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Michael North

University of Greifswald, E-Mail:



This paper has been presented at the Fourth International Conference on Nordic and Baltic Studies „Empire-building and Region-building in the Baltic, North and Black Sea Areas”, in Constanta, Romania, May 24-26, 2013. Supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (Finantat prin fonduri donate de Islanda, Liechtenstein si Norvegia)



This paper introduces the concept of the sea as lieu de mémoire into maritime history. Pierre Nora has developed his „Lieux de mémoire” in France. According to Nora „a lieu de mémoire is any significant entity, whether material or non-material in nature […] which has become a symbolic element of the memorial heritage of any community”. Nora thus highlights symbolic values, hitherto often separated from historical sciences and reduced to historical narratives. In my paper I shall focus on shared memories, divided memories and entangled histories, but especially shared sites of memory. These – material or immaterial – „lieux de mémoire divisés” constitute symbolic intersections between cultures, spaces and times. They simultaneously affect not only the neighbouring countries and the national cultures of memory, but also societies and ethnic or religious groups. In two comparative case studies on the straits of the Sound (Oresund) and Dardanelles I shall try to test the application of the concept with respect to the various memories of the seafaring nations and ethnic communities, settling at the entrance of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.  



Această lucrare introduce în istoria maritimă conceptul de mare ca lieu de mémoire. Pierre Nora a dezvoltat conceptul său de "Lieux de mémoire" în Fran?a. În conformitate cu Nora, "un lieu de mémoire este orice entitate semnificativă, materială sau nematerială în natura sa [...], care a devenit un element simbolic al patrimoniului memoriei oricărei comunită?i". Nora subliniază, astfel, valori simbolice, anterior de multe ori separate de ?tiin?a istorică ?i reduse la nara?iuni istorice. În lucrarea mea mă voi concentra asupra unor memorii comune, memorii divizate ?i istorii împărtă?ite, dar în special asupra unor toposuri comune de memorie. Aceste "lieux de mémoire divisés" - materiale sau imateriale - constituie intersec?ii simbolice între culturi, spa?ii ?i timp. Acestea afectează în acela?i timp nu numai ?ările vecine ?i culturile na?ionale de memorie, dar, de asemenea, societă?ile ?i grupurile etnice sau religioase. În cadrul a două studii de caz comparative privind strâmtorile Sound (Oresund) ?i Dardanele voi încerca să testez aplicarea conceptului cu privire la diversele aspecte ale memoriei na?iunilor din sectorul maritim ?i comunită?ilor etnice stabilite la intrarea în Marea Baltică ?i Marea Neagră.


Keywords: Sound; Oresund; Dardanelles; Baltic Sea; Black Sea; Memory

05. North.pdf

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Seventh annual international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania. Good governance in Romania and the Nordic and Baltic countries

Nicolae Iorga Institute of History of the Romanian Academy, Romania
November 24-25, 2016

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