Sima Ćirković

Sima Ćirković (Serbian Cyrillic: Сима Ћирковић; 29 January 1929 – 14 November 2009) was a Serbian historian. Ćirković was a member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts and the subsequent Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin and Vojvodina offshoots.[1] His works focused on medieval Serbian history.

Sima Ćirković
Sima Ćirković, SANU.jpg
Born(1929-01-29)29 January 1929
Died14 November 2009(2009-11-14) (aged 80)
Belgrade, Serbia

Life and educationEdit

Sima Ćirković was born on 29 January 1929 in Osijek, Sava Banovina in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.[2]

He attended primary school in Sombor, gymnasium in Belgrade during the WWII German Occupation of Serbia (1941 ‒ 1944), and then in Sombor from 1945 to 1948.[2] He began his studies at the Faculty of Philosophy and History Studies in Belgrade in 1948, graduating in 1952. After a short stint at the State Archives in Zrenjanin and the National Library of Serbia, he was elected as an assistant at the Institute of History in Belgrade in 1955.[2] In 1957, he defended his doctoral dissertation Herceg Stefan Vukčić Kosača i njegovo doba and afterwards became an assistant professor at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Philosophy for the History of the People of Yugoslavia in the Middle Ages. He became a full professor in 1968, was Vice-Dean from 1964 to 1966 and Dean from 1974 to 1975, and retired in 1994.[2]

Activism and viewpointsEdit

In January 1975, Ćirković resigned from his position as Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade following the planned suspension of the dissident Marxist Humanist Praxis group, all of whom were professors at his faculty.[3]

In 1986 Ćirković criticized the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, while during the Siege of Dubrovnik in 1991 he and other Yugoslav historians sent an open letter to the Yugoslavian forces asking them to not damage historical district of the city.[4][page needed]

He considered the theory of Kosovo Albanians being autochthonous in the territory of Kosovo to be a myth which will be pulverized by critical scientific approach.[5]

Ćirković considered that Bosnia and Herzegovina should not be organised as a national state and that it should be a stable factor in connecting the neighbouring countries.[6]

According to Ćirković, the controversial SANU Memorandum should be considered to be "a so called Memorandum" because it was never adopted by the Academy and he claims that therefore calling the document to be a "memorandum" is a manipulation.[7]


  • "Oktobarska Award" (1965)
  • "Prosveta Award" (1972)
  • "Sedmojulska Award" of the Socialist Republic of Serbia for lifetime achievement (1982)
  • "Orden rada sa crvenom zastavom" (1988) (Order of labor with a red flag)
  • Belgrade Award (2006)
  • Konstantin Jirecek" Medal of the German Society for Southeast Europe (2006).[2]


In 2006, Croatian historian Ivo Banac mentioned Ćirković as "the most significant living Serbian historian".[8]

Historians John R. Lampe and Constantin Iordachi describe Ćirković as "Serbia's leading medieval historian".[9]



  1. ^ E, B (November 17, 2009). "Sima Ćirković, istoričar (Sima Ćirković, historian)". Blic (in Serbian). Retrieved 19 May 2011. koji je bio i član ANU BiH, JAZU, CANU, VANU i Evropske akademije za istoriju Brisel.
  2. ^ a b c d e Radić, Radivoj (2010). "Sima Ćrković (1929.-2009.)". Pro tempore: časopis studenata povijesti (in Croatian) (8–9): 602–605.
  3. ^ De Baets, Antoon (2018). Crimes against History. Routledge. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-35132-983-5.
  4. ^ Popov, Nebojša (2000). The road to war in Serbia: trauma and catharsis. Central European University Press. ISBN 978-963-9116-56-6. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  5. ^ Ćirković, Sima (2020). Živeti sa istorijom. Belgrade: Helsinški odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji. p. 390.
  6. ^ Ćirković, Sima (2020). Živeti sa istorijom. Belgrade: Helsinški odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji. p. 194.
  7. ^ Ćirković, Sima (2020). Živeti sa istorijom. Belgrade: Helsinški odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji. p. 168.
  8. ^ Banac, Ivo; Elshtain, Jean Bethke; Weisbuch, Robert (2006). "The Humanities and Its Publics" (PDF). American Council of Learned Societies Occasional Papers (61): 9. ISSN 1041-536X. If I were asked to name the most significant living Serbian historian, I would mention Sima Ćirković, a prominent medievalist.
  9. ^ Lampe, John; Iordachi, Constantin (2020). Battling over the Balkans: Historiographical Questions and Controversies. Central European University Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-9-63386-326-8. The long continuity of a separate Serbian identification either with church or state is also emphasized in Sima Ćirković, The Serbs (2004). His credentials as Serbia's leading medieval historian lend weight to an account of the early centuries, surrounding the Kosovo battle of 1389..

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