The Idea Of A Greater Croatia By Pavao Ritter Vitezović (I)

The article will examine the model for the creation of a Greater Croatia designed by a Croatian nobleman, publicist and historian Pavao Ritter Vitezović (1652–1713). The article will offer a new interpretation of the substance and significance of Vitezović’s political ideology. Many historians have viewed Vitezović’s political thought and his developed ideological framework of a united South Slavic state as part of a wider pan-Slavic world. According to the prevailing notion, Vitezović was a precursor of the idea of Yugoslavism (a united South Slavic nation-state) and even Pan-Slavism – a pan-Slavic cultural and political reciprocity. Yet a closer look at Vitezović and his contemporaries’ writings suggests an alternative model for outlining the borders of modern ethnic states among the South Slavs. P. R. Vitezović argued for the creation of a Croat national state, based on the integration of alleged Croat “ethnic territories” and their consolidation along ethnolinguistic lines. The analysis of Vitezović’s understanding of nationhood explains how the borders of an envisioned early modern Croat ethnic state had been perceived as including vast territories from the Adriatic Sea to Moscow and from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. In this respect, Vitezović’s views on the Lithuanians and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth will show that the argument used to substantiate his claims for a Croatian national state was based on an ethnolinguistic kinship.

This article will focus on the territorial and ideological mapping of the borders of an early modern Croatian state in the second half of the 17th century. It will deal with three main issues:

  1. It will explain how the borders of the areas populated by the Slavs were shaped and reshaped through the political ideas articulated in the writings of Vitezović and his contemporaries.
  2. It will answer the question which arguments were used to claim a Pan-Slavic ethnolinguistic kinship and construct the concept of Pan-Croatianism?
  3. The article will explain why Vitezović placed Lithuania on his mental map of a Croatian national state.

Croatia mapThe analysis of P. R. Vitezović’s political writings, therefore, will show that in the 17th century Croatian intellectuals constructed a model of a modern nation-state based on territory, ethnic origins and language, and excluding religion.

An ideological concept of the Pan Croatianism and a Greater Croatia

A Croatian nobleman of ethnic German origin from Senj, Pavao Ritter Vitezović (1652–1713), was the person who transformed old Dalmatian Pan-Slavic idea into the ideological concept of Pan-Croatianism that included all Slavic population into the membership of the Croatian nationality. Dalmatian, and especially Ragusian (Dubrovnik) humanists, in the 16th century, accepted the old domestic popular tradition that all Slavs originated in fact in the Balkans and the south Danubian region. It means that according to this tradition and several historical sources, the South Slavs are autochthonous inhabitants at both the Balkan Peninsula and its neighboring south Danubian region. More precisely, the entire Slavonic population had its progenitors in the ancient Balkan Illyrians, Macedonians, and Thracians. Principally, the ancient Illyrians were considered as the real ancestors of the South, Eastern and Western Slavs who have been living in the central and western territories of the Balkans. Consequently, according to this belief, the forefathers of present-day Eastern and Western Slavs emigrated from the Balkans and nearby Danubian lands and settled on the wider territory of Europe from the Elbe River on the West to the Volga River on the East.[1] However, the South Slavs remained in the Balkans – the peninsula that was considered as the motherland of all Slavonic people (Istorija naroda Jugoslavije 1960: 224–227). Subsequently, all famous historical actors who originated in the Balkans were appropriated as members of the Slavdom: Alexander the Great and his father Philip II of Macedon, Aristotle, St. Jerome (Hieronymus), Diocletian, Constantine the Great, SS. Cyril and Methodius, etc.[2] On the territory of present-day Serbia, for instance, eighteen Roman Emperors of the Illyrian (Slavic?) origin were born among whom Constantin the Great became most famous.

