Southern Old Serbia – History & Ethnology

Southern Old Serbia – Stara Srbija – History & Ethnology

Sources and opinions about Serbian ethnicity of Southern Old Serbia (Stara Srbija)

Compiled by Igor Malinovski

1) Around 950,Byzantine Emperor Constantin Porphyrogenitos stated that city of “Ta Serbia” situated north-western from Thesaloniki,has it’s name from its Serbian founders (around early 7th century A.D.) and in 10th century that same city is mentioned as “Srpchishte” in the manuscript by the Byzantine author John Zonara.

Constantin Porphyrogenitos “De Administrando Imperio” cap.32, pp.152 ed.Bonn
“Starine” 14,1882 pp.16

2) In the year 680 in Bythinia, city of Gordoservon is mentioned whose name is derived from the Serbs resettled in Asia Minor by Byzantine Emperor Constance II from the areas around river Vardar (FYROM) . Isidor,the Episcop of Gordoservon is mentioned in 680/681 and the fact that this town was Episcopal Center gives ground to the thesis that it had large Serbian population. Around year 1200 this city is mentioned as Servochoria (Serbian Habitation) .
Constantin Porfyrogenitus “De Administrando Imperio”
Erdeljanovich.J. “O naseljavanju Slovena u Maloj Aziji i Siriji od VII do X veka” Glasnik geografskog drushtva vol. VI 1921 pp.189
Lequen,M. “Oriens Christianus” I, 1740, pp.659-660
Micotky,J.”Otiorum Chroate”, Vol. I ,Budapest, 1806, pp.89-112
Niederle,L. “Slovanske starozhitnosti” Dilu II,Svazek pp.389-399; pp. 444-446
Ostrogorski,G.”Bizantisko-Juzhnoslovenski odnosi”,Enciklopedija Jugoslavije 1,Zagreb 1955,pp. 591-599
Ramsay,W.M. “The Historical Geography Of Asia Minor”, London, 1890, pp.183, pp.210

3) Around 1229/1230 Bulgarian Emperor John Asen II wrote an inscription in Trnovo:”I have took the land from Adrianopolis to Drach,Greek,Albanian and also Serbian”.Since Serbian states were situated far north from the line outlined in this commemorative text,it is not unlikely that “Serbian” means an ethnically Serbian enclave,situated much more southerly than political borders of Serbia.
Daskalov,H.S. “Otkritija v drevnei stolicji Bolgarskoi,Ternovo”Moskva, 1859 pp.18-19
Dujchev,I. “Car Ivan Asen II” Sofija, 1941 pp.23-24
Makushev,V “Bolgarija v’ koncjah XII i v pervoi polovini XIII veka” ,1872 pp.56-57

4) In the Law of Serbian Emperor Stephan Dushan (Dushanov Zakonik) issued 1349-1354 in Skoplje and Seress following peoples are mentioned in Serbia:Serbs,Greeks,Albanians (Arbanasi) (art.77,82) , Aromanians (Vlasi) (art.32,77,82) , Saxons (Sasi) (art.123) .

Novakovich,S. “Zakonik Stefana Dushana Cara Srpskog 1349-1354” Beograd 1898

5) Despot Ugljesha in the 1366 letter written and confirmed in Skoplje stated that he is the master of Serbian land,Greece and Pomorje.

Novakovich,S. “Zakonski spomenici Srpskih drzhava srednjeg veka”, 1912, pp.509

6) Patriarch of Constantinople mentioned master of Serbia,Ugljesha in a letter from 1371. Ugljesha’s state was around Lower Struma.

Mikloshich,F & Muller,J. “Acta et diplomata” I, 1860, pp.571

7) The place of 1371 battle at Marica,when Kings Vukashin and Ugljesha, leading armies from their provinces in Old Serbia ,clashed with the Turks, was named “Sirf-Sindughi”-“Serbian defeat”.

Jorga,N. “Geschiste des Osmanischen Reiches” Vol.I, cap IV,pp241

8) In the second half of 14th century, monk Isaiah said that Ugljesha has risen Serbian and Greek army (Srbskija i Grchskiija voiska) and his brother Vukashin,and with that army they confronted the invading Turks.
Novakovich,S. “Srbi i Turci XIV i XV veka , 1893,pp.184,
Mikloshich ,F. “S.Joannis Chrystostomi homilia in ramos palmarum”, 1845, pp.71
Mikloshich,F. “Chrestomatia Paleoslovenica”, 1861, pp 41

9) In 1395 Mihael Paleologos and his wife Helena established estate to Helena’s father,Master of Serbia,Konstantin Dejanovich.Konstantin’s state was around river Struma.

