I (main page)
Part II (additional
OLD SERBIAN TUNES FROM KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
MP3 AUDIO STREAM
Serb Migration in front of Ottomans, 1690 - painting by P. Jovanovic
Moving of the Serbs,'' portrays the Serbian Orthodox Patriarch
Arsenije III Carnojevic, surrounded by soldiers, flocks of sheep
and women with babies, leading some 36,000 families from his
seat in Pec, Kosovo and Southern Serbia to what is now Vojvodina
and further to Hungary in 1690, after Serbian revolts failed.
The goal of this page is to offer
written evidence on centuries old Serb presence in Kosovo and Metohia
- the cradle of our culture and spirituality. We do not intend to
underestimate the achievements of others but only to prove that eradication
of the Serbian people and our culture in Kosovo is an attack on the
overall European cultural heritage and tradition. History is a very
important clue to understanding of the deep complexity of the Kosovo
crisis although it may be a serious obstacle for future of Kosovo
communities if it is not overcome by genuine development of democracy
and civil society appropriate for the time in which we live..
and Metohia, two central regions of perennial Serbia, are the very
essence of Serbian spiritual, cultural identity and statehood since
Middle Ages to date. Fertile and clement planes of Kosovo with mild
climate, and reach in water resources, with high mountain chains bordering
with Albania have been good-blessed environment for a fruitful development
of the highest achievements in all fields in medieval Serbia. The
cultural and demographic strength of the Serbs is best illustrated
by the presence of 1.500 monuments of Serbian culture identified so
far. Numerous outstanding noble Serbian families used to live in these
regions, as families Brankovic, Hrebeljanovic, Music, Vojinovic, some
of which were the inceptors of Serbian dynasties.
great number of noble castles existed all over Kosovo with rich aristocratic
life going on inside their walls. They were also meeting places of
Serbian nobility and centers where important political and other decisions
have been taken and places attended by foreign envoys and outstanding
guests from noble foreign ruling families. Here are some of famous
medieval castles: Svrcin, Pauni, Nerodimlja, Stimlje and many others.
In Svrcin, for example, the famous Serbian Emperor Dusan was first
crowned king in 1331, and Pauni, famous for its beauty, were favored
place of king Milutin. In Pauni in 1342 Serbian Emperor Dusan had
received Jovan VI Kantakuzin, one of the pretenders to the Byzantine
throne at that time. Nerodimlja, with the fortress of Petric over
the castle, was favorite residence of Stevan Decanski.It is in the
Stimlje castle that king Uros issued his charges. In Ribnik, near
Prizren, were the castles of Serbian Emperors Dusan and Uros.
Serbian elite and minor nobility has built in these regions hundreds
of smaller chapels and several dozens of monumental Christian monasteries.
Some of them have been preserved to date, such as Patriarchy of Pec
(since 1346 site of the Serbian Patriarch), Decani, Gracanica, Bogorodica
Ljeviska, Banjska, Sveti Arhandjeli near Prizren and others. Serbian
churches and monasteries had been for centuries owners of great complexes
of fertile land. Metohia, the name originated from the Greek word
metoh means church land. Highly developed economic life was an integral
part of a high level of civilization attained in medieval Serbia.
Prizren, for example, was a famous economic and commercial center,
with developed silk production, fine crafts, and numerous settlements
where the merchants from Kotor and Dubrovnik had their houses, and
in 14 century, Prizren was the site of the consul from Dubrovnik for
the whole Serbian State. And many other commercial centers such as
Pristina, Pec, Hoca, Vucitrn, testify of the strength of highly developed
economic life in these regions. Famous mining center were Trepca,
Novo Brdo and Janjevo, out of which in the 15 century Novo Brdo had
become one of the most important mining centers of the Balkans. Silver
and gold were exported to the big European centers in great quantities.
The Serbian society of the Middle Ages was in all respects identical
to European social, economic and cultural developments of that time,
much more integrated in Europe then it may seem when analyzed from
the later perspective.
invasion means a fatal turning point in Serbian history in the second
half of the 15 century. As known from history, the advance of the
Turks towards Europe was a rather slow process. Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic
and Serbian nobility in the famous battle of Kosovo in 1389 did everything
humanly possible to stop the Turkish invasion toward south eastern
Europe. It was not only a clash of two armies led by their rulers
Serbian prince Lazar and Turkish sultan Murat (who both perished in
the battle of Kosovo), but also a clash of two civilizations, one
Christian and European and other Islamic and Asiatic. Later on, in
Serbian national conscience the battle of Kosovo has acquired mythical
dimension of a crucial historical event, greatly affecting the consequence
destiny of the whole Serbian nation. The Serbian epic poetry is very
rich and the cycle of poems devoted to Kosovo are a pearl of that
treasure and moral and psychological support to Serbian people during
the centuries of forendous slavery under the Turks till the 19 century,
and speaking of Kosovo and Metohia till 1912, when they were finally
liberated from the Turks. This is the reason why in Serbian national
poetry we find such a great number of representatives of Serbian nobility,
of Serbian castles and outstanding Serbian monasteries from Kosovo
and Metohia. Prizren, from example, in our national poetry is called
the "Serbian Constantinople". All topics connected with
Kosovo are symbols of a high medieval civilizational level of the
Serbian society and culture, its aristocratic wealth and glamour on
the one hand, and on the other the fall of that civilization due to
the violent and cruel blow of the Ottoman invaders.
Turkish invasion of south eastern Europe and the Serbian lands as
its part, have not only brought about the fall of Christian civilization,
but are also responsible for the destruction of all social structures,
the elimination of the Serbian elite and the destruction of the most
outstanding cultural achievements. One part of Serbian nobility was
killed, one part expelled to Asia, one part forced to take up Islam,
and one part managed to emigrate north, west and across the Adriatic
to Italy. Average people deprived from its leaders had no option but
to stick to the traditional national values. It is thanks to the Orthodox
Church which managed to revive its work in 1557 (renewal of the Patriarchy
of Pec), that Serbian people kept alive the awareness of the medieval
national state and high achievements of its civilization. Many medieval
castles and towns were destroyed, many churches were raised to the
ground , and some of them turn into the mosques. At the beginning
of the 17 century, Sveti Arhandjeli (where emperor Dusan was buried),
the monumental mausoleum of Emperor Dusan was totally destroyed, and
the precious polished stone out of which the church was built was
used for building the Sinan-pasa mosque, sill existing in Prizren
to date. Bogorodica Ljeviska, the monumental legacy of King Milutin,
in 1756 was turned into the mosque and only after the First World
War it was again restored into a Christian church. Turkish invasion
and the consequences of their conflict with Christian Europe, particularly
since the siege of Wienna in 1683, had considerably changed the ethnic
and demographic picture of that part of Serbia. The orthodox Serbs
were the absolute majority population until the end of the 17 century,
and before the First Migration of the Serbs in 1690, due to the defeat
of the Christian Europe in the conflict with the Turks and the participation
of the Serbs in that conflict of the side of Christian Europe.The
Turks settled in towns, and the Albanians (at that time called Sqipetars)
coming from the mountains of northern Albania of today started settling
in smaller groups on Serbian land in bordering regions of Metohia.