P. R. Vitezović, “plemeniti i hrabreni gospn hërvatski i senski vlastelin” (“noble and brave gentleman and feudal lord from Senj”) (Bogišić 1970: 143), a Senj’s delegate to the Hungarian feudal Parliament (Diet) in Sopron, a representative of the Croatian feudal Parliament (Sabor) at the Imperial Court in Vienna, developed its ideology of Pan-Croatianism in the following writings: Kronika, aliti szpomen vszega szvieta vikov (“Chronicle, or a Remembrance of all the Times of the World”), Zagreb, 1696; Anagrammaton, Sive Lauras auxiliatoribus Ungariae liber secundus (“The Second Book of Anagrams, or a Laurel to the Helpers of Hungary”), Vienna, 1689; Croatia rediviva: Regnante Leopoldo Magno Caesare (“Revived Croatia…”), Zagreb, 1700; and in Stemmatographia, sive Armorum Illyricorum delineatio, descriptio et restitutio (“Stemmatography, or the Delineation, Description, and Restoration of the Illyrian Coat of Arms”), Vienna, 1701. Nevertheless, the fundamental political purpose of these four works was to indicate to the Habsburg Emperor Leopold I (1658–1705) the “Croatian” historical lands that should be united under the Habsburg imperial crown, but not to be divided between three Balkan superpowers: the Republic of San Marco (Venice), the Ottoman Sultanate and the Habsburg Monarchy (Bratulić 1994: 74; Istorija naroda Jugoslavije 1960: 948–949). Especially his Croatia rediviva… was a political protest against the Austro-Ottoman Peace Treaty of Sremski Karlovci, in present-day Serbia, (in German Karlowitz), which, according to Vitezović, deprived Croatia of her alleged ancient historical and ethnical territories (Ritter 1700; Šišić 1934: 44).

According to the Peace Treaty of Sremski Karlovci, the border between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Sultanate was fixed on the Morish and Tisa Rivers. Therefore, Transylvania and Hungary became now parts of the Habsburg Monarchy, the Banat of Temeshvar of the Ottoman Sultanate while the region of Srem (Sirmium) was divided between these two empires. The state border of the Habsburg Monarchy became moved from the Kupa River to the Una River (in present-day Bosnia) and to Velebit Mt in Dalmatia. However, the European peace was established next year when on June 13th the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Sultanate signed a bilateral treaty in Istanbul (Constantinople) that was valid for the next thirty years. According to this treaty, Russia got Azov, stopped to pay annual tribute to the Tatar Han, received a right to freely visit the Christian holy places in Palestine and to have its own diplomatic representative in Istanbul (Dimić 1999: 266−267).

P. R. Vitezović clearly pointed out in his Kronika… that entire ex-Roman province of Illyricum should be understood as a land populated by the Slavs (Vitezovich 1696: 6). However, he implied the term Illyricum to the entire Balkan Peninsula that was settled by the Slavs including and the Albanians who were (wrongly) considered as direct descendants of the ancient Illyrians. Moreover, taking into consideration the fact that some of the South Slavic (Roman Catholic) Renaissance authors (wrongly) applied the name Illyrians and Illyricum to the Croats and Croatia, Vitezović, in fact, called all descendants (the Slavs and Albanians) of the Illyrians as Croats. Thus, the main portion of the Balkans, from the Istrian Peninsula and the Adriatic Sea to the Black Sea, the Danube River, and the Aegean Sea belonged exclusively to the Croatdom. Vitezović stressed that the idea of Illyrian-Slavic nationhood, or the Croatdom, was based on linguistic unity and community for the simple reason that all of these territories and their inhabitants spoke and wrote “szlavni nas (i.e., the Croatian) Illyrski aliti Szlovenski jezik” (“our glorious Illyrian or Slavic language”) (Vitezovich 1696: 199; Blažević 2000, see the map on p. 225).

Illyrian movement
Illyrian movement

The Roman province of Illyricum was established during the time of the Roman Emperor Augustus’ conquest of the Western Balkans in the years of 35 B.C. – A.D. 9. During the time of Emperor Constantine I (Great), one of (four) imperial praefecturas/prefectures (the largest administrative-territorial unites of the Roman Empire) was the Illyricum which covered almost the whole Balkans (except present-day Bulgaria and the European portion of Turkey) and the parts of present-day Hungary and Austria. The Preafectura Illyricum was divided into the following dioceses: Achaia, Thessalia, Macedonia, Dacia, Moesia Prima, Epirus Vetus, Epirus Nova, Praevalitana, Dalmatia, Pannonia Prima, Pannonia Secunda, Savia, Noricum Ripense and Noricum Mediterraneum (Westermann 1985: 38–39, 42–43). It partially covered the territories of modern Austria, Slovenia, and Hungary, but covered all present-day Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece (without the West Thrace) and Albania. Nevertheless, in his Anagrammaton…, Vitezović included the entire territory of the Balkans and a part of South-East Europe into the Illyricum that was later described in his Croatia rediviva… as South Croatia (Ritter 1689; Ritter 1700).

