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Swiss Army Code of Conduct for Senior Management (1981)

A etiquette is a guideline for “good behavior”, whereby “good behavior” has also produced different rules of behavior or manners in different cultures at different times .

De civilitate by Erasmus of Rotterdam

One of the first etiquette books from European culture is De civilitate by Erasmus von Rotterdam (1466–1536), which he dedicated in 1529 to the son of Prince Adolf of Burgundy . Like no other work by the Dutchman, it shows his pedagogical intention to convey education and is considered to be the basic work of many subsequent etiquette books or the decency literature . An excerpt from the book shows the art of formulation with which Erasmus went to work:

The gift of raising children is very diverse in itself. Above all, one must make sure that the tender child mind goes through the preschool of piety. The next task is for the pupil to acquire the liberal arts with pleasure and love; the third that he learns to cope with life; the fourth, that he gets used to being sociable from the very beginning.
The human being should be of a unified body in his appearance and his demeanor, above all everyone should be cautious, but especially people who are called to leading tasks. So that the well-balanced soul of the young person becomes visible - it is reflected most strongly in his face - he should look calm, reverent and collected, not grim, because that is a sign of rudeness; not bold, because that is how one recognizes imprudence; not erratic and unsteady, which indicates carelessness; not squinting what kind of suspicious people are and those people who are always up to something; not even wide-eyed what the limited ones do; not with narrowed eyes, as the unreliable do; not gawking, as completely perplexed, not too flashing, which is a sign of hot temper. You shouldn't constantly document approval, by which you can recognize the intrusive. Rather, they should look in such a way that they promise a measured and unobtrusive trusting sense. The ancient sages knew perfectly well that a person's mind has its place in the eyes [...]
It is improper to look at someone else with a narrowed eye. The eyebrows should be firm, not curled, because that is a sign of a grim disposition. Nor should it be pulled up, which reveals presumption, nor should it be pulled down, what people with a dark mind do. The forehead should also be cheerful and smooth, as it is the case with a self-sufficient and free mind, not furrowed as with old people, not restless as with controversial people and not curled up like with a bull [...]
The nose shouldn't drip, because that shows a filthy being. This mistake was said to have been made against Socrates. Blowing one's nose with one's hat or skirt is the peasant style, and fishmongers do it with their arm or elbow. It is hardly more elegant with your hand if you wipe it off your skirt afterwards. It is also ridiculous to trumpet through the nose, elephant-style, and only scoffers and buffoons wrinkle the nose [...]
Only fools laugh at every word and every occurrence, only dull people can never be drawn a smile. Anyone who laughs at riot and obscenities is a dissolute brother. To laugh at someone with an outstretched tongue is a clown's style [...]
Lazy people let their heads and shoulders hang, a steeply erect body reveals presumption, the correct posture is informally upright. Those who get used to lazy shoulders sag, get a hump [...]
An educated person should only bare the pubic parts if necessary. If this is the case, it should be done with due objectivity, even if nobody is present, because the angels are always present [...]
We've talked about the body in summary. Now we have to say something about clothing; after all, clothing is, so to speak, the body of the body, and one can deduce from it the attitude.

In the further course, Erasmus goes on to elaborate on everything else young people have to pay attention to, for example one should never wear skirts so short that the sexual parts are exposed when bending over, because that is unseemly, whereas slitted dresses are only crazy and colorful costumes are only fools and monkeys would carry.

The Curieuse Affecten-Spiegel by Johann Gottfried Gregorii

In 1715 Johann Gottfried Gregorii alias Melissantes published a comprehensive etiquette of etiquette taking into account the social conventions of his time with excursions into topics such as reason, virtue, choice of partner, rules of a good marriage, love, instinctuality or even abstinence and diets. Educational advice is linked to pedagogical principles, learning theories, and rules of communication and propriety. An early form of psychological diagnostics, instructions for self-exploration, are followed by ideas for optimizing career choices and, in his opinion, desirable rules of conduct or professional ethical guidelines for educators, theologians, lawyers, doctors and philosophers.

In his guide, Gregorii favored honest self-knowledge as the most excellent oraculum in matters of conscious and appropriate lifestyle. In the second chapter to learn from science to recognize themselves and other minds defined and described Gregorii on its own way, the four temperaments after the temperaments of Galen . He named differentiated and distinctive characteristics of people and derived from them possible effects on future life courses in several facets. His theoretical career choice approach, in which, after self-reflection, aptitude, inclination, performance and temperament should be taken into account for self-determined optimization of the career choice , was centuries ahead of its time. The self-reflexive interpretation of Know yourself based on the oracle of Delphi served Gregorii as a philosophical basis for his idea.

