Old Serbia

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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 term[1] used for the territory which was the core of medieval Serbia.[2] It included the regions of Raška, Kosovo and Metohija and the northwestern part of Macedonia.[3] The Serb population of this territory was referred to as Old–Serbians (Serbian: Старосрбијанци).[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 Serbo-Turkish War, the Serbs hoped to gain the Kosovo Vilayet and Sanjak of Novi Pazar to the Lim river.[9] However, the Treaty of San Stefano came as a shock, as they only received the small territory of Niš, Pirot and Vranje (ca. 200 square miles), which was smaller than the territory received by the Principality of Montenegro.[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.


The "Old Serbia" bank opened in Skopje in 1923 to dominate and accelerate the economy of the region.[10]

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


  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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b Barbara Jelavich (1983). History of the Balkans: Twentieth Century. 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 29. ISBN 0521274591. 
  10. ^ http://scindeks.nb.rs/article.aspx?artid=1450-84869901123S.  Missing or empty |title= (help)



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