BETWEEN HONESTY, FORGERY AND ABUNDANCE OF FANTASY. THE ETHNIC FOUNDATIONS OF NINETEENTH CENTURY RESEARCHES OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF SLAVIC PEOPLE
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At the end of the 19th century interest in the earliest history of Slavonic people departed from the period of collecting ancient relicts, towards the foundations of scientific research. Yet the earliest research into the roots of Slavic prehistory resulted in scholars being forced to undertake serious moral decisions. The achieved results were satisfactory neither for scholars nor for the public opinion. The results were to correspond with the philosophical concepts based on Herder's theories and the opinions formulated in the late Enlightenment and the Romantic period. In effect many historians supplemented their research with additional information, which had no base in their research and findings. Among others W. Surowiecki, J. Lelewel, J. P. Szafarzyk and M. Maciejewski can be named. It is these authors, who published their works fully conscious that they would influence public opinion and help form peoples mentality, at the same time being used for contemporary political debates. The author also recalls the fully conscious forgeries of ancient evidence such as W. Hanka's 'production' of 13th century manuscripts or the question of forged stones with the supposed Slavic runes. He brings forth a myriad of examples of semi-unconscious use of forged evidence, though thoroughly conscious forgeries.
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