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 original — and perfectly normal — function of the legend of Prince Lazar ' s
choice of the heavenly kingdom was to transform an alleged military defeat into a
moral victory . The legend was gradually expanded to portray people who at ...
24 A few of the canonized rulers were genuinely pious . Saint Sava ' s father ,
Stefan Nemanja , became a monk after turning power over to another son . Most
kings built beautiful monasteries , but the moral standards of most of them would
Another moral of the story of Serbia is that a tribalistic cataloguing of nations into
good and evil , heavenly and demonic is dangerous because it distorts
perception of reality . We must recognize , without falling into the trap of moral
and cultural ...
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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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