1902 Encyclopedia > Servia (Serbia)


SERVIA, a kingdom belonging to the Balkan peninsula of Europe, lying between Bosnia on the west and Bulgaria and Boumania on the east, and between the Turkish pro-vince of Albania on the south and the Austrian Military Frontier on the north. From Bosnia it is separated by the Drina, from Austrian and Roumanian territory by the Danube and the Save, and from Bulgaria partly by the Timok. Some parts of the southern frontier are indicated by mountains, but elsewhere there are no natural bound-aries. In shape Servia is an irregular trapezium, situated between about 42° 30' and 45° N. lat. and 19° and 22° 30' E. long. The area is about 18,760 square miles, and the population (1,667,159 in 1874) was estimated at the end of 1884 to be 1,902,419, thus giving a density of about 100 to the square mile. This low density, only about one-third of that of the United Kingdom, is explained by the nature of the surface, the inland position, the defective communications with the exterior, and the absence of manufacturing industries.

The surface is for the most part mountainous or hilly, though there are no well-defined mountain ranges of any extent. The highest summits lie near the middle of the southern frontier, where Mount Kopaonik attains the height of nearly 7000 feet. Towards the Bosnian frontier the mountains are pretty closely massed together, and some of the summits approach 4000 feet; this height is ex-ceeded on the eastern side of the country, where the moun-tains, forming a continuation of the Carpathians, are in many places more rugged and precipitous than anywhere else in the kingdom. The Budnik Mountains, which begin immediately to the north of the Servian Morava, have their highest parts in the south and gradually sink towards the north from nearly 3000 to less than 2000 feet. Still lower are the elevations in the provinces in the extreme south acquired in 1878 under the treaty of Berlin. As a general rule the Servian highlands consist of detached groups of mountains and conical hills with gentle slopes rising from verdant valleys, and they are mostly covered to the top with forests, chiefly of oak and beech, the higher summits in the south also with conifers. But the plains, though numerous, are of no great extent, and occur chiefly along the banks of the rivers. Apart from frontier rivers, the most important stream is the Morava, which, rising on the western slopes of the Kara Dagh, a little beyond the Servian frontier, enters the country with a north-easterly course near the extreme south-east, and then turns north-north-west and flows almost in a straight line through the heart of the kingdom to the Danube. In the upper part of its course it is known as the Bulgarian Morava, and only after receiving the Servian Morava on the left is it known as the Morava simply or as the Great Morava. The only other important tributary is the Nishava, ' which it receives from the right at Nish. The valleys of all these rivers, especially those of the Bulgarian and the Great Morava, and of the Nishava, contain considerable areas of level or low-lying country well suited for the growth of corn, and the low grounds along the Save and the Danube from the Drina to the Morava are also well adapted for agriculture, though for the most part devoted only to pasture. Altogether no more than one-sixth of the surface is estimated to be occupied by cultivated fields and vineyards, while one-fifth is estimated to form pasture land and about an equal area woodland. Nearly one-half of the entire area is believed to be unproductive.

Besides the frontier streams on the north and west, the only river of any importance for navigation is the Morava, which is navigable for steamers of light draught as high as Tiupriia about 60 miles from its mouth, but its valley is important as the main highway of the country, and all the more since the introduction of railways. Bailways Rail-both to Constantinople and to Salonica are now (1886) in "'ays-course of construction under a convention concluded with Austria in 1881. The section common to the two systems, that from Belgrade to Nish, 152 miles in length, was opened for traffic in September 1884, and the line (76 miles) from Nish to Vranja was completed in March 1886, but the connexion with the Turkish railway from Salonica remains to be completed. At present, in consequence of the unsatisfactory communication with the south, only about 7 or 8 per cent, of the Servian imports enter by the southern frontier, 85 per cent, coming through Austria-Hungary. In the beginning of 1886 work had been begun on only one-half of the line from Nish to Pirot, on the other system.

The geological structure of Servia is varied. In the south and west the sedimentary rocks most largely de-veloped are of ancient, pre-Carboniferous date, interrupted by considerable patches of granite, serpentine, and other crystalline rocks. Beyond this belt there appear in the north-west Mesozoic limestones, such as occupy so extensive an area in the north-west of the Balkan pen-insula generally, and the valleys opening in that quarter to the Drina have the same desolate aspect as belongs to these rocks in the rest of that region. In the extreme north-east the crystalline schists of the Carpathians extend to the south side of the Danube, and stretch parallel to the Morava in a band along its right bank. Elsewhere east of the Morava the prevailing rocks belong to the Cretaceous series, which enters Servia from Bulgaria. The heart of the country—the Shumadia, as it is called—is mainly occupied by rocks of Tertiary age, with intervening patches of older strata; and the Rudnik Moun-tains are traversed by metalliferous veins of syenite.

Minerals. The mineral wealth of Servia is considerable and varied, though far from being adequately developed. Gold, silver, iron, and lead are said to have been worked in the time of the Romans. Heaps of ancient slag from lead mines still exist in the neighbourhood of Belgrade, and other old lead mines occur in the valley of the Toplitza. Gold dust is washed down by heavy rains in the valley of the Timok, where it is gathered by the peasants. In the syenite veins of the Eudnik Mountains ores of lead, zinc, copper, sulphur, and arsenic are present, but are not worked, and from the mines of Krupani in the north-west argentiferous lead, antimony, and other ores have been obtained. The prin-cipal mining centre east of the Morava is Maidanpek in the north, where there is a large iron-smelting establish-ment in the hands of an English company. Coal or lignite is met with in many places, including a number of points on the Servian railway. The largest deposit lies round Tiupriia, and measures about 19 miles in length by 7|r in breadth. All the minerals belong to the state, but permission to work them can be obtained on payment of a moderate royalty^.

Climate. The climate of Servia is on the whole mild, though subject to the extremes characteristic of inland Eastern countries. In summer the temperature may rise as high as 106° Fahr., while in winter it often sinks to 13° or even sometimes 20° below zero. The high-lying valleys in the south are colder than the rest of the country, not only on account of their greater elevation but also be-cause of their being exposed to the cold winds from the north and north-east. Accordingly, the chief products of the soil are such as thrive under a warm summer and are unaffected by a cold winter. Both maize and wine are grown, but the olive is excluded by the severity of the cold season.