Mikloshich,F. & Joseph,M. “Acta et dipolomata”,1862, pp.260

10) A 1401 remark from government of Venice says about the envoy of “Konstatntin,master of Serbia,which is around our Drach area” (Constantini domini Servie teritorii,quod est circa teritorium nostrum Durachii) .

Ljubich,S. “Listine” 4,1874, pp.437

11) Sometimes in the beginning of 15th century Bulgarian chronicles are written,where remark that Turkish Sultan Murat had went to conquer either Bulgars or Ugljesha.Ugljesha and King Vukashin gathered a great Serbian army (Sobra sja mnozhestvo voisk Serbskih) .

Bogdan,J. “Archiv fur Slavische philologie” 13, 1891,pp.481; pp.493

12) Dimitar,writer from Kratovo in 1446 said that he begin to translate “Law” for the Archbishoprics of Ohrid from Greek language into Serbian (v ezhe sastaviti mi pisaniem srbskoga ezika sochinenie, rekshe knigu imenuemu zakonik) under order of Ohrid Archbishop Dorotej,who visited him in Kratovo,because Congregational Church in Ohrid did not had that book in Serbian language (po eziku srbskom) but only in Greek.

Kachanovski,V. “Starine” 12,1880 ,pp.255

13) Remains of John Rilski are transferred from Trnovo in the Monastery of Rila.That was described by Vladislav Gramatik,in 1469,who also mentioned Serbian soldiers (Srbskiie voje) in the 1371 Marica battle.

Novakovich,S, “Glasnik Srpskog uchenog drushtva” 22,1867,pp.287

14) Sometime at the end of 15th century Hungarian historian Bonfini wrote about “Macedonia,which is now called Serbia” (“Macedoniam quam Serbua nunc appelant”) .

Ant.Bonfini “Rerum Hungarii Indec.” II lib IX,Viennae, 1774 pp.248a

15) In the year 1515 Gjuragj Kratovian was burnt.In his biography stands:…From the Serbian root and guided by Holy Spirit you have left fatherland and relatives in Kratovo and moved to the Sardakian City (Ot korene srpskago i douhom svetim vodimi ostavil jesi otachastvo i srodniki izhe v’ Kratovja, prishel jesi k’ Gradou Sardaskomu) .

Novakovich.S. “Glasnik Srpskog uchenog drushtva” 21,1867, pp.154

16) Stephan Gerlach wrote in 1574 that relative of Mehmed Pasha “Became Archbishop in Bulgaria,and his seat is ten days away from Adrianopolis in the city of Ohrid,on the border between Epirus and Serbia” (Zu eineim Erz-bischopff in der Bulgarey gemacht worden,hat seinen Sitz zehn Tagreiss von Adrianopol,in der Stadt Ochrida,in der Grantzen Epiri und Servien) .

Gerlach,S. “Tage-Buch”,Frankfurt,1674, pp.64a

17) Jakov Soranzzo from Venice arrives in Skoplje,in the province of Serbia, in the year 1575.

Matkovich.P.”Rad. Jugosl. Akad.” 124,1895, pp.131

18) In Kraljevo (Romania) ,priest John has written in 1580 that he is a Serb from Kratovo (Srbin od mjasta Kratova) .

Stojanovich,Lj.”Stari Srpski zapisi i natpisi” I,1902 ,pp.752

19) ) Martin Crusius in his book mentions”Vscopia, or Scopia, a great and populous City of Turkey in the K. of Servia”.

Crusius, M. “Turcogreciae libri octo”, 1584, pp.5

20) In the year 1584 Alexander Komulovich mentioned that in Serbia (Servia) ,Skoplje is principal city (Scopia principale citta) and that it is situated in the middle of the province (nel mezzo della provincia) .

Fermendzhin,E. “Acta Bosniae” “Monum. Slav. Mer. XXIII 1892 pp.39

21) In 17th Century,Hadji Kalpha,a Turkish geographer recorded that mountains of the Castoria district are peopled by Serbs and Aromanians.He also mentions that on the bank of the lake between Seres,Thesaloniki and Siderocaps there is a village inhabited by Greeks,Serbs and Aromanians.

“Rumeli und Bosna,Geographisch beschrieben von Mustapha Ben Abdalaih Hadschi Chalfa aus dem turkischen ubersetzt von J. von Hammer” Wien 1812 pp.80; pp.97

22) Mitropolit Jeremiah from the City of “Pelagon” (Bitolj) went to Russia in 1603 saying that he arrived from Serbian land.

