The Balkans in World History

Paperback | November 10, 2008

byAndrew Baruch Wachtel

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In the historical and literary imagination, the Balkans loom large as a somewhat frightening but ill-defined space. Most attempts at definition focus on geography (the actual mountain range that gives the area its name and the lands surrounding it) or, more recently, on the set of prejudicesattached to the term by local and outside observers. There has been far less concern with attempting to define this space in positive terms, taking as a starting point not geography as such but rather the cultural, historical, and social threads that could allow us to see what might be merelycontiguous places as a coherent, though complex, whole. The goal of this volume is to do precisely that. The Balkans should probably be defined as that borderland geographical space in which four of the world's greatest civilizations have overlapped in a sustained and meaningful way to produce acomplex, dynamic, sometimes combustible, multi-layered local civilization. It is the space in which the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, of Byzantium, of Ottoman Turkey, and of Roman Catholic Europe met, clashed and sometimes combined. The history of the Balkans can be seen as a history ofcreative borrowing by local people of the various civilizations that have nominally conquered the region. Each civilization has thus been hybridized, modified, and amplified by other voices and traditions.

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In the historical and literary imagination, the Balkans loom large as a somewhat frightening but ill-defined space. Most attempts at definition focus on geography (the actual mountain range that gives the area its name and the lands surrounding it) or, more recently, on the set of prejudicesattached to the term by local and outside obs...

Andrew Wachtel is Director of the Consortium for Southeast European Studies and Herman and Beulah Pearce Miller Research Professor in Literature at Northwestern University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 6.1 × 9.02 × 0.59 inPublished:November 10, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195338014

ISBN - 13:9780195338010

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Balkans as a Historical and Cultural Melting Pot1. The Balkans from Prehistory to the Byzantine Empire2. The Medieval Balkans3. The Balkans under Ottoman Rule4. The Long 19th Century (1775 -1922)5. The 20th Century-From the Balkans to Southeast EuropeNotesChronologyFurther ReadingWebsitesIndex