Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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National myth
(5,678 words)

1. Concept and introduction

Any narrative giving an account of factual or fictional events as a contribution to the construction and cohesion of a nation may be called a national myth. Every ruling organization produces “consolidated histories” (“fundierende Geschichten”) [13. 52] attesting to its heroic origins and a past marked by tough challenges successfully passed, and prophesying a great future. In this way, power structures acquire the appearance of a higher necessity,…

Cite this page
Hirschi, Caspar, König, Hans-Joachim and Rinke, Stefan, “National myth”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 08 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024564>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128

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