Archive of the Russian Ministry For Foreign Affairs, Year 7112,Dec.19

23) In the October of 1605 delegation of monks went in Russia and among them was Diakon Avksentij from the Serbian land, Nicholas Monastery in Strumica (Serbskoi zemli nikolskoga monastira chto na Strumicja,Diakon Avksentii) .

“Snoshenia Rossii po djelam cerkovnim” ,I,1858

24) In 1609,in the archive of Vatican,catholic church in Skoplje Serbia is mentioned (La chiesa di Scopia in Servia) .

Horvat,K. “Glasnik zemaljskog muzeja u Bosni i Hercegovini” XXI,1909

25) Mitropolit Sergius said in Russia that he was appointed as Mitropolit in Greven by Archbishop of Ohrid,Nectarij of Serbian land (Posvjashchen on na mitropoliju grevenskuju arhiepiskop ohridskim ,Nektariem serbskoi zemli) .

“Snoshenia Rossii po djelam cerkovnim” II, 1860 pp.29

26) Comment by Dominican Nicolo Longi from Dubrovnik states that “it is useful to send 3-4 Serbian priest in Serbia, because in Nish, Kragujevac, Jagodina, Crna Gora (Skopska Crna Gora-I.M) and Kratovo Serbian is spoken”

Acta. S. Congr. Vol.3. Fol.24 A D Congr. diie 20 decembris 1622

27) A part of Matija Masarek’s report based on a visit throughout the Serbian dioceze in 1623-1624 ,reflecting the ethnicity of Kratovo.

“Cratovo, dove saranno 40 fouchi di Catolici….habitata da Turchi di qualita, Serviani , et 160 anime piu Catoliche”

Visite e Colllegi, Vo.1 f66r-82r

28) Congregation approves purchase of a house in Skoplje ( ” della Casa in Scopie ” ) in which four or five young Serbs (“4, o 5 giovani Servian”) are to be trained and send into the Illyrian College in Loretto ( ” Collego Illirico di Loreto ” )

Roma, 25 marzo 1628

Lettere, vol. 7, f.36v-37r

29) Archbishop Bianki of Bar divided Serbia into upper and lower.In the area of Upper, he sorted Prokuplje, Novo Brdo, Trepcha, Janjevo, Skopska Crna Gora, Skoplje and Kratovo,places where “all Catholics are of Serbian speech”.In Lower Serbia’s domain Prizren, Guri and Shegec were included by him.

“Arch. S. Congr. Visitte.Vol 16. Fol. 239.

30) Archbishop Bianki mentiones an epidemic of plague in Serbia and the newly appeared disease in Skoplje, Janjevo and Novo Brdo.

“Va p doi mesi cheo mi trovo in Servia visitando queste vile contorno Prisren che e Servia Inferiore, che la Servia Superore questa esta passat e stata gran mortalita della pesta, e che p alcuni mesie stata cessata.Hora di novo si trovano loughli infetati Scopia,Jagnevo, e Montenevo”…

….Prisren, il di 29 ottobre…

…Giorgio Bjanchi, Arciv d’ Antivari et Primate di Servia.

SOCG, Vol 60f. 176r-177v.

31) Archbishop of Ohrid Avram in 1634 arrived in Russia with escort.When asked,they said they were Greeks from the Serbian land of Ohrid (Grechane Serpskie zemli iz Ahridona Goroda) .

Archive of the Russian Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Year 7142,No 8

32) Addressing the Russian Emperor Mihail in 1641, Mitropolit of Skoplje said that he is from Serbian land (Serbskie zemli Semion mitropolit) .

Dimitrijevich.S. “Spom. Srp. Kralj. Akad.” 38, 1908 pp.60a, pp 60b

33) In 1644 a Serb,Dimitrije Nikolajev (Serbjanin’ Dmitrei Nikolaev) from Kastoria, arrived in Russia.

Archive of the Russian Ministry For Foreign Affairs,Year 7156

34) Petar Bogdani had wrote in 1650 a letter of recommendation for his relative Andria Bogdani from Albania ,saying about him that he is recommended for Archbishopric of Ohrid in Serbia (Proposto per L’Archivescovato d’ Ochrida su in confini della Servia) .

Fermendzhin,E. “Starine” 25,1892, pp.172

35) in 1651 Mitropolit of Kratovo wrote to Russian Emperor “My forefathers and ancestors are lords of the Serbian land of Kratovo”.

Dimitrijevich,S. “Glasnik Srpske kraljevske akademije”, 58,1900.

