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Silke Schwandt

The article deals with the semantic career of virtus as a political concept in the Middle Ages. It traces the different aspects of meaning assigned to this word in four medieval texts, namely St. Augustine's City of God, the Regula Pastoralis of Gregory the Great, the Via Regia of Smaragdus of St. Mihiel, and the Policraticus of John of Salisbury. Using quantitative methods, I analyze the employment of virtus with a focus on its relevance in the political discourse, and I also address the shift in meaning and argumentative capacity that the term undergoes over time. In the end, virtus can be shown to be a highly flexible yet strongly functional term that plays an important role in the conceptions of medieval societies.

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Silke Schwandt, László Kontler, Anu Korhonen, Marie-Christine Boilard and Johan Strang

Burkhard Hasebrink, Susanne Bernhardt, and Imke Früh, eds., Semantik der Gelassenheit: Generierung, Etablierung, Transformation [Semantics of detachment: Formation, establishment, transformation] (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2012), 319 pp.

Martin J. Burke and Melvin Richter, eds., Why Concepts Matter: Translating Social and Political Thought (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012), 240 pp.

Ute Frevert, Monique Scheer, Anne Schmidt, Pascal Eitler, Bettina Hitzer, Nina Verheyen, Benno Gammerl, Christian Bailey, and Margrit Pernau, Gefühlswissen: Eine lexikalische Spurensuche in der Moderne [Emotional knowledge: In search of lexical clues in modernity] (Frankfurt and New York: Campus Verlag, 2011), 364 pp.

Julia Harfensteller, The United Nations and Peace: The Evolution of an Organizational Concept (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2011), 355 pp.

Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, ed., Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 351 pp.