Historický vývoj konceptů fámy a „veřejného mínění“
The Historical Development of Concepts of Rumour and “Public Opinion”
Languages of publication
This article deals with the relationship between public opinion and rumour from ancient times, through the Middle Ages and right up to today. It will examine the terms which were used and which often depended not just on a particular author but usually an entire social class. The most often used terms to describe opinion, fama and existimatio, occurred in the speeches of politicians which were presented as the valuable opinions of the elite whereas the concepts opinio, rumor or sermo were considered as low value and unreliable opinions of plebeians to whom the ruling classes attributed the spreading and creation of rumours. The concept of fama, more often fama publica, indicated in the Middle Ages a local network of knowledge, a mechanism for the collective evaluation of an individual. In this sense it played an important role in the courts of law. The issue of rumours is common to all subsequent historical periods because public opinion usually both generated, and was supported, by rumour. The article also puts forward a hypothesis why the all-powerful fama dissapeared from the courtrooms, why it lost its significance and became purely a rumour.
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