The paper focuses on the contribution of regional 18th-century ‘East Prussian’ historiography to the formation of an Old Prussian identity. The author specifies the concept of ‘Old Prussianism’, and reveals the main steps in the change in that model of identity in the 18th century through an analysis of three authors who were active in Königsberg and spanned three generations: Michael Lilienthal (1686–1750), Daniel Heinrich Arnoldt (1706–1775) and Georg Christoph Pisanski (1725–1790). On the basis of their treatises, the paper reveals how in the 18th century, in the territory of the former Duchy of Prussia, a unique regional self-awareness independent of Royal (Polish) Prussia and of Brandenburgian Prussia was developing, as well as a related concept of the past of the region.
The present article is a contribution to the research in the intellectual biography of Kristijonas Donelaitis. It aims to discuss the environment of Königsberg libraries in mid-18th c. not only as an institutional, but also an intellectual environment of the studies of Donelaitis which ought to be analyzed more in depth than it had been analyzed before. The first part of the article summarizes the efforts of Lithuanian, German, and Russian schollars after 1945 to save and reconstruct the funds of Königsberg libraries destroyed during WW2. The second part presents the environment of the ancient Königsberg libraries as a space of communication opportunities where student Donelaitis could find the principal literature. The context raises another issue that is merely mentioned in the article: next to the “public“ libraries, there was a number of personal collections in Königsberg. Some of them belonged to professors of theology whose lectures were attended by Donelaitis. Therefore, one can reasonably raise a question about the impact of scholars in Königsberg on Donelaitis in the years of his studies.