Products. Maize is the principal object of agriculture, the average annual crop being estimated at upwards of 5,000,000 bushels, wdieat coming next with an average crop of less than 4,000,000 bushels. Besides cereals, flax, hemp, and tobacco are grown, but the attempts made to cultivate cotton have proved unsuccessful. The chief wine-growing locality is in the north-east round Negotin. Inefficient as are the implements and backward the methods of agriculture, grain makes up a considerable portion of the exports, owing to the scantiness of the population and the deficiency of other industries, and it is expected that this export will be greatly increased on the completion of the railway system to the southern Exports seaports. The grain chiefly exported is wheat,—maize supplying, and as among all the Slavs of the Balkan peninsula, the chief food of imports, the people. Hitherto live-stock has formed the largest item in the exports, sometimes amounting to over one-half. Among these pigs, which are fed in immense numbers on the mast of the forests, take the first place. Of late years their number has greatly declined, largely in consequence of American competition ; but relatively to population Servia still maintains a much greater number than any other country of Europe; and the same is true ef sheep, which are here relatively more than twice as numerous as in Spain. Cattle also are numerous, but are reared solely as beasts of draught and for export. Bees are very generally kept, — the honey being consumed in the country, the wax exported. The rearing of silkworms is spreading, especially since cocoons and eggs have begun to be exported to Italy. Orchards are very exten-sive, and all kinds of fruit belonging to central Europe are grown in abundance,—above all, the plum, from which is distilled the favourite national spirit, sliwvitza. The average annual value of the exports is a little over £1 per head of population. After live animals and grain come hides and prunes. Among the imports the chief items are sugar, salt (wholly absent in Servia), cotton goods, and other textiles. Import duties being high, a consider-able amount must always be allowed for smuggled goods. Though the great bulk of the imports enter the country by the Austrian frontier, an increasingly large proportion comes originally from beyond Austria-Hungary. Thus in 1879, of the total quantity of imports across the Austrian frontier, 76 per cent, were of Austrian-Hungarian origin, in 1880 73 per cent., in 1881 65 per cent., leaving 24, 27, and 35 per cent, respectively for countries beyond. Among the latter Germany comes next after Austria-Hungary and then England. Colonial wares (sugar, coffee, &c.) are now imported cheaper by way of Hamburg than by way of Trieste.

Population. The natural increase of population in Servia is pretty rapid, the annual birth-rate being among the highest in Europe, while the death-rate, though high, is exceeded in several other countries. During the years 1879-84 the average annual number of births was 76,962, of deaths 47,181, the excess of births over deaths 29,781, which figures compared with a total population intermediate between that at the end of 1874 and that at the end of 1884 give a birth-rate of upwards of 43 per thousand, a death-rate of less than 27 per thou-sand, and an annual excess of births over deaths of nearly 17 per thousand. The average proportion of male to female births is 106 :100. The people are mainly Serbs, though the proportions have been modified by the increase of territory under the treaty of Berlin. This territory, at one time occupied by Servians, had been to a large extent deserted by them in consequence of the oppressive Turkish yoke, and their place had been taken by Mohammedan Albanians west of the Morava and by Bulgarians in the valley of the Nishava. Most of the Albanians, however, quitted their homes at the time of annexation, and Servians are now returning to their former seats. Previous to the treaty of Berlin the principal element of the population next after the Servians consisted of Roumanians, of whom there were about 130,000. The Servian Church forms a branch of the Oriental Greek Church with a perfectly independent administration. The highest ecclesiastical authority is exercised by the national synod. Elementary education is in a very backward state, but recently a law has been passed to remedy this defect, by making education obligatory on all children between six and thirteen and laying the duty of providing accommodation, books, and teachers upon school districts. At Belgrade there is a high school or university with faculties of philosophy, law, and technics.

The agricultural population are scattered among a great number of villages, most of which consist of single isolated homesteads. Each homestead is occupied by a group of families connected by blood and acknowledging one head, the stareshina, who is usually the patriarch of the community, but is often chosen by the rest of the members on account of his prudence and ability. He regulates the work and distributes the proceeds of the labour of the entire homestead, and his ruling is followed without question. The land cultivated by a family or group of families is always their own property. The buildings belonging to the homesteads are enclosed within an immense palisade, inside which a large expanse of fields is mostly planted with plum, damson, and other fruit-trees, surround-ing the houses of the occupiers. In the midst of these is the house of the stareshina, which contains the common kitchen, eating hall, and family hall of the entire homestead. In this last all the members assemble in the evening for conversation and amusement, the women spinning, while the children play. The people take delight in listening to the recitation of the poetical rhapsodies in which the Servian literature is remarkably rich. The houses are mostly very small wooden structures, serving for little else but sleeping places. But that of the stareshina is often of brick, and is invariably of better construction than the rest.

Government. Since 6th March 1S82 the government has been a constitutional monarchy. The legislative body is called the skupshtina, and in 1884 consisted of 178 members, three-fourths of whom are elected by the people, the remainder being nominated by the king. A new skupshtina is elected every three years. Eor the settlement of special questions of great moment an extraordinary sknpshtina or great national assembly is elected, in which there are four times as many members, all elected, as in the ordinary skupshtina. There is also a permanent council of state of 15 members, who have the task of drawing up proposals for legislation, hearing complaints regarding the decisions of ministers, and performing other functions. For administrative purposes the kingdom is divided into twenty-two circles, besides the city of Belgrade. In the budget for 1883-84 the revenue and expenditure were each estimated at nearly £1,500,000, and for 1884-85 at about ¡61,840,000. The national debt at the end of 1884 was about £7,000,000. An additional debt of about £1,000,000 was contracted during the Servo-Bulgarian war of 1885-86.

Army. The Servian army is divided into three classes. The first class, embracing men between 25 and SO years of age, constitutes the standing army, which numbers 18,000 on a peace footing and about 100,000 on a war footing. The first two years are served with the colours and the remainder of the term in the reserve. The second class contains men between 30 and 37 who have served in the standing army. The third class, which is only called out in extra-ordinary emergencies, is composed of men between 37 and 50. The total military strength of Scrvia for cases of emergency is estimated to be about 210,000 men.

The capital of Servia is Belgrade, at the junction of the Danube and the Save. It is the only town with more than 15,000 inhabit-ants. Next in size is Nish, in the territory added by the treaty of Berlin, where the valley of the Nishava opens into that of the .Bulgarian Morava. The other chief towns are Kragushevatz in the ventre of the Shtnnadia, the former capital of the country, Shabatz on the Save, Semendria on the Danube, Krushevatz, Alexinatz (the centre of the flax and hemp growing district), Ushitze, Bosharevatz, Tranja, and Leskovatz.

