NOTE : Traduction Française à venir
This page offers a brief overview of medieval studies in Serbia with links and information about its institutions, societies, publications, journals, libraries and other resources. It is intended for anyone interested in studying or doing research in Serbia, but also for general readers who want to find out more about the medieval period of the country. The links provided lead to websites of history departments, universities and research centres in the country, as well as archives, libraries, and other places of interest for medievalists. Some sites are consultable in English, while others are only available in Serbian (such are marked by asterisks). However, this issue can be overcome by using the Google translate technology to translate entire web pages.
The medieval period was part of study programmes and an area of interest of Serbian researchers from the beginnings of modern education and science in Serbia, especially since the late 1830s, when the first editions of medieval diplomatic sources began to appear and the first lectures in history at the Lyceum were given. (The Lyceum is the first institution of the higher education in Serbia. It was later transformed (in 1863) into the Great School, and eventually became the University in 1905.) From then up until now medieval studies have continuity in Serbian science. The researchers from Serbia gave very significant contribution to Byzantine studies and the so-called Byzantine school of Belgrade is considered to be one of the finest in the world. Despite this, the majority of books and articles were (and still are) published in Serbian and other South Slavic languages, while very few were printed in other European languages, which today represent the standard means of scientific communication, primarily in English, and to a lesser extent, in French and German.
When it comes to higher education, the Middle Ages are taught and studied at the Faculties of Philosophy in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš and Kosovska Mitrovica (up to the level of doctoral studies), while among the scientific institutes medieval period is currently being researched in the Institute of History, Institute for Byzantine Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) and Institute for Balkan Studies of the SASA, and, in a broader context of humanities, in some other institutions which conduct the research of archaeology, art history, philology, philosophy, theology and musicology. No state institutions are exclusively engaged in the research of the Middle Ages. However, recently (in 2011), a non-profit professional association of citizens – Centre for Advanced Medieval Studies was established. It gathers a number of young medievalists employed in various reputable institutions, with a goal to foster, promote and modernize medieval studies in Serbia and in the region of South Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. In 2013, the Centre launched its annual scholarly journal – Initial. A Review of Medieval Studies.
Due to the Ottoman conquest in the mid fifteenth century, most of the original material from the Middle Ages on the territory of Serbia was completely destroyed, and there are no specialist archives and libraries devoted to this historical period. Smaller collections of original documents have been preserved in the National Library and the University Library in Belgrade and in the Archive of the SASA, as well as several museums and archives. Most of the items relating to Serbia and Serbian lands in general are located in Croatia (Dubrovnik), Montenegro (Kotor), Italy (Venice) and Hungary (Budapest). Copies and printouts of these sources were not produced systematically and can be found mainly in the possession of various local researchers, or in bequests of deceased medievalists.