conceptions. Once the country was great and rich, but now it is diminished and poor, as in several national narratives. Once people lived in harmony with one another and with nature, but now the balance has been broken; or society and the climate are in crisis, as in the current debate.
There are several ways of applying a perspective of decay: the past can be admired with the eyes of Romanticism on ruins from Antiquity and the Middle Ages; people can use time travel to make their way back to the golden age in an escapist manner, the past serving as a nostalgic refuge
, with museums, monuments, memorials, historicising styles of architecture, and historical novels. For instance, the historian Peter Fritzsche asserted in Stranded in the Present ( 2004 ) that the nostalgia of Romanticism arose in the wake of the revolution and the wars, which created a dramatic discontinuity and mobility in both Europe and America. History offered the only possible escape from the present. Drawing on examples from literature, letters, diaries, and memoirs, Fritzsche showed how the past became associated with feelings of loss and melancholy. Ruins
century romanticism and Realpolitik’ (2009 : 62).
Despite the fact that Kanitz refused to take sides, his insights and actions,
network of contacts and finally the knowledge he produced as well as
the reception of that knowledge were all influenced by ‘geography’, or,
more precisely, the geopolitical situation in which he found himself.
Felix Kanitz’s Balkan network
The roots of Kanitz’s world view, and hence the foundations of the
knowledge he created, could be found in the period when he was still
learning the craft of engraving and illustration in Vincenz
discussed in Chapter 6 . Even quite reasonable discussions of the violence and methods of death suffered by Lindow Man (such as Hill 2004b ) have earned the ire of sceptics, keen to demystify this phenomenon (Hutton 2004b ; see also response by Hill 2004a ). Meanwhile in 1960s Denmark, Glob’s emphasis upon ritual sacrifice to a goddess of fertility, in the cases of Tollund and Grauballe Man, have been critically situated by Asingh ( 2009 : 18) in a similar backlash: ‘In the post war years, National Romanticism was dusted off … Just think – we Danes are descendants of
would undoubtedly be much poorer, and perhaps impossible.
Back in the nineteenth century, as scientific disciplines emerged with their special genre of publications, seminars, and conferences, there was a parallel boom in historical narratives with an element of escapism. As part of the reaction of Romanticism to the Enlightenment project, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic Wars, both science and art increased. Rational science was separated from speculative inquiry at the same time as there were constant crossings of borders.
Artists have interpreted the
relativism. The debate may also arise on account of vandalisation of World Heritage sites (e.g. Silverman & Fairchild Ruggles 2007 ; Langfield et al . 2010 ; Logan 2012 ; Harrison 2013 : 140ff; Ekern et al . 2015 ; Bille Larsen 2018 ; Meskell 2018 : 218ff).
The relationship between the outstanding and the universal in the case of World Heritage is part of a larger debate about the particular and the general. On one side is the universalism of the Age of Enlightenment, with humanity as an imagined collective, and on the other is the particularism of Romanticism
, persecuted non-conformists, murder or conflict victims. Archaeology played its part here in ‘evidencing’ the major thresholds or events that shaped national identity. The antiquarian Enlightenment ‘reporting’ of this phenomenon and scientific or forensic enquiry ran hand in hand with burgeoning Romanticism (such as Countess Moira’s famine victim who was later interpretively transformed into part of a Druidic ritual). As classical education was increasingly mobilised in antiquarian histories, it was Arends ( 1824 ) in Germany who revitalised the use of Tacitus to portray