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Local antiquities, local identitiesArt, literature and antiquarianism in Europe, c. 1400–1700$
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Kathleen Christian and Bianca de Divitiis

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526117045

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526117045.001.0001

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The role of ancient remains in the Sarmatian culture of early modern Poland

The role of ancient remains in the Sarmatian culture of early modern Poland

Chapter:
(p.286) 13 The role of ancient remains in the Sarmatian culture of early modern Poland
Source:
Local antiquities, local identities
Author(s):

Barbara Arciszewska

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526117045.003.0014

Visible material remnants of ancient cultures were, for a variety of historical reasons, not particularly abundant in the territories of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1795). The past monuments of these lands were not hewn in stone and marble but in timber, leaving behind no impressive structures to provoke the interest of subsequent generations. The dearth of material evidence did not, however, prevent generations of Polish historians and antiquarians from assigning Greco-Roman identities to local monuments. They were keen to offer tangible proof of the past glory of the land inhabited by the alleged descendants of the Sarmatians. In this paper, some of these monuments are explored, especially the Mounds of Krakus and Wanda near Cracow as well as an alleged tomb of Ovid in Vohlyna. The narratives fabricated around them as a part of the ideology of Sarmatism, a class discourse, which constructed an identity for the Polish nobility as the descendants of the ancient tribe of Sarmatians, are also examined.

Keywords:   Antiquarianism in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sarmatism, Alternatives to classical antiquity, Historiography in early modern Poland, Early modern foundation myths, Krakus’ Mound, Wanda’s Mound, Ovid’s Tomb

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