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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Ranke relates that the haiduk Veljko, who participated in the Serbian uprising
against the Turks, "was fond of war, not for the attainment of any specific object,
but for its own sake," and that, being advised by the Russians not to call himself ...
By calling the haiduk a devil, the folk singer seems to acknowledge the evil of the
haiduks' way of life, yet he finds the devil fascinating: If one could have seen this!
A devil riding on a devil's back, A mountain haiduk on a furious white horse.22 ...
The leader of the First Serbian Uprising was an illiterate pig farmer and haiduk,
Kara Dorde (Black George) Petrovic, the founder of the Karadordevic dynasty. He
displayed the traditional Di- naric violence that would mark modern Serbia.
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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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