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The Land Between

A History of Slovenia

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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INTRODUCTION

Extract

In the summer of 2002, there was a huge map of the world in front of Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Actually, it was a part of a playground and therefore only children were allowed access. In fact, the map was designed for them. They were supposed to learn about the different countries of the world, while playing on it. Quite an original idea… Unfortunately, a closer look revealed that the map was largerly incomplete. As the map also included pic- tures of the most famous cities, a picture of Venice was placed where Slovenia was supposed to be. For an obvious lack of space, the mapmakers just covered this rather tiny country with a photograph of the famous Renaissance city. Like Vienna, Venice seemed much more important to them than a country that no one really knew… Just as in the past, Slovenia’s more influential neighbors were again spread across the country—this time metaphorically. Therefore, when discussing the idea of writing a history of Slovenia, the authors decided that their main task would be to write about that hidden por- tion of the map where a person with an average knowledge of European history and geography would expect to find pieces of Italy or Austria. When working on our respective chapters, each of us would therefore find Slovenia or the Slovenian lands serving as the region or space between two different worlds—an extension between Europe and its “periphery.” On the other hand, the occasional visitors, like...

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