May 21st is National Strawberries And Cream Day!
May 21, 2017 – NATIONAL TAKE YOUR PARENTS TO THE PLAYGROUND DAY – NATIONAL AMERICAN RED CROSS FOUNDER’S DAY – NATIONAL MEMO DAY – NATIONAL STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM DAY – NATIONAL WAITSTAFF DAY
NATIONAL DAY FLAVOR – Week of May 21- 27, 2017
On this day:
1349 – Dušan’s Code, the constitution of the Serbian Empire, is enacted by Dušan the Mighty.
Dušan’s Code (Serbian: Душанов законик, Dušanov zakonik, known historically as Закон благовјернаго цара Стефана – Law of the pious Emperor Stefan) is a compilation of several legal systems that was enacted by Stefan Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia in 1349. It was used in the Serbian Empire and the succeeding Serbian Despotate. It is considered an early constitution, or close to it; an advanced set of laws which regulated all aspects of life.
On 16 April 1346 (Easter), Dušan convoked a huge assembly at Skopje, attended by the Serbian Archbishop Joanikije II, the Archbishop of Ochrid Nikolaj I, the Bulgarian Patriarch Simeon and various religious leaders of Mount Athos. The assembly and clerics agreed on, and then ceremonially performed the raising of the autocephalous Serbian Archbishopric to the status of Serbian Patriarchate. The Archbishop from then on was titled Serbian Patriarch, although one documents called him Patriarch of Serbs and Greeks, with the seat at the Monastery of Peć. The first Serbian Patriarch Joanikije II now solemnly crowned Dušan as “Emperor and autocrat of Serbs and Romans” (Greek Bασιλεὺς καὶ αὐτoκράτωρ Σερβίας καὶ Pωμανίας).
The Code was promulgated at a state council on 21 May 1349 in Skopje, the capital of the Serbian Empire. The foreword is as follows: “We enact this Law by our Orthodox Synod, by His Holiness the Patriarch Kir Joanikije together with all the Archbishops and Clergy, small and great, and by me, the true-believing Emperor Stefan, and all the Lords, small and great, of this our Empire”. In the Charter, which accompanied the Code, it said: “It is my desire to enact certain virtues and truest of laws of the Orthodox faith to be adhered to and observed”. Emperor Dušan added a series of articles to it in 1353 or 1354, at a council in Serres. This second part was half the size and at times cited issues from the first part, referring it to the “first Code”.
It had a total of 201 articles. Four of them (79, 123, 152, 153), regarding various subjects, refers to the authority of the “Law of the Sainted King” (i.e. Stefan Uroš II Milutin of Serbia, r. 1282–1321, Dušan’s grandfather), which suggests that Milutin had issued a code whose text has not survived. Dušan’s Code was thus a supplement to Milutin’s code, as well as a supplement to the various Church law codes that also had authority in Serbia; in particular the Nomocanon of Saint Sava (Zakonopravilo), enacted in 1219 with the establishment of the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbian Kingdom. The Syntagma Canonum, written in 1335 by Matthew Blastares, had been translated into Serbian and had received legal authority by 1349, and its articles had influenced the text of the Code. Dušan’s Code was heavily influenced by Byzantine law – nearly half of its articles reflect some influence, often modified for Serbia. The code had many articles concerning the Church, which reflects Byzantine Church law; Byzantine civil law codes, especially the late-9th-century compilation by Basil I and Leo VI, also influenced the code. Scholars A. Solovjev and Soulis conclude that the Council of 1349 issued a three-part comprehensive legal document, since most early manuscripts of the Code also contain two other texts: The first part was an abridgement of the Syntagma, the second part was the “Code of Justinian” (an abridgement of The Partner’s Law), and the third part was always Dušan’s Code itself. According to Fine, there is a possibility that the Code was written to supplement the first two parts, by adding items that were not covered, rather than to build a comprehensive legal system.
Born on this day:
1471 – Albrecht Dürer, German painter, engraver, and mathematician (d. 1528)
Albrecht Dürer (/ˈdʊərər, ˈdjʊərər/; German: [ˈalbʁɛçt ˈdyːʁɐ]; 21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528) was a painter, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance. Born in Nuremberg, Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was still in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints. He was in communication with the major Italian artists of his time, including Raphael, Giovanni Bellini and Leonardo da Vinci, and from 1512 he was patronized by emperor Maximilian I.
Dürer’s vast body of work includes engravings, his preferred technique in his later prints, altarpieces, portraits and self-portraits, watercolours and books. The woodcuts, such as the Apocalypse series (1498), are more Gothic than the rest of his work. His well-known engravings include the Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513), Saint Jerome in his Study (1514) and Melencolia I (1514), which has been the subject of extensive analysis and interpretation. His watercolours also mark him as one of the first European landscape artists, while his ambitious woodcuts revolutionized the potential of that medium.
Dürer’s introduction of classical motifs into Northern art, through his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists, has secured his reputation as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. This is reinforced by his theoretical treatises, which involve principles of mathematics, perspective, and ideal proportions.
Early life (1471–90)
Dürer was born on 21 May 1471, third child and second son of his parents, who had at least fourteen and possibly as many as eighteen children. His father, Albrecht Dürer the Elder, was a successful goldsmith, originally Ajtósi, who in 1455 had moved to Nuremberg from Ajtós, near Gyula in Hungary. One of Albrecht’s brothers, Hans Dürer, was also a painter and trained under him. Another of Albrecht’s brothers, Endres Dürer, took over their father’s business and was a master goldsmith. The German name “Dürer” is a translation from the Hungarian, “Ajtósi”. Initially, it was “Türer,” meaning doormaker, which is “ajtós” in Hungarian (from “ajtó”, meaning door). A door is featured in the coat-of-arms the family acquired. Albrecht Dürer the Younger later changed “Türer”, his father’s diction of the family’s surname, to “Dürer”, to adapt to the local Nuremberg dialect. Albrecht Dürer the Elder married Barbara Holper, the daughter of his master when he himself became a master in 1467.
Dürer’s godfather was Anton Koberger, who left goldsmithing to become a printer and publisher in the year of Dürer’s birth and quickly became the most successful publisher in Germany, eventually owning twenty-four printing-presses and having many offices in Germany and abroad. Koberger’s most famous publication was the Nuremberg Chronicle, published in 1493 in German and Latin editions. It contained an unprecedented 1,809 woodcut illustrations (albeit with many repeated uses of the same block) by the Wolgemut workshop. Dürer may have worked on some of these, as the work on the project began while he was with Wolgemut.
Because Dürer left autobiographical writings and became very famous by his mid-twenties, his life is well documented by several sources. After a few years of school, Dürer started to learn the basics of goldsmithing and drawing from his father. Though his father wanted him to continue his training as a goldsmith, he showed such a precocious talent in drawing that he started as an apprentice to Michael Wolgemut at the age of fifteen in 1486. A self-portrait, a drawing in silverpoint, is dated 1484 (Albertina, Vienna) “when I was a child,” as his later inscription says. Wolgemut was the leading artist in Nuremberg at the time, with a large workshop producing a variety of works of art, in particular woodcuts for books. Nuremberg was then an important and prosperous city, a centre for publishing and many luxury trades. It had strong links with Italy, especially Venice, a relatively short distance across the Alps.