the 18th century, there are no Sqipetars* (now called Albanians) in
Kosovo and Metohia in bigger agglomerations. Actually, they began
settling in this region in greater numbers only in the 18th and 19th
century from todays northern Albania. In addition to the newly
settled Sqipetars (now called Albanians) who were mostly Muslims or
converted to Islam soon after settling in Kosovo, it is also the islamization
of the Serbs that brought about great changes in the cultural environment
of this region. Many of islamized Serbs gradually fused with predominantly
Albanian Moslems and adopted their culture and even language. At the
beginning of the second half of the 19th century, the Turks also settled
Cherkeses in this region. Despite of all these artificial demographic
changes, Orthodox Serbs decreased for almost 50% of the total population
living in Kosovo and Metohia. In the second half of the 19th and the
beginning of the 20th century the Serbian middle class in Prizren,
Pec, Pristina and other towns was the main driving force of the urban
and economic development of the region . The news paper "Prizren"
was published both in Serbian and Turkish language. In 1871 the Orthodox
Theological School was founded in Prizren by Sima Igumanov. During
the eighties and nineties a great number of new schools, cultural
institutions and banks were founded.
is during the Second World War, that the most drastic changes in the
demographic picture of Kosovo took place. In Kosovo and Metohija the
Albanian nationalists got free hand to terrorize the Serbs. Under
such pressure estimated 75,000 Serbs left Kosovo. In their empty houses
about the same number of Albanians from Albania settled. This definitelly
tipped the ballance in the Albanian favour. The first official census
in post-WWII Yugoslavia (in 1948) showed 199,961 Serbs and Montenegrins
in Kosovo and 498,242.
the Second World War, As a result of unbelievable demographic explosion
Albanian population in Kosovo doubled by 1971. The official Yugoslav
census for that year shows 916,168 Albanians living in Kosovo, while
Serb and Montenegrin population reached only to number 259,819. This
demographic trend clearly demonstrates that the theory of Serb repression
over Albanians after the WWII is absolutely not correct. The truth
is that the Commnist authorities favorized the Albanians on the expense
of Serbs allowing uncontrolled settlement of Albanian immingrants
and tolerating different methods of ethnic discrimination over the
Serbs which made more and more Serbs leave the province and seek better
life in Central Serbia. By 1990ies more than 800 settlements in which
Serbs lived with Albanians became ethnically clean Albanian villages.
an attempt to prevent the secession of Kosovo and Metohija Serbian
government in 1990 abolished Kosovo Albanian authonomy. A failure
of Milosevic government to develop true democratic institutions instead
and using the police methods to prevent Albanian secession even more
increased ethnic Albanian wish to cut of from Serbia. When the KLA
rebels began attacks on Serbs in 1998 the Government brought the army
and police to put the rebellion down. In the course of the civil war
- 1998-1999 which ended by the NATO intervention against Yugoslavia
more than 500.000 Kosovo Albanians fled the province to Macedonia
and Albania. After the war, despite the international presence, KLA
organized persecutions of Serb population and more than 200.000 Serbs
fled Kosovo and Metohija. Only 90.000 Serbs remained living in total
isolation, dispersed in several KFOR protected Serb enclaves.
Serbian Electronic Historical Library
electronic library presents dozens of books, texts and studies
covering the Serbian history from the earliest periods until our
days. The recent events in Kosovo and Bosnia are specially covered.
Kosovo and Metohija - Clash
of Civilizations, Religions and Mentalities
Serb and Albanian - Between Christian and Moslem world
Serb Orthodox Cathedral and a Moslem Mosque in Urosevac, Kosovo
Moslem Albanians, both from Albania proper and Kosovo, were the strongest
supporters of the Ottoman Moslem rule in the Balkans and gave dozens
of pashas and veziers.
(and Metohia) is the native and ancestral land of the Serbs. It encompasses
an area of some 10,800 square kilometers and is considered to be the
Serbian Jerusalem. Almost all of the great historical Serbian monasteries,
churches and fortresses are located in this province. Kosovo is the
scene of the famous battle fought on St. Vitas Day (June 28) in 1389,
when Serbian Prince Lazar and the Turkish emir Murad both lost their
lives. The Ottomans breakthrough into the heart of Southeast Europe
following Serbias defeat at Kosovo marked the beginning of the
five centuries long clash between Christianity and the Islamic World.
This struggle continues to this day, and its most visible manifestation
is the struggle between the Serbs, mainly Orthodox Christians, and the
ethnic Albanians, mainlyMuslims." Dusan T. Batakovic Kosovo
and Metohija a clash of Civilizations
means Kosovo and what Metohia?
the Serbs the word "Kosovo" is primarily related to
the vast plain in the eastern part of todays province of Kosovo.
It derives its name from the Serb word "kos" ("kosovo"
- belonging to "kos") which means a blackbird. The site
of the famous battle was therefore the Fielf of Blackbirds (Kosovo
Polje). More than 90% of geographical names in today's Kosovo
are of the Serb origin which proves the centuries long existance
of the Serb people and its culture in this area. Albanians use
the word Kosova which is derived from the Serbian word. Names
of other cities also have their Albanian equivalent of Serb toponyms(Malisevo
- Malisheva, Pec - Peja, Prizren - Prizreni, Pristina - Prishtine
designates the western part of the today's province of Kosovo.
It derives its name from the Greek word (metohion, pl. metohia,
meaning - monastery estates. In the Middle Ages all the most important
Serb Orthodox Monasteries in the region had their estates in Metohia,
especially vineyards near Orahovac.
of Kosovo and Metohija by Prof. Dr. Dusan
T. Batakovic -A detailed historical overview of the turbulent
history of Kosovo and Metohija region. The text covers six historical
periods between the 12th century and our own time.
in the History of the Serbian People by Veselin Kesich - an
essay which explains what is the place of Kosovo in the history of the
Serbs and why is it so important for them.
Church in History By Very Reverend Dr. Radomir Popovic A detailed
survey of the history of the Serbian Orthodox Church with catalogues
of Saints, Archbishops and Patriarchs. Serbian Orthodox Church has played
a major role in the of the Serbian people and the Balkans in general.
of Yugoslavia - a concise survey of the history of Yugoslavia.
The special focus is on the history of Serbia.
of Yugoslavia - another text on the history of Serbia and Montenegro
(based on Encyc. Britanica)
of the Serbs - a text from the CountryWatch.com
Site - an overview of the history of the Serbian people.
Medieval History of Serbia (until 1321) from the Ilustrated
History of the Serbs - other chapters are being translated into English
- A detailed presentation of the Serbian early medieval history with
of Albania - a short survey of the Albanian history
Celekula - The Tower of Skulls in Nis
A tower in which Turkish pasha used skulls of Christian Serbs as a building
History of Ottoman Moslem rule in Serbia gives a quite different picture
compared to the attempts
of some modern Western historians, like Malcolm, who tend to picture
it as an age of tolerance
and peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in the Balkans.
to the History of Kosovo and Metohia
The Spiritual and
Cultural Heritage of Kosovo and Metohia
Two important essays explaining an important link between the history
of Kosovo and Metohija, its medieval art and spirituality. This link
in its depth contains the innermost treasure of the Serbian national
and religious identity.
Serb Migration is not a Serb myth but a historical fact
greatest of these (Serb migrations) took place in 1690, when
Serbs rose in support of an Austrian invasion after the Turks'
unsuccessful siege of Vienna. However, the subsequent retreat
of the Austrians left the native population seriously exposed
to Turkish reprisals, and in 1691 Archbishop Arsenije III Crnojevic
of Pec led a migration of 30,000-40,000 families from Old Serbia
(Kosovo, Metohija and Raska region) and southern Bosnia across
the Danube. As a consequence, parts of the Austrian Military
Frontier came to contain some of the major centres of Serbian
culture. At the same time, the spread of Albanian Muslims into
lands left vacant by the great migration was to provide a continuing
source of communal tension. It was also the period of intensive
islamization when a considerable number of Christians were forced
to convert to Islam in order to evade heavy taxation and reprilals.
