ON PREROMANESQUE BUILDING GUILDS AGAIN
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I published recently an article under a similar title in 'Slavia Antiqua'. Yet it was significantly deficient, for I passed over issues connected with the production of raw material for the guilds. Here I will venture to fill this gap. Prof. Przemyslaw Urbanczyk's contribution (1995) drew my attention to this issue. In my belief, the author identified the device used in the production properly, considering it as a continuation of the Roman mixers used to stir gypsum-lime mortars, such as were still in use in Early Medieval times. The discovery of this device in Poznan is of utmost importance for the study of building in Early Medieval Poland. Its presence points to the importance that building guilds attached to spatial planning. At the same time, it facilitated the construction of great architectural complexes, which in turn served the purpose of propagating Christianity. Thus, it is quite reasonable for an installation of this kind to be found in a place, which after 996 was to become a center of the newly introduced cult. Importantly, Urbanczyk explains the system of propagating the new cult and the role of the Ostrow Tumski in Poznan in this case. His assertions confirm to some extent my earlier hypothesis and discussion of the issue. The cited contribution by Urbanczyk supports previous deliberations, demanding a more correct look at the function of the device as such. It brings order to the discussion and gives new direction to the debate over this important discovery. It permits a suitable evaluation of the extremely complex and well organized process of propagating a new cult, without needing to refer to hypotheses that, while alluring, could be distant from historical reality. In no way does it undermine the importance of the Poznan discoveries; quite the opposite in fact, it permits a conscientious evaluation.
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