See Rev. W. Denton, Servia and the Servians, London, 1S62 ; Kanitz, Serbien: Historisch-Ethnographische Reisestudien, Leipsic, 1868; Baline, La Principauté de Serbie, Paris, 1880. (G. G. C.)


The original home of the Croats and Serbs, who are identical in race and language, was the country adjoining the Carpathian range. Their speech shows them to belong to the eastern division of the Slavonic family (see SLAVS). The generally accepted derivation of the name Chrobat, Croat, is from the original designation of the Carpathians, Chrbct, '' a ridge," an opinion supported by Schafarik and Professor Ljubic, author of a Croatian history. This view is rejected by Perwolf and also by Penka,"but apparently on insuffi-cient grounds. The last-named connects the word with the same root as that from which '' Slav " is derived (slu-ti, klu, kru) and makes it signify the "vassals," those who follow a chief. The derivation suggested by Schafarik for "Serb "is the root su, "to produce"; thus the name would come to mean the people, just as deutsch is from diot, "people." He considers it to have been the original appellation of all the Slavs. This must be accepted as the best explanation hitherto given, though not altogether satisfactory. We find the name ______ in Ptolemy and Sirbi in Pliny. Settle- The Serbs and Croats have no history till the year 638 A.D. , at ment of which period they left their original settlements and migrated into Serbs in the ancient Illyricum and part of Mcesia. Whether any of this Balkan people had previously taken up their abode in the Balkan penin-pen- sula is by no means clear, and very different opinions have been insula, held on the subject. The most probable account is that small Slavonic colonies were settled here and there as early as the 2d and 3d centuries, consisting mainly of prisoners taken in war ; and we hear of two tribes, the Karpi and the Kostoboki, who are claimed by Schafarik with good reason as Slavs. Jirecek considers that for two hundred years before the Slavs are heard of in history south of the Danube they were scattered as colonists in Mcesia, Thrace, Dardania, and Macedonia. Professor Drinoff finds mention of Slavonic colonies in Thrace in the Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum and Itinerarium Antonini ; and, even if we do not give a complete adhesion to his views, there are many names of towns in Procopius (in the first half of the 6th century) which are undoubtedly Slavonic. The traces of the original inhabitants have disappeared, except in so far as the Albanians represent these peoples. It is generally believed that the word meropch or neropeh, signifying a slave, found in the Zakonik of Dushan, refers to the Noropians, an old Thracian tribe.

Our authority for the Servian migration in the middle of the 7th century is the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. According to the story, five Croatian princes, the brothers Clucas, Lobelus, Cosentzis, Muchlo, and Chrobatus, and two sisters, Tuga and Buga (i.e., Calamity and Prosperity), came at this period from northern or Belo-Chrobatia, as it was called, the original home of the Croats in the Carpathian Mountains. The descendants of their people who remained in the territory are lost among the surrounding popula-tion. The services of these Croats were made use of by the emperor Heraclius, and they became a barrier against the Avars, whom they drove out of the country in which they settled. The territory which they occupied was divided by them into eleven htpas or gaucn. The people who inhabited the western portion kept the name of Croat, those in the eastern were called Serbs. We must now leave the Croats, as in this article we have only to do with the Serbs properly so called. The Croatian branch of the family, after being ruled by petty bans (a word said to be of Avar origin), was annexed to the kingdom of Hungary, and after the 16th century followed the fortunes of the house of Hapsburg.