ANALYSES OF THE KOSOVO PROBLEM
THROUGH THE PRISM OF ITS COMPLEX HISTORY
Crisis - Origins and History ,
By Carl Savich
historical study focusing on the origins of the Kosovo problem in
history. The author gives a very detailed analysis of the complicated
- Story Behind Story - An article analysing
the present Kosovo situation through the prism of centuries old conflict
between Christians and Muslims.
and Metohija - Serb-Albanian Conflict Prof. Dr. Dusan T. Batakovic
- Centuries long conflict of two peoples is not only ethnic, but religious,
cultural and civilizational conflict.
Problem in the Western press in the eighties - A collection
of newspaper articles which show quite a different approach to Kosovo
Kosovo - The Anatomy of the Needles War by. Bob Allen - An alternative
view of a needless war in Kosovo and Metohija.
Problem and the International Community - by Diana Johnston
Crisis - A text by the Serbian Information Centre in London
focusing on the complicated historical circumstance which precceeded
the outburst of the conflict.
Look At Albanian Nationalism and KLA By John C. Sigler III
Dateline - Kosovo events throughout the history.
The church of St. Savior in Prizren, 14th century, one of many valuable
Serb Orthodox monuments of the city
Kosovo Legacy, by Thomas Emmert - "One
of the main characteristics of Kosovo is the idea of a conscious, willing
sacrifice for noble ideals, a sacrifice of one individual for the benefit
of the rest, a sacrifice now for the sake of a better future. According
to popular understanding which developed in our folk literature, the
Battle of Kosovo was not an event in which it was possible to win or
lose. It was rather a conscious, heroic sacrifice. A slave is only half
a man; a freeman is similar to God."
and Metohija Under Turkish Rule Dusan T. Batakovic - In our
times many historians are trying to idealize so called Pax Ottomana
as a period of tolerance and peace. In fact the experience of the Balkan
Christian people with Islam is quite different. The new religion of
the Arabian prophet only brought discords, suffering, cultural and intellectual
deterioration to the entire area.
travellers visit Old Serbia during the Turkish rule
Pec to Novi Pazar - an extract from the picturesque travelogue
by a Russian 19th century traveler Alexander Fyodorovich Gilferding.
Gilferding is focusing especially on the position of the second-class
Serb Christian population in a priviledged Albanian-Turkish Moslem community.
and Turkish: Ipek, is quite a big city. It has been estimated that around
4.000 Moslem and 800 Christian families live there. From the latter,
a few households belong to the Roman-Catholic church. The Moslems and
Catholics are Albanians, and the Orthodox are Serbs. The majority of
the Serbs can speak the Albanian language. The Moslems move about armed
constantly, while the Christians are forbidden to wear arms in the city.
They are usually exposed to various insults and oppressions. The Pec
monks go in the bazaar unwillingly during the day time, especially on
a bazaar day, and when there are a lot of people. If on those days monks
have to go through the city, they avoid crowded streets, and sometimes
they take a road round a settlement. Christian women wear white kerchiefs,
the same as the Turkish women do. If they didn't do so, they would be
exposed to humiliation and insults in the streets. It was really unusual
to see a group of ostensibly Turkish women, with kerchiefs on their
heads, enter a church and cross themselves. But, the Albanian women
in villages do not cover their heads, and they walk bareheaded, like
the Moslem women.
Visit to Visoki
Decani Monastery in 1859
the evening I was quietly sitting in the monastery and conversing
with the hosts when I suddenly heard a loud boom! boom! at the door.
"It's nothing," the monks replied to my question what
was the noise. "The Albanians have come to spend the night
here. They have worked in the fields all day and they don't want
to go home or it seems too far to them. That is why they stopped
here to see us instead. They will lodge downstairs with your servants?
They will eat supper and drink brandy, of course, free of charge."
"How many of them have arrived?" "Now there are only
20 but in the past mobs of a hundred or more have come." "And
why do you let them in?" "What else can we do? They would
kill the first one they saw on the other side of the monastery fence."
After these words they showed the traces of the bullets me on the
ceiling of the Abbot's room - a sign of the Albanians' displeasure
when he failed to please them. When there is a wedding in one of
the neighboring villages, the Albanians came to the monastery and
take riding horses, destroying the animals in their haste. They
take spoons and dishes, and frequently also ask for the brocaded
vestments, interlaced with gold threads, to decorate the bride during
the festivities... (excrept from the text by A.F. Gilferding)
burns the relics of St. Sava at Vracar, Belgrade, 1594
the Land of the Serbs - travelogue by Mary Edith Durham who
travelled around Serbia and Montenegro in the beginning of the XXth
century. We are presenting two extracts covering her visit to "Old
Serbia" - Pec and Decani, with picturesque impressions from the
monasteries and contacts with the people.
The story of
Old Serbia is one of uninterrupted misery. The suffering of the Christian
peoples in the Balkans is no new thing. It began with the advent of
the Turk, and will continue while he remains. As long ago as 1690 the
intolerable lot of the Serbs of Old Serbia induced no less than 37,000
zadrugas (family groups, including uncles and cousins) to migrate to
Hungary. The Albanians then spread over the vacated lands, which they
have been permitted to harry with impunity ever since. A small unarmed
Christian population "regulated" by Albanians is not merely
unable to rise, it is unable to cry loudly enough to be heard, and there
was no foreign consul to make reports. It was not until the Russians
(who with extraordinary diplomatic skill lose no opportunity of winning
the love of the Slavs of the Balkans) forced Stcherbina into Mitrovitza
in 1902 that any light was shed upon the condition of this hapless land.
The Albanians promptly shot him. The Christians regard him as the man
that died to save them, and cherish his portrait. Until Stcherbina came
they lived in a state of terror, and all that the tax-gatherers spared
the Albanians looted. Owing to his death, the Government had sent the
Nizams to subdue the Albanians.
to Devic Monastery - another
text by Edit Durham with impressions from her visit to the Monastery
of Devic during a religious celebration - sabor.
Kosovo - a text by Mary E. Durham in which she describes the
city of Prizren and her travel from Prizren to Gracanica and Mitrovica.
Serbia and Grachanitsa Rebecca West - from the book:
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon
Kossovo speaks only of its defeats. It is true that
they were nullified by the Serbs of Serbia, who snatched their own liberty
from the Turks under the leadership of Karageorge and Milosh Obrenovitch
in the early nineteenth century, and pressed on, against the hostility·
of the great powers, until they gave liberty to Old Serbia and Macedonia
in the Balkan wars. But of this triumph Kossovo says nothing, for the
battle which gave it to the Serbs in 1912 was fought not there but at
Kumanovo, some miles to the south-east; and even after that it knew
defeat again, for here the retreating Serbian Army was bombed by German
aeroplanes as they fled towards the Albanian border, and though they
pursued their enemies across it when they returned three years later
it was without spectacular event. Here is the image of failure, so vast
that it fills the eye as failure sometimes fills as individual life,
Lamb and Grey Falcon - Rebecca West (additional extracts)
West versus Edith Durham
Two Englishwomen who approached the Balkans with too much heart
authors who disliked and criticised each others' work represented
the two opposing poles: while West was a Slavophile and a Serb
admirer, Durham was a Slavophobic and anti-Serb; while West was
inclined to think that lessons can be learnt from the Balkans,
Durham stubbornly maintained the air of superiority. For Durham,
the Serbian Byzantine heritage carried negative connotations (since
it was usually equated with the Oriental, therefore backward),
while for West Byzantine heritage constituted an inseparable part
of European culture - the Balkans were precisely the place where
this heritage was best preserved, the place where the true reflection
of European values was to be found.
