Rupert is pleased to invite you to the public lecture ‘Of Honor, Dignity and the Renaissance Grand Duchy of Lithuania’ by historian and researcher Povilas Dikavičius on the 17th December, Tuesday from 6:30 pm at Rupert (Vaidilutės str. 79, Vilnius). The event is free of charge and will be held in Lithuanian. 

Today, any talk of honor may evoke images of 19th-century noblemen engaged in duels provoked by unfathomable affronts, or the gallant etiquette of the Old-Regime which gave way to modern mores at least a century ago, and strict social roles that bound both women and men to entrenched traditional codes of conduct. These antiquated traits rightly seem out of step with contemporary society, one which traded honor for dignity—a value deemed more just and pleasant to modern sensibilities. American historian Robert A. Nye has proclaimed the death of honor in the trenches of the First World War and that the end of the Second World War inaugurated an era of dignity inscribed in international treatises and forming the foundation for universal human rights. And while such thinking is commonplace and not much off the mark, I will argue that the death of honor was diagnosed prematurely.

Honor and dignity essentially are concepts denoting human worth. Although they ascribe worth based on different criteria, honor and dignity are marked by feeling and paying respect, and in turn, modes of communicating respect directly shape interpersonal relations. Therefore, in order to understand the modern ideal of dignity culture, it is important to reflect upon the workings of honor in various social settings. Aiming to contribute to this discussion, the present talk will consider the differences of honor and dignity and their historical equivalents in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania based on legal narratives from the 16th century.

Povilas Dikavičius is a doctoral candidate at the Central European University (Budapest-Vienna). His interests lie with early modern European history and he specializes in the social history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. His dissertation focuses on legal and political sides of honor, and his research engages with the nobility‘s legal status and their legal practice. His dissertation explores histories of political thought, emotions and violence. In 2019, Povilas Dikavičius was one of the tutors of Rupert’s Alternative education programme. 

On the day of the event, a free shuttle bus will be available from Vilnius city centre to Rupert. Please register here: https://forms.gle/beimGp73m4kAWH8QA

Alternatively, Rupert can be also reached by a public bus no. 15, leaving from “Tverečiaus” bus stop at hourly intervals. The bus stops at “2-asis paplūdimys”, right in front of Rupert. 

Rupert’s programmes are partly supported by Lithuanian Culture Council. Special thanks to Pakrantė.