Mapping the Old Serbia in European Cartography: Knowledge, Ideology, Collective Memory
Ein Vortrag von Gastwissenschaftler Bogdan Trifunović, PhD (Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw).
Datum: 27. Juni 2018
Zeit: 11.00 Uhr
Ort: Leibniz-Institut für Ost-und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS), Landshuter Str. 4 (Raum 109)
In the Serbian 19th century national discourse the term Old Serbia (Stara Srbija in Serbian) describes the lands once part of the medieval Serbian state, in the south of the Principality of Serbia and under the Ottoman rule from the 15th century. These were mostly the territory of the Ottoman vilayet (province) Kosovo, extended to include parts of vilayets Monastir (Bitola) and Selanik (Thessaloniki).
This paper narrows investigation on the roots of Old Serbia discourse in the 19th century European cartography and contemporary geographical knowledge of the Balkans. This period is deliberately chosen, as it parallels the period of the Ottoman Empire crisis and growing interest in the region by the European powers, paired with the rising national sentiments and the Balkan states’ ideologies of the same period. The geographical knowledge of the Balkan region grew constantly during this time, particularly through the travels and works of geographers and cartographers based in Austrian and German lands. Therefore, it is not by chance that first official usage of the term Old Serbia was in the map produced in 1845 by the Serbian government.
Contrary to the most of contemporary historiography on this topic, this analysis questions the genesis of the term Old Serbia itself, and takes into account both the foreign influences and the ideology of the Serbian state, interested in territory gains to the south, as well as the collective memory about the medieval Serbian realm.