Nevenka Martin - University College London
on the book by M.E. Durham "Through the Land of the Serb"
province of Kosovo and Metohija comprises relatively small geographical
area but is nevertheless densly covered by numerous Serb Orthodox
churches and monasteries. This map contains the most important holy
sites which either exist today or are preserved in ruins. The greatest
concentration of the Orthodox Christian sites is in the western
part of the Province known as Metohija - the land of Monasteries
of Kosovo's Identity
a method of Kosovo's nation-builders
the last three centuries Kosovo Albanians managed to change the
ethnic composition of Kosovo and Metohija employing different
methods of pressure and violence against Serb Christian population.
Now, in many areas where the Serbs live no longer their cultural
and religious monuments, churches, monasteries and cemeteries,
bear witness of thier centuries old presence and achievements.
That is why the historiography of this region, and primarily Serb
Christian heritage remain the most important targets of the Kosovo
Albanian nation-builders and their supporters. Falsifying the
history on one hand, Kosovo Albanians continue with systematic
eradication of Serb cultural and religious monuments on the other.
This has become especially visible now, after the Kosovo war 1998-1999
when under the excuse of "understandable" retaliation
they destroy the culture which has survived for centuries. The
process of destruction of Serb Christian monuments therefore is
not a result of individual actions but enjoys wide spread support
of almost all segments of Kosovo Albanian population, especially
their political leaders who have done nothing to stop acts of
vandalism. Having this in mind it is hardly possible not bo see
that this campaign is in many ways organized and intended to change
the identity of one entire area in order to present it as purely
Albanian historians with their "expansive" Illyrian
theories already draw new maps of Greater Albania around the Balkans,
recreating their new history stealing bits and peaces from the
histories of neighboring peoples. From their books one can learn
now that not only Aristotle and Alexander the Great were in fact
proto-Albanians, but that Serb Orthodox monasteries in churches
were built by Albanian tribes and clans!??. These absurd theories
of course can hardly have any interest for serious academic circles
but nevertheless show the wider intentions of the Albanian nationalists
and their intellectual elite. Ideas of independence of Kosovo,
self rule in Macedonia etc, can be seen as precursors of further
development of instability throughout the Balkans, not only in
Serbia and Montenegro, but also in Macedonia and Greece.Therefore
the issue of history in Kosovo and Metohija is by no means the
issue of academic science but is closely related to the contemporary
political trends which threaten Europe with new wars. (smd)
texts and studies
of the territory of today's Kosovo prior to the rule of Nemanjic Dunasty
- an extract from the book by Miranda Vickers "Between the Serb
Romanticism and the Albanian territorial aspirations
Balkan nation can more or less trace its origins in the Illyrians
- but definitely neither of them may claim to have uninterrupted
focusing on the issue of ethnogenesis of one people is usually
derailing many historians from the field of science to modern
political theories. This specially stands for the Balkans which
is known for its dynamic ethnic processes since the times immemorial.
It is already in the XV century that the obsession with the Illyrian
identity found its way among the Balkan Slavs, especially Croats
and Serbs. For some period these peoples were referred in contemporary
historical documents as "natio illyrica". Illyrism was
one of the basic ideas on which a future Yugoslav idea was born
and eventually brought to creation of the common country of Southern
Illyrism came as an anachronism in our times and became a crucial
element in the formation of the modern Albanian nation in the
XIX century. Overstressing of the Illyrian idea among modern ethnic
Albanians in the Balkans is a reflection of a process of revitalisation
of an essentially national-romantical Albanian programme. This
programme is based on the firm conviction that not only all Albanians
should live in a Great or Ethnic Albania but should also seek
a new political position among the Balkan nations with full "rights"
which belong to them as successors of the oldest Balkan population.
historical, linguistic and archeological findings are incompatible
with a static ethnic theory of uninterrupted continuity of any
Balkan nation and rather support a dynamic ethnography according
to which there are no ethnically pure groups, especially on such
a crossroads of the civilizations such as the Balkans. That is
why the Illyrian idea, politicized in the spirit of national romanticism
of the XIX century is absurd in our modern times and can only
be an obstacle for the Albanian people in establishing normal
political relations with the neighbouring countries.
Elements Within the Fabric of Albanian People by Hugo Roth -
a scientific approach to a complicated issue of ethnic composition of
Albanian people today.
Sava - First Archbishop of
first we were confused. The East thought that we were West, while
the West considered us to be East. Some of us misunderstood our
place in the clash of currents, so they cried that we belong to
neither side, and others that we belong exlusively to one side
or the other. But I tell you, Ireneus, we are doomed by fate to
be the East in the West and the West in the East, to acknowledge
only heavenly Jerusalem beyond us, and here on earth--no one"
- St. Sava to Ireneus, 13th century
Medieval History - - Serbian medieval History on the server
of the Serbian Unity Congress, USA
PROJECT ELECTRONIC LIBRARY The
Culture of Kosovo and Metohija Valuable texts on Serb Orthodox
culture in Kosovo and Metohia online
Spirit of the Serb by R.W. Seton-Watson and Serbia,
by R.W. Seton-Watson Two essays by R.W. Seton-Watson a well-known
British historian and expert for studies of Middle and Southeastern
stages of the history of Kosovo and Metohija
In the 4th century BC, invading Celts forced Illyrians from the
northern Adriatic coast, and over several centuries a mixed Celtic-Illyrian
culture arose. In the 3rd century BC, Rome conquered the Adriatic
coast and over the next 500 years, Latin culture permeated the
region and the Illyrian, Celtic, and Thracian languages all eventually
Slavic tribesmen poured into the Balkans during the fifth and
sixth centuries. They allied with the powerful Avars to plunder
the Danube Basin. The Avar incursions proved key to the development
of Yugoslavia because they immediately preceded, and may have
precipitated, the arrival of the Serbs and Croats. The Serbs occupied
large parts of the land toward the end of the twelfth century.
During the Great War (1683-1690) between Turkey and the Holy Alliance
- created with the sponsorship of the Pope - the Serbs rebelled
against the Turks. Soon guerrilla war spread throughout the Balkans:
from Montenegro to the Danube basin and Ancient Serbia (Macedonia,
Raska, Kosovo and Metohija). However, when the Austrians started
to pull out of Serbia, they invited the Serbian people to come
north with them. Having to choose between Turkish vengeance and
living in a Christian state, Serbs massively abandoned their homesteads,
lead by their patriarch Arsenije Carnojevic. Many areas in southern
Balkans were de-populated in the process, and the Turks used the
opportunity to Islamize Raska, Kosovo and Metohija.
In retaliation, after the defeat of European forces in 1690, the
Ottomans and Muslim Albanians exposed the population to mass reprisals
and, essentially, to the first large-scale ethnic cleansing, including
in Kosovo and Metohija where some 1 400 Christian monasteries
and churches covered the area.
In April 1941 the Axis powers occupied Yugoslavia and disintegrated
it. The western parts were turned into a Nazi puppet state called
the Independent State of Croatia. Kosovo and Metohija were mostly
annexed by Albania. Following the Nazi example, the Independent
State of Croatia established extermination camps, killing over
750 000 Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. With the eviction of the Serbian
and Montenegrin population, Albanians from Albania and Turkey
were settled in the region.
After the World War II, the communist authorities of that time
prohibited the return of the deported Serbs, and in the period
1968-1988 an additional 220 000 Serbs and Montenegrins were deported
from over 700 villages. Over 400 000 Serbs and Montenegrins left
Kosovo and Metohija during 40 years.
In June 1991 both Croatia and Slovenia passed declarations of
independence from the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia. Bosnia
and Herzegovina followed in April 1992. Ethnic violence flared
almost immediately, with thousands of Serbians being forced from
the new independent states. The largely Serbian-led Yugoslav military
reacted by pounding the break-away Bosnia and Herzegovina, leading
the UN Security Council in May 1992 to impose economic sanctions
on the Belgrade government.
