The ‘Great Migration’ of the Serbs from Kosovo (1690): History, Myth and Ideology

Denxz

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This essay examines both the historical facts concerning the migration of Serbs from Kosovo in 1690, and the claims made about that migration by subsequent historians—claims which, at their most extreme, suggested that hundreds of thousands of Serbs departed, with huge effects on the ethnic composition of the region. This essay demonstrates that there was no large-scale organized exodus of Serbs under the Serbian Orthodox Patriarch, Arsenije Crnojević: his departure from Kosovo in early 1690 was extremely hasty, and he had not, in any case, been leading organized resistance to the Ottomans. A large number of Serbs did move with the Patriarch to Hungarian territory later in that year; he himself gave their numbers as 30,000 or 40,000. But they had gathered, from many areas, in the Belgrade region, and only a small proportion were from Kosovo itself. One unsupported claim was made many years later, by a Serbian monk, that the Patriarch had brought 37,000 families to Hungary; and in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries many Serb writers interpreted that figure maximally, while also assuming that all those people had come from Kosovo. This essay analyses the ideological influences (operating primarily on Serbs within the Habsburg territories in the nineteenth century) that helped to shape that interpretation; it also criticizes excessive claims made by modern Albanian and Turkish historians.

Given the facts we have considered, the claim that Kosovo was emptied of its Serb population would seem plausible only if that population had been remarkably small in the first place, or geographically limited to villages in the area between Trepca, Vushtrri and Prishtina. Serb historiography is reluctant—rightly—to endorse either of those views


Imagine using some events from 1690, and in which their version has no historical evidence anyway according to the author above and even comes in different versions, to claim a piece of land 400 years later , not only that but even keep the area where you supposedly migrated to also. But why do they then have self rule in Vojvodina , why don't they give it back to the Hungarians ?
 
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Vojvodina where these refugees settled was Hungarian territory. So why don't they give it back ?
 
What do the texts say about the people that revolted in Kosovo in 1690 ? Lets see:

The reputation of this commander grew more and more because of his orderliness such that 5,000 Arnauts [Muslim Albanians] in Pristina [Prishtina] who had risen against the Turks and [the inhabitants of] many of the major towns in the vicinity had given to understand that they would submit to the rule of the Emperor.

For his part, he continued his march and arrived on the 6th, as reported earlier, in Prisiran [Prizren], the Capital of Albania, where he was welcomed by the Archbishop (5) [36r] of that country and by the Patriarch of Clementa with their various religious ceremonies.

Outside of Priserin [Prizren] there were at least 6,000 Albanese [Albanian] troops as well as others who had formerly been in the pay of the Turks and who are known as Arnauts

http://www.albanianhistory.net/1689_Kosovo-Turkish-War/
 
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From the above author:

Given the facts we have considered, the claim that Kosovo was emptied of its Serb population would seem plausible only if that population had been remarkably small in the first place, or geographically limited to villages in the area between Trepca, Vushtrri and Prishtina. Serb historiography is reluctant—rightly—to endorse either of those views.

The only major factor that might have led to a greater decline in the Serb population overall is the fact that the eastern areas, from which—as the statistics of those villages show—flight had been comparatively easy, had a population containing a higher proportion of Orthodox Slavs. But on the other hand there is evidence of a quite large drop in the population of the towns, most of which did not regain their pre-1690 levels until the nineteenth century; and the towns—of which this part of the Balkans possessed an unusually dense network—were overwhelmingly populated by Muslim Albanians.
 
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