Belgrade: A Cultural History (Cityscapes) by David A Norris

By David A Norris

Perched above the confluence of 2 nice rivers, the Sava and Danube, Belgrade has been domestic to many civilizations: Celts, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgars, Magyars, Ottomans and Serbs. A Turkish fort, the point of interest for a Serbian principality, an highbrow and inventive heart, town grew till it turned capital of Yugoslavia. Now it truly is one of many biggest towns in south-eastern Europe and capital of the Republic of Serbia. regardless of many demanding situations, Belgrade has resisted assimilation and created a different cultural identification out of its many contrasting facets, occasionally with stunning effects.

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They formed an elite guard entirely loyal to the sultan and often used by him as a personal army to defend his interests against those who would try to usurp them.

Not much is known of them from this period although they are mentioned by Byzantine chroniclers. They were nomadic peoples who had no form of writing and, consequently, have left behind little evidence about their way of life, customs, rituals or religion. They were converted to Christianity in the ninth century by followers of the monks Cyril and Methodius. These two brothers were themselves of South Slav origin, from the region of Thessalonica, educated in the Greek rite of the Church, and commissioned by the Byzantine Empire to spread the Gospels among the Slavs.

Meanwhile, during the fourteenth century the Serbian kingdom to the south of Belgrade became a powerful empire under Dušan the Mighty (Dušan Silni). The emperor twice took his armies to the very walls of Byzantium and his territory extended over Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, northern Greece, Albania and much of Bosnia and Dalmatia. Even so, he was unable to retake Belgrade. His untimely death in 1355 precipitated a power vacuum and left the country in a weakened position. Byzantium, thanks to Serbia’s efforts, also lost much of its former influence.

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