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Infidels, Turks, and Women: The South Slavs in the German Mind, ca. 1400-1600

Kiril Petkov

This study examines the way in which late medieval and early modern Germans envisioned the Balkan Slavic peoples. It deals with mental categories, such as images, perceptions, and attitudes, which the German-speaking subjects of the Holy Empire gradually developed during their increasingly frequent contacts with the Balkans in the period between 1400 and 1600. During that time span the Germans were constructing their own type of negative self-identification that served as a grid through which information about other peoples was processed. The closer definition of that grid and the types of images and attitudes produced by the encounter and bequeathed to modern Germans and, indeed, to the rest of Western Europe is one of the main goals of the book.
Contents: This is not a book about the South Slavs. It is a book about being different, about not being German, as seen through the eyes of Germans.