On Eminescu’s philosophy of history: towards an English anthology of relevant texts





Mihai Eminescu; philosophy of history; traductology; Hegel;


The present paper aims to offer Anglophone researchers a selection of translated quotes from Mihai Eminescu’s non-literary oeuvre, relevant to the philosophy of history of the most complex Romanian author of the nineteenth century. It should thus become possible to reconsider Eminescu’s position within the concert of European philosophers of history. The fragments gathered here stem mainly from his activity as a cultural and political journalist, throughout which he voiced, albeit unsystematically, his views on history. Although he did not ultimately articulate an academic philosophy of history per se, these fragments, now available in English for the first time, may give valuable insights into Eminescu’s conception of history. Above all else, they meaningfully complement whatever can be gleaned from Eminescu’s already translated poetry or literary prose. Hopefully the fragments presented here will aid scholars in establishing more precisely what Eminescu’s views on history owe to Schopenhauer’s metaphysics and what to the proper philosophy of history he could find in Hegel. This is a double allegiance scholars have also recognized in Maiorescu’s work. By the same token, it would further be important to chart Eminescu’s ambivalence towards Hegel, an ambivalence also visible in the works of Romanian philosopher Vasile Conta. Finally, the fragments below may help to bring to the fore the complex interplay between Hegelian theodicy and Kantian teleology in Eminescu’s historical thought.

Author Biography

Catalin Pavel, Ovidius University, Constanta

Cătălin Pavel (1976) is an archaeologist and writer, currently an Assistant Professor of Archaeology at the Ovidius University in Constanța, Romania. He is the author of Describing and Interpreting the Past – European and American Approaches to the Written Record of the Excavation, University of Bucharest Press, Bucharest 2010. He co-edited and co-authored a Dicţionar de mitologie greco-romană. Zei, eroi, mituri/Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology. Gods, Heroes, Myths, Corint Publishing House, Bucharest, 2011. His most recent book is Arheologia iubirii. De la Neanderthal la Taj Mahal/The Archaeology of Love. From the Neanderthal to the Taj Mahal, Humanitas, Bucharest, 2019.


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How to Cite

Pavel, C. (2020). On Eminescu’s philosophy of history: towards an English anthology of relevant texts. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 3(1), 241–258. https://doi.org/10.35824/sjrs.v3i1.21360