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Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment

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Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This book studies the nature of Venetian rule over the Slavs of Dalmatia during the eighteenth century, focusing on the cultural elaboration of an ideology of empire that was based on a civilizing mission toward the Slavs. The book argues that the Enlightenment within the “Adriatic Empire” of Venice was deeply concerned with exploring the economic and social dimensions of backwardness in Dalmatia, in accordance with the evolving distinction between “Western Europe” and “Eastern Europe” across the continent. It further argues that the primitivism attributed to Dalmatians by the Venetian Enlightenment was fundamental to the European intellectual discovery of the Slavs.

The book begins by discussing Venetian literary perspectives on Dalmatia, notably the drama of Carlo Goldoni and the memoirs of Carlo Gozzi. It then studies the work that brought the subject of Dalmatia to the attention of the European Enlightenment: the travel account of the Paduan philosopher Alberto Fortis, which was translated from Italian into English, French, and German. The next two chapters focus on the Dalmatian inland mountain people called the Morlacchi, famous as “savages” throughout Europe in the eighteenth century. The Morlacchi are considered first as a concern of Venetian administration and then in relation to the problem of the “noble savage,” anthropologically studied and poetically celebrated. The book then describes the meeting of these administrative and philosophical discourses concerning Dalmatia during the final decades of the Venetian Republic. It concludes by assessing the legacy of the Venetian Enlightenment for later perspectives on Dalmatia and the South Slavs from Napoleonic Illyria to twentieth-century Yugoslavia.

Book News Annotation:

Wolff (history, Boston College) studies the nature of Venetian rule over the Slavs of Dalmatia during the 18th century, focusing on an ideology of empire that was based on a civilizing mission toward the Slavs. He argues that the Enlightenment within Venice was deeply concerned with exploring the economic and social dimensions of backwardness in Dalmatia, in accordance with the evolving distinction between "Western Europe" and "Eastern Europe" across the continent. The primitivism that the Venetians attributed to Dalmatia, Wolff says, was fundamental to the European intellectual discovery of the Slavs.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

This book studies the nature of Venetian rule over the Slavs of Dalmatia during the eighteenth century, focusing on the cultural elaboration of an ideology of empire that was based on a civilizing mission toward the Slavs. The book argues that the Enlightenment within the 'Adriatic Empire' of Venice was deeply concerned with exploring the economic and social dimensions of backwardness in Dalmatia, in accordance with the evolving distinction between 'Western Europe' and 'Eastern Europe' across the continent. The study draws imaginatively upon a wide range of sources.

Synopsis:

“This is a fascinating, brilliant, compelling study of how many Europeans came to conceptualize the little-known ‘barbarians on the eastern fringes of Europe in the Enlightenment. . . . This new book goes still further in demonstrating how complex the whole question of recognizing difference and establishing what the definitions of civility were.”—Anthony Pagden, Johns Hopkins University

“A fine imaginative historian who makes a persuasive case for the origin of the concept “eastern Europe,” [Wolff] has a tendency to base his assertions not only on the findings of his meticulous research but on theories he discovered in the work of the late Michel Foucault, who sought to disclose how knowledge, in the guise of various scientific “discourses,” exercised a disciplinary power.”—Slavic Review

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 363-391) and index.

About the Author

Larry Wolff is Professor of History at Boston College. His most recent book is Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford, 1994).

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The drama of the Adriatic empire: Dalmatian loyalty and the Venetian lion; 2. The useful or curious products of Dalmatia: from natural history to national economy; 3. The character and customs of the Morlacchi: from provincial administration to enlightened anthropology; 4. The Morlacchi and the discovery of the Slavs: from national classification to sentimental imagination; 5. Public debate after Fortis: Dalmatian dissent and Venetian controversy; 6. The end of the Adriatic empire: epidemic, economic, and discursive crises; Conclusion and continuities: the legacy of the Venetian enlightenment in Napoleonic Illyria; Habsburg Dalmatia, and Yugoslavia.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780804739450
Author:
Wolff, Larry
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Author:
Wolff, Larry
Location:
Stanford, Calif.
Subject:
Italy
Subject:
History
Subject:
Relations
Subject:
International Relations
Subject:
Europe - General
Subject:
Europe - Italy
Subject:
Eastern Europe - Yugoslavia
Subject:
Venice
Subject:
Croatia
Subject:
Dalmatia
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
Eastern Europe - Balkan Republics
Subject:
Dalmatia (Croatia) - History - 18th century
Subject:
Venice (Italy) - Relations - Croatia -
Subject:
World History-Eastern Europe
Subject:
General History
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
1
Series Volume:
1952
Publication Date:
20020431
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
424
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » World History » Eastern Europe
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Italy

Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment New Hardcover
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Product details 424 pages Stanford University Press - English 9780804739450 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This book studies the nature of Venetian rule over the Slavs of Dalmatia during the eighteenth century, focusing on the cultural elaboration of an ideology of empire that was based on a civilizing mission toward the Slavs. The book argues that the Enlightenment within the 'Adriatic Empire' of Venice was deeply concerned with exploring the economic and social dimensions of backwardness in Dalmatia, in accordance with the evolving distinction between 'Western Europe' and 'Eastern Europe' across the continent. The study draws imaginatively upon a wide range of sources.
"Synopsis" by ,
“This is a fascinating, brilliant, compelling study of how many Europeans came to conceptualize the little-known ‘barbarians on the eastern fringes of Europe in the Enlightenment. . . . This new book goes still further in demonstrating how complex the whole question of recognizing difference and establishing what the definitions of civility were.”—Anthony Pagden, Johns Hopkins University

“A fine imaginative historian who makes a persuasive case for the origin of the concept “eastern Europe,” [Wolff] has a tendency to base his assertions not only on the findings of his meticulous research but on theories he discovered in the work of the late Michel Foucault, who sought to disclose how knowledge, in the guise of various scientific “discourses,” exercised a disciplinary power.”—Slavic Review

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