Serbian hajduks

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Hajduk weapons, Belgrade Military Museum.

The Serbian hajduks (Serbian: хајдуци, hajduci) were brigands and guerrilla fighters (rebels) throughout Ottoman-held Balkans, organized into bands headed by a harambaša ("bandit leader"), who descended from the mountains and forests and robbed and attacked the Ottomans. They were often aided by foreign powers, the Republic of Venice and Habsburg Monarchy, during greater conflicts.

The hajduks are seen as part of the Serbian national identity. In stories, the hajduks were heroes; they had played the role of the Serbian elite during Ottoman rule; they had defended the Serbs against Ottoman oppression, and prepared for the national liberation and contributed to it in the Serbian Revolution.[1] The Chetniks saw themselves as hajduks, freedom fighters.[2]

The hajduk movement is known as hajdučija (хајдучија) or hajdukovanje (хајдуковање). Ranks included buljubaša and harambaša, adopted from the Ottomans.

16th century[edit]

Starina Novak (~1530–1601), a military commander in Wallachian service, is said to have been the oldest hajduk.

18th century[edit]

On 26 November 1716, Austrian general Nastić with 400 soldiers and c. 500 hajduks attacked Trebinje, but did not take it over.[3] A combined Austro-Venetian-Hajduk force of 7,000 stood before the Trebinje walls, defended by 1,000 Ottomans.[3] The Ottomans were busy near Belgrade and with hajduk attacks towards Mostar, and were thus unable to reinforce Trebinje.[3] The conquest of Trebinje and Popovo field were given up to fight in Montenegro.[3] The Venetians took over Hutovo and Popovo, where they immediately recruited militarly from the population.[3]

Kingdom of Serbia (1718–39)[edit]

The Serbs established a Hajduk army that supported the Austrians.[4] The army was divided into 18 companies, in four groups.[5] In this period, the most notable obor-kapetans were Vuk Isaković from Crna Bara, Mlatišuma from Kragujevac and Kosta Dimitrijević from Paraćin.[4]

The most notable obor-kapetans were Vuk Isaković from Crna Bara, Mlatišuma and Kosta Dimitrijević from Paraćin.[6] Apart from the obor-kapetans, other notable commanders were kapetans Keza Radivojević from Grocka and Sima Vitković from Valjevo.[7] In Kragujevac, there were two companies of 500 soldiers each. He conquered Kruševac with his militia, and carried much cattle.[8] Colonel Lentulus ordered that part of the cattle be returned to the population, the second part was sent to Sekendorf, the third held by the colonel to the need of his army.[8]

Great Eastern Crisis[edit]

During the Great Eastern Crisis, set off by a Serb uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1875 in Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Herzegovina Uprising), Prince Peter adopted the nom de guerre of hajduk Petar Mrkonjić of Ragusa, and joined the Bosnian Serb insurgents as a leader of a guerilla unit.[9]

Serbian Revolution[edit]

Among Serbian revolutionaries that had been active hajduks prior to the Revolution, were Stanoje Glavaš, Hajduk-Veljko, Stojan Čupić, Lazar Dobrić, and others.

List of notable hajduks[edit]

This is a list of notable people, in chronological manner. Hajduks who participated in the Serbian Revolution (1804–1815) are also found in Category:People of the Serbian Revolution.

Early modern period[edit]

Serbian Revolution[edit]

Rebels in Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

Rebels in Old Serbia and Macedonia[edit]


Literature[edit]

Hajduks in epic poetry[edit]

In Serbian epic poetry, the hajduks are cherished as heroes, freedom fighters against the Ottoman rule. There is a whole cyclus regarding the hajduks and uskoks. Among the most notable hajduks in the epics were Starina Novak, Mali Radojica, Stari Vujadin, Predrag and Nenad, Novak, Grujica, etc.

Novels[edit]

Hajduks are the theme of many novels, such as B. Nušić's Hajduci (1955), Miljanov et al. Srpski hajduci (1996), etc.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edited by Norman M. Naimarkand Holly Case; Norman M. Naimark (2003). Yugoslavia and Its Historians: Understanding the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Stanford University Press. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-0-8047-8029-2. 
  2. ^ That was Yugoslavia. Ost-Dienst. 1991. p. 15. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Mihić 1975, p. 196.
  4. ^ a b Душан Ј Поповић (1950). Србија и Београд од Пожаревачког до Београдског мира, 1718-1739. pp. 42–43. 
  5. ^ Radovan M. Drašković (1987). Valjevo u prošlosti: prilozi za zavičajnu istoriju. "Milić Rakić". p. 22. Хајдучка војска била је подељена на 18 компанија, које су се распореЬивале у 4 групе. 
  6. ^ Поповић 1950, p. 42.
  7. ^ Поповић 1950, p. 43.
  8. ^ a b Istorijski muzej Srbije 1984, p. 35.
  9. ^ Franjo Jež (1931). Zbornik Jugoslavije: njenih banovina, gradova, srezova i opština. Matica živih i mrtvih s.h.s. p. 43. опевани приморски ју- нак Петар (или Перо) Мркоњић 

Further reading[edit]

  • Коцић, М. (2013). Венеција и хајдуци у доба Морејског рата.
  • Милошевић, М. (1988). Хајдуци у Боки Которској 1648–1718. Титоград, ЦАНУ.
  • Стојановић, М., & Samardžić, R. (1984). Хајдуци и клефти у народном песништву. Српска академија наука и уметности, Балканолошки институт.
  • Popović, D. J. (1930). O hajducima (Vol. 1). Narodna štampanja.
  • Žanić, I. (1998). Prevarena povijest: guslarska estrada, kult hajduka i rat u Hrvatskoj i Bosni i Hercegovini, 1990-1995. godine. Durieux.
  • Bracewell, W. (2005). 'Hajduci kao heroji u balkanskoj politici i kulturi'(trans. of" The Proud Name of Hajduk").
  • Suvajdžić, Boško (2003). "Hajduci i uskoci u narodnoj poeziji: Istorijske pretpostavke za nastanak i razvoj hajdučkog pokreta". Janus; Rastko. 
  • Suvajdžić, Boško (1953). Српска хајдучка епика у јужнословенском контексту.