Wednesday, August 17, 2011
For historians & future novelists - Jakub K. Haur 'Oekonomika ziemianska'
some 350 years ago Polish economist, writer Jakub K. Haur, after long and successful career of running various estates for nobles and himself, having secured a patent to his works from our good king Jan Sobieski, published his opus magnum:
"Skład abo skarbiec znakomitych sekretów oekonomiej ziemiańskiej"
which was a compendium or sort of encyclopedia devoted to efficient running of noble estate with inclusion of animal husbandry, farming, fishery, hunting, veterinary notes, and daily life affairs, all interwoven with multiple anecdotes and curiosities, in total a very fine example of a Sarmatian culture mind (Sarmatian as related to Sarmatism )
This book, almost 600 pages long and full of illustrations, is a fine window into the minds and wide spectrum of actions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth gentry, burghers and perhaps even richer peasantry (especially in the Ukraine).
So, in my opinion, as such it could be quite useful, along with many memoirs and other documents of the times, to historians and novelists wanting to work on reconstructing the lives of people during this early modern period of the East-Central Europe's history.
I am attaching here the parts about the horses, especially the various sicknesses, although the very first description under the heading 'I' is devoted to how to find the signs of a brave, fast horse, a favorite of Polish-Lithuanian gentry:
.. when horse is of a small head but high neck carriage, his ears are standing up and he holds them as if a hare; of breast and rump wide; of dry legs; when he has the depths of his nostril for the breathing wide; when he does not allow his ears to be touched; when has a thin (fine) vein on his hind legs; when between the last rib and the thigh, from last rib to the thigh bone only a small space can be found.
the top print shows an allegory of John III Sobieski as victor of Vienna 1683, and we can see two noble soldiers epitomizing the victorious king's achievements: on the left(king's right) a hussar companion with his lance and on the right (king's left) a 'pancerny' companion with his 'rohatyna' or 'dzida'.