Ottoman Invasion of the Balkans - Myth-Making Interpretations
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The Ottoman invasion of the Balkans in the 14th and the 15th centuries had interrupted in many aspects the natural development of the Balkan peoples. The authoress focuses on the idea of the interrupted statehood and analyses the ways it infiltrates the national identity bulding process of both: the Serbs and the Bulgarians. The subject of exploration is the myth-making interpretations of the 'fallen statehood' (in the cases of the Kosovo Polje battle and the Sofia battle), as well as the image of the 'last ruler' (prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic of Serbia and tzar Ivan Shishman in Bulgaria). The myth-making interpretations of the Ottoman invasion are investigated in two chronological stages - the epics that developped between the 15th and the 19th centuries, and the powerful 'historical' mythology, fabricated in the 19th century for the purposes of the national identification. The second type of interpretations strictly distinguishes the diverse sources for national identification and national self-confidence of Serbs and Bulgarians. On this basis the authoress outlines their different reactions during critical political situations in modern times.
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