THE PAST AS WEAPON. A CASE FROM THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY WALLACHIA

  • Neacsa, R.
Abstract:
In our study we intend to analyze a part of a hagiographic source, The Life of Saint Niphon, written by Gavril the Protos in 1520 or 1521, and whose main characters are Radu the Great and Neagoe Basarab, two princes who ruled Wallachia at the end of 15th and early 16th centuries. The writing of Gavril the Protos narrates facts from the history of the country from 1504 until 1520, from a perspective that was favorable for prince Neagoe and the Craiovesti family, being an excellent example of using the past as a device for constructing a princely legitimacy. Step by step Gavril the Protos builds a scenario which validates the rule of Neagoe Basarab, who came from and important boyar family but had no royal blood and who chose to create his prestige by delegitimating Radu the Great. This strategy speaks, unwillingly, about Radu the Great’s great spiritual and political prestige – what better strategy could Neagoe Basarab have chosen in building his reputation than facing a redoubtable adversary, but from a past that could be remodeled and written with a biased pen? Because this is the manner in which Gavril the Protos’s text must be read, namely through the prism of the social and political context in which it was created. Its purpose was not to expose the deeds from the past, exactly as they have happened, but to remodel them to serve a purpose. The writing in itself had value exactly because of its ability to manage a contemporary political situation, by turning to the past and to its values.
SGEM Research areas:
Year:
2019
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Keywords:
Radu the Great; Neagoe Basarab; power legitimacy; hagiography; delegitimisation strategy.
Volume:
6
SGEM Book title:
6th SWS International Scientific Conference on Arts and Humanities ISCAH 2019
Book number:
2
SGEM Series:
SWS International Scientific Conference on Arts and Humanities - ISCAH
Pages:
191-198
Publisher address:
51 Alexander Malinov blvd, Sofia, 1712, Bulgaria
SGEM supporters:
Bulgarian Acad Sci; Acad Sci Czech Republ; Latvian Acad Sci; Polish Acad Sci; Russian Acad Sci; Serbian Acad Sci & Arts; Slovak Acad Sci; Natl Acad Sci Ukraine; Natl Acad Sci Armenia; Sci Council Japan; World Acad Sci; European Acad Sci, Arts & Letters; Ac
Period:
22 - 24 October, 2019
ISBN:
978-619-7408-96-6
ISSN:
2682-9940
Conference:
6th SWS International Scientific Conference on Arts and Humanities ISCAH 2019, 22 - 24 October, 2019
DOI:
10.5593/SWS.ISCAH.2019.2/S02.025
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