‘Five Great Armies Against Our Enemies’. A Comparative Study in the History of Racism

Maciej Górny

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/KH.2014.121.SI.1.04


This article by Maciej Górny discusses the works of two nineteenth-century anthropologists: Franciszek Duchiński (1816–93) and Jean-Louis Armand de Quatrefages de Bréau (1810–92). The methodological foundation of the text is the conception of histoire croisée. The first of the above-mentioned scholars was a Polish political émigré born in Ukraine and living in Turkey, France and Switzerland, the author of a theory about the non-Slavonic racial origin of the Russians. In the1860sand1870shisthesesbecamewidelyknowninFranceandGerman-speaking countries. Quatrefages became acclaimed for his publication La Race prussienne, maintaining that the Prussians are of Turan (Mongol) origin. The topic of the discussed article also embraces the international reception of both authors: Jean-Louis Quatrefages has been assigned a place both in the history of science and in works on the history of European racism, while Franciszek Duchiński has been relegated to the margin of Polish and Ukrainian history of historiography.

Maciej Górny conducted a comparative analysis of the theses propounded by the two authors. Consequently, and upon the basis of assorted evidence documenting contacts maintained by Quatrefages and Duchiński we might assert that La race prussienne was in part plagiarism of the publication by the Polish-Ukrainian anthropologist and partly an adaptation of his theses to slightly different research material.

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