigerenzer, Gerd, Gut feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious (New York: Penguin, 2007).

3 Reisberg, Daniel and Paula Hertel, eds., Memory and Emotion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), esp. pp. 76–154, 347–89.

4 Solomon, Robert C., ed., What is an Emotion? Classic and Contemporary Readings, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).

5 Scherer, Klaus R. and Paul Ekman, eds., Approaches to Emotions: A Book of Readings (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1984); Ekman, Paul and Richard Davidson, eds., The Nature of Emotion: Fundamental Questions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).

6 Jensen, Uffa and Daniel Morat, eds., Rationalisierungen des Gefühls: Zum Verhältnis von Wissenschaft und Emotionen 1880–1930 (Munich: Fink, 2008), esp. pp. 35–59 (Jakob Tanner), 101–17 (Daniel Morat).

7 Elias, Civilizing Process, quotes pp. 367, 400.

8 Plessner, Helmuth, Limits of Community: A Critique of Social Radicalism (1924), trans. Andrew Wallace (Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 1999).

9 Elias, Civilizing Process, p. 441. Interestingly, the postscript to this book did not mention the experience of National Socialism. It is discussed, though, in the chapter “The Breakdown of Civilization” (written in 1961–62) in Elias, Norbert, The Germans: Power Struggles and the Development of Habitus in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), ch. 4. See Fulbrook, Mary, ed., Un-Civilizing Processes? Excess and Transgression in German Society and Culture: Perspectives Debating with Norbert Elias (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007).

10 Febvre, Lucien, “Sensibility and History: How to Reconstitute the Emotional Life of the Past,” in A New Kind of History, ed. Peter Burke (New York: Routledge, 1973), pp. 12–26, quotes p. 26.

11 Febvre, Lucien, Honneur et Patrie (Paris: Perrin, 1996), pp. 30– 31; Jackson, Julian, France: The Dark Years, 1940–1944 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 43; Capdevila, Luc, “The Quest for Masculinity in a Defeated France, 1940–1945,” Contemporary European History 10, no. 3 (Nov. 2001): pp. 423–45.

12 Febvre, Honneur, pp. 31, 54, 67–68.

13 In today’s Greek, it means delinquency and negligence (I owe this information to Merih Erol).

14 Crislip, Andrew, “The Sin of Sloth or the Illness of the Demons? The Demon of Acedia in Early Christian Monasticism,” Harvard Theological Review 98, no. 2 (Apr. 2005): pp. 143–69; Irvine, Ian, “Acedia, Tristitia and Sloth: Early Christian Forerunners to Chronic Ennui,” Humanitas 12 (Spring 1999): pp. 89–103.

15 Böhme, Hartmut, Albrecht Dürer, Melencolia I: im Labyrinth der Deutung (Frankfurt: Fischer, 1991); Schuster, Klaus-Peter, Melencolia I: Dürers Denkbild, 2 vols. (Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1991).

16 Clair, Jean, ed., Melancholie: Genie und Wahnsinn in der Kunst (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2005), French edition: Mélancolie: Génie et Folie en Occident (Paris: Gallimard, 2005); Sieber, Andrea and Antje Wittstock, eds., Melancholie – zwischen Attitüde und Diskurs: Konzepte in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit (Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2009).

17 For decades, this had been the dominant paradigm: Depression was thought to be caused by an unbalancing of three neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamin, noradrenalin). More recent research has widened the spectrum to include the density of certain brain cells (glia) or the influence of infl ammation. Psychoanalysis instead draws attention to unsolved conflicts as the root of depression. For comprehensive information on depression research, see the website of the National Institute of Mental Health: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml (last access: Nov. 30, 2010).

18 Bailey, Christian, “Honor Bestowed and Felt? Verdienstorden in the Federal Republic after 1945,” in Politische Leidenschaften, ed. José Brunner (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2010), pp. 61–78; for East Germany that cultivated a particular honour culture, see Speitkamp, Winfried, Ohrfeige, Duell und Ehrenmord: Eine Geschichte der Ehre (Stuttgart: Reclam, 2010), pp. 219–21, 240–44.

19 Whitman, James Q., “Enforcing Civility and Respect: Three Societies,” Yale Law Journal 109, no. 6 (Apr. 2000): pp. 1279–1398.

20 Appiah, Kwame Anthony, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen (New York: W.W. Norton, 2010), argues that honour is “no decaying vestige of a premodern order” but alive in multiple forms (respect and dignity). He even pushes for a conscious activation of honour “that can drive us to take seriously our responsibilities in a world we share” (p. 179).

