Page 586 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 586

Dušan T. Bataković
es (Gračanica, Visoki Dečani, Devič, Duboki Potok, Vra- čevo, Draganac), additional buildings were constructed to accommodate the growing number of students of monas- tic and, subsequently, secular schools. Religious schools were established in all major towns (Priština, Peć, Mitro- vica, Vučitrn, Gnjilane and Djakovica), while the best pri- vate schools, funded by church communities and guilds, were located at Prizren, Vučitrn, Mitrovica, and the vil- lages of Donja jasenovo and Kovači.71
after the Patriarchate of Peć was abolished in 1776, all the Serb bishoprics came under the jurisdiction of the Greek-controlled Patriarchate of Constantinople. Never- theless, several Serb bishops remained in office. in the early decades of the nineteenth century, the establishment of new Serb schools was urged by the dynamic Serb met- ropolitans janićije and Hadži Zaharije of the Raška–Pri- zren Diocese. When in 1830 the Prizren bishopric chair was taken over by Greek bishops, efforts were made, in particular under Greek Metropolitan ignatius (1840–1849), to open Tzintzar (Hellenized Vlach) schools in different urban centres, where lessons in Greek would also be at- tended by Serbian children.72 according to the available data, in the 1860s several dozen primary schools in Me- tohija and Kosovo were attended by at least 1,300 Serbi- an students. a number of talented students from Kosovo and Metohija were trained as teachers in Serbia from the early 1860s, owing to generous scholarships granted by the wealthy Prizren Serb merchant Sima andrejević igu- manov (1804–1882), the founder of the Theological School (Seminary or Bogoslovija) in Prizren in 1871.73
according to reliable Serbian sources, the first half of the nineteenth century in Kosovo–Metohija was marked by spiralling violence mostly directed against the Chris- tian Orthodox Serb population, resulting in their occa- sional conversion to islam and increasing emigration to the Principality of Serbia.74 appalling Serb testimonies of both religious and social discrimination against them, per- petrated mostly by Muslim albanian outlaws, were ad- ditionally confirmed by both Western and Russian trav- elers.75
The Serbian ruler Prince Mihailo Obrenović’s (1860– 1868) and his Prime Minister ilija Garašanin’s ambitious
71 jagoš K. Djilas, Srpske škole na Kosovu od 1856 do 1912 godine (Priština: j. Djilas, 1969).
72 Cf the most important studies: Petar Kostić, Crkveni život pra- voslavnih Srba u Prizrenu i njegovoj okolini u XIX veku (Belgrade: Grafički institut “Narodna misao” a. D., 1928); idem, Prosvetno–kul- turni život pravoslavnih Srba u Prizrenu i njegovoj okolini u XIX veku i početkom XX veka (sa uspomenama pisca) (Skoplje: Grafičko–in- dustrijsko preduzeće Krajničanac a. d., 1933).
73 Vladimir Bovan, Sima A Igumanov Život i delo (Priština & Prizren: Narodna i Univerzitetska biblioteka “ivo andrić” & Srpska Pravoslavna Bogoslovija Svetog Kirila i Metodija, 2004).
74 For more, see Dušan T. Bataković, ed., Savremenici o Kosovu i Metohiji 1852–1912 (Belgrade: Srpska književna zadruga, 1988).
75 Ibid. 584
plans for an all-Christian uprising in Turkey-in-europe in the late 1860s paved the way for future cooperation with powerful Muslim and Roman Catholic clans from north- ern albania. Nevertheless, the Belgrade government’s friendly relations with the clans of northern albania had no tangible effect on either the Kosovo renegade pashas and their lawless clans or on the improvement of the dif- ficult position of the persecuted Christian Serb popula- tion.76
The decrease of Serb population caused by tribal an- archy and forced migration was partially compensated by a high birth rate in the rural areas. in rural areas, the Chris- tian Serbs, as well as the Muslim albanians, lived in ex- tended families (zadruga) comprising several generations and with up to as many as eighty members, but twenty to forty on average. The demographic structure was differ- ent in the urban population. according to the renowned Russian scholar a. F. Hilferding who conducted exten- sive, highly reliable research on his voyage to the region in 1858, the composition of the main towns was as follows: Peć—4,000 Muslim and 800 Christian Orthodox fami- lies; Priština—1,200 Muslim and 300 Christian Orthodox families; Prizren—3,000 Muslim, 900 Christian Ortho- dox and 100 Roman Catholic families.77
in the 1860s the British travellers M. McKenzie and a. P. irby recorded that Serb villages were not the only target of albanian outlawed raiders. During their visit to Vučitrn, a Serb priest explained, in the presence of an Ot- toman official (mudir), the position of urban Christians: “There, said he, the mudir sits—one man with half a doz- en zaptis [policemen]—what can he effect? There are here but 200 Christian houses, and from 400 to 500 Mussul- man [Muslim], so the arnaouts [albanians] have it all their own way. They rob the Christians whenever and of what- ever they please; sometimes walking into a shop, calling for what they want, and carrying it off on promise of pay- ment, sometimes seizing it without further ado. Worse than this, their thoroughly savage, ignorant, and lawless way of living keeps the whole community in a state of bar- barism, and as the Christians receive no support against them, no enlightenment nor hope from Constantinople, they naturally look for everything to Serbia;—to the Ser- bia of the past for inspiring memories, to the Principality [of Serbia] for encouragement, counsel, and instructions.”78
The demographic structure of Old Serbia (Kosovo, Metohija, the former Sanjak of Novi Bazar and present- day north-western Macedonia) prior to the eastern Cri-
77 aleksandar F. Giljferding, Putovanje po Hercegovini, Bosni i Staroj Srbiji (Sarajevo: Veselin Masleša, 1972), 154–165 (Serbian trans- lation from the Russian original of 1859).
78 G. Muir Mackenzie and a.P. irby, Travels in the Slavonic Prov- inces of Turkey–in–Europe, vol. i (2nd rev. ed., London: Dadly, isbiter & Co, 1877), 246.
  Sadulla Brestovci, Marrëdhëniet shqiptare–serbo–malazeze 1830–1878 (Prishtina: instituti albanologjik i Prishtinës, 1983).

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