Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Slovenian Place Names in Time and Space (Historical Topography of Slovenia from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.01.00  Humanities  Historiography   

Code Science Field
H220  Humanities  Medieval history 

Code Science Field
6.01  Humanities  History and Archaeology 
history, middle ages, early modern times, historical topography
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19336  Darinka Bartol    Technical associate  2013 - 2014 
2.  18164  PhD Matjaž Bizjak  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  161 
3.  11796  PhD Alojz Cindrič  Historiography  Researcher  2013 - 2014  134 
4.  14117  PhD Boris Golec  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  636 
5.  28529  PhD Jernej Kosi  Historiography  Researcher  2013 - 2014  181 
6.  16316  PhD Mihael Kosi  Historiography  Head  2011 - 2014  239 
7.  25644  PhD Neva Makuc  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  264 
8.  06501  PhD Darjenka Mihelič  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  694 
9.  31243  PhD Peter Mikša  Historiography  Researcher  2013  697 
10.  18850  PhD Janez Mlinar  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  198 
11.  28596  PhD Andrej Nared  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  163 
12.  33783  PhD Damjan Popič  Linguistics  Researcher  2013  126 
13.  20221  PhD Miha Preinfalk  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  439 
14.  28439  PhD Miha Seručnik  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  50 
15.  21794  Barbara Šterbenc Svetina    Technical associate  2011 - 2014  30 
16.  28603  PhD Jure Volčjak  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  171 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  97,913 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,954 
3.  6001  Ministrstvo za kulturo Arhiv Republike Slovenije (Slovene)  LJUBLJANA  2399369000  1,334 
Historical topography of the territory of the Republic of Slovenia has been a desideratum of Slovenian historical science for almost a century. Identification (localisation) of former place names – settlements, fallows, waters, objects, provinces, etc. – found in various written historical records of the past is of pivotal importance for historical research as well as many other scientific disciplines (geography, archaeology, ethnology, linguistics, etc.). After World War II much work has been done in this field; historical topographies of Carniola, Styria and Slovenian Carinthia, as well as Prekmurje were issued in print form, while the Littoral was to a large extent examined in manuscript. The knowledge of historical sources for the territory of Slovenia in domestic and foreign archives has drastically improved over the last decades, and publications of numerous new collections of sources only further expanded the scope of available and useful data. One “shortcoming” of previous historical topographies was time frame limited to the year 1500 and hence to the medieval period. However, recent studies have shown that medieval materials often fail to allow reliable identifications of toponyms and solutions to historico-topographic questions. For this reason it is absolutely necessary to also draw on written and especially cartographic sources of later centuries. The new historical topography of Slovenia, which is the objective of the proposed project, will in the long-term cover the entire state territory and expand the time frame until the 19th century. In addition to medieval materials, it will to the fullest extent possible draw on various historical sources of the Modern Period, from land registers to the Theresian/Franciscean Cadastre and historical maps. Thus, it will importantly update and in many respects correct the hitherto knowledge or existing historico-topographic handbooks. The result will be a highly systematic, thorough, reliable and useful historical topography of Slovenia intended for the scientific public and lay users alike. Plans are being made for an interactive online presentation in connection with cartographic bases that will attract an as broad a circle of users as possible (perhaps even a book publication). The online edition will allow for up-to-date upgrading and corrections with new data, and thus constantly gain in value. Mention should also be made of the planned possibility to link historico-topographic data with other databases (geographic, archaeologic, geodetic, etc.). The result or, rather, the objective of the project is thus a long-wished-for and downright indispensable tool that will enrich the knowledge of Slovenian past and the identity of the Slovenian territory.
