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Ludvig Holberg jako historyk. Z dziejów myśli oświeceniowej Danii-Norwegii

Krystyna Szelągowska

Ludvig Holberg as a Historian. From the History of Enlightment Throught in Denmark-Norway

The purpose of this article is to present the works and the character of historical writings of Ludvig Holberg (1684–1754), a well known comedy player and the father of Danish and Norwegian national literatures. The famous “Molière of the North” was also a scholar (a historian) and a philosopher popular in his days. In his works, in particular in the threevolume History of the Kingdom of Denmark, which he brought as far as 1670, but also in his handbooks, parallel biographies and syntheses of the history of Jewish nation and of the Church, he presented a vision of history strongly related to the mainstream of Enlightment historiography, known as philosophical and civic history. It contained a revision of the heretofore image of home history focusing on the history of gentry, transferring the key function of historical actor to the secular state, called to protect its citizens. Criticism of fable histories was accompanied by an attempt to explain rationally the historical developments and to adopt the model of scientific historiography, based on the rules of critical work. Although Holberg never undertook any work on historical sources such as those of erudite school, much of his reflections on the method of a historian’s work was contained in his essays.