servia serbs country stephen died servian george name emperor turks
SERBIA HISTORY - 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 Slays). The generally accepted derivation of the name Chrobat, Croat, is from the original designation of the Carpathians, Chrbet, "a ridge," an opinion supported by Schafarik and Professor Ljubid, author of a Croatian history. This view is rejected by Perwolf ' and also by Penka,2 but apparently on insufficient grounds. The last-named connects the word with the same mot as that from which " Slav " is derived (slit-ti, klrc, 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 deutseh is from diot, " people." He considers it to have been the original appellation of all the Slays. This must be accepted as the best explanation hitherto given, though not altogether satisfactory. We find the name Vppor in Ptolemy and Sirbi in Pliny.
The Serbs and Croats have no history till the year 638 A.D., at f which period they left their original settlements and migrated into the ancient Illyricunl and part of Artesia. Whether any of this people had previously taken up their abode in the Balkan peninsula is by no means clear, and very different opinions have been 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 Slays. JireCek considers that for two hundred years before the Slays are heard of in history south of the Danube they were scattered as colonists in Artesia, 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 wropeh, 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 fith 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 population. The services of these Croats were made use of by the emperor Heraclius, and they became a barrier against the Avers, whom they drove out of the country in which they settled. The territory which they occupied was divided by them into eleven pupas or ga2ten. 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 Aver 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 in their new territories we Ear hear nothing of the Serbs save an occasional very brief mention in con the Byzantine chroniclers. The native annalists do not begin earlier wit: than the 12th century. As in Croatia so among the Serbs, the Gre smaller /upans3 gradually became merged into two or three great ones. The head Zupan of Servia, who resided in Denim, called by Constantine Destiuica, was at first the suzerain of all the other Servian iupans, with the exception of the Pagani, concerning whose Latin name the emperor Constantine makes the very strange remark - sal yap Hayapol Kara ThV Tay ZKXCifialt, 'yXacrcrav aliarrarrot 41.07vekvrae. After the land was harried by the Bulgarians we find the great /upan of Dioclea (Doclea) supreme ; lie acquired the title of king, and received his insignia from the pope. Filially, Nemanya, the descendant of a iupan family of Dioelea, founded a new dynasty in Rasa (mod. Novibazar), and united Servia and Bosnia into one strong empire. The names of the earlier princes, who are insignificant 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, moreover, 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. Together with Bulgaria, Servia fell under the power of the emperor, and its affairs were managed by a Greek governor. Stephen Voyislaff 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 (Dra) in 1079, and reigned thirty years. His son, Constantine Bodin, subjugated the iupans of Bosnia and Rasa. About 1122 Ourosh, surnamed Bela, iiipan 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 (115995), 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 consecrated by the pope ; hence his title Prvorgenchani, " the first- crowned," - that is to say of the new dynasty, for the !imams of Dioelea were already kings. Ho 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, especially 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 Milntin 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 lie 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 hamencha near Velbuzhd, when the Bulgarian czar Michael was slain. It was on this occasion that his son called Stephen Dushan first Ste; distinguished himself. In spite of the king's successes against the Dus 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 Macedonia 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 whole of Macedonia, and caused himself to be crowned emperor of Servia, his son Urosh as king (kral, rex), and the archbishop of the country as patriarch. In 1349, at a diet, lie published his celebrated Zakonik or " Book of Laws" (see below). In 1356 he began a new campaign against the Greeks, his object being to seize Constantinople, to place the Greek crown-upon 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 Tnarus, 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 Pe6 (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 Jones 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 (completely defeated at the battle of Kosovo, the "field of blackbirds." 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 ()Nab, 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 2upa. 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 Ravanitza on the Frushka Gora in Syrmia. We hear no more of independent Serb princes ; the country was now tributary to Turkey, and its rulers were styled despots. Stephen, the son of Lazar, was confirmed in this title by Bajazid, the successor of Murad. Militza died in a convent in 1406. Stephen died in 1427 childless, and was succeeded 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 ninety-first 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 Palmologus, gave the country to the pope in order to secure his assistance 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. Scrvia became in all respects a Turkish province, although we 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. In 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, surnamed Drat, 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 Mimic Obrenovich, who had now become the Servian leader. We have no space here to l sketch the struggles of Milosh to secure the independence of Servia. I He was himself of peasant origin and in his youth had been a swineherd. The Turks had contrived to kill or drive out of the country all the Servian aristocracy, leaving only peasants to till the ground, feed swine (one of the great industries of the country), and pay the lmarach. 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 fortresses. 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 constitution 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 durin$ 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 inhabitants 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 Koshutniak 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 Russian 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 largo 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 considerable 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 ignominiously beaten off.