Patterns of External Involvement in the Balkans before 1914
Nearly a century ago, the British writer Saki (H.H. Munro) observed that ‘[T]hose Balkan peoples ... unfortunately make more history than they can consume locally’ (Goldsworthy 1998: 77). But history retains a significance for the insecure states that have emerged in the Balkans in the last two hundred years. It shaped national consciousness and helped to legitimise the nation-state. Modern Balkan states not infrequently see the empires that rose and fell in medieval times as their precursors. Nationalist intellectuals have always looked for an illustrious pedigree for the country whose role in history they see it as their duty to define and explain to the world.
The first ...