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Critical study of Hugo Grotiuss 'Historia Gotthorum' and 'De origine gentium Americanarum' from an ideological and methodological perspective.

Firstly, this study aims to offer a modern critical edition of Hugo Grotius’s ‘Prolegomena’ to Historia Gotthorum, with an English translation and commentaries.

Secondly, the ideological dimension of Grotius’s Historia Gotthorum is explored through a study of the text as a representative of a broader European tradition of national historiography that linked early modern countries to the ancient tribes of Europe in view of increasing a country’s international prestige, justifying its political position and creating a distinct national identity. By analysing common strategies in the construction of such ‘national myths’ and their relationship to their socio-political contexts, this study aims to elucidate the dynamics of this scholarly tradition. Furthermore, attention is focused on Grotius’s contribution to early modern national historiography in general, and a specific ‘national myth’ in particular, namely Swedish Gothicism.

Thirdly, this study examines the methodological foundation of Grotius’s Historia Gotthorum against the background of general trends and developments within the intellectual landscape of early modern Europe, with particular attention to the development of a new current of historiography under the influence of the antiquarian movement. Through a critical analysis and comparison of a corpus of sixteenth- and seventeenth- century works of national history, light is shed on the dual tradition that existed in early modern historiography and on Grotius’s position within this field.


Date:1 Oct 2011 →  2 Dec 2016
Keywords:Neolatin literature, De origine gentium Americanarum, Hugo Grotius, Historia Gotthorum, Historical ethnography, Reception studies
Disciplines:Language studies, Literary studies
Project type:PhD project