Regarding the choice of a partner, Melissantes wrote: “ Every person must know and consider what is in front of him and can agree with his temperament, conduits and affects. Where this is not the case, there is seldom unity, pleasure of mind, modesty, love and friendliness; Rather, there are spouses who are unequal to the humeur, hatred, envy, hostility, quarrels, complaints, weeping, and woe. "
Regarding communication behavior, he wrote: “ When you talk, love the truth and bring the matter forward carefully. If someone wants to answer you, do not interrupt them so that one does not have to think that you are super clever in your imagination and would rather hear yourself talking than others. It is better to be eager to listen than to talk in societies. Because with superfluous speeches, you tend to be very careless in your haste to run under what your enemies are fighting over and your friends are grieving. A clever listener knows how to make use of everything that occurs in those conversations: because he uses the good to his own advantage and learns to avoid the naughty. Speech brings honor and shame too. Man's own tongue falls down. "

Noteworthy were Gregorii's recommendations for behavior to heads of government in the style of a prince's mirror created on a moral theological basis in the chapter On the Christian Cleverness of Kings, Princes and Regents . While this marked by Gregoriis idealism humanist dreams never attained the rank of politically realistic considerations of statecraft of a prince of Machiavelli or their prominent refutation by Frederick II. Of Prussia in his anonymously by Voltaire published Anti-Machiavel (1740), but they testify to courage and intellectually justified will to enlightenment.

About dealing with people by Adolph Knigge

The best-known work by the German writer Adolph Freiherr Knigge (1752–1796)is about dealing with people and was published in 1788. It not only contains “rules of behavior”, but also reflects the social conditions of the time. It is divided into three parts:

1. About dealing with people;
2. About dealing with yourself;
3. About dealing with people of different minds, temperaments, and moods of mind and heart.

The term "Knigge" is now generally used for the most varied forms of etiquette (at the table, as a businessman, what clothes, etc.).

The book of etiquette by Erica Pappritz

A well-known author was Erica Pappritz (1893–1972), who, as a diplomat under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in the Bonn Foreign Office, designed and fixed the official protocol . She became the official protocol lady of the Federal Republic and wrote the book of etiquette , which became a bestseller.


  • Katja Alves and Dawn Parisi: Is that allowed? A etiquette for on the go . 2nd Edition. Sanssouci , Munich 2006. ISBN 978-3-7254-1418-5 .
  • Friedrich-Karl von Chasot: etiquette & more. A guide for almost all life questions . 3rd, revised and expanded edition. Kloeden, Berlin 1996. ISBN 3-920564-36-7 .
  • Willy Elmayer : Good behavior is required. A contemporary guide for him and her . Illustrated by Hill Reihs-Gromes. Zsolnay, Vienna and Hamburg 1957 (first edition).
  • Willy Elmayer: Practice early ... A funny book about proper behavior . Illustrated by Karl Puchleitner. Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna 1959.
  • Cordula Frieser : Confident at the table. Safe behavior in company . Photos by Clemens Nestroy. Pichler, Vienna, Graz and Klagenfurt 2008. ISBN 978-3-85431-475-2 .
  • Cordula Frieser : chic in a bowl. Dressed appropriately in every situation . Photos by Christian Jungwirth. Pichler, Vienna, Graz and Klagenfurt 2009. ISBN 978-3-85431-511-7 .
  • Hannes Hüttner and Egbert Herfurth: The great etiquette . Faber & Faber, Leipzig 2006. (= Our children's book classics, Volume 6) ISBN 978-3-86730-005-6 .
  • Emma Kallmann: The good tone. Manual of the fine way of life and good manners. Edited according to the latest etiquette . Steinitz, Berlin 1892 (first edition). Reprint as paperback: Zenodot, Berlin 2011. ISBN 978-3-8430-6797-3 .
  • Karl Kleinschmidt: Don't be afraid of good morals. A book about how to deal with each other . Illustrated by Hans Hätzel. Das Neue Berlin, Berlin (GDR) 1957. (Current new edition as MV pocket book «Extra». With a foreword by Reinhard Rösler. BS-Verlag-Rostock, Admannshagen-Bargeshagen 2011. ISBN 978-3-86785-121-3 . )
  • Adriano Sack: Manners 2.0. Style in the digital age . Illustrated by Janine Sack. Piper, Munich and Zurich 2007. ISBN 978-3-492-05050-0 .
  • Lorenz Schröder: Behavior is in! Basics for good manners . Goldmann, Munich 2007, 255 pages. ISBN 9783442168767 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Anton Gail (ed.): Selected educational writings of Erasmus von Rotterdam , Paderborn 1963.
  2. Melissantes: Curieuser AFFECTen-Spiegel, Or auserlesene Cautelen and strange maxims, to investigate the minds of the people, and then to behave carefully and cautiously , Frankfurt, Leipzig [and Arnstadt] 1715. Bavarian State Library Munich
  3. Melissantes: Curieuser AFFECTen-Spiegel , pp. 55–162.
  4. Melissantes: Curieuser AFFECTen-Spiegel , p. 640.
  5. Melissantes: Curieuser AFFECTen-Spiegel , pp. 217/218.
  6. Miloš Vec: Ceremonial Studies in the Princely State. Frankfurt am Main 1998, p. 364.
  7. Melissantes: Curieuser AFFECTen-Spiegel , pp. 245–354.