• Die Entdeckung des Fremden. Wahrnehmung und Darstellung der Lausitzer Sorben im gelehrten Schrifttum des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts

    Friedrich Pollack (see profile)
    Nationalism--Study and teaching, Culture, History, Sixteenth century, Seventeenth century, Civilization, Slavic, Eighteenth century, Other (Philosophy), Intellectual life
    Item Type:
    Lusatia, Sorbian History, Saxony, minority studies, Nationalism studies, Early modern cultural history, Slavic cultures, 18th-century studies, Otherness, Intellectual history
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    "The Discovery of the Other. Perception and representation of the Lusatian Sorbs in the scholarly literature of the 17th and 18th century" Ever since the Franconian-German annalists and geographers of the high Middle Ages had dealt intensively with their (pagan) Slavic neighbours, their Lusatian descendants had probably never again received as much literary and publicistic attention as in the 17th and 18th centuries. After literally disappearing from historical sources for several centuries, the "invisible people" of the Sorbs only regained the consciousness of their erudite contemporaries on the eve of modern times - thus arousing a growing interest in philology, history and folklore in the Res publica litteraria. This study examines the origins of this early modern "revival" of Sorbian (Slavonian) studies in Lusatia. It argues that the development of Sorbian studies in the 17th and 18th centuries was accompanied by the "discovery of Sorbian otherness", which marked a profound change in the social and mental history of the Lausitz region in eastern Saxony. Language, history and culture of the Sorbs gradually condensed to a representation of a new social order, whose primary basis was the (primordial) ethnicity of the individual and no longer his/her corporative group affiliation. Henceforth, based on scientific principles the population of Lusatia could be divided into two different nationalities.
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