In 1990, a resurgence of nationalism led the ethnic Albanian majority
in Kosovo to demand greater autonomy, but they were rebuffed by
Serbia. In 1996 the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) begins attacking
Serbian policeman. In February 1998 President Slovodan Milosevic
sends troops to Kosovo to quash unrest in the province; a guerrilla
war breaks out. NATO starts air attacks against Yugoslavia in
March 1999. More than half a million Albanians move out of Kosovo.
In June 1999 an international protectorate is established in Kosovo
and NATO led peacekeeping troops move into the Province after
the withdrawal of the Yugoslav forces. More than 200.000 Serbs
and non-Albanians flee from the province in front of the wave
of KLA led Albanian retaliations. More than 100 Serb Orthodox
churches and monasteries were destroyed despite the NATO presence.
Despite the international presence Kosovo province remains unstable
and volatile region.
Books on Kosovo
(complete Internet editons)
presentation of our historic library:
The Kosovo Chronicles
by Dusan Batakovic (1992) /the complete
Internet edition/ Book on history and nature of Serbo-Albanian relationship,
by famous Balkans historian. Essential reading!
The Kosovo Question:
Past and Present by Dimitrije Bogdanovic (1985) Summary of
a book by renowned Serbian historian, published by Serbian Academy
of Sciences and Arts.
"Today Kosovo has become a general term denoting
a complex problem in which history is being faced with our reality.
Two neighbouring Balkan peoples, the Serbs and Albanians, are weighted
down with antagonisms which have been accumulating over the past three
hundred years. The problem cannot simply be reduced to the legal constitutional
status of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo nor to the position of
the Yugoslav Albanians. On the contrary, it is far more a question
of the survival and position of the entire Serbian nation - in Kosovo,
in Yugoslavia, in the Balkans"
The Balkan Geopolitical Knot and the Serbian Question
(Characteristics and Importance of the Geographical
Position of the Balkan Peninsula) by Jovan Ilic (From Serbian Question
in the Balkans, University of Belgrade, 1995.)
The Migration of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and Metohija
/ the complete Internet edition / Life of
Kosovo Serbs under the Albanian dominated Kosovo autonomy prior to
The Battle of Kosovo (Serbian Medieval Epic Poems) /the
complete Internet edition/ The Battle of Kosovo cycle of heroic ballads
is generally considered the finest work of Serbian folk poetry. Translated
by John Matthias and Vladeta Vuckovic
Kosovo Origins by Hugo Roth
/the complete Internet edition/ A comprehensive historical overview
of the Kosovo problem. The goal of this valuable study is to help
better understanding of Serb-Albanian relations through the history.
Kosovo by William Dorich /the complete Internet edition/
Another valuable historical study of the Kosovo and Metohija history.
The author offeres an anthology of texts important for better understanding
of the Kosovo problem.
The Saga Of Kosovo by Alex Dragnich & Slavko Todorovich
/the complete Internet edition/ An elaborated historical analysis
of the complicated Serb-Albanian relations during the last several
centuries. The book covers the contemporary history until 1984. A
rich catalogue of select bibliography.
Malcolm - Kosovo - A Short History
history written with an attempt to support Albanian
territorial claims in the Balkans
Short History of Kosovo by Noel Malcolm is usually considered
as one of the prime historical sources on the history of the province.
In fact this book is an example of the History with a political
attitude because it is not by chance that Malcolm who attacks
the "myths" of Serbian history is at the same time a
president of the Anglo-Albanian Association and one of the strongest
supporters of independence of Kosovo. Being far from an objective
scientific work Malcolm's History of Kosovo can be better classified
as a kind of historical pamphlet which will not easily outlive
the present political moment for which it was written.
Similarly like his Shorter History of Bosnia, in which he idealizes
the Ottoman rule beyond any measure, the Short History of Kosovo
will find eager readers only among those who seek instant, black
and white histories and do not have much time and intellectual
eagerness to delve more deeply into the history of the Balkans.
With a boldness
of an experienced historian, although he has written very few
historical books, Malcolm in his rather journalist style very
subjectively draws conclusions out of his carefully filtered
bibliography in which Serb sources hardly find any place at
all. But, more than anything, it is very strange that Malcolm
almost completely ignores Serbian Orthodox archives and libraries
although more than 90% of all cultural and historical monuments
in Kosovo belong to this Church. Furthermore, although Malcolm
consulted 16 different archives in six countries, none of them
were in Serbia. It is a puzzling gap indeed, because so many
other sources have been explored. This fact, most persuasively
reveals that this is in fact a book intended to falsify the
history rather than to approach it in an evenhanded and scientific
to counter-balance the wide-spread pro-Albanian theories disseminated
by Noel Malcolm and other biased historians we are presenting
a complete internet edition of a book which contains several
historical and scientific studies by eminent Serbian historians
on Kosovo and its history in relation to certain questions raised
by Mr. Malcolm.
of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Collection of Works
to Noel Malcolm's Book
Kosovo: A Short History
Scientific Discussion on Noel Malcolm`s book "Kosovo. A
(Macmillan, London 1998, 492) 8th October 1999
About this Scientific Discussion (Slavenko Terzic)
2. Milorad Ekmecic,
Historiography by the Garb Only
3. Djordje Jankovic,
Middle Ages in Noel Malcolm's Kosovo. A Short History and Real
4. Ema Miljkovic-Bojanic,
Malcolm's Apology of the "Pax Ottomana"
5. Slavenko Terzic,
Old Serbia in the Eyes of the "Merciful Angel": the
Phenomenon of the Historian as à Destructionist
6. Mile Bjelajac,
Pro et Contra: Some Western Echoes of Noel Malcolm's Book Kosovo.
A Short History
7. Djordje Borozan,
Malcolm's View of Kosovo in the Twentieth Century
8. Ljubodrag Dimic,
Facts and Interpretations of Education and Everyday Terror
Criticism of the Shorter History of Bosnia by Noel Malcolm
many other criticisms of the book by Noel Malcolm we present
the article by Aleksa Djilas
A Biased New Account Fans Western Confusion, Aleksa Djilas
FROM KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
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of the Info-Service is the life of the Serbian Orthodox Church
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The views expressed by the authors of newspaper articles or other
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are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Serbian
Newsletter archive is available on our ERP KIM Info-service Web-Page:
ERP KIM Info-Service
his introduction to this book, Malcolm assumes that many of
his readers will have the current crisis in mind when they read
a history of Kosovo. At one level, he argues, "a history
of Kosovo has to be defined by questions projected back into
the past from the political conditions of the late twentieth
century." (p. xxxiv) At the same time he suggests that
"it is not the purpose of this book to present a case for
or against any particular solution to the Kosovo crisis."
(p. xxxii) Nevertheless, his arguments and analysis in this
volume and his subsequent more popular writings in which
he advocates independence for Kosovo make it difficult to accept
his disclaimer. There is little doubt that this book was inspired
by the growing crisis in Kosovo in the 1990s; and its arguments
are clearly driven by the parameters of that crisis.
in the Short History of Kosovo
Politicians Become Historians
Ibrahim Rugova is widely considered as a
pacifist. At the moment he is the candidate for the first
president of post-war Kosovo - the following lines demonstrate
a not much known feature of the Kosovo Albanian leader - his
talent for history
following text is an excrept from Ibrahim Rugova's press conference
on August 25, 1995 in Pristina. In his speech Mr. Rugova gives
his view of the history of Kosovo which is a typical example
of the modern day Albanian use of misinterpreted history for
did Mr. Rugova say:
was inhabited by the Albanians since the ancient times -Kingdom
of Dardania within the Illyrian Kingdom. Afterwards it was
one the Roman provinces. Whereas, during the Byzantium Age,
Middle Ages, and through the Ottoman Empire, Kosova was a
separate entity with a distinct identity', said President
Rugova commenting on some renewed manipulations with the history
and the Serbian myth on Kosova. Monasteries and churches in
Kosova were originally Albanian later taken over by the Serbs
who destroyed a large number of Albanian catholic churches.