P. R. Vitezović actually divided the whole world into six ethnolinguistic, historical, cultural and geographical areas, civilizations and cultures as they are:

  1. Germania, which embraced the whole German-speaking world: the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, headed by Austria, the Kingdom of Sweden (Sweden, Norway, Finland), Denmark, East Prussia, Curonian Isthmus (Kuršių Neria) with the Curonian Bay or the Courish Lagoon (Kuršių Marios), Memel (Klaipėda). However, Angliae regnum (Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland) was included into Germania as well.
  2. Italia cum parte Greciae (Italy with the part of Greece) referred to the Apennine Peninsula, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Attica, Peloponnesus (Morea) and the main number of the Aegean and the Ionian Islands, Malta, and Crete.
  3. Illyricum that was the whole Balkans (except Attica and Peloponnesus with the adjoining islands), Wallachia (Dacia and Cumania), Transylvania, and Hungary.
  4. Hispania, which was composed by Spain and Portugal and their European possessions and overseas colonies in Africa, Asia, Latin America with Florida and California.
  5. Sarmatia that was composed by the territories of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (the Republic of Two Nations) with Moldavia and Muscovy (i.e., the Russian Empire).
  6. Gallia that was France (Ritter 1689: 69–117).

The real ideological source for such division of the whole world was the Slavic idea which decisively influenced Vitezović who recognized that all Slavs belonged to a single ethnolinguistic community. Nevertheless, he metamorphosed this idea of Pan-Slavism eleven years later into the idea of a Pan-Croatianism and a Greater Croatia. In fact, Vitezović claimed that all Slavs are the Balkan Illyrians who were autochthonous inhabitants of Illyricum. However, for him, it was clear that ancient Illyrians were modern Croats and ancestors of all Slavs. This ideology of Croatian-Slavic ethnogenesis Vitezović developed in his work Croatia rediviva… that was an outline for a more ambitious general history of the Croats and Croatia, i.e. the entire Slavic population. In this work, Vitezović divided the total territory of ethnic, historical and linguistic Croatia into two parts: I) Croatia Septemtrionalis (North Croatia), and II) Croatia Meridionalis (South Croatia). The boundary between them was the Danube River. North Croatia encompassed the entire territories of Bohemia, Moravia, Lusatia (Łužica or Łužyca in East Saxony and South Brandenburg) (The Sorbs in Germany 1998: 5), Hungary, Transylvania, Wallachia, Muscovy, Poland, and Lithuania (Ritter 1700: 109). The people who were living in North Croatia were divided into two groups: North-West Croats, called the Venedicos (the Wends) and North-East Croats, named as the Sarmaticos (the Sarmatians). The Wends consisted of the Czechs, Moravians, and Sorbs (Sorabi, who lived in Lusatia), whereas the Sarmatians who were living in Muscovy, Poland and Lithuania (Ritter 1700: 10), i.e., were the Rus’, Poles and Lithuanians.

P. R. Vitezović found that the ancestors of all North Croats (the Wends and the Sarmatians) were the White Croats (Belohrobatoi, from the Byzantine historical sources) who lived in the early Middle Ages around the upper Dniester River and the upper Vistula River, i.e., Galicia and Little Poland (Engel 1979: 10–11; Westermann 1985: 50–51, 54–55; Macan 1992: 15–16; Klaić 1971: 18–22). A traditional name from the sources for White Croatia was a Greater Croatia or an Ancient Croatia (Ćorović 1993: 34; Klaić 1971: 21). At the time of Vitezović’s writing of Croatia rediviva… this territory was an integral part of the Republic of the Two Nations (the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth).

South Croatia, or Illyricum (the Balkans), was subdivided by Vitezović into two parts: Croatia Alba (White Croatia), and Croatia Rubea (Red Croatia). Croatia Alba was composed by Croatia Maritima (central and maritime Montenegro, Dalmatia and East Istria), Croatia Mediterranea (Croatia proper and Bosnia-Herzegovina), Croatia Alpestris (Slovenia and West Istria), and Croatia Interamnia (Slavonia with a part of Pannonia). Croatia Rubea consisted of Serbia, North-East Montenegro, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Epirus, Albania, Thessaly and Thrace (Vitezović’s Odrysia) (Ritter 1700: 32). Therefore, there have been Vitezović’s “limites totius Croatiae” (“borders of whole Croatia”) that was settled, according to him, by ethnolinguistic Croats (Vitezović 1699; Ritter 1699; Vitezović 1997: 188–215; Perković 1995: 225–236). However, Vitezović recognized the reality that his Greater (United) Croatia and a Pan-Croatian national identity was not a unified in whole. In other words, he acknowledged differences in borders, names, emblems, and customs: “cum propriis tamen singularum limitibus etymo, insignibus, rebusque ac magis memorabilibus populi moribus” (Ritter 1700: 32; Ritter 1701). After all, he believed that these distinctions were of lesser importance than the common Croatian nationhood of all of these people and lands. His apotheosis of the common Croat name especially for all South Slavs (the ancient Balkan Illyrians) with regional and historical differences was expressed in Vitezović’s heraldic manual Stemmatographia… where he presented all “Croatian” historical and ethnolinguistic lands in South-East Europe, like Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, etc. (Ritter 1701; Banac 1993: 223–227).

