Image of the Orient in the Diaries and Letters of the Participants of the Egyptian Campaign (1798—1801)
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93/94 История
Date of publication
22.12.2014
Public year
2014
Image of the Orient in the Diaries and Letters of the Participants of the Egyptian Campaign (1798—1801)
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Annotation
The image of the Orient represented in the personal sources (diaries and letters) differed much from the image created by the leaders of the Army of Orient in the officcial press and proclamations. In comparison with the locals and their way of life the French realized their own cultural superiority. On the example of the inhabitants of Egypt the invaders formed the judgment of the “people of the Orient (les Orientaux)” in general and made generalizations about their habits and customs which were common in their opinion for all the Orient. Oriental people (les Orientaux) became for the French those “Others” in comparison with whom the conquerors felt their superiority and emphasized such identifying features of their character, as generosity, humanity and enlightenment. Accordingly, in the writings of the expedition members the motif of the necessity to civilize the Egyptians was expressed as well as idea of the outspread of the French Revolution values. But in Egypt the French didn’t always follow these ideas in practice, preferring to act violently in the “violent” Orient . Thus, the image of the Orient determinated the French policy towards it.
About authors
Evgeniya Prusskaya
Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of World History RAS. Associate Professor of the State Academic University for the Humanities
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