Libro de los Epítomes.

Alison Flood reports for the Graun on an amazing find:

It sounds like something from Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and his The Cemetery of Forgotten Books: a huge volume containing thousands of summaries of books from 500 years ago, many of which no longer exist. But the real deal has been found in Copenhagen, where it has lain untouched for more than 350 years.

The Libro de los Epítomes manuscript, which is more than a foot thick, contains more than 2,000 pages and summaries from the library of Hernando Colón, the illegitimate son of Christopher Columbus who made it his life’s work to create the biggest library the world had ever known in the early part of the 16th century. Running to around 15,000 volumes, the library was put together during Colón’s extensive travels. Today, only around a quarter of the books in the collection survive and have been housed in Seville Cathedral since 1552.

The discovery in the Arnamagnæan Collection in Copenhagen is “extraordinary”, and a window into a “lost world of 16th-century books”, said Cambridge academic Dr Edward Wilson-Lee, author of the recent biography of Colón, The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books.[…]

The manuscript was found in the collection of Árni Magnússon, an Icelandic scholar born in 1663, who donated his books to the University of Copenhagen on his death in 1730. The majority of the some 3,000 items are in Icelandic or Scandinavian languages, with only around 20 Spanish manuscripts, which is probably why the Libro de los Epítomes went unnoticed for hundreds of years. It was Guy Lazure at the University of Windsor in Canada who first spotted the connection to Colón. The Arnamagnæan Institute then contacted Mark McDonald at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, who passed it on to Wilson-Lee and his co-author José María Pérez Fernández, of the University of Granada, for verification. […]

After amassing his collection, Colón employed a team of writers to read every book in the library and distill each into a little summary in Libro de los Epítomes, ranging from a couple of lines long for very short texts to about 30 pages for the complete works of Plato, which Wilson-Lee dubbed the “miracle of compression”.

Because Colón collected everything he could lay his hands on, the catalogue is a real record of what people were reading 500 years ago, rather than just the classics. “The important part of Hernando’s library is it’s not just Plato and Cortez, he’s summarising everything from almanacs to news pamphlets. This is really giving us a window into the entirety of early print, much of which has gone missing, and how people read it – a world that is largely lost to us,” said Wilson-Lee.

Comments

  1. This isn’t quite on topic, but fortuitously it’s not very far off topic, and I’m pretty sure you’ll like this story – retiree in university extension class wins argument with prof over text of a classical work by pulling out his own copy – which is hundreds of years old and shows that the word they were arguing about was a scribal error.:
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-life-book-collector-university-chicago-0411-story.html

    It’s typical Tribune that they think their readers are too stupid to want to know the book title and the word in dispute. Who are they worried about? Nobody like that would get past the first graphs anyway.

    Still an interesting piece.

  2. A delightful story, thanks! I don’t have any incunabula, but I have a 1507 copy of De rebus gestis Alexandri Magni regis Macedonum. Liber tertius, by Quintus Curtius, and it gives me a thrill to take it down and thumb through it from time to time.

  3. January First-of-May says:

    …Wow. 1507 is not quite incunabula, but it’s pretty close.

    I don’t really collect old books; I definitely have some books from the 1920s, and I think we might even have some from the 1910s, but nothing older.
    (There’s a family legend on the Jewish side of my ancestry about a 19th century Torah that supposedly ended up with our branch of the family. For all I know it might actually be there; a significant fraction of the books we packed up while moving in 2006 have yet to be unpacked.)

    One time about a year or two ago, I got to look at (and thumb through) some 18th century books, and I think even one or two 17th century books, at one of Moscow’s lesser universities (forgot which one). It was already a huge “wow” factor.
    I’m not sure I could imagine owning a book from 1507.

    (As for the story… surely formerly unknown manuscripts of classical works turn up all the time, or at least used to until relatively recently, so I don’t see why would an older edition take precedence.
    If anything, if a passage is missing in a 15th century version but is there in a 20th century version, I personally would suspect that it’s probably the 15th century edition that had a scribal error somewhere on the way.)

  4. I have a beautiful pocket edition of Cicero’s speeches, Simon de Colines, 1543. My aunt got it for me at an estate sale. It, like all the other books at the sale, went for $2.

  5. I dont have a good sense of what a book from 1507 or 1543 would be like. One of my reactions to the article and to LH’s and Y’s posts was Gah, should you be handling those? Won’t they crumble in your hands?