The sources of ideological background of P. R. Vitezović’s Pan-Croatianism

The ideological background of P. R. Vitezović’s Pan-Croatianism lies undoubtedly in the 16th–17th centuries developed a Pan-Slavic idea, which is presented in the first part of this article. Vitezović accepted the main point of this idea – all Slavs constitute a single ethnolinguistic community of kinship.[3]

The basic elements of this assumption he found in the well-known and widely-read East Slavonic Povest’ vremennyh let or Nestor’s Chronicle (“Primary Chronicle” – a compilation from the early 12th century, containing both oral and earlier written material), which main ideological construction, i.e., tradition of the three Slavic progenitors – brothers Czech, Lech and Rus’, who originated in the Balkans and Pannonian Plain around the Danube River (Povest’ vremennyh let 1884: 4; Conte 1986: 14–15). This source became further developed in the various medieval Dalmatian, Czech, and Polish chronicles and Renaissance-Baroque Slavic histories written by the South Slavic authors, especially by those living in Dalmatia.[4]

Constructing his own ideology of a Pan-Croatianism, P. R. Vitezović, on the first place, used information from the next four historical sources relating to the early history of the Slavs, their origin, ethnogenesis and their settlement at the Balkans:

  1. Already mentioned above Povest’ vremennyh let.
  2. Letopis Popa Dukljanina or Barski rodoslov (“Chronicle of the Priest from Dioclea” or “Bar’s Genealogy”). This is a mid-12th-century chronicle, possibly originally written in the Slavic language, but surviving only in its Latin translation. The only survived copy of this manuscript can be found in the Manuscript Collection of Library of Vatican under the signature: Vat. Lat. 6958. The main part of this chronicle is based on oral tradition. It is the most detailed source for the early history of Montenegro and Herzegovina and important source on the history of Bosnia, Croatia, and Macedonia.
  3. Historia Salonitana (“History of Split”). This is the most important, but a biased historical source for the history of the Dalmatian city of Split from the 7th to the 13th centuries. There is as well as an expanded version of this work from the 16th century that is known as Historia Salonitana maior by Thomas the Archdeacon of Split who died in 1268.
  4. De Administrando Imperio (“On governing of the state”). This unfinished work is dealing with the foreign policy of the Byzantium, diplomatic techniques, and sketches of the neighboring Slavic and non-Slavic people. It is written by a Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, 913–959.

P. R. Vitezović, became ideologically influenced and by three specific South Slavic authors who were the principal South Slavic champions of a Pan-Slavic national and linguistic reciprocity: Vinko Pribojević, Mavro Orbin, and Juraj Križanić. In addition to them, a Central European writer, Georg Horn – the 17th-century author who wrote in 1666 the so-called Georgii Horni, sive Historia imperiorum et regnorum, a conditio orbe ad nostra tempora – left as well a distinct ideological impression on Vitezović.

