HISTORICKÁ EXKLUZIVITA V IDEOLÓGII ELÍT ILYRIZMU PRVEJ POLOVICE 19. STOROČIA
Historical exclusiveness in the ideology of the elites of Illyrianism in the first half of the 19th century
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The idea of South Slav unity took root in the Balkan region in the first half of the 19th century. Its representatives, who were mainly Croatian intellectuals, but partly also Slovenes and Serbs in the Habsburg Monarchy, thought that the Balkan Slavs were the direct descendents of the ancient Illyrians. This theory connected with the idea of the unbroken historical continuity of the South Slav “nation”, which was an important part of the national myth of the period. The national stories of the Illyrian movement emphasized medieval struggles with the Tartars and Turks. They exaggerated the merits of the “Illyrians”, who were allegedly solely responsible for saving the country from the invaders. Legends about the brave Slavonic warriors presented heroism as a common feature of the South Slavs. The term “Illyrian” evoked the image of a great hero, who is able to sacrifice his life to defend his country again barbarism, decline and oppression. Stories about the warriors fighting the Tartars or Turks were accompanied by idealization and mythologizing of historical figures, whose actions were usually attributed to national motivations. Their names became symbols of manly virtue and struggle for freedom, and so also role-models for contemporaries.
595 – 615
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