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«De manibus Valachorum scismaticorum ... »

Romanians and Power in the Mediaeval Kingdom of Hungary- The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

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Ioan-Aurel Pop

The medieval history of the Romanians in the Hungarian kingdom still represents one of the most delicate subjects in European history. This book is the product of more than thirty years of research, and thus provides new and balanced insights into that history, revealing both the rise and the decline of communities and individuals, as well as the diversity of these borderlands of Christian Europe.

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22. The End

Extract

What was the purpose of this book? To begin with, it was meant to recreate a slice of the past, a segment of life. Unfortunately, for far too many of our contemporaries, the notion of the past (like that of history) is pejorative, as if denoting something worthy of pity, contempt or even hatred. This is also due, no doubt, to the fact that we, historians by profession, can rarely portray what was in an appropriate manner, that our means of showing things as they were are weak or that we fail to meet the public exigencies. As for myself, I have never ceased saying that the past is life–true, past life–but for those who lived it, it was as alive as our own. Out of respect for them we must also treat it as if it were real, “restore” it responsibly, cherish it and, especially, know it. For a nation, the knowledge of its past life can be like the existence of personal memories for an individual: it may be nostalgic, pleasing, or disturbing at times, but it is absolutely necessary. A people that is unaware of its past life is like a person without memories, or without memory itself; it is like one who cancels one’s own self, joining the ranks of the cripples and dying a slow death. By way of a comparison, let us imagine what role could someone play among people, if that person lacked the representation of his or her childhood, harbouring...

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