ALIMOV D.E. Gothicism in Croatia: From the Middle Ages to Modern Time


Denis E. Alimov

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of History of Slavic and Balkan Countries, Saint Petersburg State University,

Universitetskaya Emb., 7/9, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation,

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Abstract. The article deals with the genesis and evolution of the notion of the supposed Gothic origins of the Croats or their close bonds with the Goths, which existed in medieval and early modern historiography. While examining this complex of ideas in the context of the so-called Gothicism, that is ideologically motivated apellation to the Goths and their legacy that was characteristic for medieval and early modern Europe, the author focuses on the historical specificity of the Croatian Gothicism and changes it has undergone in the course of its evolution from the Middle Ages to the late 17th century. The author concludes that the Croatian Gothicism was not a stable ideological construction, but a complex phenomenon, not connected exclusively with the tasks of glorification of a nation or a state. The emergence of Gothicism in this region in the early Middle Ages was connected with the ethnic discourse of Roman-speaking urban inhabitants of the Adriatic coast who ascribed the Gothic origin to the Slavs of the hinterland. In the late Middle Ages the idea of the Gothic origins was adopted by the Croats themselves for the political legitimization of the Croatian kingdom. However, in the framework of this concept the Croats were considered as autochthonous inhabitants who were under the rule of the Gothic dynasty. In the Renaissance the idea of the Gothic origins was conceptualized in the categories of the proto-national discourse. In the Dalmatian historiography the Goths began to be interpreted as a Slavic nation, and their past, along with the history of ancient Illyricum, was used to glorify the Slavs. In the 17th century the proto-national interpretation of the Goths served as a basis for the integration of the “Gothic legacy” into the Croatian national ideology in the true sense of the word.

Key words: Dalmatia, Croatian kingdom, Gothicism, Illyrianism, proto-national discourse.

Citation. Alimov D.E. Gothicism in Croatia: from the Middle ages to Modern time. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Serija 4, Istorija. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 25-34. (in Russian).

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Gothicism in Croatia: From the Middle Ages to Modern Time by Alimov D.E. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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