Albanians were, and still are of both catholic and orthodox
faith. In Ulpiana - an ancient town near Prishtina - we have
the first martyrs of christianity, Dr. Rugova said. He warned
that all the manipulation with the historical and cultural
monuments and remains in Kosova is done for it is very rich
in natural resources." original
In this text we can identify the basic elements of Kosovo
Albanian new approach to the history of Kosovo which, reflects
their political and territorial claims:
"Kosovo was inhabited by Albanians since ancient times"
WRONG: Albanians as a
people which we know today appear as a compact ethnic group
only in early Middle Ages and are first mentioned in historical
documents in the 11th century. Kosovo and Metoija were inhabited
by a majority of Slav population since their arrival to the
Balkans until 18th century and their migration under the Ottoman
pressure. Kosovo therefore does not have an exclusive Albanian
character because the majority of cultural and historical
monuments are of the Serbian origin.
are first mentioned in the 11th century under the name of
Arber by Byzantine chronicles and their uninterupted link
with Illyrians is highly disputable and cannot be proved by
modern historical science. Arberia was situated in the central
area of today's Albania and until 14th century there are no
records of Arber (Arvanite, Albanian) settlers on the territory
of Kosovo and Metohija.Therefore, between the 3rd century
AD when Illyrians are last time mentioned as a distinct political
factor and the appearance of Albanians/Arberians there are
no events which prove any link between the two which makes
this Illyrian theory more a romanticized myth than a historical
fact. Since 18th century Albanians call themselves Shqiptar
(Albanian) and their country Shqiperi (Albania).
At the same time when these names are used by others Kosovo
Albanians consider them derrogative. According to many Serb
medieval chronicles and documents one may conclude that the
number of Albanians in Kosovo was not exceeding 2% of population
which was predominantly Serbian and it is only in the later
period that the number of Albanians increased due to migrations
in the Ottoman period. In fact, since Slav migrations in the
VI and VII century today's region of Kosovo and Metohija had
been inhabited by Slav population compared to central regions
of Albania (around Kroja) where Slavs never managed to absorb
the proto-Albanian ethnic core.Although we do not intend to
support a theory according to which Albanians or their ancestors
(whoever they were) never lived in the territory of today's
Kosovo and Metohija - but only to underline a historical fact,
which is also recognized by Malcolm despite his pro-Albanian
position. In his book The Short History of Kosovo he abolishes
one of the most popular quasi-historical Albanian claim saying:
The idea that the great mass of the Kosovo population, behind
the cover of their Serbian Orthodox names were albanians,
who coninued to speak Albanian is simply not credible. If
that were true then the names of most of towns and villages
in Kosovo would have been Albanian, whereas in fact the great
majority of them are Slav. Albanians have certainsly had a
continuous presence in this region. But all the evidence suggests
that they were only a minority in Medieval Kosovo" (p.
Kosovo was always a separate entity throughout the Roman,
Byzantine and Ottoman rule.
Kosovo has never been a separate political or ethnic entity
in its history and in its present borders exists since the
end of WW2. In fact the province always consisted of Kosovo
(central and eastern part) and Metohia (western part) which
have different cultural and geographical characteristics.
has never been a separate entity until our own times, neither
in political nor ethnical sense. Beside other periods, Mr.
Rugova fails to mention the time between 12- mid 15th cent.
of Serbian rule and simply jumps over from Byzantines to Ottomans.
In the later Ottoman period there existed Kosovo Vilayet but
as an entity which does not correspond to the area where Albanians
lived. It was one of many administrative units which did not
reflect any homogenous ethnic or political realities. Additionally,
Mr. Rugova fails to mention that Kosovo is first mentioned
under this name by Serbs, who gave the name to the central
plain around Pristina. It had never been mentioned by that
name (Kosovo/a) before it finally became a part of Serbian
Kingdom in 12th century. Nevertheless, even in that time Kosovo
was just a name for a fertile plain stretching from Mitrovica
to Pristina and Kacanik, while the western part was called
Metohia - (gr. metochia - monastery estates). The present
administrative boundaries of Kosovo province were drawn by
the communist authorities after the WWII when Kosovo was given
a status of authonomy.
Monasteries and churches in Kosovo were Albanian and the Serbs
occupied them destroying Albanian Catholic churches.
There are no historical records of any specifical Albanian
Roman Catholic church in Kosovo until later Middle Ages. Before
today's province became part of Serbian Kingdom there had
existed Orthodox Byzantine churches as the entire area had
been under the religious and cultural influence of Constantinople,
although the Slav language was very often used in church services.
In fact until late Middle Ages Roman Catholic religion in
Kosovo and Metohija is completely insignificant element beside
numerous Serb Orthodox churches and monasteries built by Serb
rulers and nobility since 12th century onwards.
is a very popular theory among Albanians who try to find any
possible explanation how it happens that "on the ethnic
Albanian soil of Kosovo" only Serb Orthodox medieval
churches survive until today. This theory is even supported
by some western historians like Miranda Vickers although she
does not base her presumption on a single concrete example.
Noel Malcolm is more cautious and even recognizes that "the
first reference s to specific Catholic churches in Kosovo
- at Prizren, Trepca, Janjevo and Novo Brdo - come from the
middle of Dusan's reign p. 52 SHof Kosovo"(ie second
half of the XIV c) In fact problem with this theory of adoption
as well as a similar claim that Serb kings imposed Orthodoxy
on Catholic Albanian is more a matter of fiction. Before the
Serbs included Kosovo within their state this region was under
the Byzantine rule and predominantly populated by Slavs of
Orthodox faith under the Archdiocese of Ochrid. It is true
that some Byzantine cathedrals and churches were enlarged
and reconstructed by Serbs, like Bogorodica Ljeviska and Gracanica
where Byzantine Orthodox churches had existed before. Existence
of any Latin Albanian churches in this area prior the Serb
or during the Byzantine rule is not known to the historical
science nor can it be proved by any archeological excavation.
This, of course does not mean that there were no Roman Cahtolics
in the area, but simply that their number and importance was
so insignificant to attract any special historical interest.
Even Malcolm recognizes that the existing Roman Catholic churches
which were built in XIVc were those of Dubrovnik, merchants
and Saxon miners and not of any Albanian Catholic population.
Suprisingly to many, in the territory of Kosovo there is not
a single medieval church (or its remains) which was built
specifically by Albanians, not a single fresco or monument
bearing any inscription associated to the Albanian ethnicity...
simply nothing at all. Also, there are no records at all that
Serbs destroyed any Roman Catholic church in Kosovo in the
Middle Ages. Old Roman Catholic churches survive there where
there was a real influence of Rome in that period, and that
is the Albanian coast and the area around Skodra. The sad
truth is that Albanian Moslems destroyed many Christian churches
and monasteries, just like they are destroying and desecrating
There are Albanians of both Catholic and Orthodox confession....
and the Roman city of Ulpiana gave first martyrs.
In Kosovo and Metohija there are no Orthodox Albanians
nor any Albanian Orthodox church while the Albanian R.Catholic
community does not have continuity with the ancient times.
The Christian continuity from the early church up to our own
day can be directly traced through numerous Christian monuments
(Byzantine and Serb) only within the Orthodox Christian tradition.
the end of his speech Mr. Rugova finally said the truth with
an exception that in Kosovo there are no Orthodox Albanians.