For five centuries after their arrival ill their new territories we Early hear nothing of the Serbs save an occasional very brief mention in contests the Byzantine chroniclers. The native annalists do not begin earlier with than the 12th century. As in Croatia so among the Serbs, the Greeks, smaller zupans gradually became merged into two or three great ones. The head zupan of Servia, who resided in Desnica, called by Constantine Destinica, was at first the suzerain of all the other Servian zupans, with the exception of the Pagani, concerning whose Latin name the emperor Constantine makes the very strange remark —KaX yap Tiayavol Kara ryv TUV S/cAd^ojf yXwacav afi&Trrio-Tot epy.7}-veiovrai. After the land was harried by the Bulgarians we find the great zupan of Dioclea (Doclea) supreme ; he acquired the title of king, and received his insignia from the pope. Finally, Nemanya, the descendant of a zupan family of Dioclea, founded a new dynasty in Basa (mod. Novibazar), and united Servia and Bosnia into one strong empire. The names of the earlier princes, who are insignifi-cant and do not help us to follow the thread of Servian history, need not be mentioned. We find them sometimes tributary to the Greek emperors and sometimes independent. They appear, more-over, to have been engaged in constant wars with the Bulgarians. About 1015 Vladimir was reigning; but he was assassinated by the Bulgarian czar John, who got possession of Servia, but died two years afterwards on an expedition against the Greeks. To-gether with Bulgaria, Servia fell under the power of the emperor, and its affairs were managed by a Greek governor. Stephen Voyislaif made an insurrection in 1040, expelled the governor, Theophilus Eroticus, and defeated the Greeks in 1043. His son and successor, Michael (1050-80), at first lived in peace with the Byzantines, but afterwards entered into diplomatic relations with the West, took the title of king (rex), and received his insignia from the pope (1078). He conquered Durazzo (Drac) in 1079, and reigned thirty years. His son, Constantine Bodin, subjugated the zupans of Bosnia and Basa. About 1122 Ourosh, surnamed Bela, zupan of Rasa, ascended the throne. From this time dates the power of Servia. His wife Anna was a German princess. Omitting three insignificant rulers, we come to the famous Stephen Nemanya (1159-95), whose life has been written by his son Sava. He reigned thirty-six years, and was many times successful against the Greeks,' but was not able to take Ragusa. He abandoned the government to his son Stephen in 1195 and became a monk under the name of Simeon, dying in 1200 in the monastery of Chilander on Mount Athos. Stephen was crowned by his youngest brother Sava, first archbishop of the country, with a crown which had been conse-crated by the pope ; hence his title Prvovyenchani, " the first-crowned,"—that is to say of the new dynasty, for the zupans of Dioclea were already kings. He died in 1224 and was followed by his sons Radoslaff and Vladislaff in succession. The latter made an offensive and defensive alliance with Ragusa. He employed Germans to work the Servian mines ; and we find them repeatedly mentioned in Servian documents under the name of Saxons, especi-ally in the Zakonik of Stephen Dushan. No traces, however, can be found of them at the present day. Vladislaff's court is said to have been very luxurious. He died childless about 1237 and was succeeded by his brother Stephen Urosh, whose territories were devastated in 1241 by the Mongols. He was afterwards driven from his throne by his son Dragutin and died in 1272. The latter, however, stung by conscience, abandoned the crown to his brother Milutin and contented himself with Syrmia, where he died in 1317. The reign of Milutin was chiefly occupied with struggles against the Greeks ; he was generally successful in his campaigns. But his domestic life was unhappy : he divorced three wives and caused his only son Stephen to be blinded from suspicion of his treachery. The operation, however, was imperfectly performed, and the youth recovered his sight. In 1314 Milutin fought on the side of the emperor Andronicus against the Turks, and in the same year forced the Ragusans to pay him tribute. After his brother Dragutin's death he seized his hereditary dominions, and recalling his son Stephen, whom he had banished to Constantinople, gave him Dioclea. In 1319 the Hungarians deprived him of Bosnia; two years later he died. His son Stephen was engaged in perpetual wars. In 1330 he defeated the Bulgarians at the brook Kamencha near Velbuzhd, when the Bulgarian czar Michael was slain. It was on this occasion that his son called Stephen Dushan first Stephen distinguished himself. In spite of the king's successes against the Dushan. Greeks, he was destined to close his reign in the most lamentable manner : he was imprisoned and strangled by order of his own son at Zvechan in 1336. It is from this crime that Dushan gained his surname (dushiti, "to suffocate"). Concerning this prince, we are told by the ancient chroniclers that he was gigantic in stature and terrible in appearance. He conducted thirteen campaigns against the Greeks. In 1337 he took Strumitza and subjugated all Mace-donia and Albania to Thessalonica, Kostur, and Janina, threatened Byzantium, and concluded a peace with the emperor Andronicus, who was shut up in Thessalonica. He now divided his kingdom into eight districts and arranged everything on the Byzantine model. He conquered the wdiole of Macedonia, and caused himself to be crowned emperor of Servia, his son Urosh as king (Jcral, rex), and the archbishop of the country as patriarch. In 1349, at a diet, he published his celebrated Zakonik or " Book of Laws" (see be- Oontests low). In 1356 he began a new campaign against the Greeks, his with object being to seize Constantinople, to place the Greek crown upon Turks. his head, and drive the Turks out of Europe ; but in the midst of his schemes he died at Deabolis in Albania on 18th December 1356. His son Urosh was then but nineteen years of age, and, being sickly in body and weak in mind, he was unable to struggle against the revolted governors of his provinces, some of whom wished to make themselves independent. He was killed in a conflict with one of them in 1367, who ascended the throne under the name of Vukashin. This monarch was at first successful against the Turks, now already masters of considerable portions of the Byzantine empire ; but he lost the decisive battle of Tajnarus, and with it his life, in 1371. According to the chroniclers, the Serbs were surprised and many slain while sleeping. Many also were drowned in the waters of the Maritza, "and there their bones lay and were never buried." The fate of Vukashin and of his brother Goiko was uncertain. The empire of Dushan now began to fall to pieces and Servia was again without a ruler. Marco, the son of Vukashin, declared himself the successor of his father ; but the line was unpopular with the Serbs, and at a diet at Pec (Ipek) in 1374 they elected a young noble, Lazar Greblianovich, a connexion of the old princely house. He did not, however, take the title of either emperor or king, but only of knez or prince. Bosnia was separated from Servia and fell under the rule of a noble named Tvertko. Sultan Murad had already conquered the Bulgarian sovereign Shishman and now marched against Servia. On the 15th of June 1389 the Serbs were Battle of completely defeated at the battle of Kosovo, the "field of black- Kosovo, birds." No event has been so much celebrated in the national songs as this. Many are the lays which tell of the treachery of Vuk Brankovich and the glorious self-immolation of Milosh Obilich, who stabbed the conqueror on the battlefield. The silken shroud, embroidered with gold, with which his wife Militza covered the body of her husband is still preserved in the monastery of Vrdnik in Syrmia, and a tree which she planted is shown to travellers at Zhpa. According to one account Lazar was killed in the battle ; according to others he was taken prisoner and executed before the eyes of the dying Murad. The bones of Lazar now rest at Kavanitza Servia on the Frushka Gora in Syrmia. We hear no more of independent tributary Serb princes ; the country was now tributary to Turkey, and its to rulers were styled despots. Stephen, the son of Lazar, was confirmed Turkey, in this title by Bajazid, the successor of Murad. Militza died in a convent in 1406.

Stephen died in 1427 childless, and was suc-ceeded by George Brankovich, a man sixty years of age, whose reign was a troubled one. In 1437 he was compelled to fly to Hungary to avoid the wrath of Murad II., and did not recover his territory till Hunyadi and Scanderbeg drove back the Turks in 1444. George fell, in the iiinety>-fii'st year of his age, in battle with a Hungarian magnate named Michael Szilagyi on 24th December 1457. His youngest son Lazar succeeded him after committing many crimes, but only survived his father five weeks. His widow, Helena Pala> ologus, gave the country to the pope in order to secure his assist-ance against the Turks. Upon this the sultan ravaged Servia in the most pitiless manner, burnt the churches and monasteries, and carried off 200,000 persons into captivity. Servia became in all respects a Turkish province, although wo occasionally find the empty title of " despot" borne by some of the descendants of its princes. Great numbers of the Serbs subsequently migrated to Hungary. In 1689 some thousands under the command of the despot George Brankovich entered the imperial (German) army. Ill 1691 the Servian patriarch, Arsenius Chernoyevich, led about 36,000 families to settle in various parts of Hungary, chiefly in Syrmia and Slavonia. These zadrugas, as they are called, are not families in our sense of the word, consisting of parents and children, but communities of families according to the custom still found among the Croats of the Military Frontier. The number of the emigrants at that time would probably amount to 400,000 or 500,000 persons. Others followed them in 1738 and 1788. These Serbs have kept their religion and language in spite of the desperate efforts of the Government to Magyarize them. The last despot of Servia was George Brankovich, who died in captivity in Austria in 1711.

