Johann Erich Thunmann

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Johann Erich Thunmann
Born(1746-08-23)August 23, 1746
Thoresund, Södermanland, Sweden
DiedDecember 17, 1778(1778-12-17) (aged 32)
NationalitySwedish and German
Other namesJohannes Erich Thunmann
Occupationlinguist, historian and theologian

Johann Erich Thunmann or Johannes or Hans[1] (August 23, 1746 — December 17, 1778) was a linguist, historian and theologian born in Thoresund (Södermanland) in Sweden. He studied at Strängnäs and Uppsala then left Sweden to study at Greifswald.[2] Thunmann was professor of philosophy at the University of Halle.[3]

"Eastern Europeans"[edit]

Thunmann made extensive study of the peoples of Eastern Europe[who?].[4] He was the first author to use the term "Eastern Europeans" in a book title, in his Untersuchungen über die Geschichte der östlichen europäischen Völker, 1774.[5] Thunmann's work served as a liberal agenda for nations without nation states.[6] Thunmann was one of the scientists who did not believe that Bulgarians are Slavs, or at least not "pure Slavs".[7] He believed that Vlachs are descendants of old Thracian and Dacian tribes or Getic people.[8] In 1825, based also on Thunmann's works, Mikhail Pogodin wrote his thesis "On the origins of the Rus'" which supports the Normanist theory of Russian origins.[9]


Thunmann was one of the most important early authors writing about the language and origin of Albanians.[10] The first serious attempts to present scientific explanation of the origin of Albanians began with Thunmann.[11] He believed that the history and language of Albanians, besides Aromanians, were the least known European people in the West.[12]

Thunmann was the first scholar to disseminate the theory about the autochthonous Albanians[13] and to present the Illyrian theory of the origin of Albanians.[14][15] Thunmann researched the origin of the term "Skipatar", the term Albanians use as their ethnic name.[16] In 1774 Thunmann republished a three-language (Albanian, Greek and Aromanian) lexicon Theodor Kavalioti first published in 1770, and later added a Latin translation.[17] Thunmann believed in Illyro-Thracian unity.[18]


Thunmann's notable works include:


  1. ^ Myftiu, Genc (2000). Albania, a patrimony of European values: a short encyclopedia of Albanian history and cultural heritage. SEDA.
  2. ^ Elsie, Robert (24 December 2012). A Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History. I.B.Tauris. p. 442. ISBN 978-1-78076-431-3. THUNMANN,JOHANN (23.08.1746-17.12.1778) Swedish historian and theologian. Hans Erich Johann Thunmann was born in Thoresund (Södermanland) in Sweden. He studied at Stregnas and Uppsala (Sweden) and then at Greifswald
  3. ^ Kollár, Ján (2008). Reciprocity between the various tribes and dialects of the Slavic nation. Slavica. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-89357-343-0. Johann Thunmann, professor of philosophy in Halle
  4. ^ Prichard, James Cowles (1841). Ethnography of Europe (3rd ed.). Houlston & Stoneman. p. 476.
  5. ^ Bracewell, Wendy; Drace-Francis, Alex (2008). Under Eastern Eyes: A Comparative Introduction to East European Travel Writing on Europe. Central European University Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-963-9776-11-1. The first usage of the term in a book title appears to be by the Swedish linguist Johann Erich Thunmann, in his Untersuchungen über die Geschichte der östlichen europäischen Volker [Researches on the history of the east European peoples]
  6. ^ Drace-Francis, Alex (7 June 2013). The Traditions of Invention: Romanian Ethnic and Social Stereotypes in Historical Context. BRILL. p. 84. ISBN 90-04-25263-0.
  7. ^ Entangled Histories of the Balkans: Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies. BRILL. 13 June 2013. p. 548. ISBN 978-90-04-25076-5.
  8. ^ Prichard, James Cowles (1841). Ethnography of Europe. 3d ed. 1841. Houlston & Stoneman. p. 476.
  9. ^ Steiner, Lina (19 November 2011). For Humanity's Sake: The Bildungsroman in Russian Culture. University of Toronto Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-4426-9609-9. His thesis was based on the prodigious study of secondary sources by the German philologists Johann Thunmann, J.G. Stritter, V.F. Miller, and others, as well as on Karamzin's analyses of Russian chronicles.
  10. ^ Mishkova, Diana (2009). We, the People: Politics of National Peculiarity in Southeastern Europe. Central European University Press. p. 324. ISBN 978-963-9776-28-9. Among the most important Western authors that wrote on the Albanians' origin and language were: Make Brun (1775-1826); Johann Thunmann; F.C.H.L. Pouqueville, French consul to Janina; Johann Georg von ...
  11. ^ Landfester, Manfred; Cancik, Hubert; Schneider, Helmuth (2006). Brill's New Pauly: A-Del. Brill. p. xcii. ISBN 978-90-04-14221-3. The serious attempt at a scholarly explanation for the origin of the Albanians started with Thunmann
  12. ^ Fishman, Joshua A. (2006). Overcoming Minority Language Policy Failure: The Case for Bulgaria and the Balkans. Mouton de Gruyter. p. 116. In 1774 Johann Thunmann wrote: None of the peoples of Europe is as little known, in terms of their history and modern language, in the West European countries as the Armanians and the Albanians.
  13. ^ Elsie, Robert (19 March 2010). Historical Dictionary of Albania. Scarecrow Press. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-8108-7380-3. Johann Erich Thunmann (1746—1778) of the University of Halle first disseminated the theory of the autochthony of the Albanians
  14. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie; Fischer, Bernd Jürgen (2002). Albanian Identities: Myth and History. Indiana University Press. p. 75. ISBN 0-253-34189-2. Although the first major exposition of the Illyrian theory, published by the German scholar Johann Thunmann in 1774...
  15. ^ Stipčević, Aleksandar (1977). The Illyrians: history and culture. Noyes Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-8155-5052-5. The first one who clearly formulated the thesis of the Illyrian origin of the Albanians, was the German historian Johannes Thunmann in the eighteenth century.
  16. ^ Demiraj, Bardhyl (2010). Wir sind die Deinen: Studien zur albanischen Sprache, Literatur und Kulturgeschichte, dem Gedenken an Martin Camaj (1925-1992) gewidmet. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 534. ISBN 978-3-447-06221-3.
  17. ^ Elsie, Robert (19 March 2010). Historical Dictionary of Albania. Scarecrow Press. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-8108-7380-3. This lexicon was republished by the German scholar Johann Thunmann from Halle with a Latin translation in 1774
  18. ^ The Journal of Indo-European Studies. Journal of Indo-European Studies. 1987. p. 239. Johannes Erik Thunmann, who wrote in 1774 in favor of an Illyro— Thracian unity.

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