The Downfall of the Serbian and Bulgarian Kingdoms: Heroes and Victims

Evgeniya Ivanova.

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 author focuses on the idea of the interrupted statehood and analyses the ways it infiltrates the national identity building 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 Kossovo 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 developed in the 18th 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 the Serbs and the Bulgarians. On this basis the author outlines their different reactions during critical political situations in modern times.

Tags: Workshop 2006