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Silesia
(1,125 words)

[German Version]

(Polish Śląsk, Ger. Schlesien). The name of this historical region has survived all political, ethnic, and religious mutations. Derivation from the Silingi, a Vandalic people, appears dubious; more likely it goes back to a Slavonic root (cf. Old Polish ślęcgnącć, “wet”). As a region, Silesia has an area of almost 40,000 km2 on both sides of the upper and middle Oder; shaped somewhat like an oak leaf, it is bordered to the southwest by the Sudetes and to the south by the western Beskids.

Western Slavs began entering Silesia in the mid- 6th century; at the end of t…

Cite this page
Hauptmann, Peter, “Silesia”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 11 December 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_124728>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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