In consequence of the splendid victories of Prince Eugene, Austria acquired the greater part of Servia by the treaty of Posharevatz in 1718, but the Turks regained it by the peace of Belgrade in 1739. For upwards of four centuries the Serbs groaned under the Turkish yoke, until, in 1804, unable to endure the oppression of the Turkish dahis, they broke out into rebellion under George Petrovich, sur-nanied Tsrni, or " Black George " (in Turkish Kara). Kara George was born at Topola (Tapolja) in 1767 ; at first he merely aimed at conquering the dahis, but afterwards he attempted to drive the Turks out of Servia. This he succeeded in doing after many failures. In 1813, however, they reconquered the country, and George with his adherents was compelled to fly to Austria, He returned in 1817, but was treacherously murdered by order of Milosh Obrenovich, who had now become the Servian leader. We have no space here to Struggles sketch the struggles of Milosh to secure the independence of Servia. for inde-He was himself of peasant origin and in his youth had been a swine- pend-herd. The Turks had contrived to kill or drive out of the country ence. all the Servian aristocracy, leaving only peasants to till the ground, feed swine (one of the great industries of the country), and pay the harach. Milosh was declared prince by the national assembly, and in 1830 secured the consent of the Porte to his enjoyment of the title with the succession reserved to his family. Turkey allowed Servia a quasi-independence, but held and garrisoned several for-tresses. Milosh had so little forgotten his Turkish training that he made himself obnoxious to his subjects by his despotic acts. He was a man of simple, even coarse habits, as many of the anec-dotes told of him testify. He was compelled to abdicate in 1839 in favour of his son Milan, who, however, was of too feeble a con-stitution to direct the government, and, dying soon afterwards, was succeeded by his younger brother Michael. He also abdicated in 1842 and the Serbs then elected Alexander, the son of Tsrni George, or, to give him his Servian patronymic, Karageorgevich. His rule lasted seventeen years; he was compelled to resign in 1859, and Milosh, now very old, was invited to come from Bucharest. He lived, however, only one year, dying in 1860, and left the throne to his son Michael, then aged forty, who was thus a second time elected prince of Servia. Michael was a man of refinement and had learned much during his exile. The condition of the country improved during his reign, and in 1862 he succeeded in getting the Turkish garrisons removed from Belgrade. The Moslem in-habitants have gradually withdrawn from the country, so that they are now represented by a very few families. Of the two mosques still remaining in Belgrade, one is devoted to their use, the other having been turned into a gas-work. While walking in his park, called Koslmtniak or Topshidere, near Belgrade, Michael was assassinated by the emissaries of Alexander Karageorgevich on 10th June 1868. He was succeeded by his second cousin, Milan, grand-son of Yephrem, a brother of Milosh. Milan was born in 1854 ; he became prince of Servia in 1872. In 1875 he married a Kussian lady, Natalie de Keczko. In 1878 the Serbs declared war against Turkey, but their arms were unsuccessful, and they were only saved by the intervention of Russia. By the treaty of Berlin, July 1878, the country received a large accession of territory, and the prince caused himself to be proclaimed king. Peace continued till the year 1885, and during this period the Serbs seemed to make con-siderable progress as a nation, in spite of the bitterness of political faction. In 1885, however, Servia made an ill-judged and selfish attack upon Bulgaria, which was ignominiotisly beaten off.


For some account of the Servian language, see SLAVS.

Under Servian literature the Dalmatian and Croatian in the limited sense of the term must be included. The latter, however, is somewhat meagre. This literature is divided into three periods—

(1) from the earliest times to the fall of Servian independence at the battle of Kosovo, 1389; (2) from the rise of the importance of Ragusa in the 15th century till its decay towards the end of the 17th ; (3) from the time of Dositei Obradovich to the present day.

First Period.—The earliest composition which has come down to us in the Servian or Illyrian language, to use a term in which we may include the Dalmatian Slavs, who are essentially the same people, is the production of an unknown priest of Dioclea (Doclea), now Duklya, a heap of ruins, but formerly a city of considerable importance on the river Moratza. His title in Latin is " Anonymus Presbyter Diocletis," or in Slavonic "Pop Dukljanin." He must have lived about the middle of the 12th century, as the chronicle compiled by him extends to the year 1161. It is a tedious pro-duction, and possesses only antiquarian interest; it is printed by Kukuljevic Sakcinski in the Arkiv za Povestnicu Jugoslavcnsku (Agram, 1851). The oldest documents of the Servian language in the narrower sense of the term are a letter of Kulin, the ban of Bosnia in 1189, and the letter of Simeon or Stephen Nemanya to the monastery of Chilander on Mount xVthos. These productions are simply Palajoslavonic with a mixture of Serbisms. The history of early Servian literature has been thoroughly investigated by Schafarik in his Serbische Lesekbrner (Pesth, 1853). We have only space to mention the more important productions. (1) The Life of St Simeon by his son St Sabbas or Sava, the first archbishop of Servia, was written about 1210. The early manuscripts have been lost and the oldest copy known only elates from the 17th century. Besides this work, Sava also compiled a tipik or collection of statutes for the monastery of Studenitza, of which he was hegoumen or abbot. He was the founder of the celebrated Chilander monastery. (2) The History of St Simeon and St Sabbas by Dometian was compiled in 1264, and is preserved in a manuscript of the 14th century. There is a good edition by Danichieh, to whom we are indebted for a valuable lexicon of Old Servian. (3) The Rodosloff or Lives of Servian kings and archbishops, compiled by Archbishop Daniel (died 1338), contains the lives of Kings Radoslaff, Yladislaff, Urosh, Dragutin, Queen Helena, Milutin, &c. After his death the work was continued by an anonymous writer. The style of these pro-ductions is dry and tasteless. They are written in Palaeoslavonic mixed with Serbisms. Hilferding has commented with great severity on their bombastic and panegyrical style,—the most com-plimentary epithets being applied to many sovereigns whose careers were stained with crimes. (4) The Life of Stephen, surnamed " De-chanski," from the monastery Dechani which he founded, written by Gregory Tzamblak, hegoumen of the same monastery. (5) In 1359 we have the Code of Laws (Zakonik) of Stephen Dushan, which has been previously mentioned ; it is the earliest specimen of Servian legislation, and has come down in several manuscripts, being first published by Raich in his History at the close of the 18th century. Since that time other editions have appeared, the two most important being those of Miklosich and Novakovich.

