Gothic origins
in Gothic documents
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This chapter contains collection of texts between 1777 and 1818 connected with Gothic origins. In terms of debate about Gothic origins, Thomas Warton's other main contribution was his controversial claim that romance was ultimately of Saracen origin. Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico and Germania of Cornelius Tacitus are two important classical sources for the political debate on the Goths. The most striking feature of the Letters is Richard Hurd's insistence that Gothic art has its own distinct logic, derived from the social structure of feudalism, and its cultural expression, chivalry. The works of 'Ossian' appeared at the same time as the first Gothic fictions, and together they represented a new area of taste within literary culture. In the Dissertation, John Pinkerton takes issue with earlier writers on a variety of points, including the place of origin of the Goths, which he locates in Scythia, in the Middle East.

Gothic documents

A sourcebook 1700–1820

Editors: E.J. Clery and Robert Miles


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