1579 – Livonian campaign of Stephen Báthory begins.
The Livonian campaign of Stephen Báthory (referred to as the Russo-Polish War among Polish historians) took place in the final stage of the Livonian War, between 1577 and 1582. Polish-Lithuanian forces led by Stephen Báthory (Batory), king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, successfully fought against the army of Ivan IV “the Terrible”, tsar of Russia, over the Duchy of Livonia and Polotsk. Russian forces were expelled from Livonia before the campaign was concluded by the Truce of Jam Zapolski.
Main article: Livonian War
In the second half of the 16th century several powers, including Poland, Lithuania and Russia were engaged in the struggle over the control of the ports in the southern Baltic Sea (Dominium Maris Baltici). The Russo-Lithuanian War of 1558–1570, in which Poland aided Lithuania (and in 1568 united with it forming the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), ended inconclusively with a three-year-long truce. The death of Polish king Sigismund II Augustus created a brief period in which tsar Ivan IV of Russia contemplated taking part in the Polish royal election (see Polish-Lithuanian-Muscovite Commonwealth), but eventually the Commonwealth elected Stephen Báthory of Poland to its throne, and the hostilities between Russia and the Commonwealth resumed.
In 1575 Ivan ordered another attack on Poland, and succeeded in taking parts of Livonia (notably, Salacgrīva and Pärnu). In 1577 Russian forces besieged Reval (Revel, Tallinn) and a strong army was concentrating near Pskov. At the same time Polish forces were tied on the western side of the Baltic Sea, dealing with the Danzig rebellion. In July the main Muscovite army of about 30,000 advanced from Pskov, taking Viļaka, Rēzekne, Daugavpils, Koknese, Gulbene and surrounding areas. A Polish counter-offensive—known as the First Campaign of Bathory—begun in the fall, and succeeded in taking back some of the territories.
Negotiations took part in that year, and a three-year truce was signed, although it was rejected by king Bathory who was preparing for a larger counteroffensive. At the same time, Polish and Swedish forces managed to stop further progress of the Muscovite forces in the Battles of Wenden (1577–1578).
Bathory gathered a large army of over 55,000 (Polish, Hungarian, Wallachian, Bohemian and German soldiers, and the Szekler brigade under Mózes Székely. His main army (over 40,000 strong) in what is known as the Second Campaign of Bathory advanced on Polotsk. The siege began 11 August, and the city surrendered on the 29th of that month. The Polish army also captured all 8 Russian castles in Polotsk – Rossony region (Sokol, Nescherda, Susha, Krasnae, Turovlia, Sitna, Kaz’jany, Usviaty) . Lithuanian-Polish forces resumed their offensive the following year with the Third Campaign of Bathory, besieging Velikiye Luki on 29 August and taking it on 5 September. A cavalry battle took place on 20 September near Toropets (battle of Toropets) and ended in another Polish victory. Polish forces also captured Velizh and Nevel.
The last phase of the war centered around the siege of Pskov by the Polish forces. The Poles did not succeed in taking the town, but the Russians facing growing threat from Sweden (who took Narva in 1581 – see battle of Narva (1581)) decided to sign a truce treaty favorable to Poland.
Truce of Jam Zapolski
Main article: Truce of Jam Zapolski
The truce, signed in 1582 for 10 years, was favorable to Poland, which regained Duchy of Livonia, kept Velizh and Polotsk. Russia regained Velikiye Luki. Notably, Russia failed in her bid to regain access to the Baltic Sea.
The next stage of the Polish-Russian wars begun in the early 1600s, when the Poles invaded Russia in 1605.
1699 – Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin, French businesswoman (d. 1777)
Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin (26 June 1699 – 6 October 1777) was a French salon holder who has been referred to as one of the leading female figures in the French Enlightenment. From 1750–1777, Madame Geoffrin played host to many of the most influential Philosophes and Encyclopédistes of her time. Her association with several prominent dignitaries and public figures from across Europe has earned Madame Geoffrin international recognition. Her patronage and dedication to both the philosophical Men of Letters and talented artists that frequented her house is emblematic of her role as guide and protector. In her salon on the rue Saint-Honoré, Madame Geoffrin demonstrated qualities of politeness and civility that helped stimulate and regulate intellectual discussion. Her actions as a Parisian salonnière exemplify many of the most important characteristics of Enlightenment sociability.
