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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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EPILOGUE

Extract

The purpose of this book, as stated in the introduction, was to present a concise, structured, and intelligible history of the Slovenes. In addition to the usual and rather rare texts of this kind, we also took into due consideration the history of the territory between the Eastern Alps and the Pannonian plain. Starting with the period that began long before the first Slavic settlements, we paid special attention to the time just before and during the Roman Empire. By doing so we particularly wished to emphasize that our ancestors did not settle an empty territory, but rather coexisted with other peoples and cultures ever since their arrival in the Eastern Alps. Over the past 1,300 years this has enabled them to build a community shaped by countless influences. However, those Slavs who advanced farthest westwards exerted a dynamic impact on both the original population and their new neighbors from the outset. For this and a multitude of other reasons stemming from such a long period of living in a melting pot of languages, cultures, and landscapes, they were well known for their cha- meleonic abilities from the very beginning of the Central European nation- building processes. From the end of the 19th century, if not before, foreigners described them as people who shared plenty with their German, Romance, and South Slav neighbors. The same reasons have most probably also contributed to the perception of their land as a “land in between,” which has lasted for more than a...

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