Origins of literature and historiography in Central Eastern Europe in the 11th-15th centuries: typological problems

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Vytas Jankauskas


Central Eastern Europe can be described as a fragmented, multi-ethnic place. At the same time, it is the Second Europe, formed after the baptism campaigns of the 9th and 10th centuries, and with its own a unique path. It has been between East and West, adopting and absorbing different traditions, and from the very beginning of the region's formation, we can trace the need of different peoples to make sense of their presence, expressing this in a written culture. In spite of the liturgical literature that first appeared in the region, another pattern of literature emerged, which can be called historiography. The description of the genesis of the state and the nation in this type of work has emerged as a starting point. The author, before he began to record events which he more or less knew, had previously been the subject of legends or his own fantasy. The main aim of this paper is to typologize the problems of early historiography as a literary genre, highlighting the region's characteristic features.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Minor Literature, Small Literatures, Literature in Small Nations