Second Period. —To this epoch, which may be said to commence with the 15th century, belong some of the Servian chronicles, the Lyetopis Koprivnichki and others,—dry and tedious compilations ; the 15th century saw also the outburst of the literature of Ragusa (see below). The Servian ballads have obtained a European celebrity, and must have existed from very early times. Nicephorus Gregoras, who in 1325-26 came to Stephen Urosh IV. as ambassador from the Byzantine emperor Andronicus, noticed that some Serbs attached to his suite sang tragic songs celebrating the great exploits of their national herpes. As M. Pipin remarks in his History of Slavonic Literature, this shows the existence of a national epic among the Serbs before the battle of Kosovo. In the description of an embassy sent from Vienna to Constantinople in 1551 a certain Kuripeshich, by birth a Slovene, speaks of hearing songs sung in honour of Milosh who slew Sultan Murad. The first attempt at collecting them was made by the Franciscan monk Andrew Kacic-MiosSic, a Dalmatian, who died in 1785. His work was published at Venice in 1756 under the title of Razgovor Ugodni Naroda Slovinskoga (Recreations of the Slavonic People). Some of the pieces included in this volume were written 'by Miosic himself, and he made many alterations in the old ones. This, however, was quite in the spirit of the age in which he lived. We find extracts from Servian ballads in some of the Dalmatian poets of the 16th century. In 1794 they were alluded to in the Travels of the abbe Fortis, and were finally collected by Vuk Stephanovich Karajich and published at Leipsic in 1824 under the title Narodne Srpske Pyesme (Popular Servian Songs). Some of them were afterwards translated into German by Theresa von Jacob and into English by Bowling and Lord Lytton. The versions of the last two possess but little merit. It would be impossible in a short notice like the present to discuss the contents of these remarkable ballads. To the majority of readers the cycle wdiich treats of Knez Lazar and his fate at the battle of Kosovo will prove the most interesting. Besides historical persons introduced in the ballads, there is the half-mythical hero Marco Kralevich, who, like the Russian Ilya Murometz, has many of the characteristics of a supernatural being. His victories, chiefly over Turks and Magyars, are narrated in the most bombastic phraseology. At last he dies in battle; but the belief prevails that he remains concealed till he shall appear on some future occasion to rescue his people from their oppressors. Almost as mysterious as the hero himself is his horse Sharatz, who was presented to him by a vila or fairy. After the death of Vuk Stephanovich (1864) a supple-mentary volume was published by his widow, which her husband had left prepared for the press Srpske Narodne Pyesme iz Herze-govina (Popular Servian Songs from Herzegovina, Vienna, 1866). A good collection of songs of the Montenegrins (Tsrnogortzi) was edited at Leipsic in 1857 by Milutinovich. There has also appeared a little volume of Servian national songs from Bosnia, collected by Bogolub Petranovich in 1867. Since then volumes of Servian popular poetry by Rayachevich and Ristich have appeared.

During this period Slavonic literature reached a high pitch of culture in the little city of Ragusa, called in Slavonic Dubrovnik. During the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries this city, now in a state of decay, was a kind of Slavonic Athens. To the influence of Italian literature was added the culture introduced by the crowds of learned Greeks,—Chalcocondylas, Lascaris, and others,—who found refuge within its walls after the fall of Constantinople. Lyrics and the lyric drama seem to have been the general pro-ductions of the more noteworthy authors. The influence of Italian is perceptible throughout. The first writer of eminence was Hannibal Lucie, a very popular poet in his day, author of love-songs, a drama Robinja (The Female Slave), and translations pub-lished first by his son Anthony at Venice in 1556, and reprinted by Dr Gaj at Agram in 1847. A very interesting poem by this author is his Eulogy of the city of Dubrovnik (Ragusa). Another writer of considerable reputation was Nicholas Vetranic-Caveic (1482-1576), who afterwards became a monk and lived as a hermit on one of the islands on the Dalmatian coast. He has left several plays and, besides translating the Hecuba of Euripides, wrote several mysteries, in the style of the religious plays once so popular throughout Europe ; of these the Sacrifice of Abraham is the best. His poem entitled Ltaly is remarkable for the warm affection it expresses for the country of his education. Peter Hektorevic (1486-1572) was a rich proprietor of the island of Zara, and is worth mentioning as having shown a taste for the national poetry of his country. He has introduced some songs in his Ribanje i Ribarsko Prigovoranje (Fishing and a Dialogue of Fishermen). „Very cele-brated in its time was the Jegjupka or Gipsy of Andrew Cubranovic (1500-1559), who was originally a silversmith. His poem of the Gipsy is said to have been evoked in the following manner. Cubranovic was on one occasion following a young lady and urging his suit when she turned round and said scornfully in Italian to her attendant, in the hearing of the poet, "Che vuole da me questo Zingaro ?" ("What does this Gipsy want with me ?"). The despised lover took up the word of reproach and wrote a poem in which he introduced a Gipsjr prophesying to a company of ladies their various fortunes and concluding with an expostulation to the hard-hearted beauty for her obduracy. Schafarik speaks of this piece with great enthusiasm and calls it "a truly splendid flower in the garden of the Illyrian Muses." The Russian critic Pipin supposes, with great probability, that the poem was written as a sort of masquerade for the carnival. It enjoyed considerable popularity and was frequently imitated. A similar story is said to have suggested the Dervise (Dervish) of Stjepo Gucetic, in which the author represents himself as a Turkish dervish. These two pieces are elegant productions in the Italian manner.

