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 theme of The Mountain Wreath, however, is not the cosmic struggle between
good and evil but the struggle for a homogeneous Orthodox theocracy. Such a
community is celebrated as the supreme good, and any means toward its ...
Pray to God, forget the battles: everything is nothing, everything will turn to dust;
repent for your sins, one must meet God.57 The author of The Mountain Wreath,
an avid multilingual reader, must have known most of these poems as well as ...
Djilas relates the following experience from his elementary school days, when he
used to read The Mountain Wreath to local peasants: "One could stop reciting at
any verse, and someone else would take it up and continue. Sometimes people ...
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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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