36) 1652 In the documents of Russian Imperial House,it is recorded that Serbian Mitropolit Mihailo (Serbskii Mitropolit Mihailo) had dinner with the Russian Emperor.He is the same person from reference above.

“Filologicheskaja nabljudenija A.H. Vostokova”.1865, pp.184

37) 1653 Jeromonah Damaskin,wrote a letter to his cousin,mitropolit Mihailo of Kratovo,in which there is a statement about mercy of the Russian Emperor towards our Serbian language (Jeziku nashemu Srbskom) .

Stanojevich,Lj “Stari Srpski zapisi i natpisi”, I,1902.No 1547,No 1562

38) Catholic missionaries in Serbia (Servia) are mentioned and among them mr.Stefan Kratovian (In Cratovo d.Stefano da Cratovo) .

Fermendzhin,E. “Starine” 25,1892, pp.194

39) In an inscription from 1659 stands:”Mihail Mitropit, visitor of Holy God’s Grave in the Holy Jerusalem, from the Serbian land city of Kratovo” (Mihail Mitropolit,poklonik bozhia groba svetago Ierusalima ot Srbskie zemli grada Kratova) .

“Chtenija v imperatorskom’ obshtesvja istorii i drevnosti Rossiiskih pri Moskovskom univerziteta” Moskva 1896 II 5th part pp.4a

40) In 1665 Archbishop Petar of Sophia wrote that:”Now in this Kingdom of Serbia there is one Metropolitan church,that of Skoplje”(Al presente si trovano in cotesto regno di Servia una chiesa Metropolitana,cioe,Scopia) ,than saying that Pope Urban VIII in his declaration on foundation of “del collegio Illyrico” says that there are three Biscopates in Serbia :those of Skoplje,Justinijana called Prizren ,and Nish (Che sono del regno di Servia tre vescovati:cioe Scupi,ovvero Scopia,Justiniana detta Prisren,et anche Nissa) .

Fermendzhin,E. “Starine” 25 ,pp18

41) Peter Heylin,English geographer writes under the word “Servia”: Principal towns hereof : 1.Nissa 2.Vidina (by the Turks called Kiratow) 3.Cratova……..9.Scopi,by Ptolemy called Scupi.

Heylin,P. “Cosmographie in four books” London,1666

42) In 1666 Mitropolit Ananije of Cratovo wrote to Russian Emperor, mentioning “Mihailo,Mitropolit of Serbs” (Mihaila Mitropolita Srbian) .

Dimitrijevich,S. “Spomenica Srpske kraljevske akademije”,38,1900 pp.64b

43) 1667 Emperor Leopold gave some privileges to the Greeks (Graeci) and Serbs (Rasciani) who emigrated toward Northern Hungary and most of them arrived from Macedonia (Praesertim autem ex Macedonia adventum) .

Vitkovich,G “Glasnik Srpskog uchenog drushtva”,67,1887,pp.128;pp.131

44) It is stated in the “Report about Serbian or Skopje’s Diocese” ( Relazione della diocesi di Servia o Skopia ) about “Main places in Serbia : Prizren , Skoplje….”
(” Li loughi principali della Servia: Prisren, Scopia ….”)

Fermendzhin E., “Starine” 25, 1892. pp. 195-196

45) 1676 Secretary of the society “De Propaganda Fide” wrote a report to Pope Inocentius about Catholic Church in Bosnia and neighboring countries, in which Biscop of Skoplje,Andrea Bogdani in Serbia (Servia) is mentioned.

Horvat,K. “Glasnik Zemaljskog Muzeja Bosne i Hercegovine” XXI,1909,pp.393

46) Around 1680 Urban Cerri mentioned in his report to Pope Inocentius XI archbiscop of Skoplje in Serbia.

Theiner,A.” Vetera. Monum. Slav. Mer. Histor. Ill.” II, 1875,pp 213

47) Archbishop of Skoplje writes about Serbia and says that Skoplje is capital city in Serbia (Scopia….metropolli di Servia) .Further,He mentions that Orthodox houses in Skoplje are Greek and Serbian (Case Greche e Serviane) .

Theiner,A. ibidem, pp. 220

48) Canonical Visit by Archbishop of Skoplje Peter Bogdani in 1680 indicated that inhabitans of Skoplje are “Greeks, Serbs, Jews, Armenians”.
“Scritture orig. rif. nelle. congr. gen. vol. 482 ad congr. die 5 maii 1681 Nro 24”

49) In 1685 Catholic Archbishop of Skoplje Petar Bogdani wrote to Cardinal Cibo saying that Turks had thrown him into exile from entire Serbia (da tutta la Servia) .

