Page 470 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 470

Mirčeta Vemić
to the growing legend woven around the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, but as the center of Serbian political, religious and cultural life. Priština, Prizren and Vučitrn were the capi- tals of King Milutin, emperors Dušan and Uroš, as well as a great landowner Vuk Branković, while Konstantin Bodin, the King of Zeta, was probably crowned in Prizren.
around the Patriarchate of Peć as a seat of the Serbian archbishops and Patriarchs, in this province near 1,300 Christian, Orthodox churches were built, among which were royal endowments with important spiritual signifi- cance, artistic beauty and original architecture: the mon- asteries of Gračanica, Visoki Dečani, The Mother of God of Ljeviša, Banjska, Holy archangels and others. There were many churches and monasteries destroyed during the Ottoman rule, but more recently, in particular after june 1999 they have still been systematically, massively, destroyed by albanian separatists, despite the presence of UN peace forces in the Province of Kosovo and Meto- hija. ethnic albanians in the province, however, were quite systematic in effort to completely erase the signs of exis- tence of the Serbs and their cultural monuments and spir- itual strongholds on their sacred land.
Medieval Serbian Princedom, Kingdom and empire, centered in Kosovo and Metohija, was presented through- out history in all major european maps, including the pe- riod of Ottoman rule (1459-1912). Western and Central european geographers and cartographers (Dutch, Vene- tian, French, austrian, German, British) and local authors wrote in their maps the name of Serbia (Servia, Zevia, Ser- vien, Serbie, Serbien), by which along with other carto- graphic content: rivers, mountains, settlements, borders, coats of arms, etc. they marked the existence of the me- dieval Serbia.
The analysis of forty old (historical) and historiographical maps, was previously published in 2007 in the form of the atlas entitled An Atlas of Old Serbia—European Maps of Kosovo and Metohija. These maps were made by leading european cartographers with high state official titles, such as “the Cosmographer of the Republic,” “the Royal Geog- rapher,” “the imperial Geographer,” then military archi- tects, General Staff officers, Princes, consuls, Professors, scientists, etc., which assumes a high degree of their knowl- edge and seriousness in the authorization of the maps. in the same line there have been a number of maps that were done by the local geographers and cartographers, for ex- ample, jovan Cvijić, Spiridon Gopčević et al. The mutual territorial ethnic, demographic and religious relations be- tween the Serbs and albanians can clearly be perceived from these maps as a reliable historical source.
Maps in the atlas are placed in chronological order. They are mostly in smaller scales, meaning that they show the more expanding spatial width than the territory of Serbia, with the Serbian, Slovenian and other neighbor-
ing countries in the Balkans and the Pannonian Plain. in addition to their general purpose of detecting and display- ing the different geographical content of framed area, older time layers were presented on many maps, which in gen- eral increases the content and highlights their historical legacy, from which it can be seen in total real intentions, interests, aspirations and objectives for which they were made. The purpose and method of their preparation is of- ten mentioned in the title of the maps or in specially dec- orated cartouches, in various titles, emblems and inscrip- tions, or from information about the publisher, printer and the time of edition of the map. Certain maps were dedi- cated to individuals, for example “to true aristocrat by birth, education and clarity of mind,” while most were made for general purposes, for example (intended to) “soldier, math- ematician and friend of cosmographic association,” for a detailed military geographical description or quite spe- cifically “for the purposes of the present war.”
atlas consists of maps from seven european countries: the Netherlands (3), Venice (2), France (2), austria (8), Ger- many (9), Great Britain (3) and Serbia (13), their main car- tographic, state and publishing centers. all maps, although published in different places, are very similar and consis- tent by content, because they were relied on each other as cartographic sources, which is evident by the similar- ity seen in the data recorded on most of them. This gen- erally agreed cartographic spatial continuity evolved rela- tively uniformly over the time period from the 16th to the 20th century. By collecting and adding new data and geo- graphic knowledge of the Balkan countries and their in- troduction to the maps, with the correction of old errors, there has been significant progress in raising their geo- graphical authenticity. also, their geometric accuracy in- creased by introducing the mathematical map projections, which greatly improved the general quality of maps. These maps, systematized by source of origin, stating the chron- ological ordinal numeral in the atlas are:
Dutch maps
– abraham Ortelij: Map of Pannonia and old Illyri- cum, [1:2,000,000]. atverpen, 1590. – Pannoniae, et Illyr- ici veteris Tabvla / Ex conatibus geographicis Abrahami Ortelij antverpiani, [1:2.000.000]. antverpiani, 1590. (1).
– Gerard Mercator – William Blau: Wallachia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Byzantium, [1:2,150,000]. amsterdam, [1648]. – Walachia, Servia, Bvlgaria, Romania / Per Gerardum Mercatorem. Guljelmus Blaeu excudebat, [1:2.150.000]. [amstelaedami], [1648]. (3).
– johan Blaeu: Today’s Illyricum ... [1:915.000]. am- sterdam, [1662–1665]. – Illyricvm Hodiernvm, Quod Scrip- tores communiter Sclavoniam, Itali Schiavoniam nuncu- pare solent, in Dalmatiam, Croatiam, Bosniam, et Slavo- niam distinguitur. Sed cum ejus majorem partem Turcæ optineant in Præfecturas eorum more Sanzacatus dictas divisum est, reliquum autem Veneti, Vngari, et Ragusini

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