    An uninformed overreaction. But what condition are they in? Do you worry when you handle them? Do you carefully raise a page without bending it much and slowly rotate it over? Or handle it much like other books? I’m sure I looked at 19th century books in the college library, but I don’t remember them well. I didn’t use many primary sources so probably late 19th century.

  6. Rag paper lasts forever, or at least as long as it has existed. The edges might be a bit worn if a lot of fingers have passed over them. The paper itself is not at all crumbly.The surface is a bit rough, like all handmade paper, and the binding is usually tight, i.e. the book won’t open flat. Other than that, I handle them less gingerly than early 20th century woodpulp paper books, which do crumble and yellow.

    I also have a 1549 Horace (by Robert Estienne; £4.50). Its edges are much more worn out than the Cicero, whhich was rebound in 1670 after trimming and edge gilding. The Cicero didn’t see as much use, either.

    Vellum and parchment are even more sturdy. The most amazing material I have handled is fetal vellum (which is what it sounds like), in a pocket-sized 13th century manuscript Bible. It’s as thin and smooth as high-quality modern paper, but very strong.

  7. AJP Crown says:

    Y: a 1549 Horace …rebound in 1670 after trimming and edge gilding

    How is this known? Was a note to that effect added and bound in?

  8. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-life-book-collector-university-chicago-0411-story.html

    Alas, the Chicago Tribune doesn’t want me to read the story:

    Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries.

  9. Alas, the Chicago Tribune doesn’t want me to read the story:

    https://browsec.com/en/

    Just select a US virtual location.

  10. I’m not in the league of some people here, but I have a few books going back to the 18th century. I mostly got them through library sales. It’s easy to find books from that era if they are books that no one is very interested in. Books proposing a hollow earth with an entrance at the North Pole, or examining the traces of the lost tribes of Israel.

    Also books about controversial sexual practices. I found a book about 18th century wife-swapping which I think I bought at a sale for so much per pound (weight), and it was less than the price of potatoes. Prices may be going up on these though.

  11. I have occasionally found rare items–at least, rare or unique according to WorldCat–in the general Duke U. stacks and suggested they be transferred to the rare book collection, though nothing as extraordinary as this one, which reminds me of Photius, Bibliotheca, and The Suda.

  12. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    https://browsec.com/en/

    Just select a US virtual location.

    Thanks. It works just fine

  13. AJP Crown says:

    18th century wife-swapping

    A game to play on long journeys. I swap Catherine the Great with Catherine of Aragon. Or Abigail Adams with Barbara Bush with the consequence that…

  14. in Icelandic or Scandinavian languages

    Strange phrasing. Or was it the copyeditor that removed mainland as superfluous?

  15. I dont have a good sense of what a book from 1507 or 1543 would be like. One of my reactions to the article and to LH’s and Y’s posts was Gah, should you be handling those? Won’t they crumble in your hands?

    No, as Y says, books from back then are much sturdier than modern ones. Furthermore, mine is in shitty shape — it was cut down at some point so that most of the 16th-century marginalia are unreadable, it’s all stained and spotted, and the binding looks like it’s spent time in a root cellar (all of which explains why I got it for $25 at a used-book store on the Upper West Side sometime in the ’80s). It’s not a rarity that needs to be preserved, it’s just a book that happens to be older than most.

    And I don’t collect old books (I made a conscious decision to avoid the whole antiquarian-book thing, because it’s too expensive and I care more about what’s in the books anyway), I just couldn’t resist that one. The next-oldest book I own is a 1789 edition of Jacob Rodde’s Russische Sprachlehre; again, it was a cheap copy (from the late lamented Acres of Books in Long Beach, California) and I couldn’t resist a Russian/German phrasebook from that long ago. Other than those two, my books are fairly modern editions.

  16. John Cowan says:

    Or was it the copyeditor that removed mainland as superfluous?

    It is indeed superfluous, since Scandinavia means precisely ‘Norway, Denmark, and Sweden’ (treating, as is usual, the offshore islands of these countries as part of the mainland). To include Icelandic and Faeroese, one speaks of North Germanic languages.

  17. AJP Crown says:

    John’s right. Up here, at least, Scandinavia consists of Norway, Sweden & Denmark. (Personally, I would have included Finland but that’s because of Alvar Aalto.)

    In Scandinavia, the languages are Norwegian, Swedish & Danish. And there are several minority languages including Samisk, Kvensk and (in Sweden) Finnish.

