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P

EACE OR CONFLICT? PAST CULTURAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES, RUSSIA AND THE ROMANIAN AREA (17TH – 19TH CENTURIES)

 

Mihaela Mehedinti-Beiean

Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, E-mail: mihaela_mehedinti@yahoo.com

 

 

Acknowledgements

This paper is based on the presentation made at the Fifth international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania A piece of culture, a culture of peace, re-imaging European communities in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions, hosted by Valahia University of Târgoviște and the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, August 17-19, 2014. Supported by EEA Grants, contract no 4/22.07.2014.

 

Abstract:

During the modern period, Europe was affected by a series of military conflicts, which periodically rebalanced and reshaped political, social and cultural relations between the states involved in them. The wars in which the Nordic countries, the Russian Empire and/or the Romanian area took part thus resulted in temporary or more constant alterations of the bilateral and multilateral connections between them.

Although not always accurate when put into the perspective of the subsequent events, contemporary accounts regarding these conflicts and the shape of the political and cultural relations surrounding them represent extremely important sources of information for researchers interested in establishing the reasons that caused certain international developments of the 20th century. Having this in view, the present study’s aim is twofold. Firstly, it intends to reveal the value of the written accounts pertaining to Nordic and Russian travellers through the Romanian area in the modern period and, secondly, to bring to light some rather hidden aspects of the cultural relations between these three geographically and culturally distinct spaces.

As cultural interactions are closely connected to political developments, a fact particularly relevant during the modern period, these two types of interstate contacts can only be analysed jointly and this general observation was either intrinsic to or made explicit in most of the analysed travel accounts. Moreover, the conclusion that must be drawn after evaluating the relations between the Nordic countries, Russia and the Romanians during the 17th-19th centuries is that sometimes political conflicts, even when they took the form of wars, could stimulate, not hinder, cultural contacts between the parties involved.

 

Rezumat:

În perioada modern, Europa a fost afectată de o serie de conflicte militare, care au reechilibrat ?i rea?ezat constant rela?iile politice, sociale ?i culturale dintre statele implicate în cadrul acestora. Războaiele la care au luat parte ?ările nordice, Imperiul Rus ?i/sau arealul românesc au avut ca rezultat alterări temporare sau constante în privin?a conexiunilor bilaterale ?i multilaterale dintre acestea.

De?i nu întotdeauna corecte când sunt privite în lumina evenimentelor ulterioare, relatările contemporane cu privire la aceste conflicte ?i la metamorfozele rela?iilor politice ?i culturale ce le înconjurau reprezintă surse de informare extrem de importante pentru cercetătorii interesa?i să determine cauzele care au generat anumite evolu?ii din sec. al XX-lea. Având în vedere aceasta, studiul de fa?ă are două obiective. În primul rând, acesta inten?ionează să releve valoarea mărturiilor scrise ce au apar?inut călătorilor nordici ?i ru?i care au traversat arealul românesc în epoca modernă ?i, în al doilea rând, să aducă la lumină câteva aspecte mai degrabă ascunse ale rela?iilor culturale dintre aceste trei spa?ii geografice ?i culturale distincte.

Cum interac?iunile culturale sunt strâns legate de evolu?iile politice, un lucru foarte relevant mai ales în epoca modernă, aceste două tipuri de contacte interstatale pot fi analizate doar împreună iar această observa?ie generală rezultă fie intrinsec fie este formulată explicit  în cele mai multe dintre relatările de călătorie analizate. În plus, concluzia care poate fi extrasă din evaluarea rela?iilor dintre ?ările nordice, Rusia ?i români în sec. al XVII-lea – al XIX-lea este aceea că uneori conflictele politice, chiar ?i când au luat forma războaielor, pot stimula, nu impieta, asupra contactelor culturale dintre păr?ile implicate.

 

Keywords:Nordic countries, Russian Empire, the Romanian area, travel accounts, cultural relations, 17th-19th centuries


11.Mehedinti-Beiean.pdf

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