Identity, Loyalty, State: The Balkans in and after the Ottoman Empire
Gábor Demeter and Krisztián Csaplár-Degovics
Special Editors of the Thematic Issue
The Roles and Loyalties of the Bishops and Archbishops of Dalmatia (1102–1301)
AbstractThis paper deals with the roles of archbishops and bishops of Dalmatia who were either Hungarian or had close connections with the Hungarian royal court. The analysis covers a relatively long period, beginning with the coronation of Coloman as king of Croatia and Dalmatia (1102) and concluding with the end of the Árpád dynasty (1301). The length of this period not only enables me to examine the general characteristics of the policies of the court and the roles of the prelates in a changing society, but also allows for an analysis of the roles of the bishopric in different spheres of social and political life. I examine the roles of bishops and archbishops in the social context of Dalmatia and clarify the importance of their activities for the royal court of Hungary. Since the archbishops and bishops had influential positions in their cities, I also highlight the contradiction between their commitments to the cities on the one hand and the royal court on the other, and I examine the ways in which they managed to negotiate these dual loyalties.
First, I describe the roles of the bishops in Dalmatian cities before the rule of the Árpád dynasty. Second, I present information regarding the careers of the bishops and archbishops in question. I also address aspects of the position of archbishop that were connected to the royal court. I focus on the role of the prelates in the royal entourage in Dalmatia, their importance in the emergence of the cult of the dynastic saints, and their role in shaping royal policy in Dalmatia. I concentrate on the aforementioned bishops, but in certain cases, such as the examination of the royal entourage or the spread of cults, I deal with other, non-Hungarian bishops of territories that were under Hungarian rule. This general analysis is important because it provides an opportunity for a more nuanced understanding of the bishopric role and helps highlight the importance of the Hungarian bishops, who constitute the main subject of this essay.
A Forgotten Bridgehead between Rome, Venice, and the Ottoman Empire: Cattaro and the Balkan Missions in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
AbstractA key element in the history of the missions that departed from Rome as of the middle of the sixteenth century is the functioning of the mediating structures that ensured the maintenance of the relationship between Rome as the center of the Holy Roman Empire and the territories where the missionaries did their work. On the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea, Ragusa, which today is the city of Dubrovnik, was the most important bridgehead, but Cattaro, today Kotor, also played a significant role as a point of mediation between Rome and the Ottoman Empire. My intention in this essay is to present the many roles of Cattaro in the region, focusing in particular on its role in the maintenance of communication between Rome and missions to the Balkans. Cattaro never lost its Balkan orientation, even following the weakening of economic ties and the loss of its episcopal jurisdiction, which had extended over parishes in Serbia in the Middle Ages. Rather, in the sixteenth century it grew with the addition of a completely new element. From 1535 to 1786 Cattaro was the most important center of the postal service between Venice and Istanbul. As of 1578, the management of the Istanbul post became the responsibility of the Bolizza family. Thus the family came to establish a wide network of connections in the Balkans. I examine these connections and then offer an analysis of the plans concerning the settlement of the Jesuits in Cattaro. As was true in the case of Ragusa, the primary appeal of the city from the perspective of members of the Jesuit order was the promise of missions to the Balkans. In the last section of the essay I focus on the role Cattaro played in the organization of missions for a good half-century following the foundation of the Propaganda Fide Congregation in 1622. Four members of the Bolizza family worked in the Balkans as representatives of the Propaganda Congregation in the seventeenth century: Francesco, Vincenzo, Nicolo and Giovanni. I provide a detailed examination of the work of the first three, including the circumstances of their appointments, their efforts to unite the Orthodox Serbs with the Catholic Church and protect the Franciscan mission to Albania, their roles as mediators between Rome and the areas to which missionaries traveled, the services they rendered involving the coordination of missions, their influence on personal decisions and the appointments of pontiffs, and their political and military roles during the Venetian–Ottoman war.
