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Serbian Medieval History

hist_main.jpg menu.gif There were many factors that contributed to the forming of a Serb national identity by the dawn of the nation-building 19th century. These are all largely based on three key legacies that can be traced back to the Middle Ages.
  • Original Slavic tradition, customs and mindset, as were brought with Serbs from their ancestral homeland.
  • The Orthodox Christian medieval state, with its splendid spiritual and material monuments.
  • The Kosovo battle epic and myth, embodied in the vibrant oral tradition of the subsequent centuries of foreign occupation.

There is also an organic link between these three factors. The first bridge was largely provided by St. Sava early in the 13th c., when he managed to finally entrench Eastern rite Christianity and its values firmly on the Serbs, Thus, by establishing a nationally integrated Church, they provided a complement to, and a firm foundation for the State that adjoined it. The second bridge was secured by events at the twilight of that state, centered around the Battle of Kosovo, and their moral and spiritual legacy. Rooted in the second phase, these events created a basis for maintaining that legacy in the altered conditions of foreign yoke, while providing a lasting moral value system, and maintaining a note of understated Christian optimism.

Serbian Medieval History

There were many factors that contributed to the forming of a Serb national identity by the dawn of the nation-building 19th century. These are all largely based on three key legacies that can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

  • . Original Slavic tradition, customs and mindset, as were brought with Serbs from their ancestral homeland.
  • . The Orthodox Christian medieval state, with its splendid spiritual and material monuments.
  • . The Kosovo battle epic and myth, embodied in the vibrant oral tradition of the subsequent centuries of foreign occupation.
  •  

There is also an organic link between these three factors. The first bridge was largely provided by St. Sava early in the 13th c., when he managed to finally entrench Eastern rite Christianity and its values firmly on the Serbs, Thus, by establishing a nationally integrated Church, they provided a complement to, and a firm foundation for the State that adjoined it. The second bridge was secured by events at the twilight of that state, centered around the Battle of Kosovo, and their moral and spiritual legacy. Rooted in the second phase, these events created a basis for maintaining that legacy in the altered conditions of foreign yoke, while providing a lasting moral value system, and maintaining a note of understated Christian optimism.

By Tanja Vuleta, 1998

Serbian rulers' ceremonial costume emerged from its Byzantine counterpart at the very moment when Serbian rulers chose to get close to Byzantium, politically as well as in matters of religion. That costume clearly shows the manner in which governmental power was comprehended and considered at the time, while simultaneously being filled with profound religious meaning.

Medieval Coin

By Radmilo Bozinovic - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

From the advent of coinage more than 2,600 years ago, numismatics - the study of metal currency - has been a fascinating and rewarding endeavor. By studying the images represented, language of inscriptions, artistic expression, metal composition and more, we can often fine valuable evidence not only for a particular monetary economy, but also about distant times and societies, and the dynamics of their development. We hope that the material presented will illustrate the power of numismatic research, but even more so the rich historical experience of the times it covers.

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