    Scandinavia plus Finland, Iceland, the Faroes and Greenland is a political & cultural but not geographical bloc called the Nordic countries. The native languages ​​of the Nordic countries belong to three different unrelated language families: Germanic (including Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian & Swedish); Uralic (Finnish, Samisk, Meänkieli & Kven); and Eskimo-Aleut (Greenlandic). Sweden has special protection for languages that have been going there for 3 generations, including Roma & Yiddish.

    https://www.sprakochfolkminnen.se/sprak/vad-ar-sprakvard/sprakvard-i-norden/de-nordiska-spraken.html

  18. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    treating, as is usual, the offshore islands of these countries as part of the mainland

    I was wondering when I read why the Faroes didn’t count as offshore islands of Denmark (and Greenland, for that matter, but that would be ridiculous). However, I understand from Wikipedia that they are “a country in the Kingdom of Denmark”. I thought that was a bit odd as well, until I reflected that England is a country in the United Kingdom of etc., so why not the Faroes. While we’re at it, the capital of Denmark is on an island that is usually treated as part the mainland (at least, outside Denmark it is; I don’t know what the Danes think).

    It would be still more complicated if Denmark still owned the US Virgin Islands.

  19. January First-of-May says:

    treating, as is usual, the offshore islands of these countries as part of the mainland

    There is, IIRC, some uncertainty over whether this would include Svalbard and Jan Mayen, but of course neither of those has its own language.

  20. J.W. Brewer says:

    As something of a connoisseur of obscure and improbable political causes I now realize that there is as far as I know no revanchist movement in Denmark seeking the return of the Danish West Indies, which seems rather a shame. Unless there is one I just haven’t heard of yet, and given the vast range of improbable knowledge possessed by the regulars here this is probably my best opportunity to be enlightened on that subject.

  21. I personally want to see a revanchist movement in Courland seeking the return of Tobago.

  22. There is, IIRC, some uncertainty over whether this would include Svalbard and Jan Mayen

    Bouvet Island is right out, I suppose.

  23. AJP Crown says:

    An expansionist Tobago might think of Courland as its first foothold in eastern Europe.

  24. Bathrobe says:

    Revanchist

    Wouldn’t that be irredentist?

  25. @👑:
    How is this known? Was a note to that effect added and bound in?
    There’s a bookseller’s catalogue note from 1888 pasted inside. It was part of a larger set which apparently came with some additional information.

  26. For anyone who wants the tactile high of pawing ancient books, I recommend the yearly antiquarian book fairs which take place every year in New York, California, and maybe elsewhere. Some bookdealers are less eager than others to let you put your hands on incunabula, but you can see a lot more up close than you would at your public library. The dealers know that you probably won’t drop $100K on a book right then and there, but next to it $50 might not seem so much to drop on some little thing.

  27. Trond Engen says:

    With due exception for a few Danish nationalists dreaming loudly of reclaiming Sydslesvig and Skånelanderne, we’ve been spared the scourge of expansionist political movements in modern Scandinavia. And even they are wise enough not to suggest a military campaign. I’ve never heard anything like that about the Virgin Islands. For some reason I think Danish nationalists are less eager to reclaim a population descending from African slaves. But I have heard tongue-in-cheek suggestions that Denmark should use a clause in the treaty and buy the islands back.

    There’s a similar tongue-in-cheek suggestion that Norway should make Denmark pay the dowry they owe Scotland for princess Margaret so that we could have Shetland back. This is conveniently ignoring that the security for the dowry was just a convenient way to formally surrender the islands centuries after Scotland gained de facto sovereignty. A related claim that the Norwegian independence in 1814 was valid for the entire former kingdom of Norway, so that the Faroes and Greenland are still parts of Norway, had enough traction in the political climate before WW2 that Norway actually occupied a part of Eastern Greenland, but not enough traction that Norway would defend it with force. Helge Ingstad, later discoverer of the Norse settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows, was appointed as governor there and served for a couple of years until Norway lost the case in the World Court.

  28. January First-of-May says:

    Bouvet Island is right out, I suppose.

    I almost mentioned it with a similar comment. (It’s uninhabited, though.)

  29. Now I’m wondering what’s the oldest book I’ve actually handled. I’ve scans of some 17th and 18th century works as a reference, but while I leaf thru stuff from the latter half of the 19th century fairly regularly, it’s possible I may not have ever physically touched any pages above 200 years of age.

