The Development of multiculturalism from the historical perspective

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Knygos dalis / Part of the book
Anglų kalba / English
The Development of multiculturalism from the historical perspective
Politika / Politics; Kultūra / Culture; Kultūrinis identitetas / Cultural identitity.
Summary / Abstract:

ENThe first international mention is an extremely important event in the history of every nation. The name of Lithuania (Lituae) was first mentioned in a historic document on 9 March 1009 – the annals written in Latin in the Quedlinburg Emperor’s Monastery (Lat. Saxonicae Annales Quedlinburgenses, Ger. Quedlinburger Annalen), with a record of the death of the Archbishop and the monk St. Bruno (also known as Boniface), on the Russian and Lithuanian border (Gudavičius, 1999). However, St. Bruno’s mission to the territory of Lithuania in 1009 remains a key moment in history, as after that Lithuania was not mentioned on the political map of Europe for almost 200 years. In his work Germania, Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus (1972, p. 29–30) describes the tribes to the north of the Roman Empire and is one of first to mention the Aesti (Aestiorum gentes), the neighbours of the Germans. The author writes that on the right bank of the sea, the Mare Svebicum (now called the Baltic Sea), there is the Aesti tribe, whose customs and clothes are the same as of Suevians (Suebi); however, their language is closer to the British language. In 1936, famous Lithuanian historian Adolfas Šapoka described the emergence of the Lithuanian ethnos in his book History of Lithuania, and noted that every nation usually has its own different culture, and if there is a change somewhere within nations, then there is a clear cultural change there. Archaeologists have not found cultural changes in our country, nor do the historic sources indicate the change of nations – therefore, the origin of Aesti is Lithuanian (Šapoka, 1988, p. 18). Historical records of the ancient Balts (Proto-Balts) can be found in the later written sources of the Roman Empire (Vaitekūnas, 2006, p. 32).For example, in the 6th century AD the Aesti are mentioned by Flavius Aurelius Cassiodorus – the Secretary of Theoderic the Great, king of the Ostrogoths – who notes that in around 525 AD the king of the Ostrogoths was visited in Rome by the Aesti who came with gifts of amber (p. 32). This fact clearly shows that the ancient Balts, due to high demand for amber in Rome during that time, made serious efforts to take advantage of favourable conditions for establishing trade relations with Rome, and thus attempted to escape from the peripheral zone. Unfortunately, after the collapse of the Roman Empire and the Ostrogoth state, the situation changed and amber became unpopular. Therefore, not only trade, but also the established relationships ceased to exist for a long time. Due to the development of such historical events, the area of the Baltic Sea inhabited by the Baltic tribes was considered to be the periphery of Europe, where, according to Baranauskas (2000), tribes often had a distinct culture and were characterised as closed societies with pagan customs. Therefore, for several centuries this territory remained isolated from the civilized world. A new period of cultural uplift began only in the 19th century, and was distinguished by the cohabitation of several ethnos (Curonian, German, Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian) in adjoining territories. Mixed, bilingual families were often created in Lithuanian-inhabited areas. According to recent research, during this time frame, new forms of communities (urban prototypes) were established – e.g., in Palanga, where people from different ethnic groups lived in wooden houses and were involved in trade and craftsmanship including smithery, pottery, and the production of utensils (Kiaupa et al., 1995). Nonetheless, the nature of these emerging urban prototypes was primarily agrarian as the communities that resided there were not strong.Therefore, in terms of culture, purpose, and urbanization, settlements in Lithuania during that time rarely matched the neighbouring cities of Riga and Gdansk, which had already gained Magdeburg, or self-government, privileges. As the Baltic tribes developed in a monocultural environment, despite steady advancement, the Baltic tribes were Europe’s last pagans, and their communities were marked by cultural isolation and lagging behind the rest of the world for centuries. Therefore, the Catholic Church put serious efforts into attempting to christen these tribes. The church became more active, especially after the neighbouring Polish nation was christened in the late 10th century. [Extract, p. 42-45]

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2023-10-04 22:25:24
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