Boyka Ilieva

The image of Italy and Italians in the Bulgarian geography textbooks from the National Revival



The desire of the Bulgarians to be a part of the advanced European countries builds socio-political and cultural priorities of the Bulgarian National Revival. The socio-political duties are visible in the fight for clerical independence and the necessity for national liberation. Cultural priorities are in accordance with the common education of the Bulgarians and taking over the “lateness” of its cultural aim to reach European cultural levels. The article herewith is announced as a problematic one and will try to find answers for the following:

  1. What are the volume and the quality of the information about Italy in the Renascence textbooks in Geography?
  2. What is the evaluation of the textbooks concerning Italy?
  3. Is the image of Italy and Italians a part of the whole image of Europe?

Is the image of Italy a part of the image of Renascence Europe? In the time of our National Revival the name, “Europe” comes with ambivalent symbolic meaning. From one side it is a model for independent and civilized societies, for cultural and economical progress. From the other side Europe is a pragmatic political subject and with its indifferent attitude towards small Christian peoples in Ottoman Empire. The second projection of the symbol “Europe” is facing the strongest powers of that time – England, France, Austria-Hungary, and Prussia. In that connection I. Konev successfully mentions that the name “Europe” is a “synonym of hegemony Europe and does not include countries like Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland”. Italy is in the renascence images for educated Europe with its rich heritage that had given foundations for modern European civilization with its renascence achievements in arts and science, architectural monuments, museums and churches.


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