Page 703 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 703

trait of emperor Dušan. During the 1809 crisis of the up- rising, the Sovjet sent a cry for help to Serbs in Trieste “Our fatherland is now swaying the way it did on the field of Kosovo.”30 Trying to obtain Napoleon’s support for the uprising, the Serbian emissary in Paris recalled Serbia’s ancient history and empire.
artists across the Danube produced seals and stan- dards for the insurgents. The most frequently used was the coat-of-arms of the ancient Serbian region of Triba- lia, represented by the head of a boar pierced by an ar- row. also very popular was the insignia of the old region of Rama—an arm holding a sword. The cross with four “s’s” (“c’s” in Cyrillic) placed between the cross-arms was attributed to Prince Lazar’s family. embellished with a double-headed eagle, it became the nineteenth century Serbian coat-of arms. at the beginning of the uprising, Karadjordje’s flag had the image of King Stefan, The First- -Crowned, on the face, and the cross with four “s’s” on the reverse side. Military detachments (kompanije) received their individual flags in 1809, ornate with the Serbian cross and the boar head, pierced by an arrow. insurgent lead- ers obtained similar personal flags.31
The memory of Kosovo also had a profound impact among Serbs in Montenegro. The second Serbian state which emerged in Montenegro during the nineteenth cen- tury was called “the Serbian Sparta” in the period of ro- manticism. While the Serbian state inherited the tradition of medieval Raška, Montenegro’s legacy was to continue the statehood of ancient Zeta. The proclamation of the Montenegrin Kingdom in 1910 made direct reference to the medieval rulers of Zeta: Vojislav, Mihailo, and Bodin.32
The tribal Montenegrin society, isolated in rocky moun- tains and waging an almost continuous war with the Ot- tomans, preserved the Kosovo tradition even more than Serbia. in the History of Montenegro, published in Russia in 1757, Bishop Vasilije argued that the Petrović family of Montenegrin bishops is related to “the imperial stem of Simeon (Stefan) Nemanja.”33 Planning with Karadjordje a joint Serbo-Montenegrin offensive toward Sandžak and Kosovo in 1809, Bishop Petar i Petrović was very concerned about saving the relics of the ancient kings in Kosovo.34 ivo andrić, the 1962 Yugoslav Nobel prize laureate, called the Montenegrin Bishop Rade-Njegoš (1830–1850) “the je- remiah of Kosovo” who carried “the message of Obilić.”35
30 ivić, Spisi iz bečkih arhiva o... iV (1807), pp. i l l , 115, 117.
31 Dragana Samardžić, Vojne zastave, pp. 35, 37–39, 45–46, 55.
32 Nikola Škerović, Crna Cora na osvitu XX veka (Belgrade, 1964),
pp. 555–556.
33 D. Djordjević, Uloga istoricizma, p. 317.
34 “This year we Montenegrins as well as Serbs from the side of
Belgrade intend to raise arms against the Turks and to liberate you,” wrote the bishop to the prior of Dečani monastery. He warned him to “take care and save the relics of the Holy Kings and the cross.” Zadužbine, p. 611.
35 ivo andrić, “Njegoš kao tragični junak kosovske misli,” Zaduž- bine, p. 279.
The Tradition of Kosovo
in his philosophical epic, The Mountain Wreath, Njegoš cited Miloš Obilić more than any other Serbian hero. He prophesied, “the name of Montenegro will be resurrect- ed from the Kosovo graveyard.”36 “Praise to the ashes of the Nemanjić,” wrote the poet: “...Their crowns will shine again ...The dawn is coming to our mountains!”37
in a letter Vladika Rade addressed to Osman Pasha Skopljak in 1847, he described Montenegrins as “worthy scions of old knights... who fought for honesty and iden- tity since that unhappy [Kosovo] day when the asiatic de- stroyed our empire.”38 When asked what he would do if his dream were realized during his lifetime, the Bishop an- swered: “i would go to my Patriarchate in Peć and Mihailo, the Prince of Serbia, would go to Prizren.”39 The Serbian writer Ljubomir Nenadović addressed Prince Danilo of Montenegro: “after Lazar you are the first!” in Letters from Cetinje, Nenadović described “the mourning for the lost empire.” Women and young girls did not adorn themselves with flowers but wore a black scarf around their heads. The traditional man’s cap was also embroidered in black— for the memory of Kosovo. “When you talk to these peo- ple,” wrote Nenadović, “you have the impression that the Battle of Kosovo took place yesterday.”40
in 1900 the Montenegrin war leader, Vojvoda Marko Miljanov, praised “the candle which lit the past and pres- ent, and ever since Kosovo was the watchful guardian of the Serbian pledge.”41 Kosovo was also the leitmotif in the poetry of the Montenegrin prince, and later (1910) king, Nikola. His poem “There, Over There” (Onamo, ’namo), which was accepted as the national anthem evoked Priz- ren, the ruins of imperial palaces, and ancient glory:
Over there, behind those mountains It is told that Miloš’s grave repose(s) There! My soul will rest in peace... Over there: to see Prizren
It is mine: I shall come home 42
after the autonomy obtained in 1830, Serbia embarked on the thorny road of modernization and state building. The deeply rooted Ottoman heritage was to be replaced by europeanization. The process of national liberation, aiming toward the unification of the scattered Serbs still living under foreign rule, met with the opposition of two neighboring empires, the Ottoman and the Habsburg. Until 1867 the sultan’s flag still floated over the citadel in Belgrade, and the Turkish nizams patrolled in Serbian cities.
dužbine, p. 270.
41 Lj Nenadović, “Pisma sa Cetinja (1878),” p. 272.
42 Bogdan Popović, Antologija novije srpske lirike, 13th ed. (Bel-
grade, 1971), p. 13.
  Cited in Dedijer, Sarajevo 1914, p. 411.
37 Zadužbine, pp. 221–23.
38 Zadužbine, p. 268.
39 Dragnić-Todorović, The Saga of Kosovo, p. 80.
40 Ljubomir Nenadović, “Pisma sa Cetinja (1878),” cited in, Za-

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