    It feels that 150-200 years is a rough time limit for “the accessible past” known to me from primary sources, really. The oldest everyday items I’ve really used (not just gawked at in museums) date to that timeframe too, ditto the oldest family lore we have around, ditto the oldest trees I can reasonably expect to run into, ditto the oldest roads I regularly travel along, ditto the oldest buildings I’ve dwelled in. Beyond that my knowledge of anything at all starts running on secondary sources, at the mercy of historicians, archivists, museum curators etc.

  30. Stu Clayton says:

    The oldest everyday items I’ve really used (not just gawked at in museums) date to that timeframe too, ditto the oldest family lore we have around … Beyond that my knowledge of anything at all starts running on secondary sources …

    The ages of those things too you know only from secondary sources – what you’ve heard and read. There are no primary sources.

    Knowledge is a tissue of tissues, and we are the Kleenex boxes dispensing them.

  31. David Marjanović says:

    a part of Eastern Greenland

    A remarkably useless part. Perhaps they could have settled penguins there, but that’s pretty much it.

    (…Mixing up the faunas of the northern and the southern polar seas was actually part of a plan to prove that Norway rightfully owned both of these places: ishavsimperialisme.)

  32. Lars (the original one) says:

    As Hr. Krona says, Norden is the political reality, with the Nordic Council of Ministers an important forum for policy coordination (even though the EU membership of three Nordic countries is something to work around), and with residency and even citizenship in another Nordic country in many cases being treated as if you stayed in your country of birth — all based on treaties from the 1920’s. (And another Nordic Council that is mainly known for awarding prizes in literature).

    Skandinavien, on the other hand, is a bit vague in people’s minds, you will get all sorts of answers if you ask Danes if Finland is part of Scandinavia. Or if Denmark is, even. The Scandinavian Peninsula (Den skandinaviske Halvø) is better defined, of course, just look at any map, so nobody is in doubt that Norway and Sweden are part of Scandinavia.

  33. January First-of-May says:

    It feels that 150-200 years is a rough time limit for “the accessible past” known to me from primary sources, really.

    I’m a coin collector, so there are some 1500-2000 year old objects on my desk. (My oldest coin is nearly 2500 years old.)
    That said, it’s hard to say what counts as “primary sources” for determining the age of something. For what it’s worth, the oldest coin I have that directly states its date in the Anno Domini calendar is from 1517 (so just over 500 years old).

    The oldest everyday items I’ve used (that I know of, at least) were in the 50-100 year old range; past that they stop being everyday items and start being relics to gawk at even at home. (We do have a few of those.)
    Trees, roads and buildings can get older, of course, though not in this part of Moscow.

    As for scans – the oldest book I’ve used an online version of as a reference was probably from 1589 (the Meslanges historiques of Pierre de Sainct-Julien, back when I was looking up some medieval French genealogy for my silly “equal-primogeniture heir of William the Conqueror” project).
    The oldest book pages I’ve actually touched were, as I mentioned, 17th century (I don’t recall the exact date offhand), in that one mini-university mini-library. (I think it was less of a library and more of a space to store some leftover books.)

  34. Wow! What is your 5th century BCE coin? What design? Is it inscribed?

  35. Yes, do tell! I have a few coins too, from the days when I hung out with a collector and made the foolish decision to visit a big coin show with him (he kept pointing out bargains), but nothing nearly that old.

  36. January First-of-May says:

    Wow! What is your 5th century BCE coin? What design? Is it inscribed?

    Kyzikos hemiobol. Lion’s head on one side, boar’s head on the other, tuna fish in there somewhere, there might be a letter on one of the heads but I’m not very sure. Really tiny.
    If you want, I can try linking to the CCF thread with my photos.

    I think my oldest inscribed coin, if that hemiobol with the possible letter doesn’t count, is from 4th century BCE; actually I have two – Pantikapaion and Maroneia. Don’t have photos of either.

    At one point, I tried to get at least one coin of every single century, from the 5th century BCE to the present (6th and especially 7th century BCE coins are too expensive).
    I still don’t have a 13th century CE coin that I can attribute any better than “probably 13th century”, and my only 8th century CE coin had been badly tarnished by an unfortunately placed piece of apple, but other than that, I have essentially completed that particular project.