Horvat,K. “Glasnik zemaljskog muzeja u Bosni i Hercegovini” XXI, 1909, pp. 403

50) Mitropolit Jevtimije from Serbian land of Skoplje (Serbskija zemli goroda Skopija)
arrived in Russia in 1687 where he delivered a request in which he says that he is Mitropolit of Serbian land of Skoplje (Mitropolit Serbskije zemli Skopskie Crkve) .

Dimitrijevich,S. “Glasnik Srpske Kraljevske Akademije” 60, 1901 pp.154

51) In 1690 Catholic Bishop of Cotor, Marin Drago,reports that “Skoplje is inhabited with Turks, Serbs of Greek Rite and Catholics”,

“Scritture riferite nei congressi – Servia.Vol. I, Fol. 120”

52) Austrian Emperor Leopold proclaimed Jovan Monastirlija from Bitolj a Vojvoda (Military chieftain) of the Serbian nation in Austria in 1691.

Trifunoski,F.J. “Makedoniziranje Juzhne Srbije” Beograd 1995 pp.24

53) Bratan Ivanov,a Serb from Macedonian land arrived in Russia (Makedonskie zemli Serbin’ Bratan’ Ivanov) in the year 1704.
Archive of the Russian Ministry For Foreign Affairs,Year 1704
Kapterev,N.A. “Harakter otnoshenii Rossii k Pravoslavnomu Vostoku v XVI i XVII stoletija” 1914 pp.348

54) Dimitrije Petrov from Kichevo arrived in Russia to collect funds for building church dedicated to St. Demetrius in Kichevo.He declared himself as coming from the Serbian land of Kichevo (Serbskie zemli goroda Karacheva) .The arrival is recorded as being by the: “(From) Serbian land (from) Ohrid’s Eparchy (of the) Krachevite city Serb Dmitrei Petrov”: “Serbskie zemli Arhidonskija Eparhi Krachevskogo goroda Serbjanin Dmitrei Petrov”.

Archive of the Russian Ministry For Foreign Affairs,Year 1706, No. 7

55) Archbishop of Bar, Vichentije Zmajevich mentiones that “main places in Serbia are: Belgrade, Smederevo, Nish, Skoplje, Prokuplje, Novo Brdo, Prishtina, Trepcha, Prizren and Pech, and forts Kachanik, Tetovo, Janjevo, Vuchitrn, Mitrovica, Djakovica and Novi Pazar”
“Scritture riferite nei congressi – Albania. Vol. V, Fol. 175”

56) In 1723 Gerard Cornelius von Driesch,secretary of the Austrian delegation heading for Constantinople, mentioned that in Pirot there are “Greeks and Serbs in those lands” (Grichen oder Raitzen dieses landes) .He also mentioned place named Grobblian located eastern of Sofia saying that the greater part of its inhabitants are Serbs (Raitzen) .

Cornelius,G.V.D. “Historische nachricht von der Rom. Kayser.Gross-Botschaft nacht Konstantinopol” Nurnberg 1723 pp.84; pp.102

57) The Urgent Congregation of Roman Catholic Church in 1742 issued an report which states that “Serbs of Greek Rite” are peopling Croatia,Slavonia,Hungary,Serbia,Thrace,Macedonia,Albania and Montenegro.

Archivum Sacrae Congregationis de Propaganda Fide.”Congregazioni Particolari”Vol.106.Fol.1

58) In the year 1744 Russian Empress Elisabeth addressed the “Noble and honest lords of Serbian lands in Macedonia,Skandaria,Montenegro and Primorje of Montenegrin people,to the governors , dukes, princess and captains as well as their spiritual and secular masters”.

Milutinovich,S.”Istorija Crne Gore”,1835

59) In a 1756 letter main cities in Serbia (La Servie) are mentioned, and among them Skoplje ,where Serbian Archbishop reside; Cratovo,by which province is named (Scopia, ou reside Archeveque Rascien; Cratovo, qui donne son nom au Gouvernement) .

“Le Voyager francois, ou la connoissance de l’ ancien et du noveau monde mis au jour par M. l’ Abbe Delaporte”, tome XXIII, Paris,1777

60) Catholic Archbishop of Skoplje Matija Masarek, an Albanian, reported that the city as inhabited with “Grece, scismatici Serviani, Ebrei et Armeni” in a report written c.1770.

In 1790 he mentioned in his report that Turks are suspicious of Greeks and Serbs of Skoplje because they have sent letters to Russia.
“Scritture rif. nei congressi – Servia. Vol. III”, marzo 1790

61) A group of French staff officers in 1807,with the permission of the Turks, traveled around Macedonia compiling a statistical survey of the population. Apart from Greeks,Turks,Albanians and Aromanians they found only Serbs.

