Page 574 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 574

Dušan T. Bataković
practice has its roots in the nineteenth century, in the Ro- mantic period of “national awakening”. Both Kosovo and Metohija (in albanian known as Rafshte e Dukadjinit) were from the mid–nineteenth century widely known as Ar- navutluk, a term synonymous with lawless territory on the periphery of the crumbling Ottoman empire, thus link- ing the notion of a Muslim albanian with constant rebel- lion against Ottoman central authority.10
Furthermore, the ethnic albanians are fond of Koso- vo as the stronghold of their main national movement, “albanian League”, founded in Prizren in 1878 on the eve of the Congress of Berlin. all albanians, including the Kosovo albanians, see Kosovo as symbolizing an “ancient albanianland”,aspaceofancientDardania,whichdirect- ly, in ethnic terms, links the ancient illyrians with the mod- ern-day albanian community in the province of Kosovo and Metohija. This romantic historical notion of amateur- -historians (johan Georg von Hahn) and albanian patri- ots (Pashko Vassa, Sami Frashëri) before and during the eastern Crisis in 1878, originally concocted as a scholarly
1984); Le Kosovo–Metohija dans l’histoire serbe Radovan Samardžić, ed. (Lausanne: L’age d’Homme, 1990); Kosovo, Past and Present (Bel- grade: institute for international affairs, 1989); Dušan T. Bataković, The Kosovo Chronicles (Belgrade: Plato, 1992); idem, Kosovo La spi- rale de la haine (Lausanne: L’age d’Homme, 1993; 2nd ed. 1998); Bra- nislav Krstić, Kosovo Facing the Court of History (New York: Hu- manity Books, 2004); Dušan T. Bataković, Kosovo Un conflit sans fin? (Lausanne: L’age d’Homme, 2008); idem, Serbia’s Kosovo Dra- ma A Historical Perspective (Belgrade : Čigoja Štampa 2012).
Cf also in Serbian: Djoko Slijepčević, Srpsko-arbanaški odnosi kroz vekove s posebnim osvrtom na novije vreme (Himelstir: eparhija zapadnoevropska, 1983); Dimitrije Bogdanović, Knjiga o Kosovu (Bel- grade: Serbian academy of Sciences and arts, 1985); atanasije jevtić & Živorad Stojković, eds., Zadužbine Kosova Spomenici i znamenja srpskog naroda (Prizren–Belgrade: eparhija Raško–prizrenska, 1987); D. T. Bataković, Kosovo i Metohija Istorija i ideologija (Belgrade– Valjevo: Hrišćanska misao, 1998); Kosovo i Metohija u velikoalban- skim planovima 1878–2000 (Belgrade: institut za savremenu istoriju, 2001).
The papers by Serbian, albanian and Western scholars reflecting different views of the problem are available in the following collection: Kosovo/a Confrontation or Coexistence, eds. Ger Duijzings, Dušan janjić & Shkelzen Maliqi (Peace Research Centre: University of Nij- megen & Political Cultural Centre 042, 1996). Quite useful for the recent developments is also Thanos Veremis & evangelos Kofos, eds., Kosovo Avoiding another Balkan War (athens: eLiaMeP, 1994); William joseph Buckley, ed., Kosovo Contending Voices on Balkan Interventions (Grand Rapids, Michigan-Cambridge UK: William B. eerdmans, 2000); also useful is “Kosovo. Six siècles de mémoires croisées”, Les Annales de l’autre Islam 7, actes du colloque tenue en 1999 (Paris: INALCO, 2000). The standard German/Austrian approach available in jens Reuter, Die Albaner in Jugoslawien (Munich, 1980); Wolfgang Petritch, Karl Kaser & Robert Pichler, eds., Kosovo/Kosova Mythen, Daten, Fakten (Klagenfurt & Vienna: Wieser Verlag, 1999). among the recent monographs, balanced and accurate is jean– arnauld Dérens, Kosovo Année zéro, preface Marek-antony Nowicki (Paris: Paris–Méditerranée, 2004). See also a very useful book with particular chapters on the Kosovo case: alexis Troude, Géopolitique de la Serbie (Paris: elipses, 2006).