Born in 1699 , Madame Geoffrin was the first child of a bourgeois named Pierre Rodet, a valet de chambre for the Duchess of Burgundy, and Angelique Thérèse Chemineau, the daughter of a Parisian Banker. Marie Thérèse’s mother died a year later in giving birth to her son Louis. At age seven, Marie Thérèse and her brother were taken to live with their grandmother Madame Chemineau on the rue Saint-Honoré. At thirteen, she was engaged to be married to the widower Francois Geoffrin, a lieutenant-colonel of the National Guard and a prosperous general cashier of the Saint-Gobain Venetian mirror manufactory. Despite the fact that he was in his fortcy-ninth year, and Marie Thérèse had barely passed her fourteenth birthday, Monsieur Geoffrin had inherited a substantial fortune from his first wife, and the chance for “an excellent settlement” was thought to be quite suitable by Madame Chemineau. The marriage took place on 19 July 1713. Nearly two years after the wedding, she gave birth to her first child, a daughter, and the future Marquise de la Ferté Imbault. Her second child, a son, (who was to die later in childhood) was born two years later. It was not until Madame Geoffrin was over her thirtieth year that her connection to the salons would become established. Her husband, Pierre François Geofrin died December 20, 1749, a fact that was hardly noticed by Mme Geoffrin’s visitors–indeed, Mme Geoffrey hardly seemed to notice herself.
As the notion of female education was quite contentious in eighteenth century France, Geoffrin was unable to receive a formalized education. It has been suggested, most notably by Dena Goodman, that the salon itself acted as a schoolhouse, where Geoffrin and other salonnières could train. Goodman writes, “For Madame Geoffrin, the salon was a socially acceptable substitute for a formal education denied her not just by her grandmother, but more generally by a society that agreed with Madame Chemineau’s (her grandmother’s) position.” She also states, “Her earliest schoolmasters were Fontenelle, the abbe de Saint-Pierre, and Montesquieu. Madame de Tencin played a large role in Madame Geoffrin’s rise in society. Goodman states, “Madame Geoffrin made a daring step for a devout girl when, at the age of eighteen, but already a wife and mother, she began to frequent the afternoon gatherings at the home of Madame de Tencin.” After Madame de Tencin’s death in December 1749, Madame Geoffrin figuratively inherited many of de Tencin’s former guests, thereby solidifying her own salon.
Madame Geoffrin and the salons
Madame Geoffrin’s popularity in the mid-eighteenth century came during a time where the center of social life was beginning to move away from the French court and toward the salons of Paris. Instead of the earlier, seventeenth-century salons of the high nobility, Madame Geoffrin’s salon catered generally to a more philosophical crowd of the Enlightenment period. Goodman, in “Enlightenment Salons,” writes, “In the eighteenth century, under the guidance of Madame Geoffrin, Julie de Lespinasse, and Suzanne Necker, the salon was transformed from a noble, leisure institution into an institution of the Enlightenment.” Goodman writes:
“Geoffrin, who acted as a mentor and model for other salonnières, was responsible for two innovations that set Enlightenment salons apart from their predecessors and from other social and literacy gatherings of the day. She invented the Enlightenment salon. First, she made the one-o’clock dinner rather than the traditional late-night supper the sociable meal of the day, and thus she opened up the whole afternoon for talk. Second, she regulated these dinners, fixing a specific day of the week for them. After Geoffrin launched her weekly dinners, the Parisian salon took on the form that made it the social base of the Enlightenment Republic of Letters: a regular and regulated formal gathering hosted by a woman in her own home which served as a forum and locus of intellectual activity.”
Her dinners were held twice weekly. Mondays were specifically for artists. Wednesdays were generally reserved for Men of Letters.