Slijepchevich, Dj. “The Macedonian Question”,The American Institute For Balkan Affairs, Chicago,1958

62) Correspondence by the Czech philologist Dobrovski to a Slovenian colleague B. Kopitar between 1809-1810 contains this opinion by Dobrovski: “I have little regard for geographical names.Dubrovnikers, Macedonians, Bosnians are nevertheless Serbs” :
“Die geographischen Benennungen kummern mich wenig. Ragusiner, Macedonier, Bosnien sind doch Serben”.
Jagich, V. “Briefwechsel zwischen Dobrowsky und Kopitar” Berlin, 1885 pp.34

63) A statement by Joseph Muller, Austrian, Medical officer in Turkish Army in early 19th century, who worked in Albania about Slavs in neighboring countries that were visited by him.Dr. Muller was a fluent speaker of the Serbian language.
“Together with Slavic community of Spiz on Triplex confinium and smaller communities in Skadar,Podgorica and Spuzh,Serbian tribes live in eastern mountains Altin-Ili in Dibr-Sipre in the area of Struga as well as in eastern coast of the Ohrid Lake, further in the valleys of Rezna and Prespa in the city of Monastir and its northeastern surrounding, in the valley Srebrnica,and by name on communities of Optorosh,Shrbica,Mahmusha,Mrtvuca,along the left, eastern coast of White Drim in communities of Kremovik, Mirozhizh, Cuprevo, Grebnik, Zlokuche.”
Joseph Muller, “Albanien,Rumelien und die Osterreichisch-Montenegrinische Grenze”,Prague,1844

64) “The Serbian pastoral tribes are separated from the Bulgarian agrarian population of Macedonia by the Greeks, who inhabit the central and coastal regions of this great land”.
Cyprian Robert, “Les Slaves de Turque” Paris, 1844, Vol. II pp.234

65) “Serbian branch includes, with the exception of Serbian Principate, Montenegro, Bosnia, also many other enclaves in Albania and Macedonia”
Cyprian Robert, “Die Slaven der Turkei” Stuttgart, vol.II pp. 278

66) Edmund Spencer’s comment about ethnicity of peoples in the region of Macedonia, visited by him in the mid-19th century:
“The inhabitants are for the most part composed of Rayahs, a mixed race of Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbians, who, it cannot be doubted, would join to the man their brethren in faith of Serbia and Upper Moesia.It must therefore be evident that the great danger to be apprehended to the rule of the Osmanli in these provinces, is the successful inroad of the Serbian nationality into Macedonia; with this people they have the tradition of right, and their former greatness, aided by the powerful ties of race and creed”
Edmund Spencer, “Travels in European Turkey”, vol. II , London, 1851, pp. 30

67) “Serbian tribes are by language and according to origin in possession of the greatest part of western part of European Turkey.At east they are distributed up to Nishava and Struma, Strumion of the Ancients, which goes in the Gulf of Orpheus.From southern to the northern border of Greek language, they inhabit Bosnia, Herzegovina, Old Macedonia.Montenegrins and Dalmatians, although not subjected by the Turks, are of Serbian tribe”
Ruestow, W “Der Krieg in der Tuerkey 1875-1876”, Zurich, 1876

68) From 1880 to 1881 the Serbian Brsjaci Revolt (Brsjachka Buna) was fought in the areas of Demir-Hisar,Porech and Kichevo.The leaders of this uprising were local Chetniks:Ilija Delija,Rista Kostadinovich,Micko Krstich and Andjelko Tanasovich.
Veselinovich,V.M. “Brsjachka Buna” Beograd 1905

69) A 1854 request of the inhabitants of village Selce near Debar to HRM King Alexander Karadjordjevich.
22 Oktovra
Arsenije Janovich,Gavril Janovich,Damjan Markovich, Vasil Milich, Tane Ninovich, Trifun Grujovich, Stanisha Nikolich, Cvetko Damjanovich, Despot Potnikovich, Gligorije Naumovich i Filip Aleksich proshenijem od 21 t.m. mole Knjaza da bi se obshtini ninoi Selachkoi u Albaniji za Crkvu shtogod knjiga pravitelstvom srpskim za sirotinske crkve u Turskoj nabavljeni podarilo.
Djambazovski, K. et al. “Arhivska Gragja za istorijata na Makedonskiot narod” Beograd 1979 vol I, book 2, pp. 235

70) On the basis of the Priviligies by Rudolph II many thousands Serbian familes emigrated from Bosnia and Macedonia under the Dukes Vukovich and Pjasonich.