21 Social psychologists are (sometimes) the exception to the rule, see Rodriguez Mosquera, Patricia M. et al., “Attack, disapproval, or withdrawal? The role of honour in anger and shame responses to being insulted,” Cognition and Emotion 22, no. 8 (Dec. 2008): pp. 1471–98.

22 Bourdieu, Pierre, Outline of a Theory of Practice, trans. Richard Nice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977); idem, The Logic of Practice, trans. Richard Nice (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1992).

23 Febvre, Honneur, pp. 31, 67.

24 A., “Betrachtung über das Duelliren,” Neue Mannigfaltigkeiten 1 (1774): p. 765 („im Herzen eingewurzelt“).

25 Czernin, Rudolf Graf, Die Duellfrage (Vienna: K. Gerolds Sohn in Komm., 1904), p. 3; James, William, “What is an emotion?” in What is an emotion, ed. Solomon, pp. 66–76.

26 Montesquieu, The Spirit of Law, Book III, 6 and 7: http://www.constitution.org/cm/sol_03.htm (last access: Dec. 5, 2010).

27 See Miller, Humiliation, pp. 116–24 on honour and shame in Icelandic sagas of the Middle Ages; Schreiner, Klaus and Gerd Schwerhoff, eds., Verletzte Ehre: Ehrkonflikte in Gesellschaften des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit (Cologne: Böhlau, 1995).

28 Simmel, George, Soziologie: Untersuchungen über die Formen der Vergesellschaftung (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1992), pp. 599–603.

29 Demeter, Karl, Das deutsche Offizierkorps in Gesellschaft und Staat 1650–1945 (Frankfurt: Bernard & Graefe, 1965), quote p. 290.

30 These actions were stated in a royal Prussian decree from 1843 [Fleck, Eduard, Die Verordnungen über die Ehrengerichte im Preußischen Heere und über die Bestrafung der Offi ziere wegen Zweikampfs (Berlin: Verl. der Königlichen Geheimen Ober-Hofbuchdruckerei, 1865), pp. 3–4] and remained basically the same throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

31 Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv München, IV, A XIII 3, Fasz. 2.

32 Brentano, Lujo, “Über die Duellfrage,” Mitteilungen der Deutschen Anti-Duell-Liga 29 (1909), p. 6.

33 Welcker, Carl, “Infamie, Ehre, Ehrenstrafen,” in Das Staats-Lexikon: Encyklopädie der sämmtlichen Staatswissenschaften für alle Stände, 2nd ed., eds. Rotteck, Carl von and Carl Welcker (Altona: Hammerich, 1845–1848), vol. 7 (1847), p. 393; Jhering, Rudolf von, Der Kampf um’s Recht, 2nd ed. (Vienna, 1872), p. 98; Fischer, Arnold. Für oder wider das Duell? (Rostock: Volckmann, 1896), p. 9.

34 Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels, Werke, vol. 29 (Berlin: Dietz, 1970), pp. 331, 336, 562–63.

35 Lassalle, Ferdinand, Nachgelassene Briefe und Schriften, ed. Gustav Mayer, vol. 3 (Stuttgart: DVA, 1922), pp. 127–29; vol. 4 (1924), p. 211.

36 Becker, Bernhard, Enthüllungen über das tragische Lebensende Ferdinand Lassalle‘s und seine Beziehung zu Helene von Dönniges (Nürnberg: Wörlein und Comp. 1892), p. 210–15.

37 Gay, Peter, The Bourgeois Experience, vol. III: The Cultivation of Hatred (New York: W.W. Norton, 1993), pp. 9–33; for its premodern history see Billacois, François, The Duel: Its Rise and Fall in Early Modern France, trans. Trista Selous (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990).

38 Wilhelm und Caroline von Humboldt in ihren Briefen, ed. Anna von Sydow, vol. 4 (Berlin: Mittler, 1910), pp. 543, 545–46.

39 Freud, Sigmund, Briefe 1873–1939, eds. Ernst Freud and Lucie Freud (Frankfurt: Fischer, 1960), p. 128.

40 Weber, Marianne, Max Weber. Ein Lebensbild (Heidelberg: Schneider, 1950), pp. 473–89.

41 Freeman, Joanne B., Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001); Wyatt-Brown, Bertram, Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).

42 Guardian, March 27, 1829. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/1829/mar/28/mainsection.fromthearchive/print (last access Dec. 7, 2010). The case is discussed in Appiah, Honor Code, ch. 1.