Nicholas Naljeskovic (1510-1587) was a native of Ragusa and author of several pastoral plays in the stylo then so much in vogue throughout Europe. Of the same description are the productions of Marino Drzic (1520-15S0), of whom his contemporaries praised "il puro, vago, e dolce canto." Mention may also be made of Dinko Ranjina and Mauro Orbini (d. 1614). Another celebrated poet was Dominco Zlataric (1556-1607), who, besides translating the Plectra of Sophocles, produced a version of the Aminta of Tasso and has left several minor pieces. The chief of the Ragusan poets, however, was Ivan Gundulic (sometimes called by his Italian name of Gondola). Very few facts are known of his life ; but he died in 1658 aged fifty, having discharged several important public offices. His death, says Schafarik, was not too early for his fame but too early for hterature and the glory and prosperity of his country. He himself published but little, and many of his writings perished in the earthquake in 1667, after which Ragusa never regained her former prosperity. The so-called Petrarchan school of Illyrian poetry languished after this and wasted its energy on elegant trifles. Dalmatian poets of the 18th and 19th centuries have not made any considerable figure. The Osman of Gundulic, on wdiich his fame rests, is an epic in twelve books, and was written to cele-brate the victory of the Poles under Chodkiewicz over the Turks and Tatars in 1622 at Chocim (Khotin). Schafarik praises Gundulic for the richness of his imagination, the lofty tone of his verse, and its perfectly constructed rhythm. We are willing to allow that Osman possesses considerable spirit and that the versification is melodious, but on the whole it seems a tedious poem. The short quatrains in which it is written lack the true epic dignity. Leaving the Dalmatians, the only writer worthy of mention among the Serbs is George Brankovich (1645-1711), the last despot, who com-piled a History of Servia till the end of the 17th Century, which has been edited by Chedomil Miyatovich, ambassador from the court of Servia to St James's (1886). From this period till the close of the 18th century there is no Servian literature : the spirit of the people seems to have been crushed out of them by Austrian persecutors on the one hand and by Turkish on the other. Till the reign of Milosh Obrenovich in the 19th century hardly a Servian printed book was to be seen. The works of Yuri Krizhanich, who, although a Serb, wrote in Russian, are mentioned under RUSSIA (p. 105).

Third Period (from 1750).—The spark of nationality was still burning among the Serbs, in spite of their degradation, and men were found to fan it. Such a man was Raich (1720-1801), alhiich. th orough patriot. He was born in Slavonia, a province of Austria inhabited by Serbs, the son of poor parents, but he had all the enthusiasm for learning that animated the Russian Lomonosoff, whom he very much resembled. Thus we find him making his way on foot from his native town to Kieff, where he was received into the ecclesiastical seminary and devoted himself to theology. After spending three years at Kieff, he betook himself to Moscow. Meeting, on his return to his native country, with a cold reception from those whom he had expected to foster his studies, he went back to Russia, and while at Kieff resolved to write the history of the Servian nation. Knowing that the Slavonic monasteries in European Turkey contained many unpublished manuscripts (num-bers of "which have since perished in the wars which have devastated the country or have been destroyed by the Greeks), he visited Constantinople and many other parts of that empire in order to collect materials. On his return to Austria he took up his abode at Neusatz on the Danube (also long the headquarters of Schafarik), and worked at his history, which he finished in 1768, but it was not published till upwards of twenty vears later. In 1772 he became a monk, and he died in 1801. The work of Raich, though interesting as a monument of learned industry, does not now possess much critical value. The style is harsh and a great deal of the ethnology (a science then in its infancy) unsound. Thus, among other strange statements, he holds the Bulgarians on the Volga to have been Slavs. After Raich we come upon two inde-Obra- fatigable Servian workers, Dositei Obradovich (1739-1811) and Vuk dovich. Stephanovich (1787-1864). The life of the former has been written by himself. He was a man of varied learning, and his career was marked by many curious adventures. After having visited nearly every part of Europe (including England, where he was received with great hospitality), Obradovich returned to Servia and became tutor to the children of Tsrni George. He was a man sprung from the people, and an indefatigable and successful labourer for national education. The list of his compilations and translations is considerable. Acting on the wise principle that the language as it is spoken should be cultivated and not a jargon overloaded with archaic and supposed classical forms, he did good by destroying the influence of the Palseoslavonic among his country-men. Before his death his services to his country were recognized by his appointment as member of the senate and superintendent of national education. The man, however, who was destined to bring Vuk the Servian language into the greatest prominence was Vuk (Wolf) Stephan- Stephanovich Karajich, whose collection of songs was mentioned ovich. above. Vuk was an indefatigable scholar and patriot. Till his time the Servian language had been, so far as all foreigners were concerned, simply rudis indigestaque moles. He wrote a good grammar, which has formed the basis of all published since, and to this Jacob Grimm furnished a preface. To him also we owe a Servian dictionary and a collection of tales and proverbs. His sup-posed innovations in the Servian language with regard to the rejec-tion of archaisms and the introduction of a new system of ortho-graphy raised up a host of enemies against him, so that not only was he forbidden to enter Servia but his books were excluded from the country. He died at the beginning of 1864, but permission to make use of his innovations was not given till four years afterwards. Minor A complete enumeration of the Servian and Croatian authors of writers, the 19th century would far exceed the limits of this article. But Matthias Anthony Relkovic (1732-1798) deserves mention, because he wrote in a dialect but little cultivated, viz., the Slavonian in the restricted sense, as applied to the Austrian province of that name. He published in 1761 a successful satire entitled Satir iliti Divi Csovik (Satire or the Clever Man), at Dresden. A few names, each of which marks a definite feature of the literature, must suffice. Lucian Mushitzki (1777-1851), an archimandrite, afterwards bishop of Carlowitz, was highly esteemed by his countrymen as a poet. His odes are full of patriotic feeling. Yovan Hadchich (1799-1870) wrote under the nom de plume of Milosh Svetich. For some time he was an authority in Servian literature, but ultimately his influence waned. Simeon Milutinovich, a noted writer, whose life was full of strange adventures, composed an epic poem entitled Serbianka, which describes the chief incidents of the Servian war in 1812. It was published at Leipsic in 1826. We have previously alluded to his collection of Montenegrin songs. He is also the author of a tragedy on Milosh Obilich, who slew Sultan Murad. Milutinovich, who was a Bosnian, died in poverty in 1847. Yovan Popovich (1806-1856), a native of the Banat, was a writer of much industry and merit, and gained a considerable reputation by his plays, the subjects of which were taken from Servian history and were put upon the stage with considerable effect. Without being a great dramatic writer, he had the art of constructing pieces to which people would listen,—something like Sheridan Knowles. To this circle belongs also Yuri Maletich, author of Spomenik Lukianom Mushitzkom (A Memorial to Lucian Mushitzki), and also the Apothe-osis of Kara George. In 1847 the well-known journal Glasnik (The Messenger) was founded, which has continued to the present time and contains many valuable papers on Servian history and literature. Schafarik had previously founded at Neusatz (Novi Sad) the Matitza Srbska, an excellent society for printing Servian books. Croatian The Croats have also been active in modern times. The remark-litera- able poem, Death of the Agha Ismail Gengic, by Ivan Mazuranic ture. (born in 1813), is said to be so popular among the Serbs, as stimulating their hatred of the Turk, that it has been called "The Epos of Hate." Ismail was the descendant of an old Bosnian family who had turned Mussulmans to keep their estates when the country was first invaded. These renegades, as might be expected, are more fanatical than the Turks themselves. His exploits were chiefly directed against the Uskoks and the Montenegrins. The poem is composed in the same metre as that of the Servian ballads collected by Vuk. It is spirited, but has a savage air about it, engendered by the scenes described, the fierce border wars of long hereditary hatred. The account of the cruelties committed by the Turks while collecting the harach and the conclusion, where the body of the slain Agha is brought to the hermit, are dramatically conceived.

