What We Are Reading Today: The Holy Roman Empire by Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger

Updated 06 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: The Holy Roman Empire by Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger

  • New book provides a concise history of the Holy Roman Empire, presenting an entirely new interpretation of the empire’s political culture and remarkably durable institutions

The Holy Roman Empire emerged in the Middle Ages as a loosely integrated union of German states and city-states under the supreme rule of an emperor.

Around 1500, it took on a more formal structure with the establishment of powerful institutions — such as the Reichstag and Imperial Chamber Court—that would endure more or less intact until the empire’s dissolution by Napoleon in 1806.

Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger provides a concise history of the Holy Roman Empire, presenting an entirely new interpretation of the empire’s political culture and remarkably durable institutions, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

Rather than comparing the empire to modern states or associations like the EU, Stollberg-Rilinger shows how it was a political body unlike any other — it had no standing army, no clear boundaries, no general taxation or bureaucracy.

She describes a heterogeneous association based on tradition and shared purpose, bound together by personal loyalty and reciprocity.


Chinese pianist Lang Lang set to regale music lovers at Tantora

Updated 18 January 2019
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Chinese pianist Lang Lang set to regale music lovers at Tantora

  • Lang will perform alongside the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra at the Al-Ula-based festival
  • The Winter at Tantora festival has proven wildly successful with audiences so far

RIYADH: Award-winning Chinese pianist Lang Lang delighted fans on Wednesday with a short video teaser to promote his upcoming performance at the Winter at Tantora festival. 

The musician posted the video online, in which he was seen opening a book to reveal the words “stay tuned.” 

Winter at Tantora’s Twitter account added to the hype, tweeting to their followers that the concert would “refresh their senses.”

Lang will perform alongside the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra at the Al-Ula-based festival.

He is famous for his compelling style and talent, as well as his range as a pianist. Claimed that music is his “first language,” he believes that through it he is able to communicate with audiences all over the globe, despite language barriers. 

Throughout his career, he has performed classical pieces, including Chopin and Liszt, but also more contemporary work, including songs from The Little Mermaid.

The sold-out concert, called Monumental, is scheduled for Friday Jan. 18, and will be Lang’s and the Guangzhou Orchestra’s first performances in Saudi Arabia.

Fans took to Twitter to express their excitement. “I can’t wait to see you!” Tweeted one. “It’s a pleasure and an honor to have you in Saudi Arabia!”

The Winter at Tantora festival has proven wildly successful with audiences so far, with names such as Mohammed Abdo, Majida Al-Roumi, and a holographic depiction of legendary songstress Umm Kulthoum all appearing to positive acclaim.

The limited seating per concert, capped at 500 apiece, has been popular, with most concerts selling out in record-breaking time. With different packages available to purchase for the festival, ranging from affordable seats to high-end luxury experiences, the chance to spend a weekend in Al-Ula has also been made available to a wide pool of people, despite the small numbers on offer.