Czoernig, von Carl “Ethnographie der oesterrichischem Monarchie”, Wien, 1885, Vol II pp.169

71) “It is understandable that the Turks preferred the patient and submissive Bulgar to the rebellious Serb or Greek. Since the Serbian principality had gained its freedom, the Turks regarded every Serb who declared himself to be such as a rebellious conspirator against the Turkish regime.

This circumstance was widely exploited by the Bulgars in order to spread their propaganda among the Serbs outside the principality. Whoever was reluctant to become a Bulgar and persisted in calling himself a Serb was denounced to the Turks as conspiring with Serbia, and could expect severe punishment. Serbian priests were maltreated; permission was refused to open Serbian schools and those that were already in existence were closed; Serbian monasteries were destroyed.

In order to avoid persecution, the population renounced its nationality and called itself Bulgarian……..during the last thirty or forty years, propaganda has been rife in which the Bulgars have encouraged the Turks to act against Serbs and Greeks. Hence, throughout Macedonia, Thrace and Dardania, Slavs are considered to be Bulgars, which is quite incorrect. On the contrary, the Slavs in Macedonia are incapable of understanding a Bulgar from Jantra.

If it is desired to designate these Slavs correctly, than they must be considered as Serbs, for the Serbian name is so popular among them that for example male children are sometimes christened “Srbin” [Serb]*. the Serbian hero of the folk poems, Marko Kraljevich is obviously the Serbian ruler in Macedonia.”

Alexander von Heksch “Die Donau von ihrem Ursprung bis an die Mundung”,Leipzig,1885,pp.63

*On the subject of appearance of the male name “Srbin” (a Serb) ,see:

“Licno ime Srbin u krajevima danasnje BJRM (“male name Srbin in the areas of todays FYROM”) “,pp.41-44 in: Jovan F. Trifunoski “Makedoniziranje Juzne Srbije”, Beograd, 1995

72) In 1886 Russian publicist I.S. Jastrebov published his book “Obichai i pesni tureckih serbov v Prizren,Ipek,Morava,i Dibra” (“Customs and songs of the Turkish Serbs in Prizren,Pech,Morava and Debar) in which the following reference to the important Serb custom of “Slava” is found: “Slava is celebrated by Serbs not only in Serbia,in Austria,Hungary,Bosnia,Montenegro,Kosovo,Morava and area of Prizren,but also in the areas of Skopje,Veles,Prilep,Bitola and Ohrid,including also Debar and the area of Tetovo.All inhabitants in the mentioned area who speak with the Slavo-Serbian dialect keep that custom holy.”

Jastrebov,I.S. “Obichai i Pesni tureckih serbov v Prizren,Ipek,Morava i Dibra”,1886,pp.1-2

73) “Divided by faith on three parts, divided out of political destiny, under various jurisdictions, Serbian race has the missfortune to be dispersed over various provinces, names of which hinther its unity.Serbia, Old Serbia, (in today’s Turkish vilayets of Kosovo and Sandjak) , Bosnia, Herzegovina, Dalmatia, with Dubrovnik, southern parts of Hungary (Bachka, Srem, Baranja) , Slavonia, Croatia”

Dozon,A. “L’ Europee Serbe, chants popularies heroiques (Serbie, Bosnie et Herzegovine, Croatie, Dalmatie, Montenegro”, Paris, 1888, pp.15-16

74) An observation by the Austro-Hungarian Field Marshal Anton Tuma von Waldkampf: “In Macedonia Serbs are living, partly in the great plain of Bitolj,partly in Vardar plain and are particularly compact in the valley of Tetovo”
Anton Tuma von Waldkampf “Griechland,Makedonien und Sudalbanien”,Leipzig, 1897 pp-214-215

75) A conclusion by the linguist Petar Draganov about the songs of “Macedonian Slavs”:”It is a strikingly obvious that within the circle of Cars,Kings,dukes,heroes and other individuals of these songs one can find only persons and significant events from the medieval,new and latest Serbian history”.

P.Draganov “Makedonsko-Slavjanskii Sbornik” pp.VIII (n.d.)

