Falling like an autumn leaf: the historical visions of the battle of the Maritsa-Meriç River and the quest for a place called Sırp Sındığı
Sopov, Aleksandar (2007) Falling like an autumn leaf: the historical visions of the battle of the Maritsa-Meriç River and the quest for a place called Sırp Sındığı. [Thesis]
This work is centered around the accounts narrating the Battle of the Maritsa/Meriç River (1371). Also known in the Turkish historiography as the Sırpsındığı Zaferi this Ottoman victory over a coalition of South-East European rulers (King Vukašin and Despot Uglješa) in the vicinity of Edirne is referred to in the historiographies in the region as an event that initiated the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. The following study will offer a broad discussion on the sources as well as studies referring to early Ottoman history and the Battle of the Maritsa River. My intention is to bring attention to the great variety of versions that narrate the event. I will discuss how the authors constructed all these visions on the memorable event. By comparing Ottoman, Slavic, Greek and western sources I will discuss how these accounts came into being, the chronology they use, their imagination of the battlefield etc. In my discussion I will include written, oral and visual sources and show how they intermingle in the available accounts on the Battle in 1371. The Battle of Maritsa River has been referred to by South-East European historiographies as a fulcrum of history. That is why a discussion on the nationalisms in South-East Europe and Turkey cannot be avoided in this work. I will also refer to the 20th century Balkan, Turkish and Western historiographies and see how they interpreted events as well as the impact of these interpretations on the consciousness of history in the region of South-Eastern Europe.
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