Bosniaks & Loyalty: Responses to the Conscription Law in Bosnia and Hercegovina 1881/82
AbstractDoing military service to protect the borders of a state and the security and safety of its citizens is a clear indicator of loyalty. Furthermore, military service is a measure of the extent to which a citizen identifies with the norms and values of a state. When Austria–Hungary, as a leading European power, was granted the right at the Congress of Berlin to occupy and administer Bosnia, the Muslim Bosniaks, who once had been the guardians of the westernmost border of the Ottoman Empire, suddenly had to deal with non-Muslim rulers and found themselves a religious minority in Austria–Hungary, an overwhelmingly Christian empire. A key occasion to demonstrate allegiance to their new state came in 1881 with the issue of the Conscription law. Bosniak Muslim soldiers had to serve in an army led by non-Muslims. An insurrection occurred and a heated discussion was initiated to find an acceptable answer to the question of whether or not it was permissible for a Muslim to live under non-Muslim rule and whether a Muslim could serve in the military under a non-Islamic flag. Thus, modernist and reformist thought became an important force in assessments and reassessments of traditional concepts of Islam. Contemporary fatwas, newspapers, witness reports, and archival documents offer crucial insights into the discourses and reasoning of the Bosniaks at the time when these changes were taking place. Many important political decisions concerning Bosnia and Hercegovina were discussed in the Gemeinsamer Ministerrat. However, its proceedings during the years in question have not yet been edited and remain inaccessible. Nonetheless, the accessible sources in Sarajevo shed light on the efforts of the Bosniaks to accommodate themselves to the new ruler and adapt to and identify with “Western” norms and values. Furthermore, these sources demonstrate that as long as the territorial integrity of Bosnia and the religious rights of the Muslim communities were respected, Bosniaks displayed loyalty, military courage, and devotion to the state.
Between the Ottoman and Serbian States: Carigradski Glasnik, an Istanbul-based Paper of Ottoman Serbs, 1895–1909
AbstractIn this essay I investigate Carigradski glasnik (Constantinople’s Messenger), an Istanbul-based periodical written by Ottoman Serbs between 1895 and 1909. This journal was a direct product of Serbian diplomatic circles in Istanbul aimed at audiences in Ottoman Macedonia, a region which was claimed by Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian countries as their own national territory and which soon became a political arena for the spread of national propaganda intended to persuade the Slavic-speaking Orthodox population of its respective Greek, Serbian, or Bulgarian national roots. Carigradski glasnik propagated the idea of Serbian nationhood and fought for the establishment of a Serbian Millet. Essentially, it was an attempt to create nationhood from above, propagating “Serbianness” as envisioned by its editors and Serbian diplomats. It was engaged in the dispute over Ottoman Macedonia, which in the historiography is known as the Macedonian question.
Stabilizing a Crisis and the Mürzsteg Agreement of 1903: International Efforts to Bring Peace to Macedonia
AbstractIn 1903, the Macedonian Question was at the roots of the first concerted European international intervention. The Mürzsteg Agreement, which was signed by the six great powers and the Ottoman Empire, was an attempt at common European diplomacy.
The Mürzsteg Agreement, which was reached following the failure of the Illinden uprising launched by the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, placed the three vilayets of Macedonia under the collective control of the great powers. Drawing on diplomatic reports, in this essay I emphasize the “spirit of Mürzsteg” and trace the process of the establishment of an international military and civil administration. The Mürzsteg Agreement gave a substantial peace-keeping role to a large group, including diplomats, military missions, two Civil Agents and their Ottoman counterparts. The paper studies the implementation of the Agreement. How did the ill-defined document lead to the emergence of new maps of Macedonia? In addition to the existing Ottoman administrative map, two others appeared as the three vilayets were divided into five international sectors, each of which was under the control of one of the great powers, and a “religious or mental map” of the region the site of bitter, violent religious-civil conflict began to emerge in 1904, when the two Orthodox churches of the Patriarchate and the Exarchate launched a campaign to convince the populations to declare themselves either Greek or Bulgarian.
In conclusion, the paper assesses the legacy of the Mürzsteg Agreement. This short but meaningful episode represented an innovative approach in the policy of the great powers that was based on emerging concepts such as negotiation, collective action, and dialogue in a recognized international mandate. The concerted intervention of the six great European powers in Macedonia belongs to a broader process of evolution in the history of European international relations, a process that yielded more palpable results after 1918 with the establishment of the League of Nations and the emergence of a new, if short-lived, international order.