Significance for science
The new historical topography of Carniola provides precise registers of recorded forms of place names and their genesis from the medieval to modern period. Material, scattered across various European countries and numerous archives, was systematised anew, professionally evaluated and revised, and will shortly be published and made publicly accessible in the form of a digital database. Direct results of the project are numerous new data on the first appearances of Slovenian place names in written sources and forms of these names. The results are original in several regards. Many Slovenian place names have remained unidentified or falsely identified in the existing historico-topographic handbooks, as evident from some recent editions of medieval sources. Correct(ed) identifications will solve many historico-topographic qualms with which experts often struggle. Great value is, among others, attributed to establishing possible disappearances (abandonments) of settlements, moves to new locations, or name changes that occurred throughout centuries. New findings will enrich the knowledge of the Slovenian historical landscape and the genesis of the nomenclature for its constituent elements. On these bases it will be possible to correct or more clearly define a whole series of historical facts, especially on the local, but also on the regional level. Apart from historiography, the results will also be useful and applicable in many other primarily humanistic sciences, especially those dealing with the Slovenian territory in the past: archaeology, ethnology, (historical) geography, and linguistics. The envisaged online presentation will make the results also available to the broadest public, thus disseminating the knowledge of the Slovenian territory in the past and increasing the understanding of its identity.
Significance for the country
The ongoing project significantly enriches the toponomastic heritage of Carniola (and the entire Slovenia) and the importance of its results is by no means negligible. The latter will also significantly improve the knowledge of the Slovenian past on the local or, rather, regional level. Apart from science, the results will be useful for local cultural workers and tourist societies, especially in raising public awareness about the importance of their cultural heritage and for the purposes of its potential presentation. This can also be a great incentive for the development of tourism and related activities. The new historical topography of Slovenia will contribute not only to the mere conservation of cultural heritage (in terms of preserving its contents) but to a better understanding, interpretation and integration thereof into a much more homogeneous cultural heritage of the (Central) European area than is generally perceived. Online historical topography, supported by effective cartographic representations, is most certainly also a sound legitimation and promotion of the Slovenian state. In this manner, the toponomastic heritage – and indirectly the history of Slovenia – will to a much greater extent be also accessible to the academic and lay public abroad, raising the awareness of the common Central European cultural historical area and mutual interrelatedness. Incorporated into the education process, the project results will have an impact on the general knowledge of national history. During the implementation of the project, the work methods applied in the research and its results have already been included in the education process and transferred to the generation of potential future researchers. Within the framework of the subject Basic Historical Sciences at the Department of Cultural History of the University of Nova Gorica, M. Bizjak gives regular lectures in themes relating to historical topography, which is also included in the corresponding seminar, where the students may test their newly obtained knowledge in practice. The themes of seminars encompass text-critical editions of deeds or, rather, urbaria that were subsequently also published in peridical publications (see the achievements). The methods of historical topography are to a major extent also included in the PhD dissertation of Miha Markelj, which is being implemented under the study programme History of Europe and the Mediterranean at the Faculty of the Humanities, University of Primorska, and in which M. Bizjak participates as a co-supervisor. The essential part of the research is directed at examining the continuity or discontinuity of families in individual locations and therefore related to identifying place names in an extremely well-preserved series of urbaria. The exchange of knowledge and ideas with the education sphere also takes place in the area of software development. The algorithm for the transfer of data from a text file into tables of a relational database as part of the diploma thesis is being developed by a student of the Faculty of Computer Sciences, Borut Zupančič, under the supervision of Jurij Šilc, PhD at the Department of Computer Systems of the Jožef Stefan Institute. A noteworthy by-product is the broadly interesting adaptation of the open-code system Citation Style Language (http://citationstyles.org/), designed in the xml standard and applied by a series of research tools for organising bibliographies. Among the more notable ones are e.g. Zotero, Papers, and Mendeley. Due to the specific demands of topography, the selected standard had to be modified due to its inadequate support for the citation of archival material. The aforementioned modifications will be offered to public through a repository for the programme code (e.g. Github), as they may also be of interest to disciplines in which research makes use of archival material and programmes for organising bibliographies.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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