  37. Whoa, I just looked in my little box of coins (which I haven’t opened in years) and the first one I plucked out was labeled “Alex. the Great/ 4th Cent. B.C./Bronze/ Obv. Alex in Helmet/ Rev. Shield/Standard.” I had completely forgotten I had that! And I have more than I remembered (I shudder to think how much I spent — Mike and I had probably had beers with our lunch). I might as well list them here so I’ll be able to find the information easily; after the Alex, in chronological order:

    Sassanid, Khusrau II (590-628), dirham
    Umayyad, not specified but type of Abd-al-Malik (685-705), dirham
    Buwayhid, Sharaf al-Dawla Abu’l-Fawaris (983-5), dirham
    Zengids of Aleppo, Nur al-Din Mahmud (1146-1174), fals
    Seljuks of Rum, Kaykhusro I (1192-1210), fals
    Khwarezmshahs, Ala al-Din Muhammad (1200-1220), dirham
    Ayyubid, al-Kamil Muhammad I (1218-1238), fals
    Georgia, Queen Rusudan (1222-1245), fals (looks like this)
    Abbasid, al-Mustansir, 1241, dirham (looks like this)
    Mamluk, Baybars I (1260-1277), dirham (looks like this)
    Timurids, Timur (Tamerlane), Samarqand, 1389
    Ottoman, Suleyman III, 1687, mangir
    Bukhara, 1888, tenga
    a few Afghan coins from the late 18th c., not further described

    As you can see, I was really into medieval Islamic dynasties at the time. And I have half a dozen 13th century CE coins!

  38. AJP Crown says:

    my only 8th century CE coin had been badly tarnished by an unfortunately placed piece of apple

    Why can’t you clean it?

    Kyzikos hemiobol. Lion’s head on one side, boar’s head on the other

    Like this?
    “After 480 BC. Head of roaring lion left, retrograde K above, all within shallow incuse square / Forepart of running boar left, tunny fish swimming upwards behind.”

  39. That’s a nice looking coin!

  40. I’ve handled some 16th-century books in the Wells Library at IU, but the oldest book I’ve actually read in is the volume of John Dee’s MSS in the Cotton Vitellius collection. (Yes, they’re frizzled around the edges but very expertly repaired.)

  41. John Cowan says:

    Why can’t you clean it?

    Cleaning metal objects irrevocably damages the surface, not to mention the value, and may actually make inscriptions more blurry rather than less so. Patina and tarnish are the same thing from different viewpoints, like crop plant and weed.

  42. January First-of-May says:

    Why can’t you clean it?

    I actually tried some mild cleaning methods (water, soft cloth…) and none of them helped. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have tried any cleaning at all, but it’s too late for that.

    Like this?

    Pretty much, but different subtype (no retrograde K).
    EDIT: and about half the weight. Where did they even find a 0.80 gram hemiobol? At that weight it should be a full obol.

  43. AJP Crown says:

    That’s a nice looking coin!

    It is. It’s great with the vertical tuna next to the boar, but I wonder what the story is with that.

    Cleaning metal objects irrevocably damages the surface
    I probably shouldn’t have tried any cleaning at all

    As a child I sometimes used to polish my Victorian and early 19C pennies with Brasso or whatever it was called. I never noticed the surface was any less crisp afterwards. I reckon that’s all a myth innit.

  44. The ages of those things too you know only from secondary sources

    That’s fair. I guess the distinction I’m making is not “secondary sources needed” as much as “any primary sources at my disposal at all”.

    (I could of course also pick up a rock from the ground and prodly proclaim that it’s like a hundred millionty years old, but there’s much less point to that: it’s not a contest of total age, it’s one of relative age among other things of the same kind. So roughly age modulo perishability?)

  45. Hernando Colón’s collection included music as well as literature, some of which can be heard on CD. I have and very much enjoy Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XX’s album ‘El Cancionero de la Colombina 1451-1506’, and just now found on Amazon that there is another CD from the same collection by a group called Ensemble Musica Ficta. Savall also has three other songbook collections from roughly the same era: ‘El Cancionero de Palacio 1474-1516’, ‘El Cançoner del Duc de Calabria 1526-1554’, and ‘El Cancionero de Medinaceli 1535-1595’. I don’t know about the reprints with mostly-white covers, but the first editions with really beautiful cover illustrations have full texts and translations into English, French, and German.

  46. The oldest document I have handled was an Akkadian-period cuneiform tablet that my father bought about forty years ago. It was a routine bill of sale (for two onagers and some other minor goods) but at the time he purchased it, that made it the oldest known document mentioning domesticated asses.

