Page 424 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 424

Bishop atanasije (jevtić)
 Opening page of the Gospel of the Saint John, manuscript, Gračanica Monastery, 15th century
The native population found by the Serbs upon their arrival in Kosovo and Metohija, which had already been thinned out considerably in the central Balkans and the region which the Serbs were to give the name of Kosovo by previous invasions of Huns, Goths and avars, consisted primarily of Romanized Dardanians, as well as some Greeks, Romans, Vlachs, aromanians, Tsintsars and remnants of the illyrians and Thracians, i.e. those ancestors who would participate in the later formation of the albanians. These natives had withdrawn toward the coastal towns or hard to access mountain districts. On the territory of Kosovo and Metohija at this time “there is no state entity of the alba- nian people nor does any significant ethnic group of alba- nians or albanian ancestors appear during this time as a historical factor.”17
For the Serbian people it is all the same whether the present-day albanians are the descendants of the illyrians,
avowed and even attacked. To this we add that mercenary NaTO historian Noel Malcolm in his slapped together and tendentiously written Kosovo: A Short History does not even mention the capital work Endowments of Kosovo nor any of the multitude of documents in it. (See Noel Malcolm, Kosovo: A Short History, Grand Bretagne, Ma- cmillan, 1998.)
17 D. Bogdanović, Knjiga o Kosovu (Book on Kosovo), p. 32. 422
the Thracians or the Pelagians; however, it is not the same if such an essentially racist theory as they have begun pro- moting recently endangers the survival and rights of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija, and by doing so wishes to turn history upside down and turn it centuries and millennia backwards, in which case all indo-european people should be sent back from europe to asia, all Mus- lims expelled to arabia, all Turks to Turkmestan, all amer- icans to europe, etc.
Medieval Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija
Upon their arrival in the 7th century, the Serbs inhabited the territory of the then Byzantine empire and formed their own districts called sklavinije. Subsequently, they also ac- cepted Christianity from Byzantium and then created sev- eral local princedoms (from the 9th to the 11th century) prior to the ascent of the royal house of Nemanjić in the middle of the 12th century. Stefan Nemanja (1114–13/02/1200) was the first to succeed, by waging war as well as by signing a truce with Byzantium, in organizing a sovereign Serbian state at the end of the 12th century, and at that time Kosovo and Metohija also became part of the Serbian state and soon thereafter its central state and clerical region. even prior to the creation of a sovereign state the Serbian people had lived on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija since the time of its settlement of the Balkans, which is clearly shown by local Slavic toponyms, which exist in great number even in parts of present-day northern albania, as well as arche- ological and other information.
The entry of Kosovo and Metohija into the composi- tion of the sovereign Serbian state is clearly attested to by Nemanja’s Žitije, written by St. Sava at the beginning of the 13th century, where listed among Nemanja’s acquisitions “from the Greek land” are, first, the regions of Metohija and then the regions of Kosovo, followed by other regions further to the east and west: Patkovo, Hvosno, Podrimlje, Kostrc, Drškovina (Metohija and northern Drenica), Sitnica, Lab and Lipljan (Kosovo); then Glubočica (east) and both Pilots (west). However, these western regions are without doubt outside the territory of the present day Province of Kosovo and Metohija. The district of Suhogrlo in north- east Metohija as well as the district of ibar in the north part of Kosovo already belonged to the state of Nemanja’s fore- fathers and that is why St. Sava does not mention them as being won from Byzantium. another biographer, Neman- ja’s son Stefan the First-Crowned (Stefan Prvovenčani—be- ginning of the 13th century), specifically lists the cities of Pri- zren and Lipljan, both administrative and church centers under Byzantium, as being under Nemanja’s rule. The seat of the Serbian state was first located in Ras, in immediate proximity to Kosovo, to which it is connected by the ibar River Valley, through which as well as through northern Kosovo (Lab) there was a connection with Toplica, another old nucleus of the Serbian state.18

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