Goodman writes, “Enlightenment salons were working spaces, unlike other Eighteenth-century social gatherings, which took place as their model.” She continues, “The Enlightenment was not a game, and the salonnières were not simply ladies of leisure killing time. On the contrary, Enlightenment salonnières were precisely those women who fought the general malaise of the period by taking up their métier.”
Salons, French society, and the international community
Madame Geoffrin’s role was central to her identity as a French hostess. The historian, Denise Yim writes, “The most distinguished salonniéres were discerning women who selected their company with care, set the tone, guided the conversation, and could influence the fortunes of those appearing there.” She continues, “The most influential salonnière was perhaps Madame Geoffrin of the rue Saint-Honoré, who managed to attract the largest number of distinguished foreigners to her home.” A lady of great renown, Geoffrin’s salon catered to a wide range of foreign dignitaries and distinguished guests. “An invitation to the Monday and Wednesday dinners of Madame Geoffrin was an honor greatly coveted by foreigners passing through Paris. The hostess herself had gained a European reputation even before her journey to Poland, and to dine with Madame Geoffrin was by some people considered almost as great an honor as being presented at Versailles.”” Yim continues, “Whether it was Madame Geoffrin’s design to attract all the most eminent foreigners to her salon, thereby spreading the reputation of her home throughout Europe, as Marmontel wrote, or whether this was the natural consequence of the presence of so many philosophes and Encyclopédistes, it was a fact that no foreign minister, no man or woman of note who arrived in Paris failed to call on Madame Geoffrin in the hope of being invited to one of her select dinners.”
Salon politeness and gift giving
Madame Geoffrin exemplified the qualities of politeness that were required for the participation in French high society. She was completely devoted to the management and organization of her salon, and of the patrons that frequented it. Madame Geoffrin could be defined in the ordered consistency of all her actions. “Regularity was part of a greater sense of organization that defined all aspects of Madame Geoffrin’s life and every hour of her day, from a 5 a.m. rising, through a morning of domestic duties, letter writing, and errands, to the afternoons she devoted twice a week to her salon.”
Although some historians, such as Dena Goodman, associate Geoffrin and other salonnières with intellectual life, other researchers depict the salons as the realm of anti-intellectual socialites. For example, Amwqth, education, or remarkable mental gifts of a sort that leave permanent traces, she was the best representative of the women of her time who held their place in the world solely through their skill in organizing and conducting a salon. She was in no sense a luminary; and conscious that she could not shine by her own light, she was bent upon shining by that of others.” Denise Yim adds that “these women considered themselves the purveyors, the disseminators, the nurturers, the very guardians of taste in the belles lettres, in the fine arts, and in the music. Their own peculiar art consisted of pleasing.” “Maintaining the tensions between inner satisfaction and outer negation which made Geoffrin the model salonnière was not easy.”
Antoine Lilti also rejects the notion that Geoffrin and other salonnières ‘governed’ an intellectual arena. Lilti focuses, rather, on the salonnières’ practice of politeness and gift giving. In relation to Madame Geoffrin, Lilti writes, “there exists numerous testimonials about the gifts that Madame Geoffrin bestowed upon the writers who regularly attend her salon, from the pieces of the silverware offered to the Suards, the silver pans and 2,000 gold écus presented to Thomas. He continues, “writers were not the only ones to benefit from this generosity. Madame Geoffrin received artists every Monday, securing contracts for them among high society collectors and even commissioned artwork for herself. Madame Geoffrin’s notebooks mention that these artists also received regular gifts.” For Lilti, Geoffrin’s gift giving was nothing more than a reaffirmation of social inequities. He states, “the exchange of gifts, of course, was a common practice in all areas of high society, but it took on a particular social signification in the case of gifts given to men of letters, since the absence of reciprocity rendered the relationship asymmetrical. It was more about simply reinforcing a social bond through gift-giving, as it was for the socialites who exchanged little gifts with each other, but instead made a financial relationship part of urbane sociability––especially when the rapport became more or less permanent in the form of allowances, such as the ones that Madame Geoffrin bestowed upon d’Alembert, Thomas, and the abbé Morellet.”