The Origin of the Turks

  • Nathan Ron


The chapter deals with Erasmus’ notion of an issue which was debated by Italian humanists during the fourteenth–fifteenth centuries: the origin of the Turks. Two theories were dominant in this regard: the theory of the Trojan origin and the theory of the Scythian origin of the Turks. Scythian was a synonym for inhuman, uncivilized, and cruel society. These alleged Scythian characterizations were ascribed to the Turks. Erasmus did not express himself in support of either theory. Yet, it seems that he was leaning toward the Scythian origin, which was upheld by the prominent cosmographer Piccolomini (=Pope Pius II). Piccolomini and Francesco Filelfo had a considerable influence over Erasmus’ rhetoric concerning the Turks.


Origin Trojan Scythian Piccolomini Filelfo Teucri 

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan Ron
    • 1
  1. 1.School of HistoryUniversity of HaifaMount Carmel, HaifaIsrael

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