76) “Serbs are in the south of Dalmatia, in the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia, at the south of the Kingdom of Hungary,in Macedonia”
Henry, Rene “Questions d’ Autriche-Hongrie et Question d’ Orient” Paris, 1905, pp.207

77) Remark of Dr. Karl Oestreich about Skoplje: “The city’s population consist of all possible elements-some of whom have come out in favor of the Bulgarian Exarchate and call themselves ‘Bulgars’-and Albanians or Mohammedanized Serbs. Although it is situated south of Sar-planina, Skoplje is the chief city of Old Serbia…..the rural population, although it is Serbian in origin, has for the most parts given its support to the Exarchate, since a Bulgarian bishop is for them more acceptable than a Greek bishop of the Ecumenical Church to which they formerly belonged. This is how the rural population around Skoplje has today come to be mostly Bulgarian; the same is true of the purely Serbian Tetovo”.

Karl Oestreich “Makedonien” Geographische Zeitschrift, Vol.X, No.1, 1904,pp 198-199

78) Referring to the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate in Macedonia,Karl Oestreich noted: “A considerable part of the rural population, although it then felt to be Serbian, seized the first opportunity of obtaining Slavic priests and so declared itself to be Bulgarian ……Whoever joined the Bulgarian Exarchate was registered in the Turkish population records as “bulgari-milet” and to the world as large was a Bulgar”.

Karl Oestreich “Die Bevolkerung von Makedonien”,Geographische Zeitschrift,Vol. XI, No.1,1905,pp.291

79) Theodor von Sosnosky wrote about Bulgarian Propaganda in Macedonia: “What this methods were the Greeks, Serbs and Turks of this unhappy land felt on their own backs. By plunder and arson, rape and murder, armed bands tried to make them come to the Bulgarian side”.
Theodor von Sosnosky “Die Balkanpolitik Osterreich-Ungars seit 1886,Stuttgart-Berlin,1914, Vol.II,pp.129

80) During World War I, the Bulgarian troops under the command of first lieutenant Alexander Protogerov (a high-ranking VMRO member) were ordered to inflict reprisals upon the population east of Kumanovo for an attack made on some Bulgarian troops .Before the reprisal measures were begun, the entire population declared that it was Bulgarian, purely in order to avoid being punished.Protogerov was greatly perplexed. Here is a quote by Gilbert in der Maur regarding this event:
“Then Protogerov’s aides had an idea: they asked who celebrated the ‘slava’.Those who did so were shot, since the celebration of the ‘slava’ is a sign that one is a Serb:it is a custom which the Bulgarians do not have”.
Gilbert in der Maur “Jugoslawien einst und jetz” Leipzig-Vienna, 1936,pp.330

81) “Although the Serbian national epic found its fullest realization in the regions of the northwest, nevertheless a considerable part of its material was taken from Southern Serbia.And Vice Versa: many poems which originated elsewhere found their way to Southern Serbia, were sung here and inherited”.
Alois Schmaus, “Dichtung”,”Mazedonien: Leben und Gestalt einer Landschaft”,Berlin,1940 pp.106

82) A List of topographical names in Old Serbia (FYROM) with the characteristic Serbian root “Srb-“: Srbinovo, near Tetovo; Srbica, Srbjani , Srbjan Dolence in the Area of Bitolj (Bitola,Monastiri) ;Srbce and Srbci south from Bitolj;Srbinovo in the area of Gorna Dzhumaja (Pirin area in Bulgaria) ;Srbinica,river source near the village of Podles.
V.K’nchov “Makedonija” ,Sofia,1900 pp.256
M.A. Vujucic “Recnik mesta u oslobodjenoj oblasti Stare Srbije”,1914,pp.241
V.K’nchov Ibidem pp.191
V. K’nchov Ibidem pp. 238
V. Radovanovic: “Tikves i Rajec”, Etnogr. Zbornik XXIX pp.457
J.F. Trifunoski “Makedoniziranje Juzne Srbije”,Beograd,1995,pp.33
A site devoted to debunking of lie that no Serb ever inhabited the so-called Republika Makedonija, a falsehood most prolifically fabricated in that entity within the framework of Tito’s Yugoslavia ( a serbian empire (!) according to some “experts”, and a “serbificator of the ethnic Macedonians (?) “) .A tribute to Serbian qualities that are embedded within large, if not the greatest parts of the “Macedonians” by the virtue of their genetic ancestry and cultural emanations, qualities that they most fanatically deny via their adherence to the Pro-Bulgarian Marxist thought that was nurtured, publicized and proliferated from 1944 and continued up to present day, with Tito & Marxism Inc. as founders.And irrevocably, a contribution to those intelligent and brave enough to continue upholding the imperative of living truth.

Last updated: May 17, 2003 – 2000-2003 Igor Malinovski, Skoplje, FYROM – Email: malinovski@publicist.com

 

 

57 thoughts on “Southern Old Serbia – History & Ethnology

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