Christian tradition in the area of Kosovo and Metohija is
dominantly Eastern Orthodox and Slav in its character. Ulpiana
was an ancient Roman merchant city in which early Christian
martyrs Florus and Laurus suffered for Christ. The Orthodox
Church glorifies these martyrs and consecrates churches and
chapels in their honour. Among Kosovo Albanians there has
never been any special cult of these holy martyrs of Ulpiana,
especially not among Moslem Albaninas to which Mr. Rugova
is important to mention that not a single Kosovo Albanian
politician, including Mr. Rugova, did anything to stop the
destruction of more than 100 churches and monasteries after
the war. No one of them has ever visited any monastic community.
With such a highly unresponsible behavior for a "moderate
and democratic oriented politician", Mr. Rugova proved
in fact that he did not believe what he had previously said.
Because if he or his colleagues had really considered these
churches and monasteries to be Albanian, they would have probably
be the frist to protect the cultural heritage of Kosovo or
at least stop their comaptriots in destruction of centuries
long Christian tradition in this region.
finish with an anecdote which the author of this commentary
personally heard and saw.....
Rugova tried to find a plausable explanation for the destruction
of the Serb churches after the Kosovo war. At the meeting
with the US President Clinton on Nov. 23, 1999, both Albanian
and Serb leaders including Bishop Artemije were present. The
Bishop gave to the President a book about destroyed churches
and Mr. Clinton looked reproachfully at Mr. Rugova and Mr.
Thaci asking them how they can stop these attacks. Suddely
Mr. Rugova exclaimed..... These were political churches!.
In that moment, Bishop Artemije just showed to the President
a photo of one of many destroyed medieval churches. An unpleasant
moment of silence interrupted the course of the meeting...
Ruins of a Serb Orthodox Church of the Holy
Virgin Odigitria, Musutiste built in 1315 which among
others was classified by Ibrahim Rugova as a Serb political
text as a separate file
Orthodox Church - History Short history
of the Serbian Orthodox Church with additional links, texts and photo
Serbian Church During the Years of Kosovo Hardships - A
text by Dimitrije Bogdanovic focusing on the suffering of the Serb
Orthodox Church amidst the century long conflict between Serbs and
Albanians in Kosovo.
Kosovo Battle was a turning point in the medieval history of Europe.
It was not only a battle fought between a Christian alliance led
by the Serbian Prince and the army of Sultan Murad but also an event
which has marked the centuries of subsequent history of this part
of the Balkans. Kosovo has remained an area of conflict between
two civilizations, two religions and mentalities.
The Battle of Kosovo - Serbian Medieval Epic Poems
Translated by John Mattias and Vladeta Vuckovic
Medieval Epic Poetry (Battle of Kosovo)
translated into English by Helen Rootham (ed. 1920)
- History and its Importance - Who was
St. Prince Lazar and what is the meaning of the Kosovo battle in the
Serbian history of Kosovo and Metohija?
Kosovo Field, June 15, 1389 Sima Cirkovic
- A historic essay covering the events before, during and after the
Kosovo battle in detail.
Work of Jihadd - Idris Bitlisi, the Turkish 16th century chronicle
describes the events of Kosovo Battle
and Falls of the Serbian Statehood in the Middleages - by S.
Cirkovic - the author makes an analysis of the turbulet period of the
medieval Serbian history.
Serbia and Albanians a group of authors
from the Historical Institute of the Serb Academy of Sciences and Arts,
Electronic Library of Kosovo and Metohija
(texts in Serbian and English)
Serbia in the Roman Catholic Sources of the 17th century
Serbia Old Serbia, like expression and terminology, is often founded
, not only in science and politics but in an everyday life. Its
origin streams from the practice of life and nessecity to make
proper demarcation of ethnic entity and cultural-historical existence
of Serbs on defined geogarphical area. Borders of that area not
so rarely, were detirmened by quite uncenrtain poolitical circumstances,
but also other factors as well. It is not determined when the
name Old Serbia appeared for the first time, not as far as written
sources are consulted,although it is likely that this expression
persisted for a long time amoung the people. It is assumed that
in verbal Form, it appeared from the times of Great Migration
of Serbs 1690 amoung the refugiees in the area of histiric Hungary,where
placies inhabited with Serbs are called Serbian Land (Ratzenland,
Rassorszag), land of Rachans, Serbs. This originated as a contrast
vis-a-vis real, old fatherland from where the migration begun
under Patriarchs Arsenije III and Arsenije IV. In the works of
Jakov Ignatovic, century and a half after the Great Migration-special
emphasis was given to the term of Old fatherlend in Serbia vis
-a-vis new one in Hungary, and under the general term of Old Serbia.
However real historic meaning of the term Old Serbia was established
in the beggining of 19th century after the creation of new Serbian
state under Karagjorgje and Milosh, principality of Serbia, in
contrast to the unliberated part of the land that used to be medieval
Serbia, that remained under turkish rule, up to 1877/1878, and
up to its finnal liberation in 1912. In the narrowest sence, Old
Serbia was the name of the land of ethnic nucleus and center of
the Serbian medieval state of Nemanjich period, the areas of:
Old Rashka, Kosovo, Metohija, Morava river and northern Vardar
area with Skoplje. In 19th century that territory under the Tturkish
goverment with borders on the north and west with free Serbian
lands Serbia and Montenegro, and on south and south-east defined
with the Borders of Archdiocese of Pech (before 1346), i.e.with
the borders of Turkish sanzhak of Skoplje- latter sandzhak of
Kosovo with seat in Prishtina and Skopje.
Explanation of these terms requers knowledge about Serbia in the
times of stabilised turkish rule. It should be mentioned that
Turks introduced their own terminology for the enslaved Balkan
nations in their provinces (beglerbegluc's and sandzhacat's).
I One of the first that completely gave an opinion on the teritory
and borders of Greece was Martin Bici, Roman Catholic archbishop
of Bar and primas of Serbia. In 1618 report (Relatio Status Ecclaesiae
Antebarensis) to the Roman Curia (Sanctae Sedis Apostolicae),
the Prizren archdiocese was teritorialy counted in the borders
of Serbian kingdom (in limitibus Regni Serviae). Not only Skoplje
(in Serviam preter Scopiam) and Prizren, in Serbia also were to
be fonded the Roman Catholic areas of Janjevo and Novo Brdo, as
well as Prokuplje and Novi Pazar. However in Serbia in those times(in
Regno di Servia), according to Petar Masarek ,the new archbishop
of Bar, belonged the Catholic areas in Trepcha, Letnica (Skopska
Crna Gora) and Kratovo. As can bee seen from above, ecclesial-teritorial
jurisdiction of the Catholic Prizren's (Skoplje's) archbishopate
was on the teritory of Serbia (Regnum Serviae), whose southern
areas were: Prizren,Skoplje,Kratovo. Western, i.e. south-western
borders of Skoplje's archbishopate, according to the Archdiocese
of Drach were on river Drim that divided Serbia from Albania (Drino.....sempre
suo divisovo), with Skoplje as old capital of Serbian kings (Scopia
detta da greci ante Heraclia Metropoli de Servia). In the acts
of the papal office, Serbia in the jurisdiction of Archbishopate
of Skoplje was divided in two parts:upper and lower Serbia. In
the 1638 census by Archbishop Bjanki of Bar in the area of di
Servia Superiore, towns with Catholic population were :Prokuplje,Trepcha,Novo
Brdo, Prishtina, Janjevo, Skoplje, Kratovo and area of Skoplje's
Black Mountain (Skopska: Monte Negro). Bjanki also wrote in 1640
to the Congregation that plague was present in cities of Skoplje,
Janjevo and Novo Brdo in Serbia. At the end of year 1645. godine
Francesko de Monoris reports to the congregation that mountains
western of Dechani are dividing Serbia from Albania (dividono
la Servia dall Albania"), adding that Skoplje was under the
jurisdiction of the Serb Orthodox Archdiocese of Pech. (I.Malinovski)
Catholic Kosovo Albanians
a religious, not an ethnic minority, numbering an estimated 70,000
people. They live mainly in the municipalities of Djakovica/Gjakova,
Klina/Klina, Prizren/Prizren and Vitina/Viti." (OSCE 1999,
Memorial Tower at the site of Kosovo
Kosovo as a prerequisite for Greater Albania
Status of Kosovo Province - between substantial autonomy and independence
Ethnic Cleansing of Old Serbia by Slavenko
Terzic - text on our
Site - Historical analysis of the demographic changes in Old
Serbia which were a direct consequence of the Albanian expansion and
violence on the expense of the Christian Serb population.
