Culture of Serbia – Serbian Culture

 Serbian cultural identity has come down as the mixture of the eastern and the western cultural models. Byzantium was specific type of melting-pot and the unique combination of the inherited Roman state organization and legal order, the inherited Hellenic culture, and the Christian faith in its Orthodox form. Greeks considered the ancient Serbs as Thrakoi, after the first tribe they encountered with around the Maritza river, which was at that time surrounded with the remains of the town of Ras, at the turn between two last centuries. Greeks were unable to express the word of RAŠČANI, or RAŠANI, since they do not have the consonants Š and Č, so the name of Tracani – Thracians remained. The words of Serf, Sirf, Sirfiče, Sirb in the Turkish means ‘people of the same origin and inheritance’, and also the people who are free, brave, combative, vicious, warlike, belligerent or “asij“, which resulted into Sefer or Serber war or combat.

Eleven centuries of the Byzantine Empire significantly influenced the history of the human civilization and also the Serbian Medieval Spirituality, Art and Statehood, although among the consequences of the Latin occupation of Constantinople from 1204 to 1261 there is a striking change in Byzantine sacred architecture in the capital. This influence is evidenced in the cultural inheritance of the Eastern spirit – the Orthodox Christianity, Byzantine style of architecture and continued intellectual vitality, Medieval Monasteries, Cyrillic alphabet, and the multiple-centuries of the Ottoman yoke in the Balkan region /several thousands words in the Serbian language come from the Turkish /loanwords/, and the majority of Serbian traditional dishes comprise the modified oriental specialties/.

The International Congress of Byzantine Studies was held in Belgrade from the 22nd til the 27th August 2016 by the Institute for Byzantine Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Every fifth year the International Association of Byzantologists (Association Internationale des Études Byzantines – A.I.E.B.) authorizes organization of such event to one of its members – the particular national Byzantine Committee. The Serbian Byzantologists had this honor for the third time (1927, 1961, 2016), granted only to the Byzantologists of Greece.

 

Cultural heritage of Serbia includes but is not limited to movable and immovable cultural property, including historic and cultural monuments, sites and architecture, whether religious or secular; archaeological sites and artifacts; works of art; manuscripts, books and other objects of artistic, historical or archaeological interest; traditional cultural property; as well as scientific collections and important collections of books or archives and the buildings that house them such as museums, libraries, archives, or other depositories. The history of peoples on the Serbian soil has been turbulent from the times immemorial and has left countless traces, primordial words, wise sayings, customs, beliefs, traditions, legends, myths, poetry, vernacular architecture and landmarks that shaped it. Lepenski Vir in Djerdap Gorge on the Danube River had permanent settlements as early as the 6th millennium B.C. Neolithic archaeological sites have been known as the cultures of Starčevo and Vinča. In his book “The mysteries of the Danube Civilization” Harald Haarmann proves that the Balkans were inhabited by the civilization that developed the first written language. Haarmann calls this culture “Old European”. Vinča is the first civilization in World located in Serbia with the Danube civilization script being the oldest writing in the world ever. And the town of Vinča itself was just one of several metropolises, with others at Divostin, Potporanj, Selevac, Pločnik and Predionica… There is unbroken continuity of the ancient civilizations here: Serbs, Sarmatians, Ants, Iazyges, Roxolans, Illiryans, Tracians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines… In Gomolava archaeological site, on the bank of the Sava River (Srem county in Vojvodina), there is evidence of the continuity of cultures, from about 5000 years BC till the 16th century. Most important are antiquities from the town of Sirmium, nowadays Sremska Mitrovica.

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