10 Nathalie Clayer, “Kosovo: le berceau du nationalisme albanais au XiXème siècle?”, Les Annales de l’autre Islam 7 (2000), 169–182.
theory in austria-Hungary in the late nineteenth century for the political purpose of finding a common denomi- nator uniting the divided albanian clans,11 was addition- ally elaborated between the two world wars, and eventu- ally the illyrian theory was fully embraced by albanian historians, becoming an official ideology under the post- 1945 communist dictator enver Hoxha.12 Thus, the illyr- ian theory views albanians as direct descendants of the pre-Roman illyrian tribes and labels Serbs as “Slavic in- truders” who did not begin to settle in this ancient alba- nian land until the seventh century aD.13 Due to this ideo- logical pattern imposed on albanian historiography both by national romanticism and the Stalinist-type commu- nistregimeofenverHoxha,Kosovocametobeperceived in the twentieth century by the whole albanian nation scattered in various states bordering albania, as an “oc- cupied ethnic territory”.14
Nevertheless, there is no reliable evidence for ethnic continuity between ancient illyrians and present-day al- banians. The huge gap in the historical record between the sixth and eleventh centuries, however, has produced little effect on albanian national mythology, or on the in- clusion of the illyrian myth as an ingredient of modern albanian national identity. as regards to Kosovo—as an alleged illyrian–albanian territory—a two-stepped ap- proach has been applied. First, the missing link in the al- leged illyrian–albanian continuity was found in the an- cient tribe of Dardanians. The second step was to multi- ply efforts aimed at “unmasking Serbian myths” about Kosovo through the rapid growth of ostensibly scholarly publications.15
12 Nathalie Clayer, Religion et nation chez les Albanais aux XIXe– XXe siècles (istanbul: Les Éditions iSiS, 2002), idem, Aux origines du nationalisme albanais La naissance d’une nation majoritairement musulmane en Europe (Paris : Karthala 2007).
13 Studime Ilire Kuvendi I i Studimeve Ilire, (Prishtine: Rilindja 1978); The Truth on Kosova ed. K. Prifti (Tirana: institute of History, academy of Sciences of the Republic of albania, encyclopaedia Pub- lishing House, 1993); ali jakupi, “Origins and Motives of Serbian Myths in Kosovo” Eurobalkans, no. 34–35, spring/summer Athens 1999, 21–27. in French: Rexhep Qosja, La Question albanaise, Paris: Fayard,1995). For a recent, more scholarly analysis see Albania and the Albanian identities, ed. antonina Zhelyazkova (Sofia: interna- tional Centre for Minority Studies and intercultural Relations, 2000); Albanian Identities: Myth & History, eds. Stephanie Schwandner– Sievers and Bernd j. Fischer (London: Hurst & Co, 2002).
14 Cf more in the standard enver Hoxha-sponsored, Stalinist- type version of the ancient illyrian origin of albanians: alex Buda, ed., Albanians and Their Territories (Tirana: 8 Nëntori: academy of Science of PR of albania, 1985).
15 Cf a typical example: ali jakupi, “Origins and Motives of Ser- bian Myths in Kosovo”, Eurobalkans 34–35 (Spring/Summer, Ath- ens, 1999), 21–27. Notoriously pro-albanian as regards the Kosovo issue is Noel Malcolm, Kosovo A Short History (London: Macmillan, 1998). Cf the review of Malcolm’s book by aleksa Djilas, “imagining Kosovo: a Biased New account Fans Western Confusion”, Foreign Affairs (New York: Council on Foreign Relations inc., vol. 77, No 5,
Stavro Skendi, Albanian National Awakening, 1878–1912 (Prince- ton: Princeton University Press, 1967).

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