    If people are really interested in cleaning old coins, the correct way of doing it is to put it in an electrolytic cell. You run a current through the metal, and that reduces the oxides on the surface. This preserves and restores the surface texture, while conventional polishing ends up wiping away a few nanometers of oxidized surface material every time you clean it. Electrolytic cleaning is easy to do, if you know what you are doing, but I would not recommend trying it yourself without hands-on training from somebody who knows what to do. I used to know how to do it, but I haven’t touched that kind of equipment in about twenty years. I have no idea how much it costs to get the cleaning done by a professional, but the results can be amazing. I remember watching as, over the course of a couple weeks, one corroded black metal cylinder was slowly separated into a stack of shiny silver coins.

  47. January First-of-May says:

    The tricky part of very many kinds of cleaning (not just of coins) is stopping quickly enough. This is especially true for electrolytic cleaning – especially of copper.

    I’ve seen what happens when copper coins are electrolytically cleaned too far, and suffice to say this is not pretty.

  48. @January First-of-May: My personal experience with electrolytic cleaning was all with silver, rather than copper, but you are right that you need to be careful not to leave the fully reduced metal in the solution after it has been cleaned. It is best to go very slowly, with a very small applied current, to avoid such problems. As I said, I do not recommend trying to do electrolytic cleaning without being taught by somebody who really knows their stuff.

  49. I watched a series on the manuscripts in the royal collection dating from the 9th to the 15th century. These were handled carefully but not especially delicately and without gloves. It was stated that gloves only had to be worn when handling any metal clasps whereas the vellum itself was perfectly fine to touch. The only manuscript treated with special care was a 15th century example which still had its original velvet binding in near mint condition.

  50. It is indeed superfluous

    Still, some sources treat both of them as synonymous:

    Definition of Scandinavian
    1 : the North Germanic languages

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Scandinavian

  51. Lars (the original one) says:

    no revanchist movement — not that I ever heard of. Evidently there was a 100 year buy-back clause in the agreement and Denmark could have bought back the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2017 for USD 25 million — but it was only written about as a curious fact, nobody treated it as a serious possibility.

    Danish revanchism was about getting Schleswig and Holstein back, and there was a lot of bad sentiment in 1920 because Denmark got ‘too little’ out of the peace treaty. But then there was another world war, and suddenly Südschleswig was part of the British Occupied Zone — I suppose you could say that Denmark got itself back by force of the Berlin Declaration, and that was that. You are much more likely to find people still chuntering about that than about the West Indies, though, but I don’t think there is an organized movement.

  52. AJP Crown says:

    You are much more likely to find people still chuntering about that

    Yeah, I’m right behind them. Schleswig for the Schleswigians, og Deutschland raus! Hamburg would be less dull with Altona back in Danish hands and Denmark could open a tasteful little casino in Glückstadt-Lykstad. How about Skåne, do Danes feel it’s theirs? I’m happy with Skåne staying Swedish, myself.

  53. Lars (the original one) says:

    It’s commonly known that Gustav Vasa stole Skåne, Halland and Blekinge from us (or was it Karl den Tiende? Do you really expect us to keep track?) — something about the Sound freezing over so they could cheat and attack Copenhagen from the side with no walls — so it should really be ours. But it’s so Swedish now, we are not sure it would be nice to have any more.

    They can just send their surplus students to Copenhagen to work in the cafés, that’s OK.

    On the other hand there is a sort of movement in Skåne for getting to go back to being Danish, they even have a flag they think is nice, but it’s at some sort of micro-nation level of seriousness as far as I can tell. Silly season news fodder.

  54. I love micronations! See here and here, for example; I could swear I’d done a post about some short-lived entities created during the Russian Revolution, but I can’t locate it at the moment.

  55. Lars (the original one) says:

    Yes, micronations are good fun, but their activities mainly result in fun being had and not in real geopolitical changes.

    (Signed)
    Baron de Rembourse of Elleore

  56. Hat, here.

  57. Alas, your “here” is red but linkless!

  58. That’s the one, thanks!

  59. AJP Crown says:

    My (really my wife’s) friend Lars Vilks has a micronation in Skåne, called Ladonia. He’s a very good artist who thrives on provoking people, but occasionally you go a bit too far. So the last time he visited us he was escorted by half a dozen Norwegian police bodyguards. My wife made them bacalao. They were very appreciative.

  60. J.W. Brewer says:

    From a moment’s googling it would appear that Great-Power hostility toward Ladonian autonomy is not the primary factor driving Mr. Vilks’ security arrangements. More’s the pity, I suppose. The Ladonian flag looks nice.

  61. The Republic of Užupis

    Užupis

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