Serbskiy narod i Rossia v XVIII veke

TitleSerbskiy narod i Rossia v XVIII veke
Publication TypePublication review
AuthorsMcArthur, Sarah
Author(s) of reviewed materialLeshilovskaia, I. I.
Title in EnglishThe Serbian Nation and Russia in the XVIIIth Century


PublisherMoscow: Aleteiya
Full Text

his work represents the first major effort by a Russian scholar to examine the relations between Russia and the Serbs, with attention paid both to the majority of Serbs, resident in the Ottoman empire, as well as those living in the Habsburg realm. The work takes a "factual" approach to its subject, tracing the Russian government’s formation of a position and policy towards the Balkans in general, and exploring the place that Serbs occupied within Russia’s larger Balkan politics. The author examines the formation of official connections between Russia and the Serbs, established during the reign of Peter the Great, and continued in particular by Catherine the Great, as well as non-governmental ties, with close attention given to church connections. The work then proceeds to examine the consequences of such ties, such as the participation of Serbs and Montenegrins on the Russian side in the Russo- Turkish war of 1735-1739, the role of Russia in the formation of Serbian national culture, and the image of Russia as reflected in Serbian literature and poetry. The last chapter focuses on the migration of several thousand Serbs to the Russian empire in the eighteenth century and the impact this had on Russia’s relations with the Serbs. Throughout the work, Montenegrins and their relationship with Russia are also referred to, at times together with Serbs, other times separately.

The work is very thorough and makes excellent use of both Serbian and Russian primary and secondary sources, which are noted in the footnotes. Unfortunately, the book lacks both a bibliography and an index, making it difficult to locate specific information. This is a loss especially since the book places great emphasis on the presentation of factual information, which otherwise makes it a useful tool for students of eighteenth century, Russian and Serbian history.