Heavenly Serbia: From Myth to Genocide
Hurst, 1999 - 233 pages
Heavenly Serbia traces Serbia's expansionist impulses to Serbian national mythology. The dominant myth - that of "Heavenly Serbia" - appeared soon after the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. It attributed the Serb's defeat by the Turks and the loss of the medieval Serbian state to the Serb's preference for moral salvation over military victory. By emphasizing their commitment to the heavenly kingdom and promising an eventual restoration of the Serbian empire, this myth helped the Serbs to bear their centuries-long domination by a foreign power. Though they ultimately shed the Turkish yoke and regained statehood in the nineteenth century, the Serbs, according to Anzulovic, retained this central myth in the form of feelings of superiority to their neighbors, and a sense of destiny ordaining them to become the dominant power in the Balkans. The myth has been perpetuated by political and religious leaders, historians, novelists, and artists, and has found acceptance abroad as well.
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The process was slowed by the Turks' confrontation with the forces of Tamerlane
in Asia, the resistance of some Serbs, and significant Bosnian, Albanian,
Wallachian, and especially Hungarian engagement to stop the Turkish advance.
he hated the Hungarians more than the Turks, and chose active fidelity to his
Moslem overlord. His intervention was decisive. Sig- ismund's forces were
overwhelmed."9 Despot Lazarevic put his army at the service of the sultan every
In his significant study of small Central and Eastern European nations, the
Hungarian historian Istvan Bib6 pointed out that "in Eastern Europe, the same as
in Western Europe, the number of nations has changed very little in the last one ...
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An independent scholar living in Washington, DC, Anzulovic interprets Serbia's violent history as a consequence of historical legacies: Saint Sava's mystical identification of the church and nation ... Read full review
The Encounter with the Turks
Dinaric Highlanders and Their Songs
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