Page 611 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Kosovo and Metohija: The Rise and Fall of the Serbian People
Radovan Samardžić
In the middle of the Balkan Peninsulalies a region called, until the liberation in 1912, or more precisely in 1918, Old Serbia. During the long centuries, the medieval Ser-
bia shifted from one place to another depending on where the tribes, scattered over the vast land, decided to settle and form a community, always under another name. His- tory follows these aims from as early as the 9th century, al- though there is reason to suppose the existence of a pri- mary form of state life even before this period. The cradle of the first Serbian state composed as a tribal unity is be- lieved to be Raška, a mountainous region in the basins of the ibar, Lim, Tara and Piva rivers. Between this region and the coast, on the stretch of land extending from the Cetina river in Dalmatia to the Bojana river in lower Montenegro, Serbia lay the foundations for her dynamic development in the 12th century. By the end of the century, the Nemanjić dynasty had established itself as its rulers.
With the rise of Serbia from the end of the 12th century under Stefan Nemanja (1166) until the death of emperor Uroš (1371), and the battle of Kosovo (1389), a high level of sophisticated culture and Christian spirituality was creat- ed, first by upgrading the church, organization, religious and cultural education, following the gigantic efforts of St. Sava and his father Stefan Nemanja (St. Simeon); secondly, through the aims of all rulers and archbishops to build the specific Serbian civilization on foundations that had al- ready been laid within the Byzantine commonwealth. in Serbia, Orthodoxy was not set apart from regulations, both traditional and novel, established in Byzantium, the center of the eastern Orthodox Church, Moreover, it was harmo- nious to the character of Serbia and its people. The unity of the state, church and people was attained on the bases of the St. Sava spirituality. The Nemanjić dynasty was pro- claimed sacred; each member of the family had his place on the richly colored frescos in the churches. The literature
Saint Sava of Serbia, Church of the Holy apostles, south choir of the nave, mid-14th century,
the Patriarchate of Peć

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