43 Thimm, Carl A., A Complete Bibliography of Fencing and Duelling (1896) (reprint, New York: Benjamin Blom, 1968), pp. 457–58, 479–80. The reasons why the duel became obsolete are discussed in Frevert, Ute, “Honour and Middle-Class Culture: The History of the Duel in England and Germany,” in Bourgeois Society in 19th Century Europe, eds. Jürgen Kocka and Allan Mitchell (Oxford: Berg, 1993), pp. 207–40. Appiah’s explanation—the democratizing of the duel—is too superficial (Honor Code, p. 46). Besides, the duel became commonplace in France too, where the custom did not fade. See Nye, Robert A., Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993); Reddy, William M., The Invisible Code: Honor and Sentiment in Postrevolutionary France, 1814–1848 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), pp. 237–38.

44 Schmid, Joseph C., Über die Duelle (Landshut: Weber’sche Buchhandlung, 1802), pp. 9, 28.

45 Lasson, Adolf, System der Rechtsphilosophie (Berlin: Guttentag, 1882), p. 547; Frevert, Ute, Men of Honour: A Social and Cultural History of the Duel, trans. Anthony Williams (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995), pp. 136–44.

46 See his 1897 argument, in Die Verhandlungen des achten Evangelisch-sozialen Kongresses (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1897), pp. 110–11.

47 Wagner, Adolf, “Meine Duellangelegenheit mit dem Freiherrn von Stumm,” Die Zukunft 10 (1895): pp. 408–27.

48 Wilhelm und Caroline von Humboldt in ihren Briefen, ed. von Sydow, vol. 4, pp. 545–46.

49 Fürst Bismarcks Briefe an seine Braut und Gattin, ed. Herbert von Bismarck, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1906), pp. 328–29.

50 Lassalles letzte Tage: Nach den Originalbriefen und Dokumenten des Nachlasses, ed. Ina Britschgi-Schimmer (Berlin: Juncker, 1925), pp. 269–70, 280–81.

51 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 8th ed. (Edinburgh: Adam & Charles Black, 1853–1860), vol. 10 (1856), p. 456. See Girouard, Mark, The Return to Camelot: Chivalry and the English Gentleman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981).

52 Jhering, Kampf, pp. 21, 95–96.

53 Preußische Jahrbücher 84 (1896), p. 376.

54 Mann, Thomas, The Magic Mountain, trans. H.T. Lowe-Porter (London: Penguin, 1960), p. 699.

55 Mann, Katja, Meine ungeschriebenen Memoiren, eds. Elisabeth Plessen and Michael Mann (Frankfurt: Fischer, 1983), pp. 12, 76.

56 The letter of cand.med. Franque (quoting his Heidelberg fellow student) to the rector of the University of Tübingen from 1817 can be found in Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, E 200 Bü 403.

57 Wilhelm und Caroline von Humboldt in ihren Briefen, ed. von Sydow, vol. 4, pp. 545–46.

58 Frevert, Men of Honour, pp. 168–70.

59 Berger, “Obsolescence,” p. 93. This is both acknowledged and severely criticised by Bowman, James. Honor: A History (New York: Encounter Books, 2006); as a morally motivated counter­argument, see Appiah, Honor Code.

60 Honneth, Axel, The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Confl icts (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995); Burkhart, Dagmar, Eine Geschichte der Ehre (Darmstadt: WBG, 2006), ch. III.

61 Gambetta, Diego, The Sicilian Mafia: The Business of Private Protection (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993); idem, Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009); Labov, William, Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular (Oxford: Blackwell, 1972), ch. 8 (Rules for Ritual Insults); Abrahams, Roger D., “Black talking on the streets,” in Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking, eds. Richard Bauman and Joel Sherzer (London: Cambridge University Press, 1974), pp. 240–62; Tertilt, Hermann, “Rauhe Rituale: Die Beleidigungsduelle der Turkish Power Boys,” in Kursbuch JugendKultur, ed. SPoKK (Cologne: Bollmann, 1997), pp. 157–67. I owe these references to Anja Tervooren. See also Wilms, Yvonne, Ehre, Männlichkeit und Kriminalität (Münster: LIT, 2009), pp. 87–120; Mertol, Birol, “Männlichkeitskonzepte von Jungen mit türkischem Migrationshintergrund,” in Junge Muslime in Deutschland, eds. Hans-Jürgen von Wensierski and Claudia Lübcke (Opladen: Budrich, 2007), pp. 173–94.

62 See the UN Population Fund’s 2000 report on The State of World Population, ch. 3 (honor killings): http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2000/english/ch03.html (last access: Jan. 28, 2011); Appiah, Honor Code, ch. 4; Wilms, Ehre, pp. 69–86; Eck, Clementine van, Purified by Blood. Honour Killings amongst Turks in the Netherlands (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2003).

