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
Born(1929-01-29)29 January 1929
Died14 November 2009(2009-11-14) (aged 80)
Belgrade, Serbia

Life and education Edit

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 and went to secondary school in Belgrade during the Axis occupation of Serbia (1941–1944) in World War II. Afterward, he continued his secondary education in Sombor from 1945 to 1948.[2] He began his studies in history at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of 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 [Herceg Stefan Vukčić Kosača and his era]. He later became an assistant professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, where he taught the History of the peoples of Yugoslavia during 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 viewpoints Edit

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]

Ćirković emphasized that the history of the Serbian people is intricately linked to their migratory movements, which have persisted over time. Of particular importance were the migrations to Hungary during the 15th and 16th centuries, as to the historian, they exposed a significant part of the Serbian population to modern European civilization. For Ćirković, this interaction led to cultural advancement, the establishment of civil society, and bolstered resistance efforts in regions still under Ottoman dominion.[5] Similarly, much like the scientific approach that has dismantled notions of a century-old Slavic presence in Bačka and Banat, he considered that the theory of Kosovo Albanians as autochthonous in the territory of Kosovo to be a myth, one that critical thinking would eventually dismiss.[6]

Ćirković also expressed distinct concerns regarding the currently conflicting relations between Serbs and Albanians. Specifically, he believed that the geographical overlap of these two populations made it absolutely impossible to create a sense of security for each of the two groups through territorial division.[7] Instead, Ćirković supported what he perceived as a pragmatic approach of tolerance. He emphasized the necessity of providing each community with sufficient autonomy concerning education, language usage, and connections with their primary cultural milieu and fellow compatriots.[8] His main concerns were to promote tolerance to enable dialogue as a prerequisite for material and cultural progress for both people.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

Awards Edit

  • "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]

Legacy Edit

In 2006, Croatian historian Ivo Banac mentioned Ćirković as "the most significant living Serbian historian".[12]

Historians John R. Lampe and Constantin Iordachi describe Ćirković as "Serbia's leading medieval historian".[13]

Works Edit

References Edit

  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. p. 132. ISBN 978-963-9116-56-6. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  5. ^ Ćirković 2020, p. 389.
  6. ^ Ćirković 2020, pp. 389–390.
  7. ^ Ćirković 2020, p. 100.
  8. ^ Ćirković 2020, pp. 100–101.
  9. ^ Ćirković 2020, p. 101.
  10. ^ Ćirković 2020, p. 194.
  11. ^ Ćirković 2020, p. 168.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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..

Sources Edit

Ćirković, Sima (2020). Živeti sa istorijom [Living with history] (PDF) (in Serbian). Belgrade: Helsinški odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji. ISBN 978-86-7208-217-3.

External links Edit