Surprisingly, P. R. Vitezović in his work reconciled, on one hand, the legend from Povest’ vremennyh let and information from Historia Salonitana that the Croats (called in this latter work as the Curetes) were living in the Balkans in the 1st  century B.C. with, on another hand, the information about the Croat settlement in the Balkans that he found in Porphyrogenitus’ De Administrando Imperio. Actually, for Vitezović the most interesting part of Porphyrogenitus’ work was the chapter № 30 where the Byzantine Emperor pointed out that the Balkan Croats lived in former time “on the other side of Bavaria, where the White Croats can be found today” (Klaić 1972: 3). Vitezović from this information derived a conclusion that the Croats lived out from the Balkans too, and consequently, he divided all Croats (from the Balkans and outside the Balkans) into “Transdanubian” and “Cisdanubian” Croats. Furthermore, combining information from Povest’ vremennyh let and those from Orbin’s Il Regno degli Slavi, Vitezović concluded firstly that the brothers Czech, Lech and Rus’ (i.e., the Czechs, Moravians, Poles, Russians and entire population of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth including and the Lithuanians) were not only the natives of Illyricum (i.e., Croatia, according to him), but as well as that all of them were actually ethnolinguistic Croats. He used Porphyrogenitus’ text to claim and that the Serbs were of the Croat origin for the reason that the Emperor wrote that the Croats bordered themselves with the Slavic Serbs “who are called Croats” (Klaić 1972: 3; see as well as, Moravcsic 1949; Bury 1906). Finally, the name “Red Croatia” (Croatia Rubea) from Letopis Popa Dukljanina (Ljetopis Popa Dukljanina 1967, 196), which was related to the mediaeval Montenegro (called Duklja or Dioclea, Doclea), Herzegovina and North Albania, Vitezović extended to the whole territory of East Balkans populated by the Slavs (i.e., Illyrians or Croats in his opinion); whereas the name “White Croatia” (Croatia Alba) from the same source (Ljetopis Popa Dukljanina 1967, 194–195) that was related to East Adriatic littoral, he extended to the whole portion of West Balkans.

From the sentence “Clarius Constant. Porphyrogenitus Imper. …qui Sarmatas Belochrobatos, id est Albos, sive magnos, aut terram multam posidentes, appellat” is clear that Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus’ De Administrando Imperio served to Vitezović to claim that all Western and Eastern Slavs, i.e., the Czechs, Sorbs, Moravians and all inhabitants of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Russia, originated in Belohrobatoi (White Croats) who are also called by Vitezović as the Sarmatians.

The author of Croatia rediviva… accepted an old idea of the Sarmatian origin of the Slavs, especially of the Poles, by reading at his lifetime very popular following four publications:

  1. The Polish historian Matthew Miehowita’s Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis Asiana et Europeana (“Treatise about two Sarmatias – Asian and European”), Cracow, 1517, for whom ancient Sarmatians were contemporary Russians.
  2. The Polish poet Ian Kohanowski (1530–1584).
  3. The Polish historian Martinu Kromer’s, De origine et rebus gestis Polonarum (Basel, 1555), who supported the idea of ethnic and linguistic Sarmatian-Slavic symbiosis telling that the Slavic Sarmatians came to Central and South-East Europe from “Asian Sarmatia” (north from the Black Sea) (Cromer 1555; Cynarski 1968, 6–17).
  4. The Polish historian Matthew Stryjkowski’s Kronika Polska, Litewska, Žmudzka i wszystkiej Rusi (“Chronicle of Poland, Lithuania, Žemaitija/Samogitia, and all the lands of Rus’”), Königsberg, 1582. Vitezović became particularly affected with Stryjkowski’s association of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (the GDL) with the “Polish Sarmatian Empire”.

P. R. Vitezović accepted from these four works of the Polish Renaissance authors the notion that “European Sarmatia” encompassed Poland, Lithuania, Byelorussia, and Ukraine, i.e. the lands under the scepter of the “Polish” Jagiellonian royal dynasty, which was, in fact, of the Lithuanian origin (Bumblauskas 2007: 172−179; Zinkevičius 2013: 162−167).

The ideological principles that guided M. Stryjkowski’s chronicle undoubtedly strengthened both a Pan-Slavic ideology and the ideology of Sarmatism that dominated Poland at the second half of the 16th century and the first half of the 17th century, consolidating at the same time a Polish position within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Kiaupa et al. 2000: 292–293). The “Sarmatian myth” was transformed by the Poles from a geographic term to the ethnic dimension and became finally political program under the motto: “Polonia caput ac Regina totius Sarmatiae” (Conte 1986: 301).

P. R. Vitezović, in general, accepted old writings about the Slavs, or at least the peoples whom he believed to be the Slavs. For that reason, he accepted the Polish “Sarmatian ideology” based on the writings of the ancient Greek and Roman historians and geographers (for instance, Strabo 63 B.C. – 23 A.D., Ptolemy 100–168) who divided the territory of contemporary Poland into two parts: Germania (West Poland) and Sarmatia (East Poland) (Conte 1986: 292). Ptolemy named the whole territory of Central and East Europe as Sarmatia (Sulimirski 1945: 26). It should be emphasized that the Roman Empire succeeded to establish between the years of 16 B.C. and 9 A.D. three new provinces – Raetia, Noricum, and Pannonia – and to firm its own position along the Danube, only after the military victories over two Sarmatian peoples: Roxolanes and Iazyges. However, both of them were occupying the Roman province of Moesia Inferior (that is today Bulgaria) from 69 B.C. The region of Pannonia and North-East Balkans (i.e. “Hungary and Bulgaria”) are considered in Povest’ vremennyh let as the birth-places of the three brothers – Slavic progenitors (Povest’ vremennyh let 1884: 4). For Vitezović, it was quite logical to conclude that the Slavic progenitors from Povest’ vremennyh let originated in Pannonian-Danubian-Balkan Sarmatians, who are mentioned in the Roman annals.