Serbian Issue and the Greater Albania Project
by Slavenko Terzic
Albania, by Tim Judah, New York Review of Books - The West had
created a monster. Yes, we had severed the head of Greater Serbia only
to discover that Balkan nationalism is hydra-headed. In its place we
now stood confronted by the evil specter of rabid, expansionist Albanian
nationalism, which aimed to create either a Greater Albania or at least
a Greater Kosovo.....The prerequisite to creating a Greater Kosovo including
parts of Macedonia or a Greater Albania has, of course, to be an independent
Albania explained, Carl Savich
a map froma site of Albanian nationalists. In reality
Historical Greater Albanian never existed in its history and is only
a projection of greater Albanian hegemonism on expense of Serbia-Montenegro,
Macedonia and Greece
of Communists and fasists - Greater Albania
destruction of Orthodox churches in Kosovo-Metohoija and Macedonia,
by Karl Savich
of Kosovo Province
Ever-Changing Features of the Kosovo Issue by Thanos Veremis
- "Would an independent Kosovo constitute the beginning of stabilisation
of the western Balkans and the end of Western worries in the region?
Anyone who is remotely aware of the Prizren Declaration of 1878 and
the subsequent attempts of the Kosovo Albanians to prevent Montenegro
from acquiring its Adriatic outlet and later the march of Albanian forces
into Skopje in 1912, will desist from the optimism of considering Kosovar
independence the end of history and therefore of irredentism in the
Forseeable Future Decided, by Tim Judah - "Hashim Thaci,
the former political head of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, now the
head of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, railed that the constitutional
framework "holds hostage the issue of independence". He
is absolutely right. The failure of Kosovo Albanian leaders to make
a credible stand against violence against Serbs and other minorities,
together with the connections between certain circles of the Kosovo
Albanian elite and the leaderships of the Albanian insurgencies in the
Presevo valley and Macedonia, mean that the foreign diplomats and politicians
charged with dealing with Kosovo do not trust its politicians."
Liberation Army - Freedom Fighters or... A
large database of different articles, studies and analyses on the Kosovo
Liberation Army, its origins, war and post-war history. The goal of
this page is to prove that this is not a genuine movement of freedom
fighters but a highly morally corrupted organization which is very dangerous
for the regional stability. Despite its official disbandment in Sept
1999 it continues its existence through the Kosovo Protection Corps
as well as different sattelite organizations like NLA, UCKPBM, ANA etc,
which are responsible for exporting the terrorism to the territory of
Southern Serbia and FYROM.
Peace Now By Tim Judah, New York Review of Books - But are people
like Mr. Thaci suitable candidates for coddling by Western diplomats
and politicians? All sorts of charges have been leveled against the
KLA. These include accusations that they are drug smugglers and, recently,
that they have executed political opponents and dissenters. Certainly
the KLA has taken money from the Kosovo Albanian mafia but this does
not make the KLA, per se, a drug-smuggling organization. Besides, whatever
outsiders may think and say, most Kosovo Albanians see it as their liberation
Kosovo and Metohija Problem and the Regional Security in the Balkans
by Predrag Simic. The main obstacle to the commencement of a Serb-Albanian
dialogue, despite certain encouraging signs, is the overwhelming radicalism
of the ethnic Albanians whose political parties are still not ready
to give up the idea of an "independent state of Kosovo" and
a "Greater Albania" which would have the same consequences
for the security of the Balkans and of Europe as would the creation
of a "Greater Croatia", a "Greater Serbia" or a
Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences The
site with lots of additional links.
Serbia Throughout the Ages, compiled by Igor Malinovski - the
author presents a number of historical inscriptions which bear witness
of the centuries old Serb presence on the territory of today's Macedonia
of the Serbian Cultural Heritage (13-20c) - Milan Ivanovic -
A text in which the author is trying to find what happened to Serbian
medieval treasuries and libraries in subsequent historical periods.
about Kosovo Albanian Nazism during the WW2 Collection
of texts and analyses focusing on the problem of Nazism among Kosovo
Albanians during the WW2
Lamb and Grey Falcon : A Journey Through Yugoslavia (Amazon.com)
- a classic "West wrote on the brink of World War II, when she
was "already convinced of the inevitability of the second Anglo-German
war." The resulting book is colored by that impending conflict,
and by West's search for universals amid the complex particulars of
Balkan history. In the end, she saw the region's doom--and our own--in
a double infatuation with sacrifice, the "black lamb and grey falcon"
of her title. It's the story of Abraham and Isaac without the last-minute
reprieve: those who hate are all too ready to martyr the innocent in
order to procure their own advantage, and the innocent themselves are
all too eager to be martyred. To West, in 1941, "the whole world
is a vast Kossovo, an abominable blood-logged plain." Unfortunately,
little has happened since then to prove her wrong. --Mary Park Extract:
Old Serbia (*Kosovo)
Serb medieval coin from Kosovo
Articles and Analyses - a Web site of our eminent historian
(now an ambassador of Yugoslavia in Athens. Prof. Batakovic has always
shown special interest in the history of Kosovo and Metohija
Serbs of Kosovo and Metohija War, International Protectorate and National
Catastrophe By Dusan T. Batakovic
and War in Yugoslavia, by David Jovanovic - the author is exploring
a controversial link between religion and wars on the territory of former
Journalism and Propaganda Analysis of Media Coverage in Bosnian and
Kosovo wars by Carl K Savich - Truth is one of the first victims
in a war.
Cleansing in Kosovo - A view from the other side by Carl K Savich
- Kosovo problem did not begin with Milosevic and it has its deep roots
in the Ottoman times when Kosovo Albanians as priviledged Moslem population
slowly began to push the Christian Serb population out of their ancestral
Forum - B92 - A collection of different articles by international,
Serb and Albanian authors on the post-war situation in Kosovo and Metohija
of Serb Suffering in Kosovo and Metohija - a photo-gallery on
the Web Server of Srpska Mreza (Serbian - Network)
- Concentration Camp (1941-1945)
The Suffering and Martyrdom of the Serbs in Croatia under the Croatian
Ustashi fascist regime in WW2. Exibition in the Museum of Holocaust,
system of death camps - another Site covering the tragic history
of Jasenovac death camp.
image of post-Milosevic Serbia - With Christian faith and tradition
in modern Europe and the world
Serbian Royal Family back in country
- Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, Princess Catharina,
Princes: Peter, Philip and Alexander in front of Old Court in Belgrade
list of Orthodox Christian monuments in Kosovo and Metohija
THE MAP of
main Orthodox shrines in Kosovo and Metohija - 500 Kb
from the Decani Web Site on Google
Easy searchable thumbnail gallery