The article provides an overview of the contributions of Transylvanian Saxon scholar Johann Karl Schuller (1794-1865) to Romanian linguistics and folkloristics. Schuller’s interest in the issue of the origin of the Romanian language and people stems from a political reason: to defend the status of his nation in Transylvania. The writings he produced during the first stage of his career are characterised by a polemical tone with political tendencies, set against the background of the interethnic tensions of the decades preceding the Revolution of 1848. Schuller argued against the Latin origins of the Romanian people and language, resorting to arguments and hypotheses which he would subsequently abandon. The revolutionary events of the spring of 1849 marked a turning point in his biography and professional path, alongside a change in his historiographic views. He began harbouring an increasing interest in Romanian folklore, which materialised between 1851 and 1860 in the form of a public call to collect Romanian folklore, three studies on Romanian ballads, legends and carols, and two anthologies of Romanian poems translated into German.
Keywords: Johann Karl Schuller (1794-1865), Transylvania, Transylvanian Saxons, Romance languages, German ethnologists, Romanian folklore, Sibiu.
Cuvinte-cheie: Johann Karl Schuller (1794-1865), Transilvania, saşi, limbi romanice, etnologi germani, folclor românesc, Sibiu.