Gábor Demeter and Krisztián Csaplár-Degovics
Social Conflicts, Changing Identities and Everyday Strategies of Survival in Macedonia on the Eve of the Collapse of Ottoman Central
AbstractThe present study aims to identify certain social dividing lines, fractures and motivations that accelerated the rise in political murders and everyday violence after the Ilinden Uprising. The contribution of foreign intervention (including both the attempts of the great powers to settle the question and the propagandistic activity of neighboring small states) and local traditions (customs) to the nature and extent of violence are also investigated. The authors will also consider the shift in the support policy of neighboring small states from construction to destruction—including the issues of economic benefit and local acceptance at a time when selection of an identity no longer entailed only advantages, but imposed threats as well. During this period the boundaries between the various types of violent action triggered either by religious and school conflict or customs gradually faded, while Chetas became highly organized and self-subsistent through cultivation and smuggling of opium and tobacco and expropriation of state and private property. In order to trace the territorial and cultural patterns of violence as well as specific and general motives, the authors conducted a statistical analysis of quantitative data regarding victims and perpetrators.
The study is based on the comparison of Austro–Hungarian and Bulgarian archival sources in order to check the reliability of data. The study area—the Sanjak of Skopje in Kosovo Vilayet—is suitable for examining problems related to the birth of modern nations: the ethnic and religious diversity of this sanjak makes it possible to investigate both the tensions that existed within and between the Eastern Orthodox and Muslim religious communities as well as the impact of small states with territorial pretensions on this region.
Phantom Menaces? Ethnic Categorization, Loyalty and State Security in Interwar Romania
AbstractIn this article, I analyze practices of defining and applying concepts of ethnicity, loyalty and state security in Greater Romania. While state policies were based on a basic assumption of the equation of ethnic belonging and loyalty (Romanians being loyal, non-Romanians disloyal), the complexity of the very administrative apparatus and the problems of unification opened up a space in which the concepts of loyalty and ethnicity were contested. The case studies of the use of the term irredentist and the language exams of minority officials in the mid-1930s shed light on a related but different question. The basic equation of loyalty and ethnicity resulted in the use of an otherwise empty concept of irredentism as a term to denote little more than ethnic “otherness,” a vagueness that enabled local authorities to apply it deliberately, either to restrict or to permit members of minorities to engage in activities that had some bearing on questions of identity. The ways in which the language exams were administered indicate the existence of a large group of non-Romanian public officials who were treated by their colleagues and immediate superiors as equal members of a public body serving the nation state, people who in exchange redefined their loyalty and identity as one based primarily on this professional group membership while still preserving their ethnic belonging. These deviations from the basic equation also reveal how the layered and geographically diverse nature of the state administration influenced the contested nature of the ethnic categories.
Literacy and Illiteracy in Austria–Hungary. The Case of Bulgarian Migrant Communities
AbstractThe present study aims to contribute to the clarification of the question of the spread of literacy in East Central Europe and the Balkans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by offering an examination of Bulgarian migrant diasporas in Austria–Hungary and, in particular, in Hungary, i.e. the Eastern part of the Empire. The study of literacy among migrants is important because immigrants represent a possible resource for the larger societies in which they live, so comparisons of the levels of education among migrants (for instance with the levels of education among the majority community, but also with the levels of education among the communities of their homelands) may shed light on how the different groups benefited from interaction with each other. In this essay I analyze data on literacy, illiteracy and semi-literacy rates among migrants on the basis of the Hungarian censuses of 1890, 1900 and 1910. I present trends and tendencies in levels of literacy or illiteracy in the context of the social aspects of literacy and its relationship to birthplace, gender, age, confession, migration, selected destinations and ethnicity. I also compare literacy rates among Bulgarians in Austria–Hungary with the literacy rates among other communities in the Dual Monarchy and Bulgaria and investigate the role of literacy in the preservation of identity. My comparisons and analyses are based primarily (but not exclusively) on data regarding the population that had reached the age at which school attendance was compulsory, as this data more accurately reflect levels of literacy than the data regarding the population as a whole.
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Земята и хората през ХVІІ – първите десетилетия на ХVІІІ век. Овладяване и организация на аграрното и социалното пространство на Централните и Южните Балкани под османска власт, Академично издателство [Land and People – in the Seventeenth Century and the First Decades of the Eighteenth Century. Reclamation and Organization of the Agrarian and Social Space in the Central and Southern Balkans under Ottoman Rule]. By Stefka Parveva.
Reviewed by Gábor Demeter
Hungarian–Yugoslav Relations, 1918–1927. By Árpád Hornyák.
Reviewed by László Bíró
Notes on Contributors