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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It also had the important political function of strengthening these nations against
Byzantine imperial designs , supported by the church hierarchy in Constantinople
. The presence of national churches in turn stimulated Bulgarian and Serbian ...
This myth immediately became a significant political instrument , used to
legitimize the brutal assassinations of the royal couple , the political persecutions
by the new regime , and the boycott of the international community , which , with
The balkanization myth provided the most frequently invoked rationale for the
preservation of Yugoslavia , as it did for the preservation of any political entity
threatened with partition . The concept of balkanization implies that any breakup
of a ...
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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
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