The four most celebrated Servo-Croatian poets are Stanko Vraz, Servo-Preradovic, Yovanovich, and Radichevich. Stanko Vraz (1810- Croatian 1851) was by birth a Slovene; he joined, however, the Illyrian poetry, movement under Ljudevit Gaj and used the Servo-Croatian lan-guage. The attempt of Gaj to form a common literary language under the name of Illyrian by fusing the Servo-Croat and the Sloven-ish languages was not successful. Perhaps the only result, if it had been persevered in, would have been that the Slovenes would have become completely Germanized, as a pedantic literary language would not have been understood by the peasants. Besides many graceful lyrics, Vraz also published collections of national songs. Some of his shorter pieces are very elegant and have a rich Oriental colouring. Peter Preradovic (1818-1872), a native of the Military Frontier and a general in the Austrian army, is the author of many graceful lyrics, widely known throughout all Servian-speaking regions. A complete edition of his works appeared in 1873. Peter Yovanovich (born in 1801) is the author of many popular poems. But no one of the later generation of Servian authors has gained such a reputation as Branko Radichevich, who was born in the Austrian Banat in 1824, and ended his short life at Vienna in 1853. His popularity rests upon the patriotism shown in his writings and their spirited tone. Nor have the Servo-Croats lacked important workers in the fields of history and philology. Among these must be mentioned Dyuro Danichich (1825-1882), who was educated partly at Pesth and partly at Vienna, at the latter university be-coming the pupil of Miklosich. He first made himself conspicuous by espousing the cause of Vuk Stephanovich Karajich in the dispute about Servian orthography. Besides contributing valuable papers to the Glasnik, he was the author of an Old Servian dictionary of great service to students. He edited, as previously mentioned, the memorials of Old Servian literature. At the time of his death he was engaged upon a great Servo-Croatian dictionary, a work which, it is to be hoped, will be continued by some of his pupils. Ljudevit Gaj (1809-1872), who has already been mentioned, was a Croat and laboured to bring about a national unity. His services were invaluable as an editor of the Old Dalmatian classics. Armin Pavic (still living) has written a good history of the Dalmatian drama (Historija Dubrovacke Drame, Agram, 1871). Sto}'an Novakovich (born 1842), at one time minister of public instruction, besides contributing valuable articles in the Glasnik, has published an historical chrestomathy of the Servian language and an edition of the Zakonik of Stephen Dushan. Another worker in the same field was Chedomil Miyatovich, previously mentioned. One of the most indefatigable and patriotic of modern Croatian scholars is Ivan Kukuljevic Sak-cinski, who has edited, besides many early Croatian and Servian works, an admirable Arkiv za Povestnicu Jngoslavensku (Collection of Documents for South Slavonic History), of which several volumes have appeared,—a veritable storehouse of Slavonic history, archaeo-logy, and literature. He has found an excellent coadjutor in Dr Francis Racki (born 1829), among whose works may be mentioned Pismo Slovjensko (Slavonic Writing, Agram, 1861), Odlomci iz Drzavnoga prava Horvatskoga (Fragments of Croatian Law, 1861), and many excellent historical articles in the journals Pozor (The Observer) and Paid (Labour).

After Miklosich, the most indefatigable worker in the field of Slavonic Slavonic literature now living is the Croat Ignaz Vatroslaff Jagiclitera-(born 1835), formerly a professor at Berlin, who now occupies the ture chair of Slavonic philosophy at St Petersburg, in the place ofgener-Sreznevski. He has published many valuable works on Slavonic ally, philology, such as (in 1867) a History of Servo-Croatian Literature, also a reading-book with specimens of early Glagolitic and Cyrillic works (Primeri Starohervatskoga Jezika). He has also edited two of the oldest Slavonic codices, Marian us and Zographensis. Moreover, in 1875 he founded the well-known Archivfiir slavische Philo-logie, which he still edits with the co-operation of many Slavists. Sime Ljubic is another worker in the field of Slavonic history and literature. To the excellent literary journals already mentioned may be added the Starina, published at Agram. Valuable works have been written by Balthasar Bogisvic on the house-communities of the southern Slavs and south Slavonic law generally. His labours have been made use of by Sir Henry Maine. One of the most cele-brated of living Servian poets is Matthias Ban, the author of several poems and plays, which have been very favourably received.

A few words may be added here on Montenegrin history and Monte-literature, the details of which are but scanty. On the death of negro. Stephen Dushan, a certain prince Balsha became independent ruler of Zeta. Many fugitives betook themselves to the little retreat after the battle of Kosovo. Ivan Chernoyevich settled in Tzetinye (Cettinje) in 1485 and built a church and a monastery. In 1516 his son and successor retired to Venice, and Montenegro was governed by a national assembly and a vladika (prince bishop). The country was ruled by vladikas of various families till 1697. In that year the office became hereditary in the family of Petrovich of Negosh. Originally the ecclesiastical and civil functions were combined in the person of the vladika, but they were separated on the death of Peter II. in 1851. The latter was the author of some poems in the Servian language, the most celebrated being Loucha Mikrokozma (The Light of the Microcosm), which appeared at Belgrade in 1845. He was succeeded by his son Daniel, first prince of Montenegro, who, dying in 1860, was followed by his nephew Nicholas, the most memorable events of whose reign have been the war with Turkey and the increase of his territory by the treaty of Berlin. (W. K. M.)


2 Origines Ariaeiv, p. 128, Vienna, 1883.

The above article was written by two authors:

(a) First part of the article
G. G. Chisolm

(b) Second part of the article (History; Literature)
W. R. Morfill.

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