Vol. 2 No. 1 (2022)
Forest in Central Europe

Descriptions of the Forests of Slavonia in Travelogues of the Early Modern Age

Robert Skenderović
Croatian Institute for History

Published 2022-06-16


  • Slavonia, early modern period, frontier, travelogues, anthropization

How to Cite

Skenderović, Robert. 2022. “Descriptions of the Forests of Slavonia in Travelogues of the Early Modern Age”. Historical Studies on Central Europe 2 (1):27-44. https://doi.org/10.47074/HSCE.2022-1.02.


Forest history is a relatively new discipline in Croatian historiography. The scale of
exploitation remains the main point of interest for scholars dealing with forest history. Nevertheless,
recent scholarship has turned scholarly interest towards another question: Can exploitation (timber
consumption) be the only criterion for the anthropization of forests? The present paper analyzes
three travelogues from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and compares them with
quantitative data originating from various historical sources. It shows how travelogues do not only
offer a vivid description of a land and its inhabitants but can also be used as a valuable confirmation
of historical conclusions based on quantitative historical data. Even more, travelogues may provide
some specific data not available elsewhere. In this case, three travelogues (Atanazije Jurjević, Osman
Aga of Timişoara/Temesvár, and Friedrich Wilhelm von Taube) give a broader understanding of the
anthropization of forests in Slavonia during the early modern period.