Page 637 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 637

tro-Hungarian occupation in the First World War. Only just in the fire of the National Library in Belgrade after the bombardment on the 6th of april, 1941, burned away 43 manuscripts and printed books from the period between the 13th and 18th century, brought to the Library during the 19th and 20th centuries from Kosovo and Metohija, then called Old Serbia, to be preserved and kept there. among them were also the Prizren Gospel (Prizrensko Jevandelje) from the 13th century, the Memorial Service Ritual Book of the Mother of God (our Holy Lady) of Ljeviša Monastery (Pomenik Bogorodice Ljeviške) from the 15th century as well as tens of the 14th- and 15th-century books from the rural churches of Kijevo, Dolac, Ljubižda, Sredska, Gornja Sr- bica and from the churches of Orahovac and Djakovica.
Tens and tens of the medieval Serbian manuscripts and printed books were carried off to museums and other in- stitutions all over the world. Russian Slavist and Consul al. Grigorovich took off 25 old manuscripts from the Peć Pa- triarchate, leaving to the hospitable Peć monks his receipts for 6 books only. The second Russian Consul in Sarajevo, a. Hilferding, carried away 4 books from Gorioč, a Gospel (13th-14th c.) from Prizren, then a book, Metropolitan Me- lentije’s present to him, and an anthology of prayers (14th c.); then 6 books from Dečani, 3 from Peć, and 6 books (14th-15th c.) from Gračanica Monastery. The Psalter of Branko Mladenović of Drenica is now kept in the Ruma- nian academy of Sciences in Bucharest. The Octoechos (Oktoih) from Sirinićka Župa, written in 1353, together with the Gospel Readings (Čitanje iz Jevandjelja) written in the 13th century by the Sirinić Scribe Ravul, is now kept in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, ireland. The Gospel book (Četvorojevandjelje) with a note of the same Sirinić Scribe Ravul is found in the National Library in Paris, and the Si-
The Fate of the Serbian Cultural Heritage (13th–20th Century)
rinić Religious-service anthology (Bogoslužbeni zbornik) in St. Catherine Monastery, in the Sinai Peninsula. The manuscripts of the Novo Brdo Calligrapher Vladislav Gram- maticus (Vladislav Gramatik) were carried off to many cit- ies of europe. His religious anthology (Zbornik), written in 1469, is kept in the Yugoslavian academy of Sciences and arts, in Zagreb, Croatia; the other anthology (Zbornik) of his, from 1456, is now in the University Library of Odessa, the USSR; the Book of Sermons of john the Chrysostom, in the Rilski Monastery, Bulgaria; the Panegyric (Panegi- rik), in the Library of the Theological Faculty in Sofia; the Hexaemeron (Šestodnev), in the Roumyantsev Museum, in Moscow. Likewise, some other manuscripts and printed books dating from the 14th and 15th centuries are now kept in the most renowned collections in Leningrad, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, Prague, Vienna, Berlin, Vatican, Paris, Lon- don, Dublin, Sofia, arad, Dresden, Krakow, Leipzig, Mu- nich, Zagreb, Belgrade, and in other cities of the world.
During the First World War, the Bulgarian Deputy Met- ropolitan, Stephan Karayanev of Veles took away from Pri- ština the Memorial Service Ritual Book of the St. Trinity Monastery at Mušutište, which had been maintained since 1465 to that day. During the Second World War, the alba- nian nationalists mined and destroyed Monastery Devič at Drenica, and on that occasion also a rich collection of old manuscripts burnt away; they burned down and destroyed the village churches of Bistražin, Donji Ratiš, Nec, Ponoše- vac, Rastavica, and Čikatovo as well.
But, nevertheless, the cultural heritage of the Serbian people deserves an adequately beholden attention and a longer lasting recording. if we have given by this work even a modest contribution to this end, we shall be content.
 Great Migration of 1690 and continued Serb migrations
The Great Migration of the Serbs of 1690 led to a double tragedy for Kosovo and Metohija Serbs because the mi- gration itself thinned their ranks, while those who remained, still as the majority population, suffered further abuse and mistreatment by both the Turks and the Albanian newcomers. Namely, after the collapse of the Chris- tian Austro-Serbian army at Kačanik at the beginning of 1690, where the Turks were assisted by considerable numbers of Tatars and Albanians, came their revenge attack on the lands of Old Serbia, with the greatest destruc- tive frenzies taking place in Kosovo. A total of 37,000 Serb families (or 185,000 to 200,000 souls) left Kosovo and Metohija at that time. These Serbs, who migrated to the north, significantly strengthened the ranks of the Serb population on the other side of the Sava and Danube Rivers, and took with them the living and unforgettable traditions of Kosovo and Metohija.
In the end, we must ask: Why should Kosovo, as the Holy Land of the Balkans, not be common land and dis- trict of Serbs and Albanians, Christians and Muslims, two peoples, two languages, two confessions, two cultures, just like—mutatis mutantis—the Holy Land for the Israelis and the Palestinians? This common life and coexis- tence is something the U.S. is advocating in the Holy Land. Why does it not advocate the same in this Holy Land, too, for the sake of God, for the sake of its people and nations, for the sake of its Holy Shrines, for the sake of justice and freedom?

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