The Stryjkowski’s chronicle strengthened the idea of Pan-Slavism in the eyes of J. Križanić, but in the eyes of P. R. Vitezović this Pan-Slavic ideology was converted into the Pan-Croatian one. Furthermore, Vitezović was familiar with the theory of the Sarmatian origin of all Slavs that was developed in 1606 in the short history De slowinis seu Sarmatis written by Dalmatian historian, inventor, philosopher and lexicographer from Šibenik – Faust Vrančić. The next step used by Vitezović was to identify Porphyrogenitus’ “White Croats” with the Slavi Vandali (the Vandalic Slavs), whose were divided in Georgii Horni’s Sive historia imperiorum et regnorum, a conditio orbe ad nostra tempora (1666) into Venedicos (the Wends) and Sarmaticos (the Sarmatians).[5] Finally, Vitezović was influenced at the great extent by the works of Juraj Križanić and Martin Cromer with regard to the Pan-Slavic unity and reciprocity, but he rejected their teaching that all Slavs originated in Rus’ (Cromer 1555; Križanić 1661–1667; Križanić 1859).[6] In sum, combining the works of Stryjkowski, Vrančić, Križanić, Cromer, and Horn, Pavao Ritter Vitezović effectively claimed all West, South and East Slavs to be of the Croat ethnolinguistic origin.

Ultimately, in dealing with the Balkan Croatia, he accepted an idea of the Croatian 17th –century historian from Dalmatia – Ivan Lučić – who divided a whole Croatia into three provinces: Maritima, Mediterranea, and Interamnensis sive Savia. However, Vitezović added additional two provinces of the Balkan Croatia: Citerior (Istria and Slovenia) and Ulterior (Serbia). These were further divided into “županije” (counties) and “comitatus” (judicial districts) (Vitezović 1997: 195).

To be continued

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.

Endnotes:

[1] About the western borders of Slavic extension in the early Middle Ages, see in (Engel 1979: 36).

[2] About the idea of Pan-Slavic ethnolinguistic kinship in Dalmatia and Croatia, see in (Sotirović 2014).

[3] Ideology, from a pure geopolitical perspective, as social phenomena is, in essence, a scope of meanings that practically “serves to create and/or to maintain relationships of domination and subordination, through symbolic forms such as texts, landscapes and spaces” (Cloke et al. 2009: 358). Therefore, it can be interpreted that P. R. Vitezović’s ideological concept of Pan-Croatianism was founded on a geopolitical idea of subordination of all Slavic people and their lands to the Croat national interest for the creation of a nation-state. A nation-state is a form of political organization that involves a framework of different institutions which has to govern the inhabitants within a particularly defined (state) territory. A nation-state, at any case, claims allegiance and legitimacy from its own inhabitants likewise from the other states, but on the fundamental basis that the government of the nation-state represents a group of people living on its controlled territory that they are defined in cultural, ethnolinguistic and political terms as a “nation”.

[4] Povest’ vremennyh let was finally written around the year of 1113 when a monk-chronographer Nestor finished the text as a compilation of several older chronicles and other texts. This chronicle is the fundamental source about the early history of the Kievan Rus’ and East Slavs but primarily of Russians and Russia (Anisimov: 46).

[5] About the problem of the homeland of the Venetae, see in (Darden 1997: 430–435)

[6] About the Slavic origin, see in (Gołąb 1991).

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4 Comments
  1. l realy wonder if the author knows what he’s talking about.

  2. Excellent first part of the text by Prof. Sotirovic. Croats are the most megalomanic nation in Europe frustrated by their historical unimportance. This topic is fundamentally important in order to understand the roots of terrible historical genocide on Serbs committed by Croats in 20th century.

  3. A confusing article. Vitezovic believes this or that. The only good part is that somebody believes that the Slavs descended from the ancient Illyrians and todays Macedonians are descended from the ancient Macedonians and they all spoke the Slavic language.

  4. Dear barb and Miroslav, I would like to ask you either to specify your comments in more details or to read the text once again. Thank you for your generous cooperation.

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