63 Speitkamp, Ohrfeige, pp. 270–77, argues that the honour killings taking place in Western immigrant communities are not “imported” but have grown out of a particular social setting pitching immigrant families against mainstream Western culture. Though not altogether wrong, the argument tends to deny the presence and influence of honour concepts and practices in the immigrants’ countries of origin. See, e.g., Dundes, Alan et al., “The Strategy of Turkish Boys’ Verbal Dueling Rhymes,” Journal of American Folklore 83, no. 329 (Jul.–Sep. 1970): pp. 325–49. As to the argument that honour killings are “merely” a feature of general domestic violence (that is endemic to Western, non-Muslim cultures as well), see the counter-argument by Chesler, Phyllis, “Are Honor Killings simply Domestic Violence?,” Middle East Quarterly 16, no. 2 (Spring 2009): pp. 61–69.

64 http://soccernet.espn.go.com/print?id=373706=story; http://soccernet.espn.go.com/print?id=749212=story; http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2006/5169342.stm (last access: Dec.10, 2010).

65 Roper, Lyndal, “Männlichkeit und männliche Ehre,” in Frauengeschichte – Geschlechtergeschichte, eds. Karin Hausen and Heide Wunder (Frankfurt: Campus, 1992), pp. 154–72; Müller-Wirthmann, Bernhard, “Raufhändel: Gewalt und Ehre im Dorf,” in Kultur der einfachen Leute, ed. Richard van Dülmen (Munich: Beck, 1983), pp. 79–111.

66 See the case studies in Peristiany, John G., ed., Honour and Shame: The Values of Mediterranean Society (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1966), esp. Pierre Bourdieu’s “The Sentiment of honour in Kabyle Society” (pp. 191–241); Gilmore, David, ed., Honor and Shame and the Unity of the Mediterranean (Washington: American Anthropological Association, 1987); Peristiany, John G. and Julian Pitt-Rivers, eds., Honor and Grace in Anthropology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

67 Frevert, Ute, ‘Mann und Weib, und Weib und Mann’: Geschlechter-Differenzen in der Moderne (Munich: Beck, 1995), pp. 178–218.

68 Grevenitz, Friedrich August Ferdinand, Unterricht zur Kenntniß der vorzüglichsten Abweichungen der gesetzlichen Vorschriften des Code Napoleon von den in den neuerlich abgetretenen preußischen Provinzen sowohl den deutschen, als polnischen bisher gültig gewesenen (Leipzig, 1808), pp. 66, 90.

69 Frevert, Mann und Weib, pp. 183, 214.

70 Lange, Helene, “Die Duelldebatten im Reichstag,” in Kampfzeiten, ed. eadem, vol. 2 (Berlin: Herbig, 1928), pp. 92–100.

71 http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/385ec082b509e76c41256739003e636d/1d1726425f6955aec125641e0038bfd6 (Section III, Art. 46—last access: Nov. 30, 2010).

72 Rother, Rainer, ed., Die letzten Tage der Menschheit: Bilder des Ersten Weltkrieges (Berlin: Ars Nicolai, 1994), pp. 468–71, 474; Horne, John N. and Alan Kramer, German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), ch. 5; Harris, Ruth, “The ‘Child of the Barbarian’: Rape, Race and Nationalism in France during the First World War,” Past & Present 141 (Nov. 1993): pp. 170–206; Gullace, Nicoletta F., “Sexual Violence and Family Honor: British Propaganda and International Law during the First World War,” American Historical Review 102, no. 3 (Jun. 1997): pp. 714–47; Audoin-Rouzeau, Stéphane, L´enfant de l´ennemi 1914–1918: Viol, avortement, infanticide pendant la Grande Guerre (Paris: Aubier, 1995).

73 Bourke, Joanna, Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present Day (London: Virago, 2007), ch. 13.

74 Treitschke, Heinrich von, Politics, trans. Blanche Dugdale and Torben de Bille, vol. 2 (New York: Macmillan, 1916), p. 595. As James Joll confirms, Treitschke’s ideas were widely shared by contemporary philosophers and politicians all over Europe [The Origin of the First World War (London: Longman, 1992), pp. 217–18].

75 Quotes in Aschmann, Birgit, “Ehre – das verletzte Gefühl als Grund für den Krieg,” in Gefühl und Kalkül: Der Einfl uss von Emotionen auf die Politik des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, ed. eadem (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2005), pp. 151–74.

