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Constructing The Wallach “Other” In The Late Renaissance

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Chapter Summary

In the Renaissance, representations of the Wallach "other" were largely determined by the cultural code of humanism. Humanism is usually perceived as a supranational and religiously indifferent culture, where scientific pursuits joined people together. One of the key concepts of Roman cultural superiority was "barbarian" - a term passed to Western civilization from the Greeks. As Renaissance humanism spread to the north, northern intellectuals started tackling the problem of their own cultural origins in much similar terms as the Italians were doing. The story of the sixteenth-century debate over Dacia's Roman heritage fits well into the general European context where appropriating the classical past was an inherent part of humanist projects. Learned sixteenth-century contemporaries liked to parade their Classical learning when discriminating against the Wallachs. The Wallach origin of Olahus and the Hunyadis was an Achilles' heel that rivals eagerly exploited.

Keywords: barbarian; Renaissance humanism; Wallach



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