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Historical review of Bosnia

Posted in повесница, EN by Соларић on јануар 16, 2009

Evans, Arthur J
Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on foot during the insurrections, August and September 1875
With an historical review of Bosnia

. . .

HISTORICAL REVIEW OF BOSNIA. XXV

with the exception of the barren corner called the Kraina, or Turkish Croatia, the whole of what is now known as Bosnia, with which we have particularly to deal, belongs to the Serbian branch of the Sclaves.

For long the history of what later became the Bosnian kingdom is indistinguishable from that of the rest of the Serbs.

The whole Illyrian triangle was divided into a great number of small independent districts, somewhat answering to the Teutonic ‘ Gaus,“ called Zupy. Zupa means ‘ bond ‘  or confederation, and each Zupa was simply a confederation of village communities, whose union was represented by a magistrate or governor, called a zupan. The Zupans in turn seem to have chosen a Grand-Zupan, who may be looked on as the President of the Serbian Federation.

We know little about the earlyZupanships of the Bosnian area, but a few of the petty commonwealths of the Serbian coastland, and what later on became the Herzegovina, are mentioned by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who wrote about 950, and the names and situation of some in the Bosnian interior may begathered from ecclesiastical diplomas. Here and there we read of a ‘ Ban ‘ (translated, in Diocleas, by the Latin word ‘ Dux ‘), who was rather higher than an ordinary Zupan.

These Serbian ‘ Archons,’ as the Byzantine historians speak of them, acknowledged the suzerainty of the Eastern Empire, and even, in some cases (though doubtless to a less extent than the Croats), accepted Byzantine dignities. Thus a Ban of Zachlumia accepted the titles of Proconsul and Patrician.  Later on, when Czar Simeon erected the new Bulgarian Empire, Serbia was forced for a while to bow to the dominion of the conqueror of Leo Phocas. In the tenth century the Serbs shake off the Bulgarian yoke, and we now begin to hear of four Grrand-Zupans, whose jurisdictions answer to Serbia proper, Rascia, Dioclea, and Bosnia.

The power of the lesser Zupans was during this period being diminished for the benefit of these greater potentates, who in Bosnia are generally known as Bans.

. . .

By the beginning of the twelfth century the Bogomilian heresy had struck such firm root in Bosnia as to rouse the faithful sons of the Church in Hungary and Dalmatia to armed opposition, insomuch that in 1138 Bela II. was induced to make an incursion against the ‘ Patarenes,’ in the country between the Cetina and Narenta.

It was not, however, till the end of this century that the progress of heresy in other parts turned the Pope’s serious attention to the fountain-head of the ‘Bulgarian heresy,’ then undoubtedly his Illyrian province.

Nominally, Bosnia had long belonged to the Church of Kome, which claimed Western lllyricum as an inheritance from the Western Empire. Practically, what orthodox Christianity Bosnia and the other Serbian lands possessed was of a strongly national character, and derived, not from Roman sources, but from the missionary efforts of the Sclavonic apostles, Cyril and Methodius.  But the Church of Bosnia, though using the native liturgy and eschewing the Latin language, acknowledged some allegiance to Rome, and the bishops of Bosnia recognized the Archbishop of Salona as their metropolitan.

In the year 1180 Culin himself is still considered a dutiful son of the Church. But a few years later Culin ‘ has degenerated from himself ‘ and fallen into heresy, and together with his wife  and his sister, the widow of the Count of Chelm, had given ear to the Patarenes, as Roman ecclesiastics begin to call the Bogomiles who have now spread their heresy into Italy and the West.

. . .

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