Ethnogenesis of the Slavs in the Polish Historical Reflection of the 20th–21st century Cover Image

Этногенез славян в польской исторической рефлексии ХХ–ХХІ вв.
Ethnogenesis of the Slavs in the Polish Historical Reflection of the 20th–21st century

Author(s): Ryszard Grzesik
Subject(s): Ethnohistory, Recent History (1900 till today), Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Peace and Conflict Studies
Published by: Издательство Исторического факультета СПбГУ
Keywords: history of the Slavs; Polish historiography; Polish Slavic studies; Indigenous conception of the ethnogenesis of the Slavs; Allochtonic conception of the ethnogenesis of the Slavs;

Summary/Abstract: In my paper, I describe the discussion on the ethnogenesis of the Slavs in the Polish historiography. The interest to the origins of the own community is strongly connected with the historical way of thinking and was not alien to the founders of the Antic civilisation: the Greeks and the Romans. This way of thinking was taken over by the «Barbarians», who tried to prove their participation in the world of Antic civilization and inherited by the medieval and modern intellectuals. The development of the critical historiography chronologically overlapped with the birth of modern nationalisms. It determined the ethnogenetical discussions, which had the old task to glorify the own nation and to give the arguments in the conflicts on disputed territories. The Polish discussion on the Slavic ethnogenesis with participation of historians, archaeologists, philologists, anthropologists and ethnologists stood in shadow of the conflict with the Germans on the «historical rights» to the (West-Polish / East German) territories of Great Poland, Pomerania, Silesia, Mecklenburg, Lusatia. The Indigenous conception of the ethnogenesis of the Slavs dominated in the discussions, according to which it were the Polish lands which were the cradle of Slavs and a basis for the Slavic expansion to the greater part of Europe. This conception with some changes and nuances still prevails mainly in the discourse of the humanists from Poznań and Wrocław. The Allochtonic conception was developed in research centre of Cracow and is now popular also among the Slavists from Warsaw and Lublin. According to them, the Slavs originated in the Dnieper basin and Polesie and expanded to Central Europe only in the 6th century. The present-day discussion is dominated by the disputes between the supporters of both groups, which are often full of personal emotions, which make the consensus almost impossible.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 2 (22)
  • Page Range: 107-121
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Russian