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The Land Between

A History of Slovenia

Edited By Oto Luthar

This is a history of a space – a space between the Panonian plain in the East and the most northernmost bay in the Adriatic in the West, from the eastern Alps in the North and the Dinaridic mountain area in the South. It is also a history of all the different people who lived in this area. The authors show that the Slavs did not settle an empty space and simply replace the Celto-Roman inhabitants of earlier times; they are, on the contrary, presented as the result of reciprocal acculturation. The authors show that the Slovenes made more than two important appearances throughout the entire feudal era; the same holds for later periods, especially for the twentieth century. This book offers a concise and complete history of an area that finally became an integral part of Central Europe and the Balkans.


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9 INTRODUCTION In the summer of 2002 there was a huge map of the world in front of one of the museums in London. The map was made up of several small pieces and resembled a giant puzzle. Since it was part of a playground in front of a London museum, only children were allowed access. In fact, the map was de- signed for them. They were encouraged to learn, whether from it or on top of it. They were supposed to learn something about the different countries of the world, their size, shape, and location… The idea was simply brilliant… Unfor- tunately, the designers of the map had made some minor mistakes. As it often happens, the curators of the museum divided the countries into the more important and the slightly less important ones. This time it seemed mainly to have happened for technical reasons: the map also included pictures of the most famous cities. So, instead of Slovenia, a picture of Venice was placed where this small country was supposed to be. Since there was obviously a lack of space, the mapmakers just covered Slovenia with a photograph of the famous Renaissance city. Like Vienna, Venice seemed much more important to them than a tiny country that no one really knew… …And again, just as in the past, Slovenia’s more influential neighbors spread across the country – this time metaphorically. Having already had the idea of writing a history of Slovenia, I realized that our main task would be...

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