76 Frevert, Ute, “Honor, Gender, and Power: The Politics of Satisfaction in Pre-War Europe,” in An Improbable War: The Outbreak of World War I and European Political Culture before 1914, eds. Holger Afflerbach and David Stevenson (New York: Berghahn, 2007), pp. 233–55.

77 Mein lieber Marquis! Friedrich der Große, sein Briefwechsel mit Jean-Baptiste d’Argens während des Siebenjährigen Krieges, ed. Hans Schumann (Zürich: Manesse-Verlag, 1985), p. 240.

78 Objects I/6 and I/185 in Rother, ed., Die letzten Tage der Menschheit, pp. 454, 473. As to Germania and her national significance, see Brandt, Bettina, Germania und ihre Söhne: Repräsentationen von Nation, Geschlecht und Politik in der Moderne (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010). For the French national allegory Marianne and her historical metamorphosis, see Agulhon, Maurice, Marianne au combat. L’imagerie et la symbolique républicaines de 1789 à 1880 (Paris: Flammarion, 1979); idem, Marianne au pouvoir. L’imagerie et la symbolique républicaines de 1880 à 1914 (Paris: Flammarion, 1989); idem, Les Métamorphoses de Marianne. L’imagerie et la symbolique républicaines de 1914 à nos jours (Paris: Flammarion, 2001).

79 See object I/170 in Rother, ed., Die letzten Tage der Menschheit, p. 470.

80 Gullace, Nicoletta F., “The Blood of our Sons”: Men, Women, and the Renegotiation of British Citizenship during the Great War (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), pp. 73–97.

81 Robert Capa, Retrospektive, ed. Laure Beaumont-Maillet (Berlin: Nicolai, 2005), p. 213. Virgili, Fabrice, Shorn Women: Gender and Punishment in Liberation France (Oxford: Berg, 2002).

82 Warring, Anette, “Intimate and sexual relations,” in Surviving Hitler and Mussolini, eds. Robert Gildea et al. (Oxford: Berg, 2006), pp. 88–128; Frommer, Benjamin, “Denouncers and Fraternizers: Gender, Collaboration, and Retribution in Bohemia and Moravia during World War II and after,” in Gender and War in 20th century Eastern Europe, eds. Nancy M. Wingfield and Maria Bucur (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006), pp. 111–32; Vervenioti, Tassoula, “Left-Wing Women between Politics and Family,” in After the War was Over, ed. Mark Mazower (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), pp. 105–21.

83 Sander, Helke and Barbara Johr, eds., BeFreier und Befreite: Krieg, Vergewaltigungen, Kinder (Munich: Kunstmann, 1992); Naimark, Norman M., The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949 (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1995), ch. 2.

84 Woller, Hans, Gesellschaft und Politik in der amerikanischen Besatzungszone: Die Region Ansbach und Fürth (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1986), p. 71; Meyer-Lenz, Johanna, ed., Die Ordnung des Paares ist unbehaglich: Irritationen am und im Geschlechterdiskurs nach 1945 (Hamburg: LIT, 2000), pp. 71–72.

85 Berger, “Obsolescence,” p. 83.

86 Fontanes Briefe, ed. Gotthard Erler, vol. 2 (Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, 1989), pp. 213, 299, 377–78.

87 Allen, Beverly, Rape Warfare: The Hidden Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996); Naimark, Norman M., Fires of Hatred: Ethnic cleansing in 20th-century Europe (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001), pp. 167–70.

88 Recently, East European politicians like Poland’s Jaroslaw KaczyÐski and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán played the national honour card by claiming that their country had been “insulted” (IHT, Jan. 7, 2011, p. 1). Such pathos resonates well with conservative US citizens who, in August 2010, rallied in Washington to “restore honor.” For the right-wing Tea Party movement, American honour had been impaired by President Obama’s “apologizing for everything we ever did.” What was seen as self-humiliation did not fi t the sense of national pride shared by many white, middle-class Protestants in “Middle America.” Restoring honour for them was above all claiming back the personal and political self-esteem to which they, as citizens of the “greatest country,” felt entitled. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/28/AR2010082801106_3.html?sid=ST2010091201877 (last access: Dec. 11, 2010).

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig 1. Albrecht Dürer, Melencolia I (engraving, 1514).
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1504/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 334k
Légende Fig 2. Le monde renversé. Les femmes se battent en duel (detail from a 19th-century postcard).
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1504/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 150k
Légende Fig 3. “Chartres, August 18, 1944” by Robert Capa.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ceup/docannexe/image/1504/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 188k

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