The last thousand years of Balkan history is a tale of three powers pulling on the limbs of an infant, as in the Biblical parable of Solomon’s wisdom.  The Balkan baby is yanked first toward Austria, then toward Russia, and all the while the Ottoman Empire is pulling steadily on its legs.  The arguments between …

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The provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be occupied and administered by Austria-Hungary…Austria-Hungary reserves the right to maintain garrisons and to have military and trading roads over the whole area of that portion [the Sandjak of Novi Pazar] of the ancient Vilayet of Bosnia. The diplomatic coda to the Pig War of 1906-1908 became, like …

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The nineteenth century wasn’t a great time for the Ottoman Empire.  It wasn’t the worst time, that would be the beginning of the twentieth century when everything collapsed.  But for an empire that had been the strong conqueror of Europe out of Asia, it was a catastrophe. The coming fall of the Ottomans was so …

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There was a slaughter. From 303 a series of edicts from the Roman government rescinded the rights of Christians in the Empire and demanded that everyone sacrifice to the gods.  Those that didn’t conform were killed – although this was enforced to different levels in different places.  Illyricum and Thrace, the Balkan areas of the …

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In the Balkans, language rolls off the tongue and defines the culture profoundly.  The way people speak is the way they think and also how they act and react. Tradition is key – the way things are done is the way things have always been done.  Nothing changes easily. It is little wonder there are …

  • June 13, 2020
  • Croatia
  • Comments Off on There is Always Something to Say

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Within the thousands of pictures the world has of Yugoslavia’s apex leader Josip Broz Tito are many, many photos of  the Yugoslav leader in various poses and situations with his pet dogs.   Tito was well-known as an animal lover.  During his time in leadership, other world leaders would send exotic beasts of all types to …

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Historical anachronisms can be fascinating, nowhere more than in the Balkans, a region which can itself be seen as a living historical anachronism.  Named by German geographer August Zeune in 1808 after what he considered to be the dominant geographical feature in the area, the Balkan Mountain Range, the highest peak in the Balkans is …

  • May 20, 2020
  • Comments Off on Ancient British Silk Garters, Modern Greek Kilts, and Surplus WWII American Rifles

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