Justin Meyer


Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2023

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



The development of a patriotic discourse among German Renaissance humanists emerged from a humanist desire to memorialize the past by gathering information from the sources of German history and geography. Prevailing scholarly arguments explain the emergence of this discourse as a result of cultural conflict with Italian humanists who reproached the Germans for their barbarity. This explanation, which I call the Conflict Model, is inadequate as a means to explain the phenomenon of this patriotism because it relies on too few sources. This dissertation rests on a far more expansive source base in which cultural conflict is a limited but vocal theme; the major motivation for the German humanists was monumentalization, that is, the recording and preservation of knowledge about their homeland, Germania, and their ancestors, the Germani, in written form. Since the patriotism and the ways that the humanists used sources were inextricably bound, I also demonstrate that the supposedly “modern” scholarly methods the humanists developed were neither modern nor methodical, but rather a product of scholarship in an age of transition.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Christine Johnson

Committee Members

Daniel Bornstein, Philip Purchase, Steve Hindle, Christopher B. Krebs,