Old Serbia

Left: Old Serbia and Macedonia, map by Jovan Cvijić
Right: Old Serbia and Macedonia in 1913 (green)

Old Serbia (Serbian: Стара Србија / Stara Srbija) is a Serbian term[1] used for the territory which according to some Serbian authors formed the core of medieval Serbia.[2] It included the regions of Raška, Kosovo and Metohija and the northwestern part of Macedonia.[3] The Slavic population of this territory was referred to as Old Serbians (Serbian: Старосрбијанци / Starosrbijanci).[4]


Vuk Stefanović Karadžić referred to "Old Serbia" as a territory of the Serb people that was part of medieval Serbia prior to the Ottoman conquest.[5] The term originated in Serbian common speech and was introduced by the refugees of the Great Serb Migrations[6] who lived in territories of the Habsburg Monarchy.

It re-emerged in the aspirations of liberating these areas during the time of the Serbian Revolution and would later designate the areas to the south not yet liberated by 1833 and 1878.


In May 1877 a delegation of Serbs of Old Serbia presented their request to the government of Serbia to 'liberate' and unite Old Serbia with the Principality of Serbia.[7] They also informed representatives of the Great Powers and Emperor of Russia about their demands.[7] In the same year the Committee for the Liberation of Old Serbia and Macedonia was founded.[8] In the 1877 peace after the Serbian-Turkish Wars (1876-1878), the Serbs hoped to gain the Kosovo Vilayet and Sanjak of Novi Pazar to the Lim river.[9] However, with the Treaty of Berlin they received full sovereignty and made territorial gains around this time, acquiring the districts of Niš, Pirot, Vranje and Toplica.[9] In 1913 the Sandžak, Kosovo and Metohija and Vardar Macedonia became part of the Kingdom of Serbia, and subsequently organized into the province (pokrajina) of South Serbia.

After the conquest of the area the Serbian government pursued a policy of forced Serbianisation which included systematic repression of pro-Bulgarian activists.[10][11]


The "Old Serbia" bank opened in Skopje in 1923 to dominate and accelerate the economy of the region.[12]

In Serbian historiography, the First Balkan War (1912-1913) is also known as War for Liberation of Old Serbia.

See also


  1. Milovan Radovanović (2004). Etnički i demografski procesi na Kosovu i Metohiji. Liber Press. p. 33.
  2. Dedijer 2000.
  3. Ivo Banač (1988). The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics. Cornell University Press. p. 38. ISBN 0801494931.
  4. Sebright & Irby 1877.
  5. Vladimir Stojančević (1988). Vuk Karadžić i njegovo doba: rasprave i članci. Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva.
  6. Milovan Radovanović (2004). Etnički i demografski procesi na Kosovu i Metohiji. Liber Press. p. 38.
  7. 1 2 Mitrović 1996, p. 68.
  8. Dragoslav Srejović; Slavko Gavrilović; Sima M. Ćirković (1983). Istorija srpskog naroda: knj. Od Berlinskog kongresa do Ujedinjenja 1878-1918 (2 v.). Srpska književna zadruga. p. 291. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  9. 1 2 Jelavich 1983b, p. 29.
  10. Dejan Djokić, Yugoslavism: histories of a failed idea, 1918–1992, p. 123, at Google Books
  11. R. J. Crampton, Eastern Europe in the twentieth century—and after, p. 20, at Google Books
  12. http://scindeks.nb.rs/article.aspx?artid=1450-84869901123S. Missing or empty |title= (help)



Further reading

  • Jelavich, Barbara (1983a). History of the Balkans: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. 1. Cambridge University Press. 
  • Jelavich, Barbara (1983b). History of the Balkans: Twentieth Century. 2. Cambridge University Press. 
  • Ćirković, Sima (2004). The Serbs. Malden: Blackwell Publishing. 
  • Zarković, V. (2011). "The work of Serbian diplomacy on the protection of Serbs in old Serbia in the last decade of the 19th century" (PDF). Baština (30): 105–116. 
  • Raičević, Svetozar (1933). "Etnološke beleške iz Južne Srbije". Narodna starina. 12 (32): 279–284. 
  • Šešum, Uroš S. (2016). "Србија и Стара Србија: (1804-1839)". Универзитет у Београду, Филозофски факултет. 
  • Jagodić, Miloš. "Планови o политици Србије према Старој Србији и Македонији (1878-1885)." Историјски часопис 60 (2011): 435-460.
  • Црквене прилике у Старој Србији од укидања Пећке патријаршије до Велике источне кризе (1766-1878), у: Историја и значај Призренске богословије : (поводом 140 годишњице од оснивања). - Ниш : Филозофски факултет : Призренска богословија Св. Кирила и Методија : Центар за црквене студије, 2013, 9-29.
  • Jagodić, Miloš. "Извештај Василија Ђорђевића о догађајима у Старој Србији из јула 1854." Мешовита грађа 36 (2015): 195-206.
  • NEDELJKOVIĆ, SLAVIŠA. "BETWEEN THE IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT AND REBELS (Old Serbia during the rebellion of the Shkodra Pasha Mustafa Bushati and the Bosnian aristocracy 1830–1832)." ISTRAŽIVANJA, Journal of Historical Researches 26 (2016): 91-105.
  • Šćekić, Radenko, Žarko Leković, and Marijan Premović. "Political Developments and Unrests in Stara Raška (Old Rascia) and Old Herzegovina during Ottoman Rule." Balcanica XLVI (2015): 79-106.

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