Questions and Tasks:
- In which different ways is the symbolism of the Karlskirche an expression of imperial propaganda?
The exterior of the cathedral shows a lot of symbols: The oval dome perched atop a Classical colonnade is a reminiscent of St. Peter’s in Rome and shows that Vienna had been designed as a new Rome by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. The main portal of his cathedral resembles a Greek temple flanked by two replicas of Trajan's column in Rome alluding to Boaz and Jachin, two columns which stood in the porch of Salomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. Charles VI wanted himself to be seen as a new Salomon initiating a similar era of peace and tranquillity. Traian and Marcus Aurelius’ columns in Rome depicted and praised the military campaigns of their respective builders. Although Charles VI’s modesty made him transfer the praise and glory expressed on his colossal columns to his name saint Charles Borromeo, Heraeus shows that Charles VI’s self-confidence and motto are mirrored clearly nonetheless. The ancient Pillars of Hercules in the Strait of Gibraltar are another obvious symbol alluded to by the two columns in front of the cathedral. This indicates that Charles VI had never renounced his claim on the power over Spain and beyond.
- What is the connection between Spain’s national motto plus ultra and Charles VI’s Constantiaet Fortitudo? What is the origin and the meaning of the Latin proverb non plus ultra?
According to Greek mythology adopted by the Etruscans and Romans, when Hercules had to perform twelve labours, one of them was to fetch the Cattle of Geryon of the far West and bring them to Eurystheus, and this marked the westward extent of his travels. A lost passage of Pindar quoted by Strabo was the earliest reference in this context: "the pillars which Pindar calls the 'gates of Gades' when he asserts that they are the farthermost limits reached by Heracles." (Strabo, 3.5.5). In his 3. Nemean Ode Pindar refers to the difficulties to be faced if you dare the seas beyond the Pillars of Hercules (Pind. N. 3, 21: it is not easy to cross the trackless sea beyond the pillars of Heracles,  which that hero and god set up as famous witnesses to the furthest limits of seafaring. source:
According to mythology the pillars bore the warning Nec plus ultra (also Non plus ultra, "nothing further beyond"), serving as a warning to sailors and navigators to go no further.
It is believed that the young Charles V adopted Plus ultra as his motto at the suggestion of his doctor and personal advisor Luigi Marliano. The idea was to encourage him to ignore the ancient warning and encourage him to take risks and go further beyond.
The motto Plus Ultra (Latin for further beyond) indicates the desire to see the Pillars as an entrance to the rest of the world rather than as a gate to the Mediterranean Sea. It also indicates the overseas possessions that Spain had.
In 1700 Charles VI was designated successor in Spain to King Charles II of the Spanish Habsburgs, who was childless.On his deathbed, however, Charles II left his throne to Philip of Anjou (Philip V), grandson of King Louis XIV of France; Philip was proclaimed king in Nov., 1700. War broke out immediately against Louis XIV and Philip (see Spanish Succession, War of the). Although Charles, with the aid of British troops, invaded Spain and proclaimed himself king as Charles III in 1704, he was able to maintain himself only in Catalonia, with his capital at Barcelona.When Charles's brother Joseph I died (1711), Charles succeeded him as Holy Roman emperor. His accession led to England's withdrawal from the war since the English did not wish to see the reunification of the empire of Charles VI was Charles V’s great great grandson and had never really given up his claim on the Spanish throne.
Charles VI’s motto Constantia et Fortitudodoes not only allude to the namesake pillars Boaz and Jachin but is also a clear reference to the Pillars of Hercules. The mottos of both Emperors express their claim on universal and global power.
- Which qualities of Charles VI are expressed by Carl Gustav Heraeus?
Constantia, fortitudo, modestia: perseverence, strength and modesty not only echo the ancient Greek cardinal virtues of sophrosyne and areteia but also form an integral part of the seven virtues adopted by the Christian Church Fathers. see
Questions and Tasks:
- The Austrian War of Succession and the Seven Years’ War triggered a much greater variety of epic literature than both the Thirty Years War and the defeat of the Turkish siege of Vienna. What is surprising about that and what is probably the reason?
The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) was one of the most destructive armed conflicts involving most of the European powers and the defeat of the Turkish siege of Vienna marked the end of the 300 year struggle between the forces of the Central European kingdoms and the Ottoman Empire breaking the advance of Ottoman power into Europe. Both turning points in European history offered subjects of epic scale par excellence. The Austrian War of Succession and the Seven Years’ War were of considerably smaller global significance. Moreover there seems to be a surprising contradiction between the female regime of Maria Theresia and the epic genre traditionally dominated by male heroes. As a matter of fact this malady of the extinction of the male line, which had brought Maria Theresia to the throne through the final hesitant and sometimes even reluctant acceptance of the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, seems to be the very reason for the sudden abundance of epic literature. By adopting Virgil’s epic model of prefiguring Augustus by his ancestor Aeneas the Theresias for instance focuses on the future emperor Joseph through his mother Maria Theresia thus coping elegantly with the dilemma of female rule.
- In how far do the given text extracts from the Theresias compare with the corresponding passages from Virgil’s Aeneid in terms of intention, perspective and setting?
In Virgil’s Aeneid the underworld encounter with Anchises aims at providing Aeneas with an extensive account of Rome's future glory, particularly in the glorification of Augustus. Virgil renders Augustus the epitome of the Roman Empire, the promised ruler who presides over the Golden Age. Maria Theresia’s dream in the 8th book of the Theresias serves quite a similar purpose.After predicting Francis Stephen of Lorraine’s crowning as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Charles VI seems to almost quote Virgil’s catalogue of heroes.The House of Habsburg-Lorraine is the reincarnation of the Julian dynasty. Just as Augustus is prefigured by his ancestor Aeneas in Virgil’s epic, the Theresias focuses on the future emperor Joseph through his mother Maria Theresia.
The main difference between Virgil’s epic and that of his later emulator rests in the epic perspective and setting of the corresponding scenes. Certainly both epics focus on the arduous and heroic quest for the foundation of stable and glorious new empires of global scale, the Roman Empire in the Aeneid and the rule of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine in the Theresias. Nevertheless in Virgil’ Aeneid the regime of the promised ruler is envisioned in the distant future, whereas in the Theresias the adored sovereign, Joseph II, has already been born.