Cisterciácké cestovní deníky z let 1765-1771 jako pramen informací o počasí a jeho extrémech ve střední Evropě
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CISTERCIAN ITINERARIES DATING 1765-1771 AS SOURCE OF INFORMATION ON THE WEATHER AND ITS EXTREMES IN CENTRAL EUROPE
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Various kinds of contemporary itineraries represent some of the most important sources of information on the documentation and reconstruction of weather conditions prior to their systematic observation in the second half of the 16th century. They provide information about weather in the Bohemian Lands and other European countries, through which the travellers passed. Preserved Latin manuscripts, which concentrate on weather conditions, were written by Czech Cistercian monks travelling to the Burgundian Cîteaux in connection with general chapters. These diaries have not yet been utilised. Representatives of the Czech province of the Cistercian order, i.e. the Bohemia-Moravia-Lusatia vicariate, participated in the general chapters in 1765, 1768 and 1771. Mořic Elbel, the Osek monastery Abbot’s secretary, wrote all the three itineraries. Information about the journeys was collected for the Czech province’s need and was probably used to facilitate potential further travels. The greatest value of the itineraries from the contemporary view lies in the large amount of fragmentary insights into the common life and culture of regions and countries through which the Cistercians travelled. The mosaic is created by observations of practical aspects of travelling. The main section of the essay gathers information on the particular, narrowly specified subject, i.e. extreme hydro-meteorological phenomena, their influence on the journeys, the people’s lives and perception of the effects. In addition, the essay puts the diary records into context with other surveys coming from different countries and perhaps even implements them as new findings, which are necessary for docu-menting and reconstructing the historical climate of the 18th century Central Europe. A primary attempt has been made to evaluate the diaries’ contribution by comparing them with C. Weikinn’s treatise on the history of European weather (i.e. the hydrography section) up to 1850, which showed that the itineraries would become a welcome supplement. The essay certainly cannot sum up all the discovered weather data. Therefore, further analysis, evaluation and prospective publication in collabora-tion with specialists from the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig are now in preparation.
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