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Andreas Bösche


PhD Thesis Project: (Un-)Equal friends – Common and separative loyalities between Serbs from the Ottoman Empire and subjects of the Habsburg Empire during the First Serbian Uprising

The disertation investigates connections between Serbs and subjects of the Habsburg Empire during the First Serbian Uprising (1804-1813) seen from the perspective of friendship and patronage.

In the first place it is important to name border-crossing relationships and to assign them to the different types of symmetric or asymmetric friendship. The effect of these connections regarding the political aims and the development of the uprising has to be discussed in the next step. In this section it is of main importance to take into account possible different systems of patronage and friendships between potential assistants of the uprising residenting in the Habsburg Empire and high-ranking Habsburg representatives. Supposingly, these competitions of connections resulted in deep conflicts of loyalty.

This approach stands in contrast to many traditional works on the First Serbian Uprising, which give a one-sided description of the mentioned relationships stressing a supposed “national spirit” as the main reason for Habsburg Serbs to participate in the uprising. In many cases other possible motivations for Habsburg subjects to help the rebels were not be taken into consideration. The universalistic systems of patronage and friendship, not necessarily connected to nation or ethnos, are very useful structural frames to go into the matter from an unideological point of view.

The disertation focuses on real or postulated bonds of friendship and patronage between Serbs from the Ottoman Empire and three selected groups of people of the Habsburg Empire. The latter are the higher clergy of the Serbish Orthodox Church, by name the metropolit and highestranking member of this church, Stefan Stratimirović, the commanding officers of the military border and (former) members of the Serbian “Freikorps”. Due to their positions in the church and army and because of shared family relations the mentioned groups were frequently contacted by the rebels and vice versa through several letters. It is of special interest to investigate the “semantics of friendship” which is used in these writings and to relate them to the political course of the uprising.
  • Postadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    c/o Historisches Seminar
    Rempartstr. 15 - KG IV
    79085 Freiburg 
  • Besuchsadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    Erbprinzenstraße 13
    79098 Freiburg
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